Photo of the week 2014 – Week 11
Her hand stretches out. Methodically, meditatively, she drops a small golden coin into the pot. Its tinkle reverberates around the room. She repeats this process again. And again. And again. All while muttering a prayer under her breath, her mantra, she concentrates on the small task to hand.
She exits the cool temple to warmth and sunshine. A smile is emblazed upon her face. She is calm, at peace with herself among the pots and prayers. Content, she walks off ready to face the day. Wat Pho is one of the most popular temples in all of Bangkok for a number of reasons, the obvious being it houses the largest reclining Buddha in the country. Almost too big for the four walls surrounding it, it is 46 metres in length and 15 metres high, a golden vision for all who lay eyes upon it.
Wat Pho acts as a pilgrimage for devout Buddhists in the country’s capital, and all along the back wall are a number of prayer pots – 108 to be exact.
108 is a significant number referring to the 108 positive actions and symbols that helped lead Buddha to perfection. It is thought that if you drop 108 pennies, one into each pot, your wishes will be granted. Also, it will bring you good luck and a long life.
As such, people buy cups of small golden coins and drop one into each pot as they walk along the length of the room, meditating, praying and wishing.
Feasting upon the reclining Buddha is a sight all should see while in Bangkok. And walking around Wat Pho is a pleasure in itself, but seeing these Thai’s walk along the pots praying is almost as satisfying as doing it yourself; perhaps more so. It may not be Nirvana, but it’s not far from it…