Monday, December 26, 2011

Erawan Museum's Buddhist cosmology; Wisdom Quarterly; Stewie1980 (

Hinduism was brought to Southeast Asia 1,500 years ago and was the controlling belief system of the imperial Khmers and Siamese kingdoms. Buddhism had pervaded the lands beyond India in all directions:
  • west to Afghanistan, Central Asia, ancient Greece, and onto China, Japan, and Korea
  • south to Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Indonesia
  • east to Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam
  • north to Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, and Mongolia.
Many Vedic Brahminical (pre-Hindu) and pre-Buddhist myths were prevalent in art and architecture in ancient and modern Thailand. Erawan Museum is a five-storey building shaped like the three-headed elephant Erawan. The museum contains ancient objects of cultural and religious significance.

The building is constructed as a symbol, just as temple prangs are a symbol of Mount Meru. The former Kingdom of Laos used the symbol head of Erawan on its flag, and statues of Erawan can be seen throughout Bangkok.

The building's three floors have, on the first floor, antiquities, on the second floor, decorative artistic statues and a stained glass ceiling illustrating the zodiac and the world (as shown here) and the top floor contains Buddhist relics and ancient statues. There is also a painted ceiling illustrating the cosmos. More

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