The Ubosoth of the Emerald Buddha
The ubosoth(chapel) of the Emerald Buddha faces the east as all Buddhist edifices must face either the east or a body of water. The ubosoth of the Emerald Buddha is surrounded by eight bai sema housed in ornate shelters, typical of other ubosoths in Thailand. The ubosoth is also surrounded by twelve salas or open shelters, built during the reign of King Rama I in the 18th century. Scholars sat in the salas and recited the Jatakas(stories of previous lives of the Buddha) on important days in the Buddhist calendar. The tales were recited in relay from pavilion to pavilion.
Interesting Objects around the Ubosoth of the Emerald Buddha
Bronze Lions
There are altogether twelve bronze lion door-guardians, six on each side of the ubosoth. It had been believed that the pair guarding the main central door of the ubosoth on the east, which can be entered only by the Chief of State, was brought from Cambodia by command of King Rama I and the rest were copied in that reign. However, Professor Boisselier, the renowned French expert on Khmer Art, examined the central pair of lion guardians and concluded that the design on their chest is Thai in style rather than Khmer. They probably were cast by Thai artisans copying Khmer lions. On both sides of the main staircase in front of the Royal Pantheon on the east sit two stone lion guardians. Though, they have been very much restored, one can perceive that they belong to the Khmer Bayon style. Therefore, it might be that this pair of stone lions was brought from Cambodia during the reign of King Rama I and the bronze ones were cast in that reign to copy them.
Statue of Seated Hermit
A bronze figure of a seated hermit, who was supposed to be a great physician, is situated behind the ubosoth of the Emerald Buddha. A grinding stone and a mortar were placed before the figure so that people could come to worship and grind their medicine symbolically for greater efficiency. Again, the traditional offerings of incense sticks, candles and lotus buds were offered to the statue of the holy hermit.
Interesting Objects Within the Ubosoth of the Emerald Buddha
Interior of the Ubosoth of the Emerald Buddha
Inside the ubosoth, The Emerald Buddha is seated in a glass case, high above the gilded throne. On the wall behind the throne, is a mural of the Traiphum(Three Worlds of Desire, Form and Non-Form) painted during the reign of King Rama I. The Phra Phutta Yodfa Chulakok and the Phra Phutta Loetla Napalai Buddha images are situated to the right and left of the throne of the Emerald Buddha respectively. All the Buddha images are sheltered under tiered umbrellas symbolizing royalty.
The Throne of the Emerald Buddha
The gilded wooden throne on which the Emerald Buddha sits is made in the reign of King Rama I. HRH Prince Naris, one of the most famous architects and artists of the Bangkok Period, admired it greatly. He wrote that it was the best of its kind he had ever seen in Bangkok. Originally, the golden throne rested on what  is now its lowest base, but King Rama III added the intermediary one.
Crowned Standing Buddhas
This crowned standing Buddha image is one of two standing on either side of the Emerald Buddha's throne.  About 3m high, they are covered with gold and precious gems. The one on the right side of the Emerald Buddha is called "Phra Phuttha Yodfa Chulalok" and the one on the left is called "Phra Phuttha Loetla Napalai". They are dedicated to King Rama I and King Rama II respectively. Both the Buddhas are in the attitude of calming the ocean and their faces are said resemble the appearances of King Rama I and King Rama II. These two Buddha images were worshipped at a ceremony in which officials took the oath of allegiance to the king, beginning during the reign of King Rama IV. The ceremony was discontinued after the revolution in 1932 leading to the establishment of the constitutional monarchy.
Ten Crowned Buddhas
Ten crowned Buddha images casted in bronze in the attitude of calming the ocean are enshrined in pairs on the base of the Emerald Buddha's throne. They are covered with gold and were created by successive kings of the present Chakri Dynasty. All of them are dedicated to important members of the royal family, both male and female, from the First to the Third Reigns.
Phra Sam Phutta Panni
This bronze Buddha image called Phra Sam Puttha Panni is created by King Rama IV in 1830 while he was still in the monkshood. It does not have a cranial protuberance, wears a pleated robe and is seated in the attitude of meditation. The smaller Buddha image in front of Phra Sam Puttha Panni in the picture is the Victory Buddha. The Victory Buddha holds a monastic fan in his left hand and his right hand touches the ground. Both Buddha images sit in front of the throne supporting the Emerald Buddha.
Mural of the Scene of Enlightenment
This mural on the wall facing the Emerald Buddha in the ubosoth shows the scene of the Buddha's enlightenment. In the scene, Mara(the Devil) came to distract the Buddha from his meditation. The Buddha then called upon Mae Toranee, the Earth Goddess in Thai mythology, to witness his resolution to attain enlightenment. Mae Toranee then appeared and wrung from her hair the water accumulated from the deeds of merit that the Buddha had performed in his previous lives and this drowned the whole of Mara's army. The painting in the picture shows Mae Toranee.
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