6. Buddha's mother dreamed of a white elephant

White elephants were considered #sacred, protected from working, and a sign #Thai Kings ruled a peaceful, prosperous #kingdom with #justice. 

This is because on the night of the Buddha’s conception, his mother dreamed a white elephant gave her a lotus flower, a symbol of wisdom and purity.

“White elephant” became a synonym for a costly and not very useful possession because Thai #Kings sometimes gave a white #elephant as a gift to annoying courtiers, to ruin them by the cost of their maintenance, I learned.

I took the cable-car up to Doi Suthep, but was glad I walked the 300 steps down. At the very bottom of the souvenir shop-lined steps, two huge #mythical serpents, adorned in colorful mosaics – nagas, or #Buddha protectors - whose undulating bodies formed the railing, stood guard. Small upturned nagas also decorate the edges of #temple roofs, I noticed. 

#travel #religion #faith #belief #worship #Buddhism #Thailand #Asia

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