Sunday, November 09, 2008
271206 Hor Prabang - gable
Think this depicts Prince Siddartha cutting off his hair with a sword beside the Anoma river (in southern Nepal, & namesake of the Arnoma Hotel in Ploenchit, Bangkok), at the point when he had decided to become a mendicant:
At the future Buddha's feet is his horse Kanthaka & one of the two other figures should be his charioteer Channa, who later became his disciple. Channa was the one who explained the 'four sights' (old age, illness, death & an ascetic) to the Prince, which inspired him to become a monk.
...with the Panjavakkiya, or his first five disciples - Kondanna (โกณฑัญญะ Konthanya in Thai), Bhadiya (ภัททิยะ Phathiya), Vappa (วัปปะ Wappa), Mahanama (มหานาม) & Assaji (อัสสช Atsachi):
He is giving them his first sermon at Deer Park (symbolised by the larger deer at upper left & a tiny one at upper right) in Sarnath, the first time he preached the four noble truths & eightfold path:
This event is now marked as Asanha Puja, the full moon day of the eighth lunar month, which is also the day before Khao Phansa (start of Buddhist Lent or rains retreat).
On the lower left panel of the gable - Buddha taking his first seven steps after his birth in Lumbini, with a lotus spontaneously blooming beneath his every step, & his mother, Queen Mahamaya, holding onto a branch of a cannonball tree (Couroupita guianensis aka. ต้นสาละ sala tree) at right:
On the lower right panel - Buddha passing into pari-nirvana in the reclining pose, on the day now marked as Vesak day (Visakha Puja):