Vajiradhammapadip Temple

Vajiradhannnapadip Temple situated in West Bronx, New York City, was filed as a Not-for-Profit Organization below the Religious Cor-poration Law of the State of New York on July 22, 2518/1975. This founding date was each de facto and de jure. It now claims to be the very first Thai Buddhist temple in the United States to be a complete-fledged temple both legally and ecclesiastically, Legally, it is a legal organization established below local and national law of the nation. Ecclesiastically, it conforms to the tradition of the Thai Sangha concerning the administration of monastic affairs. As prescribed in the bylaws of the Temple, the President and the Secretary of the Temple shall be its resident monks, placing executive power in the hands of the ecclesiastical section of its Board of Directors.

The origin of the Vajiradhammapadip Temple can be traced to the Buddhist Study Center which was founded by a group of Thai and American Buddhists in New York and was granted legal status as an association in 2508/1965. At the end of 2516/1973, the Center invited a monk from the Thai Buddhist temple in London to come to advise it regarding the establishment of a Thai Buddhist temple in New York. Following that, dating from the middle of 2517/1974, two monks had been invited to come in succession to organize Thai Buddhist cultural ceremonies and services and to conduct other activities for the Center. This period of time witnessed enhanced participation in the Buddhist activities of the Center and could be regarded as the essential component of the strategy for, and a large step towards, the founding of the Temple.

During the early period the invited monk had to remain at a Chinese temple known as Cittabhavana Temple in New York City and all ceremonies and solutions had been held there. On August 6, 2517/1974, the monk moved to a home at Anthony Avenue in West Bronx which was rented by the Buddhist Study Center for the monk’s residence and the Center’s workplace. This marked the informal founding of a Thai Buddhist temple in New York. For a short whilst, this establishment adopted the short-term name of the Buddhist Temple of New York and it nonetheless had to hold its larger ceremonies and celebrations at the above pointed out Chinese temple.

On December 31, 2517/1974, the Buddhist Study Center was allowed to file, under the Religious Corporation Law, another separate nonprofit organization below the legal name of “Buddha-Sasana Temple Buddhist Study Center, Inc.”, publicly known as “Buddha-Sasana Temple”, marking the official founding of the Temple. With funds collected from donations of the individuals, the Center bought the rented home at Anthony Avenue at the value of $ 23,373 and paid in complete in February, 2518/1975. That residence, as a home of the Buddhist Study Center, Inc., simultaneously became the workplace of the Center and the web site of the Buddha-Sasana Temple.

At this point, conflict and controversy developed among committee members of the establishment regarding the legal proper of ownership over the home and other house, which was held by the Center, not by the Temple. The executive power was place in the hands of a lay executive director, not the resident monks, major to widespread dissatisfaction and criticism amongst the people. The temple was temporarily closed for a short period from the finish of March 1975 to the middle of May 1975, due to a leave of absence of the two resident monks one returned to London and the other left for Los Angeles. A newly arrived monk invited from Thailand arrived with each other with the monk who returned from Los Angeles.

In the course of the extremely short remain of the two monks, the conflict and controversy intensified to such a degree that activities could not continue. The monks had to leave and keep away from the Temple. Then, a quantity of committee members of the Temple, members of the Temple and representatives of Thai society and other Thai associations in New York gathered with each other and came to a conclusion: that a new Thai Temple had to be established in New York, a temple which they hoped they could trust to be viable each legally and ecclesiastically.