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Religion

  • Animism

    • The Nats

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Thai spirits not welcome in Myanmar
      Date of publication: 19 April 2013
      Description/subject: "...The majority of people in Nabule are Buddhist and celebrate nat festivals but they do not keep nat statues to worship at their home. ‘We do believe and worship the village’s nat but now seeing Thai spirit houses in the area, it is like a guest is taking forced residence in our house. We do not want spirit houses in a religious Buddhist area like this. There is a possibility for cultural mixing and I am concerned about our culture being threatened by another culture’, said U Aung Ba, member of the Nabule Spiritual Group. Nabule famous for it’s ancient religious sites has more than 2000 households and around 10,000 Buddhists. Local people are [majority] Tavoyan and Tavoyan is the main language spoken in the area. In Thailand, it is common to see spirit houses at people’s residences, corporate buildings and mega shopping malls in the city. It is believed that worshiping and making offerings to spirits can bring luck to one’s occupation and business."
      Author/creator: Violet Cho
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "New Mandala"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 16 July 2014


      Individual Documents

      Title: "Nats' Wives" or "Children of Nats": From Spirit Possession to Transmission Among the Ritual Specialists of the Cult of the Thirty-Seven Lords
      Date of publication: 22 September 2009
      Description/subject: Transmission processes in the Burmese cult known as the cult of the Thirty- Seven Lords are examined here through the analysis of three succession cases among the ritual specialists of this cult. I seek to understand how transmission works in a cult whose main ritual manifestation is spirit possession that involves the logic of inspiration and vocation, rather than the logic of reproduction and succession. A careful examination of contrasted cases reveals that succession among spirit mediums, rather than obeying fixed rules, actually involves the differentiated transmission of assets made of ritual property, functions, positions, and knowledge. Various combinations -- of spirit possession and affiliation or fictive kinship, of inspiration and tradition -- appear to operate at different levels of the cult, with inversions of values sustaining both its dynamics and its reproduction. keywords: spirit possession--ritual specialists--transmission--succession--tradition
      Author/creator: Benedicte Brac de la Perriere
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asian Ethnology" Volume 68, Number 2, 2009 via The Free Library
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Asian+Ethnology/2009/September/22-p52621
      Date of entry/update: 22 December 2010


      Title: A New Palace for Mra Swan Dewi: Changes in Spirit Cults in Arakan (Rakhine) State
      Date of publication: 2009
      Description/subject: This article illustrates the relationship between religion and political power in a particular process of contemporary Burmese nation building. I highlight the symbolic appropriation of a specific national territory through the mediation of a spirit, and the recent building of a sanctuary in Arakan state by the wife of a Burmese military officer posted in the region, an action that is akin to concluding an agreement with a local spirit and then establishing the foundation of central authority over a local population. It highlights a process whereby the use of religion by the Burmese in the configuration of territory is observed as a way of maintaining or legitimizing hegemony over the country's marginal population groups. The article also shows how this process is made possible thanks to a specific segment of the local Arakanese elite, perceived to be the referring authority... keywords: Arakan state--spirit cults--nation building--territory-- locality--authority and power--tradition
      Author/creator: Alexandra de Mersan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture: "Asian Ethnology" Volume 68, Number 2, 2009
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Asian+Ethnology/2009/September/22-p52621
      Date of entry/update: 22 December 2010


      Title: Festival Time at a Nat Shrine
      Date of publication: September 2004
      Description/subject: "A village celebrates its invisible rulers... Text By Aung Lwin Oo and photos by Olivier Pin-Fat Burma’s biggest nat festival takes place every August in the village of Taung Pyone, original home of two of the 37 original names in the nat pantheon. For five days each year Taung Pyone village becomes a fairground. Taung Pyone, 14 km north of Mandalay, has about 7,000 nat shrines, nearly 2,000 of them elaborate ones dedicated to the village’s famous sons—the brothers Shwe Phyin Gyi and Shwe Phyin Lay. They are said to have been executed by the 11th century Pagan ruler King Anawrahta for failing to help in the construction of a chedi to enshrine Buddha relics. The story is kept alive today by the symbolic absence from the ancient chedi of two bricks which the two brothers were instructed to contribute..."
      Author/creator: Aung Lwin Oo
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 8
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=4029
      Date of entry/update: 11 November 2004


      Title: Where Spirits Dwell
      Date of publication: September 2004
      Description/subject: Ancient nat cult still rules in Burmese households... The wedding announcement in a Burmese newspaper read like any other. But there was one startling discrepancy—the bridegroom was dead. The bride, though, believed she was marrying someone who could support her as well as any living being. Her chosen partner was a nat, an influential member of the spirit world. She became a nat kadaw, or nat spouse. Such “unions” are quite common in Burma, even though the country is devoutly Buddhist. As in neighboring Thailand, Theravada Buddhism exists happily enough alongside a widespread belief in the existence of a spirit world, and it’s commonly accepted that the Lord Buddha himself went through cycles of being a nat..."
      Author/creator: Yeni
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 8
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 11 November 2004


      Title: The Cult of the 'Thirty-Seven Lords'
      Date of publication: October 2001
      Description/subject: "The cult of the 'Thirty-Seven Lords', known in Burma as the thirty-seven 'naq' is commonly viewed as being a remnant of practices prevalent before Buddhicization, that is to say, as superstitions having their origins in the obscure period predating the establishment of Burmese civilization. This article will argue against this assumption and will assert that this cult cannot be properly understood if it is not considered as a part of the Burmese religious system still evolving with Buddhist society. The socio-religious structure of the 'naq' cult shows that it is neither a pre-Buddhist remnant, nor is it borrowed from India. Close analysis of the actual cult, of its legends of foundation, and of the historical evidence, clearly shows that it is a construct of Burmese Buddhist kings or, in other words, a produce of the localization of Buddhism in Burma..."
      Author/creator: Benedicte Brac de la Perriere
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Newsletter, Issue 25, International Institute for Asian Studies (Leiden)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Friends in High Places (about)
      Date of publication: 2001
      Description/subject: directed by Lindsey Merrison – Burma, 86 minutes. 56 minute version also available. video sale $225 rental $65 “Buddhism and nat worship are like mangoes and bananas” "...Whether contending with a deceitful daughter-in-law, forecasting financial prospects for a tea shop, or freeing a husband from government detainment, Friends in High Places reveals the central role of nats and spirit mediums in alleviating the day to day burdens of modern Burmese life..".
      Author/creator: Lindsey Merrison
      Language: English
      Alternate URLs: http://www.der.org/films/friends-in-high-places-preview.html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


  • Buddhism

    • Burmese and general Buddhist teaching, meditation, links, resources, directories

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: America Burma Buddhist Association (ABBA)
      Description/subject: Direction to temples in the USA, event calendar, newsletters, Dhamma questions, donation form, guest book and links. Mahasi Sayadaw tradition
      Language: English
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Birmingham Buddhist Vihara
      Description/subject: photos, articles on Buddhism, publications, meditation, Buddhism FAQ...
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burmese Buddhist Vihara
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 13 March 2004


      Title: Birmingham Peace Pagoda -- Sayadaw U Rewata Dhamma
      Language: English
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Bodhgaya News
      Description/subject: "This website aims to present a picture of what's happening in the Buddhist pilgrimage centre of Bodhgaya in the state of Bihar in India. The intention is to cover four main areas of news about Bodh Gaya: what's in the press, both English and Hindi, about Bodh Gaya, what events are happening there, what kind of meditation programs are scheduled and news about development activity in Bodh Gaya..."
      Author/creator: Dr Peter G. Friedlander
      Language: English
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Buddhanet File Library - General Buddhism
      Description/subject: Downloadable zipfiles of texts by Theravada teachers including Burmese:Ven Sayadaw U Janaka, Sayadaw U Jotika, Sayagyi U Ba Khin, Sayagyi U Chit Tin
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Buddha Dharma Education Association
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Buddhanet File Library - Meditation Methods
      Description/subject: Texts by Theravada teachers, including Burmese
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Buddha Dharma Education Association
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Buddhanet File Library - Theravada
      Description/subject: Downloadable zipfiles of texts by Theravada teachers including Burmese.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Buddha Dharma Education Association
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Buddhanet Search Engine
      Description/subject: Search for Burma, Burmese etc.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Buddha Dharma Education Association
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Buddhanet: Theravada Links
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Buddha Dharma Education Association
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Buddhanet: World Buddhist Directory (Myanmar)
      Description/subject: Lists meditation centres in Burma
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Buddhanet
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Buddhism in Myanmar (Burma)
      Description/subject: "Cyber Vihara For Daily Puja. Myanmar Way of Daily Buddhist Routines". Major link site for Burmese Buddhism. Shrines, senior monks, important religious events, monasteries in Myanmar and abroad, on-line discussion about Buddhism, and free books offer.
      Language: English
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Buddhism in the National Capital of Canada
      Description/subject: Has a good list of online Buddhist resources
      Language: English
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Buddhism Information and Articles
      Description/subject: "This Page consists of information on Buddhism, and has links to dozens of articles about the Buddhist Religion, as well as Buddhist Meditation. Learn about Buddhism by reading these articles from Buddhist monks, as well as laypeople who have a love and instight into Buddhist teachings. The information contained in these articles is meant to help all. We have many free articles about the history and philosophy of Buddhism which should appeal to most anyone interested in finding out about the religion of the Buddha..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: The Buddha Garden.com
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 21 May 2011


      Title: Buddhist bibliography
      Description/subject: 5694 titles (March 2004). Not much about Burmese Buddhism.
      Author/creator: Roger Garin-Michaud
      Language: English, French, Francais, Deutsch, German, Tibetan, Sanskrit
      Source/publisher: cyberdistributeur.com
      Format/size: html (1.3MB)
      Date of entry/update: 01 March 2004


      Title: Buddhist links
      Description/subject: About 400 links (March 2004) to Buddhist sites, mostly Mayahana/Vajrayana, with some useful meta-sites (lists of lists). Not much on Burmese Buddhism.
      Author/creator: Roger Garin-Michaud
      Language: English, French, Francais
      Source/publisher: cyberdistributeur.com
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 March 2004


      Title: Buddhist Virtual Library
      Description/subject: Meta meta lists (all traditions) Dr T.Matthew Ciolek (The Australian National University, Canberra, AU), (U. of North Carolina at Wilmington, US) and Privat-Dozent Jerome Ducor (Ethnographic Museum, Geneva, CH) in association with Adrian Hale, Barry Kapke, Murray Kessell, and Peter Schlenker (in US, UK, DE and AU).
      Author/creator: Dr T.Matthew Ciolek, Prof. Joe Bransford Wilson, Barry Kapke, Murray Kessell, Peter Schlenker
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: The World-Wide Web Virtual Library
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Buddhistisch geprgte Lnder Asiens - Burma
      Language: Deutsch, German, English
      Source/publisher: Das Internationale Netzwerk engagierter Buddhisten
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Cyber-Vihara
      Description/subject: Major link site for Buddhism in general and Burmese Buddhism in particular. English and Burmese versions.
      Language: English, Burmese
      Source/publisher: Cyber-Vihara
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/cvihara2.htm (Burmese)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Dhamma Journal
      Language: English
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Dhammadownload
      Description/subject: "This is the Dhamma Download Home Page. In this Web Site, you can freely download or listen on-line most of the Dhamma Talks which were given by Burmese monks over the years. You will be able to find talks in Burmese and English languages..."
      Language: English (html and audio), Burmese (html, audio and video)
      Source/publisher: Dhammadownload
      Format/size: html, Widows audio. Seems not to work with Netscape.
      Date of entry/update: 15 January 2004


      Title: DhammaWeb
      Description/subject: A large, ecumenical Buddhist site, with a Burma/Myanmar slant, encompassing the U Ba Khin as well as the Mahasi Sayadaw traditions. Features also Western teachers like Jack Kornfeld and Sharon Salzberg. Lots of downloadable material in the fields of: BUDDHA; DHAMMA; SANGHA; Teachers; Ancient Pagoda; Meditation; Interview; News/Opinion; Tipitka; Audio DataBase; Video DataBase; Books DataBase; Sayadaw Photo; Pa Auk Photo; Monasteries; DhammaWeb Art; DhammaWeb Photo (mostly of Burma). The Tipitaka DataBase (complete?) is very impressive.
      Language: English, Burmese
      Source/publisher: DhammaWeb
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 19 April 2007


      Title: Dharma Network
      Description/subject: Tapovan Forest Dharma Community, home of DharmaNetwork. Pictures of Tapovan, including our eco-buildings, our annual events programme and new information for visitors in 2002. Also the International teaching programme of Martin Aylward, Tapovan's co-founder and resident teacher. The Sangha Directory A resource set up by DharmaNetwork, to establish connection and share resources among like minded Dharma Friends. More and more are joining as an easy way to stay in touch with Sangha and hear about different initiatives being organised. Click here to go directly to the Directory or click here to find out more. ?DharmaYatra? ? A Pilgrimage. In July 2001, 90 people took part, over 3 weeks, in a 320km walk from Tapovan to Plum Village. We were greatly inspired and touched by the potency of pilgrimage as a form of Dharma practice and Sangha connection. Read a report on the walk and see the photo gallery. Click here to go dirsctly to information on DharmaYatra 2002... India 2003 - Retreat information for Bodh Gaya and Sarnath. Information on the annual Dharma practice and teachings in India with Christopher Titmuss and other teachers. A month of silent residential retreats in Bodh Gaya and then the Sarnath programme, combining formal practice and teachings with informal discussion and Sangha connection Dharma Facilitator Programme A 2 year programme in Eorope of study, practice and exploration of Dharma and its application in the West, led by Christopher Titmuss. The Sangam A new kind of Dharma Center evolving from Tapovan and being set up in Southern France. Information on the vision, the place, the great potential, possibilities, and the people involved.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Tapovan Forest Dharma Community
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Digital Buddhist Library and Museum
      Description/subject: Comprehensive Cyberspace for Buddhist Studies. Many sections do not work.
      Language: Chinese, English
      Source/publisher: Center for Buddhist Studies, National Taiwan University; Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies, Dharma Drum Mountain
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 09 August 2003


      Title: eDhamma.com, A Theravada Buddhism Website
      Description/subject: Print and audio texts of Burmese sayadaws... "This website is managed by a group of Myanmar Buddhist Families in the San Francisco Bay Area dedicated to the propagation of sasana all over the world. When a member of the group receives a dhamma tape, s/he lets the others know. All the members believe that "Dhamma dana is the supreme gift". Although we are far from Myanmar, we cherish Myanmar Buddhist culture. We want to share our treasure with readers all over the world. We have provided links to other Theravada sites. With their approval, we have posted biographies of eminent Sayadaws. Readers who want to practice vipassana are advised to seek the guidance of experienced meditation teachers. You can look up the various Theravada web sites for the schedules of short-term and long-term retreats."
      Language: English, Burmese
      Source/publisher: eDhamma.com
      Format/size: html, realaudia
      Date of entry/update: 29 October 2003


      Title: Gaia House
      Description/subject: A Centre for Meditation, Enquiry and Compassion. Gaia House offers Insight Meditation (known as Vipassana in the Buddhist tradition) and Zen Retreats throughout the year. The Centre provides comprehensive Dharma teachings and spiritual practices to realize wisdom and compassion in daily life. The Centre is not tied to any religion. West Ogwell, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 6EN, United Kingdom... 2002 retreat programme; online booking form; details of the latest Manager vacancies.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Gaia House
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Gustaaf Houtman : Burma-Related Publications
      Description/subject: Mainly online material
      Author/creator: Gustaaf Houtman
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Gustaaf Houtman
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Alternate URLs: http://sites.google.com/site/ghoutman/
      Date of entry/update: 07 January 2011


      Title: Index of Buddhist Internet Resources
      Author/creator: Paul Trafford
      Language: English
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Insight Meditation
      Description/subject: Welcome.... Dear Friends, Dharma teachings and insight meditation practices, known as Vipassana in the Buddhist Tradition, have a single purpose. They point to an enlightened life. To explore these teachings, participation in an insight meditation retreat is strongly recommended or direct instruction from an insight meditation teacher. May the teachings, meditations, reflections and information contained prove beneficial to all visitors. These teachings are not intended to represent any religious tradition or retreat centre. This website is updated every May and November. Towards Liberation, Christopher Titmus. With permission to reproduce. Teachings; Guided Meditations; Articles & Poems; Social & Political; Books & Tapes; Light on Enlightenment; Gaia House Programme; Dharma Facilitators Programme; International Retreats; Bodh Gaya Retreats 2003; Sarnath, India, 2003; Centres & Teachers; Other sites.
      Author/creator: Christopher Titmuss
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Insight Meditation Organisation
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: International Meditation Centres in the Tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin
      Description/subject: This is the Publications page of the Splatts House site. Discourses and other texts by Sayagyi U Ba Khin, Webu Sayadaw Mahathera, Ledi Sayadaw. Other parts of the site have meditation schedules, world-side contacts, a newsletter, vipassana meditation application form etc. and a link to the Pali Text Society.
      Language: English
      Alternate URLs: http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/meditate.htm
      Date of entry/update: 22 November 2010


      Title: Leigh Brasington's Web Site
      Description/subject: NOT WORKING, OCTOBER 2003 # Ven. Ayya Khema # Ven. Tsoknyi Rinpoche # Upcoming Meditation Retreats # Meditation Retreat Centers # Reading List To Do Lists # Buddhism by the Numbers # Suttas Sutta Study Guides # Sutta Database Pali Dictionaries # The Jhanas (Meditative Absorptions) # Concentration & Insight Practices # Essays and Talks on Buddhism ...and much more
      Author/creator: Leigh Brasington
      Language: English
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Mahasi Meditation Centre, Buddha Sasana Nuggaha Organisation
      Description/subject: Photos of Mahasi Sayadaw, Chief Ovadacaria Sayadaws, Visiting Bhikkhus, Past and Present Presidents, Executive Committee Members; Discourses by Mahasi Sayadaw. Information about the Centre (Rangoon), list of publications in English and Burmese, online texts of discourses, World Wide List of Affiliated Mahasi Meditation Centers and more.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Buddha Sasana Nuggaha Organisation
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Meditation and Buddhism
      Description/subject: Vipassana resources, mainly in the U Ba Khin tradition
      Language: English
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Nibbana.Com
      Description/subject: "Presenting Theravada Buddhist tradition in its pristine form"
      Language: English
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Pāḷi Tipiṭaka
      Description/subject: "The Pāḷi Tipiṭaka is now available online in various scripts. Although all are in Unicode fonts, you may need to install some fonts and make some changes to your system to view the site correctly..."
      Language: English, Pāḷi
      Source/publisher: Vipassana Research Institute
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 21 May 2011


      Title: Satipanya Buddhist Trust
      Description/subject: "The Satipanya Buddhist Trust is grounded in the Buddhist Tradition of Theravada as practised in South-East Asia. Satipanya is located in Powys, Wales, in UK, south of Shrewsbury and near the Shropshire border. We run retreats devoted to contemplative living and vipassana insight meditation in the tradition of the Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma... Satipanya wishes to cultivate a meditative and contemplative atmosphere devoted to the two duties the Buddha would have his disciples fulfil: To practise Vipassana and to study the Dhamma. Vipassana, Insight Meditation, is the core practice taught by the Buddha. It is a method of self-investigation to see how we create our own mental distress and how we can put an end to it. The Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma taught a skilful method of vipassana that ultimately leads to this end of contentment and happiness, Nibbana. Rare it is to find the place and the time where we can stop and contemplate our lives, to spend time reflecting on the Buddha’s teachings and explore what to do when there is nothing to achieve? "...The site has essays and audio files by the Trust's spiritual director, Bhante Bodhidhamma.
      Author/creator: Bhante Bodhidhamma
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Satipanya Buddhist Trust
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 28 May 2007


      Title: Sitagu Buddhist Vihara (Austin, Texas)
      Description/subject: Articles, links, including to projects in Burma, Dhamma resources etc.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Sitagu Buddhist Vihara
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 30 October 2003


      Title: The Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw's Discourses and Treatises on Buddhism
      Description/subject: Audio (English, French, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German) and pdf files (English) of Discourses, mainly by Mahasi Sayadaw. Plus Biography, Forum, News, List of officers of The Buddha Sæsana Nauggaha Organization from 1947, List of Donors and how much they gave.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: The Buddha Sæsana Nauggaha Organization
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: The Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw's Treatises on Buddhism
      Description/subject: English language texts. Slow site.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: The Buddha Sæsana Nauggaha Organization
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 23 May 2005


      Title: Tipitaka On-line: The Teachings of the Buddha
      Description/subject: "The original Teachings of Gotama Buddha are available online in simple English, translated by distinguished Buddhist Scholars from Burma (Myanmar) where Theravada Buddhism prospers in pristine form. Registered readers of TIPITAKA On-line will receive the articles or the daily digest by Email, or view at the site as options."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Tipitaka online
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 08 November 2003


      Title: Tisarana Vihara
      Description/subject: Twickenham, London. "A Burmese (Myanmar) Buddhist Monastery in West London; English-speaking Resident Monks are actively engaged in Daily Dhamma Routines.
      Language: English
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 08 November 2003


      Title: Vipassana Meditation Website
      Description/subject: Retreat schedules, instructions etc. "This is the international home page of the organizations which offer courses in Vipassana Meditation in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin as taught by S.N. Goenka and his assistant teachers. Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India's most ancient techniques of meditation. It was taught in India more than 2500 years ago as a universal remedy for universal ills, i.e., an Art of Living. For those who are not familiar with Vipassana Meditation, an Introduction to Vipassana by Mr. Goenka is available. The technique of Vipassana Meditation is taught at ten-day residential courses during which participants learn the basics of the method, and practice sufficiently to experience its beneficial results. There are no charges for the courses - not even to cover the cost of food and accommodation. All expenses are met by donations from people who, having completed a course and experienced the benefits of Vipassana, wish to give others the opportunity to also benefit. There are numerous Centers in India and Southern Asia; seven Centers in North America; seven Centers in Europe; seven Centers in Australia/New Zealand; and one Center in Japan. Each Center maintains its own schedule of regular ten day Vipassana courses. In addition, ten day courses are frequently held at other locations outside of Centers as they are arranged by local students of Vipassana in those areas. An alphabetical list of worldwide course locations is available..."
      Language: English
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: World Buddhist Directory Myanmar
      Description/subject: Lists meditation centres in Burma
      Language: English
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Individual Documents

      Title: Memories of Myanmar: A year at the Theravada Buddhist Missionary University
      Date of publication: October 2004
      Description/subject: "In 2003/2004, the author spent a year studying at ITBMU in Yangon, Myanmar. ITBMU is the acronym for the International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University; the largest Buddhist missionary project of the Burmese military regime, opened on the 9th of December 1998...If you have a serious interest in Buddhism, ITBMU is not the place where you would be able to pursue serious academic inquiry. It would be a pity to lose interest after a stint at ITBMU. People would be well-advised to go to Thailand or Sri Lanka. If you want to stay in Myanmar for some time, stay in one of the many meditation centers, you can still find wise teachers and good monks able to give proper meditation guidance. As for the ITBMU, the government department that set it up have their own interest to show themselves in a better light. They need the University and the foreign students to promote their own public relations image abroad; taking pictures of all graduates to fill the pages of the newspapers, both local and foreign..."
      Language: English
      Format/size: html (56K)
      Date of entry/update: 12 November 2004


      Title: Sayagyi U Ba Khin: Was Buddhismus ist
      Date of publication: 11 May 2001
      Description/subject: VORWORT: "Die folgenden drei Vorträge wurden von Sayagyi U Ba Khin auf Anfrage einer Gruppe westlicher Besucher im September und Oktober 1951 in der Methodisten-Kirche in Yangon, Myanmar (Rangun, Burma) gehalten. Das grundsätzliche Ziel von Sayagyi U Ba Khin war einerseits die Übung von Dhamma und andererseits, anderen die Übung von Dhamma zu lehren. Dieses Ziel ließ ihm nicht viel Zeit für Aktivitäten wie dem Schreiben von Büchern. Wenn er jedoch eingeladen wurde, einen Vortrag über Buddha-Dhamma zu halten, zeigte sich, daß sein theoretisches Verständnis dem Niveau seiner praktischen Übung entsprach. Das bedeutet jedoch nicht, daß Sayagyi dieWichtigkeit von Texten nicht zu würdigen wußte. Fortwährend bezog er sich auf die buddhistischen Texte, wie sie im Pali-Kanon und in den Kommentaren niedergelegt wurden. Er wies auch immer daraufhin, daß das Verständnis des Buddhismus nicht vollständig ist, wenn es nicht auch das Wissen um die grundlegenden Prinzipien der buddhistischen Lehre umfaßt. Sayagyi betonte jedoch immer, ein Mann der Übung zu sein. Oft gab er jenen, die ihn über buddhistische Meditation befragten, kurze Erklärungen, um dann zu sagen: "Genug der Worte, versuchen wir es jetzt!" Diese "kurzen Erklärungen", aus denen diese Broschüre besteht, bilden eine ausgezeichnete Einführung in die Theorie des Theravada-Buddhismus. Mögen sie auch heute die Lesenden dazu inspirieren, echter buddhistischer Meditation eine faire Chance zu geben....."
      Author/creator: Sayagyi U Ba Khin
      Language: German, Deutsch
      Source/publisher: Internationales Meditationszentrum Österreich
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.ubakhin.ch/
      http://www.ubakhin.net/
      http://www.ubakhin.ch/publikationen.html
      Date of entry/update: 22 December 2010


      Title: Knowing and Seeing
      Date of publication: 2000
      Description/subject: Talks and Questions and Answers at a meditation retreat in Taiwan by Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw. This book details two approaches to insight meditation, namely, "tranquillity and insight" and "bare-insight" meditation. These two methods are essentially identical, starting from four-elements meditation and continuing into insight meditation. In this book the reader has an explanation of the classic instructions for both methods. The talks in this book were given by the Sayadaw teacher, from Pa-Auk, Mawlamyine, Myanmar, while he conducted a two-month meditation retreat at Yi-Tung Temple, Sing Choo City, Taiwan.
      Author/creator: Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Buddha Dhamma Education Association Inc
      Format/size: pdf (912K)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: The Practice Which Leads to Nibbana
      Date of publication: 1998
      Description/subject: Ven. Pa-Auk Sayadaw. Translated by Greg Kleiman. This is the method of practising meditation that is taught at Pa Auk Tawya Monastery, Myanmar Burma. It is based on the explanation of meditation found in the Visuddhimagga commentary. Because of that the method involves several stages of practice which are complex, and involved. These stages include a detailed analysis of both mentality and matter, according to all the categories enumerated in the Abhidhamma, and the further use of this understanding to discern the process of Dependent Origination as it occurs in the Past, Present, and Future. Therefore people who are unfamiliar with the Visuddhimagga and the Abhidhamma will have difficulty in understanding and developing a clear picture of the practice of meditation at Pa Auk Tawya. For foreigners who cannot speak Burmese this problem is made even more difficult. This introduction has been written to help Alleviate these difficulties by presenting a simplified example of a successful meditator's path of progress as he develops his meditation at Pa Auk Tawya.
      Language: English
      Format/size: PDF (1176K)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: ‘Beyond the cradle and past the grave: the biography of Burmese meditation master U Ba Khin’
      Date of publication: 1997
      Description/subject: In Juliane Schober (ed.), Buddhist sacred biography in South and Southeast Asia. Universityof Hawai’i Press, 1997, pp 310-44.
      Author/creator: Gustaaf Houtman
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Universityof Hawai’i Press
      Format/size: pdf (1.5 MB) - 34 pages
      Alternate URLs: http://sites.google.com/site/ghoutman/published-work

      https://doc-04-80-docs.googleusercontent.com/docs/secure/vge26io45jblv96cf2o0j6c6jqneombu/i54togug4o374pco4f60kjkklruh826f/1292997600000/05684544955227738873/06771706098489303724/0B4h2jH17EBsEYTBjMTExNTktNjY5Mi00ZTNlLWE2NzktZTQxZDgxYmJlMGE3?e=open&nonce=t6jktnd27v3mk&user=06771706098489303724&hash=4sk4so2hbbdek6msdg0crr0qbb3md4lu
      Date of entry/update: 22 December 2010


      Title: The Benefits of Meditation and Sacrifice
      Date of publication: September 1996
      Author/creator: Aung San Suu Kyi
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Bangkok Post
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Living Meditation, Living Insight
      Date of publication: 1995
      Description/subject: The Path of Mindfulness in Daily Life. "I wrote this book to encourage practitioners learning to meditate in daily life. In this sense, the articles are presented as a "hands-on" or, more accurately, a "minds-on" training manual. Although I discuss meditation in general, the real focus is on how the Dhamma brings us into spontaneous, wholesome and creative living. My objective in presenting the articles is to help the aspirant build up a solid foundation of mindfulness as a way of life rather than as a practice separated from daily living."
      Author/creator: Dr. Thynn Thynn
      Language: Engl;ish
      Source/publisher: Buddha Dhamma Education Association Inc
      Format/size: PDF (270K)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Dhamma Discourses on Vipassana Meditation: Ven Sayadaw U Kundala
      Date of publication: June 1992
      Description/subject: Sayadaw U Kundala is a renowned meditation master in the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition of Burma, noted for his loving-kindness. In these Dhamma talks the stages of the practice and the Insight Knowledges are explained. The method of meditation is given with detailed instruction. There is a detailed explanation of the Contemplation of Feelings, the second foundation of mindfulness, which, in the Theravada tradition, is the key to the Insight Knowledges. Overall, in the Sayadaw's teachings, there is much for the vipassana or insight meditator to be inspired by.
      Author/creator: Sayadaw U Kundala
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Buddha Dhamma Education Association Inc.
      Format/size: pdf
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Buddhist Nuns in Burma
      Date of publication: 1991
      Description/subject: Historical outline of the situation of Buddhist nuns in Burma, and argument for the restoration of full ordination of women into the Order. "...The present nuns of Burma are not regarded as full female equivalents of the monks. They are not bhikkhunis. The name for the Buddhist nuns is sila-rhan (owner of good moral conduct), may- sila (Miss Virtue), or bhva-sila (granny virtue). However, "rhan" is also the normal term of address for male novices (Pali: samanera, Burmese: kui-ran). Even the word "rhan-pru" (make a "rhan") refers to the pabbajja (leaving the household life) of male novices..."__ "According to a legend in the Burmese historical chronicles, the Burmese race arose from the union of a Sakyan prince, a fugitive related to the Buddha, and the daughter of a local chieftain in the city of Tagaung in Upper Burma. This is fixed in the memories of the people with the proverb, "The beginning of the Burmese people is from Tagaung." Quite certainly Theravada Buddhism has been a nation-building element in Burma. The majority of the inhabitants of the modern nation, the Socialist People's Republic of the Myanmar, define themselves as Burmese Buddhists. This statement is not merely a religious definition, but has a full range of social and juridical implications....."
      Author/creator: Dr. Friedgard Lottermoser
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Sakyadhita Newsletter, Summer 1991, vol.2, no.2
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.enabling.org/ia/vipassana/Archive/L/Lottermoser/burmeseNunsLottermoser.html
      http://dhammaramthinunnery.blogspot.com/2010/04/buddhist-nuns-in-burma-dr-friedgard.html
      Date of entry/update: 22 December 2010


      Title: An Introduction to Buddhism
      Description/subject: The pages of this web site were written for the students of my class on Buddhist Psychology. Although the religious aspects of Buddhism are discussed, I am far more interested in presenting Buddhism's philosophical and psychological side. It is not necessary to believe in heavens or hells, in gods, demons, or ghosts, or even in rebirth or reincarnation in order to benefit from the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. I myself believe in none of these things, and yet have learned a great deal from the sutras -- far more than from any other source. I encourage all of you to become familiar with Buddhism, and I humbly suggest that these pages are a good place to begin! ..... "This is the teaching of the Buddhas..... The Buddha was born Siddhartha Gautama, a prince of the Sakya tribe of Nepal, in approximately 566 BC. When he was twentynine years old, he left the comforts of his home to seek the meaning of the suffering he saw around him. After six years of arduous yogic training, he abandoned the way of self-mortification and instead sat in mindful meditation beneath a bodhi tree. On the full moon of May, with the rising of the morning star, Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha, the enlightened one. The Buddha wandered the plains of northeastern India for 45 years more, teaching the path or Dharma he had realized in that moment. Around him developed a community or Sangha of monks and, later, nuns, drawn from every tribe and caste, devoted to practicing this path. In approximately 486 BC, at the age of 80, the Buddha died. His last words are said to be....."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Dr. C. George Boeree Shippensburg University
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/introabudismo.html
      Date of entry/update: 22 December 2010


      Title: An Introduction to Buddhism
      Description/subject: INTRODUCTION: "There are as many reasons for coming here to the Vihara as there are people who come. Perhaps yours was simply one of interest. You may have heard about Buddhism and you decided to investigate further. May be you havecome along to experience this particular Buddhist practice. You may have come along in the hope that meditation will help you sort out problems: - personal, interpersonal and social, or even that Buddhism will become your long searched for 'life's answer'! Whatever your personal reason for coming, this booklet is only an introduction and it would be impossible to include in it answers. to all the questions we get asked. So if after reading it, you have not been satisfied, then please ask one of the meditation teachers or one of the monks...."
      Author/creator: Venerable Dr. Rewata Dhamma
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Dhamma-talaka Publications
      Format/size: pdf (6.22 MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.scribd.com/doc/45737846/Introduction-to-Buddhism
      Date of entry/update: 22 December 2010


      Title: Mahasi Sayadaw
      Description/subject: A biographical sketch
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Sattipatthana Vipassana Meditation
      Description/subject: "The following explanation of the Buddhist practice of mindfulness has been drastically abridged from the begining of the text "Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation" by the Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw Agga Maha Pandita...The method of developing Wisdom is to observe matter and mind which are the two sole elements existing in a body with a view to know them in their true form. At present times experiments in the analytical observation of matter are usually carried out in laboratories with the aid of various kinds of instruments; yet these methods cannot deal with mindstuff. The Buddhist method of does not, however, require any kind of instruments or outside aid. It can successfully deal with both matter and mind. It makes use of one's own mind for analytical purpose by fixing bare attention on the activities of matter and mind as they occur in the body. By continually repeating this form of exercise the necessary Concentration can be gained and when the Concentration is keen enough, the ceaseless course of arising and passing away of matter and mind will be vividly perceptible..."
      Author/creator: Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw Agga Maha Pandita
      Language: English
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Snow in the Summer
      Description/subject: Sayadaw U Jotika. This book is a compilation of extracts from letters written by Sayadaw U Jotika, a Burmese Buddhist monk, to his Western students ten to fifteen years ago. These letters have been collated under the topics indicated by these chapter headings: Mind, Mindfulness and Meditation; Solitude; Parental Love and Guidance; Life, Living and Death; Learning and Teaching; Value and Philosophy; Friendship, Relationships and Loving-kindness.
      Author/creator: Sayadaw U Jotika
      Language: English
      Format/size: PDF (397K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.buddhanet.net/snow.htm
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • 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 (2600K), or browse chapters (html) from the Copntents page
      Alternate URLs: http://homepages.tesco.net/~ghoutman/final.htm
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      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 (8.2MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://ia341340.us.archive.org/0/items/cu31924023243904/cu31924023243904.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 21 September 2010


    • Buddhism and Society

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Violence and responsibility in Myanmar
      Date of publication: 23 August 2013
      Description/subject: "After a brief lull in Buddhist-Muslim conflict in Myanmar, there are reports of renewed violence and unrest in western Rakhine State, where Muslim Rohingya and Buddhist Rakhines remain forcibly separated. A law that would restrict inter-religious marriage is gaining in popularity, while Buddhist monks associated with the 969 movement continue to preach anti-Muslim sermons. At the same time, they rely on a particular interpretation of Buddhist teachings to deny responsibility for the violence committed in the name of 969 and the protection of Buddhism. However, others have argued for a different interpretation of Buddhist philosophy rooted in the teaching of ''right speech'' and an awareness of the effects of our actions on others..."
      Author/creator: Matthew J Walton
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 06 June 2014


      • Buddhism and society, Buddhist Ethics

        Websites/Multiple Documents

        Title: Buddhist Peace Fellowship
        Description/subject: Engaged Buddhism
        Language: English
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        Title: Buddhist Peace Fellowship discussion group
        Description/subject: "This group is set up for discussion, announcements, and matters of interest pertaining to Socially Engaged Buddhism in the U.S. and the world at large"
        Language: English
        Subscribe: bpf-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
        Alternate URLs: More information: http://www.bpf.org
        Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


        Title: Buddhist Relief Mission
        Description/subject: "The Buddhist Relief Mission, established in 1988, supports Buddhist charities, education and welfare projects throughout the world". Buddhist publications, Scholarships for monks, Buddhists in prison, Buddhist schools, Sangha hospitals, Refugee ordinations, Buddhist orphanages, Monastery support.
        Language: English
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        Title: Engagierter Buddhismus
        Description/subject: "Diese Internet-Seiten mchten Sie mit den Inhalten und der Bewegung fr gesellschaftlich engagierten Buddhismus bekannt machen und Ihnen das internationale Netzwerk engagierter Buddhisten mit seinen Zielen, Ideen, Aktivitten und Kontaktmglichkeiten vorstellen. Engagierter Buddhismus Gesellschaftlich, humanitr und kologisch engagierter Buddhismus hat seine Wurzel und Entstehung in der Lehre und Lebenspraxis des Gautama Shakyamuni Buddha. Buddhas Weg grndet in der meditativen Erfahrung der Wirklichkeit und ist geprgt ist von tiefer Einsicht und groem Mitgefhl fr alle Wesen. Sie und alle Phnomene erkennt er als untrennbar wechselseitig miteinander verbunden. Es gibt kein vom Anderen isoliertes, aus sich und fr sich existierendes "Ich". Diese Erkenntnis - im Buddhismus "Erwachen" (bodhi) genannt - lt uns den tiefsten Grund unseres Leidens erkennen wie auch unser unbegrenztes Potential menschlicher Mglichkeiten (genannt "Buddhaschaft"). Darum hat der Weg des Buddha die umfassende Verwirklichung des Menschen und die Befreiung aller lebenden Wesen vom Leiden zum Ziel. Engagierter Buddhismus ist die Bemhung, eine hieran orientierte, globale "Kultur des Erwachens" zu verwirklichen..."
        Language: Deutsch, German, English
        Source/publisher: Das Internationale Netzwerk engagierter Buddhisten
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        Title: International Network of Engaged Buddhists
        Description/subject: "... It is a distinguish network of activists, spiritual leaders and academics, mainly Buddhists of all sects, at international level that addresses the social issue and commits the social services based on spirituality with collaboration from non-Buddhist fellows. INEB members conduct the activities in variety of issues to serve their own community on decentralization basis. But the members are supportive of one another. The secretariat office will maintain flow of information and support by offering a program to fortify members' capacity and organizing joint activities. Issues of Interest: INEB has firm confidence in compassion, non-violence and co-existence as revealed by The Buddha. Confrontation with suffering, analysis and actions to put out suffering, particularly in the modern world context is the core mission. The issues of interest revolve around integration of spirituality and social activities. Issues that INEB emphasized included peace reconciliation, ecology, women issue and empowerment, health, education, human rights, community building, alternative development, role of spiritual leaders in modern world context, etc..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: International Network of Engaged Buddhists
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        Title: Journal of Buddhist Ethics
        Description/subject: A rich mine of docs, including archives of Journal of Buddhist Ethics and on engaged Buddhism and Buddhism and human rights...... "The Journal of Buddhist Ethics is the first academic journal dedicated entirely to Buddhist ethics. We promote the study of Buddhist ethics through the publication of research and book reviews and by hosting occasional online conferences. Our subject matter includes: * Vinaya and Jurisprudence * Medical Ethics * Philosophical Ethics * Human Rights * Ethics and Psychology * Ecology and the Environment * Social and Political Philosophy * Cross-cultural Ethics * Ethics and Anthropology * Interfaith Dialogue on Ethics ....."
        Language: English
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


        Title: Sarvodaya: The Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement of Sri Lanka
        Description/subject: "In thousands of villages, Sarvodaya has fostered the development of a society in which peace permeates through all levels of the society -- starting at the individual and village level. While sometimes criticized for its qualitative mode of operation, it is precisely such a deeply grounded approach that can prove most effective in breaking the cycle of violence. "This study found that the project has had considerable impact on peace building and prevention of conflict..." "Sarvodaya News; Sarvodaya Initiative for Peace; Endowment Fund; Sarvodaya USA Partnership Projects; Sarvodaya Overview ;Sarvodaya Philosophy; The Sarvodaya Library; Related Links; Virtual Shramadana Camp. LOts of material on the site.
        Language: English
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        Title: The Buddhist Channel -- Bringing Buddha Dhamma Home
        Description/subject: News dealing with social and political angles on Tibetan and other Buddhist traditions
        Language: English, French, Francais
        Source/publisher: The Buddhist Channel
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 30 August 2006


        Title: Think Sangha
        Description/subject: "Buddhist" Intellectual Practice Tools for Integrating Spirituality & Social Change Work. "Think Sangha is a socially engaged Buddhist think tank affiliated with the Buddhist Peace Fellowship (BPF) and the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB). We use a Buddhist sangha model to explore pressing social issues and concerns. The group's methodology is one based in friendship and Buddhist practice as much as theory and thought. The Think Sangha's core activities are networking with other thinker-activists, producing Buddhist critiques of social structures and alternative social models, and providing materials and resource persons for trainings, conferences, and research on social issues and grassroots activism..." "NEW! For the first time the entire contents of this 1997 publication are available here on-line"
        Language: English
        Format/size: html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.suanmokkh.org/ds/ts-orig1.htm
        http://www.inebnetwork.org/news-and-medias/publications
        Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


        Individual Documents

        Title: Discrimination: A Buddhist perspective
        Date of publication: 17 August 2012
        Description/subject: "...The Pali Canon has a very strong and unequivocal teaching that mental attachment is extremely detrimental – a biased view which asserts that people achieve freedom from suffering in any way other than their conduct is a distorted and perverted view. It is a mental attitude that leads to a very detrimental rebirth, and to pain and unhappiness in this life. It can be stated then with some certainty that in the Pali Canon there is a very strong teaching that any form of discourse that proposes a racist opinion is a wrong view, it will lead to suffering and, indeed, is dukkha itself. Those holding such opinions will not only suffer in the future but are themselves an expression of mental turmoil while holding such views. They are immersed in dukkha not metta."
        Author/creator: Dr. Paul Fuller
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Mizzima
        Format/size: pdf (94K)
        Date of entry/update: 17 August 2012


        Title: Founding Human Rights within Buddhism: Exploring Buddha-Nature as an Ethical Foundation
        Date of publication: 15 October 2010
        Description/subject: Abstract In this article, I hope to suggest (1) a fertile ground for human rights and social ethics within Japanese intellec-tual history and (2) a possible angle for connecting Dōgen‖s ethical views with his views on private religious practice. I begin with a review of the attempts to found the notion of rights within Buddhism. I focus on two well-argued attempts: Damien Keown‖s foundation of rights on the Four Noble Truths and individual soteriology and Jay Garfield‖s foundation of rights on the compassionate drive to liberate others. I then fuse these two approaches in a single concept: Buddha-nature. I analyze Dōgen‖s own view on the practice-realization of Buddha-nature, and the equation of Buddha-nature with being, time, empti-ness, and impermanence. I end with tentative suggestions concerning how Dōgen‖s particular view on Buddha-nature might affect any social ethics or view of rights that is founded on it.
        Author/creator: Anton Luis Sevilla
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Journal of Buddhist Ethics Volume 17, 2010
        Format/size: pdf (317 K)
        Alternate URLs: http://blogs.dickinson.edu/buddhistethics/2010/10/15/human-rights-founded-on-buddha-nature/
        Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


        Title: Same Robes, Different Roles
        Date of publication: March 2010
        Description/subject: Burmese monks in Sri Lanka find that their local counterparts wield far more power than they could ever imagine having in their homeland... "For centuries, Burmese monks have been traveling to Sri Lanka, both to study the Buddha’s teachings and to help their Sinhalese brethren restore the monastic order on the island after periods of foreign domination. Burmese monks walk along Galle Face Green, a promenade near Colombo’s city center. (PhotO: NEIL LAWRENCE/THE IRRAWADDY) These days, however, it is the Burmese monks who are more likely to feel under siege. Since the crackdown on the Saffron Revolution in 2007, the Burmese regime has imposed ever more stringent restrictions on monks seeking to further their studies abroad—reinforcing their sense that despite their revered status as religious leaders, they are increasingly regarded as second-class citizens. For those who do make it to Sri Lanka—according to one Burmese embassy official in Colombo, there are some 250 Burmese monks now living in the country—this sense is deepened by the contrast with what they see in the society around them..."
        Author/creator: Neil Lawrence
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 3
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 17 March 2010


        Title: Thai Buddhists Help Needy Burmese Children
        Date of publication: September 2008
        Description/subject: "Needy children in Burma will benefit from an initiative launched by the Phuttika Network, a coalition of “socially engaged’’ Buddhists in Thailand..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 9
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 13 November 2008


        Title: Putting Compassion into Action
        Date of publication: July 2008
        Description/subject: Do Burmese people really understand the meaning of compassion? Not according to a prominent Buddhist monk who has taken a leading role in Cyclone Nargis relief efforts... MAE SOT, Thailand — "“HOW did you feel when you heard that people were homeless, that monks had lost their monasteries and had nowhere to stay? Over 130,000 people were killed and 2.4 million suffered badly. How did you feel?” The monk who asked these questions paused and looked at his audience of around 3,000 people at the Tawya Burmese monastery in the Thai border town of Mae Sot, opposite Myawaddy. A patient is comforted by Sitagu Sayadaw in a clinic in the Irrawaddy delta. He continued: “If you felt concerned and afraid for them, that’s good. It means you have compassion.” But before anyone could take too much satisfaction in that thought, he added: “That’s good, but it’s not good enough.” The speaker was Dr Ashin Nyanissara—better known as Sitagu Sayadaw [abbot]—one of Burma’s most respected monks. He was in Mae Sot in late June to give a dhamma talk on compassion—and to ask the local Burmese community, estimated to be tens of thousands strong, to support relief efforts in the Irrawaddy delta, where millions still struggle in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis. Since the cyclone struck on May 2-3, Sitagu Sayadaw has been rallying his followers to come to the assistance of their compatriots in the delta and the former capital, Rangoon, which also suffered substantial damage. His message was simple: Compassion is important, but it doesn’t amount to much unless it is accompanied by action. “If you lack compassion, you will be an irresponsible person,” the 71-year-old abbot told his attentive audience, who were seated both inside the monastery’s main building and outside on the ground. “But compassion in mind and in words alone won’t help the refugees in the cyclone-affected area,” he added. “Such compassion won’t bring food to people in need.”..."
        Author/creator: Lyaw Zwa Moe
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 7
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 15 July 2008


        Title: BUDDHISM, POWER AND POLITICAL ORDER
        Date of publication: 2007
        Description/subject: "Weber’s claim that Buddhism is an otherworldly religion is only partially true. Early sources indicate that the Buddha was sometimes diverted from supramundane interests to dwell on a variety of politically related matters. The significance of Asoka Maurya as a paradigm for later traditions of Buddhist kingship is also well attested. However, there has been little scholarly effort to integrate findings on the extent to which Buddhism interacted with the political order in the classical and modern states of Theravada Asia into a wider, comparative study. This volume brings together the brightest minds in the study of Buddhism in Southeast Asia. Their contributions create a more coherent account of the relations between Buddhism and political order in the late pre-modern and modern period by questioning the contested relationship between monastic and secular power. In doing so, they expand the very nature of what is known as the ‘Theravada’. This book offers new insights for scholars of Buddhism, and it will stimulate new debates..."
        Author/creator: Ian Harris (ed)
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Routledge
        Format/size: pdf (1.81MB)
        Date of entry/update: 14 October 2010


        Title: TIME FOR TRANSFORMATION
        Date of publication: November 2002
        Description/subject: "Sulak Sivaraksa is a prominent Thai social critic and intellectual, and a pioneer in what he calls "socially engaged Buddhism." His ideas have been widely published and in 1995 he was honored with the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize. He spoke to The Irrawaddy about the challenges confronting Burma, Thailand and Buddhism, and America�s role in the war on terror..."
        Author/creator: Sulak Sivaraksa (Interview)
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" vol. 10, No. 9
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        Title: BUDDHISM AND DEEP ECOLOGY FOR PROTECTION OF WILD ASIAN ELEPHANTS IN MYANMAR: A RESOURCE GUIDE
        Date of publication: 2002
        Description/subject: Keywords: Burmese elephants, Burma. I. THE ASIAN ELEPHANT: A. Cultural; B. Ecological and Conservation Issues; C. Conservation Measures... II. BUDDHISM AND DEEP ECOLOGY: A. Need for Spiritual Approach; B. Buddhism; C. Deep Ecology; D. Wildlife (poaching); E. Forest Protection (D and E are considered the two major elephant threats)... III. DHAMMA/ECOLOGY GLOSSARY... IV. APPENDIX: DHAMMA/DEEP ECOLOGY EXPERIENTIAL EXERCISES... " Dr. Henning’s resource guide, which combines Buddhist principles and Asian elephant conservation in Myanmar, is an innovative approach to Asian elephant conservation. I have never seen someone with a biological background such as Dr. Henning’s attempt this approach in such a clear, concise manner. I found the resource guide to be an excellent potential teaching tool not only for Myanmar but also for any Buddhist country in which elephant conservation is an issue. I could easily envision this guide as the first in a series of written materials that deals with such conservation issues, perhaps beyond elephants. I would think that any individuals or agencies interested in conserving Asian elephants would be interested in this guide and would want to help make it available to a wider audience."... "The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), an endangered species listed in Appendix I of CITIES, is thought to number between 34,000 to 56,000 in thirteen Asian countries. According to U Uga, there are less than 4,000 elephants in the wild in Myanmar, which has the largest population in the ASEAN countries (India has a larger population for the continent). The total Asian elephant population is less than 10 percent of its more glamorous cousin-the African elephant. The Myanmar elephant is internationally endangered and is regarded as a worldwide flagship species. Throughout their range states, the wild elephant is severely threatened by habitat destruction, poaching, and fragmentation into small isolated groups. Many population biologists believe that nowhere in Asia is there a single wild population large enough to avoid inbreeding over the long term. ..."
        Author/creator: Daniel H. Henning PhD
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Daniel H. Henning
        Format/size: pdf (832K)
        Date of entry/update: 23 February 2004


        Title: Buddhism and Human Rights Online Conference
        Date of publication: October 1995
        Description/subject: "Welcome to "Buddhism and Human Rights," an Online Conference sponsored by the _Journal of Buddhist Ethics_. Thank you for choosing to participate in the first electronic conference ever attempted in Buddhist Studies. Those of us at the _Journal of Buddhist Ethics_ are truly excited to be venturing forth into new intellectual territory in an attempt to make important scholarship on Buddhism and Human Rights available to the widest possible audience. We hope you enjoy the conference and feel free to contribute to it in a constructive and productive manner. Consistent with our previous announcements, participation in the conference is structured on three levels: (1) conference papers, which were prepared in advance and are already posted in the JBE, (2) conference panelists, who have prepared advance statements, also posted in the JBE, and who will facilitate the discussions of the papers, and (3) conference members who "attend" by subscribing, free of charge, and who offer comments, questions, and observations at their discretion. Because we are exploring uncharted territory, it is rather difficult to anticipate the volume of participant response. As such, all comments, questions, and observations will be monitored. We will post as many of these as we possibly can (screening out any submissions deemed inappropriate for publication by the editors). It is our fond desire that the fine papers prepared for the conference will provoke serious, thoughtful discussion that reflects the deep concerns of the conference's constituents, while at the same time preserving the spontaneity that hopefully emerges in any conference setting..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "Journal of Buddhist Ethics" via Ahimsa Coffeehouse
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 17 August 2012


        Title: Dhamma, Ethics and Human Rights
        Date of publication: December 1994
        Description/subject: "...At the heart of Buddhist ethics is inter-responsibility, or Bodhicitta; what His Holiness the Dalai Lama calls Universal Responsibility. In the Theravada we speak of Samma-sankappa or Right Thought, which leads to Bodhi, the Awakened Mind. This principle is expressed in everyday terms by the teaching of loving-kindness, non-violence, compassion, and particular responsibilities. For monks and nuns these are set down in the rule or Vinaya; for lay people in the Sigalovada Sutta and for rulers in the Dasarajadhamma. In the early, organic societies the Buddha was addressing, these specific responsibilities were assumed to be adequate guidelines for human behaviour, with no need to identify the corresponding rights. In modern, fragmented societies, however, where the fulfillment of responsibilities cannot be guaranteed by the immediate community, the corresponding rights are specified and protected by States and International Organisations. In large part these bodies derive their legitimacy from their protection of human rights. A State which does not guarantee the enjoyment of human rights by its people loses its claim to legitimacy..."
        Author/creator: Sayadaw U Rewata Dhamma
        Language: English
        Format/size: html (31K)
        Date of entry/update: 13 March 2005


        Title: The Rajadhammasangaha
        Date of publication: 1979
        Description/subject: "The Rajadhammasangaha" was presented to King Thibaw in December 1878. The first printing was c.1915. This translation by L.E.Bagshawe is from the version edited with a biographical preface by Maung Htin (U Htin Fatt) and published by the Sape U Publishing House in 1979... "On the seventh waxing day of Nadaw...the Wetmasut Myoza Wungyi finished the writing of his book Rajadhammasangaha and presented it to King Thibaw. The author describes it pleasantly as “a book of the proper behaviour for Kings and other high officers of government”. The Pagan Wundauk U Tin, however, says “it is a book of admonishment addressed to King Thibaw.” And in this he speaks the direct truth. In this book the Wetmasut Myoza Wungyi documents the proposals for changes in the system of government that were planned from the time of King Mindon. His intention in writing the book, he says, is, “In bygone times of the Buddha-to-be there were good and excellent Kings who guarded the well-being of all living creatures; like them may our own King, Lord of the Saddanta Elephant and Lawful King, under the Law guard the well-being of all living creatures like that of his own beloved children.” This expressed intention has a further meaning. Under an autocracy we cannot really say that the monarch rules with the single-minded wish to rule all living creatures on the same terms as his own children. If he is brought to the point where he must consult the "living creatures", we may be able to say that he regards them on equal terms with his own children. If there is no law requiring consultation, his guardianship becomes dubious..."
        Author/creator: By the Yaw Mingyi U Hpo Hlaing (the Wetmasut Myoza Wungyi). Edited with biographical preface by Maung Htin (U Htin Fatt) and translated from the Burmese by L.E. Bagshawe
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Online Burma/Myanmar Library
        Format/size: pdf (1MB)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/The_Rajadhammasangaha-print.pdf (configured for print)
        Date of entry/update: 05 September 2004


        Title: Buddhism and the Race Question
        Date of publication: 1974
        Description/subject: Conclusion: "In the foregoing pages we have tried to show that Buddhism stands for the oneness of the human species, the equality of man, and the spiritual unity of mankind. The differences among the so-called races as far as their physical characteristics go are negligible. The differences in cultural attainment are due to historical circumstances and not to any innate aptitudes with which some of the ”cultured” races, whether of the East or West, are favoured by nature or God. All men likewise, irrespective of their race, caste or class, have the capacity to reach the heights of moral and spiritual attainment. Man’s destiny is to develop as a spiritual being and therefore what really matters is the degree of his moral and spiritual development. This has no connection with birth in any particular race or caste since the ”meanest”, “humblest” of mankind may have the potentialities for attaining the very highest in this respect in this life, so that we have no right to despise any person whatever his station in life may be. The harbouring of racial and caste prejudice is moreover detrimental to one’s mental health and spiritual state and it is a characteristic of the spiritually enlightened that they shed them and act with love and impartiality towards all. Race and caste discrimination are also inimical to social progress since they bring about artificial and unreal divisions among human beings where none exist and hinder harmonious relations...."
        Author/creator: G. P. Malalasekera & H. N. Jayatilleke
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Buddhist Publication Society (The Wheel Publication No. 200/201)
        Format/size: pdf (233K)
        Date of entry/update: 17 August 2012


        Title: BUDDHIST ECONOMICS
        Date of publication: 1973
        Description/subject: "... "Right Livelihood" is one of the requirements of the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path. It is clear, therefore, that there must be such a thing as Buddhist economics. Buddhist countries have often stated that they wish to remain faithful to their heritage. So Burma: “The New Burma sees no conflict between religious values and economic progress. Spiritual health and material well-being are not enemies: they are natural allies.” 1 Or: “We can blend successfully the religious and spiritual values of our heritage with the benefits of modern technology.” 2 Or: “We Burmans have a sacred duty to conform both our dreams and our acts to our faith. This we shall ever do.” 3 All the same, such countries invariably assume that they can model their economic development plans in accordance with modern economics, and they call upon modern economists from so-called advanced countries to advise them, to formulate the policies to be pursued, and to construct the grand design for development, the Five-Year Plan or whatever it may be called. No one seems to think that a Buddhist way of life would call for Buddhist economics, just as the modern materialist way of life has brought forth modern economics. Economists themselves, like most specialists, normally suffer from a kind of metaphysical blindness, assuming that theirs is a science of absolute and invariable truths, without any presuppositions. Some go as far as to claim that economic laws are as free from "metaphysics" or "values" as the law of gravitation. We need not, however, get involved in arguments of methodology. Instead, let us take some fundamentals and see what they look like when viewed by a modern economist and a Buddhist economist..."
        Author/creator: E.F. Schumacher
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered.
        Format/size: html, pdf
        Alternate URLs: http://neweconomicsinstitute.org/schumacher/buddhist-economics
        Date of entry/update: 16 January 2005


        Title: Dasa Raja Dhamma (The Ten Duties of Rulers)
        Date of publication: 0400
        Description/subject: The basic framework of Buddhist ethics for rulers is set out in the "Ten Duties of the King" (dasa-raja-dhamma)... "We cannot assign a definite date to the Jataka stories. Taking into account archaeological and literary evidence it appears that they were compiled in the period, the 3rd Century B.C. to the 5th Century A.D. They give us invaluable information about ancient Indian civilization, culture and philosophy. The Jataka stories have been very popular in the Buddhist world."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Jataka
        Format/size: html (9K)
        Date of entry/update: 06 August 2005


        Title: The Practice which leads to Nibbāna (Part 1)
        Description/subject: (Compiled and Translated by U.Dhamminda)_Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa_ INTRODUCTION: The method of practising meditation that is taught at Pa Auk Tawya Monastery is based on the explanation of meditation found in the Visuddhimagga commentary. Because of that the method involves several stages of practise which are complex, and involved. These stages include a detailed analysis of both mentality and matter according to all the categories enumerated in the Abhidhamma and the further use of this understanding to discern the process of Dependent Origination as it occurs in the Past, Present, and Future. Therefore people who are unfamiliar with the Visuddhimagga and the Abhidhamma will have difficulty in understanding and developing a clear picture of the practice of meditation at Pa Auk Tawya. For foreigners who cannot speak Burmese this problem is made even more difficult. This introduction has been written to help alleviate these difficulties by presenting a simplified example of a successful meditator’s path of progress as he develops his meditation at Pa Auk Tawya. This we hope will enable you to understand a little better the more detailed sections of the book which are the actual instructions for those who are practising meditation. It also must be stressed from the beginning that this book is intended for use by people who are actually undergoing a course of meditation at the centre under the guidance of Pa Auk Sayadaw....."
        Author/creator: Pa Auk Sayadaw
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Dhamma Web
        Format/size: html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.dhammaweb.net/html/viewpage.php?page=2
        Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


      • Burmese Buddhism and Society

        Websites/Multiple Documents

        Title: All Burma Monks' Alliance
        Description/subject: We are a religious and social service provider organization staffed by and composed of Burmese Buddhist monks from the 2007 Saffron Revolution. We are currently supporting and providing assistance to refugee monks inside and outside of Burma. The A.B.M.A was formed by a group of senior monks as a response to the severe economic and social problems existing in Burma in 2007. The A.B.M.A. leaders are recognized as the primary organizers and coordinators of the activities of the so-called Saffron Revolution in September, 2007. In a very dramatic way, the world was reminded again of the Burmese people’s struggle for democracy. The peaceful marches, demonstrations and rallies led by the saffron-robed monks were ultimately met by violent reactions of the Burmese military regime. Since that time there has been less media attention to the ongoing problems in Burma. However, as a result of their activities in September 2007, thousands of monks and individual citizens have suffered from the reaction and repression of the military regime. Some monks were arrested and tortured, and remain in prison. Some went into hiding inside Burma, and others left Burma as refugees. The A.B.M.A has established an assistance network for these internal and external refugees, both monks and civilian democracy activists. We hope that through the support of sympathetic organizations and individuals we will be able to continue and to expand on the important work we are doing. Exiled Burmese monks living in Thailand, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka are supported by the A.B.M.A. main office in Mae Sot, Thailand. Groups of exiled monks are also living in refugee status in various cities around the United States, supported by our monastery in Utica, New York. Objectives: * To maintain our support for the assistance network for monks, both inside and outside of Burma * To promote democracy inside Burma, especially in order to defend and preserve the religious and cultural foundations of the nation * To fulfill the customary role of Burmese monks by distributing reading material and sponsoring meetings and discussions on Buddhist beliefs, practices and education * To maintain and update the database of targeted and refugee monks. We have compiled a list of monks under threat, and we will continue to monitor and document information about them from inside Burma. * To support and expand the existing educational programs for both monks and needy families inside Burma. We are trying to procure assistance for educational facilities, schools and training programs for the monks and needy families inside Burma.
        Language: English, Burmese
        Source/publisher: All Burma Monks' Alliance
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 03 December 2009


        Title: Religions in Burma/Myanmar (ကိုးကြယ္သည့္ဘာသာ)
        Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
        Source/publisher: Wikipedia
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 09 June 2014


        Title: Sasana Moli - International Burmese Monks Organization
        Description/subject: "Mission Statement background Burmese monks from all around the world established the International Burmese Monks Organization (IBMO) in October 2007 under the leadership of two prominent Burmese Buddhist monks, the late Venerable U Kovida and Venerable U Pannya Vamsa. Following the September 2007 street protests in Burma, many Buddhist monks were arrested, disappeared, beaten and even killed. During the crackdown, monks and nuns inside Burma asked monks living outside of the country to continue to their struggle. They asked the IBMO to raise international awareness about Burma’s political struggles. Inside Burma, there is no freedom of speech. To speak out against human rights abuses, to speak out against dictatorship, or to speak out for common human decency, as the Buddhist faith demands, is to invite attack at the hands of the military junta. The IBMO travels the globe in order to provide a voice for our monks and nuns inside Burma who are denied this right. We try to teach others about both the beauty and the harsh realities of military control inside the closed country. Monks are not politicians but is their duty to help relieve the suffering of all the people of Burma. The Buddha gave ten rules for kings to ensure that kings did not harm their subjects. Burma’s generals violate all of these rules every day. According to IBMO Chairman, the Venerable U Pannya Vamsa, the roots of Burma’s crisis are in the military's refusal to hand over power in 1990 to leaders elected in general elections. The IBMO works alongside the Burma democracy movement to lobby international governments to pressure the junta to commence a real dialogue with democratic opposition leaders including the Nobel Peace Laureate, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Additionally, IBMO partners with the Burmese Diaspora, grassroots advocacy groups, and ecumenical and peace organizations to support direct advocacy efforts on behalf of the Burmese people, such as media interviews, lectures, and testifying before legislators. The IBMO also supports the courageous work of monks and nuns inside Burma. Throughout Burmese history, monks have played a significant role in maintaining peace in our society. The Burmese military dictatorship has total disregard for the welfare of its people. The junta provides no proper education, health care or other public services. People are forced to turn to the monasteries for help. Monks witness the desperate needs of the people every day and in September, they rose up together to answer these needs. Today, monks inside Burma are working desperately to feed and clothe Cyclone Nargis victims taking shelter in monasteries throughout Southern Burma. The IBMO raises funds to send directly to these monks inside Burma to buy rice, medicine, and other much-needed relief supplies..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Sasana Moli
        Format/size: html
        Alternate URLs: http://sasanamoli.org/
        Date of entry/update: 03 December 2009


        Individual Documents

        Title: SECULARISM AND VIOLENCE IN THE BUDDHIST STATE: THE CASES OF THAILAND AND MYANMAR
        Date of publication: 07 December 2009
        Description/subject: Abstract: "The term, ‘post-secular society’ would be almost inexplicable to citizens of Thailand (Siam) and Myanmar (Burma) because the concept of a ‘secular’ society itself would be inconsistent with socio-cultural norms, despite the rampant consumerism which pervades the one and the endemic poverty the other. Far from being ‘secular’ societies, defined as those in which religion has a subordinate or minimal role in public life and is divorced from the policy-making centres of power, the contemporary states of Thailand and Myanmar have established their national identities on the cornerstone of Buddhism. In official parlance, to be Thai or Burmese is to be Buddhist. This exclusionary formula is pursued despite each of these two nation states giving official support to the international mantra, ‘freedom of religion’, and each of them having substantial minorities who follow the Muslim, Christian, Hindu or other faiths. Religion is so tightly interwoven with political life in these two countries that one might ask whether it is possible that they could be conceived as religio-political societies in the manner of the pre-Reformation Italian city states. This paper explores the integral relationship between religion and public political society in contemporary Thailand and Myanmar in the context of Buddhism’s philosophy of non-violence, its reification of ahimsa (non-violence, non-harm), and commitment to atman (selflessness) and moksha (non-attachment to materiality) as essential values for transforming socio-political relations."
        Author/creator: Helen James
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Parliament of the World's Religions
        Format/size: pdf (71K)
        Date of entry/update: 06 October 2010


        Title: Of Monarchs Monks and Men: Religion and the State in Myanmar
        Date of publication: December 2009
        Description/subject: "...The relationship between religion and the state during the pre-colonial period was the most dominant one in Burmese society for at least a thousand years if not more. With the dawn of the colonial period, it saw a hiatus, but revived when nationalism took center stage. After independence in 1948, the relationship once again became important and remains so until today. Whereas their economic relationship was more crucial in the earlier phases of the pre-colonial period, their political relationship increasingly assumed a larger role as time went on, until today it is predominantly political. Throughout this slow transformation, their symbolic relationship remained largely unchanged. This essay is a summary of that historical process beginning with the Pagan period in the mid 11th century until the present..."
        Author/creator: Michael A. Aung Thwin
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Asia Research Institute • Singapore...ARI Working Paper No. 127
        Format/size: pdf (218K)
        Date of entry/update: 11 March 2010


        Title: The Resistance of the Monks: Buddhism and Activism in Burma
        Date of publication: 22 September 2009
        Description/subject: "Since the Burmese army’s brutal military crackdown on Buddhist monks and other peaceful protestors in September 2007, a constant refrain has been, “What happened to the monks?” ...This report attempts to answer that question. It tells the story of many among hundreds of monks who were arrested and beaten, and the more than 250 monks and nuns who remain in prison today, often with decades remaining on their sentences. It tells the story of large numbers of monks who left their monasteries, returning to their villages or seeking refuge in other countries. And it tells the story of monks who remained, many of whom live under constant surveillance...".....TABLE OF CONTENTS: * The Resistance of the Monks * Map of Burma * I. Summary * II. Burma: A Long Tradition of Buddhist Activism * III. The Role of the Sangha in the 1988 Uprising and After the 1990 Election * IV. Aung San Suu Kyi and Buddhism * V. The SPDC and Buddhism * VI. The Reemergence of Buddhist Political Activism in Burma * VII. The September 2007 Crackdown * VIII. Cyclone Nargis and Its Aftermath * IX. International Networks * X. Conclusion * XI. Recommendations * Acknowledgments * Appendix I: Terminology and Abbreviations * Appendix II: Letter to the Penang Sayadaw U Bhaddantapannyavamsa from the Burmese Foreign Ministry, October 27, 2007[195] * Appendix III: Statement by Sasana Moli, the International Burmese Monks Organization, May 2008
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
        Format/size: pdf
        Date of entry/update: 22 September 2009


        Title: The 'Bit of Fun’ that Turned Sour
        Date of publication: September 2009
        Description/subject: "A photograph of well-known Burmese actor, Min Maw Kun, and his 11 friends posing in saffron robes on the day of their ordination at a Buddhist monastery caused a wave of outrage when it was published on a popular Burmese Web site. Although their heads are shaved and they are wearing religious robes, most of the young men are displaying fashionable tattoos. Some of the men smile cheekily at the camera while others hug or pose provocatively. Actor Min Maw Kun, fifth from left, and friends. Many dismayed Burmese, especially Buddhist monks, felt the photo was in bad taste. A revered monk who lives in the US, Ashin Candobhasacara, asked: “Why would Min Maw Kun and his friends insult our religion like that?” He said the young men “should apologize for their decadent behavior.” One member of the group in the photograph who spoke anonymously to The Irrawaddy, said, “It was only meant as a bit of fun. It certainly had no political meaning.” The photo was taken before the 2007 monk-led uprising."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 6
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 19 January 2010


        Title: The Role of Monkhood in Contemporary Myanmar Society
        Date of publication: September 2008
        Description/subject: Introduction: "Recent events in Myanmar, particularly the “Saffron Revolution” in 2007 and cyclone Nargis in 2008 placed Myanmar monks in the focus of the international community. Not for the first time in history, the Myanmar "Sangha" took a leading role in times of emergency, and was able to mobilise rapidly their forces in order to help and represent the people of Myanmar. In 1988 they went to the streets with other citizens to call for democratic and economic reforms in the country. Similarly, in 2007, monks participated in the nation-wide protests against rising fuel and commodity prices. The visible and silent support of the monks provided encouragement and moral guidance for the predominantly Buddhist na-tion. Facing the post-Nargis devastation and indecisiveness related to access of interna-tional humanitarian aid, Myanmar monks became the only organised group able to respond promptly with aid for traumatised victims, providing them with shelter and distributing basic commodities in their communities. The saffron revolution did not succeed. How-ever, for some analysts it was not the end but rather the beginning of a new chapter in Myanmar’s contemporary history, marking the emergence of a new potential social and political force, nourishing hopes of the opposition and for all who expect general changes in Myanmar. Monks, particularly the younger generation, became more aware of their strength and responsibility for the country. In Myanmar most independent activity is suppressed or under strict control of the state. The monkhood, in contrast, enjoys a high level of immunity and freedom, for instance, with regard to freedom of movement (within the country and abroad)3 or various social activities, mostly in the local area. The recent events showed that their role in the society is not limited to the preservation of religion and rituals..."
        Author/creator: Sylwia Gil
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
        Format/size: pdf (288K)
        Date of entry/update: 12 October 2010


        Title: Putting Compassion into Action
        Date of publication: July 2008
        Description/subject: Do Burmese people really understand the meaning of compassion? Not according to a prominent Buddhist monk who has taken a leading role in Cyclone Nargis relief efforts... MAE SOT, Thailand — "“HOW did you feel when you heard that people were homeless, that monks had lost their monasteries and had nowhere to stay? Over 130,000 people were killed and 2.4 million suffered badly. How did you feel?” The monk who asked these questions paused and looked at his audience of around 3,000 people at the Tawya Burmese monastery in the Thai border town of Mae Sot, opposite Myawaddy. A patient is comforted by Sitagu Sayadaw in a clinic in the Irrawaddy delta. He continued: “If you felt concerned and afraid for them, that’s good. It means you have compassion.” But before anyone could take too much satisfaction in that thought, he added: “That’s good, but it’s not good enough.” The speaker was Dr Ashin Nyanissara—better known as Sitagu Sayadaw [abbot]—one of Burma’s most respected monks. He was in Mae Sot in late June to give a dhamma talk on compassion—and to ask the local Burmese community, estimated to be tens of thousands strong, to support relief efforts in the Irrawaddy delta, where millions still struggle in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis. Since the cyclone struck on May 2-3, Sitagu Sayadaw has been rallying his followers to come to the assistance of their compatriots in the delta and the former capital, Rangoon, which also suffered substantial damage. His message was simple: Compassion is important, but it doesn’t amount to much unless it is accompanied by action. “If you lack compassion, you will be an irresponsible person,” the 71-year-old abbot told his attentive audience, who were seated both inside the monastery’s main building and outside on the ground. “But compassion in mind and in words alone won’t help the refugees in the cyclone-affected area,” he added. “Such compassion won’t bring food to people in need.”..."
        Author/creator: Lyaw Zwa Moe
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 7
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 15 July 2008


        Title: Will Thamanya Sayadaw’s Body Ever Rest in Peace?
        Date of publication: June 2008
        Description/subject: Body snatchers cart off the remains of a legendary abbot. Is the theft linked to the junta, the result of astrologers’ advice, a jealous rival abbot, or was it the action of loyal disciples?... IT was a dark night on April 2 when the body of the revered U Winaya, the Thamanya Sayadaw (abbot), one of Burma’s holiest monks, was mysteriously stolen.
        Author/creator: Amy Gold May
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 6
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 23 July 2008


        Title: Ruling the Rulers
        Date of publication: May 2008
        Description/subject: Efforts to limit the powers of Burma’s absolute monarchs failed. So did the monarchy... "THROUGHTOUT Asia, the middle of the 19th century was a period of political turmoil, as Western imperial powers pressed in upon countries that were subject to various forms of pre-modern rule. Burma was no exception, as it was forced to come to terms with a nation that was not only militarily superior, but also politically more advanced. Under the country’s last two monarchs, King Mindon (1853-78) and King Thibaw (1878-85), there were attempts to reform Burmese polity in the face of growing external challenges. At the center of these efforts was Yaw Atwinwun U Hpo Hlaing, the author of “Rajadhammasangaha,” a treatise which would have laid the basis for a constitutional monarchy in Burma, and which, in the words of respected scholar Maung Htin, “might have kept King Thibaw in the enjoyment of his throne..."”
        Author/creator: Min Lwin
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 5
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 01 May 2008


        Title: Laity of the Land -- a review of Ingrid Jordt's "Burma’s mass lay meditation movement"
        Date of publication: April 2008
        Description/subject: An anthropologist examines the role of Burma’s “New Laity” in the complex relationship between Buddhism and the military regime... "Burma’s Mass Lay Meditation Movement: Buddhism and the Cultural Construction of Power, by Ingrid Jordt.... DURING his official visit to Burma in March, Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej learned something about his Burmese hosts that apparently struck him as significant. “Myanmar’s leaders meditate,” he said upon his return to Bangkok, as if this fact alone should be enough to convince anyone that Burma’s despotic rulers are not as bad as they are made out to be. While Samak’s implied approval of the Burmese generals on the grounds that they meditate may strike most observers as absurd, it does highlight a practice that has played an important role in forming Burma’s post-independence political consciousness. As anthropologist Ingrid Jordt argues in a recently published book, Burma’s mass lay meditation movement “has become a resistance and a parallel construction of economy, spheres of potency, and influence that stand against the state in its militaristic unity"...."
        Author/creator: Neil Lawrence
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 4
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008


        Title: Compassionate Confrontation
        Date of publication: March 2008
        Description/subject: "...Metta, usually rendered as “loving-kindness” in English, is a strong wish for the well-being and happiness of all living things. A mind with metta is inclusive and nondiscriminatory and has the power to transform any situation. This is what the Buddha taught and exemplified. As the Burmese monks who participated in last September’s protests demonstrated, metta is not an attitude of passive acquiescence. Metta does not accept evil, but confronts it directly with a force that is its exact opposite. In times of trouble, the revered Sangha, or community of monks, cannot merely insulate itself from the suffering of ordinary people. The monks who protested in Burma showed that they are not just peace lovers, but peacemakers. They did not stop at praying for the benefit of the Burmese people, but took to the streets to oppose the malice manifested in the exclusionary politics of military domination..."
        Author/creator: Min Zin
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 3
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008


        Title: Serving the People
        Date of publication: March 2008
        Description/subject: A leading Burmese monk instructs his disciples to treat the ill and to study the Buddha’s teachings... "When Burmese monks protested in September 2007, the disciples and monks at Sayadaw Nyanissara’s monastery in the Sagaing hills near Mandalay exercised restraint and stayed away from the demonstrations, largely because of their respect for the work the activist monks were accomplishing throughout the country..."
        Author/creator: Zhuang Wubin
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 3
        Format/size: html (16K)
        Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008


        Title: Burmas Mönche zwischen Gleichschaltung und Rebellion
        Date of publication: 25 September 2007
        Description/subject: Zehntausende buddhistische Mönche demonstrieren in Burma für Demokratie und den Sturz der Militärjunta. Sie riefen sogar zur "Exkommunikation" der herrschenden Generäle auf, indem sie erklärten, von Militärs keine Nahrungsmittelspenden oder Almosen mehr anzunehmen. Da sich Buddhisten mit diesen Gaben traditionell jedoch Verdienste für das nächste Leben erwerben wollen, strafen die Mönche die Militärs mit ihrer Verweigerung wirksam ab.
        Language: German, Deutsch
        Source/publisher: Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker
        Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008


        Title: Mönche sind Birmas moralische Instanz
        Date of publication: 24 September 2007
        Description/subject: Buddhistische Mönche stehen an der Spitze der Proteste gegen die Militärjunta in Birma. Sie spielen in dem südostasiatischen Land eine herausragende Rolle: Die Menschen verehren die Robenträger als Lehrer und Vorbilder und sehen sie als wichtigste moralische Instanz. Aufstände 2007; Role of Buddhist monks; uprisings 2007
        Author/creator: Christiane Oelrich
        Language: German, Deutsch
        Source/publisher: Tagesspiegel
        Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008


        Title: The Politics of Piety: Pageantry and the Struggle for Buddhism in Burma
        Date of publication: April 2007
        Description/subject: Abstract: The Tatmadaw’s search for political or moral legitimacy has not managed to repair their defective title to rule since 1962. Lacking this status, in the 1990s the military elite were forced to respond to the presence of Aung San Suu Kyi and return to what has traditionally provided the greatest source of legitimacy in Burmese politics - Buddhism. In the course of doing so, the generals must appeal to the traditional beliefs on the people’s idealized Burmese king even though their actions, like the actions of their royal ancestors towards whom they turn, fall far short of the Burmese ideal. Military rule in Burma (Myanmar) has been justified on a number of grounds since 1962, including the army’s (Tatmadaw) claims to possess a unique ability in suppressing communist and ethnic insurgencies while effectively managing the economy. Following elections held in 1990, the Tatmadaw also sought to placate domestic strife by sporadically holding conventions and proposing constitutional reforms. Elections aside, attempts to establish the legitimacy for military rule being based upon historical and cultural interpretations of the traditional relationship between Burmese rulers and their subjects have become more prominent over the past decade or more. Because the Burmese generals’ rule is neither based on law nor a monarchical rule over willing persons, their legitimacy would always be questionable. This reason, as well as the nation’s size, ethnic composition, poverty, and relative international isolation, might explain the tendency of the Burmese rulers to pursue a harsh strategy to preserve their rule. Yet it is revealing to discover how they have attempted to transform their defective title, especially since the 1990 election result, into a valid one by promoting the duties of ‘kingship.’ By way of their Buddhist political rhetoric - the promotion of Buddhism to legitimize their rule - the generals have appealed to the mass political culture and the traditional beliefs of the Burman majority. In order to make their rule longer lasting and their defective title more legitimate - both domestically and in the eyes of the international community - the Tatmadaw have attempted to mask their harsh demeanor with a more moderate sort of superintendence that also attempts to make their rule appear kingly. That only a small minority of the people were willing to be ruled by the Tatmadaw in 1990 was evident in the outcome of the May elections. Improving this imbalance could depend, to some degree, upon the success of the generals’ kingly performance and the Buddhist political rhetoric which accompanies their activities. Examining the importance of Buddhism in the political landscape and the political culture of the Burman majority is often downplayed by analysts in their haste to discuss institutional reforms. Yet understanding the Tatmadaw’s self-appointed role as the protectors and preservers of Buddhist traditions in Burma is appropriate, not only because the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) have been strongly promoting Southeast Asia Research Centre Working Paper Series, No. 85, 2007 3 Buddhism in recent times, but because they have also failed to achieve any lasting moral or political legitimacy during times of relative peace. This article addresses the use of Buddhism as a form of political rhetoric and the reaction of the current regime’s use of Buddhism to that of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s. Because political rhetoric is a means by which the political elite may persuade the masses towards a particular end, successful rhetoricians cannot ground their arguments in complete falsehoods but must appeal to at least partial truths that are grounded in history or traditional beliefs. The SPDC, therefore, must use their experiences to narrate history in accordance with their objectives. Their legitimacy must be based upon a certain historical interpretation of Buddhism and order in society that conforms to the rule of kings and kingdoms, like Pagan. Because citizens have no direct experience with ancient history, the perceived truth of their traditional beliefs may be influenced by both the officially sanctioned history, as well as by more democratically leaning interpretations. Yet credibility also influences rhetorical persuasion and it is here that the generals may have encountered significant obstacles.
        Author/creator: Stephen McCarthy
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: City University of Hong Kong, Southeast Asia Research Centre Working Paper Series, No. 85, 2007
        Format/size: pdf (171K)
        Date of entry/update: 18 February 2009


        Title: The Political Face of Burmese Buddhism
        Date of publication: December 2004
        Description/subject: "...Religion is an important medium in the formulation of political strategies and identities in Burma. No political practice is possible without involving Buddhism—and Buddhism has been politicized to a degree where no religious act is apolitical..."
        Author/creator: Editorial
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12. No. 11
        Format/size: html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=4236
        Date of entry/update: 28 April 2008


        Title: Rethinking Daná in Burma:
        Date of publication: 23 May 2004
        Description/subject: "Previous anthropological literature construes daná (Pali dâna) in Burma rather narrowly, as giving to monks or to the Buddha. However, the detailed data I collected during fieldwork in Burma reveal that the Burmese understand daná more broadly, as 'giving' in which saydana (Pali cetanâ) plays a key role. The paper is a chapter of my PhD dissertation entitled "In the World of Rebirth: Politics, Economy and Society of Burmese Buddhists." By presenting ethnographic data that has not been offered in previous literature, I re-examine the Burmese concept and practice of daná. Daná is closely associated with the Burmese notions of purity, detachment, and nobility, as well as merit. Its idea is deeply grounded in the Burmese language and culture. Some forms of daná are not as conspicuous as giving to the monastic order. They are less identifiable by an outside observer, for they are not always revealed as daná because they occur in the everyday act of giving. Thus, such forms of daná have been largely neglected, or at best treated less seriously. I argue, however, that we cannot fully understand the idea of daná or the mindsets of the Burmese Buddhists without taking these forms of daná into account. A detailed observation of the everyday discourse of daná reveals that daná permeates all kinds of daily transactions, shaping the practice of giving in Burmese society. This understanding of daná may seem at odds with the traditional descriptions of daná in Burma or in other Theravada Buddhist societies. However, I will show that the Burmese understanding of daná in fact resonates with the idea of daná we find in stories of giving in Buddhist cultures. The point of my argument is not to understate the significance of giving to monks or to the Buddha. My intention is to offer a description and analysis that takes into fuller account the subtleties of the practice and language of daná."... Paper from "Burmese Buddhism and the Spirit Cult Revisited - An Interdisciplinary Conference on Religion in Contemporary Myanmar Saturday, May 22-Sunday, May 23, 2004 Hartley Conference Center Mitchell Building Stanford University.
        Author/creator: Naoko Kumada
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Stanford University
        Format/size: pdf (162.86 KB)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.dhammaweb.net/dhammabook/view.php?id=259
        Date of entry/update: 08 July 2010


        Title: Engaging Buddhism for Social Change
        Date of publication: March 2003
        Description/subject: "Buddhism will only be a force for social change in Burma if it can effect a paradigm shift away from the prevailing discourse of "samsara"... "Many Burmese Buddhists seem content resting in their "magical gardens"–to borrow a term from the German sociologist, Max Weber–where tradition is rarely questioned and adversity is accepted as just. But even in their magical gardens, their slumber is full of misery, with more nightmares than dreams. Eighty-nine percent of Burma’s population is Theravada Buddhist, yet "un-Buddhist" experiences are also common. The people of Burma bear unspeakable suffering through corruption, human rights violations, a media blackout and the free-running drug industry. If the five basic Buddhist precepts of abstinence from killing, stealing, engaging in sexual misconduct, lying or using drugs were truly observed, Burma would be a much different country. Institutional controls on Buddhism, set mainly by the military, restrict the potential for religion to be a force for change in Burma. In other ways, Burmese Buddhism has a tendency to render people passive and complacent rather than as political actors vigilant for change... "
        Author/creator: Min Zin
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 2
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        Title: BUDDHISM AND DEEP ECOLOGY FOR PROTECTION OF WILD ASIAN ELEPHANTS IN MYANMAR: A RESOURCE GUIDE
        Date of publication: 2002
        Description/subject: Keywords: Burmese elephants, Burma. I. THE ASIAN ELEPHANT: A. Cultural; B. Ecological and Conservation Issues; C. Conservation Measures... II. BUDDHISM AND DEEP ECOLOGY: A. Need for Spiritual Approach; B. Buddhism; C. Deep Ecology; D. Wildlife (poaching); E. Forest Protection (D and E are considered the two major elephant threats)... III. DHAMMA/ECOLOGY GLOSSARY... IV. APPENDIX: DHAMMA/DEEP ECOLOGY EXPERIENTIAL EXERCISES... " Dr. Henning’s resource guide, which combines Buddhist principles and Asian elephant conservation in Myanmar, is an innovative approach to Asian elephant conservation. I have never seen someone with a biological background such as Dr. Henning’s attempt this approach in such a clear, concise manner. I found the resource guide to be an excellent potential teaching tool not only for Myanmar but also for any Buddhist country in which elephant conservation is an issue. I could easily envision this guide as the first in a series of written materials that deals with such conservation issues, perhaps beyond elephants. I would think that any individuals or agencies interested in conserving Asian elephants would be interested in this guide and would want to help make it available to a wider audience."... "The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), an endangered species listed in Appendix I of CITIES, is thought to number between 34,000 to 56,000 in thirteen Asian countries. According to U Uga, there are less than 4,000 elephants in the wild in Myanmar, which has the largest population in the ASEAN countries (India has a larger population for the continent). The total Asian elephant population is less than 10 percent of its more glamorous cousin-the African elephant. The Myanmar elephant is internationally endangered and is regarded as a worldwide flagship species. Throughout their range states, the wild elephant is severely threatened by habitat destruction, poaching, and fragmentation into small isolated groups. Many population biologists believe that nowhere in Asia is there a single wild population large enough to avoid inbreeding over the long term. ..."
        Author/creator: Daniel H. Henning PhD
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Daniel H. Henning
        Format/size: pdf (832K)
        Date of entry/update: 23 February 2004


        Title: The First Perfection: Charity in Buddhism and Burmese Culture
        Date of publication: July 2001
        Description/subject: "Charity, one of the Buddhist perfections, has long been an integral part of Burmese culture. But history—and habit—have obscured its real social and spiritual value. "If you knew what I know about dana (generosity), you would not let one meal go by without sharing it," the Buddha once said. Dana is the Pali term for giving, generosity and charity, and it is an integral part of the Buddhist ethos. It includes giving of material support to those in need; giving of spiritual knowledge to those in despair; giving of love to those who are abandoned; and giving of protection to those who are threatened. Having given away something with the intention of making life easier for another being, one immediately feels a happiness that fills one’s heart and mind. The Venerable Ashin Thittila of Burma explains the benefits of dana thus: "The object in giving is to eliminate the craving that lies dormant within oneself; apart from which there are the attendant blessings of generosity such as the joy of service, the ensuing happiness and consolation, and the alleviation of suffering." The main idea concerning generosity or any of the ten parami (or "perfections", of which dana is the first and foremost) is that there should be no strings attached. The Buddha urged his followers to give without any expectation of personal reward. Basically, the ultimate aim of generosity practice is the transformation of the individual from a self-centered, greed-driven existence to one that is other-centered and greed-free. Giving is literally a practice in letting go—one that increasingly flies in the face of the acquisitive tendencies that drive modern society. However, even in societies that are not completely consumerist in orientation, true generosity faces serious social pressures. In Burma, for instance, dana has been misinterpreted by successive reigns and regimes to serve the interests of the ruling elite, who profess to promote the values espoused by Buddhism..."
        Author/creator: Min Zin
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol 9. No. 6
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 04 May 2008


        Title: Ethnic and Religious Diversity: Myanmar’s Unfolding Nemesis
        Date of publication: May 2001
        Description/subject: Abstract: "By whatever statistics one relies on, Myanmar has a genuine ethnic and religious plurality. From a geographical perspective, about one half of the country is comprised of territory traditionally occupied by non-Burmese ethnic minorities. Demographically, the Burmese (BaMa) make up 65% of the nation’s 50 million population. A complicated picture of different religious allegiances also emerges. Although some of the minorities share Theravada Buddhism with the Burmese majority, there are as well substantial communities of Muslims, Hindus and Christians. These ethnic and religious minorities find themselves frequently marginalized. Few appear now to have the opportunity to join the armed forces, and with some notable exceptions, few can expect promotion in any government service, the domain of the BaMa Buddhist majority. Although other nations in the region have somewhat similar challenges of ethnic and religious minority challenges, Myanmar’s case can be considered exceptional. It has also been historically problematic. The military government that took over Burma in 1962 justified its action as necessary to keep the state from fragmenting into ethnic and political secessionist blocs. The present generation of military government can also argue that a strong army is necessary to hold the country together. Despite several carefully negotiated cease-fires between the state and fractious minority groups in the last decade, ethnic discontent is still a serious problem. Further, an unyielding and patronizing Burmese cultural hubris prevails which continues to polarize the nation. Thus it can be argued that unresolved ethnic-religious tensions represent a greater threat to Myanmar’s military government than any other feature, including the continuing presence of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and National League for Democracy."
        Author/creator: Bruce Matthews
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
        Format/size: html
        Alternate URLs: http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=1imZf6jc0g9wPl9iZaaxjM...
        Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


        Title: Monks Used to Recruit Forced Labour
        Date of publication: October 2000
        Description/subject: "...According to reliable sources, military authorities in Karen State have been turning to local Buddhist abbots to recruit villagers for road-building and other construction projects. The sources added that sizeable donations were being offered to the senior monks in exchange for their cooperation..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No. 10 (Intelligence section)
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        Title: Buddhism and Burmese Politics
        Date of publication: September 2000
        Description/subject: On Miltary Authority (ANA) and Electoral Influence (AWZA): extract from Gustaaf Houtman's "Mental Culture"
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "Burma Debate", Vol. VII, No. 3
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        Title: Burmese Sisterhood: Unacknowledged Piety
        Date of publication: September 2000
        Description/subject: Buddhist nuns have long played an important role in the country's spiritual life, despite centuries of discrimination.
        Author/creator: Thameechit
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No. 9
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        Title: The Blessed Steps of Mingala
        Date of publication: March 2000
        Description/subject: Pyei Lwin Nyeinchan examines the Buddha's most auspicious teaching and its place in Burmese culture.
        Author/creator: Pyei Lwin Nyeinchan
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8 No. 3
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        Title: A Review of Gustaaf Houtman's "Mental Culture in Burmese Crisis Politics"
        Date of publication: 2000
        Description/subject: Mental Culture in Burmese Crisis Politics. By Gustaaf Houtman. Tokyo: ILCAA Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa Monograph Series, no. 33, Publication of the Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, 1999... "Gustaaf Houtman’s book offers an insightful and innovative analysis of the present day political crisis in Burma. Houtman’s primary aim is to demonstrate the central importance of mental culture, which he defines as the practices of vipassana (“contemplation”) and samatha (“meditation”) for understanding Burmese political ideology and the shape of the ongoing political conflict between the military regime that seized power in 1962 and the democracy movement. Houtman describes his agenda thus: “It [this book] focuses on how the terminology and practices of mental culture inform, indeed constitute coherent internal cultural debates surrounding the politics of the military regimes since 1962, and in particular since 1988” (p. 9). He provides a focused analysis of the most recent events in the conflict together with discussions of the historical development of Burmese politics, beginning with the anti-colonial movements against the British..."
        Author/creator: Karen Derris,
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Journal of Buddhist Ethics Volume 7, 2000
        Format/size: pdf (60.53 K)
        Alternate URLs: http://blogs.dickinson.edu/buddhistethics/2010/04/22/a-review-of-mental-culture-in-burmese-crisis-p...
        Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


        Title: The Pagoda and the General - A Millennium-old Struggle
        Date of publication: October 1999
        Description/subject: "...t is interesting to note that Theravada Buddhism, Burma’s state religion for almost a thousand years, came to Burma by way of war. In the 11th century, King Anawrahta of the Pagan dynasty invaded the Mon Kingdom of Thaton in what is now southern Burma. Among the loot he took back to Pagan was the missionary monk Shin Arahan and the Buddhist scriptures he had brought with him from Ceylon. After establishing the Pagan dynasty through relentless warfare, Anawrahta made Theravada Buddhism the state religion in 1056 AD and went on a pagoda-building spree, as if to atone for the bloody atrocities he had committed while building his empire...[Ne Win's] His “Burmese Way to Socialism,” which was in effect until the 1988 pro-democracy uprising, was peppered with Buddhist cosmology. He also keeps some of the best astrologers in Burma as his personal consultants...Apart from his alleged mystical powers, [the Thamanya Sayadaw] is perhaps most venerated for his refusal to kowtow to the military junta. He rejected an invitation from Khin Nyunt, the junta’s intelligence chief, to receive honors in Rangoon. When Khin Nyunt went to Thamanya and offered him a sleek limousine, the abbot allegedly ordered the car be used to carry gravel..."
        Author/creator: Zaw Myo Han
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 7. No. 8
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        Title: Shewedagon and the Generals
        Date of publication: May 1999
        Description/subject: Playing the religion card. The Burmese generals recently renovated Shwedagon Pagoda. Under the junta's guidance intensive restoration of ancient pagodas and temples is being carried out all over Burma. As people throughout the country donate gold, diamonds and rubies to pagodas, the generals pay daily visits to sacred shrines. But what is the reason behind all this?
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 7. No. 4
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        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 (2600K), or browse chapters (html) from the Copntents page
        Alternate URLs: http://homepages.tesco.net/~ghoutman/final.htm
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        Title: Myaing-gye: Ngu Sayadaw: A Jahan who Shines the light of Dhamma
        Date of publication: 30 July 1998
        Description/subject: "This book is not a biography of Myainggye: Ngu Sayadaw U Thu Za-na. In fact it is a personal record of Sayadaw's life experiences. As mortal being Sayadaw has passed through many ups and downs in his life. This has been recorded and narrated without any bias. Facts, even though they may be bitter are being presented in this book...U Thu Za-na is a young monk with a few years in monkhood (Vassa). The author has reached an agreement with U Thu Za-na—not to write about his biography. Therefore, my purpose is not to write Sayadaw's biography, or for any cause or causes, but merely to write everything as it was, as I saw and understand it. As everybody knows that Myaing-gye: Ngu Sayadaw U Thu Za-na has become a wellknown person in the country. Also rumours have been rife in the country. Some said Sayadaw stands on this side. Some accused him that he is from the other side. Who and What Myaing-gye: Ngu Sayadaw is? This book will after all answer all these questions. The readers will, after reading this book, understand to some extent Who and What Myaing-gye: Ngu Sayadaw is..."
        Author/creator: Myaing Nan Swe; Shin Khay Meinda (trans)
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Democratic Karen Buddhist Association (DKBA)
        Format/size: pdf (646K - OBL version; 13 MB - original scan)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/U%20Thuzanas%20Book%20(for%20PC%20reading).pdf
        Date of entry/update: 07 June 2011


        Title: Buddhism under a Military Regime: The Iron Heel in Burma
        Date of publication: April 1993
        Description/subject: "As a community of believers, Buddhism in Burma is involved in a continuing and intense ideological struggle against a repressive military regime. A "church" (sasana) comprising both lay and clerical (sangha) devotees, Buddhism is the religion of the majority of the Burmese and the leading cultural institution in the country-what one Western observer over a century ago called "the soul of a people."' For the Burmese of today, tired and demoralized by three decades of military rule, Buddhism plays a crucial role..."
        Author/creator: Bruce Matthews
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Asian Survey, Vol. 33, No. 4. (Apr., 1993), pp. 408-423.
        Format/size: pdf (323K)
        Alternate URLs: http://charlesesalazar.pbworks.com/f/Buddhism+under+a+military+regime--the+iron+heel+in+burma.pdf
        http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0004-4687%28199304%2933%3A4%3C408%3ABUAMRT%3E2.0.CO%3B2-Z
        Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


        Title: BUDDHISM, HUMAN RIGHTS AND JUSTICE IN BURMA
        Date of publication: November 1989
        Description/subject: "In pre-colonial Burma, there was a balance between the state, the people and the Sangha (the community of monks and nuns). The state protected and supported the Sangha, which in turn legitimized the state and by acting as the conscience of society, protected the people. To the kings, the Sangha pointed out the moral path which Buddhist teaching holds out to rulers, correcting them when they departed from the norm, or Dhamma. At village level the monks, dependent for their livelihood on the people, were always aware of the situation of the villagers, and had every interest in promoting their well-being. Monks often acted as spokesmen for the village people in their dealings with the local authorities. In this way, the Sangha protected the people from the depredations of rulers, and supported the rule of righteous kings by encouraging the people to obey them. The basic framework of Buddhist ethics for rulers is set out in the "Ten Duties of the King" (dasa-raja-dhamma):..."
        Author/creator: Sayadaw U Rewata Dhamma
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Sayadaw U Rewata Dhamma
        Format/size: pdf (93K)
        Date of entry/update: 29 April 2008


        Title: Two Indigenous Karen Religious Denominations
        Date of publication: 1981
        Description/subject: "This paper is a short presentation of two Pwo Karen sects as they may be found in contemporary Western Central Thailand. It will discuss the organization, origin, and cultural content of the two denominations in order to show how their politico-religious concepts and ritual architecture are related to their historical position in a larger system comprising the Buddhist monarchial civilizations of Burma and Thailand. It is my supposition that the religious paraphernalia of present day sects materialized in a certain historical context as symbols of royalty and autonomy, and in the larger social context functioned to identify these Pwo Karen collectively as a sovereign part of a larger civilized world. These symbols of self-defined participation in the world, and at times even claims to superiority, had been moulded according to a model set by the monarchism of the 18th century Mon Buddhist kingdom in Lower Burma. It included a messianic Buddhist framework, which precipitated millenarian expectations of the rise of a world conqueror and subsequent future Buddha, the Buddha Ariya Mettaya, who would install a new and ideal society for the elect. Viewing the history of the Buddhist valley civilizations, be they Burmese, Mon or Thai, we may see that this messianic aspect of Theravada Buddhism has been the catalyst for both social discontent and personal political ambitions within the Buddhist societies of Southeast Asia.2 The term 'Karen' covers a category of people in Burma and Thailand who speak related languages. Karen-speaking people are spread over a large area, and their habitations are found in the hills and forests as well as the lowland. Everywhere Karen groups live interspersed among various other ethnic groups, hill as well as valley peoples..."
        Author/creator: Kirsten Ewers Andersen
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Soertryk FOLK Reprint Vol. 23 1981 K0BENHAVN
        Format/size: pdf (247K)
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        Title: The Rajadhammasangaha
        Date of publication: 1979
        Description/subject: "The Rajadhammasangaha" was presented to King Thibaw in December 1878. The first printing was c.1915. This translation by L.E.Bagshawe is from the version edited with a biographical preface by Maung Htin (U Htin Fatt) and published by the Sape U Publishing House in 1979... "On the seventh waxing day of Nadaw...the Wetmasut Myoza Wungyi finished the writing of his book Rajadhammasangaha and presented it to King Thibaw. The author describes it pleasantly as “a book of the proper behaviour for Kings and other high officers of government”. The Pagan Wundauk U Tin, however, says “it is a book of admonishment addressed to King Thibaw.” And in this he speaks the direct truth. In this book the Wetmasut Myoza Wungyi documents the proposals for changes in the system of government that were planned from the time of King Mindon. His intention in writing the book, he says, is, “In bygone times of the Buddha-to-be there were good and excellent Kings who guarded the well-being of all living creatures; like them may our own King, Lord of the Saddanta Elephant and Lawful King, under the Law guard the well-being of all living creatures like that of his own beloved children.” This expressed intention has a further meaning. Under an autocracy we cannot really say that the monarch rules with the single-minded wish to rule all living creatures on the same terms as his own children. If he is brought to the point where he must consult the "living creatures", we may be able to say that he regards them on equal terms with his own children. If there is no law requiring consultation, his guardianship becomes dubious..."
        Author/creator: By the Yaw Mingyi U Hpo Hlaing (the Wetmasut Myoza Wungyi). Edited with biographical preface by Maung Htin (U Htin Fatt) and translated from the Burmese by L.E. Bagshawe
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Online Burma/Myanmar Library
        Format/size: pdf (1MB)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/The_Rajadhammasangaha-print.pdf (configured for print)
        Date of entry/update: 05 September 2004


        Title: ELEMENTS OF PWO KAREN BUDDHISM
        Date of publication: 1978
        Description/subject: "...the frequent dichotomization of Burman and Thai "hill-tribes" as animists opposed to the valley population as Buddhists, the Buddhism of the "hill-tribes" being only a thin veneer on animistic beliefs, does not hold. It is rather a question of an inclusive hierarchization of religious activities and value orientations, where the basis for an exclusive dichotomization becomes unclear and elusive, when one investigates the concerned activities more closely. The levels of activities are interlocked and a future value orientation may be directed towards an increased emphasis on "pure" monk- and more Buddhist elements, as the Karens become subsumed under the Thai cash-crop economy and the concommittant cultural contacts. The role of the boungkhos as maintainers of nature's order will disappear when it becomes evident that economic survival under a new economy immediately seems to depend more on insights into the market-mechanisms than on maintenance of the up till now balanced eco-system."
        Author/creator: Kirsten Ewers Andersen
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: The Scandinavian Institute of Asian Studies
        Format/size: html (35K)
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • Buddhist relics

      Individual Documents

      Title: "Venerating the Buddha's Remains in Burma: From Solitary Practice to the Cultural Hegemony of Communities"
      Date of publication: 2001
      Description/subject: The veneration of Buddha relics and images is a neglected, yet central organizing principle of Theravada culture and religious practice. My essay is informed by a historised understanding of Eliade's hierophany, a manifestation of a universal Buddhist sacred reality that defines and identifies cultural orders at the centers of local, historical contexts. I further rely on Bells' work on ritual and Gramsci's writings on hegemony to describe Burmese veneration of the Buddha's remains in diverse social and religious contexts. These range from the solitary practice, meditation and personal service in the Ananda mode to the Royal mode that defines social hierarchy in public rituals and expresses socio-religious aspirations of individuals and communities through culturally salient metaphors.
      Author/creator: Juliane Schober
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Journal of Burma Studies Vol. 6 (2001)
      Format/size: pdf (1.91MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.niu.edu/burma/publications/jbs/vol6/index.shtml
      Date of entry/update: 07 March 2009


      Title: Sariputta and Moggallana in the Golden Land: The Relics of the Buddha's Chief Disciples at the Kaba Aye Pagoda
      Date of publication: 1999
      Description/subject: In this article, the author reconstructs and documents the story of the relics of the Buddha's chief disciples, Sariputta and Moggallana, at the Kaba Aye Pagoda in Burma. Using previously unpublished archival materials, including first-hand archaeological reports and internal museum documents, as well as contemporary newspaper accounts, the author details the discovery of the relics by British military officers in 19th-century India, the subsequent removal of the relics to England where they were placed on museum exhibition, and their eventual reenshrinement in Burma and India 100 years later.
      Author/creator: Jack Daulton
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Journal of Burma Studies Vol. 4 (1999)
      Format/size: pdf (2.84MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.niu.edu/burma/publications/jbs/vol4/index.shtml (Vol. 4)
      Date of entry/update: 10 March 2009


    • Buddhist texts

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Access to Insight: Readings in Theravada Buddhism
      Description/subject: A good starting point for online information on Theravada Buddhism, with many links to other sources. Contains Theravada Text Archives, which include translations and commentaries of suttas from the Pali Canon, short essays, books on meditation practice, and much more.The Thai forest traditions; From the Buddhist Publication Society; Other contemporary western writers and teachers; Study guides; Selected texts from the Pali Canon (English translations): Vinaya Pitaka (selected texts); Sutta Pitaka (selected texts). Digha Nikaya (85k; Thanissaro Bhikkhu, trans.); Majjhima Nikaya (116k; Thanissaro Bhikkhu, trans.); Samyutta Nikaya (149k; Thanissaro Bhikkhu, trans.); Anguttara Nikaya (160k; Thanissaro Bhikkhu, trans.); Khuddaka Nikaya (excluding the Dhammapada) (200k; Thanissaro Bhikkhu, trans.); Dhammapada (75k; Thanissaro Bhikkhu, trans.).
      Language: English
      Alternate URLs: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/ (Theravada Text Archives)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: BuddhaSasana: A Buddhist page by Binh Anson
      Description/subject: Several hundred Buddhist texts, including many from Burma -- books, sutras, articles, talks. Wide variety of origin and focus.
      Author/creator: Binh Anson
      Language: English, Vietnamese
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.viet.net/anson/ebud/ebidx.htm
      Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


      Title: Buddhist Publication Society
      Description/subject: BPS catalogue etc. Some electronic texts (e.g. under "Publications"). "The Buddhist Publication Society (BPS), founded inSri Lanka in 1958, is an approved charity dedicated to making known the teaching of the Buddha. BPS publications represent the standpoint of Theravada Buddhism, the oldest living Buddhist tradition whose Pali Canon gives us the most authentic account of what the historical Buddha himself actually taught. In a span of thirty-five years the BPS has become a major Buddhist publisher with hundreds of titles and a field of distribution extending to ninety countries.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Buddhist Publication Society
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


      Title: Myat Yadanar
      Description/subject: Dhamma articles in Burmese (Myanmar)
      Language: Burmese, Pali
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Tipitaka
      Description/subject: "The Teachings of Gotama Buddha preserved over 25 centuries as Canonical Pali Literature"
      Language: English
      Format/size: Yahoo group (access by WWW and email)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Individual Documents

      Title: Guide to Tipitaka
      Date of publication: February 1984
      Description/subject: "The Guide to the Tipitaka is an outline of the Pali Buddhist Canonical Scriptures of Theravada Buddhism from Burma. This is a unique work, as it is probably the only material that deals in outline with the whole of the Pali Buddhist Tipitaka. The Tipitaka includes all the teachings of the Buddha, grouped into three divisions: the Suttanta Pitaka, or general discourses; the Vinaya Pitaka, or moral code for monks and nuns; and the Abhidhamma Pitaka, or philosophical teachings. An excellent reference work which gives an overview of the Pali Buddhist texts..."
      Author/creator: Compiled by U Ko Lay
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Buddha Dhamma Education Association Inc.
      Format/size: PDF (640K)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Dasa-raja-dhamma
      Date of publication: 1959
      Description/subject: "The ten duties of the ruler" - translation by Ven. Walpola Rahula, 1959
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Jataka
      Format/size: html (9K)
      Date of entry/update: 24 January 2004


    • Buddhist women

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Sakyadhita: The International Association of Buddhist Women
      Description/subject: "Sakyadhita, the name of the International Association of Buddhist Women, means "Daughters of the Buddha." The objectives of Sakyadhita, as expressed at its founding meeting in 1987 in Bodhgaya, India, are: 1.To promote world peace through the practice of the Buddha's teachings 2.To create a network of communications for Buddhist women throughout the world 3.To promote harmony and understanding among the various Buddhist traditions 4.To encourage and help educate women as teachers of Buddhadharma 5.To provide improved facilities for women to study and practice the teachings 6.To help establish the Bhikshuni Sangha (community of fully-ordained nuns) where it does not currently exist..."
      Language: English
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Individual Documents

      Title: Burmese Sisterhood: Unacknowledged Piety
      Date of publication: September 2000
      Description/subject: Buddhist nuns have long played an important role in the country's spiritual life, despite centuries of discrimination.
      Author/creator: Thameechit
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No. 9
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Buddhist Women in Burma: The Rocky Path Towards Liberation
      Date of publication: January 1998
      Description/subject: "...While monks and lay-people are still asleep, Daw Yewadi, a Buddhist nun, is already busy with preparing breakfast for the guest monks who came here to pay respect to Ven. U Vinaya, better known as Thamanya Sayadaw, a highly revered 85 years old monk living at Thamanya Hill..."
      Author/creator: Martin H. Petrich, Executive Secretary of the INEB
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Dhamma Web
      Format/size: pdf (26 K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.dhammaweb.net/dhammabook/view.php?id=260
      Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


      Title: Buddhist Nuns in Burma
      Date of publication: 1991
      Description/subject: Historical outline of the situation of Buddhist nuns in Burma, and argument for the restoration of full ordination of women into the Order. "...The present nuns of Burma are not regarded as full female equivalents of the monks. They are not bhikkhunis. The name for the Buddhist nuns is sila-rhan (owner of good moral conduct), may- sila (Miss Virtue), or bhva-sila (granny virtue). However, "rhan" is also the normal term of address for male novices (Pali: samanera, Burmese: kui-ran). Even the word "rhan-pru" (make a "rhan") refers to the pabbajja (leaving the household life) of male novices..."__ "According to a legend in the Burmese historical chronicles, the Burmese race arose from the union of a Sakyan prince, a fugitive related to the Buddha, and the daughter of a local chieftain in the city of Tagaung in Upper Burma. This is fixed in the memories of the people with the proverb, "The beginning of the Burmese people is from Tagaung." Quite certainly Theravada Buddhism has been a nation-building element in Burma. The majority of the inhabitants of the modern nation, the Socialist People's Republic of the Myanmar, define themselves as Burmese Buddhists. This statement is not merely a religious definition, but has a full range of social and juridical implications....."
      Author/creator: Dr. Friedgard Lottermoser
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Sakyadhita Newsletter, Summer 1991, vol.2, no.2
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.enabling.org/ia/vipassana/Archive/L/Lottermoser/burmeseNunsLottermoser.html
      http://dhammaramthinunnery.blogspot.com/2010/04/buddhist-nuns-in-burma-dr-friedgard.html
      Date of entry/update: 22 December 2010


    • Burmese Buddhism outside Burma

      Individual Documents

      Title: A Dying Presence
      Date of publication: September 2007
      Description/subject: Monks from Burma may soon be just a memory in a corner of Thailand crowded with Burmese temples... "The three women, clad in white, knelt before the elderly abbot and gently helped the forgetful old man recite his mantra as he accepted their alms. It was a scene that was to be found in many similar forms in monasteries throughout Thailand that day—the birthday of the country’s queen, when Thai women traditionally pay tribute to their revered matriarch. What made this event so special, however, was that the 87-year-old abbot, Sayadaw U Dhamananda, is Burmese. His temple, Wat Tha Ma Oo, is one of nine built by wealthy and influential Burmese traders in the northern Thai city of Lampang in the 19th and early 20th centuries..."
      Author/creator: Jim Andrews
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol 15, No. 9
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=8442
      Date of entry/update: 29 April 2008


      Title: Under an October Moon
      Date of publication: November 2005
      Description/subject: Burmese exiles in western Thailand honor religious tradition and cultural heritage during this year’s Festival of Lights..."...Despite the challenges facing Mae Sot’s culturally diverse population, the city’s Burmese and Thai communities put aside their suspicions and came together under a full moon in October to celebrate an ancient religious festival. While the revelry of the coming evening’s festivities is a large part of the celebration, the day of October’s full moon begins on a solemn—and appropriately religious—note. Before dawn, the city’s monks emerge from their monasteries and walk single-file according to the rank of ordination to accept the day’s alms from crowds of devotees..."
      Author/creator: Yeni
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 11
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


      Title: In the Name of Mandalay
      Date of publication: June 2005
      Description/subject: Preserving Burmese traditions in Thailand... "In 1886 the British finally conquered Mandalay, the historic capital of the last independent Burmese kingdom. San Toe, a servant of the beleaguered King Thibaw and a devout Buddhist, fled the newly colonized city, bringing with him an image of the Buddha crafted by Mandalay artisans. He worked in the logging business as an employee of the Bombay Burma Trading Corporation before settling in the town of Mae Sariang in northern Thailand. There he built a Burmese monastery in 1909 to house his cherished Buddha image. Historically, the Burmese have viewed the city of Mandalay as a source of pride and an important link to Burma’s rich cultural and religious traditions. The name of the monastery in Mae Sariang, Wat Mandalay, reflects this connection and honors the lineage of the monastery’s central religious artifact—the Mandalay-made Buddha image..."
      Author/creator: Yeni
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 6
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 28 April 2006


      Title: A Tale of Two Temples
      Date of publication: November 2002
      Description/subject: "Religious restrictions and visa regulations for foreign monks threaten to put an end to the long tradition of Burmese Buddhism in Thailand... Upon entering the compound of Wat Pafang in Thailand�s Lampang Province guests are greeted silently by its manicured green lawns palm trees and a golden stupa at the back. Inside the prayer room, centuries-old Buddha images meditate placidly while visitors admire the thick wooden poles covered with gold leaf. The landscape may be fairly typical of other Buddhist temples around the country but as one of the oldest Burmese temples in northern Thailand, Wat Pafang has had a unique history. But now these temples and their monks are feeling the effects of government regulations passed over a decade ago, leaving the future of Burmese Buddhism in Thailand in doubt..."
      Author/creator: Aung Zaw
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" vol. 10, No. 9
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • Burmese Buddhist meditation discussion groups

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Insight Meditation
      Description/subject: "This list is for people seeking truth and wisdom through meditation. The type of meditation discussed will be Theravada Buddhist meditation found mainly in Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka and Thailand."
      Language: English
      Subscribe: InsightMeditation-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Vipassana Meditators
      Description/subject: Welcome all VIPASSANA MEDITATORS of the World. This group provides information on Vipassana Meditation, as taught by S.N.Goenka in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin. This groups is for all Vipassana meditators of the world. All the events, newsletter and infomation for Vipassana meditators will be posted here. Vipassana is an universal, scientific method towards purifying the mind. It is the practical essence of the teachings of the Buddha, who taught Dhamma - the Universal Law of Nature. Vipassana is one of India's most ancient meditation techniques. It was rediscovered 2500 years ago by Gotama the Buddha, and is the essence of what he practiced and taught during his forty-five year ministry. During the Buddha's time, large numbers of people in northern India were freed from the bonds of suffering by practicing Vipassana, allowing them to attain high levels of achievement in all spheres of life. Over time, the technique spread to the neighbouring countries of Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand and others, where it had the same ennobling effect. Five centuries after the Buddha, the oble heritage of Vipassana had disappeared from India. The purity of the teaching was lost elsewhere as well. In the country of Burma, however, it was preserved by a chain of devoted teachers. From generation to generation, over two thousand years, this dedicated lineage transmitted the technique in its pristine purity. In the past, India had the distinction of being regarded as a World Teacher. In our time, the Ganges of Truth is once again flowing out from India to a thirsty world.
      Subscribe: subscribe@yahoogroups.com
      Alternate URLs: For more information: http://www.vridhamma.org/Dhamma-Giri.aspx
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • Burmese Buddhist scholarship

      Individual Documents

      Title: On the Ambivalence of Female Monasticism in Theravada Buddhism: A Contribution to the Study of the Monastic System in Myanmar
      Date of publication: 22 September 2009
      Description/subject: "How have Buddhist nuns in Myanmar engaged themselves in monastic relationships while being officially excluded from the monastic institution (the Sangha) since the female order disappeared? This article examines the term "nuns" and monastic status through the way it is embodied in everyday interactions. I begin by presenting the main characteristics of the ambivalent status of Buddhist nuns and the methodological problem this raises -- an analysis of donation interactions between nuns and lay donors indicates the different paths that lead to monastic identification. I then focus on the various relationships in which nuns are engaged in Myanmar, with a description of the combination of relationships between nuns, monks, and lay donors that highlights the monastic system as a network of dynamic relationships in which monastic social identity and its processes of legitimation can take place... keywords: Theravada Buddhism--female monasticism--donation interactions--monastic relational system
      Author/creator: Laure Carbonnel
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture: "Asian Ethnology" Volume 68, Number 2, 2009
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/On+the+ambivalence+of+female+monasticism+in+Theravada+Buddhism%3A+a.....
      Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


      Title: Power, Authority, and Contested Hegemony in Burmese-Myanmar Religion
      Date of publication: 22 September 2009
      Description/subject: "THE INITIAL inspiration for this collaboration came from the experience garnered at an international conference on Burmese studies in 2002, titled "Burma-Myanmar Research and Its Future." (1) It was convened to reflect on social science and humanities-based scholarship on Myanmar in the past half century, which had started in earnest in the 1940s, and culminated in the first wave of publications based on empirical research in the 1950s and 1960s. (2) At the start of the millennium, the conference acknowledged a new era in engaging in constructive discussion amongst scholars in many areas of Burmese-Myanmar studies. Some of the articles in this special issue were originally presented as part of a panel on religion convened by the guest editors of this issue, Hiroko Kawanami and Benedicte Brac de la Perriere, whilst others were written anew to fit the theme of power, authority, and contested hegemony in the field of Burmese-Myanmar religion. Although most approaches are generally phenomenological or anthropological, some have undertaken analysis from a historical perspective or a hermeneutical approach to enrich the discussion. What must also be highlighted here is that the scope of this issue was restricted to those concerned primarily with social phenomena that have relevance to Buddhism, it being the religion of the majority population in Myanmar. Other religions such as Islam and Hinduism that are also adhered to by Myanmar people of other ethnic origins, as well as Christianity and indigenous religions practiced by minority groups, were left out here. (3)....."
      Author/creator: Hiroko Kawanami
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asian Ethnology" Volume 68, Number 2, 2009
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Asian+Ethnology/2009/September/22-p52621
      Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


      Title: Relics, Statues, and Predictions: Interpreting an Apocryphal Sermon of Lord Buddha in Arakan
      Date of publication: 22 September 2009
      Description/subject: "This article presents an apocryphal Buddhist text that contains a speech of the Buddha listing the relics linked to his former existences in Arakan, as well as prophecies regarding the historical succession of kings. Looking at various aspects such as the geographical distribution of the relics and the typically Buddhist representation of kingship, the author argues that the text can best be understood in the eighteenth-century context of the political decline of the Arakanese kingdom. As this article shows, apocryphal texts have authority because they build on traditional concepts and beliefs and are still a poorlyexploited source of historical enquiry."... keywords: Arakanese Buddhism--history of Arakan--Buddhist relics-- apocryphal Buddhist texts--prophetical literature
      Author/creator: Jacques P. Leider
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asian Ethnology" Volume 68, Number 2, 2009, 333-364
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


      Title: The Cult of Thamanya Sayadaw: The Social Dynamism of a Formulating Pilgrimage Site
      Date of publication: 22 September 2009
      Description/subject: "This article analyzes the cult of the monk Thamanya Sayadaw and examines the process by which a community-based village-dwelling monk became a forest-dwelling monk, and then a nationally prominent cult figure. Focusing on the social dynamics which led to the community becoming a major center for pilgrimage, I describe how a large-scale enterprise has emerged around this monk. The materialization of such power suggests that the cult of Thamanya Sayadaw emerged out of a dialectic transaction between the donation of religious land, and a popular belief in the prosperity of the followers as the realization of the material manifestation of the power of saints. I also argue that we need to pay attention to the participation of his followers as well as the practices of the monk himself, and also distinguish two types of participation: the participation of the residents who have settled on this land, and that of pilgrims... keywords: cult of a saint--materialization of power--engaged Buddhism-- pilgrimage--religious land--forest-dwelling
      Author/creator: Keiko Tosa
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asian Ethnology" Volume 68, Number 2, 2009
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


    • Burmese pagodas and other religious buildings
      See also the Architecture and Archaeology sections

      Individual Documents

      Title: A TIGRESS ON THE SHWEDAGON: A RESEARCH NOTE
      Date of publication: December 2008
      Description/subject: "...Donald Stadtner brought the following piece of history regarding the Shwedagon to our attention and sent a photograph of glasswork that recorded the event, together with the text below from Walter del Mar, The Romantic East: Burma, Assam, & Kashmir (London: Adam and Charles Black, 1906, 27-28). We reproduce it further below along with a detail of the glass painting, from a private collection in Yangon. The scene depicts the incident quite literally , with the soldier climbing "to the roof of one of the smaller shrines....." Although del Mar refers to the animal as a tiger, it was in actuality a tigress and the events discussed below occurred on 3 March 1903, the tigress having moved to the vicinity of the Shwedagon from Gyophu Lake..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research 6, 2008
      Format/size: pdf (292K)
      Date of entry/update: 03 October 2010


      Title: U Khan Dee: The Hermit on the Hill
      Date of publication: June 2002
      Description/subject: "More than fifty years after his death, U Khan Dee, the hermit of Mandalay Hill, is still remembered as one of the most remarkable figures of Burma's late colonial period. During the latter half Burma's colonial rule, pious visitors to Mandalay Hill would recount their tales of the venerable hermit monk who possessed remarkable powers. Some spoke of his great height, others claimed he was invisible, still others said he could turn silver into gold. And although people all over Burma today still speak reverently of U Khan Dee, his life was marked by controversy. Also known as Yathee Gyi U Khan Dee (the Great Hermit U Khan Dee), his legendary status was achieved only through a long uphill struggle. In 1908, U Khan Dee first arrived at Mandalay Hill from Yamethin Township, Mandalay, after leaving the Buddhist monkhood where he spent 12 years. He was driven by the strong desire to reconstruct religious buildings and restore Buddhist statues that were severely damaged by the series of fires that ravaged the city around the turn of the century..."
      Author/creator: Aung Zaw, Shawn L Nance
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 10, No.5
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008


      Title: Text and New Contexts: Shwedagon and Kyaikhtiyoe today
      Date of publication: December 2001
      Description/subject: "Texts and Contexts", December 2001 Conference, Universities' Historical Research Centre, Yangon University... Abstract: The paper discusses the use of texts in current renovation of pagodas in Myanmar, taking as examples aspects of work undertaken at the Shwedagon and Kyaikhtiyoe in the last two years. Different types of texts, from inscriptions and traditional accounts to contemporary technical reports, are used to illustrate the complex tradition found in the country today. These are presented in the context of past interaction including Mon influence and the Hsandawshin (Sacred Hair) heritage, as well as present links such as planetary aspects and the role of renovation in encouraging the sustenance of Theravada practice.
      Author/creator: Elizabeth Moore,
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Myanmar Historical Research Journal, University of Yangon [forthcoming]
      Format/size: pdf (747K)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Shwedagon Through the Ages
      Date of publication: May 1999
      Description/subject: History has not always been kind to Shwedagon, Burma's most sacred pagoda, but after two and a half millennia, it still stands as a timeless monument to the spiritual aspirations of Burmese Buddhists.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 7. No. 4
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Note [on the Senbyú Pagoda at Mengún]
      Date of publication: 1885
      Description/subject: The article is undated, but since it refers to the memoranda of Yule (1879) and Sladen (1868) it is likely to have been written in the 1880s. I have arbitrarily dated it 1885 for the sake of the order among the documents in this section.
      Author/creator: J. FERGUSSON.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 2004
      Format/size: pdf (96 K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.soas.ac.uk/sbbr/editions/soas-bulletin-of-burma-research-volume-2-issue-1.html
      Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


      Title: Remarks on the Subject [of the Senbyú Pagoda at Mengún]
      Date of publication: 17 April 1879
      Description/subject: "In a paper describing what I had seen of architectural remains of Hindu character in Java, which was read before the Asiatic Society of Bengal, in October, 1861, there occurred the following passage in reference to that magnificent monument of Buddhism, the Boro Bodor:— “Mr. Fergusson, who gives a good account of the Boro Bodor in his Handbook of Architecture, considers it to be a kind of representation of the great Buddhist monasteries, which are described in the Ceylonese writings as having been many stories high, and as containing hundreds of cells for monks....."
      Author/creator: Col. Henry Yule, C.B
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 2004,
      Format/size: pdf (278 K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.soas.ac.uk/sbbr/editions/soas-bulletin-of-burma-research-volume-2-issue-1.html
      Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


      Title: Some Remarks upon COL. YULE'S Notes on the Senbyú Pagoda
      Date of publication: 23 June 1869
      Description/subject: "With reference to the interesting account of the Senbyú Pagoda at Mengun, read at the last meeting of the Royal Asiatic Society, and more particularly with reference to the remarks by Col. Yule on the Buddhas of the Boro Bodor, I would, with the greatest deference to the writer, beg to offer some suggestions derived from personal observation of the manner in which many groups of figures of Buddha (Sákya Muni) are sculptured in Bengal and the North-West Provinces of India..."
      Author/creator: C. HORNE, F.R.A.S.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 2004
      Format/size: pdf (17 K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.soas.ac.uk/sbbr/editions/soas-bulletin-of-burma-research-volume-2-issue-1.html
      Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


      Title: Some Account of the Senbyú Pagoda at Mengún, near the Burmese Capital, in a Memorandum
      Date of publication: 06 January 1868
      Description/subject: "...1. The Pagoda was built in the reign of king Bodo Piyah,1 in the Burmese year 1178 (A.D. 1816), by his grandson, Noungdau Gyee, now known as Bagyeedau Piyah,2 which specifies his relationship as paternal uncle to the present reigning king. 2. It is situated at Mengoon, on the west bank of the Irrawaddy, a couple of hundred yards only from the huge brick ruin which is known as the Mengoon pagoda..."
      Author/creator: CAPT. E. H. SLADEN, Political Agent at Mandalé
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 2004
      Format/size: pdf (260 K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.soas.ac.uk/sbbr/editions/soas-bulletin-of-burma-research-volume-2-issue-1.html
      Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


    • History of Buddhism in Burma

      Individual Documents

      Title: THE BUDDHIST KINGS OF CHIENGMAI AND PEGU, THE PURIFICATION OF THE SANGHA, AND THE MAHABODHI REPLICAS IN THE LATE FIFTEENTH CENTURY
      Date of publication: December 1996
      Description/subject: "In the late fifteenth century two similar and interesting events took place. Two Southeast Asian kings, both claiming to be Buddhist world rulers, built replicas of the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, India. The first king was Dhammacetti (1462-1492) of Pegu, who built the Shwegugyi Temple in Pegu in 1479. The other king was Tilokaraja (1441-1487), of Chiengmai, who began building the Wat Cet Yot in 1455 (although the building went on for over a decade). Both the Shwegugyi and the Wat Cet Yot are replicas of the Mahabodhi temple at Bodhgaya, India, in their general architectural design, their use of the seven stations in their layout, and their association with the bodhi tree. The Mahabodhi temple is important to Buddhism, because it was built next to the bodhi tree under which the Buddha sat when he was enlightened. The seven stations at that temple refer to the seven different sites where the Buddha spent each of the seven weeks after enlightenment. This means that the Mahabodhi temple, the bodhi tree, and the seven stations there are directly tied to the foundation of the sasana and to the purity of the sasana. The construction of the two Mahabodhi replicas is even more interesting because only two other replicas of the Mahabodhi were built in Southeast Asia, one in Pagan built in 1215 by Nadaunmya (Htilominlo), and a minor one at Chiengrai, which cannot be dated or attributed. It is difficult to find out, however, why two kings in neighboring areas built Mahabodhi replicas at about the same time and why such replicas were not built in Southeast Asia for the 250 years before this time or at anytime afterwards.6 The chronicles and inscriptions explain that Tiloka and Dhammacetti were performing meritorious acts by building the Mahabodhi replicas. The chronicles and inscriptions also claim that these two kings were trying to unify and purify the sangha in their lands. However, the chronicles and inscriptions do not say why Mahabodhi replicas were built by Dhammacetti and Tilokaraja around the same time and not by every king before and after who tried to gain merit or be a dhammaraja by purifying and uniting the sangha. I think it is important to find the underlying reasons for the similar event occurring in Chiengmai and Pegu in the late fifteenth century. I will try, using the information that is available, and general information regarding the social, political, commercial, religious, agricultural, and demographic trends of that period, to provide the best possible answer to the questions (1) why the Mahabodhi replicas in Chiengmai and Pegu were built, (2) why they were built in these two places and not somewhere else, and (3) why they were built at this time. My argument, which I will develop and explain more fully below, is that the most significant factor in the adoption of Mahabodhi replicas and the repurification of the sangha in late fifteenth century Chiengmai and Pegu was international trade. During the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, mainland Southeast Asia was politically (small and numerous states) and religiously (small and numerous sects) divided and not many kings had the resources or power to prove their claims of being dhammarajas by unifying or purifying the sangha or support the construction of temples on the same scale as Pagan. During the same period, however, trade grew as did agricultural cultivation and the population). By the late fifteenth century, central kings gained money for religious patronage of the sangha and for political patronage of (and more prestige in the eyes of) local rulers and probably better control of their kingdoms outside of the capital. The links that Chiengmai and Pegu had with international trade also brought ideas for rulers and monks. The religious reform and the building of Mahabodhi replicas of the late fifteenth century in Pegu and in Chiengmai came from ideas, brought along trade routes (maritime and within Southeast Asia), strengthening the prestige of Sri Lanka as a center of pure Buddhism. Also, Buddhist monks travelling along Southeast Asian trade routes seem to have spread beliefs in the royal capitals (as trade centers) that religious reform should also include a replica of the Mahabodhi temple. The monks who took advantage of these ideas won the support of the central ruler over rival sects since they had a better claim to religious purity. The central kings had more resources and control than their predecessors over their kingdoms and could make the selection of a particular sect and the religious repurification more significant throughout the kingdom. Finally, to reinforce their image as dhammarajas who unified and purified the sangha, and as cakravartins or world Buddhist rulers, Dhammacetti and Tilokaraja tried to replace Pagan with their own capitals as the chief center of Buddhism (which meant that their capitals also had to have Mahabodhi replicas)."
      Author/creator: ATSUKO NAONO
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
      Format/size: pdf (1.2MB-low res; 2.3MB-medium res; 4.3MB - high res)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs09/Naono1996-ocr-mr.pdf
      http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs09/Naono1996-ocr-hr.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 04 October 2010


      Title: Buddhism in Myanmar: A Short History
      Date of publication: 1995
      Description/subject: Contents: * Preface * 1. Earliest Contacts with Buddhism * 2. Buddhism in the Mon and Pyu Kingdoms * 3. Theravada Buddhism Comes to Pagan * 4. Pagan: Flowering and Decline * 5. Shan Rule * 6. The Myanmar Build an Empire * 7. The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries * Notes * Bibliography
      Author/creator: Roger Bischoff
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Access to Insight
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: The Kalyānī inscriptions erected by King Dhammaceti at Pegu in 1476 A. D. - Text and translation
      Date of publication: 1892
      Description/subject: "...In 1478, King Dhammazedi from the Mon kingdom of Ramannadesa, erected ten stone inscriptions written with Mon and Pali language. ... The stone inscription is known among scholars as the "Kalyani Sima" or "Kalyani Inscription". The inscription deal mainly with the the reform undertaken by the king to purify Theravada Buddhism in his kingdom..."
      Author/creator: TAW SEIN KO,(trans)
      Language: Pali, Mon, English
      Source/publisher: Government of Burma
      Format/size: pdf (3.38MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924011724808
      Date of entry/update: 04 October 2010


    • Monastic education

      Individual Documents

      Title: Idealism and Pragmatism: A Dilemma in the Current Monastic Education Systems of Burma and Thailand
      Date of publication: 23 May 2004
      Description/subject: Conclusion: "In both Burma and Thailand the debate is far from over. While both the idealists and the pragmatists agree that the principal aim of the monastic education systems should be to train monks in the Dhamma and Vinaya, the two sides cannot agree whether or not steps should be taken to help fulfil some educational needs of the society by bringing in some secular subjects in monastic schools. Today, in Burma, the curricula for the various monastic examinations focus exclusively, also narrowly, from the very beginning on the study of Pali and the TipiTaka. No English, mathematics, geography, philosophy nor history are included because they are considered secular subjects.[24] As a result, even educated monks find it difficult to relate the dhamma to lay people's lives. In Thailand, too, the main curricula, such as the nak tham and the Pali parian, have remained exclusively religious. Although, since 1970 there has been a new curriculum, called sai saman suksa (lit. general way of education)[25], which combines the religious and the secular, it does seem this curriculum has been forced on the leadership and has not been a well thought through policy. This curriculum has too many subjects at each level means student-monks do not have sufficient time to learn properly either Pali and Buddhism or secular subjects.[26] In addition, this curriculum has been designed neither to replace nor to complement the traditional religious curricula, such as the nak tham and the parian curricula. It has thus the potential to distract, which I think it has done, the young monks from the nak tham and parian curricula. Indeed, its separate existence from the two highly regarded religious curricula, the nak tham and the parian, suggests that the idealists and the pragmatist have yet to work out the objectives of monastic education."... Presented at the conference on "Burmese Buddhism and the Spirit Cult Revisited - Revisiting Buddhism and the spirit cult in Burma [and Thailand]... at Stanford University, USA by Venerable Khammai Dhammasami, Oxford University, UK, 22-23 May 2004
      Author/creator: Venerable Khammai Dhammasami
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Stanford University, USA
      Format/size: pdf (70.9 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.dhammadownload.com/images/Venerable-Dr-Khammai-Dhammasami-Biography.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 17 September 2010


    • Wizzar cults

      Individual Documents

      Title: Review by Bob Hudson of "Wonders of Mebegon Village" (Ashin Kunsal Kassapa (trans).
      Date of publication: April 2008
      Description/subject: "...This account in English of a contemporary wizzar cult has been translated from Burmese and edited by a Spanish-born Buddhist monk. It is a sometimes loosely-linked compilation, comprising hagiographies of three wizzars, a biography of the medium through whom they speak, testimonials from devotees and a glossary. Its value is increased by the amount of detail provided: lists of participants in ceremonies, the prayers recited, the quantities of ingredients and offerings, the timing of rituals..."
      Author/creator: Bob Hudson
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: SOAS BULLETIN OF BURMA RESEARCH 5 2007
      Format/size: pdf (113K)
      Date of entry/update: 01 October 2010


  • Christianity

    Websites/Multiple Documents

    Title: Bible Society Work in Myanmar
    Description/subject: "Though Myanmar is predominantly a Buddhist country and there also resurgence of Biddhism there is a growing demand of ther scriptures not only by the church members but also by the people from other religions especially for the Myanmar (Burmese) Bible. In 2002 at the special request 5000 New Testaments with special cover were printed locally for the for the religious leaders of the other faith. In the past it was not easy for BSM to print Bible or New Testament in one language within a year. However, with the concerted efforts made by the respective translation committees, BSM translation staff and translation consultants, there is a remarkable progress. Now, at least four new language scriptures would be ready for printing yearly. In addition to printing of new language scripture there is also an urgent need for reprinting of Bibles which are out of stock for some years for the church members as well as for the out reach programs. To meet the urgent need of the scripture, we have worked the production plan for 2004 and 2005....."
    Language: English
    Date of entry/update: 21 December 2010


    Title: Christians Concerned for Burma
    Description/subject: Useful site with reports on IDPs, narcotics, human rights, relief missions etc. Good links page. Prayer days for Burma
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Christians Concerned for Burma
    Format/size: html (only configured for Internet Explorer - the drop-down menus don't work with Netscape)
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Individual Documents

    Title: David gegen Goliath: Christen in Myanmar
    Date of publication: 26 February 2007
    Description/subject: Interview mit dem Präsidenten des Kachin Theological College (KTC).Im Gespräch mit Livenet berichtete er von seiner Schule in der Stadt Myitkyina, der grössten theologischen Ausbildungsstätte im Norden des Landes, die den Bachelor of Theology und den Master of Divinity verleiht und in den letzten 15 Jahren ein starkes Wachstum erlebt hat. „Seit dem Zusammenbruch des Sozialismus wollen viele Absolventen von Colleges und Sekundarschulen das KTC besuchen.“ Zahlreiche Kurse werden englisch unterrichtet; im abgeschotteten Land sehen Eltern hier offensichtlich ein Sprungbrett für die Laufbahn ihrer Sprösslinge; Verfolgung von Christen, Kachin Interview with the president of the baptist Kachin Theological College; Christian students; Persecution of Christians
    Language: German, Deutsch
    Source/publisher: Livenet
    Format/size: Html (64k)
    Date of entry/update: 18 August 2007


    Title: The Church of the Province of Myanmar
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


  • Hinduism, Brahminism

    Individual Documents

    Title: Specialists for Ritual, Magic and Devotion: The Court Brahmins (Punna) of the Konbaung Kings (1752-1885)
    Date of publication: 2006
    Description/subject: Abstract: "Though they formed an essential part of Burmese court life, the Brahmins have hitherto attracted no scholarly interest outside Burma. Based on a study of royal orders and administrative compendia as well as recent Burmese research, this article gives for the first time an overview of the origins, the ritual and ceremonial functions and the organization of the punna. The main section is preceded by an overview of sources and research questions. Special emphasis is given in the last part to the noteworthy role played by punna in King Bodawphaya�s reform policies."
    Author/creator: Jacques P. Leider
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Journal of Burma Studies" Vol. 10, 2005/06
    Format/size: pdf (804K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.niu.edu/burma/publications/jbs/vol10/index.shtml (JBS Vol. 10)
    Date of entry/update: 31 December 2008


  • Islam

    Websites/Multiple Documents

    Title: Arakan Rohingya National Organization (ARNO)
    Description/subject: "According to the 1947 Constitution, a group of people who entered Burma before 1825 and settled in a defined territory are also indigenous race of Burma. This clause was especially written for Rohingya people, said Dr. Aye Maung, one of the author of the 1947 constitution. Accordingly U Nu government recognized Rohingya as an indigenous race of Burma..." Keywords: Islam, Muslim, stateless. Big, flashy site with lots of content.
    Language: English
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Individual Documents

    Title: Southeast Asia’s Muslims on the Spot
    Description/subject: "As the focus sharpens on Southeast Asia’s role in the war against terror, many of the region’s Muslims worry that authorities are missing the point..."
    Author/creator: Irrawaddy Contributors
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 1
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • Islam in Burma: discussion groups

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Everyday ethnic tensions in Myanmar
      Date of publication: 27 March 2013
      Description/subject: "Anyone who is paying attention to Myanmar right now should be deeply saddened by the recent violence in Meiktilla.[1] And, understandably, many are expressing mounting concern over the rise of virulently anti-Muslim Buddhist nationalism across the country, characterized in violent Facebook comments or incendiary speeches like those of U Wirathu.[2] We risk missing just how concerning the recent violence in Meikitalla is, however, if we focus only on the most extreme speech. There is extremely hateful speech, to be sure, just as there have been recent attempts to counteract it and call for peace.[3] It is also likely, as prominent 88 Generation leader Min Ko Naing recently pointed out, that there are those systematically seeking to encourage and profit from such violence and religious tension.[4] But it also needs to be noted that these virulent sentiments connect to a less violent, but nonetheless concerning – and, I believe, widespread – lack of understanding and trust between Buddhist and Muslim communities in Burma; the tensions are religious, not limited to questions of citizenship and ethnicity. This has to be recognized, because it helps explain how the more venomous statements find purchase; only recognizing this helps explain things like the rapid spread of the ‘969’ movement[5]or seeming national indifference to the violence in Rakhine State and central Burma. This in turn highlights why there is strong potential for more violence, countrywide. And it helps highlight the need for interfaith cooperation and reconciliation that a) moves quickly to counter-act rumours and misinformation campaigns, b) addresses specific sources of mistrust and conflict and c) finds other lines of connection and solidarity through which Buddhist and Muslim communities can strengthen ties..."
      Author/creator: Matt Schissler
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "New Mandala"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 16 July 2014