Certain events in the fulfilled life of Siddhārtha Gautama are thought to have occurred on certain days. The Buddha images representing these events (two on Wednesday) are thus also associated with the days on which they occurred.
By the way, the above picture is not photoshopped but was taken as is in the Wat Phra That Khao Noi in the Nan Province in Thailand. This temple and Buddha image is sited at the top of Khao Noi Hill, overlooking the city of Nan about two kilometers west of the town.
Traditionally it is believed that Buddha spent 7 days following his enlightenment thinking of the suffering of all living creatures and how unimportant his life was prior to reaching enlightenment.
When visiting a Thai Temple you may be interested to look at the many Buddha images and their different poses which depict significant moments in the Buddha’s life. Whilst most Buddha images feature the Buddha in meditation, there are more than 100 different poses.
There are also some postures that each represent the 7 days of the week and Thai people pay particular attention to the Buddha image which corresponds to the day they were born and assigned a different color each day.
In case you don’t know on what day you were born, you may use the form provided and Zeller’s Algorithm will tell you. However, only if you were – or are to be – born between 1582 and 4902. During that time period, I was born on a Monday and my better half on a Sunday.
On what day of the week were you born? Enter your birthday and then hit the “Update” button:
“I teach because you and all beings want to have happiness and want to avoid suffering. I teach the way things are.”
– The Buddha
- A person born on a Sunday is respectable, wise, loved by friends and family.
- He or she is likely to be in a professional occupation.
- Your lucky day is Wednesday and unlucky day is Friday.
- Your lucky color is Green and unlucky color is Blue.
Pensive Thought / Seven Days Looking → Pang Thawai Net
(Standing straight with his left arm on his side. His right hand is reaching forward with his palm facing the front. The enlightened Buddha stands with hands crossed – right hand over the left – over his abdomen)
The image on the left is called Receiving Grass Bundles. He is receiving bundles of grass to use as a seat while he meditates under the Bodhi Tree to contemplate his achievement of complete knowledge.
After enlightenment, the Buddha sat still for seven days under the Bodhi Tree before standing and facing the tree for another seven days to contemplate the suffering of all living things. He was tempted to enter Nirvana at once (by Mara again), but he wanted others to know the true doctrine, and resolves to communicate his doctrine to others.
- A person born on a Monday is serious with a good memory and a love of travel.
- This person is likely to be in a skilled occupation.
- Your lucky day is Saturday and unlucky day is Sunday.
- Your lucky color is Black and unlucky color is Orange.
Monday: Making Peace
Preventing Calamities → Pang Ham Samoot
(Standing with the left or both hand(s) raised to shoulder height with the palm out and the fingers extended)
The city of Vesali was tormented by three evils: Poverty, cholera and devils. The King of Vesali was advised to seek the help of the Buddha. Accepting the invitation, the Buddha with company, arrived at Vesali. With his transcendental powers, he caused heavy rain to pour down, so heavy that it cleaned the city of all dead bodies and uncleanliness.
These first two images may also refer to an incident when the Buddha was invited to stay in a hut near the banks of a river that was about to burst its banks. The Buddha raised his hands which caused the water to subside The image with both hands raised is similar to another one called Descent From Tavatimsa Heaven. In that one, however, the thumb and index finger of each hand are joined.
This image here is rather unusual. It is called Bidding Farewell to Vesali. It is unusual because he is looking back over his shoulder taking a last look at Vesali (other variant shows the Buddha looking over his left shoulder to the city) knowing he will soon die and never return:
Having recovered slightly after falling ill due to eating tainted pork, the Buddha leaves Vesali for the last time and resolves not to return.
Later on, Ananda, his disciple went around the city, reciting portions of the Tipitika, and sprinkling lustral water around the city. Suffering humans were healed while all devils were frightened and fled the city.
Pacifying the Relatives → Pang Ham Yati
(Note the right hand raised to shoulder height with the palm out and the fingers extended)
This Abhayamudrā “gesture of fearlessness” is a mudrā that is the gesture of reassurance and safety, which dispels fear and accords divine protection and bliss. The Buddha can be depicted either sitting or standing, and the left hand may either be extended outward or palm up in the lap. This statue signifies courage and offers protection from fear, delusion and anger. This image represents Buddha pacifying the relatives. When Buddha returned from heaven after three months, his relatives were arguing about the rights to water flowing through their land. Buddha persuaded them to compromise.
- This person is serious, brave and active most probably in the services.
- Your lucky day is Thursday and unlucky day is Monday.
- Your lucky color is Yellow and unlucky color is White.
Reclining Buddha / Realizing Nirvana → Pang Sai Yat
(Left arm along the body, right arm serves as a pillow with the hand supporting the head)
The giant Asurindarahu wanted to see the Buddha, but was reluctant to bow before him. The Buddha, while lying down, presented himself as much larger than the giant. He then showed him the realm of heaven with heavenly figures all larger than the giant.
After all this, Asurindarahu, the giant, was humbled, and made his obeisance to the Buddha before leaving.
That probably explains why most of the Reclining Buddha statues are displayed rather oversized. However, there is yet another background legend: The statue represents Shakyamuni Buddha – the historical Buddha – at his death at 80. It is said that when the Buddha knew the end was near, he asked his disciples to prepare a couch for him in a grove, then reclined on his right side, facing west, with his head propped on his hand. On the last day of his life, instead of just turning ashen, he kept teaching. So, despite their decadent aura, the statues embody – as it turns out – the devotion to duty that the Buddha displayed at the last gasp.
- The person born on Wednesday morning is polite, artistic and emotional.
- He or she is most likely working creatively.
- Wednesday night is your lucky time and unlucky day is Tuesday.
- Your lucky color is Green and unlucky color is Pink.
Morning: Holding An Alms Bowl → Pang Umbat
(The Buddha is standing with both hands around an alms bowl)
This symbolizes the first morning after visiting his father at Kapilavastu. Buddha calmed his father informing him that the lineage of Buddhas was to perform “Pindabat” to be available to followers who devotedly bring food (in the early morning, monks make their alms rounds to collect food). Buddha did the same and in the morning, he went out to receive alms in the city.
- The person born on Wedneday evening is hard working and honest.
- He or she is likely to be employed in a profession.
- Your lucky day of Monday and unlucky day is Thursday.
- Your lucky color is White and unlucky color is Yellow.
Wednesday: The Blessed One
Evening: Retreat In The Forest
Buddha spent the rain retreat on his own in the Palilayaka (Palelai) forest because he was tired of the monks of Kosambi who had split into two groups and were not in harmony.
While in the forest, the elephant Palilayaka attended to him, and monkey offered him a bee hive. Today, this event commemorates an occasion called Madhun Purnima and it occurs on the day of the full moon in the Bangla month of Bhadro.
This posture is also known as Calling The Earth To Witness and it is the definition of moments before enlightenment because:
Mara *) brought his most beautiful daughters to seduce the about-to-be Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. Siddhartha, however, remained in meditation. Then, Mara sent vast armies of monsters to attack him. Yet, Siddhartha sat still and untouched. Mara claimed that the seat of enlightenment rightfully belonged to him and not to the mortal Siddhartha while Mara’s monstrous soldiers cried out together, “We are his witness!” Mara challenged Siddhartha, “Who will speak for you?” Then Siddhartha reached out his right hand to touch the earth, and the earth itself spoke: “I bear you witness!” Mara disappeared.
*) Mara is one of the earliest non-human beings to appear in Buddhist scriptures. He is a demon, sometimes called the Lord of Death who plays a role in many stories of the Buddha and his monks. Mara is best known for his part in the historical Buddha’s enlightenment.
- This person is peaceful, calm and honest.
- He or she is likely to be a teacher or in a legal profession.
- Your lucky day is Sunday and unlucky day is Saturday.
- Your lucky color is Orange and unlucky color is Black.
Meditating → Pang Samti
(The Heroic Posture and the Adamantine Posture: Sitting in this yoga posture, the right leg on top of the left – both soles facing up – and the right hand on top of the left hand)
The Bodhisattva makes a vow and is determined not the leave the spot (where he is sitting on the grass) under the Banyan Tree until he achieves enlightenment. The Boddhisattva determines to find the cause of suffering and its cessation.
He made a vow “Skin , sinew and bone may dry up as they will, my flesh and blood may dry in my body, but without attaining completed enlightenment, I will not leave this seat.” With his strong determination, at the age of 35, he attained enlightenment after 49 days of continuous mediation.
December 8 is celebrated as Bodhi Day by Buddhists around the world. Bodhi Day commemorates the day that Gautama Buddha, aka Siddhārtha Gautama, is said to have attained enlightenment, also known as Bodhi in Sanskrit and Pali. Buddhists commemorate December 8 by meditating, studying the Dharma, chanting sutras (Buddhist texts) and performing kind acts toward other beings. Some celebrate the day in a traditional way by preparing a meal consisting of tea, and cakes.
- This person is fun loving, friendly and ambitious, probably an entertainer or public figure.
- Your lucky day is Tuesday and unlucky day is Wednesday night.
- Your lucky color is Pink and unlucky color is Light Green.
Contemplating In Reflection → Pang Ram Pueng
(Deeply thinking, hands are crossed across the chest, right hand in front of the left)
The Buddha wonders how he can explain the cause of all suffering to others. A short period after the enlightenment, while staying under the Banyan Tree and beore returning to the Bodhi Tree, he stated that it was too difficult for ordinary people to understand dharma and bring it into practices. He was discouraged to teach Dharma as he found it profound, hard to see, hard to understand yet peaceful, sublime, beyond the sphere of mere reasoning and subtle. However, with his great mercy and loving kindness, he clearly understood that living creatures possessed different habits just like the nature of a lotus.
- This person is calm, logical and a bit of a recluse.
- He or she is very likely engaged in manual work of a skilled nature.
- Your lucky day is Friday and unlucky day is Wednesday during the daytime.
- Your lucky color is Blue and unlucky color is Green.
Sitting In Meditation → Pang Nak Prok
(Protected by Mucalinda’s cobra hood the Naga King)
Mucalinda is King of the Naga, a snake-like being, who protected the Gautama Buddha from the elements after his enlightenment. It is said that four weeks after Gautama Buddha began meditating under the Bodhi Tree, the heavens darkened for seven days, and a prodigious rain descended. However, the mighty King of Serpents, Mucalinda, came from beneath the earth and protected with his hood the one who is the source of all protection. When the great storm had cleared, the serpent king assumed his human form, bowed before the Buddha, and returned in joy to his palace.