The scenes in this Burmese paper folding book depict begin with the Bodhisatta as Sumeda and Dipankara Buddha, include scenes from the Vessantara Jataka, Prince Siddhattha’s birth, conversion of the hermit brothers, etc.
What is depicted here?
The scene on folio 6 shows the procession of Queen Mahamaya who is carried in and enclosed in a tiered-roofed golden palanquin, with white umbrellas held aloft, headed by royal ministers and guards on her way to her parental country Devadaha as her wish to be with them at the time of the birth of her baby. Attended by women in a curtained enclosure, the Queen stands (upper left) and her right hand grasping a branch of a flowering sala tree, which is bending towards her. Then she gave birth her son in the Lumbini grove, between the two countries Kapilavatthu and Devadaha on the full moon day of the month of Vesakha (May). The baby (depicted, upper right, like a small golden Buddha image) is passed from the hands of the Brahmas to the guardian gods and from them to the hands of men. The Bodhisatta (Buddha-to-be) now stands upright and, with a white umbrella held above him, takes seven steps and proclaims his greatness. Soon after the birth, the king’s wise men predicted that the little prince would become either a universal monarch, or a Buddha, ‘awakened one’.
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