Friday, 24 February 2017

Wat Bo: North wall, upper register

Wat Bo :  North wall, upper register
This register must be read from left to right.

Fig. 1. N – We have seen that Mount Krailat had been tilt by the rage of Rammasun and Orachun (see Fig.16. W.). On the mural, Ravana is painted in a red cave lifting the palace and the mountain back to its original position (Fig. lower left). At the center, Valin is shown kneeling in front of Shiva asking for his reward in previous attempted to straighten the mountain together with is brother Sugriva. (see 17W.), Ravana was first to claim reword to his request to be given  Uma, Shiva’s consort. Quickly Ravana flew away carrying Uma on his head (top right)

Fig.2.N -  Ravana taking Uma was considered a great affront to Shiva. Vishnu was asked to go and remedy the situation. He incarnated as a common gardener and when Ravana was flying over it, Vishnu showed himself planting trees upside-down, roots in the air and foliage into the earth. Ravana commented that finding Vishnu reduced a gardener was very silly. Vishnu replied, that his foolishness was nothing when compared to his stupidity of having taken Uma who will burn his manhood and prevent him from having more sons. Ravana understood and returned Uma to Shiva taking instead Mandodari.

Fig.3.N. - This panoramic reproduce what seen in Fig.2.  At the center, as Ravana was flying to Lanka with his beautiful new consort, he passed over the palace of Valin (not shown in the picture.). Valin was very offended. Captivated by the beauty of the girl jumped into the sky, quickly reaching Ravana. After a fight, he thrashed Ravana with his weapon, weakening him and forcing him to release Mandodari, whom he stole away (Fig. 04 N, top right corner). 

Fig.4.N - Following this, the mural depicts Ravana in his palace at Lanka, desolate for the loss of Mondadori and wanting to have her back. His brothers, Vibhisana and Kumbhakarna, were summoned and suggested hem to go to see his teacher, Khobut. He advised him to seek the help of Angkhot, the former teacher of Valin, sure that Angkhot could convince him to act righteously. Ravana went to Angkhot, who took pity on him and, while Ravana waited, Angkhot flew to Kiskindha to obtain Mandodari from Valin.

Fig.5.N - However, there was a complication: Mandodari was six months pregnant with a son from Valin, and Valin was afraid if Mandodari brought the child to Lanka, Ravana would kill him. Therefore, Angkhot magically transferred the fetus into a goat, restored her virginity, and brought her to Ravana (Fig. 06 N, top right), who transported her to Lanka where he is shown happily embracing her in his palace (Fig. 07 N).

Fig.6.N –The son of Mandodari and Valin was born at Valin’s court. He received the name of Angada. When he grew to be a boy, Valin organized a great ceremony for him. The small cortege left Valin’s royal palace, accompanied by a few monkeys, under a royal parasol. The young monkey was carried by his father to an ascetic sitting under a canopy ornate with several five-tiered parasols.

Fig.7 - At the bottom right corner of the ceremonial pavilion a large crab is visible, the animal shape taken by Ravana with the intent to kill Angada; however, Ravana was captured by Valin and brought in chains in front of the palace and beaten by monkey soldiers (Fig. 7 right, in blue background).

Fig.8.N.- Ravana, defeated by many events, went to visit his teacher Khobut with the intention to become immortal. He is first seen kneeling on the ground in front of the hermit who is sitting on the mountain (Fig. 8.N, top left, then kneeling), then kneeling in front ok Kobut in his mall hermitage.
In the Ramakien, it is narrated that at the close of the ceremony, Ravana’s heart floated into a container kept by the hermit, because if the heart was kept near Ravana, it will go back into his body.
Soon after, Ravana can be seen flying off through the air and getting involved in a fight to steal the magic chariot Busabok from his brother Kubera

NOTE - This very damaged panel, almost unreadable may illustrate that when Shiva was awakened from his meditation by Ravana, enraged he scolded him and, taking a tusk from his elephant, hurled it into the breast of Ravana proclaiming that the tusk would stay in his body until the day he dies. 

 Fig.9.N. - Ravana, hurt by Shiva, is seen in his magic chariot returning to Lanka in great pain attempting to extract the tusk from his chest. 

Fig.10.N. - He asked the heavenly master of the arts, Visvakarman, to try to extract the tusk, seen flying down from the upper left holding a regular wood saw, but nothing could be done, except cutting the protruding ends and hiding the wound under his clothes.
The last panel of the upper register displays the beginning of the story that continues in the middle register below. Ravana flew to the paradise of Indra, Tavatimsa, spying on Indra’s wives, planning to seduce them..

*Here ends the upper register of the north wall.

5.North wall, middle register
This register must be read from right to left.

Fig.11.N. - After a week of enjoying himself in Indra’s heaven, Ravana took off for the world of the animals. He first plunged into the ocean to make love with a large female fish before emerging on the shore satisfied, the result of which will be the mermaid, Suphanamatcha (Fig. 19 N).

Fig.12,N. -  Ravana in the world of the elephants, flirting the elephant

Fig.13.N. - The two sons born with elephantine faces are visible in the royal pavilion together with Ravana and Mandodari.

Fig.14 .N.- The young Indrajit ,after learning From Khobut to learn the virtues and sciences , part of which involved performing a ritual sitting in meditation under a tree practicing asceticism for seven years in order to obtain magic weapons from the gods

Fig.15.N. - Three gods are painted in the next panel, Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu, visiting Indrajit to bless his weapons.

Fig.16.N.- Then, in Lanka, Indrajit, now that he had magic weapons, bid farewell to his father before going to raise an army and attack Indra. Indrajit, mounted on his elephant marched forth escorted by an army of yaks. Indrajit is shown twice (on dark-blue and light blue background)) holding his bow armed with the magic arrows he received from the gods, one that could transform in nagas and another that could repel the flaming magic discus of Indra The old Indra was terrified, the angels dispersed and Indra escaped on his chariot pulled by white horses.
Indrajit had won and defeated the god Indra, meriting the name or Indrajit, the conqueror of Indra. 

Fig.16b. Indrajit (left) charging Indra on his chariot, Defeating him completely and gaining the name Indrajit (Conqueror of Indra)

 Fig.17.N - The last scenes of the middle register of the north wall show another legend, that of the young Nang Mali[1] (Fig. 31 N), who went to collect flowers in the beautiful garden of Shiva, and the demon, Nonthakan, who fell in love with her, tried to draw her attention throwing flowers at her; frightened, Nang Mali ran to Shiva (Fig. 32 N, center). The god cursed Nonthakan to be expelled and to be reborn as a buffalo, Thorapha, who is destined to be killed by his son Thoraphi (Dubhi), pictured as a young bull in a pavilion to the upper left of the panel.

Fig.18.N. – panoramic view of the central part of the middle register

The end the middle register of the north wall.

[1] Neang Mala in the Ramakien.

6-North wall, lower register
This register must to be read from left to right

Fig.19.N. - the narrative sequence of Ramakien or any other published telling. The inscription narrates that the king of the naga brought his young daughter to king Akineak as an offering.. Next, again not in the written narratives, Akineak is presented to Maiyarap.

Fig.20.N. - Maiyarap is shown in the process of grabbing a tiny crystal globe with the fingers of his left hand (white) and flying away probably carrying the crystal globe to be saved on Mount Trikut.

Fig.21.N. - The king of Kaiyaket had decided to send his daughter Kaikey on a modest chariot (Fig. 36 N), accompanied by two courtesans and escorted by soldiers with spears, to Atchaban for marriage with his son, Dasaratha. On the mural, the presentation of the princess is very simple and reserved. 

 Fig.22. N. - After his retirement, Atchaban went for a stroll in the forest where he met a hunter carrying a wounded dear suspended by his legs on a stick. The mural shows Atchaban coming forward with a servant holding a parasol, to negotiate with the hunter (shown to the right) who is holding the deer. At the center there is a Chinese man carefully supervising the weighting of the animal in order to claim the same amount of flesh from the king. The lower part of the scene has been lost.

Fig.23.N. - The panel that follows displays Indra’s messenger, Matuli, first bringing a chariot in offering from Indra

Fig,25.N. - The panoramic picture shows several scenes related to the story when King Romaphat, after making a sacrificial ceremony in a small pavilion of his palace (left on blue background), decided to send is daughter Arunwadi to visit the Great Hermit (central part of figure), Kalaikot, a powerful hermit with the body of a man but the head of a deer who was causing great heat and drought in the surrounding areas. She left on a chariot escorted by Western dressed soldiers, led by a forest hunter, and accompanied by courtesans (top left).
 Then, on the next panel (in a hermitage on blue background, she met Kalaikot, who abandoned his asceticism and fell in love with her, ending the drought He decided to join the girl.  Arunwadi returns to her father on a chariot (degraded by time) with one blue parasol, tenderly embracing the great ascetic, escorted by Western dressed soldiers (Fig. 43 N, lower right part).42

Fig.26.N. – In Ayutthaya, where Dasaratha, desirous of having sons,[1] went to meet four ascetics (Fig. 45 N); then Dasaratha, together with the four ascetics went flying through the air,escorted on land by soldiers in Western hats. He, went to see King Romaphat who reluctantly introduced him to Kalaikot in order to help him become a father. Dasaratha and the four ascetics are sent to see Kalaikot. The ascetics thought that the matter had to be discussed with Shiva, so the five ascetics, headed by Kalaikot flew up to heaven (top part of panel).

[1] In Ramakien, King Thotsarot has three wives, but was childless.

Fig.27.N. - Vishnu had to descend to earth as the son of Dasaratha, Rama, in order to terminate all the problems caused by Ravana and the other demons. Vishnu is depicted on the shoulders of Krut (Garuda) on a blue background (top left). In order to invite Vishnu to incarnate, a formal ceremony was performed on a square stepped-pavilion flanked by five-tiered parasols; on the highest step was Kalaikot, at the center of the four ascetics. After three days, a tray emerged from a sacrificial fire with four lumps of cooked rice of extraordinary flavor and aroma; on the panel, the rice-tray is shown to the left of Dasaratha and his queens, both seated on the second step of the pavilion (Fig. 48 N, center).
The fragrance of the rice reached the kingdom of Lanka where Mandodari beseeched Ravana to get some of the rice for her. Ravana sent a demoness in the form of a black crow, Ka Kanasun, to the kingdom of Ayuthaya to steal the rice . The crow stole only half a lump, which is visible on the same panel, where a black crow, not easily distinguishable on the dark background, is depicted flying down to the tray and stealing a piece of the rice and then taking off, to the right. 

Fig.28.N.- Dasaratha and his consorts are travelling on four elephants, the king on a white one, escorted by bearded soldiers in colonial uniforms and carrying rifles. The king and his three wives sit in a royal pavilion to be admired by the people of their country (lower right), including men wearing Western hats. Soon Dasaratha gets involved in a fight with a demon, Herantathut, who has descended from the sky (upper and lower center-left).

Here ends the narrative of the North wall.
It continues on the top register of the eastern wall.


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