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This article is a study of Buddhist monk statues holding a talipot fan in order to find out whether they are the representation of Phra Sri-an, the Future Buddha, or Phra Malai, a legendary Buddhist monk who made journeys to hells and heaven. The study starts from looking up beliefs related to Phra Sri-an in documents in order to analyze the reasons for choosing the format of the image as well as surveying and collecting sculpture data for analysis using art history methodology. Findings reveal that the origin of the iconic Phra Sri-an image is found in the story of his multiple reincarnations in the world, the story from Tripitaka of his great sermon that will bring salvation and save the human race, and in 5,000 years of Buddhism beliefs. The survey found approximately 180 statues, with 17 statues displaying at their bases evidence of creation during the reign of King Rama I to King Rama VIII. In this case, 7 images were inscribed as Phra Sri-an, and one image was inscribed as Phra Malai. Consequently, the perception of the image portraying a monk holding a talipot fan should have been acknowledged as Phra Sri-an at least since the reign of King Rama I.
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