Clive Farahar Antiquarian Books - Rare and Antiquarian Books and Manuscripts

THAILAND. A Phra Malai Manuscript   19th century,
14 illustrations, some rubbing, wear and occasional stains78 ll. 27 x 5½ ins. parabaik style, khoi paper, with two black covers, approx 38 ft. long,. preserved in a clam shell box,
The first pair of illustrations of Phra Malai preaching to villagers is an unusual appearance in these manuscripts. From the Collection of Dr. Konrad Bekker (1911-1981) 1st secretary American embassy, Rangoon, Burma, 1958-1962. Counselor for economic affairs American Embassy, Bern, Switzerland, 1962-1964. 1st secretary American embassy, Bangkok, Thailand, 1964-1981, and his wife Dr.Sarah Bekker (1923-2013). Phra Malai, the Buddhist saint known for his legendary travels to heaven and hell, has long figured prominently in Thai religious treatises, works of art, and rituals – particularly those associated with the afterlife.The legend describes Phra Malai's visits to heaven and hell by the powers he achieved through meditation and great merits. Afterwards he teaches the laity and fellow monks about the karmic effects of human actions, which he learned about when meeting Buddha Maitreya in heaven. It was through these narratives that the Buddha's message of hope for a better rebirth and for attaining nirvana was conveyed. Phra Malai manuscripts were frequently produced and donated to Buddhist monasteries as acts of merit. See Bonnie Pascal Brereton Thai Tellings of Phra Malai, Arizona 1995.

Stock ref: 14121