Relationship Between Sangha And Sangha

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Apart from the close bonds forged between the Sangha and the masses, the kings of Sukhothai and Ayutthaya periods had a similar mutually dependent relationship with the Sangha. The Thai kings were able to strengthen their respective positions as world conquerors, or rulers with imperial ambitions as they were “bolstered by the virtue and authority of being the chief lay supporter of the Sangha”. As for the Sangha, they were observed to be loyal and subservient to the kings in return for protection and patronage Apart from depending on the Sangha for certain benefits, the Ayutthaya kings maintained the rights to rule over the Sangha. For example, the kings had the right to act to purify the Sangha and unify it if the community was fragmented by internal strife. Since Thailand was a Buddhist state, the kings of Sukhothai and Ayutthaya kingdoms strongly held and enthusiastically practised Buddhist morality and encouraged the people to…show more content…
While records showed that the Sukhothai kingdom never allowed the Sangha to govern themselves, but incorporated them into the structure of the kingdom through various means, Sukhothai kings were still unable to manage the Sangha as effectively as the kings during the Ayutthaya period. It was only after the introduction of Khmer culture in Thailand before the Sangha became aware of their faltering position within the kingdom and thus seek active cooperation with the kings. It was also during the Ayutthaya period when kings implemented stricter rules to regulate the behaviours of the Sangha. Therefore, the Ayutthaya kingdom could become a strong and dominant mandala that successfully took over from the Sukhothai kingdom largely because the kings were more effective in controlling and utilising the

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