Thailand- A spiritual world of Gods and Goddesses
It’s quite interesting to know that Thailand is a place of spirituality. We all know that Thailand is a place of romance but it has lot more to offer you. So if you are planning to visit Thailand, you must read this article till the last. Thailand worships many diverse deities from the Hindu and Buddhist religions. Both of these religions traces its origins in India. Hinduism is the predecessor of Buddhism. Buddhism is the main religion in Thailand. However, the constitution of Thailand is quite analogous to the Indian parliament and it gives secular rights. They are free to practice any religion they want. So let’s explore Thailand. Happy reading!!!
The land of Culture: Thailand marks the epitome of glittering mosaic. This practice has its deep roots in both Hinduism and Buddhism. These deities are symbolic of hope and obedience. It gives a person tranquillity and insight to practice one’s religion. This peace and insight paves the way to the understanding of one’s true self. The blessings of these gods are crucial for eternal as well as present life. The secularism of the constitution is due to the Buddhist values of tolerance. The idea of Hinduism is understanding the Brahma and existence of self or soul often called Atman. Buddhism on the other hand is about finding the God or Anatman. Hinduism says to remove bodily attractions to find the Brahma in one. In Buddhism a strict set of rules are followed to understand that nothing is static in one self. It guides humans to break the very illusion of life. By this a person attains the state of Nirvana. In Hinduism, the first god is Ganesh who is the first to be worshipped. He is the God of intelligence and good things. He is the remover of hindrances often called Vignaharta. In Thailand whenever you visit a temple, the first god you come across is Ganesh. He is adorned in red colour. His beauty is more enhanced by his potbelly. He loves to eat and is also the God of children. He has one tusk broken and has Padam, Goad, a pot of rice and sweets in his four hands. Next in line is Kartikeya who is the elder son of goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. Kartikeya is the war god. He is an epitome of perfection and is the leader of the forces of heaven. He was created to destroy the demons. He is the destructor of the evil forces in humans. Even the cuisine of Thailand is quite similar to Indians. Thai Culture celebrates all the principle deities of Hinduism. The relationship between Buddhism and Hinduism is very beautifully portrayed in Thailand. So if you want to understand the thrilling drive between Hinduism and Buddhism, you must visit Thailand.
The land of Lord Shiva: As previously mentioned, Thailand marks the heritage at its peak. The portrayal of Hindu deities is quite unique in Thailand. Next in line is Lord Shiva who is a principle deity of Hinduism. The worshippers of Shiva are called Saivite sects of India. Lord Shiva is self created and also forms an important deity of Thailand. He is a great ascetic often called Mahayogi. He is the symbol of destruction of evil and restoration of good. He also represents sensuality. He is the benevolent soul within all. He is also a symbol of wrath and is known as Rudra. Thailand also celebrates the immortal tale of Lord Rama in Ramayana. It teaches values of ideology, Dharma, devotion and Karma. So if you are an enthusiast in mythology and want to experience our rich cultural heritage, Thailand welcomes you.
An epitome of Buddhism: Buddha or Prince Siddhartha was born in Nepal in the 6th century BC. Puzzled with the distress he renounced the worldly pleasures and sat in meditation. He founded the Buddhist religion after gaining Moksha. He is the spiritual leader of Buddhism. He stands one of the most influential people in the history of the world. His life is a teaching of salvation and truth. In Thailand Maitreya Boddhistava is worshipped. It is the future Buddha incarnation. It is also known as Buddhist eschatology. According to beliefs, Maitreya Buddha will appear on earth in future and teach the path to salvation. In Buddhism Tara means is a Buddhist Saviour. Similarly, in Hinduism Ma Tara is worshipped as an incarnation of Goddess Adishakti. She is the saviour. In Tibetan religion, Tara is symbolic of Sgrol-ma who saves them from all odds. She is the most important deity of the Tibetans. So no matter from which Culture you belong, Thailand definitely has something good in store for you.
The concept of Rama in Thai Culture: Do you know that the Thai Culture celebrates Ramayana?!! Even it has mention of Sita and Hanuman in it. According to Sanskrit scriptures, Rama was treated as a God and King by the Thai Culture. According to Thai accounts of Rama, when Hanuman went to meet Sita, she in turn asked him that whether he was a demigod or a god. She further questioned him whether he was an Asura or a human. However, the interesting fact in this is, Sita never thought of him as a monkey. Thus it indicates that Hanuman never looked like a monkey. Perhaps the Hanuman chalisa also says the same thing, “Kanchan Barana Viraja Subhesha” proclaiming Hanuman to be very good looking. Even in terms of Thai Culture, when Hanuman asked sita for food as he was very hungry, Sita showed him a mango tree. Hanuman ate the fruit and was mesmerized by its taste. He asked Sita that what was the fruit’s name. Sita told him it’s Aam or mango. Hanuman was shocked that such a ripe fruit is not available in India. He brought the fruit to the Indian subcontinent. This proves that Mango came from Thai that is the Myanmar region to India. Besides according to geography, during 1000 BCE that is the age of Ramayana, Sri Lanka was a part of Bharat or India. Thus Thailand is nothing but another name of Indian culture.
The idea of Apsharas and Kinnars in the Thai tradition: It seems that ancient Indians went to Thailand and formed the Thai Culture. It has several origins racing back to Sindhu mythology. For instance, the concept of Apsharas and Kinnars who are an important part of the Indian tradition. They also find mention in Thai Culture. The Apsharas were beautiful dancers of heaven and the Kinnars were the patron of art and culture. In Thailand, many such Apsharas are mentioned. Even Hanuman’s mother Anjani was a cursed Apshara. Kinnars as mentioned as the patrons of art and crafts in the Thai Culture. Perhaps that’s why Thailand is called, “Kinnar’s Land”.
Dance forms in Thailand: Thai dancing is much like Indian forms. It can be divided into Classical dancing and folk dancing. The classical dancing dates back to the Ayutthaya kingdom and is an epitome of Thai Culture. They perform dances from the Jataka tales. It is hugely affected by the Indian tradition. The Fon Lep or the fingernail dance is much like Indian Kathakali. They even practice sword dancing similar to the Indian culture. So when you visit Thailand, don’t miss their dance which shows their rich culture and the relationship with the Indian tradition.
Magnificent Artefacts: Whenever you visit Thailand don’t forget to admire its rich craftsmanship. A 13th century figurine from the Museum of Art’s depicts God Ganesha, Shiva and Kartikeya on their Vahana. Ganesha is on elephant, Shiva on Bull and Kartikeya on peacock. From the excavations of Thailand many such sculptures have been found. A 10th century figurine of Lord Shiva from the Baphuon period has been found. It presently increases the adornment of National gallery in Australia. An 18th century figurine of demon king Ravana have been found in Thailand. It is in a seated reverential posture. An ancient sculpture of Buddha in calling the Earth to witness posture has been found in Thailand. It dates back to 1347-1400. Dating back to the 8th century, an excellent work of art is a figure of Maitreya Boddhistava. Finally, there is a statue of Goddess Tara racing back to 700-799. These figurines are worth to be admired and respected. It puts forth the excellent craftsmanship of the ancient civilizations.
Aren’t Thailand and India seeming as the opposite sides of the same coin??!!! Well Thailand is not only a place of beauty, sea life, amusement, busy night life and rich flora and fauna but also marks the peak of magnificent culture and tradition. So do visit Thailand at least once in your lifetime. We promise you won’t regret. It has a lot in store for you ranging from thrilling night life to spirituality. We will see you soon but till then keep following us and stay safe.