THAILAND; A SPIRITUAL WORLD OF GODS AND GODDESSES 

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This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not represent the views of the institutions whose collections include the featured works or of Google Arts & Culture.

This gallery depicts the different spiritual Gods and Goddesses worshiped in Thailand through Hinduism and Buddhist religions. Hinduism and Buddhism were both originated in India, with Hinduism being the predecessor. While the main religion in Thailand is Buddhism, there is also freedom of religion enforced by the constitution. In conjunction with the idea of tolerance being a Buddhist value. Hinduism is about understanding Brahma, existence, from within the Atman, which roughly means "self" or "soul," whereas Buddhism is about finding the Anatman — "not soul" or "not self." In Hinduism, attaining the highest life is a process of removing the bodily distractions from life, allowing one to eventually understand the Brahma nature within. In Buddhism, one follows a disciplined life to move through and understand that nothing in oneself is "me," such that one dispels the very illusion of existence. In so doing, one realizes Nirvana.  Starting with Hinduism, the first gods the viewer will learn about it Ganesh. <the hindu gods ganesha, shiva, and karttikeya on their mounts 13th century | thailand | los angeles county museum of art> Ganesh is the remover of obstacles, the deity whom worshipers first acknowledge when they visit a temple. Ganesh is usually depicted colored red; he is potbellied, has one tusk broken, and has four arms that may hold a pasam, a goad, and a pot of rice, or sweetmeats. Kartikya, the second son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati or Shakti. He is an embodiment of perfection, a brave leader of God's forces, and a war God, who was created to destroy the demons, representing the negative tendencies in human beings. <shiva 1010-50 baphuon period (1010-1080), cambodia | cambodia or thailand | national gallery of australia, canberra> Next is Shiva or Siva, is one of the main Deities of Hinduism, worshiped as the paramount lord by the Saivite sects of India. He is the destroyer and the restorer, the great ascetic and the symbol of sensuality, the benevolent herdsman of souls and the wrathful avenger. <ravana, king of langkalate 18th? early 19th century, ratanakosin period (1782? ), thailand | thailand | national gallery of australia, canberra> Lastly Ramayana is the immortal tale of Shri Rama that teaches us the values of ideology, devotion, duty, relationships, dharma and karma.

<buddha calling the earth to witness 1347-1400 early ayutthaya period, thailand | thailand | national gallery of australia, canberra> Born in Nepal in the 6th century B.C., Buddha was a spiritual leader and teacher whose life serves as the foundation of the Buddhist religion. Siddhartha Gautama, who would one day become known as Buddha "enlightened one" or "the awakened". The Buddha is undoubtedly one of the most influential figures in world history, and his teachings have affected everything from a variety of other faiths. <figure of maitreya 8th century, unknown | prakon chai, buriram province, thailand | art gallery of new south wales> Maitreya Bodhisattva is the future Buddha in Buddhist eschatology. Maitreya is a bodhisattva who some Buddhists believe will eventually appear on earth, achieve complete enlightenment, and teach the pure dharma. <statue of tara 700 ad - 799 ad, british museum> In Buddhism, Tara (Sanskrit, "star") is a Buddhist savior. In Tibet, where Tara is the most important deity, her name is Sgrol-ma, meaning "she who saves."   

Thailand is a place of glittering mosaics. It is deeply rooted in both the practices of Hinduism and though the main religion is Buddhism. These Gods and Goddesses symbolize hope and obedience. It gives the person practicing their beliefs patience and understanding. Through this patience and understanding the person can come closer to one’s true self. As shown in this gallery, the worship of these gods is important to life eternal as well as life in the present. I hope you enjoy my gallery of Thailand: Gods and goddesses of the spiritual world.  Article Title:  Buddhism vs Hinduism

Website Title:  - Difference and Comparison

URL: http://www.diffen.com/difference/Buddhism_vs_Hinduism

Article Title:  Hinduism and Buddhism

Website Title:  Hinduism and Buddhism

URL:  http://hinduwebsite.com/hinduism/h_buddhism.asp

Article Title:  HINDU GODS & GODDESSES

Website Title:  Hindu Gods & Buddha Statues

URL: http://www.lotussculpture.com/bronze_sculpture_the_gods.html

Article Title:  Do You Know the Hindu Epic of Ramayana?

Website Title:  About.com Religion & Spirituality

URL: http://hinduism.about.com/od/epics/a/ramayana_story.htm

Article Title:  Buddha

Website Title:  Bio.com

URL:  http://www.biography.com/people/buddha-9230587

Article Title:  Maitreya - Crystalinks

Website Title:  Maitreya - Crystalinks

URL:  http://www.crystalinks.com/maitreya.html

Article Title:  Tara - ReligionFacts

Website Title:  Tara - ReligionFacts

URL:  http://www.religionfacts.com/tara

The Hindu Gods Ganesha, Shiva, and Karttikeya on Their Mounts, Unknown, 13th century, From the collection of: Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Ganesha, Shiva and Karttikeya: The Hindu gods Ganesha, Shiva, and Karttikeya are represented in this sculpture by the animals which they are mounted on. Ganesh, the elephant. Ganesh is the god of fortune and success. He can move obstacles out of the way and make a clear path of affluence. He is the destroyer of evil and can bring education and wealth. Shiva, the bull. Shiva is the destroyer. He represents the life cycle of life, death, and rebirth. And Karttikeya, the peacock. Karttikeya is the God of war and battle. It is said that he cares about little more than that. Ready to fight and keeps himself focused on the conflict at hand. (Hindu Gods and Goddesses)
Shiva: The elegant, slightly elongated appearance of this sculpture, as well as the pleated skirt cloth (sampot), is characteristic of the Baphuon style of Cambodian sculpture. The style is named after a major eleventh-century monument, the Baphuon temple. Located in the Angkor Thom complex near present-day Siem Reap, the Baphuon was created as a model of mythical Mount Meru, the centre of the Hindu cosmos. Both Buddhist and Hindu sculptures were created in this style, and Baphuon bronze casting demonstrates particularly skilled craftsmanship. Shiva and Vishnu were very popular deities in Cambodia during the Angkor period. The lack of recognised divine attributes makes it difficult to identify this gilded sculpture with certainty, but the third eye on the forehead suggests it may be an image of Shiva. Originally the figure’s right hand may have held a trident, the principal symbolic attribute of Shiva. The pupils of the deity’s three eyes, the eyebrows and the moustache are inlaid with black glass, while silver is used for the whites of the eyes. The inscription around the base of the sculpture indicates that it was commissioned by Viralakshmi, the queen of the Khmer King Suryavarman I, who reigned during 1002–50. (Difference and Comparison)
Ravana, King of Langka, Ratanakosin period (1782? ), Thailand, late 18th?early 19th century, From the collection of: National Gallery of Australia
Ramayana: The Ramayana, one of the great Indian epics, was introduced to Southeast Asia by Indian traders as early as the 8th or 9th century. In Thailand, where it is known as the Ramakien (Glory of Rama), the legend has inspired storytelling, performance and the visual arts for centuries, and remains extremely popular. The destruction of the kingdom at Ayutthaya in 1767 and the subsequent relocation of the royal centre to Bangkok resulted in the tragic loss of most Thai literary texts. However, in the 1790s, King Rama I devoted himself to compiling surviving texts and composing the Ramakien in its present form, adding 40 episodes and many uniquely Thai elements to the story in the process. The lengthy tale begins with the previous incarnations and early lives of the main characters and is best known for the series of battles that ensue when Ravana (Tosakanth in Thai), the demon King of Langka and supreme villain of the story, abducts Sita (Sida), the wife of the story’s hero Rama (Prah Ram). In the Ramakien version of the epic, unbeknown to Ravana, Sita is his daughter. As a baby, Sita was predicted to destroy the demon race and consequently banished from his kingdom. The prophecy is validated when Rama, alongside his brother Lakshmana (Phra Lak) and the monkey army led by Hanuman, fights for Sita’s release and ultimately defeats the demon king. This sculpture represents Ravana or possibly his ally Sahasadecha, the white-faced demon king of Pangtan who was killed in battle by Hanuman. The superhuman qualities of the demons are indicated by their multiple heads, with descriptions ranging from 10 to 1000, as well as their fangs and bulging eyes. Seated in a reverential pose, this sculpture may once have adorned the entrance to a noble residence or temple. (Hindu epic of Ramayana)
Buddha calling the Earth to witness, Early Ayutthaya period, Thailand, 1347-1400, From the collection of: National Gallery of Australia
Buddha: This image of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, is in the U-Thong style of fourteenth-century Thailand. The style was apparently named after Prince U Thong, the first king of the Thai kingdom of Ayutthaya. U Thong reigned as Ramathibodi I from 1351 to 1369, and actively propagated Theravada Buddhism as the state religion. The Buddha wears an unadorned monk’s robe, folded across the left shoulder. His right hand extends to the ground in the earth-touching gesture (bhumisparsha mudra), signifying the Buddha calling on the earth to witness his attainment of enlightenment. His legs are crossed, with only the sole of the right foot visible. With a serene facial expression, the Buddha is shown with the pronounced cranial bump, capped with a flame-like jewel, characteristic of Thai Buddhist art. For Theravada Buddhists, this type of image serves as a focus for contemplation of the dharma, or Buddha’s teachings. (Religion & Spirituality)
Figure of Maitreya, Unknown, 8th century, From the collection of: Art Gallery of New South Wales
Maitreya: Carried in robes of travellers and pilgrims, it is small figures such as this that have survived the vagaries of turbulent histories. Maitreya is allegedly a bodhisattva, the term for one who lived on earth and was destined to become enlightened one day, or who came close to enlightenment, and after death moved on to one of the Buddhist heavens, which one can reach through meditation. This unassuming figure of the Future Buddha Maitreya (identified by the stupa in his headdress) carries a lotus bud in his right hand and the end of his robe in his left. (Crystalinks Maitrey)
Statue of Tara, 700/799, From the collection of: British Museum
Tara: This image is of the popular Buddhist goddess, Tara, the consort of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. The flame-like surround to the central cavity in the headdress was doubtless once inlaid with precious stones. The cavity itself probably once contained a small seated image of the Buddha Amitabha who is considered to be the ‘parent’ Buddha for both Avalokiteshvara and Tara. The goddess is naked to the waist with a lower garment flowing to her ankles. Her right hand is shown in the position of varadamudra, the gesture of giving while her left hand is empty but may once have held a lotus flower. (Tara)
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This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not represent the views of the institutions whose collections include the featured works or of Google Arts & Culture.
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