There are two outstanding monuments near Bangkok; one is the Standing Buddha and the other is the Phra Phathom Chedi.
The Standing Buddha dominates the vast open fields and the sky. It is an easy reminder to us about Buddha’s teachings; that life is full of sorrow, that desires cause sorrow, that sorrow is liquidated when we overcome desires and the eightfold path leads us towards achieving nirvana or deliverance. In order to remember the eightfold path in my childhood for exams, I had formed a shortened abbreviation-VASCLEMM: right view,right action,right speech,right conduct,right learning,right effort,right mindfulness and right meditation. These paths have remained in my memory.
The Phra Phathom Chedi is also monumental. Its yellow colour is very pleasing to the eyes. All around the chedi there is a lot of life. We are reminded of the Japanese Daibutsus of Kamakura Buddha and Todaji Buddha of Nara. The following words of Einstein seem very appropriate:
The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism.
This much for today.