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August 15, 2013

Phra Kaew Morakot (Emerald Buddha)

Phra Kaew Morakot (Emerald Buddha)

Introduction

The renowned Emerald Buddha in Thailand has the name "Phra Kaew Morakot" (Thai: พระแก้วมรกต) or the official name "Phra Buddha Maha Mani Rattana Patimakon" (Thai: พระพุทธมหามณีรัตนปฏิมากร). 45 cm tall, the Chiang-Saen-style Emerald Buddha is made of green jade (rather than emerald) and now enshrined in Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok, within the precincts of the Grand Palace.


the Emerald Buddha enshrined in Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok
Picture/http://www.bangkokmag.infothai.com/emeraldhistory.htm


In March, July, November, which are three months marking the beginning of Thailand's three seasons—hot season, rainy season, and cool season—respectively, the costume-changing ceremony of the Emerald Buddha will be held by the King of Thailand or the crown prince.

On March 16, 1995, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn represented His Majesty the King
in presiding over the Ceremony of Changing the Costumes of the Emerald Buddha Image, from cold to hot season
Picture/http://oldwebsite.ohm.go.th/searchsheetlist_en.php?get=1&offset=530


On March 16, 2012,
HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn in the costume-changing ceremony of the Emerald Buddha
Picture/http://www.dailynews.co.th/royal/193528



History

Legend has it that in 43 BC, the Emerald Buddha was made by Nagasena Thera in the city Pataliputra (now Patna) in northeastern India.

After staying in Pataliputra for about 300 years, the Emerald Buddha was enshrined by and headed for Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to help stabilize the civil war. In 457, King Anuruth of Myanmar dispatched missionaries to Ceylon to request for having the Emerald Buddha and some Buddhist scriptures sent to Myanmar in order to propagate Buddhism there. The shipping vessel, however, was caught in storm and drifted to Cambodia.

In 1432, Sukhothai Kingdom invaded Cambodia, forced the Khmers to abandon Angkor Wat. The Emerald Buddha was carried from Cambodia to Siam, had stopped by Ayutthaya, Kamphaeng Phet, and Lopburi. Finally the Emerald Buddha rested in Chiang Rai, the northernmost part of Thailand. (Some art historians take opinions that the Emerald Buddha, in Chiang Saen style, should originate in Lanna Kingdom.)

In 1434, a stucco Buddha image was found in a chedi in Wat Pa Yah, Chiang Rai (now Wat Phra Kaew, Chiang Rai), after the chedi got struck by lightning and fell apart. The Buddha image wasn't found to be made of green jade until the stucco peeled off.

King Sam Fang Kaen (reign 1411-1441) of Lanna Kingdom hoped to enshrine the Emerald Buddha in Chiang Mai, the capital of Lanna, but his attempt failed three times because the elephant carrying the Buddha image always stopped in Lampang instead of in Chiang Rai. The King, thinking that Lampang was also in the territory of Lanna Kingdom, agreed to have the Buddha image lodged in Wat Phra Kaeo Don Tao, Lampang.

In 1468, King Tilokarat (reign 1441-1487) of Lanna Kingdom built a chedi in Chiang Mai and the Emerald Buddha was enshrined in Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai.

In 1547, King Setthathirath Laos Kingdom of Lan Xang seized Chiang Rai and moved the Emerald Buddha to Luang Prabang, the ancient capital of Laos. In 1564, the capital was moved from Luang Prabang to Vientiane, where a temple for enshrining the Emerald Buddha was ordered to be built.

In 1779, when Siamese army conquered Vientiane, King Taksin of Thonburi Kingdom brought the Emerald Buddha from Vientiane to Wat Arun, Bangkok.

In 1782, Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke was crowned as King Rama I, first king of the Chakri dynasty, with the establishment of Bangkok as the capital city. The Emerald Buddha was carried to and enshrined in Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok, to the present time.



Footsteps of the Emerald Buddha
1. Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)
2. Cambodia
3. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
4. Ayutthaya, Thailand
5. Lopburi (formerly known as Lawo), Thailand
6. Kamphaeng Phet (formerly known as Vajiraprakarn), Thailand
7. Chiang Rai, Thailand: 1391–1436, for 45 years
8. Lampang, Thailand: 1436–1468, for 32 years
9. Chiang Mai, Thailand: 1468–1553, for 85 years
10. Luang Prabang and Vientiane, Laos: 1553–1778, for 225 years
11. Bangkok, Thailand: 1779 to the present
   
 
Method to Pray


● What to Pray For
Good fortune; fulfillment of wishes

● Offerings
※candle: one piece
※fresh flowers
● How to Return Thanks
Fulfill promises made when making wishes. The following activities could also be done to return thanks:
※Do good deeds as often as you can, such as obeying your parents, making coffin or money donations, etc.
※Present offerings like flowers or eggs, which later could be given to the needy.




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