Why was Mahāmoggallāna blue?

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Stiphan
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Why was Mahāmoggallāna blue?

Postby Stiphan » Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:31 pm

At my Sri Lankan temple, his skin colour is blue, and I recently saw three more images where, again, he is of blue colour. What is the reason?

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santa100
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Re: Why was Mahāmoggallāna blue?

Postby santa100 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:34 pm

Symbolic representation probably based on Buddhavamsa 1.57-1.59 where the Buddha's chief disciples were compared to a special symbol, for example, Sariputta as the Koranda flower, Moggallana as the Blue Lotus, Mahakassapa as Pure Gold, etc.

SarathW
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Re: Why was Mahāmoggallāna blue?

Postby SarathW » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:01 pm

Moggallana as the Blue Lotus

Thanks for clarifying this.
When I was young I was taught, Moggallana was blue due to beaten to death by the thieves!

Koranda flower:
https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=i&rct= ... 1101349350
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

SarathW
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Re: Why was Mahāmoggallāna blue?

Postby SarathW » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:02 pm

I notice all the monks are shaved heads except Buddha?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Mkoll
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Re: Why was Mahāmoggallāna blue?

Postby Mkoll » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:08 pm

SarathW wrote:I notice all the monks are shaved heads except Buddha?

It looks like Ven. Mahakassapa has hair in the bottom picture.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Pondera
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Re: Why was Mahāmoggallāna blue?

Postby Pondera » Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:49 am

A steady diet of silver will turn one blue ...

Or perhaps he practiced the blue kasina meditation a little too often.

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Why was Mahāmoggallāna blue?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:21 pm

I believe I recall hearing a monk say that in the Buddha's time 'blue' complexion meant a dark complexion. The bhikkhuni Uppalavanna is also said to have had a blue [dark?] complexion.

Caodemarte
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Re: Why was Mahāmoggallāna blue?

Postby Caodemarte » Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:58 am

Krishna is portrayed as blue. This may well be because of an early mistranslation of the word dark as blue. So the theory has it that Krishna was originally a southern Dravadian (hence seen as dark skinned) god adopted or assimilated into the pantheon of the paler Northern invaders/immigrants who eventually became dominant and codified their pantheon into more or less what we know in historic times. If so, the color blue may be associated with or signify holiness of a southern origin. On the other hand, they may just have had some extra blue paint on hand back in the day!

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ganegaar
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Re: Why was Mahāmoggallāna blue?

Postby ganegaar » Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:16 pm

Probably due to a historical mistranslation of word "neela" which is used for both colors blue and black.
As in "neela warala" means "black hair (of a women)",
Compared to "neela peetha lohita" means "blue yellow red"
Sīlepatiṭṭhāya naro sapañño, cittaṃ paññañca bhāvayaṃ;
Ātāpī nipako bhikkhu, so imaṃ vijaṭaye jaṭanti.

EmptyShadow
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Re: Why was Mahāmoggallāna blue?

Postby EmptyShadow » Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:17 am

Here is an interesting quote from this site:http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_names/maha/maha_moggallana_th.htm

"Moggallāna's body was of the colour of the blue lotus or the rain cloud (Bu.i.58). There exists in Ceylon an oral tradition that this colour is due to his having suffered in hell in the recent past!"

thomaslaw
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Re: Why was Mahāmoggallāna blue?

Postby thomaslaw » Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:31 am

Mkoll wrote:
SarathW wrote:I notice all the monks are shaved heads except Buddha?

It looks like Ven. Mahakassapa has hair in the bottom picture.


According to the Chinese versions of Kassapa Samyutta, Ven. Mahakassapa has the image of long beard-and-hair (SA1142 (in T99), ASA117 (in T100)). I've got this information from this article:

Choong, Mun-keat. 2017. 'A comparison of the Pali and Chinese versions of the Kassapa Samyutta, a collection of early Buddhist discourses on the Venerable Kasyapa', in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (Cambridge University Press), Vol. 27, Issue 2, pp. 295-311.

Regards,

Thomas

Ripser
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Re: Why was Mahāmoggallāna blue?

Postby Ripser » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:48 pm

I was told by a Sinhalese man that he is blue to mark his "carrying" a heavy kamma (having killed his parents in a former life) still to ripen at his death.

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Stiphan
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Re: Why was Mahāmoggallāna blue?

Postby Stiphan » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:41 pm

Mahamoggallana was, in fact, a black man.


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