Dhamma Puzzles from the Buddha Image Construction in Lanna: An Image of the Buddha or Dhammakāya?


  • Woramat Malasart the University of Otago


Buddha image, Dharamāna, Dhammakāya, Lanna


Today, a number of Buddha images have been constructed with multiple purposes depending on the area and the wishes of donors. The processes and methods in the modern day are convenient, easy and fast. Some of the images are sold in markets without the element of religious
meaning. According to an analysis of manuscripts and interviews, Buddha image construction in Lanna consists of elaborated rituals and detail and each procedure contains doctrinal meaning and profound Dhamma puzzles.
The finding of this study reveals that the ancient ritual called “the installation of the Dhammakāya of the Buddha” has played a significant role in Lanna Buddha image construction, but has been neglected and is unknown by some modern practitioners. This reflects the idea that a Buddha image is not perceived as “a reminder of the passing one,” but rather “the Buddha himself” who exists in the world by means of the “dhammakāya.” The research for this article aimed to study the construction and installation of the Dhammakāya in order to identify the purposes and perspectives of experts and intellectuals
in the past associated with this issue. The study also found Buddhist religious doctrines underlined the performance.


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How to Cite

Malasart, W. (2022). Dhamma Puzzles from the Buddha Image Construction in Lanna: An Image of the Buddha or Dhammakāya?. Journal of Thai Studies, 18(2), 57–80. Retrieved from https://so04.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/TSDJ/article/view/258282



Research article