History 2

On the other hand, the Emerald Buddha, which is in the altitude of meditation, looks much like some of the Buddha images of Southern India and Sri Lanka, especially those in this same attitude. The attitude of meditation has never been popular in Th ai images of the Buddha. Thus one might assign the origin of the Emerald Buddha to one of the aforementioned countries.
Inside the ubosoth containing the EmeraId Buddha there also are other interesting items:
1. The gold-covered wooden throne, made in the First Reign, on which the Emerald Buddha sits. H.R.H. Prince Naris, one of the most famous architects and artists of the Bangkok periods, admired it greatly. He wrote that it was the best of its kind he had ever seen in Bangkok. Originally the golden throne rested on what now is its lowest base, but King Rama 111 added the intermediary one.
2. The mother of-pearl door-panels made its the First Reign of Bangkok following the style of the late Ayudhya period.
3. Two large standing crowned Buddha images dedicated to King Rama I and King Rama II. In the reign of King Rama Ill, the public called the reign of King Rama I ``The Beginning Reign" and that of King Rama 11 ``The Middle Reign.' King Rama 111 thought that giving each reign such an appellation was a bad omen for the dynasty since it suggested that his would be the last reign. Thus in 1841 he had `so large standing crowned Buddha images cast in bronze. About 3 In. high, they are in the attitude of calming the ocean and are covered with gold and precious gems. He named the one placed on the northern side of the Emerald Buddha ``Phra Puttha Yodfa Chulalok," and the one on the south, "Phra Puttha Lerdla Napalai," and dedicated theta, respectively, to King Rama I and King Rama 11 A proclamation- was then issued for the public to call the first two kings by these official names. These two Buddha images were worshipped at the ceremony in which officials took the oath of allegiance to the king beginning with the reign of King Rama IV (King Mongkut, 1851-1 868). The ceremony was discontinued, however, after the revolution in 1932 leading to the establishment of the constitutional monarchy.
4. A small bronze Buddha image salted Phra Samputtha Panni created by King Rama IV in 1830 when he was still in the monkshood. The monk-prince invented a new type of Buddha image without a cranial protuberance, wearing a pleated monastic robe and seated in the attitude of meditation. Phra Samputtha Panni has been placed in front of the throne supporting the Emerald Buddha.
5. Ten crowned Buddha images in bronze in the attitude of calming the ocean. They are covered with gold and were installed in pairs on the base supporting the throne of the Emerald Buddha. They were created by successive kings of the present Chakri Dynasty and were dedicated to high members of the royal family, both male and female, from the First to the Third Reigns.
6. Mural paintings inside the ubosoth. The scene of the Buddhist cosmology (the Three `Worlds of Desire, Form and Non-Form) on the western wall behind the Emerald Buddha and that of the Enlightenment of the Buddha on the eastern, or front wall, were painted in the reign of' King Rama 1. At that time there probably was portrayed on the tipper part of the lateral walls the assembly of celestial beings who came to worship the main Buddha image in the ubosoth, a feature typical of the late Ayudhya and early Bangkok painting styles. The walls between the window's were decorated with scenes from the Life of the Buddha. King Rama ll. had the lateral walls repainted. Above the window's on both the north and the south were depicted scenes from the Life of the Buddha whereas between the windows various scenes from the jataka (previous lives of the Buddha) were shown. On the depicted and the southern side shows a riverine procession. These paintings still exist.
In the scene of the Enlightenment of the Buddha or always sees the Buddha seated under the Bodhi tree either in the attitude of meditation (having the right hand on the left one the lap) or subduing Mara (having the right hand on the right knee with the palm facing inward and the fingers pointing to the ground with the left hand on the lap). The Earth Goddess is underneath wringing out water from her hair, and the Buddha is flanked both sides by the army of Mara (evil spirits); on one side they at trying to attack the Master and on the other they have already bee subjugated. According to the Life of the Buddha, before Enlightenment Mara came and asked the Buddha what right he had to attain Enlightenment in this life and bring people out of ignorance The Buddha replied that in Isis past lives (a Buddhist believes rebirth) lie had accumulated enough merit to attain Enlightenment in this life. (Usually when one performs deeds of merit, even nowadays, one has to pour water on the ground to make the Earth Goddess one's witness and also to give merit to the dead.) The Buddha then changed his attitude from meditation to that of subduing Mara by placing his right hand on his right knee calling the Earth Goddess up from the ground. She wrung from her hair the water accumulated from the deeds of merit that the Buddha had performed in his previous lives and this drowned the whole of Mara's army. The Buddha then continued his meditation unt il lie arrived at the Supreme Enlightenment.
Sometimes this scene is explained as an allegory of personification of the thought of the Buddha. During this period the Buddha "as undergoing a mental struggle as to whether he should go back to worldly pleasure or continue his meditation until he arrived at the Supreme Enlightenment. Once he had decided to continue his meditation, he put his right hand on his right knee as a sign of his determination not to get up from his seat until his great desire had been accomplished.
7. Bronze lion door-guardians. There are altogether twelve, in six pairs. It had been believed that the pair guarding the main central door of the ubosoth on the east, which can be entered only by the Chief of State, was brought from Cambodia by command of King Rama I and the rest were copied in that reign. However, Professor Boisselier, the renowned French expert on Khmer Art, examined the central pair of lion-guardians and concluded that the design on their chest is Thai in style rather than Khmer. They probably were cast by Thai artisans copying Khmer lions. On both sides of the main staircase in front of the Royal Pantheon (no. 9) on the east sit two stone lion-guardians. Though they have been very much restored, one can perceive that they belong to the Khmer Bayon style (about the early thirteenth century A.D.). Therefore it might be that this pair of stone lions was brought from Cambodia during the reign of King Rama I and the bronze ones were cast in that reign to copy them.