When I first visited Thailand, I was instantly drawn towards the grandiose Buddhist temples and shrines that lay in complete binary opposition against an ordinary Thai’s basic living standards. The architecture especially stands out as magnificent in The Grand Palace in Bangkok, its beauty is surely astounding and is definitely worth a visit. Away from the Palace, there are plenty of mini-shrines dotted across the country. These shrines too are laden with mock-gold trinkets and miniature ivory figures. I often ask myself: why do Thai people mediate around such blatant narcissism when their own lives are of little materialistic value? Indeed I was accepting a Western view, so I decided to research the practice and ideals of Buddhism to further expand my basic knowledge. Here are five interesting points about Buddhism:
Theory of Karma – More than meets the eye
From the Buddhist community, the theory of karma is a highly regarded system within the complex religion. When we are speaking ‘karma’, we do not mean a Westernised perspective of ‘what goes around comes around’. In Buddhism, Karma is defined both as a ’cause’ and ‘effect’. In this sense, the term Karma is an action, although originating from the past it speaks largely in the present. What we do, what we speak, what we think all has a resulting consequence. Buddha believe that the key to happiness is the understanding of Karma in a positive way. Positive thoughts lead to positive actions and therefore have a positive consequence.