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ROYAL ACTIVITIES
Perseverance in His Majesty the Kings The Story of Mahajanaka

2 January 2015 (Readers 3673)
 
In his New Years greeting card given to all Thais on the occasion of New Year 2015, His Majesty the King wishes everyone happiness and prosperity.

The greeting card features an image of Mahajanaka, who is swimming strongly in a stormy ocean. The image is contained in The Story of Mahajanaka, written by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The card says "May you be blessed with pure perseverance, sharp wisdom, and complete physical health. Perseverance is an aspect of Dhamma that is emphasized in this book. In The Story of Mahajanaka, Prince Mahajanaka went aboard a merchant ship with other merchants to the land of Suvarnabhumi. But the ship capsized in a storm amidst violent waves.

All the other passengers died, and only Mahajanaka survived. He swam for seven days and seven nights without giving up. Mani Mekhala, the Goddess of the Clouds and Rains, noticed Mahajanaka swimming alone in the vast ocean. She asked him why he continued to swim when there was no shore in sight.

Mahajanaka said that if he persisted with perseverance, the destination would one day be achieved. He said, "Any individual who practices perseverance, even in the face of death, will not be in debt to relatives or gods or father or mother. Furthermore, any individual who does his duty like a man will enjoy Ultimate Peace in the future.

The goddess said, "Anyone who is so full of righteous patience will never founder in the vast ocean that has no bounds. With this manly perseverance, you will be able to go wherever you wish. Finally, the goddess Mani Mekhala carried Mahajanaka to his destination.

In fact, the production of the book represents His Majesty's own perseverance. According to the preface of the book, His Majesty listened to a sermon about King Mahajanaka in 1977. He opined that the story clearly demonstrated a worthwhile lesson and would be of great benefit for everyone young or old, rich or poor. He researched the story more in the Buddhist scriptures the "Holy Tripitaka.

Later, in 1988, he began to translate the story into English from the Thai text, with some minor modifications for easier understanding of the text. In order to achieve a greater impact and make it even more beneficial to readers, His Majesty had some prominent Thai artists illustrate the book.

The Story of Mahajanaka was published in 1996 on the auspicious occasion of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of His Majesty the King's Accession to the Throne. He wanted this story to become an object of constructive contemplation for all well-meaning people.

Dhamma in The Story of Mahajanaka is an encouragement to everyone, so that they will be able to face problems with courage and perseverance in all circumstances.


Foreign Office, The Government Public Relations Department, Office of the Prime Minister
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