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Buddhism in Burma - general

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Buddhism in Burma
Description/subject: "Buddhism in Burma (also known as Myanmar) is predominantly of the Theravada tradition, practised by 89% of the country's population. It is the most religious Buddhist country in terms of the proportion of monks in the population and proportion of income spent on religion. Adherents are most likely found among the dominant ethnic Bamar (or Burmans), Shan, Rakhine (Arakanese), Mon, Karen, and Chinese who are well integrated into Burmese society. Monks, collectively known as the Sangha, are venerated members of Burmese society. Among many ethnic groups in Myanmar, including the Bamar and Shan, Theravada Buddhism is practiced in conjunction with nat worship, which involves the placation of spirits who can intercede in worldly affairs....Contents: 1 History... 2 Traditions: 2.1 Veneration; 2.2 Shinbyu; 2.3 Buddhist holidays; 2.4 Buddhist lent; 2.5 Buddhist education... 3 Monasticism... 4 Politics: 4.1 Saffron Revolution... 5 See also... 6 Further reading... 7 References... 8 External links.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Wikipedia
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 August 2012

Individual Documents

Title: Mental Culture in Burmese Crisis Politics
Date of publication: 29 March 1999
Description/subject: "This book deals with the Buddhist dimensions underlying the politics of Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese democracy movement in general. Today, Aung San Suu Kyi is identified in the international arena as an icon of democracy hemmed in by conservative military forces. Within the country, however, the military manipulates this �foreign� sentiment as a welcome addition to its propaganda armoury. It portrays Aung San Suu Kyi as a puppet, an honorary ambassador of the foreigner who is driven by foreign interests in disregard of her own native traditions. This book argues that neither the international image of her, nor the military misuse of her international image within the country come to terms with Burmese political values as expressed in the Burmese language. Gustaaf Houtman analyses military politics as a politics of authority (ana) and confinement that emphasises the local delineation of boundaries under the guise of benevolence, using the discourse of culture, archaeology and race, and the threat of imprisonment. By contrast, he analyses the democracy movement as a politics of influence (awza) that aims to transcend these boundaries. This elaborates on political terminology in terms of Buddhist mental culture leading to �non-self� (anatta), promising freedom from imprisonment and confinement. The ideals of the four byama-so tay� � in particular loving-kindness (metta) and compassion (karuna) � stand for democracy, just as they have stood for ideal true socialist government. The senior NLD leaders all closely identify with this and with the practice of Buddhist mental culture in general. Furthermore, though the lower forms of magic are more common amongst the military, many retired military responsible for imprisoning and disqualifying the NLD from office also proclaim to be engaged in the practice of mental culture and patronise the same Buddhist meditation centres. Mental culture, while strongly represented as democracy politics, thus plays a role as a conciliatory third force in Burmese politics. The author decodes the present political situation in terms of continuities with past colonial politics and assesses commonalties between the two sides. The book argues that, through association with Buddhist ideas emphasising substantive commonalties in all forms of life, Burmese political vocabulary itself has the promise within it to promote reconciliation in this divided polity..." (from the Press Release)
Author/creator: Gustaaf Houtman
Language: English
Source/publisher: Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
Format/size: pdf (1.9MB)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Religion in Burma, AD 1000 -1300
Date of publication: 1959
Description/subject: This paper was read at the Kanthaseinlai Group meeting on 13th July 1958. It argues that the Myanmar (Burmans) were Buddhist long before King Anawrahta's (Aniruddha) conquest of lower Burma. They did not practise Theravada Buddhism, rather they observed a form of Mahayana Buddhism much influenced by Vaishnavism and native Naga (serpent) worship. With the conquest of Thaton in 1057 AD by King Anawrahta Theravada Buddhism was introduced to Central Burma. According to the excavation of Srikshetra and Hanlin the Pyu already believed in Buddhism. This paper is based on Bagan inscriptions which reveal the spread of Buddhism between AD 1000-1300.....Subject Terms: 1. Religion-Myanmar... 2. Buddhism-Myanmar-Bagan period... 3. Buddha and Buddhism... 4. Arahan, Shin... 5. Tipitaka (Buddhist Scriptures)..... Key Words: 1. Theravada Buddhism... 2. Vishnavism... 3. Brahmanism... 4. Jatakas... 5. Sasana (Buddist Religion)... 6. Paiyatti (Buddhist Religion)... 7. Pitaka (Buddhist scripture) 8. Vinaya... 9. Anawrahta, King (AD 1044-1077)... 10. Kyansittha, King (AD 1084-1112)
Author/creator: Than Tun, Dr.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Journal of Burma Research Society", Vol. 42, Part 2, pp47-69, 1959 via University of Washington
Format/size: pdf (1MB-reduced version; 1.6MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.lib.washington.edu/myanmar/pdfs/TT0014J.pdf
Date of entry/update: 28 November 2014

Title: The Soul of a People
Date of publication: 1902
Description/subject: First published in 1899..."This book is about Burma, seen through the eyes of an English gentleman during and after the conquering of Upper Burma by the British towards the end of the 19th century. It describes his impressions of the Burmese people and particularly their religion, Buddhism, which explains so much their strange customs and ways. Written in the excellent English, in choice of words and prose, lost in modern times, that typified the Victorian period".....CONTENTS: LIVING BELIEFS; HE WHO FOUND THE LIGHT—I; HE WHO FOUND THE LIGHT—II; THE WAY TO THE GREAT PEACE; WAR—I; WAR—II; GOVERNMENT; CRIME AND PUNISHMENT; HAPPINESS; THE MONKHOOD I; THE MONKHOOD II; PRAYER; FESTIVALS; WOMEN—I; WOMEN—II; WOMEN III; DIVORCE; MANNERS; 'NOBLESSE OBLIGE'; ALL LIFE IS ONE; DEATH, THE DELIVERER; THE POTTER'S WHEEL; THE FOREST OF TIME..... The Alternate URL has a link to the openlibrary page which offers several editions, in various formats. The OBL link is to the 1902 edition, with the insertion of the first page of the Contents, omitted from the openlibrary 1902 version.
Author/creator: Harold Fielding Hall
Language: English
Source/publisher: Macmillan & Co. via openlibrary.org
Format/size: pdf (2.9MB)
Alternate URLs: http://openlibrary.org/works/OL1104253W/The_soul_of_a_people
Date of entry/update: 23 September 2010

Title: The Burmese Empire a Hundred Years Ago
Date of publication: 1893
Description/subject: First published: 1833....CONTENTS: INTRODUCTION; LIST OF THE PRINCIPAL WORKS REFERRED TO; PREFACE BY MR. JARDINE; PREFACE BY CARDINAL WISEMAN; DESCRIPTION OF THE BURMESE EMPIRE... BURMESE COSMOGRAPHY: I. Of the Measures and Divisions of Time commonly used in the Sacred Burmese Books; II. Of the World and its Parts; III. Of the Beings that live in this World, of their Felicity or Misery, and of the Duration of their Life; IV. Of the States of Punishment; V. Of the Destruction and Reproduction of the World; VI. Of the Inhabitants of the Burmese Empire.... BURMESE HISTORY: VII. Origin of the Burmese Nation and Monarchy; VIII. Abridgment of the Burmese Annals, called Maharazven; IX. Of the present Royal Family, and of the Principal Events that have taken place under the Reigning Dynasty.... CONSTITUTION OF THE BURMESE EMPIRE: X. Of the Emperor, and of his White Elephants; XI. Officers of State and of the Household, Tribunals, and Administration of Justice; XII. Revenue and Taxes; XIII. Army and Military Discipline.... RELIGION OF THE BURMESE: XIV. The Laws of Godama; XV. Of the Talapoins; XVI. The Sermons of Godama; XVII. Superstitions of the Burmese.... MORAL AND PHYSICAL CONSTITUTION OF THE BURMESE EMPIRE: XVIII. Character of the Burmese; XIX. Manners and Customs of the Burmese; XX. Literature and Sciences of the Burmese; XXI. Natural Productions of the Burmese Empire; XXII. Calendar of the Burmese. Climate and Seasons of the Burmese Empire; XXIII. Of the Currency and Commerce of the Burmese Empire.... BURMESE CODE: XXIV. Abstract of the Burmese Code entitled Damasat; or the Golden Rule
Author/creator: Father Vincenzo Sangermano
Language: English
Source/publisher: Archibald Constable & Co.
Format/size: pdf (6MB-OBL version)
Date of entry/update: 21 September 2010