Trend in Sangha’s Role towards Thai Politics in the Next Two Decades


  • พระมหาหรรษา ธมฺมหาโส สาขาวิชาสันติศึกษา มหาวิทยาลัยมหาจุฬาลงกรณราชวิทยาลัย


Trends of Sangha’s Roles, Politics, Democracy


Research into the “trends and roles of the monastic sangha in Thai politics over the next two decades (2013-2033)” reveals six key functions of the sangha: 1) the role of dealing with social confl icts by using Buddhist methods of peace; 2) the role of offering political advice and guidance; 3) the role of developing people in accordance with democratic principles; 4) exercising the right to criticize politicians and state policies; 5) the role of making political requests through peaceful gatherings; 6) the role of exercising the right to vote. While experiencing political gatherings and deepening rift in society among political factions in Thailand, sangha needs to perform the role of “peace engineer,” in order to foster democracy among citizens. Sangha also needs to improve skills in political communication. With regard to political activities and demonstrations, the tradition of the Thai society, the monastic discipline, and constitutional laws permit the monastic sangha the following expedients: a) with consensus by the wider monastic community, monks can announce the measure of “turning over the almsbowl,” both at the village and at the state level, in order to protest against individuals who violate the Buddhist religion; B) monks can turn over the almsbowl’ vis-à-vis the state politicians who enact policies that create an adverse effect on the lives of the general public or on righteous principles belonging to the religion or the society, in order to preserve the well-being and goodness of the Thai society. Sangha’s protests should be performed by using the following three criteria (1) concept; (2) content; and (3) context. The roles of the sangha with regard to voting in future elections on three variables: (1) the government passing state policies that adversely affect Buddhism, due to lack understanding in the religion; (2) politicians lacking awareness in the course and development of Buddhism, both in a factual sense and in a legal sense; (3) other religions and their members enacting policies or performing traditions that are hostile to and undermining Buddhism, and as a result are harmful to or negatively affect the emotional state of Buddhists.




How to Cite

ธมฺมหาโส พ. (2015). Trend in Sangha’s Role towards Thai Politics in the Next Two Decades. Journal of Buddhist Studies Chulalongkorn University, 21(3), 29–54. Retrieved from



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