Buddha Bless and Dharma Products : A New Trend of Dharma Teaching in Thailand

Pram Sounsamut




While most Thai say that 'Buddhism is the Thai national religion', how much do Thai people really understand Buddhist teachings. We cannot deny that in the past few decades, Buddhism in Thailand has been a symbol more than a practice. Therefore, some people are trying to promote Buddhism and Buddhist teaching again, especially to the young. It is the aim of this paper to introduce new teaching techniques of Dharma in Thailand and to analyze the significant and the effect of those techniques to the masses. I chose two interesting data from 2006 to 2007: a Hip-Hop band named Buddha Bless and Dharma products of Phra Rajadharmanides (Phra Phayorm). Buddha Bless uses the contemporary style of music such as hip-hop and electronic dance to teach. Although the lyrics deal heavily with love and romantic relations, the composers, who are the artists themselves, add some basic teaching like slla into their song. Phra Phayorm has been recognized for decades as a leading 'phra nak thet' or teaching monk. However, in these past few years he has launched a new style of teaching, which are Dharma products. Instead of teaching verbally, Phra Phayom has used trendy products such as wrist-bands, animations, cookies, t-shirts, paper bags, to teach Dharma. As a result, many youth and middle aged people are attracted to this kind of teaching technique. This new style of teaching is easier to understand and to use in their real life than are the classical texts. For better or worse, hopefully, these are another way of sustaining Buddhist teaching in modem Thai society.


(Published in Rian Thai: International Journal of Thai Studies, Volume 1/2008, Page 107-128)


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