When you visit a Thai temple, you will always see Buddha images in various poses. Although many of them show the Buddha in meditation, there are in fact over 100 different poses which depict moments in his life. In addition, seven of these poses have been sorted according to the actual day they took place. From this, Thai people can pay particular attention to the Buddha image which corresponds to the day they were born. (If you don’t know when you were born, then click here.)
When you go to some temples, you might see a row of Buddha images which represent each day of the week. I took the following pictures at Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai.
Sunday is represented by Open-Eye Posture. The Buddha stands with his right hand placed over the left on the upper thigh in a mindful attitude.
Monday is represented by Preventing Calamities which is also known as Pacifying the Relatives. The Buddha stands with the left hand hanging down at the side while the right is raised at chest level; the palm faces outward to depict a gesture which depicted raising both hands as in the picture above.
Tuesday is represented by the Reclining Buddha. The Buddha is depicted as lying on his right side. The left leg rests on the right. The left arm lies along the body. The right arm serves asa pillow and the palm of the right hand supports his head.
Wednesday morning is represented by Holding an Alms Bowl. The Buddha is standing with heels pressed together as he holds an alms bowl with both hands at the waist. (Wednesday evening is at the end of the row so I will come to that in a moment)
Thursday is represented by Meditation. The Buddha sits cross-legged in the meditation posture, placing both palms upwards on the lap, the right over the left.
Friday is represented by Contemplation. The Buddha stands or sits in the postion of contemplation, both hands held at the chest, the right palm over the left.
Saturday is represented by Seated Under the Naga Hood. The Buddha sits in meditation with overlapping hands turned upwards on his lap, while the naga spreads its hood above his head.
The last Buddha image is for Wednesday evening and is represented by Resting with monkey and elephant. The Buddha sits in the Western style, the left palm on the thigh and the right hand on the knee. He is about to accept a honeycomb from a monkey and a water pot from an elephant.
I will write more about Buddha images in the future. In the meantime, you might like to visit our sister site at www.thaibuddhist.com.
Source: Gestures of the Buddha by K.I. Matics