Burmese pagoda

Burmese pagodas are stupas that typically house Buddhist relics, including relics associated with Buddha.[1] Pagodas feature prominently in Myanmar's landscape, earning the country the moniker "land of pagodas."[2] Several cities in the country, including Mandalay and Bagan, are known for their abundance of pagodas. Pagodas are the site of seasonal pagoda festivals.[3]

Burmese pagodas are enclosed in a compound known as the aran (အာရာမ်, from Pali ārāma), with gateways called mok (မုခ်, from Pali mukha) at the four cardinal directions. The platform surrounding a Burmese pagoda is called a yinbyin (ရင်ပြင်).

Bawbawgyi Pagoda is one of the earliest existing examples of a Burmese pagoda.


Shwedagon Pagoda Yangon29
Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is Myanmar's most prominent zedi.
Ananda Temple in Bagan is a classic example of a pahto.

In the Burmese language, pagodas are known by a number of various terms. The umbrella term phaya (ဘုရား, pronounced [pʰəjá]), which derives from Sanskrit vara,[4] refers to pagodas, images of the Buddha, as well as royal and religious personages, including the Buddha, kings, and monks.[5] Zedi (စေတီ), which derives from Pali cetiya, specifically refers to typically solid, bell-shaped stupas that may house relics.[6] Pahto (ပုထိုး) refers to hollow square or rectangular buildings built to resemble caves, with chambers that house images of the Buddha.[1][6] Burmese pagodas are distinguished from kyaungs in that the latter are monasteries that house Buddhist monks.


Burmese zedis are classified into four prevalent types:

  1. Datu zedi (ဓာတုစေတီ, from Pali dhātucetiya) or datdaw zedi (ဓာတ်တော်စေတီ) - zedis enshrining relics of the Buddha or arhats[7]
  2. Paribawga zedi (ပရိဘောဂစေတီ, from Pali paribhogacetiya) - zedis enshrining garments and other items (alms bowls, robes, etc.) that belonged to the Buddha or sacred personages[7]
  3. Dhamma zedi (ဓမ္မစေတီ, from Pali dhammacetiya) - zedis enshrining sacred texts and manuscripts, along with jewels and precious metals[7]
  4. Odeiktha zedi (ဥဒ္ဒိဿစေတီ, from Pali uddissacetiya) - zedis built from motives of piety, containing statues of the Buddha, models of sacred images[7]

Of the four classes, dhammazedis and udeikthazedis are the most prevalent, since they are routinely erected by donors as a work of merit.[7] Burmese zedis are typically constructed with bricks, covered with whitewashed stucco.[7] Prominent zedis are gilded with gold.[7] Burmese zedis are crowned with a spired final ornament known as the hti, which is hoisted in a traditional ceremony (ထီးတော်တင်ပွဲ, htidaw tin pwe) that dates to the pre-colonial era.[8][9]

See also


  1. ^ a b Seekins, Donald M. (2006). Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810864863.
  2. ^ Thurber, Robert Bruce (1921). In the Land of Pagodas. Southern Pub. Association.
  3. ^ Thurber, Robert Bruce (1921). In the Land of Pagodas. Southern Pub. Association.
  4. ^ Myanmar-English Dictionary. Myanmar Language Commission. 1993. ISBN 1-881265-47-1.
  5. ^ Suan, Pau, Cope (2015). "Reflecting the Missio - Logoi of the First Overseas American Missionary". Papers. 1.
  6. ^ a b Reid, Robert; Grosberg, Michael (2005). Myanmar (Burma). Lonely Planet. ISBN 9781740596954.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Hardiman, John Percy (1900). Gazetteer of Upper Burma and the Shan States. Superintendent, Government printing, Burma.
  8. ^ Scott, James George (1910). The Burman, his life and notions. London Macmillan.
  9. ^ Langfield, Michele; Logan, William; Craith, Mairead Nic (2009). Cultural Diversity, Heritage and Human Rights: Intersections in Theory and Practice. Routledge. ISBN 9781135190705.

External links


The Abhidharmadīpa or Lamp of Abhidharma is an Abhidharma text thought to have been authored by Vasumitra as a response to Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakośakārikā.

The text consists of verse and prose commentary. It currently survives as an incomplete collection of Sanskrit fragments. However, the text is valuable insofar as it confirms the identity of Vasubandhu as author of the Abhidharmakośakārikā.


Ajahn (Thai: อาจารย์, RTGS: achan, IPA: [ʔāː.tɕāːn], also romanized ajaan, aajaan, ajarn, ajahn, acharn and achaan) is a Thai language term which translates as "professor" or "teacher." It is derived from the Pali word ācariya, and is a term of respect, similar in meaning to the Japanese sensei, and is used as a title of address for high-school and university teachers, and for Buddhist monks who have passed ten vassa. The term "ajahn" is customarily used to address forest tradition monks and the term Luang Por, "Venerable father" is customarily used to address city tradition monks in Thai Buddhism.

Alanpya Pagoda

Alanpya Pagoda (Burmese: အလံပြစေတီ; also known as Signal Pagoda) is a 98.33-foot-tall (29.97 m) Burmese pagoda located on Alanpya Hill, on the southern part of Dhammarakhita Hill, in Yangon, Myanmar. The pagoda is south of Maha Wizaya Pagoda.


Asita or Kaladevala or Kanhasiri was a hermit ascetic of ancient India in the 6th century BCE. He is best known for having predicted that prince Siddhartha of Kapilavastu would either become a great chakravartin or become a supreme religious leader; Siddhartha was later known as Gautama Buddha.He lived in the forest in the Shakya country. The name Asita literally means 'not clinging' while Kanhasiri means 'dark splendour'. Asita is described as wearing matted hair.

Buddhism in Venezuela

Buddhism in Venezuela is practiced by over 52,000 people (roughly 0.2% of the population). The Buddhist community is made up mainly of Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans.

Most identify with the Mahayana tradition, reflecting the religious heritage of their emigrant countries.

However, in the mid-1990s Keun-Tshen Goba (né Ezequiel Hernandez Urdaneta), together with Jigme Rinzen, founded a meditation center using the Shambhala Training method.

There are Buddhist centers in Caracas, Maracay, Mérida, Puerto Ordáz, San Felipe, and Valencia.

Dharma talk

A Dharma talk (Sanskrit) or Dhamma talk (Pali) or Dharma sermon (Japanese: 法語 (ほうご, Hōgo), Chinese: 法語) is a public discourse on Buddhism by a Buddhist teacher.In some Zen traditions a Dharma talk may be referred to as a teisho (提唱). However, according to Taizan Maezumi and Bernard Glassman, a teisho is "a formal commentary by a Zen master on a koan or Zen text. In its strictest sense, teisho is non-dualistic and is thus distinguished from a Dharma talk, which is a lecture on a Buddhist topic." In this sense, a teisho is thus a formal Dharma talk. Vietnamese master Thich Nhat Hanh says the following about Dharma talks:

A Dharma talk must always be appropriate in two ways: it must accord perfectly with the spirit of the Dharma and it must also respond perfectly to the situation in which it is given. If it only corresponds perfectly with the teachings but does not meet the needs of the listeners, it's not a good Dharma talk; it's not appropriate.

Glass mosaic

Glass mosaic (Burmese: မှန်စီရွှေချ) is a traditional Burmese mosaic made with pieces of glass, used to embellish decorative art, structures, and furniture. Glass mosaic is typically divided into two subcategories, hman gyan si (မှန်ကြမ်းစီ) and hman nu si (မှန်နုစီ). The former is typically used to decorate the walls and ceilings of pagodas, while the latter is used to embellish furniture and accessories. The art form originated in the 1500s during the Nyaungyan era. Glass mosaic is often studded with gems and semi-precious stones.


Kalaga (Burmese: ကန့်လန့်ကာ) is a heavily embroidered appliqué tapestry made of silk, flannel, felt, wool and lace against a background made of cotton or velvet indigenous to Burma (Myanmar). The word kalaga, which means "curtain," comes from the Burmese language, although Burmese refer to such tapestries as shwe gyi do (ရွှေချည်ထိုး; lit. "gold thread embroidery"). These tapestries use a sewing technique called shwe gyi (ရွှေချည်)This artform emerged during the Konbaung dynasty in the mid-19th century and reached its zenith during the reign of Mindon Min, when velvet became fashionable at the royal court.In a typical tapestry, padded figures are cut from various types of cloth and sewn onto a background, usually red or black cloth to form an elaborate scene, traditionally from Burmese classical plays (e.g. Ramayana, Jataka). The figures are sewn using a combination of metallic and plain threads and adorned with sequins, beads and glass stones.


The Koliyas were Kshatriya of the Adicca (Iksvaku) clan of the Solar Dynasty from the Indian subcontinent, during the time of Gautama Buddha.The family members of the two royal families, that is the Koliyas and Sakyas married only among themselves. Both clans were very proud of the purity of their royal blood and had practised this tradition of inter-marriage since ancient times. For example, Suddhodana's paternal aunt was married to the Koliyan ruler Añjana. Their daughters, Mahamaya and Mahapajapati Gotami, were married to Śuddhodana, the chief of the Sakyans. Similarly, Yashodhara, daughter of Suppabuddha, who was Añjana’s son, was married to the Sakyan prince, Gautama Buddha. Thus, the two royal families were related by marriage bonds between maternal and paternal cousins since ancient times. In spite of such close blood-ties, there would be occasional rifts between the two royal families, which sometimes turned into open hostility.

Kuri (kitchen)

A kuri (庫裏, lit. warehouse behind) or kuin (庫院, lit. warehouse hall) is the kitchen of a Zen monastery, typically located behind the butsuden (or, Buddha Hall). Historically the kuri was a kitchen which prepared meals only for the abbot and his guests, though in modern Japan it now functions as the kitchen and administrative office for the entire monastery.


A kyaung (Burmese: ဘုန်းကြီးကျောင်း [pʰóʊɴdʑí tɕáʊɴ]) is a monastery (vihara), comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of Buddhist monks. Burmese kyaungs are sometimes also occupied by novice monks (samanera), lay attendants (kappiya), nuns, and young acolytes observing the five precepts (ဖိုးသူတော် phothudaw). Kyaungs are typically built of wood, meaning that few historical monasteries built before the 1800s are extant. Kyaungs exist in Myanmar (Burma), as well as in neighboring countries with Theravada Buddhist communities, including neighboring China (e.g., Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture).

The kyaung has traditionally been the center of village life in Burma, serving as both the educational institution for children and a community center, especially for merit-making activities such as construction of buildings, offering of food to monks and celebration of Buddhist festivals, and observance of uposatha.

Monasteries are not established by members of the sangha, but by laypersons who donate land or money to support the establishment.

List of Buddhas

This is a list of historical, contemporary, and legendary figures which at least one school of Buddhism considers to be a Buddha and which have an article on Wikipedia:




Amitābha, principal Buddha of Pure Land Buddhism




Dīpankara Buddha

Five Tathagatas

Gautama Buddha


Kassapa Buddha

Koṇāgamana Buddha



Nichiren Daishonin, Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law (Nikko Lineage)

Padumuttara Buddha




Sumedha Buddha


Tonpa Shenrab

Vairocana, embodiment of the Dharmakaya



Yeshe Tsogyal

List of suttas

Suttas from the Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon.

List of Digha Nikaya suttas

List of Majjhima Nikaya suttas

List of Samyutta Nikaya suttas

List of Anguttara Nikaya suttas

List of Khuddaka Nikaya suttas

Public holidays in Myanmar

Several public holidays are observed in Myanmar.


Rinpoche, also spelled Rimboche and Rinboku (Tibetan: རིན་པོ་ཆེ་, Wylie: rin po che, THL: Rinpoché, ZYPY: Rinboqê), is an honorific term used in the Tibetan language. It literally means "precious one", and may be used to refer to a person, place, or thing--like the words "gem" or "jewel" (Sanskrit Ratna).

The word consists of rin(value) and po(nominative suffix) and chen(big).

The word is used in the context of Tibetan Buddhism as a way of showing respect when addressing those recognized as reincarnated, older, respected, notable, learned and/or an accomplished Lamas or teachers of the Dharma. It is also used as an honorific for abbots of monasteries.

Threefold Training

The Buddha identified the threefold training (sikkhā) as training in:

higher virtue (adhisīla-sikkhā)

higher mind (adhicitta-sikkhā)

higher wisdom (adhipaññā-sikkhā)


Uppalavannā (Chinese: 蓮華色比丘尼 or 優缽華色比丘尼) was considered to be one of the two chief female disciples of the Buddha, the other being Khema.

She was the daughter of a wealthy merchant and was known for her great beauty. Her name means "one with the hue of the blue lotus".


In Buddhism, rddhi powers (Sanskrit; Pali: iddhi) are "psychic powers", one of the five or six supernormal powers (abhijñā) of the mundane plane attained by performing the four dhyānas. The normal Sanskrit meaning of ṛddhi is "increase, growth, prosperity, success, good fortune, wealth, abundance".

Major Buddhist sites in Myanmar
Kachin State
Kayin State
Mon State
Rakhine State
Shan State
Ayeyarwady Region
Bago Region
Magway Region
Mandalay Region
Sagaing Region
Tanintharyi Region
Yangon Region


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