Devotion: Image, Recitation ,and Celebration of the Vessantara Epic in Northeast Thailand
Thomas Kaiser, Martina Wernsdorfer, Leedom Lefferts

Hardback | Jun 2017 | Arnoldsche | 9783897905009 | 192pp | 240x310mm | Out of stock | RFB | AUD$74.99, NZD$89.99

The Vessantara Jataka is the tale of Buddha’s last life, before he was reborn as the historical Buddha 2,500 years ago. In this earlier existence as Prince Vessantara he demonstrated evidence of the highest virtue that constitutes an enlightened one: generosity. Vessantara gave away everything dear to him – in the climactic scene of the story even his wife and children. In North-East Thailand the Vessantara tale is celebrated annually as Bun Phra Wet; pha Phra Wet – ‘Vessantara cloths’ – form the visual framework for this festival: hand-painted scrolls, which can reach lengths of up to one hundred metres. Devotion presents, for the very first time, a selection of six full-length Vessantara scrolls and explores a contemporary multimedia celebration of an ancient Buddhist text.