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Cak lith Decors? Soho.
who preserved the life of Buddha.
mental spire surmounting his head, which the other has not. Fig. 3 is from the temple of Rama, and is of course the Brahminical Buddha. In this figure it must be observed that the hair, instead of being short and curly, is long. His eyes, instead of being bent down in a contemplative manner, are open ; and his ornaments are also Brahminical. Fig. 3, plate 29, is, in General Stewart's description, called the Buddha of Bengal. I believe it to be (but am open to correction) the same form of Buddha that is seen in Thibet.
Other objects of worship among the Buddhas are sculptures and carvings richly gilt, like his images, of the divine foot of Buddha. He is stated to have placed one in Ceylon, the impression of which (if we may believe all we are told on the subject) is still to be seen on Adam's Peak in that island, and the other in Siam. The stride for a becomingly sized man, like the impression of his foot on Adam's Peak, may be deemed somewhat apocryphal ; but as I make it one rule not to believe all I hear, so I have established another, not to call in question all that I do not see; and as the reader can decide as independently on the facts of the case as myself, I will leave them to her or his judgment. These feet represent various hieroglyphics, illustrative of the actions Gautama, &c. (see fig. 4, plate 30;) who seems, besides the one just noticed, to have made many extraordinary strides, although none that I am aware of so wonderful as that. Among the mountains of Arracan, near the celebrated Shoechatoh Pagoda, are two other impressions formed
same manner, one at the base, the other on the summit of a hill, ascended by a flight of nine hundred and seventy steps. This pagoda, in consequence of these impressions, is of singular celebrity, and is visited by devotees from all parts of the Burman empire.
In addition to these objects, there are numerous figures of saints and devotees placed in the company of Gautama in his temples; among which are those of his favourites, Mokila and Saribout. The last-mentioned personage is noticed by Tavernier, in his account of Tonquin China, under the name of Chacabou't, as having introduced the doctrine of Buddha into that kingdom. Another of the principal figures seen in the temples is a princess on her knees, with her attendants, offering up her long hair, in grateful recollection of having by it saved the life of Gautama. The story is somewhere told at length ; but all I recollect of it is, that being once closely pursued by his enemies, the god threw himself into a river; when, being borne down by the stream, he was near perishing, till the royal maid projected herself over the water, and cast 'loose her hair. Gautama seized hold of it, and thus supported himself till his deliverer drew him on shore. Fig. 6, plate 29, from a metal cast, gilt, from a temple in Ava, is a representation of this fair preserver of the life of Gautama.
These images of Buddha, like those of the Brahmans, are made of various materials : black and white marble, crystal, the precious and other metals, wood, clay, and compositions of cloth and lacker. Those of the last description are very large, but light and portable. Some of those of marble are colossal, and the sculpture of one is, on occasions, among the Burmans, a concern of royal superintendence. In Siam, besides the articles which I have enumerated, images are formed of others of both rich and rare qualities. The Siamese burn their dead. If the deceased have been persons of rank, their ornaments, worn during life, are consumed with them. After combustion the molten metals (and it is said gems) are collected and then formed into images and placed in the temples. In a temple at Saccai, in Japan, there is reported to be one of this description, from Siam, of inestimable value. The deceased, whose splendid ornaments formed the concrement, was a Siamese princess. Images of Buddha are also made by these people, after combustion, from the collected fragments of the bones and ashes of the body. These are carefully scraped together, and kneaded into a paste with water. The idol is then formed, and having been lackered and gilt, is placed in the temple, and worshipped among, probably, his or her former associates in life.
This brief method of turning a deceased mortal into a gilded transcript of a deity, is, however, somewhat expensive, so that the rich only can indulge in the vain and ambitious gratification.
A singular custom also prevails among the Siamese, of, previous to combustion, cutting the flesh from the bones of a dead body, dividing it into small pieces, and then feeding with it the vultures, dogs, &c. which, on