Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Big Belly Buddha

as the girls call him, but in real it is Buddha of Happiness or Maitreya Buddha! It is such a gentle smiling loving Buddha, you can't not be happy around him! Look at him! So sweet :-)

So this is another temple ground, rather new here on Koh Samui, they are still finishing it up here and there. But it is just simply beautiful and big, there is so much to see! It is build for all kind of Buddhism, Chinese and Indian Hinduism. For everybody there is a statue!

So but who is Maitreya Buddha? The common answer is that most people have no idea. Yet, ironically, just about everyone recognizes him on sight. May hap they know him as "Fat Buddha" or "Happy Buddha". There are only a few who know him by his true name.
Maitreya means happiness, loving, love. That is the Buddha with love, who brings love, who brings happiness to people. Whoever does that is a Maitreya Buddha, and you yourself should be a Maitreya Buddha, bringing love and happiness to people. That's the way of a gentleman, the way of a big strong man. Maitreya, "The Friendly and Benevolent One" or "One Who Possesses Loving-kindness" is widely adored by the Chinese Buddhists for his willingness to grant help to those who direct their minds towards him.
Generally, the Chinese worship him for wealth and happiness and there are those who even believed strongly that he is able to bequeath them with children as one of his most popular forms is that with five children surrounding him. However the images of him that are found in the temples normally depict a fat genial laughing figure with a mountainous belly, in a sitting posture, and having a large bag beside him.

This was on the last day my dad was here, and we hadn't taken any pictures with him and the girls, so today we made an effort :-)

Thai demon giant guardians are characters from the Ramakian, which is a Thai national epic tale that is adapted from the classic Hindu Ramayana. Although in the Western world we often associate demons with bad things, here the demon giant is a force for good and will often be found outside temples and other religious sites where they act as guardians, protecting the place.

Outside the temple this monk, who I don't know his name, I've seen him before on images but couldn't find any info on him.

Grandpa trying to burn some incense sticks for good luck.

Around the temple was a wall with small urns filled with ashes of deceased people, small little graves. Where family can come and pray, bring flowers or other small tokens of love.

Some with pictures like this one of a young married couple.

These temple grounds are just simply beautiful!

Wat Plai Laem is surrounded by a lake teeming with large catfish and is the epitome of the serenity and solitude associated with Buddhism. Here my dad and the girls feeding the fish.

Another huge statue is the Goddess of Mercy ~ Guanyin & the Thousand Arms.

Here we saw Thai people pray and try their good luck by shaking a box with loose sticks, the number that came out first was your lucky number.

But Jasmine was the only one who had luck in her future, me, my dad and Juliet had to be cautious!

Ganesh ~ Lord of Success, the Indian Hindu god was also represented there, so you can see for everybody something!

And I haven't even showed all the statues shown here, there were too many. I really liked this temple ground!

Thailand is truly a great country to visit! I am every time amazed by the beauty of it!!

I hope my dad had a lovely time with us and seeing Thailand again. He visited us a few times while we lived here from 1999-2003. But now he could see all the sight seeings with his grand daughters, so much more fun!

Sawasdee Kha!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the beautiful pictures and the education! I've been thoroughly enjoying your travels and have een secretly wishing that you would adopt ME in the near future!

Though, I am not nearly as cute or charming as your girls!

Wendy said...

These are wonderful! Brings me back to such great memories. Have I mentioned 1000 times how much I can't wait to go back?????

Got your message about the McCalls pattern. Can't wait! Thanks!

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Maci Miller said...

What a beautiful temple! Love all the pics and details! Looks like you are really having a great time and getting time for both relaxing and exploring! I always find it interesting all the Indian and Hindu influence in Thai art and sculpture. Such an amazing mix of culture and I like that they include both. Boy, it makes me miss Thailand, too. We are going to our local Thai temple on Sunday to see some friends and show our nephew who is curious about Thai culture. Not as spectacular as the ones in Thailand but very nice. He's so cute. Wanted to make sure he could say a few words in Thai before we go.


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