Buddhadasa treasure trove for city
Within the next two years, a green oasis in Bangkok will provide an ample corner where people can immerse themselves in the much-revered works of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu.
"This is going to be a source of spiritual entertainment," said Dr Bancha Pongpanich, a follower of the world-famous monk.
Buddhadasa is on the Unesco list of the world's great personalities.
When he passed away in 1993, he left behind an inspiring collection of religious works. Up to 27,347 pieces of his knowledge have been compiled, and most of them have been maintained at his Suan Mokkh ("Garden of Liberation") temple in the southern province of Surat Thani.
"Now we have decided to relocate this treasure trove to Bangkok," Bancha said.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and the Buddhadasa Inthapanyo Archives Foundation will build a three-storey building on a plot of land inside Vachirabenjatas Park to properly maintain the works.
Spread over three rai of land, the building will occupy 4,000 square metres. The Buddhadasa Inthapanyo Archives will be set amid shady trees and surrounding ponds. Inside the main buildings there will be exhibition rooms, seminar rooms, a digital database, research-service zones and a theatre for spiritual entertainment.
"It will be a complete religious archive. It will be the country's first comprehensive digital library too. Our database will be linked to websites like www.buddhadasa-archives.com, www.buddhadasa-archives.org and www.bia.or.th," Bancha said.
He added that the project was also intended to honour HM the King on the occasion of his 80th birthday. His Majesty turns 80 in December.
Bangkok Governor Apirak Kosayodhin yesterday attended the inauguration of the archives.
Also present were the much-respected Phra Panyanandha Bhikkhu, Privy Councillor Kasem Watanachai and senior citizen Prawase Wasi.
"We believe the archives will sustain and create the utmost benefit from Buddhadasa's works," said Kasem, who chairs the committee tasked with establishing the archives.
"It will be as though we have put food on plates. You can come to taste it at the archive and even take some home," Kasem said.
Bancha said Suan Mokkh was so humid it was not a very appropriate place to maintain Buddhadasa's works.
According to Bancha, more people will be able to access the works in the capital.
"Nowadays so many people struggle to cope with stress. The Buddhadasa Inthapanyo Archives will help them," he said.
Bancha sits on the committee chaired by Kasem.
He said it would take about Bt140 million to set up the archives. Financial contributions for the project can be made by a remittal to Savings Account No 089-2-56025-2 "Start-up Capital for Buddhadasa Inthapanyo Archives", Kasikornbank, Ratchadaphisek Huai Khwang Branch.
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