PRaying Rituals

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Station 1 - Main Shrine

Station 1

Buddha

3 Joss Sticks

The Main Shrine is the most reverend building at the Temple. Inside the Shrine are images of Buddha, the Dhamma text and figures of important disciples. The Temple’s monks conduct chanting and give blessings in the Main Shrine.  Devotees here make offerings to Buddha and to his sangha.  

Station 2

Phra Phrom

4 Joss Sticks

A Phra Phrom shrine was opened In Bangkok in the mid 1950s. It was located near the then-new Erawan Hotel. The shrine was called “Erawan”.  It contained the Hindu god Brahma.  He was called Phra Phrom (พระพรหม).  He is a god from the Maha Brahma world.  Afterwards Thai Temples also built Phra Phrom shines.

 

Shrines for Brahmas are outside the Main Shrine. Phra Phrom may be seen as Buddha’s advisor, Brahma Sahampati.

 

Phra Phrom has four faces and usually eight arms. (It is incorrect to refer to this deity as the “Four-Faced Buddha”.) Each of the faces show a  virtue of Maha Brahma: good-will, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity.  The objects he holds represent celestial powers.  An important one is the Tipitaka. This is the collection of Buddha’s teaching.

Station 2 - four face Brahma
Station 3 - Guan Yin

Station 3

Guan Yin

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The Guanyin Shrine is dedicated to the bodhisattva.  The bodhisattva is bound for Buddhahood but is dedicated to first showing the Path to all beings.  Known as the Goddess of Mercy, when making offerings the devotees recall loving-kindness, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity.

Station 4 - Phra Sangkajai

Station 4

Phra Sangkajai

1 Joss Stick

Phra Maha Katchaina (พระมหากัจจายนะ), is called Phra Sangkachai   (พระสังกัจจายน์) or Phra Sangkajai (มหากัจจายนเถระ).

He was a very wealthy and handsome merchant. After listening to Buddha’s teaching he became an Arahant.  In farming villages, he is the Lord of Abundant Harvests.  In cities, he is the Lord of Great Success. Great generosity Phra Maha Katchaina gained his wealth and beauty.   In an earlier existence, a famine arose. Buddha’s requested him he help. He gave 500 ox carts of rice. This was a meritorious deed. It earned him extreme wealth and good looks for many rebirths.

The statue might be confused with the Venerable Budai or with Maitreya Buddha. However, Phra Maha Katchaina has hair on his head.  He is also wearing a Theravada style robe.

Phra Rahu

Station 5

Phra Rahu

1 Joss Stick

Arising from Hinduism, Phra Rahu (พระราหู) is the head of a demon. Phra Rahu stole the medicine for immortality.  The Sun and the Moon deities saw him.  They told Vishnu, the protector of the universe. Rahu drank some of the medicine before Vishnu chopped off his head.  But Rahu’s head became immortal.

Rahu was mad.  He takes revenge by swallowing the Sun and Moon. We see this in sun and moon eclipses.  Phra Rahu’s lack of a body allows the Sun and Moon quickly reappear.

 

Phra Rahu is evil.  He brings misfortune.  To stop him, black offerings should be given.

Station 6 - Ascetic

Station 6

Ascetic

1 Joss Stick

This is a picture of an ascetic. An “ascetic” is a contemplative or someone who is “rigorously-self-disciplined”. They  usually live away from towns and cities. The Pali word is samana, in Thai it is resi. 

Sometimes Buddha was addressed as  “Ascetic Gotama”.  Leaders of other sects, like the Jains, and many of the Buddha’s teachers, e.g. Alara Kalama, were ascetics. Buddha many times described this world as having “  devas, Mara, Brahma , Ascetics, Brahmins and humans”.   

 This statue is a generic ascetic. The tiger and snake associate his great powers to those of Lord Shiva.

Offerings are made to the Ascetic to show respect for contemplative past, present and future and to one’s own teachers. The image is concrete on a wire frame, sculpt by Venerable Khun Wan and painted by Irving Johnson in 2010. The temple thanks all donors for their contributions.

Station 7

Pidta

1 Joss Stick

Pidta
PIDTA

A popular icon found in temples, mainly in Southern Thailand, and as an amulet, is Pidta. Pidta is a monk sitting in the full lotus position covering his face with his hands. Pidta is supposed to offer various levels of protection. And indeed it can if we remember that our misfortune arises from what we see, say or hear.

 

Pidta covers his eyes to remind us to beware of what we see; covers his mouth to remind us of the dangers of the tongue and his ear to draw our attention to the dangers of gossip. The founder of Wat Uttamayanmuni Temple was famous for his pidtas which are now worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Nang Thorani
NANG THORANI

After enlightenment Buddha sat enjoying the fruits thereof. Mara, the evil one, then brought all the temptations of the world to attempt to distract Buddha. As Buddha sat and contemplated, Mara mocked him, saying “You claim that you are enlightened! Who will witness and testify to your enlightenment?”

 

At this, Buddha pointed a hand down to the earth, indicating that the Mother Earth Goddess, Nang Thorani, was witness. At that time Nang Thorani was washing her hair and as she wrung her hair, the water released swept away Mara, with all his distractions.

Mae Po Sop edited 5.jpg
MAE PO SOP

After enlightenment Buddha sat enjoying the fruits thereof. Mara, the evil one, then brought all the temptations of the world to attempt to distract Buddha. As Buddha sat and contemMae Pho Sop is the Thai rice goddess.  Her image is characterized by the rice that she holds in her right hand.  Her blessings are necessary for a good harvest.  This image shows the rice goddess in the pose of Nang Kwak – the gesturing maiden, a common symbol of business success.plated, Mara mocked him, saying “You claim that you are enlightened! Who will witness and testify to your enlightenment?”

 

At this, Buddha pointed a hand down to the earth, indicating that the Mother Earth Goddess, Nang Thorani, was witness. At that time Nang Thorani was washing her hair and as she wrung her hair, the water released swept away Mara, with all his distractions.

Uttamayanmuni 
Buddhist
temple

+65 6769 1751

uttamayanmuni@gmail.com

32-B Hong San Terrace, Singapore 688785

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