304 Ramayana sculptures in two Thai temples alone! (Post No.5040)

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

Date: 23 May 2018

Time uploaded in London –21-45 (British Summer Time)

Post No. 5040

PICTURES ARE FROM BHARAT KALYAN; THANKS
Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

HINDU GODS IN THAILAND-1

Thailand has got lot of Hindu sculptures from Ganesh to Kubera. Vedic gods Indra, Yama, Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma are also found in different places. Ramayana scenes are in the panels in many temples. We see them more from the Khmer period.

 

Art in Thailand is divided  seven different periods:

Dvaravati period – 6th to 11th century CE

Srivijaya period – 8th to 13 th century

Lobpuri period – 11th to 13th century CE

Sukothai period 13th to 14th century CE

Ayuththaya period 17th to 18th century CE

Thonburi – 1767 to 1782

Bangkok  1782-  to date

It is from the Lobpuri period Rama story begins to appear. It was the period when Khmer influence spread from Cambodia.

The best Ramayana sculptures and paintings are in

1.Prasad Panom Rung temple

2.Pimai temple

3.Emerald Buddha- Wat Phra Keao

4.Wat Phra Jetubon

5.Vihata of Wat Nang Phya

 

 

During the Lobpuri period small figures of bronze Hanuman idols used as standards on top of wooden poles.

Sukhothai period provides very few Ramayana sculptures

Since the Burmese burnt down the libraries, temples etc. in 1767, a lot of sculptures were destroyed in Ayuththaya (Ayodhya) period.

In the Thonburi and Bangkok periods kings themselves were great scholars , we have very good paintings in the temple of Emerald Buddha- Wat Phra Keao.

The bas reliefs  as many as 152 in number, found in Wat Phra Jetubon, the funerary temple of the present ruling dynasty, depicts the central episodes of the Ramayana story.

The mural paintings in the Vihara of Wat Nang Phya in Phitsnulok in Nothern Thailand and the 152 marble panels give the complete story of Ramayana. Apart from these there are wooden panels depicting scenes from Ramayana.

Wat Po Vihara also has some Ramayana sculptures. The significance of these Thai sculptures is showing the unknown characters of original Valmiki Ramayana.

 

‘Ramayana is song of human heart, it has a romantic kind of charm for the people of Thailand and gives them unbounded joy and happiness even in the present times when the glory of the east is being fast shadowed by the glamour of the west’ – Sathya Vrata Shastri

 

The National Museum of Thailand in Bangkok has a couple of interesting pieces of art connected with the story of Rama. just in front of it in the open stands a majestic figure of Rama with a  bow in hand symbolising  as it does the love of Thais  for that great hero. Inside the building the most noteworthy object, among others is a wooden screen painted in gold and lacquer, a relic of the period of the first king of the present dynasty. On one side of it is depicted the scene of Indrajit  who transforms himself  into Indra and shoots arrows that turn out to be Nagas/ snakes and on the other Ravana’s death (From Sathya Vrata Shastri’s  book)

 

 

In the second part, I will give the details of the sculptures of other Hindu gods.

-to be continued

–Subham-

SANSKRIT WONDERS IN THAILAND! (Post No.4987)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 7 May 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 21-23 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4987

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

 

 

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There are lot of Sanskrit words in Thai language. It is a linguistic wonder. The language resembles Chines in structure with mono syllables and intonation. But vocabulary wise it is under the influence of Sanskrit. No one knows how and why!

Tamil words and Sanskrit words change when it goes to foreign lands.  A Sri Lankan Tamil write Thurkai for Goddess Durga. Malaysian Tamils write Tamayanti for Damayanti. When Sanskrit migrated to Turkey and Syria 3400 years ago the Mitanni civilization wrote Tushratta for Dasaratha, Pratartana for Pratardhana. Mauritian Tamils write Murde mootoo for Maruthamuthu. Further they go from the mainland India, stranger becomes the spellings of names and words.

 

A lot of place names in Thailand ends in Buri. It is the corrupted form of Puri, Pura. Ramayana characters took strange names in Thai vocabulary.

I give below just 12 place names for comparison—

Lop Buri- Lavapuri

Ayutthaya – Ayodhya

Nakhon Raatchasiimaa- Nagara Raja simha

Nakhon Patham- Nagara Prathama

Nakhon si Thammaraat- Nagara Sri Dharma raja

(look Nagara comes first unlike in Indian languages. Those who do research in Indus Valley Script must know all these peculiarities. In Middle eastern languages also such changes are common)

Pishtnulok- Vishnuloka

U Bon -Utpala

Sawankhalok – Swarga Loka

Surin-Surendrapuri

Yasothorn- Yasodhara

Prathet- Pradesa

Chonnabod- Janapada

Not only place names plant names, animal names, Ramayana characters – all are distorted beyond recognition.

If anyone wants to decipher languages like Indus script one should study languages like Thai.

In Tamil, Sanskrit and English the ‘Day’ comes as suffix (Sun Day, Mon Day etc.) In Thai Day will come first i.e prefix!

Van adit – Aditya Vara- Sun Day- jnayitru Kizamai

Van Can – Candra/soma Vara- Mon Day- Thingat Kizamai etc.

 

But the month names look like Malayala/Sanskrit months

Mesayon- Mesa Masa – Mesaayana

Praphaakhom- Vrshabaagama- Rishaba masa

mithunayon -mithuna masa

karkadaakhom- karkada masa

simhaakhom  etc.

 

Caste Names take strange shapes!

Brahmana- phraam

Kshatriya – Kasat

Vaisya – phait

Sudra- suud

Deva and Devi becomes Theva and Thevi like Sri Lankan, Malaysian and South African Tamil!

So far we saw only the difference in spellings or the sounds. Even meanings change.

Once I had some argument with my in laws who are from Kerala. When I mentioned a plant name he recognised something else. He described it differently. When we differed in two three plant names I googled and found out both are right. In Tamil what I said has a different name in malayalam and that word is used for a different plant in Tamil

 

Like the plant names other words also have different meanings unlike Sanskrit. So one must be very careful in deriving the meaning. Foreigners who studied Vedas did big blunders in translating them into English. For the word ASURA in the Rig Veda 40 different scholars have given forty different explanations.

44 Sanskrit Inscriptions!

Sanskrit inscriptions are the longest in the world! Rudradaman’s (130 CE) Junagad (Gujarat) inscription is one of the oldest and longest inscriptions in beautiful Sanskrit.

In Thailand over 40 Sanskrit inscriptions are found. They are dated from sixth century CE. There is a one word inscription ‘Lingesvaram’

in one place. But the longest one at Pranchinburi has 128 stanzas with 412 lines. Majority of the inscriptions are in between the two extremes.

A few of them are in beautiful Sanskrit poetry format with a good number of similes.   Most of them are about building shrines or stupas.

 

Dr Satyavrat Sastri of Delhi University went and stayed there for two years. He did detailed research on these inscriptions; he has explained the metres, the grammar, similes and style found in the inscriptions.

 

Source Book: Sanskrit and Indian culture in Thailand by Satya Vrat Shastri,Delhi,1982

I have taken some of the points from his book and presented here with my inputs.

My old article:-

Hindu Wonders in a Muslim Country! | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/2012/05/12/hindu-wonders-in-a-muslim-country/

12 May 2012 – Many of us know that Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world, but many of us do not know the fourth largest Hindu population is in Indonesia! This is the country which has highest number of Hindus outside Indian subcontinent (next to Nepal and Bangladesh). It is a countrywith 17000 islands…

 

–Subham–