Seventh day merit-making ceremony for His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej
On Wednesday, 19th October 2016, in accordance with Sri Lankan Buddhist traditions and the Thai Royal merit-making rites, the Sri Lanka Embassy in Thailand in association with the Mahachulalongkorn University and the Sri Lankan community in Thailand, organized a ceremony in memory of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, on the completion of seven days from the date of his demise.
The ceremony was conducted at Wat Arun (temple of the Dawn) in Bangkok; one of six classed as the highest grade royal temples of Thailand. The Uposathagara building, where the ceremony took place, is site to the annual royal katina ceremony.
The merit making ceremony was led by fourteen Thai monks, who chanted Mathika and Abhidhamma. The rituals comprised the offering of robes, sangadhana and the water pouring ceremony for the transfer of merit. The religious observances were preceded by remarks by the Assistant Abbot of Wat Arun appreciating the initiative of organizing this merit-making ceremony by the Embassy of Sri Lanka together with the Sri Lankan community. He said that it was an honour for the temple to be host to such an occasion, which meant much to the people of Thailand.
The Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Thailand took this opportunity to refer to the significance of the seventh day merit-making ceremony on this particular day. She also recalled the pivotal role played by His Majesty the King in strengthening relations between the two countries, with special note of His gracious generosity in making available the rainmaking technology to Sri Lanka during a severe drought season. She observed that Sri Lanka and Thailand have maintained a timeless friendship, based on the bedrock of Theravada Buddhism dating over centuries. Therefore, the Sri Lankans in Thailand have joined their Thai brethren to honour and give merit for His Majesty’s virtuous deeds, she said. To overcome this incomparable loss, the Ambassador in conclusion urged the Thai people to unite and resolve on this occasion, to follow the path of His Majesty, which comprised generosity, kind speech and a life of service and compassion, which has been in keeping with the teachings of the Buddha.
The event drew the attendance of many Sri Lankans who have made Thailand their second home, and also representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, the Office of National Buddhism as well as many other Thais who wished to be part of the ceremony to accrue merit for His Majesty the King. The President of the Sri Lanka Association extended condolences of the membership to the Thai people and thanked those gathered for their presence and prayers of merit-giving.
The appreciation of the Thai people in this demonstration of solidarity by the people of Sri Lanka in their time of sorrow was significant and emotive. This sombre ceremony was aired live on a Thai language television channel which has extensive viewership.
Sri Lanka Embassy in Thailand
20th October 2016