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Phra Wacharaton (พระวัชรธร)

Thai name for a style of crowned Buddha image from Vajrayana Buddhism, in which the Buddha is seated in the half lotus position and lifts his arms in front of his chest, whilst holding a vajra in one hand and a bell or ghanta in the other, akin to representations of Vajradhara (fig.), i.e. a Buddha image that occurs in Tibetan Buddhism and in which the primordial Buddha is depicted with his hands crossed in front of his chest, whilst holding a vajra in one hand and a bell called Vajraghanta (fig.) in the other. In Thailand, this kind of image is rather rare, though some carved from sandstone and dating back to the 18th century BE, which corresponds approximately to the 12th century AD, were found during archeological excavations. These were presumably made during the reign of the Khmer King Jayavarman VII, who ruled from 1181 AD to circa 1219 AD. Among the finds was one image in Khmer-Bayon style, that was found at the minor prasat Kuti Reusi (กุฏิฤาษี), i.e. the Hermit's Lodge at Prasat Hin Phimai (fig.), where it is now on display in the visitor's centre at Phimai Historical Park, whilst another two, both in Lopburi-Bayon style, were found at Ku Santarat (กู่สันตรัตน์) in Maha Sarakham and at Ku Kaew (กู่แก้ว) in Khon Kaen, with both now on display at the latter city's National Museum. Also transcribed Phra Vajaraton.