Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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This article aims at identifying the roles of the Buddha in Thai myths in order to explain how the Thai were able to integrate Buddhism into their indigenous beliefs. Certain myths played an important role in recording the conflicts in the minds of Thai ancestors as to whether they should continue to hold to indigenous beliefs or whether they should adopt Buddhism. The roles played by the Buddha in certain myths reflect the fact that the Buddha took over roles that were once performed by local gods. Such roles were the provision of fertility, light and water. Attitudes of the Thai embedded in the myths offer insight into the mechanism through which Buddhism was able to be integrated into the indigenous belief system.

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