709: WAS THE BUDDHA A WOMAN?

I visit many Buddhist temples every time I go to Thailand. I find them very beautiful and the level of craftsmanship found in their construction is very high. I don’t always understand the significance of what I see however, e.g. a display of hundreds of pink plaster bunny rabbits, or devotees turning up carrying pigs heads in  plastic bags; but then there are plenty of aspects of the Christian religion that are an enigma to me too, and I am a baptised and confirmed (and lapsed) Anglican.

In January 2017 I visited one temple popular with the Royal Thai Army. Many uniformed soldiers were to be seen, some of them engaged in constructing an enormous gold elephant which wiggled its trunk when a string was pulled. Lifesize concrete soldiers with guns were placed around the temple compound. The most striking thing about the place however was its centrepiece reclining Buddha. I’ve seen fat Buddhas and thin, black ones and gold; but never a female one before. Here are a couple of photos. I am not qualified to comment on the significance of this statue.

More on the Buddha in the next Post.

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