Aziatische Kunst

The Snail Martyrs

snails on buddha head

View our Buddha head statues in our gallery

108 dried snails on Buddha's Head

Hair is often metaphorically regarded as human being's illusion. Therefore, it is also called "weeds of ignorance" and having a shaved head, symbolically, represents getting rid of those illusions. It is believed that to achieve the level of true understanding and enlightenment, we should keep our body and mind clean. That's why we often see Buddhist monks having a shaved head. Even history suggests that Siddhartha Gautam Buddha had cut his hair when he left his palace to achieve enlightenment.

But when we see Buddha statues and other forms of art, Buddha is portrayed with short and tight ringlet curls. There are around 108 ringlet curls on the Buddha's head. So, one might think why the artists have been portraying Buddha with short ringlets? There are numerous beliefs. One belief suggests that those ringlets are not short hair. They are actually 108 dried snails.

The story of 108 snails on Buddha's head

Buddha heads

One day, the Buddha was roaming around. He began to ponder so he sat down under the tree and start to meditate. He became so immersed in his thoughts that he didn't notice the time. As time passed by, the sun rays were directed to his bald head.

At that moment, a snail was making its way along the ground. Snail noticed that the Buddha was meditating on that hot day. Even though he sat under the tree, the sun rays were directed towards his head. Snail thought that the Buddha's head was soon going to become a distraction and it would be hard for him to concentrate. Without a second thought, Snail made its way up to the Buddha's head and sat there, with his mucous body cooling the Buddha's smooth and bare skin. Other snails also followed the first one, went up to the head and sat down there. Snails on the head looked like a neat cap of spiral shells.

Buy a Buddha statue for Goodluck

Snail's cool and damp bodies helped to maintain the Buddha's meditation continue for hours. The snail became parched and dry due to the heat rays. Later in the evening when Buddha stood from the meditation, he learned that he was wearing a cap of 108 snails, all of whom had given their lives to make a distraction-free environment for Buddha's path to enlightenment.

Since snails had given their lives for the Buddha, they are now honored as martyrs. Hence they are displayed on Buddha statues to remind us of their sacrifice.

Deel deze pagina

View our Buddhist arts and crafts in our gallery

Antieke houten Mandalay Boeddha

Antieke houten Mandalay Boeddha

115 euro
Antieke Birmese Mandalay Boeddha

Antieke Birmese Mandalay Boeddha

175 euro
Oude bronzen Nepalese Ganesha

Oude bronzen Nepalese Ganesha

350 euro
Oude bronzen Birmese Boeddha

Oude bronzen Birmese Boeddha

1450 euro
Hoge kwaliteit Nepalese bronzen Boeddha

Hoge kwaliteit Nepalese bronzen Boeddha

1500 euro
Antieke houten Mandalay Boeddha

Antieke houten Mandalay Boeddha

1950 euro
Antieke marmeren Shan Boeddha

Antieke marmeren Shan Boeddha

375 euro
Antieke Birmese offerschaal

Antieke Birmese offerschaal

600 euro
Bijzondere antieke Birmese gekroonde Boeddha

Bijzondere antieke Birmese gekroonde Boeddha

8500 euro
Antieke houten Mandalay Boeddha

Antieke houten Mandalay Boeddha

975 euro
Antieke set Birmese Nats

Antieke set Birmese Nats

150 euro
Antieke houten Mandalay Boeddha

Antieke houten Mandalay Boeddha

1950 euro
Antieke Birmese Shan Boeddha

Antieke Birmese Shan Boeddha

375 euro
Antiek houten Boeddhabeeld

Antiek houten Boeddhabeeld

250 euro
Antieke bronzen Mandalay Boeddha

Antieke bronzen Mandalay Boeddha

2750 euro
Oude Nepalese Lokeshwor - hoge kwaliteit

Oude Nepalese Lokeshwor - hoge kwaliteit

2250 euro
Antieke Birmese Boeddha amulet

Antieke Birmese Boeddha amulet

75 euro
Antieke bronzen Mandalay Boeddha

Antieke bronzen Mandalay Boeddha

2350 euro
Grote oude houten gekroonde Boeddha

Grote oude houten gekroonde Boeddha

2950 euro
Antieke Birmese Shan Boeddha

Antieke Birmese Shan Boeddha

750 euro
Antieke Birmese Boeddha

Antieke Birmese Boeddha

950 euro
Antieke marmeren Mandalay Boeddha

Antieke marmeren Mandalay Boeddha

100 euro
Antieke bronzen Mandalay Boeddha

Antieke bronzen Mandalay Boeddha

450 euro
Antieke Nepalese Bodhisattva Padmapani

Antieke Nepalese Bodhisattva Padmapani

600 euro
Antieke bronzen Ava Boeddha

Antieke bronzen Ava Boeddha

1600 euro
Zeer bijzondere bronzen Shan Boeddha

Zeer bijzondere bronzen Shan Boeddha

17500 euro
Antiek houten Boeddhabeeld

Antiek houten Boeddhabeeld

60 euro
Antieke Birmese Shan Boeddha

Antieke Birmese Shan Boeddha

450 euro
Grote en bijzondere antieke Shan Boeddha

Grote en bijzondere antieke Shan Boeddha

9500 euro
Antieke marmeren Shan Boeddha

Antieke marmeren Shan Boeddha

450 euro
arrow-right keyboard_arrow_right arrow-down keyboard_arrow_down arrow-left keyboard_arrow_left close menu search twitter facebook youtube-play linkedin envelope instagram google-plus pinterest whatsapp heart-o Wensenlijst share file-pdf-o printer trash