Buddha Brahma Paraatpara
A Japanese fictional book in 14 volumes, written by Osamu Tezuka and published by Ushio Shuppan had first been serialized between 1972 and 1983 in the magazine Kibou no Tomo. This series entitled Buddha Manga, weaves its story round the central figure of Gautama Buddha and takes considerable liberty with the historical accounts available about him.
Towards the end of the Buddha story in this Wikipedia account, we have this note about Brahma.
Brahma: God. Appearing frequently to Buddha as a wizened old man, Brahma set Siddhartha on the path to seeking a solution to suffering. After Buddha obtained enlightenment, Brahma bestowed him with the title of Buddha. After the Buddha died (in book 8), Brahma personally escorted the Buddha to the afterlife where he promised to reveal what awaited those who pass into death.
The above link on what lies beyond death is an elaborate commentary on Nirvana (Nibbana in Pali) according to different Buddhist schools as well as Jain concepts, not unlike the Hindu concept of mukti or liberation, except for not labeling the super-conscious state as the para-principle or paramaatma.
Osamu Tezuka did not have to invent the Buddha’s connection to Brahma. There is at least among some Buddhist groups, a strong belief that the four headed divinity did indeed appear several times before Gautama Siddhartha during the latter’s long meditation spells, though perhaps in human forms, such as that of an old man. This belief is held universally among the Far Eastern Buddhist communities in Asia and certainly in Thailand, whose population is ninety-five percent Buddhist.
The Thai landscape is studded with temples devoted to Hindu deities, some of them built by migrant Hindus who had come into the Indies with the Cholas well over a thousand years ago, but several built in more recent times, by Tamils, Marathis, Bengalis and other Indians of the Hindu fold.. The temples are frequented by all Thais, and one can easily spot the Buddhist devotee because of the way he kneels before a deity, with hands folded and eyes closed, meditating the while on the deity. In addition to these Hindu temples, there are Buddhist shrines dedicated to Brahma all over the country. Incense, fruits and flowers are sold very close to the shrines. No priests officiate. The devotee washes his hands and offers worship personally, going round the deity, kneeling before each of the four faces.
The Brahma shrine at Pattaya is one of the well attended ones. The picture of the deity at this shrine is given hIt has been taken from an article entitled ‘Hinduism in Thailand’ here.
From the website
Some Brahma shrines are also found in the reception area of large hotels and other public places in Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand. One is therefore not surprised to find a similar shrine of Brahma just outside the Caesar’s Palace Hotel at Las Vegas, USA, when told that it had been generously sponsored by Mrs. and Mr. Kamphol Vacharaphon and Mr.Yip Hon of Thailand. If the soul of Augustus Caesar, who believed in far grander shrines for his gods than his personal premises in his palace on Palatine Hill, were to visit this building in America, supposed to have been modeled on his palace, he would indeed be delighted with the lovely setting for this shrine!
More posts by this author:
- Another Sequel to Sri Matsya Narayana: Nepali Homage in Malmas
- I see Him now
- There is a Ramayana
- The Thai-Assam Connection
- Thai Ramayana lights up desert sky in Rajasthan
After R & D and technical management experience of over three decades in petroleum and organic chemical industry, have been devoting the past fifteen years to the study of Tamil and Sanskrit classics, including dharmic works and doing some serious translation work. Have been a significant contributor to the medha journal almost since its inception upto 2013 and expect to continue my association with it.