History of Pra-wat-san-don – พระเวสสันดร
Pra-wat-san-don – พระเวสสันดร otherwise known as Vessantara comes from the historical beliefs of one of the Buddha’s past lives also known as the Great Birth Sermon. The story is about a compassionate prince who gives away his possessions, this includes his children. This was a display of the perfect charity and complete virtue. The princes name was Venssantara and is recognized throughout Asia, and is one of the most popular stories of the Buddha with celebrations every year in honor of this great prince. The festival is called Thet Mahachat – เทศน์มหาชาติ – which comes from Maha Jati or ‘Great Birth.’ It is also known as the 10th resurrection of the Buddha and is a very important part of traditional folklore.
Pra-wat-san-don – พระเวสสันดร – at Siam University
On 10th and 11th of October, a special Sermon for Pra-wat-san-don was held at Siam University in honor of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej – Rama IX. This ceremony was held on campus for 4 main reasons:
- To honor and pay merit (pray) for our Late King Rama IX.
- Involve Siam University administration, staff, and students in merit.
- To be a recognized as a special cultural activity.
- To share the meaning of the 10th resurrection with the local community.
Because this story is a part of traditional folklore, Siam University was the only institution, along with very few temples in Bangkok, to share and inform the people of this special merit. On each day, monks shared the story of Vessantara as well as show merit (pray) for the resurrection of King Rama IX. Through this ceremonial activity it is believed to bring virtue to each individual attending and share the knowledge with the local community of a part of the life of Buddha.
Siam University is honored to have been able to be a part of the selected group to take part in this special ceremony. The administration, staff, and students of Siam hold dear to their hearts the memory of our late King Bhumibol Adulyadej – Rama IX and cherish all of the great accomplishments he has done for the people of Thailand.