ค้นหา 
Phra Malai
(1643 คนอ่าน)   หน้าเอกสารสำหรับเครื่องพิมพ์
Untitled Document Phra Malai
Krisda Phinsri
Surindra Rajabhat University

Phra Malai or Maleyya is a legendary, highly-revered 'arahant' (a fully enlightened monk) from ancient times. The origin of the monk Phra Malai appears in the Pali version of the Maleyya Sutta which is believed to have been composed first in Burma by a Burmese monk sometime between the eleventh and the thirteenth century. It was later known in Thailand around the fourteenth century during the Sukhothai period and became widespread from late Ayutthaya to early Bangkok or from the eighteenth century to the nineteenth century.


The story of 'Phra Malai' plays a dominant role in Thai society. It is the basis of determining right and wrong conduct and gives hope of enlightenment to the laity.
Besides, it has become a source of inspiration for Thai artists and a great variety of arts have been created. In the field of painting, the oldest evidences of 'Phra Malai' dating back to the late Ayutthaya period in late seventeenth century are found depicting in mural paintings, illuminated manuscripts, 'Phra Bot' (painting of Buddhist art on fabric banners) and gilded, black-lacquered designs on the religious manuscript cabinets.


Older evidences are sculptures dating back to the mid-Ayutthaya period or about the late sixteenth century to the seventeenth century. They are bas-reliefs and sculptures in the round made of stucco, wood and bronze as well as votive tablets.
One example is a votive tablet of Phra Malai found in Chainat province in the central region of Thailand. This votive table is made of lead-based compound and depicts the image of Phra Malai seated with his legs crossed on a lotus throne. The right hand rests on the right knee with the palm down while the left hand, holding an ecclesiastical ceremonial fan, rests on the lap.


This attitude represents his giving a sermon because in the M?leyya Sutta', he constantly visited the heaven, the hell and the earth to give sermons. Therefore, a ecclesiastical ceremonial fan which is a sign of giving sermon is an important symbol of Phra Malai.

  

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