Jumbo-sized merit (clip)


Elephants in (town), (Province), Thailand are no slouches when it comes to supplying the Buddhist monks on their daily alms round. They seem to be aware that this will give them great merit to make their lives better.

Here the elephants are seen placing food items into the monks’ alms bowls. The monks wait patiently and eventually give their blessings to the pachyderm merit-makers. The monks then walk calmly on their way to continue collecting alms and return to their temple to consume the food.

Making merit by supplying monks on their morning alms round is called by the Thais “Tham Boon Tak Bat”. It is part of the daily ritual of lay Buddhists and normally occurs in the early morning at around 7 a.m. Devout Buddhists usually take special care not to forget this ritual on their birthdays.

Elephants are the Thai national animal and the Thai Elephant Cavalry of former centuries was renowned in warfare. Many thousands of domesticated elephants still work in Thailand, and the elephant culture particularly deep in Surin and Chiang Mai. Elephants are among the most intelligent non-human species on the planet.


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