Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Posture and dress of the Buddha in Thailand and Laos

The styles of Buddha in Laos and Thailand are quite distinct. These relate to specific episodes of his life, some of these are considered particularly auspicious for those born on particular days of the week.

The Buddha may be depicted in one of four postures:

Sitting: If seated, the Buddha may be shown in one of three different positions;

The heroic posture with the legs folded over each other.
The adamantine posture with the legs crossed so that the soles of both feet are turned up.
Sitting in a chair.

Standing: If standing, the Buddha may be shown either with his feet together, or with one foot forward

Walking: Created during the Sukhothai period

Reclining: The reclining posture may represent the Buddha resting or sleeping, but more usually representing the Buddha's final state of enlightenment before his death

The Buddha is nearly always shown wearing a monk's robe, of the type worn by contemporary Buddhist monks today. It may be worn in the covering mode, in which it is draped over both shoulders or open mode - leaving the right shoulder and breast uncovered. The robe is a representation of the Buddha's earthly humility as the Buddha was originally a prince, who renounced the world in order to seek enlightenment, and his original robe was made from the shroud of a dead body.The robe is sometimes shown as transparent or billowing mysteriously, suggesting his spiritual power. Buddha images are often covered with real robes, which are periodically periodically which usually coincides with major Buddhist festivals.

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