A 10-year-old boy has been the youngest novice ever to complete the examination of Buddhism’s third level in Pali studies (Parian Dham 3) in northeastern Thailand. Charuwat Iamsri, the youthful novice, is based in Waikultharam Temple. Thai Buddhist monks can study Pali at this temple.
Charuwat informed a Thai PBS reporter that he entered the monkhood at the urging of his grandmother for around two years before leaving to become a lay person.
He stated, however, that he enjoys being a monk and was ordained again to become a novice in order to accomplish his desire of finishing the ninth level of Pali studies, which is comparable to a Bachelor’s degree, after passing the exam at the third level of studies.
The temple’s abbot, Phra Maha Sukan, said that the school has agreed to fund Charuwat’s schooling so that he can pursue his passion.
The boy’s parents expressed their pride in his academic achievements.
Thai monks have been studying the Pali language since the Ayutthaya period hundreds of years ago, before the current Rattanakosin period. Pali studies are a traditional Sangha education method. There are nine levels in total, or nine Parian.
Pali Studies Thailand
Pali Studies have a long and illustrious history in Thailand, as Pali is the ancient language utilised in the Theravada Buddhist tradition to preserve the Buddha’s teachings. Thailand, a largely Theravada Buddhist country, places a significant focus on Pali studies in order to better comprehend and spread Buddhist scriptures.
Pali is an ancient Indian language linked to Sanskrit that is used to write the Tipitaka (Pali Canon), the fundamental writings of Theravada Buddhism. The Vinaya Pitaka (monastic regulations), the Sutta Pitaka (Buddha’s discourses), and the Abhidhamma Pitaka (philosophical analysis) are the three “baskets” or collections of these scriptures.
Pali is largely taught and studied in Buddhist monastic establishments and universities in Thailand. Pali knowledge is required of both novice and fully ordained monks as part of their training. Furthermore, laypeople with a strong interest in Buddhism may undertake Pali studies to gain a better comprehension of the texts.
Some of Thailand’s prominent Buddhist institutions and institutes that emphasise Pali studies include:
1. Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University: This university is one of Thailand’s most recognised Buddhist education centres, offering substantial Pali courses.
2. Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit Rajaworamahavihara: Located in Bangkok, this Buddhist monastery and educational institution is well-known for its Pali studies programme.
3. Silpakorn University: While not primarily Buddhist, Silpakorn University’s religious studies department offers Pali language classes.
4. Chulalongkorn University: Another well-known Thai university that incorporates Pali studies in its Faculty of Arts curriculum.
5. MCU Buddhist University (International College): The International College, which is part of the MCU system, offers Pali language and Buddhist studies programmes to international students.
Pali study is not limited to academic settings in Thailand; it is profoundly ingrained in the monastic community’s daily practises and ceremonies. Thai Buddhist rites rely heavily on Pali chanting and recitation, and many lay Buddhists learn to chant in Pali as part of their devotion and spiritual practise.
Overall, Pali studies are extremely important in Thailand for conserving and spreading Buddhist teachings as well as safeguarding the country’s spiritual and cultural history.