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Tales the Phra Malai Thai Manuscripts tell!

September 17, 2017 2 min read

It will be years before I will be able to understand all the stories contained in the few Phra Malai manuscripts that I’ve seen!

Some are stories from the life of Gautam Buddha. Others leave me guessing!

Here are some paintings from  Thai manuscripts in the wovensouls collection that have me glued to the screen this Sunday morning, hungry for more exploration:

Click to view slideshow.

The subject of these illuminated manuscripts is stories from the life of Buddha and Phra Malai a venerated monk.

The script explains it all … but I am illiterate in that script…..

[“Not knowing all the languages in the world is a terrible thing!”  This thought strikes me at least once a week – for all the places I live in are multiverses of cultures – each accessible only through language! The list of things that remain to be done is increasing faster than the list of things already done!!  What to Do!! (a common expression from Bombay that reflects a huge sigh of wistfulness)]

And so I rely on pictures to gather what I can and supplement it with notes of scholars.

These manuscripts that are used as moral guides and chanting handbooks narrate the experiences of Phra Malai who had earned extraordinary powers. Post his views of heaven and hell he narrates these to the men on earth and advises a life of merit!!

Photos of 1127 & 1045 may be seen on wovensouls.com under the Antique Folk Art tab.


Sept 2017





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