Lecture No. 7: Buddhism in Taungoo Period - Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature


Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature

The teachings of the Buddha are aimed solely at liberating sentient beings from suffering. The Basic Teachings of Buddha which are core to Buddhism are: The Three Universal Truths; The Four Noble Truths; and The Noble Eightfold Path.

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Monday, June 17, 2019

Lecture No. 7: Buddhism in Taungoo Period

Lecture No. VII
Buddhism in Taungoo Period.

1.   Taungoo Periodin Myanmarhistory lasted over a century [A.D. 1486-1594]. It was a dynasty of four Kings namely Min Kyi Nyo [A.D. 1485-1531], Tabin Shwe Hti [A.D. 1531-1550], Bayint Naung[A.D. 1551-1581] and Nanda Bayin [1581-1594]. Of them the second and the third were the conqueror kings who built the second Myanmar Empire.
2.   During this time span of 108 years, wars were waged at home and abroad for national reconsolidation and defense and extension of the kingdom. Many military campaigns were led by Tabinshwehtiand his successor Baying Taung with resounding victories.
3.   But these two conqueror kings like Alexander the great of Macedoniawho led the campaigns of Hellenisation carried out the propagation of Buddhism and Buddhist culture during their campaigns to remote areas especially Shan states. They forbade primitive practices of sacrificing animals at Nat-spirit festivals and burning alive servants and lesser queens with the dead body of a feudal lord, so as to accompany the latter in the next existence. Great feasts of ancestor worship were allowed but strong liquors and other intoxicants were strictly forbidden.
4.   Pagodas were built for veneration of the local people and monasteries were constructed in which missionary monks were invited to reside to spread the teachings of the Buddha to the tribes. Food, clothing, shelter and medicine [Stu-pyitsaya] were provided by the kings to missionary monks as long as the latter performed their religious duties in the remote areas where animism and debased Budhow about breaking line of footnote?dhism still prevailed.
5.   Tribal chiefs were required to take the oath[1] of allegiance[2] to the king and promise to abandon their primitive rites of animal and human sacrifices such as head-hunting, animal slaughtering and burning alive lesser queens and servants with the dead body of feudal chief. If they followed the teachings of the bhikkhus they were given favour and rewarded by upgrading their status.
6.   King Bayint Naung, during his military campaigns throughout the country abolished[3]the custom of slaughtering white animals such as buffaloes, cows, goats, pigs and fouls to offer to MahagiriNatspirits and adorning Natshrines with their skulls. This primitive custom was prevalent among the people living around PopaHill, Bagan, Ywatha, Salei, Pakhan-nge, Nga-tha-yauk, Tuyin and Kyauk-pa-daung.
7.   Thanks to the patronage and support of King Bayint NaungBuddhismspread and flourished. Taking Emperor Ashoka as his model Buddhist King, Bayint Naungbuilt pagodas in Chiangmai Linzin, Ayuthia and Shan states [Ko-Shan-pyi or Nine Shan States] built monasteries for missionary monks, provided four essential needs of the bhikkhus, distributed copies of Tipitaka. Many of the pagodas he built still survive in the countries he conquered. He was the donor of mass ordinations at Kalayani Sima at Bago. In doing such works of religious merit this king of Taungoondynasty was acclaimed by his people as the great Sasana Dayaka [Royal inheritor of Buddhasasana] and "Emperor of Ten Directions by his subjects".

[1]           oath {speaker}, AmE {speaker} noun (plural oaths {speaker}, AmE {speaker})    a formal promise to do sth or a formal statement that sth is true// an offensive word or phrase used to express anger, surprise, etc.; a swear word// IDIOMS: on / under oath having made a formal promise to tell the truth in a court of law
[2]           allegiance {speaker} noun: ~ (to sb/sth) a person’s continued support for a political party, religion, ruler, etc
[3]           abolish{speaker}, AmE {speaker} verb: [VN]to officially end a law, a system or an institution: This tax should be abolished.

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