Dharmapala Thangka CentreSchool of Thangka Painting

12.16 The four harmonious Friends

Bird, rabbit, monkey and elephant

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In one of the Buddha's previous lifetimes, in the forest of Kashika, there lived four noble beings - a bird, a monkey, a rabbit, and an elephant. The four, who drank at the same spring, soon became friends. One day they decided that it would be proper to show the greatest respect for the eldest among them. To determine their respective ages, each one recalled the height of a nearby nyagrota tree when he had first seen it.

The elephant said, "I must be the oldest. I remember that when I was born the shadow of the tree fell across my body."

The monkey said, "I must be the older than the elephant. When I was born the tree had the same size as me."

The rabbit said, "I must be older than either of you. When I was born, the seed of the tree was just sprouting. I took a young leaf and ate it."

The bird said, "I am older than any of you. When I was born I ate the fruit of a tree south of this spring. The seed of the nyagrota tree passed through my body as waste. So I planted it."

The four then showed each other respect accordingly. The elephant placed the bird on the crown of his head, the rabbit on his neck, and the monkey on his back. Then the bird said, "Now we must keep the five basic disciplines throughout our lives."

This they did, and to insure that all other beings did the same, the bird initiated all those with wings, the elephant initiated all those with fangs, the rabbit initiated all those with paws, and the monkey initiated all those with fur.

Even today, these animals are depicted in Buddhist art as a portrait of harmony, especially in buddhist monastery wallpaintungs

Measurements: 23.6 x 49.2" | 60 x 125 cm
Price: on request
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany or Nepal
Color: Color Version
Material: Natural Stone Colors