Buddhist Connections with Sinxay
In this section we will be discussing various Buddhist connections with Sinxay, considered by most to be a Jataka tale (a story of one of the Buddha’s previous lives). In our book we connect Sinxay artwork both in Laos and Isan to various Buddhist themes. We discuss how Sinxay is considered a non-canonical Jataka. Assuming Sinxay is a Jataka tale we look at the importance of Jataka (Sinxay) imagery in wats and their significance to developing a greater understanding of Buddhism. We go on to explore what it means for Sinxay, the protagonist, to be a bodhisatta, a being [satta] destined for enlightenment [bodhi], while examining the importance of parami, the dimensions of human character (virtues) that are most important in achieving a state of enlightenment, the primary work and goal of a bodhisatta. The Buddhist influences in Sinxay run deep and wide and as we have time, we will feature them in this section.
Front Entrance to Sim at Wat Phone Xai in Sam Neua, Laos
Tibetan Wheel of Life
The rich Buddhist symbolism seen in Nepal and Tibet, includes the Tibetan Wheel of Life, a symbolic representation of samsara found on the outside walls of Tibetan Buddhist temples and monasteries in the Indo-Tibetan region [Tibet, India, Nepal, Bhutan. In the Mahāyāna Buddhist tradition, many believe it was the Buddha who came up with the concept of this painting in order to help ordinary people better understand the essential teachings of Buddhism, similar to the role of Jataka tales. The three poisons of greed, hate, and delusion (represented in Sinxay by Nyak Koumphan) are graphically displayed in the center of the Tibetan Wheel of Life (image seen above) as a rooster, representing greed; a snake, representing anger and hate; and a pig, representing delusion and ignorance; all endlessly chasing one another’s tails. Laminated posters of the Wheel of Life Painting (which we purchased in Nepal) will be available for sale in the future on this website.
One of the leading proponents of Sinxay in Southeast Asia is Songwit Pimpakun, Assistant Professor at Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts Khon Kaen University. It is clear that he not only looks at Sinxay from an keen academic perspective, but is passionate about...read more