Browsing by Subject "Tebhumikatha"
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ItemRereading the three worlds according to King Ruang based upon its roots in the TipitakaThis paper is a study of Thai Buddhist cosmology contained in the old manuscript named, the Traibhumikatha (Tebhumikatha). This manuscript had been compiled and revised for first public edition in 1912. The final text was entitled the Trai Phum Phra Ruang and it has been translated into English in 1979 as The Three Worlds According to King Ruang. The dissemination of this text began since the rise of Thai kingdom, thus it is regarded as one of the literary classics of Thai culture. The text has often been interpreted as an attempt to make Theravada Buddhism more accessible to the masses. It subsequently has been appropriated by folk culture as documenting the literal existence of heavens and hells and the accumulation of merits through several lifetimes. This paper aims to move beyond this more superficial reading of text to a deeper interpretation based upon the concept of impermanence (Anicca) which is a dominant concept of Theravada Buddhism. Impermanence represents a cosmological view based on the law of three marks of existence (Tilakkhana). It also determines the features of time, space, and beings as contingent and not independent of other things. Therefore, it is used in this study as a key to disclose a new meaning of this text based upon its deeper narrative, the Tipitaka. And with the notions Nath Narada and John Giordano 73 applied from Schleiermacher’s hermeneutical theory, the rereading of this text represents an attempt to fill the gaps in the traditional interpretation which overlooks the attainment of Nibbana at present lifetime and in modern interpretation which lacks a sociocultural dimension.