Cetiya (Pagoda) : Worshipping in Buddhism

Phrasrisutthiphong Somsuon


This article aims to study on the Buddhist Doctrine on Cetiya (Pagoda) Worshipping in the Buddha’s Time. Based on the study, it was found that Cetiya (Pagoda) was a kind of building with high haystack shape developed from stupa constructed for containing ancestor’s relics. It was constructed by shaping clay and stone into ring shape for encircling a molehill stabbed down with a many tired umbrella for showing rank of nobility. Subsequently, this kind of building has become Cetiya (Pagoda) as shown in present. When Buddhism was emerged, this doctrine was also incorporated with the teaching. Buddhist Cetiya (Pagoda) worshipping in Buddhism was classified into 2 types including: (1) Amisapuja (incentive offering) or worhip with offerings; (2) Patipattipuja or worship that was considered as the manner of paying respect to person or object with spiritual value. There were 2 types of persons and objects that should be worshipped in Buddhism including:  (1)  Persons who should be worshipped was called as venerable persons including Buddha, Individually Enlightened One; private Buddha, and disciples of the Buddha; (2) sacred objects including Buddha images, satupa and Cetiya (Pagoda), Bodhi trees, and Buddhist scripture, etc.
There were several methods of worshipping, for example, worship with offerings including flowers, prostrating, etc.  Cetiya (Pagoda) was classified into 4 types as follows: (1) Paribhoga-Cejiyai was a kind of Cetiya containing Buddha’s necessary articles (e.g., cloth for water filtering, sash-cloth, alms-bowl, robe, etc.); (2) Dhatu-Cejiyai was normally built for keeping Buddha relics; (3) Uddesika-Cejiyai was a pagoda built as the basement for establishing Buddha image representing Buddha; (4) Dhamma-Cejiya was a kind of Cetiya (Pagoda) for containing palm leaves and texts written with the Dhamma of Paticca-samuppada. Person worshipping Cetiya (Pagoda) would gain virtue including treasures (Lokiyasampatti and Lokuttarasampatti). Cetiya (Pagoda) building and worshipping would give desirable virtue upon the practices and it was also deemed as another way to inherit Buddhism further.


Cetiya; Worship; Buddhism

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