Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Seven Days of Thai Buddhism ..and Subduing Mara

Traditionally it is believed that Buddha spent seven days following his enlightenment thinking of the suffering of all living creatures and how unimportant his life was prior to reaching enlightenment.

In Thailand, the majority of people practice a form of Theravada Buddhism.

Many Thais believe that their day of birth reflects their life and there are Buddha images to reflect each day of the week

The days are also each assigned a different color and many Thai people pay special attention to this. Many wear of yellow shirts on Mondays to honor HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Likewise, you will see many blue shirts each Friday as that was the day of the week that HM Queen Sirikit was born. Even the different royal flags are colored to reflect the individual birthdays of the royal family. (from www.fivethousandyears.org - International Buddhism Center)

Sunday is the Day of Restraint. Red is the color of those born on this day of the week.

The image shows Buddha standing with the right hand covering the left and represents the period when he had reached enlightenment spent days of sufferings. He sat under the Bho tree when he accomplished his enlightenment.

A person born on a Sunday is respectable, wise, loved by friends and family. He is likely to be in a professional occupation. His lucky day is Wednesday and lucky color is green.

Monday is the Day of Making Peace. The day’s color is cream or yellow.

This image represents the Buddha standing with his right arm raised in a pacifying gesture. The Buddha stops the relatives from fighting or pacifying his relatives. When the Buddha came back from Heaven, he found that his relatives were quarreling about the right to use water from a river for their rice fields. The Buddha encouraged them to compromise and said that human life is much more valuable than water and it was not worth killing men for water. Then, his relatives stopped fighting.

A person born on a Monday is serious with a good memory and a love of travel. This person is likely to be in a skilled occupation whose lucky day is Saturday and lucky color is black.

Tuesday, with the daily color of pink, is the Sleeping Day.

This image of the Buddha lying on his right side signifies his passage into Nirvana and the death of his physical body. The gesture represents complete peace and detachment from the world. It was believed that the Buddha entered Nirvana on this day of the week.

This person is serious, brave and active most probably in the services. His lucky day is Thursday and lucky color is yellow.

Wednesday is divided into day and night according to Thai astrology. The color for those born on Wednesdays is green.The Morning is for Receiving.

This image shows Buddha holding an alms bowl. The Buddha visited his family after four years in the monastery. His father was not content when he saw the Buddha “begged” for food holding an alms bowl. Buddha explained to his father that performing pindabat, or holding an alms bow are the lineage of Buddha. Thus, the disciples can devote their food. The virtue of giving amongst Buddhists is strong until today.

The person born on Wednesday morning is polite, artistic and emotional. He is most likely working creatively. Wednesday night is their lucky time and the lucky color is green.

Thursday uses the colors of orange or brown. It is the Day of Meditation.

This image depicts the classic meditation position with both the soles of the feet and palms of the hand visible. This is the perfect mental discipline. The gesture is the ultimate balance of tranquility and thoughts. It is believed that the body in the position is receptive to power or energy to enter the body from the top of the head and the opening palms.

This person is peaceful, calm and honest –likely to be a teacher or in the legal profession. His lucky day is Sunday and the lucky color is orange.

Friday is the Day of Contemplation. The day’s color is blue.

The Friday Buddha image shows the Buddha thinking about how he can teach the doctrine to others. The hands rest across his chest with the right hand covering the left. This implies meditation and a spiritual transformation based on personal experience.

This person is fun loving, friendly and ambitious, probably an entertainer or public figure. Their lucky day is Tuesday and the lucky color is pink.

Saturday is the Day of Protection and uses the colors of black or purple.

The image shows the Buddha in meditation and protected from tempest by the King of the Naga, Mucalinda, a coiled snake. The Naga appears since ancient Egypt as a force of good and is even used today as a symbol of medicine amongst other things. The image is related to the moment when a Naga spread its hood to protect the Buddha from a rainstorm while he was in profound meditation.

This person is calm, logical and a bit of a recluse. He is very likely engaged in manual work of a skilled nature. The lucky day is Friday and the lucky color is blue.

The last two images of Buddah are for Wednesday Evening and the last one is "Touching Earth".

Wednesday Evening is for the Blessed One.
This image shows Buddha seated to receive gifts from a monkey and an elephant. As Buddhism teaches respect for everything living this posture shows the respect of all living things for the Buddha.
This person is hard working and honest. He is likely to be employed in a profession with the lucky day of Monday and the color white.

The final Buddha posture is "Touching Earth"is also known as subduing Mara.

Buddha sits with folded legs (right over left). The left hand is held in his lap with palm facing upward. The right hand extends over the right thigh, near the knee, with fingers pointing towards the ground, palm inward.

During meditation, Siddhartha is subjected to many temptations but none as terrible as those posed by the evil Mara, who bombards him with his demon armies, monsters, beasts, violent storms and his three lascivious daughters. The Buddha remains steadfast. Then to testify to Mara of his meritorious past, he points to the earth with his hand and calls forth Thorani, the beautiful earth Goddess. She rises from the ground and wrings the water from her long black hair, which raises a torrential flood that drowns Mara and his army of demons. This episode is often depicted; it reminds devotees that good can triumph over evil.


F3R said...

I've read somewhere that Thai people also believes that getting a haircut has a different "good/bad luck" result depending on the day of the week. I don't recall all but I remember that if you get your hair cut on a Monday you'll be protected, but I'd like to get more info. Do you know something about it?

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