Buddhism in laos

About half the people are concentrated in the lowlands, and between one-third and two-fifths are urban dwellers. Structure religieuses lao rites et mythes. Young novices were persuaded by the government to leave the Sangha with offers of secular training and education and special vocational schools were set up for them.

Government officials could veto elections of abbots and elders and candidates for higher positions in the Sangha required Cabinet consent.

The Americans trained some of the monks, who were then expected to speak against the Communists. The teaching of religion and Buddhist morality was prohibited in primary schools.

The influence of these colonial reforms in the field of monastic education were somewhat neutralized by the increasing political struggles during the s, and finally the socialist revolution in The Nan-chao kingdom also likely introduced the Buddhism in laos ideology of the king as defender and protector of Buddhism, an important ideological tie between the monarchy and the sangha in much of Southeast Asia.

These included unity and equality of all Lao nationals of all ethnic groups, free elections, freedom of speech and the right to free enterprise and property ownership. Lao people have also written many versions of the Jataka Tales. The liberal democratic tone of the document appealed to most people.

While many monks worked against the communists, it is clear also that many worked actively for them. Naturally, the Sangha supported these eighteen points. A high birth rate is offset by a high rate of infant mortality, as well as by a life expectancy that is significantly below the world average.

At the same time it must be noted that the monks were accompanied by armed Pathet Lao cadres on their preaching tours, supposedly for their protection. It was also important to control the Sangha as it was one of the few organisations that had penetrated every village in Laos.


It was during the Japanese occupation of French Indochina that a nascent Lao nationalist movement began to pay attention to traditional Lao culture. Jobs in the government were offered to the French-educated elite; those who were educated in monasteries were denied jobs in the government on the grounds that their religious education was irrelevant for government jobs.

While a state school system was spreading, monastic education became an increasingly specialized subfield. Lao people have also written many versions of the Jataka Tales. A survey of the information gleaned from these sources reveals the story of Buddhism in Laos to be a fragmented and contested history of royal patronage and governmental reform, as well as a creative engagement between local, indigenous beliefs and a translocal religion.

In this sense, the Buddhist Sangha have had to re-invent themselves by emphasising their utilitarian roles in Lao society.

Lao monks first went to Phnom Penh to study at the Buddhist Institute, but Lao branches were finally opened inreflecting the peripheral position of Laos in the colonial project. While government policy towards religion has liberalized, the Sangha remains under Party control and monks have to study official government policy.

Antique Buddha Statues From Laos

The Thais, on the other hand, resented having been deprived of the most valuable portion of their Laotian holdings. In Luang Prabang people usually give an offering of sticky rice to monks. I learn dharmi and pari as study for Buddhists. The accumulation of merit was downplayed; and karma was denounced as leading to fatalism and pacifism.

Buddhism was acceptable and it was useful as a tool of the revolution if it was purged of superstitious practices which had accrued over time. The Vietnamese, who live both in the cities and in the northeastern rural areas, practice a mixture of Mahayana Buddhism and Confucianism.

This was a relationship based on mutual benefits. The temples of Laos were once seen as "Universities" for monks. Buddhism defines the Laotian character. A number of nongovernmental organizations, including some from the United States, have been assisting the government, mainly in the fields of rural development and public health.

Bymonks were reported to have been confined to re-education camps. Wats are often clusters of buildings with the uposatha ordination hall being the most important structure. It was also important to control the Sangha as it was one of the few organisations that had penetrated every village in Laos.

Inthe Lao Issara movement split into two factions. Buddhist monks were harassed by local cadres.The primary sources for the history of Buddhism in Laos are texts, such as palm leaf and mulberry leaf manuscripts, stone and metal inscriptions, traveller’s reports, and printed materials: These sources, which are held in monastic, governmental, and royal archives, provide information on Lao Buddhism from only the 14th century and after, and many.

Best read alongside Deydier and Nhouy Abhaythis includes descriptions of Lao Buddhist practices. Contributions by Nhouy Abhay (“Buddhism in Laos”) and Phouvong Phimmasone (“The Buddhist Institute and Religious Teaching”) are particularly useful. Deydier, Henri.

Introduction à la connaissance du Laos.

Buddhism in Laos

Saigon: Imprimerie. Buddhism was the state religion of the prerepublic kingdom of Laos, and the organization of the community of monks and novices, the clergy (sangha), paralleled the political hierarchy. Buddhists—largely lowland Lao—account for about half the country’s people.

Buddhism is the dominant spiritual belief in Laos, though some Lao practice Animism and Christianity. Lao Buddhists belong to the Theravada tradition, which is based on the earliest teachings of the Buddha and focuses on the Four Noble Truths: suffering is universal, the cause of suffering is attachment, suffering can cease and there is a way.

Antique Buddha Statues From Laos What little we know of Lao history prior to the influx of Tai in the thirteenth century indicates early connections of the Khmer in Cambodia.

Theravada Buddhism is believed to have first reached Laos during the 7th - 8th Centuries CE, via the kingdom of Dvaravati. Buddhism is the primary religion of mi-centre.com Buddhism practiced in Laos is of the Theravada tradition. Lao Buddhism is a unique version of Theravada Buddhism and is at the basis of Lao mi-centre.comsm in Laos is often closely tied to animist beliefs and belief in ancestral spirits, particularly in rural areas.


Buddhism in laos
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