Bangkok is a city in Thailand that’s frequently visited by Singaporeans and most of us would usually go there to shop, eat, and sightsee.
During my recent trip to Bangkok, we wanted to make merit and do some good; hence, we went to Yi De Tang (otherwise informally known as the Coffin Temple where Ruamkatanyu Foundation is based) to donate money so that coffins can be purchased to help in the burial of dead bodies that are found and unclaimed by family members.
When a death occurs at an accident scene, the rescue team from the Ruamkatanyu Foundation will help to clear and clean up the site. For victims who are without relatives, coffins will be provided from the funds that are donated by donors. Most of the people working at Ruamkatanyu Foundation are voluntary workers and although the devotees are mostly Thai people, there are also a sizeable number of devotees that come from Malaysia, Singapore and many other places.
Many Thai people believe that coffin donation for the dead is the act of making merit because the coffin is meant for the unclaimed or unidentified bodies so as to give them a proper burial. The amount of monetary contribution is according to one’s free will and it is said that the expenses required for burial or cremation and rituals with a piece of white cloth amount to 500 Thai Baht.
If you’re travelling to Bangkok and you would like to do some good merit by donating money out of goodwill; do visit Ruamkatanyu Foundation at Yi De Tang. They are open 24 hours a day although most people would prefer to visit during the day.
How To Get There
You can take the Metro and alight at Sam Yan station. Thereafter, head towards exit 1. Another famous temple among local Thai, Wat Hua Lamphong is located next to Yi De Tang (Ruamkatanyu Foundation).
Step-By-Step Guide To Making Merit at Yi De Tang (Ruamkatanyu Foundation)
Upon arrival at the temple, head to the counters on the left and wait in line if there’s a queue. At the counter, tell the person attending to you that you wish to donate money for the purchasing of coffins and let him/her know of the amount that you wish to donate. When making the monetary contribution, a pink colour merit slip will be provided to you to fill up your name and signature, together with a duplicate of the official receipt.
Enter the passage on the right of the donation counter where the wooden coffins are displayed and at the stationery counter where you see glues, apply glue on the back of the pink colour merit slip. Once done, make your requests and wishes by prayer before the coffins and then paste the pink colour merit slip onto any coffin.
Hold onto the duplicate official receipt and pick 20 incense sticks from the incense rack to offer prayers to the deities inside the temple at the right side of the donation hall.
Offer 1 incense stick each at the left and right side of the temple’s main entrance, and then offer 3 incense sticks to all the deities inside the temple according to the number sequence in ascending order.
Once all the joss sticks have been offered, burn the duplicate official receipt into the incense bowl that is placed at the right side of the altar. If you cannot find the incense bowl, you may ask someone from the temple. Finally, strike the 3 hanging bells 3 times each followed by the drum and then end your prayer.
Since you’re at Yi De Tang making merit, you might as well seize the opportunity to visit Wat Hua Lamphong as they are located adjacent to one another.