The picture above is a common temple decoration in Thailand. The large green dragon creature is called a Makara, and the serpents coming out of his mouth are the Naga. It’s really quite amazing how religious mythology travels around Asia, borrowing and reinventing. The makara and the naga are both Hindu originally but like many items from Hindu mythology can be seen making guest appearances in Buddhist practices in other countries. It’s always a humbling experience standing at the steps of a temple looking up at the beasts. It is also a very empowering feeling standing at the top of a temple looking down on the twisting body of such a creature.
These Buddha’s were lined up in a temple on the island of SriChang. In front of them were seven pots in which you were supposed to drop coins in for good luck. I was told the pots represented the days of the week. One person said you should drop the coins in the day of the week that you were born on. I don’t know which day of the week I was born on off the top of my head so I just followed the lead of the girls before me and went down the line dropping a coin in each pot.
As a side note I will be running a print series of this image, available at www.wingsoflea.etsy.com
We found this temple in ChonBuri behind the reception hall for wedding we attended. It’s interesting how the Buddhist population has so many statues of other gods. There are so many different variations that none of the Thai’s even seem to know who all of the gods are. I think it really shows the Hindu roots of Buddhism. It reminds me a bit of how Christianity just absorbed the traditions of regions they would conquer. The way religions spread and assimilate is a very fascinating subject in my opinion. The statue was beautifully lit though and the candles added to the majestic feel of it.
This statue was at the Thai Temple in India. Dad explained that it was a statue depicting the forest monks, who use to go out to the woods to meditate and only came down for food. He wasn’t really too sure on that though, and again I didn’t find anyone else who felt like telling me about it. Either way it was a neat statue, and it must have been important for some reason since it was being honored. I’ll update the post if I get more information on him.