Thais tend to be a religious lot. They also tend to be a superstitious people. The two often go hand in hand and the dividing line between faith and myth is often a thin one. In a previous post I covered the better known positions of Buddha statues, particularly their hand gestures which are known as mudras. There are also positions that represent certain events in the life of The Buddha, events which are believed to have occurred on specific days of the week. Many Thais consider the image assigned to the day of the week they were born to be especially auspicious for them; they will have that image in their homes, pray to that image at wats, and have that position used when commissioning a Buddha image.
It is not unusual to run across a line of all seven Buddhas at a wat, though if you count them there are eight (yes, this is Thailand). Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai, a perennial favorite of visitors to northern Thailand, has such a display, and as I mentioned in my recent post about Wat Traimit and the Golden Buddha in Bangkok’s Chinatown, that temple has a line of fortune telling machines each displaying one of the seven, er eight, postures.
The Buddha for those born on Sunday is called Phra Tawai Natra, he is in the Open-Eye posture, a pensive image that represents the Buddha after attaining a state of nirvana, contemplating the suffering of all living things as he dedicates himself to sharing his knowledge and helping others to attain the same freedom of mind.
A person born on a Sunday is respectable, wise, and loved by friends and family. He is likely to be in a professional occupation, a manager, doctor, or even craftsman. His lucky day is Wednesday and lucky color is green, though Tuesday and pink ain’t bad either. Sunday’s child’s unlucky day is Friday and his unlucky color is blue.
Monday’s Buddha is known as Phra Ham Yath, or Making Peace or Preventing Calamities which, not surprisingly is a position also known as Pacifying The Relatives. Yup, in-laws were a bitch even for the Buddha. This position depicts the Buddha when he returned from heaven after three months and found his relatives arguing about the rights to water flowing through their land. A standing position, the Buddha’s fingers are extended in the abhaya mudra position.
A person born on a Monday has a good memory, is serious, and loves to travel. Skilled occupations are best for Monday’s children. Their lucky day is Saturday and lucky color is black, with Wednesday and green coming in a close second. If you were born on Monday, watch out for Sundays and the color orange.
The Buddha position for Tuesday is the Reclining Buddha (Phra Sai Yas) the most famous being that found at Wat Pho in Bangkok. The story that goes along with this position is that the Buddha, while staying at Savatthi, ran up against an arrogant evil dude named Asura Rahu who was so gigantic he didn’t feel the need to pay proper respect to Buddha. So the Buddha made himself even bigger and settled into the reclining position as a bitch slap to lower Rahu’s pride.
Those born on Tuesday are brave, active, and serious but are broad minded. They are often cops, soldiers, or . . . hairdressers. Huh. Their lucky day is Thursday and their lucky color is yellow. Saturdays and black work well too, but Mondays and white are both considered unlucky for those born on Tuesday.
According to an old poem about birth days in the western world, Wednesday’s child is full of woe. Maybe that’s why in Buddhism they spit the day in two. There is a Buddha image for those born in the morning on Wednesday, and a sperate one for those born in the evening.
The morning position is Phra Um Bhat, which is often referred to a the Receiving position. The Buddha is standing and holding an alms bowl. Coming from a wealthy family, when the Buddha returned home for a visit after spending four years in a monastery, his papa was not pleased to see him begging for food. (Pops would have been a fan of Mitt Romney.) The Buddha explained that it wasn’t about the begging but rather making himself available to the faithful to allow them to make merit. (Which updated means that 47% of Americans are looking after the spiritual well-being of 53% of their countrymen.)
Those born on Wednesday morning are fun-loving, gregarious, artistic, emotional, and often do creative work. Wednesday nights and light green are lucky for them, and yellow and Thursdays are not bad either. You may be thinking ‘gay’ with the artistic nature of those born on Wednesday mornings, but pink is an unlucky color for them. And Tuesday are not their best day of the week.
The Buddha for those born on Wednesday night is usually the last in the row when the eight Buddhas are lined up. He is in the Resting With Monkey and Elephant posture, and is known as Phra Par Lelai (The Blessed One). The position represents the Buddha’s respect for all living things.
People born on Wednesday evenings are hard working, diligent, and honest. Oh what a difference a few hours makes, huh? They are often employed as doctors, scientists, and archaeologists. Their lucky day is Monday and white is their lucky color, followed closely by Sundays and orange. Thursdays are not a good day for them, nor is the color yellow.
Thursday’s Buddha is Phra Samathi and he is in the meditation or yoga position. This full lotus position in yoga is believed to be the ultimate balance of tranquility and thoughts and is receptive to power or energy to enter the body from the top of the head and the opening palms. Thursday’s Buddha’s hand gesture is known as the dhyani mudra. It is the position the Buddha took when achieved enlightenment.
Those born on Thursdays have a good heart, are graceful, often at peace, and are generally honest. Judges, lawyers, teachers, and clergymen are often born on Thursdays. Sunday is their lucky day; orange is their lucky color. Blues and Fridays are also lucky, but black is not good for them nor are Saturdays.
For those born on Friday the Buddha is in the Contemplation position and is known as Phra Ram Pueng. This position represents the Buddha’s realization that no one is perfect. He worried that ordinary people would not be able to understand dharma and bring it into practice, but then came to understand that like the nature of the lotus, all living creatures posses different habits at different times and can blossom into beauty.
People born on Friday are fun loving, friendly, and ambitious, and are often an entertainer or public figure. Their lucky day is Tuesday and the lucky color is pink. Mondays and the color white are also considered to be lucky for Friday’s child. Their unlucky time is Wednesday night and the unlucky color is light green.
The Buddha for those born on Saturday is Phra Naga Prok. He is in the Protection position, which depicts the Buddha sitting in meditation, protected by the King of Naga’s hood from a rainstorm, with his coiled body lifting the Buddha above the flood waters.
Saturday’s child is calm, logical and sometimes a bit of a recluse. He is very likely engaged in manual work of a skilled nature. The lucky day for those born on Saturday is Friday and their lucky color is blue. Wednesdays nights are also lucky for them as is the corresponding color of light green. Darker greens, and Wednesday mornings are unlucky for those born on Saturdays.
Any mor doo (fortune teller) you consult in Thailand worth his salt will need to know which day you were born on as it will from the basis for his calculations for your fortune. If you do not know, this handy little app will tell you.
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