The purpose of this thesis is to study the concept of funeral ceremony in Buddhism and to study the value of Poi-Law ceremony in Lanna with special reference to Phrakrukarunyadhammaniwas (Luang Katapunyo). This is a qualitative research. Population and samples were selected from monks and layman and were seven in number. Data used in this study were collected from different sources such as texts and books etc; both primary and secondary.
It was found that the funeral ceremony in Buddhism may be divided into two parts; in the Buddha’s time and in Thai society. In the Buddha’s time, cremation and funeral were performed according to the status of the dead. In Thai society, funeral ceremony was almost the same with slightly difference in details depending on local tradition.
Poi-Law in Lanna is the funeral ceremony that has been arranged only for the senior monks and the highest t royal family members . In the past the castle for keeping the dead was constructed on the back of Himavanta animals, which nowadays has been made on the back of Hasdilink bird. In Poi-Law ceremony the dead castle would be pulled out to the cremation ground. This ceremony is unique and has to performed with a lot rituals and regarded as the great merit –making tradition in Lanna.
With regard to the value of Poi-Law ceremony in Lanna especially in
case ofPhrakrukarunaydhammaniwas, it was found that the Poi-Law ceremony
brought about the unity and sympathy among the community. Moreover, Phrakrukarunyadhammaniwas’ Poi-Law ceremony was considered to be the first of its kind in Lanna for monks in Dhammayutta section. It can be concluded that the Poi-Law ceremony does not only demonstrate the virtues of the good monks, but also lead to inherit the awareness of tradition and ceremony that are the unique of Lanna so that they might be performed and preserved for new generation.