The tradition of the seven-day week is observed all over the world. In some places it shows up in mundane ways like numbering of squares in calendars and appointment books. In other places exquisite physical settings are created in sacred spaces for the days of the week
In Southeast Asia many temples feature a set of altars dedicated to the seven days of the week. Each altar displays a stature of Lord Buddha representing a deeply significant moment in his life. Some of the Buddhas are standing; others are seated and one reclines. Each Buddha holds its hands in certain manner called a Mudra which allows the recognition and distribution of a particular type of energy.
It is a common practice for visitors to seek out the Buddha representing their own “day of the week” birth. They feel that their lives are enhanced by the blessing of this particular Buddha granted through offerings, rituals and prayers. The “great moments” of Buddha reveal some important lessons.
Day of the Week Buddhas
Sunday – PANG THAWAI NET. Seven Days of Looking. After his enlightenment under the Buddhi tree, the Buddha stood in gratitude to the power which made this huge leap in awareness possible. He stood for a whole week without blinking an eye.
Monday – PANG HAM YATI. Pacifying the Relatives. The Buddha stands with his right hand extended and palm raised upwards. With this Mudra he offered peace to the members of his aggravated family. The Buddha’s advice was to compromise.
Tuesday – PAN SAI YAT Realizing Nirvana. The Buddha is reclining when he is approached by an ]Asura. By increasing his actual size the Buddha confronts the smallness of this evil being and takes on the role of a universal teacher.
Wednesday AM – PANG UMBAT Pang Umbat. The Buddhas stands holding an alms bowl. His father was appalled at the Buddha’s behavior as a lowly monk. The Buddha explained that his begging gave others the opportunity to be charitable.
Wednesday PM PANG UMBAT Pang Umbat. This one day of the week is divided into two twelve hour parts. It’s clear that the same lesson of charity is continued throughout the day. The benefits of being generous profits all creation.
Thursday PANG SAMTI The Meditating Buddha. The Buddha is shown seated in the full lotus asana or position. He vowed to remain in that strenuous posture until he achieved enlightenment even if it mean actually dying on that spot.
Friday PANG RAM PUENG Contemplating Buddha. The Buddha stands with his arms crossed across his chest. Realizing the darma or difficulties that all people must face, the Buddha offers continual hope and encouragement.
Saturday PANG NAK PROK Protected by the Naga King. The meditating Buddha was protected from a heavy rainfall by a huge serpent . The Buddha was so engrossed in his spiritual practice that he didn’t even realize that a miracle had taken place.
|These Day of the Week Budhhas are displayed publicly in temples throughout Southeast Asia.