Wat Dhammaram ‘The Thai Buddhist Temple’ is the legal English name as it appears in the Certificate of Incorporation granted by the Division of State of Illinois to the Thai Buddhist temple in Chicago. The name came into legal impact on May possibly 17, 2519/1976, which is the date of the official establishment of the Temple. Later, the Temple was granted by His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand an honorary Thai name of ‘Wat Dhammaram’ which the Temple usually makes use of as its common name in publicizing its activities and circulating its publications in the Thai language.
The Thai Buddhist Temple in Chicago may possibly serve as an instance of the gradual improvement of a Thai Buddhist organization in the United States. Like New York City, Chicago is a big city exactly where-a big number of Thai folks, around the very same number as in New York City, reside, function and study. In 2512/1969, ‘The Thai Association of Greater Chicago’ was founded to encourage and to coordinate the activities of Thai men and women and to sustain their unity. In the middle of 2515/1972, some groups of Thai Buddhist monks, on the way to pay a visit to places of interest and Thai communities in the United States, arrived at quick intervals in Chicago. It was the “Thai Association of Higher Chicago” that took the duty for the reception of these 1st monk visitors. Merit-generating ceremonies, sermons and talks had been held at a Japanese temple exactly where a surprisingly large quantity of folks came to attend. Following this, Thai folks in Chicago invited a monk from the Thai Temple in Los Angeles to officiate on occasions of religious observances, ceremonies and celebrations. Lacking a place for ceremonial assembly of their personal, the ceremonies and celebrations had to be held at the Japanese temple which a quantity of Thai relied on for religious and spiritual purposes even ahead of the coming of Thai Buddhist monks. At that time, Thai people in Los Angeles began to collect funds for the founding of a Thai temple in Los Angeles. To contribute to this meritorious work, some Thai Buddhists in Chicago helped in collecting donations from devotees in Chicago and sent the donations to Los Angeles. All These events and activities led to a lot more and more frequent meetings of devoted Buddhists till at final they decided that a Buddhist organization should be formed to take charge of delivering arrangements, funds and other facilities for all Buddhist activities in Chicago. A period somewhat over one particular year from the middle of 2516/1973 to the later element of 2517/1974 saw the improvement of this organization from the conception of the notion through an informal organization into a legally complete-fledged corporation. It was on September 13, 2517/1974 that the aforesaid group of Thai devoted lay Buddhists in Chicago had the organization filed below the Basic Not for Profit Corporation Act of the State of Illinois under the name of ‘The Thai Buddhist Center’.
Then, the Center further developed the notion of setting up a monks’ residence, a so-known as temple, in Chicago. Besides delivering arrangements for Buddhist activities, the Center encouraged Thai men and women in Chicago and nearby regions to develop such an establishment and collected funds, mostly by means of contributions, for this objective. Soon after a period of about two years, in spite of the work and a massive amount of collected funds, the dream of possessing a Thai monks’ residence remained far from reality. Then, early in 2518/1975, the Center invited two Thai monks who at that time have been staying at Vajiradhammapadip Temple in New York to come to conduct Buddhist activities and lead the individuals in the work to located a Thai temple in Chicago.