Friezes at Wat Machimaram

high-definition creative commons photographs from Tumpat in Kelantan, Malaysia, showing the brightly-coloured reliefs in this Thai tradition temple, together with some further information.

Play Moving Slideshow (16)

 

Mara's Daughters

Mara's Daughters

Calling the Earth to Witness

Calling the Earth to Witness

Heavenly Scene

Heavenly Scene

Daily Life

Daily Life

Buddha and 7-Headed Dragon

Buddha and 7-Headed Dragon

Brahma, Sakka and one other god

Brahma, Sakka and one other god

Bodhisatta

Bodhisatta

Cinca Manava

Cinca Manava

Phra Malai visiting Hell

Phra Malai visiting Hell

Phra Malai visiting Hell

Phra Malai visiting Hell

Phra Malai and Adulterers in Hell

Phra Malai and Adulterers in Hell

Phra Malai Teaching in Hell

Phra Malai Teaching in Hell

Everybody will Die

Everybody will Die

Virupaksha

Virupaksha

Dhrtarastra

Dhrtarastra

Virudhaka

Virudhaka

 

Phra Malai

A number of the friezes in this section concern Phra Malai and his descent into Hell to preach the Dhamma, especially on the Uposatha days. Legend has it that he was an arahat from Sri Lanka, who achieved great supernormal powers through his merits and meditation. He is also honored as a successor to Maudgalyayana, the Buddha's disciple who was foremost for his supernormal attainments.

In the story this pious and compassionate monk descends to Hell to give teachings & comfort to the beings suffering in hell. He also learns how the hell-beings are punished according to their sins in the different hells.

He bears a striking resemblance to the Mahayana Boddhisattva Ksitigarbha, who also descends to Hell in order to release beings from their sufferings, again especially on the Uposatha days. Phra Malai also goes to Tavatimsa Heaven to worship the Culamani Thupa, which has the hair relics of the Buddha. In Heaven Phra Malai also discusses with Sakka on the results of meritorious and demeritorious actions.

 

Pedestal
Decoration on Pedestal

Photographs by Anandajoti Bhikkhu

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