This Golden Touch, Buddha Dispelling Mara, Wat Shri Chum, Sukhothai, Thailand

Enlightening Moments

Every now and again
Quite often, to be honest
It’s important to just stop
Interrupt the flow
Of negativity
And touch Earth
Literally and figuratively

Being grounded
Is of itself no map for the lost
But if my feet aren’t on the ground
Then no map can guide me
Nor can I find my way

Buddha Subduing Mara
Wat Sri Chum temple
Sukhothai, Thailand

Taken during travels, 1995

I didn’t know this before travelling to Thailand, but the various poses Buddha statues depict the master in all have very specific symbolic meanings. And I only just now learned these statues are called mudras in the Indic religions of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.

The mudra featuring this gold-leaf encrusted hand is in the form called “Buddha Dispelling Mara’ or “Buddha Subduing Mara”.

The story goes that during meditation under a Bodhi tree, the Buddha-to-be was disrupted by the demon Mara, whose armies attacked him, and whose beautiful daughters attempted seduction. Buddha, while still meditating, reached down with his right hand and called upon Mother Earth. She appeared as a young woman and drowned Mara’s armies by wringing water from her hair in a torrent.

Freed from distraction, Buddha-to-be continued his meditation and became enlightened, became Buddha.