Attaining Enlightenment - Subduing Mara, Calling the Earth Goddess to Witness




Subduing Mara - Calling the Goddess of the Earth to Witness



The scene above is depicted on the wall facing the main Buddha statue in the Ubosoth. The scene above is present at Wat KhongKharam in Ratchaburi province. Similar depiction of this scene are present in a lot of Thai temples.
Above, the Buddha is seated with the Bhumisparsha posture. The right hand is bent over the right knee and the fingers touch the Earth. The left hand rests in the lap of the Buddha. This posture of the Buddha signifies the attainment of enlightenment. The position is also called 'Calling the Earth Goddess to Witness' or Subduing Mara.
To the left of the Buddha (right side when viewing the painting) is Mara's army. Mara symbolizes evil forces, and an attempt to prevent the Buddha from attaining enlightenment. While presented as a physical thread, evil encompasses riches, physical pleasures (lust and desire), power etc.
The Earth Goddess is called to witness (also including the good deeds in the previous incarnations of the Buddha). She wrings water from her hair, and the army of Mara is drowned. This scene is depicted on the left side of the painting.

 

Mara's army, Attacking Demons - detail


Mara's army, Attacking Demons - detail.
Often foreigners are depicted amongst the army. They will be depicted with the clothes and weaponry that prevailed during the Ayutthaya period, not with contemporary attire.

 

Mural Paintings at Wat Kongkaram (Wat Khongkharam), Ratchaburi Province
More Mural Paintings at Wat Kongkaram