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The Buddha's Hair

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

I have always been curious as to why the Buddha’s head looks the way it does? Was that his real hair, supper curly? Pointy? Kind of firm? Because I had thought that when the Buddha began his “order” and men and woman from all followed him, I was under the impression that they had to shave their heads, so why wouldn't The Buddha also be depicted with a shaven head?

This is an old story about the Buddha that most people may not know about and I recently came upon! So I thought I would share!

It involves some curious garden pests and their are great sacrifice to further the cause of one mans journey to enlightenment!

The story goes like this…

Buddha was going for one of is mindful walks and began to think very deeply. He eventually came to a tree and sat down in its shade to continue a deeper level of meditation.

Hours had passed, and the Buddha became so immersed in deep meditation that he did not notice the sun had moved and was now beating down upon his bare head, which of course was shaved, but he continued to remain in stillness not even noticing the sun burning the top of his head.

Meanwhile, a snail was making its way along the ground, and noticed the Buddha sitting there, deep in meditation. Snails, by nature are very tough little beings, but they are also full of moisture, and have to be very careful of drying out, so the snail saw right away that the Buddha’s head was soon going to become a painful distraction to his great thoughts!

As fast as a snail can move, the snail made its way up the Buddha’s rove to his head, and sat there, with his mucous-y body cooling the Buddha’s smooth, bare skin. iOther snails noticed and followed the first one, covering Buddha’s head in a neat cap of spiral shells and cool, damp bodies.

Hours passed, and the snails became parched and dry. When evening fell and the Buddha stood, noticing his surroundings once again, he found he was wearing 108 snails, all of whom had given their lives to further Buddha’s path to enlightenment.

These snails are now honored as martyrs and are shown on many statues of the Buddha to remind us of their sacrifice!


Source - The Snail Martyrs :)

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1 Comment

Katie P.
Katie P.
Jul 15, 2021

What a great story!

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