Photo Gallery & Impressions 13d


Wat Doi Saket Murals.  A very distinctive feature of this wat are the 19 large individual paintings placed high on the interior walls. We don't have much specific information to share as the booklet we bought here had only a few sentences in English & the kindly lady attendant spoke only Thai.  We would guess the size of the larger paintings to be about 8' x 11'.  Done by a local monk in relatively recent times, the style is Dali-esque in their impressive surrealism. The images portray the struggles for enlightenment. Maybe in the future we can get more of our booklet translated or discover more information about these paintings. For now, they are presented in order as they appear in a clockwise direction from the alter of Buddha images (a photo that didn't turn out). The only captions will be those in English found in the booklet available in the temple.


Balance Beyond Concentration. The scales here represent the concentrated mind. Free from defilements, the scales balance the stone of hate and the fiber of love, all the while poise in equilibrium on a sharp point perched on  the fragile leaf of a lotus.

The Wise Mind Perceives Truth. One who leads a moral life with a wise heart and concentrated mind naturally perceives the truth. The inner eye of awareness sees existence as endless, but in essence empty. Such a person wearies of illusion and ceases to desire attachment, understanding what should and should not be through simple wisdom rather than moral force.

Scriptures Hide the Dhama. Words and printed matter cannot describe the truth. Few people attain the real truth represented by the monks seated in the "heaven" above the scripture cabinet. This truth can only be perceived through right practice. The figures climbing the steps represent those who achieve rank through ultimately worthless learning.

Image Hide the Buddha. People worship the image of the Buddha from different epochs, but the real Buddha is represented as something almost invisible, something almost completely hidden by the external form of the image. It can only be found in the heart of people who practice until they see only the reality (Dhamma) of life: it is like a shining purity that purges all suffering.

Robes Hide Monks. The yellow robes and the eight accoutrements of a monk can hide people who practice in ways that do not follow the true path, that follow animism and witchcraft. They may appear to be sincerely seeking the truth only to deceive others in order to receive tribute. Real monks are bright, quiet and pure, having escaped suffering.

Truth Beyond Desire and Ambition. A vast sea full of animals representing good and bad thoughts in our minds is constantly churned by the rage of emotions in our hearts. People ignorant of the real nature of their emotions act according to inclination, but those who know truth perceive that thoughts are illusionary and merely arise according to habit. Such people are free from desire and understand that path to enlightenment lies within.

Their Own Worst Enemy. Writhing animals bite themselves because of their own ignorance. They cling to a false sense of self survival buried deep in their hearts. This falsehood influences them to do things to seek happiness that bring only pain and suffering due to the power of lust, anger, and ignorant delusions. Thus they are seen as biting Themselves to death.

Worldly Bondage. Spouses, children, possessions and status bind people to worldly life. The destiny of worldly existence is to reach the funeral pyre without finding the essential meaning of life.

Defeating Mars (illusion). When the Buddha was meditating deep in the forest, the core of his being was quivering with the residual powers of fear and love that bound him to his family and his past. Through endurance and restraint he overcame these final bonds of attachment - a scene of the earth with the demons of desire, anger and ignorance.

Breaking Worldly Bonds. One who seeks true deliverance sees happiness as without value, as merely causing infatuation which ensnares one in the endless cycle of birth and death. Happiness is temporary, but the law of cause and effect never cease. The seeker of truth therefore breaks the fetters, setting his course on the one true path to freedom.

Loving kindness Supports the World. Pure love is free. It distinguishes neither race nor language. When this kind of love fills a person's heart, he or she can smile at anyone as a kindred friend.

Enlightening the Heart. Wisdom comes from vigilance over mind and body, from studying the five concepts which are form, sensation, perception, predisposition and consciousness - and from watching their constant arising and falling, releasing that nothing can be truly identified as self. The bright light of wisdom burns out the defilement of one who practices. When there is no self for defilement to attach to, impurities can not remain.

Prior Action Determine Nature. Our mothers and fathers beget our physical forms, what determines our true nature, whether our perceptions and lives are base or wise, depends on our minds, our habits and the accumulations from previous actions, our hearts and minds are likened to flowering species the evolve according to their nature. The full face represents someone who is steady, hones and truthful and has wisdom in the heart - a result depicted as a large tree that shelters and protects others. But delusion buried deeply in themselves are represented as differing growths above faces half hidden with prejudices of one kind or another.

Wisdom Beyond Passion. One who has concentrated  wisdom can stay in the world untouched by the fires of worldly passion. Such a person does not falter in the face of the temptation and disturbance of lust, anger, and delusion, but looks at everything with a truthful eye. Thus everything that passes serves to strengthen wisdom even further.

Merit Brings Its Own Reward.   People who donate to temples with wisdom in their hearts will receive the knowledge, jewels, protection and keys of the Dhamma.

Hooked On False Views. Mortals are represented as different fish. The bait represents what we perceive as the cycle of birth and death. When the fish takes the bait, it is hooked up by the fisherman and put into the three worlds (baskets) of existence, representing desire, form, and spirit. However the three baskets continuously leak and fade back into the sea again, and so around continuously.

The Temple Shines with Truth. The name of this picture was given at the request of the sponsor. The artist had named the picture "Free from Theory." The figure in the picture, who is neither man nor woman, sits steady and unwearing above a temple roof with the light of truth shining overhead. Such a person is neither male nor female, is beyond all definitions, and is apart from those who throw themselves into the cycle of existence at the sides.


Detail #1

Detail "Worldly Bondage"

Detail "Defeating Mars"

Detail "Wisdom Beyond Passion"

Detail "Hooked On False Views"

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