Some facts about Wat Lao Buddha Phothisaram, Atlanta, GA
The majority of Laotian Americans living in and around the Atlanta Metropolitan areas believe in Buddhism. According to the 2010 census, the State of Georgia is home of more than 5,000 Laotians. Presently, four Lao Buddhist Temples are actively dedicated to servicing in good faith the wish of these people.
A. Why and how the Temple “ WLBPTSR” was built?:
In order to respond to the needs of loyal believers of Buddhism, a group of Lao seniors decided with full support of surrounding people to look for a place and build this temple in 1998.
B. Main components of a Temple:
A temple must consist of at least three main components: a monk’s quarter where monks can reside, a religious service hall where the service can be conducted, and a Buddha Simma (Main Altar) where ordainment can be taken place. Without these three things a place cannot be considered as or called a temple.
C. Main usage of the Temple:
The temple is a central gathering place for religious, moral, social, and educational purposes. Periodic religious ceremony occurred at least once a month, the ceremony dedicated for the death, the recovery from sickness, the new born, the wedding, the graduation, well-wishing or farewell are permanently organized there. Our young children take their morale, religious and traditional lessons there during each summer and week-end.
D. Importance of monks:
For every Buddhist temple, the monks are the golden keys. A temple without monk is like a rifle without ammunition. The head monk, like a Pastor, is the moral and spiritual leader of the temple, with his religious and scientific knowledge related to humanity, he is capable of conducting smooth and unbiased management of the temple business. Following the Buddhist laws and traditions, the monks work without salary. It is morally wrong if you say; “The monk was paid for some work” or “We pay salary for the monk” or “we hire a monk for a certain amount of money”. The monks are considered as sons of the community, their lives are dedicated to serve the community, so, it is the community’s responsibility to assure their overall welfare or safe daily living condition. The community must provide every facility they need in order to enable them to perform their teaching and leading business in an efficient manner.
E. Future plans:
- As the Buddha Simma construction is not 100% completed due to limited fund, the step by step work is undergoing based on permitted financial strength.
- Three Standardized buildings are listed on the project. One will be using as a living quarter for the monks, the second for the nuns, and the third will be using as the library to store the historic manuscripts and teaching materials. But the actual financial status did not allow us to begin this expensive project. An extensive Fund Raising plan is now in place.
- We plan to renovate the existing main ceremony hall to be a more convenient and attractive place, such as installing in the new Central Heat & Air Conditioning Unit, and enriching various interior decoration.
- The “ That Luang Stupa” Project has been recently initiated by a generous donor (Mr. Louisanith). This Stupa will be the Imitation of the “Central Stupa” called “ That Luang” from Vientiane, Laos, which was built in sixteen century by King Xay- Sethathirath.
- The cement / steel fence:This project, in the long run, is in our dream, we can begin to execute this plan only once every prior narrated projects are completed.