Thai Culture – Spirit Houses
October 6, 2017

Thai Culture – Buddha Images

There are Buddha images that depict significant moments in the life of Lord Buddha. These are known as the Buddha images for the seven days of the week. Each event occurred on a specific day of the week, and each corresponding Buddha image has a different posture and gesture.

  This video of the Buddha images was filmed at Wat Kalayanamit

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Buddhism, the fourth largest religion in the world, is a philosophy or way of life to find inner peace, true happiness, and contentment for all living beings.

Most Thais believe that the day they were born influences their life. As well as having a Buddha image for each day of the week, Thais also associate each day with an auspicious colour.

You can read more about the importance of colours in Thai culture here:

Discovering Bangkok - The colours of Thailand

Buddha image for Sunday

Buddha image - Sunday

Phra Tawai Natra

Represents Buddha in pensive thought, standing with his hands crossed over his abdomen, with his right hand covering the left.

After standing still for seven days under the Bodhi Tree contemplating the suffering of all living things, the enlightened Buddha contemplates his achievement of complete knowledge.

If you were born on a Sunday:

• You are respectable, wise and loved by your family and friends

• Your lucky day is Wednesday and lucky colour is green

• Your unlucky day is Friday and unlucky colour is blue

Buddha image for Monday

Buddha image - Monday

Phra Ham Yath

Represents Buddha making peace or pacifying the relatives, standing with his right hand raised to his chest, palm facing outwards and fingers extended.

After returning from heaven, Buddha found his relatives arguing about who had the rights to the water flowing over their land, and he persuaded them to make a compromise.

If you were born on a Monday:

• You are serious, love traveling and you have a good memory

• Your lucky day is Saturday and lucky colour is black

• Your unlucky day is Sunday and unlucky colour is orange

Buddha image for Tuesday

Buddha image - Tuesday

Phra Sai Yas

Represents Buddha resting in peace and detached from the world, reclining on his right side, head resting on his right arm and left arm draped along his body.

Whilst meeting the arrogant giant, Buddha laid down so as to appear much larger. The giant was humbled and he eventually accepted the Buddha’s teachings.

If you were born on a Tuesday:

• You are serious, brave and active

• Your lucky day is Thursday and lucky colour is yellow

• Your unlucky day is Monday and unlucky colour is white

Buddha image for Wednesday

According to Thai astrology, there are two images for Wednesday Buddha, one for the morning one for the evening.

Buddha image - Wed morning

Phra Um Bhat

Wednesday Morning

Represents Buddha receiving, standing with both hands holding an alms bowl at his waist.

After four years in the monastery Buddha visited his father, early the next morning he went out to receive alms allowing the followers to offer food.

Alms giving, what Thais call ‘dak bat’, is a common custom in Thailand that is believed to bring happiness and a peaceful life, you can read more here: Thai Culture - Buddhist alms giving.

If you were born on a Wednesday morning:

• You are polite, artistic and emotional

• Your lucky time is Wednesday night and lucky colour is green

• Your unlucky day is Tuesday and unlucky colour is pink

Buddha image - Wed afternoon

Phra Lae Lei

Wednesday Evening

Represents Buddha showing respect for all living things, sitting with his right hand slightly raised in front of a monkey and elephant.

While retreating in the forest the elephant offered Buddha drinking water and the monkey offered honey.

If you were born on a Wednesday evening:

• You are hardworking and honest

• Your lucky day is Monday and lucky colour is white

• Your unlucky day is Thursday and unlucky colour is yellow

Buddha image for Thursday

Buddha image - Thursday

Phra Samathi

Represents Buddha meditating, sitting in a full lotus position with his right leg crossed over the left and his right hand on top of his left resting in his lap with palms facing up.

Sitting under the Banyan tree, Buddha allows the energy to enter his body until he attains complete enlightenment.

If you were born on a Thursday:

• You are peaceful, calm and honest

• Your lucky day is Sunday and lucky colour is orange

• Your unlucky day is Saturday and unlucky colour is black

Buddha image for Friday

Buddha image - Friday

Phra Ram Pueng

Represents Buddha contemplating, standing with his right hand crossed over the left raised to his chest.

Shortly after attaining enlightenment, Buddha stands under the Banyan tree and wonders how to explain the cause of all the suffering to others.

If you were born on a Friday:

• You are fun loving, friendly and ambitious

• Your lucky day is Tuesday and lucky colour is pink

• Your unlucky day is Wednesday and unlucky colour is light green

Buddha image for Saturday

Buddha image - Saturday

Phra Naga Prok

Represents Buddha in meditation, sitting in a full lotus position on the coiled body of the Naga king that uses its head to protect Buddha from the rain.

Whilst meditating, six weeks after attaining enlightenment, the Naga king provides Buddha with a safe haven from the rising floodwaters and makes a shelter with his multi-headed hood.

If you were born on a Saturday:

• You are calm, logical and a bit reclusive

• Your lucky day is Friday and lucky colour is blue

• Your unlucky time is Wednesday daytime and unlucky colour is green

Buddha image for the eighth day

Buddha image - Eight image

Sab Duri Mara

This is the principal Buddha image that you are likely to see in the ordination hall of a temple in Thailand.

Represents Buddha realising enlightenment, sitting in a lotus position with his right leg crossed over the left, his right hand reaching to the earth and his left resting in his lap with the palm facing up.

Whilst meditating, Mara sent a large army of monsters to attack Buddha claiming that the seat of enlightenment belonged to him. Buddha stretched out his right arm to touch the earth and Mara disappeared.

Next time you visit a Thai temple look for the long bench with the Buddha images. If you see any images with different postures please share them with us.
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