Saturday, June 30, 2007

No official religion for Thailand yet

According to the news, drafters of the new B.E. 2550 Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand decided not to include an article specifying Buddhism as the official religion of the country.

Among the reasons, the King of Thailand has been required by law and past constitututions to be Buddhist already (although he must support all major religions and a Thai is free to choose his own religion), and the fact that majority (90%) of Thais registered as Buddhists, so they reckoned that there was no need to write down. Also Buddhism 's doctrines do not practice "discrimination" against people of different faith ( but it 's not true the other way round).

Oh, I 'd like to point out that it 's that Buddhists' open-minded attitute among the drafters that has caused them to decided as such.

Personally, it does not matter much. In the mean time, Buddhism will be o.k. Constutution will be just another temporary law that will not last long. But I think I know the major motives of many Buddhists as to why they/we wanted a statement to be written down about the kingdom's religion and I want to put it down here.

Buddhism is the only religion which emphasizes on "intelligent", not on pure faith like some "you name it". And Abhidhamma contains a lot of logical reasoning in its extremely profound metaphysics and philosophy. Over a millinium ago, hundreds of thousands of Buddhists and monks in ancient India kingdoms were killed by invading muslim army. Thai Buddhist scholars remember this history quite well and they do not want a chance that similar catastrophy might happen again in the future. So they try every way to have assurance. That 's just a part of their ways to help save Buddhism from being replaced by more proactive religions that have keep on advertising their bllind faiths in the region in the past few decades.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


ไม่รู้ว่าไปคลิกเว็บอะไรเข้า ลืมไปแล้ว มันมีป๊อบอัพขึ้นมาด้านหลัง ไม่เห็นแต่แรก เป็นข้อความว่า ขออภัย จะต้องเซ็นเซอร์เพราะเป็นเว็บไม่เหมาะสม โดยกระทรวงไอซีที อะไรประมาณนั้น ทำให้รู้สึกว่า ตัวเองโดนหาว่าโง่เสียเต็มประดา ต้องให้มีเจ้าหน้าที่มาเซ็นเซอร์อินเตอร์เน็ตด้วย


(แต่อย่าไปพูดกับมันเรื่อง atheist เชียว มันไม่เล่นด้วยหรอก)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

What is nirvana ?

I just found an article at Howstuffworks about nirvana. It 's an attempt to explain to lay (western) people what nirvana is. I found that the writer is quite informed of what he wrote, nevertheless, my feeling is that his explanation contains a lot of errors. I 'll try to explain my understanding instead here.

Nirvana is a state that certain developed minds can perceive. It 's not a state that can be comprehended by lay people.

Mind consists of several emotions mixed into one, every moment (and that it never sit still, mixed of emotions vary all the time). Whenever the so called path of mind, that occurs much like twinkle light, on and off at very fast pace, are without 3 of the emotions (I use emotion to roughly represent Jetasic or Chetacic: I m not sure how Pali scholars officially spell this work in Roman characters), then the paths of mind could perceive that state. It could be done during a deep concentration, or deep meditation, to the level of Jana state.

I 'll give an analogy. Suppose you have a gardening tool in your home that you daily use. You did not realize that your parents borrowed it from your neighbor so you have enjoyed using it for several years. After you know later that it 's not yours, then you simply and promptly stop using it and walked over to the neighbor and returned it right away. Nirvana is like that. After one realizes that the body and the mind (or soul) are not actually yours, they are just like other entities of the Universe, the selfness that lay people keep in their feeling are just illusion, they then quit holding of the 3 emotions (desire, anger, illusion). The result is then total hapiness, if actually there is no "you", then there is no one to receive suffering, and one does not crave for things since there is no desire left. The Enlightened one (Buddha) and his Arahants have no such 3 emotions, so when they physically die later, the path of mind spheres stop after death, and there is no reincarnation, since there is no longer lingering desire to be born again.

I am still a low-level student of abhidhamma (Buddhist Metaphysics), and that is the best I could explain this concept.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Thai agency promotes Open Office usage

A major R&D and granting agency of Thailand, NSTDA, has recently started promoting the use of open source softwares, notably the Open Office suite, witin its organization of few thousand strong researchers. The purpose is to reduce the cost of commercial software licenses and to prevent any use of unauthorized copied softwares. Training courses have been regulary organized.

This is good news. I myself have been using open offices for years. With the current use of Mac platform, I mainly use NeoOffice which is quite satisfactory. For my Ubuntu linux box, I intend to use only text editor, such as emacs instead since I found there are some display differences, i.e. different font sizes, when transfer documents between Mac 's NeoOffice and Linux 's Open Office.