New Robes

Monks being ordained at Wat Benjamabophit, the last major Buddhist complex to have been built in Bangkok, Thailand. Monks at this wat are the only ones in Bangkok who do not seek alms around the city but line up each morning outside the wat, waiting for alms to be delivered to them.


It was just good luck that we were here on a day of ordainment. We were on our way out of the complex when we stumbled across this room. There were some local newspaper photographers covering this and they gave me the 'thumbs up' sign to indicate that it was OK if I took some photos, too.


These candidates are called naga after the snake that was once said to have been accidentally ordained as a monk. They had to recite phrases in Pali, the original language of Buddhism, and their watching parents had to do the same. When the chanting was over, the parents presented the new monks with their robes and the monks turned around and prayed three times to the Buddha statue before filing out of the room.

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Taken in December 2003