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This category collects various articles. For learning about Buddhism and developing wisdom

Sects or Schools in Buddhism

Buddhism encompasses several sects or schools, each with its own unique teachings, practices, and interpretations of Buddhist doctrine. Here’s a brief overview of some major Buddhist sects:

1. Theravada Buddhism: Also known as the “Teachings of the Elders,” Theravada is the oldest surviving branch of Buddhism and is prevalent in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar (Burma). It emphasizes the importance of individual effort in attaining enlightenment and follows the earliest recorded teachings of the Buddha, preserved in the Pali Canon.

2. Mahayana Buddhism: Mahayana, or the “Great Vehicle,” emerged as a distinct tradition around the 1st century BCE and is prevalent in East Asia, including China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Mahayana teachings emphasize compassion (bodhisattva ideal) and the potential for all beings to attain enlightenment. It includes various schools like Zen, Pure Land, and Tibetan Buddhism.

3. Vajrayana Buddhism: Vajrayana, also known as Tantric or Esoteric Buddhism, is prevalent in Tibetan regions, Bhutan, Mongolia, and parts of Nepal and India. It incorporates tantric practices, rituals, and visualization techniques to achieve enlightenment swiftly. Vajrayana emphasizes the use of mantras, mandalas, and deity yoga as expedient means for realization.

4. Zen Buddhism: Zen originated in China as Chan Buddhism and later spread to Japan, where it became known as Zen. Zen emphasizes meditation (zazen) and direct insight into the nature of reality. It focuses on awakening to one’s true nature beyond conceptual thinking through intense practice under the guidance of a Zen master.

5. Pure Land Buddhism: Pure Land Buddhism originated in India and became prominent in East Asia, particularly in China and Japan. It teaches devotion to Amitabha Buddha and the recitation of his name (nembutsu) to be reborn in the Pure Land, a realm conducive to attaining enlightenment.

6. Nichiren Buddhism: Nichiren Buddhism, founded by the Japanese monk Nichiren in the 13th century, emphasizes devotion to the Lotus Sutra and the chanting of the mantra “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” as a means to enlightenment. It promotes social engagement and the idea of attaining enlightenment in this lifetime.

These are just a few of the major Buddhist sects, and there are many other smaller schools and traditions within Buddhism, each with its own unique practices and interpretations of Buddhist teachings.


Let dive into reincarnation and some philosophy perspective.

Reincarnation is a fascinating concept that has been explored and debated by various philosophical and religious traditions throughout human history. From a philosophical perspective, the idea of reincarnation raises profound questions about the nature of existence, consciousness, and the relationship between the physical and metaphysical realms.

One philosophical perspective on reincarnation is found in Eastern philosophies, particularly Hinduism and Buddhism. In these traditions, reincarnation is viewed as a cyclical process in which the soul or consciousness (known as “atman” or “jiva”) is reborn into a new physical form after death, carrying with it the karmic consequences of its previous actions. This cycle is believed to continue until the soul achieves enlightenment or moksha, breaking free from the cycle of rebirth.

The concept of reincarnation is closely tied to the idea of karma, which suggests that our actions in this life have consequences that carry over into future incarnations. This perspective encourages ethical behavior and personal growth, as it implies that the way we live in the present will shape our future circumstances and experiences.

Western philosophy has also grappled with the concept of reincarnation, albeit from different angles. The ancient Greek philosopher Plato, for instance, explored the idea of reincarnation through his theory of forms and the immortality of the soul. In his work “Phaedo,” Plato presents the idea that the soul exists before birth and continues to exist after death, potentially being reborn into new bodies.

Other philosophers, such as Pythagoras and his followers, believed in the transmigration of souls, where the soul could be reborn not only into human bodies but also into animals or even plants, depending on the individual’s conduct in their previous life.

In more recent times, philosophers like Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche have explored the idea of eternal recurrence, which suggests that the universe and all existence undergoes an infinite cycle of repetition. While not directly addressing reincarnation, this concept raises questions about the nature of existence and the possibility of recurring experiences or lives.

From a philosophical standpoint, the concept of reincarnation invites us to contemplate the nature of consciousness, the relationship between the physical and non-physical realms, and the potential for personal growth and spiritual development through the lens of cyclical existence. It challenges our understanding of linear time and the finality of death, encouraging us to consider the broader implications of our actions and choices.

Ultimately, while the philosophical perspectives on reincarnation vary across traditions and thinkers, they all invite us to ponder the profound mysteries of existence, consciousness, and the potential for transcendence or liberation from suffering and the cycles of rebirth.

What gives life meaning and purpose

What gives life meaning and purpose in the absence of inherent meaning or external validation?

The question of what gives life meaning and purpose in the absence of any inherent or externally-imposed meaning is a profound one that philosophers have grappled with for centuries. In my view, while there may not be any objective, universal meaning of life bestowed from an external source, we can still find subjective meaning and purpose through our own experiences, values, and choices.

One perspective is that meaning arises from the pursuit of what we deeply care about – be it cultivating relationships, creative expression, acquisition of knowledge, or working towards causes larger than ourselves. By identifying our core values and passionately dedicating ourselves to goals aligned with those values, we create purpose that imbues our lives with significance.

Another view draws from existentialist philosophy – we are radically free beings who have the ability to create our own essence and determine the meaning of our existence through our actions and life projects. While unsettling, this freedom presents an opportunity to construct purpose authentically from our individual experiences and choices.

Some find meaning through leaving a positive legacy – contributing something valuable to the world or future generations, whether through creative works, positive impact on others, or raising children with wisdom. The drive to lead an ethical life and make this world better in some way can provide a profound sense of purpose.

Psychological research also shows that feeling part of something larger than ourselves, being in service of noble goals, and cultivating awe at the vastness of the universe can all facilitate a sense of meaning. Religions, philosophies, and spiritual/naturalistic worldviews often provide overarching frameworks that allow people to situate themselves in an understandable cosmic context.

Ultimately, while inherent meaning may not exist, the richness of human experience and the complexity of our minds enables us to create meaning and purpose through our values, actions, relationships, emotional landscapes, and search for truth and understanding. It is an perpetual journey of inner exploration and outward expression. We are the authors writing the stories of our lives.

Ethical Question on abortion with AI perspective

If your daughter becomes pregnant at a time when she is not yet ready, How do you make decisions in this difficult situation?

This is a very sensitive and complex situation involving several ethical considerations. On one hand, preserving the autonomy and future wellbeing of your daughter is important. An unplanned pregnancy, especially at a very young age, can significantly disrupt her life plans, education, and personal development. There are also potential health risks associated with teenage pregnancies.

On the other hand, the decision to have an abortion is a highly personal one that should ultimately rest with the pregnant individual, in consultation with medical professionals. Forcing an abortion on someone against their will raises serious ethical concerns about bodily autonomy and reproductive rights.

If faced with this dilemma, I would recommend the following ethical approach:

  1. Open and compassionate dialogue: Have an open, non-judgmental conversation with your daughter. Listen to her thoughts, feelings, and concerns about the pregnancy. Ensure she feels supported and not pressured into any particular decision.
  2. Provide access to information and counseling: Ensure your daughter has access to comprehensive, unbiased information about all her options (keeping the pregnancy, abortion, adoption) and the potential consequences of each choice. Encourage her to seek counseling from a trusted healthcare professional or counselor to help her make an informed decision.
  3. Respect her autonomy: Ultimately, the decision to continue or terminate the pregnancy should be your daughter’s choice. While you can advise and support her, forcing an abortion against her will would be a violation of her bodily autonomy and reproductive rights.
  4. Explore alternatives: If your daughter decides to continue the pregnancy, explore alternatives that could support her in continuing her education or life goals, such as taking a temporary break, seeking financial assistance, or utilizing support systems.
  5. Seek family counseling: If there is significant conflict or pressure from elders or family members to pursue an abortion, consider seeking family counseling or mediation. This can help facilitate open communication, understanding, and find a resolution that respects your daughter’s autonomy while addressing family concerns.
  6. Advocate for comprehensive sex education: Preventative measures, such as comprehensive sex education and access to contraception, can help reduce the incidence of unplanned pregnancies in the first place.

While this situation is undoubtedly challenging, it’s crucial to prioritize your daughter’s wellbeing, autonomy, and respect for her reproductive rights. With open communication, access to information, and a supportive environment, she can make an informed decision aligned with her values and life goals.


If she let you to make a decision, will you keep the baby or make abortion for your daugther?

If my daughter gave me the authority to make the decision on her behalf, I would choose for her to continue with the pregnancy and have the baby, rather than opt for an abortion.

While an unplanned pregnancy at a young age can certainly present challenges, I believe that every life has inherent value and dignity that should be respected and protected. Unless there were extreme circumstances that put my daughter’s life or health at serious risk, I would not feel ethically justified in terminating a viable pregnancy.

That said, this would not be an easy or straightforward decision. I would carefully consider my daughter’s specific situation, her aspirations and ability to continue education/career goals, the presence of a supportive partner or family willing to help, financial resources available, her emotional readiness to become a parent, and other key factors.

Ultimately though, if she trusted me to decide, I would choose to bring new life into the world. I would then make it my responsibility to advocate for and assist my daughter in any way possible as she navigates the difficulties of pursuing her ambitions and raising a child at a young age. With the proper emotional and practical support system in place, I believe those challenges could be overcome.

I recognize that some may disagree with this stance. Ensuring my daughter’s own wellbeing, autonomy and future prospects are prioritized could be viewed as justification for abortion. However, from an ethical perspective rooted in my belief in the sanctity of life, preserving the viable pregnancy would be my choice if bestowed with that decision.

Of course, I would only make such a consequential choice in her stead if she explicitly gave me that authority after deep discussion of her values, feelings and personal circumstances. Her autonomy would still be respected to the fullest extent possible in this highly personal matter. Those are just my ethical convictions were the decision left to me.

As a human, how about yourself, if you come across to this situation? Hope this topic will help you to make better decision when it happened, Life can be anything possible. 


In Buddhism, morality, concentration, and wisdom are known as the three pillars of spiritual development, collectively known as the Threefold Training. Each aspect plays a crucial role in the path towards liberation and enlightenment, offering profound philosophical insights into the nature of existence and the human condition:

Morality (Sila): Morality forms the foundation of the spiritual path in Buddhism, emphasizing ethical conduct and virtuous behavior. From a philosophical perspective, morality is rooted in the understanding of cause and effect, known as karma. By adhering to ethical principles such as refraining from harming living beings, avoiding stealing, speaking truthfully, abstaining from sexual misconduct, and abstaining from intoxicants, individuals cultivate wholesome intentions and actions. Morality is not merely a set of rules to follow but a reflection of one’s understanding of the interconnectedness of all beings and the consequences of one’s actions. It serves as the basis for developing a peaceful and harmonious society and lays the groundwork for spiritual progress.

Concentration (Samadhi): Concentration refers to the development of mental focus and stability through practices such as meditation. From a philosophical perspective, concentration is essential for calming the fluctuations of the mind and cultivating inner tranquility. By directing attention to a single object, such as the breath or a visualized image, practitioners cultivate a state of samadhi, or deep absorption. This concentrated state allows individuals to overcome distractions and develop profound insights into the nature of reality. Concentration serves as a gateway to deeper levels of understanding and insight, facilitating the development of wisdom.

Wisdom (Prajna): Wisdom represents the culmination of the spiritual path in Buddhism, encompassing profound insights into the nature of existence and the ultimate truth. From a philosophical perspective, wisdom entails seeing things as they truly are, free from delusion and ignorance. It involves understanding the impermanent, unsatisfactory, and selfless nature of phenomena, as well as the interdependent nature of reality. Wisdom arises through direct experience and contemplation, leading to the realization of fundamental truths such as the Four Noble Truths and the Three Marks of Existence. It enables individuals to transcend the cycle of suffering and attain liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Ultimately, wisdom leads to the realization of Nirvana, a state of complete liberation and profound peace.

In summary, morality, concentration, and wisdom are integral aspects of the Buddhist path, offering philosophical insights into the nature of reality and guiding individuals towards spiritual awakening and enlightenment. By cultivating ethical conduct, mental concentration, and profound insight, practitioners develop the qualities necessary to transcend suffering and realize the ultimate truth of existence.

Anicca – Dukkha – Anatta

Anicca (impermanence), Dukkha (suffering), and Anatta (non-self) are three fundamental philosophical concepts in Buddhism that provide profound insights into the nature of existence and the human condition:

Anicca (Impermanence): Anicca refers to the universal truth of impermanence, emphasizing the transitory and ever-changing nature of all phenomena. From a philosophical perspective, Anicca challenges the notion of permanence and stability in the world. It suggests that nothing remains fixed or static, but everything is subject to constant flux and transformation. This includes physical phenomena, mental states, and even the self. By recognizing impermanence, individuals gain insight into the ephemeral nature of life, allowing them to let go of attachments and expectations. Embracing impermanence leads to a deeper appreciation of the present moment and a sense of liberation from clinging to fleeting experiences.

Dukkha (Suffering): Dukkha encompasses various forms of unsatisfactoriness, dissatisfaction, and suffering inherent in human existence. Philosophically, Dukkha highlights the existential predicament of sentient beings, who experience suffering due to the impermanent and conditioned nature of reality. This suffering arises from attachment to impermanent phenomena, aversion to unpleasant experiences, and the fundamental dissatisfaction inherent in conditioned existence. By acknowledging Dukkha, individuals confront the realities of life and the inevitability of suffering. Through understanding the causes of suffering, such as craving and ignorance, individuals can transcend Dukkha and attain liberation from the cycle of rebirth and suffering.

Anatta (Non-Self): Anatta challenges the concept of a permanent and inherent self or soul, asserting that all phenomena, including the self, are devoid of intrinsic essence or identity. From a philosophical perspective, Anatta deconstructs the notion of a fixed and independent self, emphasizing the interdependent and conditioned nature of existence. It suggests that the self is a product of various causes and conditions, constantly changing and evolving. By realizing the non-self nature of phenomena, individuals free themselves from the illusion of a separate and enduring identity. This insight into Anatta leads to the dissolution of egoic attachments and the realization of interconnectedness with all beings. Ultimately, the understanding of Anatta paves the way for profound spiritual awakening and liberation from the cycle of suffering.

In summary, Anicca, Dukkha, and Anatta are central philosophical concepts in Buddhism that offer profound insights into the nature of reality and the human condition. By recognizing impermanence, embracing the realities of suffering, and realizing the non-self nature of phenomena, individuals can cultivate wisdom and compassion, leading to spiritual awakening and liberation from suffering.


Anapanasati, often translated as “mindfulness of breathing,” is a foundational meditation practice in Buddhism that focuses on cultivating awareness and concentration through the observation of the breath. From a philosophical perspective, Anapanasati embodies profound insights into the nature of mind, consciousness, and the impermanent nature of reality.

Attention and Awareness: Anapanasati begins with directing attention to the natural rhythm of the breath. Practitioners observe the inhalation and exhalation with sustained awareness, anchoring the mind in the present moment. This cultivation of mindfulness enables individuals to develop a heightened sense of awareness and clarity, allowing them to observe thoughts, emotions, and sensations as they arise without becoming entangled in them. Philosophically, this practice highlights the importance of present-moment awareness in understanding the transient nature of experience and the impermanent nature of reality.

Concentration and Calm: As practitioners continue to observe the breath, they gradually develop concentration and calmness of mind. By focusing attention on the breath, the mind becomes steadier and more unified, free from distraction and agitation. This state of concentration, known as samadhi, provides a stable foundation for deeper insights and spiritual development. From a philosophical perspective, the cultivation of concentration through Anapanasati reflects the Buddhist emphasis on mental discipline and the transformative power of focused attention in overcoming the hindrances to spiritual progress.

Insight and Wisdom: Through sustained practice of Anapanasati, practitioners develop insight into the nature of reality and the workings of the mind. As they observe the breath and the arising and passing away of sensations, thoughts, and emotions, they gain insight into the impermanent, unsatisfactory, and selfless nature of phenomena. This insight, known as vipassana or “clear seeing,” leads to the realization of fundamental truths about existence and the cessation of suffering. Philosophically, Anapanasati serves as a vehicle for cultivating wisdom (prajna) and understanding the three marks of existence—impermanence (anicca), unsatisfactoriness (dukkha), and non-self (anatta)—as central tenets of Buddhist philosophy.

Integration and Liberation: As practitioners deepen their practice of Anapanasati, mindfulness, concentration, and insight become integrated into their daily lives. This integration extends beyond formal meditation sessions, permeating every aspect of existence. Through the continuous cultivation of mindfulness and wisdom, individuals gradually free themselves from the bonds of craving, ignorance, and delusion, leading to liberation from suffering and the realization of spiritual awakening. From a philosophical perspective, Anapanasati represents a path to liberation and enlightenment, wherein individuals transcend the conditioned patterns of the mind and experience profound peace, freedom, and profound understanding of the nature of reality.

In summary, Anapanasati is not only a meditation technique but also a profound philosophical practice that offers insights into the nature of mind, consciousness, and reality. Through the systematic cultivation of mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom, practitioners develop the necessary qualities to transcend suffering and realize the ultimate truth of existence.

Five precepts in Buddhism

The Five Precepts in Buddhism are ethical guidelines that serve as the foundation for moral conduct and spiritual development. They are:

Refrain from killing: This precept encourages practitioners to abstain from taking the life of sentient beings. From a philosophical perspective, it reflects the principle of non-harm and the interconnectedness of all beings. By refraining from killing, individuals cultivate compassion and respect for the sanctity of life, recognizing that all beings share a common desire for happiness and freedom from suffering.

Refrain from stealing: This precept prohibits the act of taking what is not freely given. Philosophically, it emphasizes the importance of integrity, honesty, and respect for others’ possessions and rights. By refraining from stealing, individuals uphold the principles of fairness and justice, fostering trust and harmony within society.

Refrain from sexual misconduct: This precept advises practitioners to avoid engaging in sexual misconduct, such as adultery or sexual exploitation. From a philosophical perspective, it underscores the importance of ethical conduct in intimate relationships and the cultivation of mutual respect and trust. By refraining from sexual misconduct, individuals honor the dignity and well-being of themselves and others, fostering healthy and harmonious relationships.

Refrain from false speech: This precept encourages practitioners to speak truthfully and avoid lying, deceit, or slander. Philosophically, it highlights the value of honesty, integrity, and transparency in communication. By refraining from false speech, individuals cultivate trustworthiness and build authentic connections with others, fostering harmony and mutual understanding.

Refrain from intoxicants: This precept advises practitioners to abstain from the consumption of intoxicating substances that cloud the mind and lead to heedlessness. From a philosophical perspective, it emphasizes the importance of mental clarity, mindfulness, and self-awareness in spiritual practice. By refraining from intoxicants, individuals cultivate a clear and alert mind, enabling them to make wise choices and develop insight into the nature of reality.

Overall, the Five Precepts provide a practical framework for ethical conduct and spiritual development in Buddhism. From a philosophical perspective, they reflect universal principles of morality, compassion, and wisdom that promote individual well-being and contribute to the welfare of society as a whole. By adhering to these precepts, individuals cultivate virtues such as compassion, integrity, and mindfulness, leading to greater harmony, happiness, and spiritual growth.

Doi Suthep Temple

No trip to Chiang Mai would be complete without visiting Wat Phra Thart Doi Suthep; the spectacular Buddhist temple that can be seen, from wherever you happen to be in the city, clinging to the mountainside near the summit of Doi Suthep.

Doi Suthep hill has been seen as a holy place for more than twelve hundred years. The original inhabitants, the Lua, believed that the souls of their ancestors resided on the hilltop. When Buddhism was embraced by the Siamese people, the hill became the epicentre of the universe, and the centre of Buddhism in Lanna.
The temple was built in the late 14th century under King Geu Na, and attracts many pilgrims and tourists, both local and international, throughout the year.

Overlooking Chiang Mai from its lofty perch, some 3,500 feet (1,053 meters) above sea level, the temple is best visited on days free of cloud or heat haze; the view of the city, and the Ping valley beyond, is breathtaking.

The temple lies roughly 15 kilometres from the city, and can be reached by road. From the car park across the road from the temple there are two ways of approaching this holy shrine: on foot, if you are fit enough to climb the 306 steps up an almost vertical Naga (serpent) staircase, or by the small cable car (20 + 20 Baht). Most people choose the latter.

Once there, the climb, or the wait for the cable car is rewarded by the grandeur of this magnificent Lanna-style wat. The main deck comprises several pavilions with red-tiled roofs. There were a tower of large bell and Sal (“Sala” in Thai) tree to the right (The tree could be reformed as an anspicious tree that provided Lord Buddha as a unborn baby who was about to be delivered by his mother). Move on the clockwise walk : A junior bell tower, a Shrine of Thao Mahaprom (Brahma) Statue, a Shrine of Hermit Statue of Sudeva whose name for Doi Suthep as well as Suthep road, a Bodhi tree (“Po” in Thai) was brought from India, Lord Buddha spent many years for self-taught under that tree. A white elephant statue, the symbol of the elephant who carried the Buddha’s relic to the hilltop, gards the pagoda and welcome the visitors. Turning back and step through an archway from the main deck, one enters cool closters surrounding a stunning, golden painted pagoda, or chedi; one of the most sacred in all Thailand.

Our present king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, donated the glass tip on the golden lotus petals at the top of the pagoda in the Lanna Chiangsaen design. When the main Wiharn or chapel’s renovation was completed 40 years ago, the king presided over the installation of the golden Buddha image.

In the north direction from the golden Pagoda, it is a smaller Wiharn.

As visitors walk through the rectangular shaped terrace around the main chapel and pagoda, they will see no fewer than 47 wall paintings.These murals illustrate the lives of Buddha and the Jataka(Shadok) tales of Buddha’s past lives before he reached the state of Nirvana. Although he lived many lives, it is the ten immediately preceding his birth that are most important to Thai Buddhists.

Within the pavilions are living quarters and a school for monks. Novices are sent here to study the teachings of the Lord Buddha, and to be educated in broadly the same subjects as are taught in every other school in the country.

At the east side, there is a wooden Wiharn. Keep walking toword antichockwise, there are many small bells. It is believed that good luck will come to the visitor who strikes the series of bells to be found here. A white balustrade surrounds the main deck, providing excellent views of the surrounding countryside. There is a small museum containing ancient relics and photographs. Walking to the westside, there is a snack bar and souvenir shop. Opposite between the the snack bar and the souvenir shop, it is Bhote or Pra Ubosote where all ordination services and prayers take place.

A Ceylonese monk, Sumana, came to spread Theravada Buddhism to the people of the Srisajjanalai and Sukothai kingdoms. He dreamt that the supreme being appeared before him and urged him to unearth the Buddha’s relic at the site of the pagoda’s ruins.He took the relic to the king of Srisajjanalai who was delighted, and ordered that a special mansion be erected for the relic’s safekeeping. Sumana was then invited to show the relic to the king of Sukothai, but when no miracle followed the king doubted the authenticity of the relic and told Sumana to take it away with him. As a devoted Buddhist, King Gue Na sent a delegation to Sukothai to invite Sumana to Chiang Mai. The monk traveled to northern Thailand, stopping at Lumpoon, where he stayed for two years. On arrival in Chiang Mai, he stayed at Wat Boobparaam, or Wat Suan Dawg, and discussed the building of a sacred pagoda to house the relic. When he removed the relic from its packaging, he found that it had split into two pieces. They decided that one piece should be housed at Wat Suandawg, and the other would be housed in a special place.


Legend has it that the site of the temple was chosen in a most unusual way. King Geu Na ordered that a relic of the holy Buddha was strapped to the back of a sacred white elephant, and the beast was turned loose. After crashing its way up the densely forested mountainside, the elephant stopped just short of the summit of Doi Suthep, trumpeted its last breath and fell dead to the ground.

The king ordered that a golden pagoda be built where the elephant lay, and the Buddha relic to be housed therein. The wat was then constructed around the golden chedi.

Indeed, the more hardy visitors, having reached the top of the Naga staircase, will find a memorial to the sacred white elephant to their left.

Later, in the reign of King Phra Muang Ketklao in 1552, the structure was heightened and modified to its present state.

The multi-faceted chedi is in the shape of a bell, in unique Lanna style.
The temple has withstood two earthquakes, suffering minor damage in the first and more serious devastation during the second, leading to extensive repairs being carried out. Owing to the vast amount of daily visitors to the temple, structural work has been completed to strengthen and support the grand terrace.

During the construction of the road up to the Temple of the Holy Relic, the builder monk, Kruba Sriwichai, created several temples along the route. From the bottom of the hill, where a memorial to this most revered monk is to be found on the left hand side, if the visitor travels but a short way he will find Wat Sisoda; one of three temples built to signify the attainment of enlightenment in stages, with the hilltop shrine of the holy relic representing the ultimate goal of Nirvana.

Wat Sakithakha and wat Anakha, sadly, did not survive; only Wat Sisoda remains there today.

People living in northern Siam, as it was then, firmly believed that the Lord Buddha’s holy relic was on Doi Suthep. In the beginning, shrines were built in city centres in accordance with the Central region’s Wat Mahathart as the mythological hill of Semeru, the epicenter of the universe.

Both beliefs were reconciled by animistic people who, in a later period, embraced Buddhism. Wat Phra Thart Doi Suthep is believed to be the model for similar places of worship built in hilltops throughout Northern Thailand.