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images of Phra Mae Thorani are common in shrines and Buddhist temples

of Burma, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos. According to Buddhist myths, Phra Mae Thorani is
personified as a young woman wringing the cool waters of detachment out of her hair to
drown Mara, the demon sent to tempt Gautama Buddha as he meditated under the Bodhi Tree.
The Bodhisattva was sitting in meditation on his throne under the Bodhi Tree, Mara, the Evil One,
was jealous and wanted to stop him from reaching enlightenment. Accompanied by his warriors, wild
animals and his daughters, he tried to drive the Bodhisattva from his throne. All the gods were
terrified and ran away, leaving the Bodhisattva alone to face Mara's challenge. The Bodhisattva
stretched down his right hand and touched the earth, summoning her to be his witness. The earth
deity in the form of a beautiful woman rose up from underneath the throne, and affirmed the
Bodhisattva's right to occupy the vajriisana. She twisted her long hair, and torrents of water collected
there from the innumerable donative libations of the Buddha over the ages created a flood. The flood
washed away Mara and his army, and the Bodhisattva was freed to reach enlightenment.