Albert Einstein considered religion childish. After being indoctrinated with Biblical stories at a young age, I eventually came to the same conclusion.
The great scientist declared Buddhism to be of interest because it was not a religion but rather a way of investigating reality via sound reasoning. Buddha subjected himself to “cognitive therapy”, self-analysis, awareness, concentration and relaxation of the mind. He trained his mind to a state of enlightenment.
Buddha was an early scientist, set on understanding himself and the world around him, having forsaken the vulgar world of the super-rich. Were he to visit Thailand with its huge effigies daubed in gold dominating temples similarly adorned, he would certainly retire in disapproval. Many temples built in his honour are more akin to money-making fairgrounds than places of learning and understanding. The Thammagai monks would be an affront. Similarly, democracy is either sleeping or non-existent where patronage rules and corruption is endemic.
It is in this environment that Yantra Ammarobhiku was lauded and showered with gifts: worshipped as a disciple of Buddha. In fact, he had become the epitome of a paradox. He represented how things were and still are, not as they are perceived and claimed to be. He was the antithesis of all that the country claims to be.
Now this disgraced monk has returned; repentant, a changed man? If so, will Thailand follow him once more in the realisation that the country must change, for the better, as he has hopefully done. Has Yantra Ammarobhiku now become the antithesis of what Thailand really is?
J C Wilcox