Supreme Patriarch tells Harris of role Wat Ratchabophit played in US-Thai ties
US Vice President Kamala Harris made time in her busy schedule to have an audience with the Supreme Patriarch at Wat Ratchabophit in the heart of Bangkok on Saturday.
Harris was in the capital to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Economic Leaders’ Meeting on Friday and Saturday.
The Supreme Patriarch welcomed the vice president by thanking her for attending the summit and making time to pay respects at the temple.
“The US vice president’s visit can be seen as fostering US-Thailand relations to ensure they continue from generation to generation,” Supreme Patriarch Somdet Phra Ariyavongsagatanana IX said.
Harris was also shown around the temple and paid respects to the principal Buddha image, Phra Buddha Angkhiros.
The base of the Phra Buddha Angkhiros contains the ashes of King Rama VI, who visited the US to establish ties. The Supreme Patriarch said these ties have been strengthened over the decades, with Thai monarchs visiting the country over the years. Besides, he said, Thailand has emotional connections with the US because the beloved monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, was born in Massachusetts.
The Supreme Patriarch also showed Harris a proverb in Pali inscribed above the door of the main chapel by King Rama V, which translates as “the unity of the people of all diverse groups will bring about prosperity and success”.
Harris, meanwhile, promised to work on building unity and peace in the world and said she was honoured to have been granted an audience with the head of the order of Buddhist monks.
"In a multicultural society, if we have the opportunity to study with each other, we will be able to accept differences and live together happily," she said.