The Ancient City in Samut Prakan (Muang Boran)
The story of the Ten Reincarnations of the Buddha has been well-known among Thai people since the Ayutthaya period. It tells the story of the last ten lives of the Bodhisattva, the Buddha-to-be, before he attained en light en ment and became the ven er a ble Buddha in the next rebirth.
The story presents a distinctive virtue in each episode. The last chapter, telling of his last reincarnation, known as Maha Chat (or the Buddhas Great Life), presents Buddhas virtue of the great giving. His great sacrifice in this life brought about peace and happiness in the end. His teach ing implies that if people act like him, they tend to have the same happy and peaceful life. From the story, we can see the im por tant characteristics of an ideal king who, like Phra Wetsandon in Maha Chat, performed the highest virtues so that his people would live a peaceful and happy life in the serene kingdom.
The painting, finely executed, truly reflects the aesthetic talents of past Thai artists. By using the painting as a medium, the muralist teaches morality to the people through the vivid and in for ma tive pictures. The viewers will normally find the murals at important public centers such as
the ubosot and wihan, the sermon hall, the public pavilion and the summer house.
Sala of Ten Reincarnations at Muang Boran, located across a stream, is an example of ancient Thai buildings of which the value lies not only within their aesthetic structure but also their function as a religious school for the community.