The Representation of a Bodhisatta: Identification of King Mahajanaka from the Mahajanaka Jataka with King Bhumibol of Thailand

Ratchaneekorn Ratchatakorntrakoon





In the dramatic productions of the Mahajanaka Jataka developed from King Bhumibol’s version of this Jataka, King Bhumibol is glorified through the character, King Mahajanaka, using several techniques: emphasizing motifs from King Bhumibol’s biography, imitating real life events related to King Bhumibol and creating dialogue similar to King Bhumibol’s speeches and writings. The purpose of these techniques is to identify King Mahajanaka with King Bhumibol. These methods create a system of representations, representing His Majesty as a Bodhisatta of perseverance and wisdom, as a father of the people, and as one committed to fulfilling the principles of a righteous king.


(Published in Rian Thai: International Journal of Thai Studies, Volume 11/2018 (Number 1), Page 75-99)


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