The Ancient Buddhist Legend About Cats

Cats are wonderful beings and since ancient times they have been treated with deep respect because, for many civilizations, they are the guardians who protect our souls. According to a Buddhist legend, they are a symbol of spirituality, peace and union.

It is undeniable, cats are among the most fascinating animals and have always been at the center of the most ancient civilizations. In China, for example, it was believed that their gaze could drive away evil spirits or even in ancient Egypt there was the belief that during the night, the sun’s rays hid in the eyes of cats to stay safe.

Cats are also present in various popular traditions, we recall for example that the Goddess Bastet is represented as a beautiful black cat or a woman with a cat’s head.This deity was a positive symbol of harmony and happiness, protector of the house, guardian of pregnant women and capable of keeping evil spirits away.

For Buddhism, cats are a symbol of spirituality , animals that are able to transmit harmony and calm and that is why the human being, in order to love this feline unconditionally, must first connect with himself.

Very often it happens then to see cats sleeping on Buddhist marble statues or even of Roman emperors. Why do they do it? This behavior is likely to stem from the fact that large stone or metal statues heat up during the day and retain heat, while other surfaces tend to get cold. And cats, as we know, love to bask in warm places.

More suggestive is the legend that has existed for centuries in Thailand, let’s see what it is.

The Buddhist legend of cats

Even Buddha is sometimes represented with a cat crouched at his feet, this is because he brings peace and unity to the temples of Asian countries. The legend has its roots in Theravada Buddhism which literally means “the school of the elderly”, which gives rise to the ‘Book of poems and cats’ also called Tamra Maew which is currently kept in the national library of Bangkok.

In one of the papyri that make up this book, the Buddhist legend about cats is told that speaks of death and spirituality, but also of the reincarnation of the soul.

According to Buddhism when a person died, a cat was placed next to the body , obviously the crypt had a slot to allow the cat to go out freely. If the cat did, he was sure that the soul of the deceased had reincarnated in the body of the animal. Only in this way could freedom towards ascension be achieved.

Credit : Greenme

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