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Buddhism in Burma - general

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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: A Religious Study on the Construction of Oo-­‐Pwar Pagoda and Its Sculptures
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: Abstract: "This paper is written with the purpose of knowing why Buddhist people worship pagoda and Buddhism is not symbolism. Myanmar culture is an integral part of Buddhism. While there is an abundance of artistic material throughout Myanmar, many people do not know that these artistic pagodas and their sculptures are related with the meaningful background. Therefore, this paper is presented based on Oo-­‐Pwar pagoda in Mandalay. Initially, it is presented which one is worthy to be a pagoda and how many kinds of pagoda are there. And then, the history of Oo-­‐Pwar pagoda and the standard of Myanmar art and architecture of that period are presented. And the construction of pagoda and its sculptures are also expressed. In which, each part of pagoda related with the teaching of Buddha is discussed. This topic is divided into three main parts, namely: meaning of pagoda, the construction of Oo-­‐Pwar pagoda and sculptures in the surrounding of the pagoda. This paper shows the background history, religious and traditional customs of the sculptures. And the fact can be seen that although Myanmar people are Theravāda Buddhists, they also do some of the practice of Mahāyana Buddhism and Hinduism as their own tradition. By doing this research, in the compound of pagoda, the tradition of ancient Myanmar are found evidently. The pagodas can be assumed as the religious things and the invaluable cultural heritages. Therefore, conservation of pagoda is beneficial to develop Buddhist religion and to conserve Myanmar cultural heritage.".....Paper delivered at the International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015.
Author/creator: Hnin Moe Hlaing
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
Format/size: pdf (811K)
Alternate URLs: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th/web/Burma/home.php#
Date of entry/update: 26 August 2015


Title: A Study of the Buddha Image Made of Bamboo-strips at the Myathabeik Foothill in Thaton, Mon State
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: Abstract: "After the lord Buddha Parinibbāna (pass away), the Buddhists have worshipped with devotion (1) Sarīrika Cetiya (Relics) (2) Dhamma Cetiya (Teachings) (3) Uddissa Cetiya (Images) (4) Paribhoga Cetiya (Bodhi tree and utensils) (5) Pāda Cetiya (foot-­‐prints of the Buddha) in memory of the Lord Buddha. Among these five different kinds of Cetiyas where there are images of the Lord Buddha on it, are called as Uddissa Cetiya. In traditions, the Lord Buddha Images are made of gold, silver, copper, iron, stone, wood and bamboo-­strips. Just as there are many differences with the materials used in carving sacred images there are also differences in shape, size and style. One image different from another in gesture (mudrā), sitting posture (āsana) and sacred throne (pallaṅka). A wonderful Hneephayargyi made of bamboo-­strips exists at the Myathabeit foothill in Thaton, Mon state. A group of six young craftsmen who made the image was led by Sayar Myint Naing Oo. Unlike other images, there are interesting and wonderful features in the creating of this particular Hneephayargyi. Therefore, this monograph on the brief history of statues and images and the creating of Hneephayargyi are compiled and presented so that Buddhists may not only revere and strengthen their faith, but it may also, be of partial help to those who want to find out and study Buddhists arts. Key words: the impressive capability of the Myanmar’s handicraft."......Paper delivered at the International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015.
Author/creator: Myint Myint Than
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
Format/size: pdf (233K)
Alternate URLs: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th/web/Burma/home.php#
Date of entry/update: 26 August 2015


Title: The Value of Life in Myanmar Theravada Buddhist Thought
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: Introduction: "...The first question mainly concerns with the characteristic of human life. The answer for this question is that which characteristic and quality are involved in human life. The second question chiefly regards with the cause or the origin of human life. Regarding this, there are some alternative questions such as 'How did life get here'?' Why are we here'?' How did life start'? etc. The third quest ion is very clear that it investigates the meaning of human life. The last question is also clear that it is searching for the value and purpose of human life. It is making assessment of the value and purpose of life in various philosophical systems. This paper mainly concerns with the last question. Many ordinary men may think that the value and purpose of life lies in the concept of fame, status, power, wealth etc. However, most philosophers never regard fame, status, power, wealth as the true value and purpose of life. Instead, they advocates happiness, harmony, knowledge etc are the true value of life.".....Paper delivered at the International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015.
Author/creator: Tun Shwe
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
Format/size: pdf (216K)
Date of entry/update: 26 August 2015


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