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The Buddha in LannaArt, Lineage, Power, and Place in Northern Thailand$
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Angela S. Chiu

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824858742

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824858742.001.0001

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Buddha Images and Place

Buddha Images and Place

Materializing the Buddha’s Agency in the Landscape

(p.69) Chapter Four Buddha Images and Place
The Buddha in Lanna

Angela S. Chiu

University of Hawai'i Press

Certain Lanna chronicles recount that the Buddha visited southeast Asia during his lifetime. He left strands of his hair and imprints of his feet for his devotees and made predictions about the future greatness of Lanna cities. These accounts depict Lanna places not as sites of Buddhist conquest or reform but as special places that through the ages have been sources of attraction and inspiration to multiple Buddhas. Lanna’s towns, lakes and hills play a distinctive role in Buddhist history as the channels that enable the ongoing agency of Buddhas. Buddha statues were created in these places to mark these channels that are crucial to the prosperity of the world. The relationship of Buddha to place echoes that depicted in classical Buddhist texts and is also found in the story of the Burmese Mahāmuni image. A Lanna story from Lampang also distinctively casts light on gender relations in Buddhism.

Keywords:   Phra Non Khon Muang, Chiang Mai Chronicle, Phra Chao Ton Luang, Emerald Buddha, buddhadesa, Donald Swearer, Mahamuni, Wat Phra Kaeo Don Tao, gender

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