Lecture No. 9: Buddhism in Nyaung Yan 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. 9: Buddhism in Nyaung Yan period

Lecture No. IX Buddhism in Nyaung Yan period

1.   Nyaung Yan Period in Myanmar history is also referred to as the second Taungoo Period because it was founded by a descendant of Taungoo dynasty. The immediate successor to King Bayint Naung was King Nanda Bayin. He was Bayint Naung’sson. He lost his throne and capital Hamsavadito Rakhine, Taungoo and Than Hlyinwho in alliance attached him and ransacked his capital and the rich Palace Kambozathadi. Nanda Bayin died without recovering his kingdom from the enemies.
Another son of Bayint Naung, the Lord of Nyaung Yan was able regain control over the country. He rebuilt the kingdom and set up Nyaung Yan dynasty which lasted 153 years.
Of the eleven kings in the line of this dynasty, three kings were prominent in administration and promotion of Buddhasasana. They were (1) Anauk-pet-lun [A.D. 1605-1628] (2) Thalun [A.D. 1629-1648] and (3) Tanin-gu-new [A.D. 1714-1733].
Before we touch upon Buddhism of this period, we should turn our attention to the threat to Buddhism and how it was overcome in time.
The 15th and 16th centuries were the centuries of Portuguese ascendancy in world history. On the Iberian Peninsula there were two maritime powers, Spain and Portugalthat built up their maritime Empires with their mighty armadas. There two powers were allies as well as rivals in the colonization of the rimlands and seaports through out the world.
When Pope Alexander VI at Romedemarcated the spheres of influence and colonization between Spain and Portugal, assigning Spain to the half of the world to the West and Portugalto the other half to the East of the Vatican Palace, there two Powers enjoyed exclusive right of colonizing activity in their respective fields.
The Portuguese after building up a chain of their strongholds along the seacoast of Indiaproceeded further a field. The seacoasts and seaports of South East Asia fell prey to Portuguese maritime aggression.
Many causes favored Portuguese dominance in the East. (1) They had vast Maritime knowledge, and experience, they had invented navigational apparatus and equipment especially mariner’s compass (2) Portugal is not a fertile country. Hard living at home drove them out in quest of new green pasture. (3) The lure of the fabulously rich East fascinated and attracted them. (4) Adventure and wander lust of the Portuguese sent them out to the sea and far flung distances (5) Spice trade in the East Indies [Indonesia] was the source of wealth for the Arabs and the Portuguese (6) Slave raid, slave trade and piracy  were also source of good quick wealth for those who could command the sea, sea coast and sea-lanes. (7) Cathay [China] was the destination of all European sea adventurers (8) Pupal support for the propagation of Christianity (9) Mercenary service of the Portuguese soldiers was a source of military strength to oriental kings who were in frequent warfare
In the early days of Taungoo Period, many European adventures began to arrive in Myanmareither to prospect trade and commerce, to visit or to serve as mercenary soldier and get rich quickly.
Micolo di Conti, Ludovico Varthema, San Stefano, Caesar Frederick were Italian merchants who came for jewel trade. Later Portuguese Barbosa Balbi, Ysouza, de Melo, de Brito, de Silver, de Castro Pias, Barelto etc., came with the dual purpose of selling their mercenary service and propagating catholic religion as assigned by the Papacy at Rome.

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