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Maya Devi - artelino

May Devi.Maya Devi was the mother of the historical Buddha who was born circa 563 BC. She died several days after giving birth to her son.

The Historical Maya Devi

Queen Maya had been married to King Suddhodana of a small kingdom in Northern India when she dreamed one night that she would conceive a child by a white elephant touching her right side. She then had been married with the king for twenty years but had never given birth to children.

Maya Devi carried the baby for 10 lunar months. When she felt the time of giving birth came near, she traveled to her mother's home, following an old practice. But on the way to her mother, she gave birth to Buddha in a garden, under a tree, in Lumbini, today in Southern Nepal. The child came out from her right hip, the same spot where she had conceived him.

Different Names

As so often in Buddhism and Hinduism, also Maya Devi is known under different names and writings. You may find Queen Maya, Maya Devi, Mayadevi and in Tibetan Gyutrulma.

Maya Devi on Tibetan Thangkas

There is a type of thangkas (Tibetan scroll paintings) that is called Buddha Life. It is a narration of the life of the historical Buddha in images. In the top left corner you can see the dream of Queen Maya with the white elephant and below how she gives birth to Buddha Shakyamuni under a tree in a park in Lumbini. According to the legends many miracles happened the very day when Queen Maya gave birth. Blind people could see and the lames could walk again.

Buddha Life Detail - Conception and Birth of Buddha

Maya Devi Statues

The statues of Maya Devi made in the old tradition of the 'lost wax' method, have mostly the design shown on this page, with this dance-like position. So when you see a statues of this design with these characteristics, you can assume that it is an image of Maya Devi.

When you are looking for a statue of Maya Devi, and quality and not the cheapest price is an issue for you, then look out for fine chiseling and rich decoration of the gown that Maya Devi is wearing. Better figures are decorated with semi-precious stones. Ask for gold-plated (fire-gilded) statues instead of gold application by mercury ('gold-gilded'). The gold application under fire gives the statue a warmer, more saturated look.

Maya Devi.

Dieter Wanczura, May 2010.

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 October 2010 22:30  

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