Bai Sema

With Bai Sema ( Thai: ใบเสมา ) the " landmarks " to mark the sacred area are referred to in a Thai Wat.

The Buddha laid down in the Vinayapitaka that the area of Buddhasima (the area where monks their Sanghakamma, so sacred ceremonies, perform ) must be at least so large that it can find 21 monks Square, at a distance of a forearm - length sit from each other. The area must not be greater than three Yojana ( Yojana is an ancient Indian measure of length 1 Yojana = about 16 miles) - probably making it the scope meant. In other words, it should not be too small and not too big.

The Buddha has also determined that a Buddhasima can also be labeled with the following Nimitta (boundary markers ): hills, rocks, wood, trees, anthills, roads, rivers and water bodies such as lakes or ponds. The type of Nimitta However, the most commonly appearing in Thailand, is stone. The oldest stone Bai Sema from the Dvaravati period ( approximately the 6th to 9th century AD) were in Northeast Thailand ( Isaan see ) found.

First holes must be dug for a new ubosot. And at the eight cardinal points and a ninth point on the space provided for the main Buddha statue. In these holes, the so-called Lug Nimit during a religious ceremony sunk ( which is about the size and shape of a cannonball have ). The Bai Sema are then built over the Lug Nimit. The Thai name Bai Sema means " Sema sheets " because the shape of the flat Sema landmarks are often reminiscent of the shape of leaves of the Bodhi tree ( Fig. 1), under which the Buddha experienced enlightenment.

The individual parts of the shape of the Bai Sema, which resembles a leaf - not only because the stones are flat - are named in Thailand after body parts. There is the "neck", the "shoulders ", the " chest ", the " hips " and the " belly". During the Ayutthaya period, there were even stones with "eyes" ( Fig. 4). Some Bai Sema the Ayutthaya period through to the Rattanakosin period also have a " crown prince " ( " phra Kieo ").

Bai Sema from the Dvaravati period ( approximately the 6th to 9th century AD), consisting mainly of "shoulders", boundary stones of the U Thong period are elegantly decorated with ornaments in the " neck " and on the " belly". Early Ayutthaya boundary stones have a simple " breast " and are also configured otherwise quite barren. Bai Sema from the Middle Ayutthaya period are in the " hip ", " laced " and enter a " breast - plate ". In the Late Ayutthaya period "eyes" were developed (Fig. 4), ultimately they were even " crowned " (Fig. 2 ), which continued through to the Rattanakosin period. Under King Mongkut (Rama IV ) of Thammayut Order was founded; Thammayut the monks developed from the flat sheet form a three-dimensional ( four -page ), rather cube-shaped stone ( Fig. 3).


Four-sided Bai Sema, Wat Mahanaparam, Bangkok

Bai Sema with "eyes", Wat Phra Kaeo, Bangkok