Wat Phra Dhammakaya is a Buddhist temple (wat) in Khlong Luang District, Pathum Thani Province north of Bangkok, Thailand. It was established on Magha Puja Day, 20 February 1970, on an eighty-acre plot of land donated by Lady Prayat Phaetayapongsa-visudhathibodi. The site, sixteen kilometres north of Bangkok International Airport, was originally called ‘Soon Buddacakk-patipatthamm’. From acidic paddy fields, a woodland was created: a parkland for meditators. Buildings were kept to a minimum and emphasized finesse, easy maintenance, cleanliness and durability. The foundation stone for the main chapel laid by H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on behalf of H.M. the King in December 1977 marked the official foundation of the centre as a temple – Wat Phra Dhammakaya.
The Main Chapel was completed in 1982 and the ceremony for the allocation of the chapel boundary (sima) was held three years later.
While the temple was under construction, the Dhammadayada ordination scheme gave training to hundreds of university students, a steadily increasing number of whom swelled the number of residents in the temple community, numbering 3,000 monks, novices, laymen and laywomen in the present day. At the same time, congregations on Sundays and major religious festivals reached 20,000, necessitating the construction of Dhammakaya International assembly Hall, presently the centre for ceremonies.
Although recognizing the importance of constructing buildings, the temple has always placed special emphasis upon training devotees. Thus, during more than twenty years since the foundation of the temple, activities at Wat Phra Dhammakaya have attracted devotees not just from Bangkok, but from all over Thailand and countries abroad.
The use of modern technology to present traditional teachings in a way that responds to the needs of those in contemporary society. Since the outset of the Dhammakaya tradition, the inner peace of meditation has reflected an aspiration to cultivate peace in the world at large. It has Dhammakaya Foundation been obvious that the work involved requires more than just a temple organized by monks. For this reason, the temple has grown together with its supporting organization, the to facilitate a broader base of activities by the public and participation by lay members of the congregation.
Presently, activities include meditation teaching and retreats, scriptual education and research, youth training, school orientations, social services, and environmental conservation. Activities for devotees always emphasize working upon oneself through the practice s of charity, self-descipline and meditation.
With the expansion of the temple to one thousand acres in 1985, Wat Phra Dhammakaya stands on the threshold of the development of the World Dhammakaya Centre – a resource to serve the needs of the international community.