BAMS Medal competition for 2016

Rebecca Woodcock
8 years ago

Several years ago I came runner up in the BAMS Medal competition. After which, my work was shown in Finland and London. See images within the website portfolio.


This year the medal symbolises the story from a future Buddha as a hare. The story goes like this:

On one particular day the wise hare lay in his thicket, thinking to himself that he would go out and eat some grass when the time came to break his fasting. Now, the giving of alms, whilst fasting brings great reward, and as any beggar who came before him might not want to eat grass, the hare thought to himself, if any supplicant comes, I will give him my own flesh. Such fiery spiritual zeal heated up the marble throne of Sakka, the ruler of sensual pleasure. Peering down towards the earth, he spied the cause of this heat, and resolve to test the hare. He disguised himself as a holy man and appeared before the Future Buddha. 

'Holy man, why are you standing there?' said the hare.

'Hare, if I could get something to eat, I would keep the fast-day vows and perform the duties of a monk.' said the holy man.

The Future Buddha was delighted. 'Holy man,' he said, 'you have done well in coming to me for food. Today I will give aims, such as I never gave before; and you will not have broken the precepts by destroying life. Go, my friend, and gather wood, when you have made a bed of coals come and tell me. I will sacrifice my life by jumping into the bed of live coals. As soon as my body is cooked, eat my flesh.'

When Sakka heard this speech, he made a heap of live coals by using his superhuman power then told the hare, the Future Buddha, who rose from his couch of grass and went to the spot. He shook himself three times, saying, 'if there are any insects in my fur, I must not let them die.' Then, throwing his whole body into the jaws of his generosity, he jumps into the bed of coals, with a delighted in mind.

The fire, however, was unable to burn even a hair-pore of the Future Buddha's body! 'Holy man,' said the hare, 'the fire you have made is exceedingly cold. What does it mean?'

'Hare, I am no holy man. I am Sakka, who has come to try you.'

'Sakka, your efforts are useless, for if all the beings who dwell in the world were to try me in respect to my generosity, they would not find in me any unwillingness to give.'

'Wise hare,' said Sakka, 'let your virtue be proclaimed to the end of this world-cycle.'

Then taking a huge mountain in his hand, he squeezed it and, with the juice, drew the outline of a hare on the disk of the moon.