Buddha Passed Away 

- Sal (Shorea obtusa Wall)

Leaves of Sal

In the Buddhist temples, we could often see a sleeping Buddha stature. The Buddha heads towards the north and faces the west; His head places on the right hand, and He lies on His right side on the clothes. This is a story relates with sal. 


It's said that there was a Xilaniyedi River in ancient India and tall sals grow on the two banks of the river. When Sakyamuni was 80 years old, one day, He took a bath in the river; then, He took a rest in the sal woods. He placed some grasses and tree leaves in the woods, as well as His clothes. Then He headed towards the north and faced the west; His head placed on the right hand, and He lay on His right side on the clothes; then, He died. Afterwards, sleeping Buddha expressed the death of Buddha. 

Forest of Sal

Sal is kind of evergreen arbor and it could produce gurjunoil tree. Gurjunoil tree is a kind of natural perfume and is particularly precious; and the famous India incentives are made of it. Ardent believers often use the oil of gurjunoil tree to light the lamps in front of the Buddha, and the marrow of gurjunoil tree to burn incentives. In such cases, the whole Buddhist hall is full of faint aromas. In India and Thailand, after a person dies, his relatives would burn his body with woods; and the rich people often use sal as the fuel.