Can’t resist the blink of golds… look closer. ohhh …..
( Chedi of Wat Phrathat Tschom Kitti, Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai province,Thailand )
The Shrine are not made of gold. Instead, it is “plated” by sheet of golds. Since golds only dissolve inside Aqua regia (Mixtures of concentrated nitric acid and concentrated hydrochloric acid), it will destroy the shrine if using the real gold solvent. Craftsmen apply thin sheet of golds (thinner than 0.1 mm) that stick on top of a tracing paper, slowly “stick” the sheet by scratching in order to “stick” the gold into the stone. A good craftsman skill ensure the golden sheet stick for years or even century.
And have a prosperous life.
In the famous Buddhism story.Sudatta try acquiring Prince Jeta park to build settling place for Shakyamuni Buddha. Prince Jeta reluctant and make a jokes and ask for the price that “enough golds to cover the floor of the park”. Some story say Sudatta has pour golds coins from his treasury to fulfill the request. Sudatta devotion intrigue Prince Jeta to seek out for Buddha and become a devotee.
According to some story, Sudatta become poor after he donate all the golds coins. Since it is Buddha teaching “to be wise than stupid”, I doubt a good businessman like Sudatta spend all the money for a park, because the money can be spend elsewhere that allow him to help more people to understand Buddha teaching. It is meaningless for empty stomach to devote anything but food.
It is well known to people in the ancient time, golds can be grind to very fine sheet. A 1mm golds sheet is not difficult to roll out from a mill with adequate man power and tools even during ancient time. Sudatta may have order his man to grind golds sheet that are no thicker than 1mm. This allow Sudatta cover the park without exhaust all his wealth. The Jeta Park has been rename by Buddha as “Anathapindika’s arama of Jetavana-Vihara”, which shown significant contribution by both Sudatta and Prince Jeta.
In fact, if anyone simple follow the original story, you will find Sudatta are wealthiness are exaggerate : in ancient history, such filthy rich people are always been suspicion by the King as threat to the throne.
reference : Savatthi (Sravasti), Place of the Twin Miracle