I previously posted about the courtyard of the most important place in Wat Arun and my confusion with the presence of the Chinese, or more accurately the Taoist, elements at that place. I couldn't imagine that elements of other religion will be accepted almost wholly by the Thai Buddhists. What confounded me the most is that these elements are present in the most important of all the Buddhist places.
For tourists, the most important structure would be the high tower of Wat Arun. However, for the Thais, what's really important is Wat Arun's ubosot, which was loosely translated as the ordination hall. This is the place where the major and most important Buddhist ceremonies are conducted. Aside from that, this is the place where Wat Arun's major statue of Buddha was placed.
Due to its importance, it is not surprising that Wat Arun's ubosot is well decorated. It's entrance is “guarded” by two demons from Hindu myth and Chinese lions. It has an outer courtyard that serves as buffer zone from the outside world. It's inner courtyard lined up with statues of Buddha and Chinese deities.
Since the ubosot is the most important place for Buddhists, people are asked to remove their shoes before entering. My travel companion, Foong, and I had to walk with our socks as we look around the ubosot.
I recall that some Thai Catholics that I met at the Rangsit Catholic Church removed their shoes before entering the church. I believe that such habit was carried over from the custom of removing footwear when entering a Buddhist temple.
Wat Arun's ubosot is white and with the gold and red combination that is usually found in Thai arts and architecture. The foot and head of its columns are gilded with “gold”.
The ceiling is afire with red and gold. It eerily reminded me of the ceiling of the Holy Redeemer Church that is being managed by the Redemptorists.
Inside the ubosot is the big golden statue of Buddha.
We saw Buddhist monks in front of this golden statue chanting or praying. Good thing that photography is allowed inside this ubosot.
The walls of the ubosot is painted from top to bottom. I am not sure what the painted scenes are all about. What I understood that some of it tell the story of war like this one:
Visiting the ubosot is not essential for our Wat Arun trip but it gave me a little idea on how the Thai Buddhists think, well at least from the religious perspective.
Want to read more about my trip to Wat Arun? Please visit the following blog posts: