Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Emerald Buddha at The Royal Monastery Thailand

Emerald Buddha
The Emerald Buddha is enshrined on a golden traditional Thai-style throne made of gilded-carved wood, known as a Busabok, in the ordination hall of the royal monastery. The sacred image is clad with one of the three seasonal costumes (summer, rainy season, and winter). The costumes are changed three times a year in a ceremony presided over by His Majesty the King.

The Royal Monastery of the Emerald Buddha is one of the most adored sites in Thailand at north of the royal residence and linked by a connecting gateway. It is a place where people go to pay respect to the Lord Buddha and His Teachings.

The Emerald Buddha is in fact carved from a block of green jade and was first discovered in 1434 in a stupa in Chiang Rai. At that time the image was covered with plaster and was thought to be an ordinary Buddha image. Later, however, the Abbot who had found the image noticed that the plaster on the nose had flaked off, revealing the green stone underneath. He initially thought that the stone was emerald and thus the legend of the Emerald Buddha image began.

The Royal Monastery of Emerald Buddha
The Monastery consists of all the architectural features of a Buddhist monastery but without residential quarters as no monks reside here. It also serves as the monarch’s private chapel and, as such, the ordination hall is furnished with two partitions on either side of the main altar in order to provide a private retiring room for the monarch. This feature is found only at the Royal Chapel of Thonburi, which now serves as the ordination hall of Wat Arun, located on the grounds of the palace of King Thonburi.

pray at Emerald Buddha 
The walls of the ordination hall are decorated with mural paintings. Above the window frames, from the south west corner on the right of the altar, are a series of paintings depicting selscted events of the Lord Buddha’s life, including scenes from his birth, childhood, youth and the Great Renunciation. The murals on the east wall facing the high altar portray scenes of Temptation and Enlightenment, with a picture of the Earth Goddess underneath the Buddha’s seat. The murals along the north wall demonstrate the lord Buddha’s preaching his Dharma and his Entering Nirvana and those behind the main altar represent the Buddhist Cosmology. Those behind the window panels illustrate various scenes from Jataka stories and Thai proverbs.

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