Friday, September 18, 2015

Mango in the Buddha history

I was earlier mention about the story of mango in Hindu religion. This time I’d like to talk about the story of mango in Buddhism, to prove that mango is indeed a part of Indian people’s life.

Mango is appearing as a part in many stories in Buddha history, but I’d like to show you just two major stories. The first one is about the Amphawan temple (the name means “mango garden”). Story was told that this temple was formed by Doctor Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha, the Ayurveda master and the personal doctor of the Buddha, also honored as the grandmaster of the Thai traditional medicine. After becoming Buddhism, Doctor Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha want to pay the respect to Buddha more often but the Buddha’s current place, Weruwan temple (the name means “bamboo garden”, also the first Buddhism temple in the history) was too far from his place to come by. So he built the temple in his mango garden, which was given to him by King Bimbisara, and give to Buddha and sangha. This place is also the place he healed Buddha‘s bruise occurred from the rock chip hitting his foot. In this present, the ruin of Amphawan temple is one of the places the Buddhisms around the world come to pay the respect to the Buddha.

Another mango-related Buddha story is about the Yamaka Patihariya, or the “twin miracle”. This story takes place after the Buddha forbidding all sangha to perform the supernatural power or Patihariya. In that time, the heretics gladly announced that they will challenge the miracle with the Buddha (because they thought that the Buddha cannot perform any miracle after he forbids all sangha to do). The Buddha accepted the challenge and said that he will perform the miracle at the mango tree on the full moon day of the eighth month or Asalha.

After hearing, the heretics uprooted all mango trees, so the Buddha hasn’t a place to perform the miracle. However, on the promising day, the Buddha went to king’s garden and met a man name Ganda, the king’s gardener. In that day, Ganda give the ripe mango fruit to Buddha instead of the king and the Buddha accepted. After finishing the fruit, the Buddha ordered Ganda to plant the mango seed in the king’s garden and he poured the hand-washing water into it. Miraculously, the seed was instantly grown to the mature tree full of ripe fruits. Then the Buddha performed the miracle called Yamaka Patihariya or the twin miracle. It was named from its appearance of opposite character in pair, for example, the Buddha produced the steam form his upper body part while produced the flame from his lower body part at the same time. After the miracle was finally done, the Buddha was going to heaven to perform Dharma to his mother, now born as the deva.

Buddha image in the posture of receiving the mango fruit,
 Krathum Suea Pla temple, On-nut, Bangkok

The story of Yamaka Patihariya was told and descended to this present, and now be shown in the religious art. One of the Buddha image called the posture of receiving the mango fruit, which has the image of Buddha sitting cross-legged with the left hand on the lap and the right hand is holding the mango fruit, has the inspiration from this story. This posture is one of the sixty-six official Buddha images in Thailand.

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