Thai Buddha Images : Gestures and Postures of the Buddha. Buddha images of different historic periods in Thailand.

Main Page

Characteristics and Postures of the Buddha
Sitting Buddhas
Reclining Buddhas
Seven Days of the Buddha

Hand Gestures :
The Six Main Mudras
Dhyana Mudra
Bhumisparsha Mudra
Abhaya Mudra
Vitarka Mudra
Varada Mudra

Historical Periods :
Dvaravati
Khmer-Lopburi
Chiang Saen - Lanna
Sukhothai
U Thong
Ayutthaya

Historical Notes :
Dvaravati
Sukhothai
Ayutthaya

Resources
Links

Contact

Temples in Thailand :
Overview
Wat Pho
Wat Benchamabophit  

Buddha Images at :
Pathom Chedi
Wat Benchamabophit   
 
Introduction to Buddhism in Thailand

The 10 Jatakas (lives of the Buddha) as depicted in Thai mural Temple paintings

 

Hotel reservations in Bangkok

Reclining Buddha

 

It is important especially to note the difference in position of the right hand. If supporting the head of the Buddha, the image denotes that the Buddha is resting (see story below). If the right arm is lying done next to the body, the image denotes that the Buddha has entered into Nirvana (has passed away). Note on the images, that the left foot is positioned right on top of the right foot, and that the robe of the Buddha is such as it would be if he was standing up.

Reclining Buddha

Reclining Buddha
Left arm along the body, right arm serves as a pillow with the hand supporting the head.
Story : The giant Asurindarahu wanted to see the Buddha, but was reluctant to bow before him. The Buddha, while lying down, presented himself as much larger than the giant. He then showed him the realm of heaven with heavenly figures all larger than the giant. After all this, Asurindarahu, the giant, was humbled, and made his obeisance to the Buddha before leaving.
Image at Phra Pathom Chedi, Nakhon Pathom province.

 

Reclining Buddha
Reclining Buddha at Wat Imprumoon, Ang Thong province. Why are reclining Buddha images so large? Well it likely relates to a 'story' of the life of the Buddha.
The giant Asurindarahu wanted to see the Buddha, but was reluctant to bow before him. The Buddha, while lying down, presented himself as much larger than the giant. He then showed him the realm of heaven with heavenly figures all larger than the giant. After all this, Asurindarahu, the giant, was humbled, and made his obeisance to the Buddha before leaving.

 

Footsoles of the Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho
Wat Pho : As often is the case, the soles of both feet of the Buddha display the 108 auspicious characteristics of the Buddha.

 

Reclining Buddha - Entering into Nirvana

Entering Nirvana
The Buddha has passed away, aged 80 years old, and enters Nirvana

 

Reclining Buddha - Giving a sermon

The Buddha preaching his last sermon
On the Buddha's order, on his last day of live, Ananda went into town to spread the word that the Buddha was going to pass away the same day. Subhadda (Supata), a wanderer adhering to another relgion, came to visit the Buddha, and asked him some questions. The Buddha taught him that there was no way of attaining enlightenment outside of Buddhism. Subhadda became filled with faith, and though normally there was a 'probation' period before followers of other religions could become a monk, an exception was made, and Subhadda became the last direct disciple of the Buddha on that day.
Afterwards the Buddha preached his last sermon to the disciples present.
Image at Phra Pathom Chedi, Nakhon Pathom province.

 

 

More about Thailand at ThaiWebsites.com : Articles, Images, and Web Directory
Content by Guido Vanhaleweyk, Bangkok.