LECTURE No. III: PRE-BUDDHIST BELIEFS - 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



1. Indigenous beliefs – animism, nature worship.
            Mountain, lake, river, hill etc., were believed to be dwelt in and guarded by deities. Also big trees were regarded as the abode of Tree Gods.
Natural phenomena such as volcanic eruption, storm, thunder, earthquake, meteoric falls. Heavenly bodies, - constellations, stars etc. were believed to be caused by supernatural powers. Heavenly bodies and their movements exercised good or bad impact upon humans and all living beings on earth.
2. Ancestor worship introduced by Asiatic immigrants including their tribal gods and goddesses. Spirits of dead ancestors and close relatives are invited to participate in the communal and family events. Tribal gods and goddesses are propitiated to appear them and to gain favour from them.
3. Hindu Brahminism Vedic culture introduced by early Indian colonizers. The entire South-East Asia was culturally affected by the spill of population from two big neighbours – India and China. Culturally ten South-east Asian countries may be classified into (1) Indianized countries and (2) Simonized countries. Indianized countries are: (1) Cambodia, (2) Laos, (3) Thailand, (4) Myanmar, (5) Malaysia, (6) Singapore, (7) Indonesia, and (8) Brunei. Simonized countries are (1) Vietnam, and (2) Philippines.
4. (a) Hindu deities (b) Planet worship (c) Astrology (d) Alchemy (e) Astronomy (f) Occult Science
5. Persistent influence of Pre-Buddhist beliefs on Myanmar's daily life.

1. U Aung Thaw, Historical sites in Burma.

Describe the briefly the arrival of the Buddhism to Myanmar? Give an account of the arrival of Buddhism in to Myanmar? Give your opinion on Myanmar legends regarding the arrival of Buddhism in Myanmar?
Buddhism arrival to Myanmar sine many times both by land and sea. The legend of Shwedagon pagoda show that in the Buddhist years of 103 on the full moon day of May the Gotama Boddhisatta became enlightenment under the shine of Boddhi tree in Uruveḷa forest near the Nerañjarā river.
            The visited of two merchant brother from Rāmañña desa to the Buddha and at time of was enlightenment they offered the lord Buddha honey cakes Buddha accept and gave them Dhamma taught and eight hair relics from his head to take home as veneration, on their returned home they give these sacred hair to king Ukkalapa who enshrined them in the stupa on the hill now well known as Shwedagon pagoda. Myanmar has received two gems the Buddha and Dhamma on the same year of Gotama Boddhisatta became enlightenment this legend has been quoted by chronicle mentioned in history and inscribed on the stone slabs.
            The second arrival of Buddhism in Buddhist year 111 on the third Vassā of the Buddha Mahā thera Gavaṃpati invited Buddha to visited Suvanna Bhumi the Buddha came there with his disciple and give the Dhamma taught to the king and people in Suvanna bhumi who embraced Buddhism.
The sacred hair was offer to six hermit who enshrined them one in each stupa. 37 years after the Buddha had Nibbana, his mortal remain were cremated unburned teeth of the Buddha were taken to suvanabhumi the king of suvanabhumi enshrined them one in each stupa on the hill range.
            The third arrival of Buddhism in the year of 123 on the 20th vassā of Buddha, while he residing at Jetavana monastery the Mahā thera Poṇṇa invited Buddha to visited his native village the Buddha came there with 500 disciples he residing in the sandal wood monastery and preached the Dhamma to the local people in that villages. The Buddha leaves two feet printed one at the Minbu hill range and another at the Summit as his representation for the people to venerated and practiced the Dhamma. Mahā thera poṇṇa propagated the Buddha Dhamma.
            Buddhism in Rakhine state in the same year 123 rakhine chronicle claims the visited of the lord Buddha to their lands after hearing the Dhamma taught by the Buddha the king and his followers became a Buddhist. An alloy image of the Buddha cast as his representative for veneration the crown prince, the son of king Bodawpaya 1782-1819 A.D brought this image to Amarapura it is now house in a sumptuous temple in Madalay. There are five of zedi in Myanmar; Dhatu zedi, Dhamma zedi, Paribawga zedi, Udisa zedi and Pada zedi.
The fourth arrival of Buddhism in the year 236 Emperor Asoka of Pataliputtara held the Buddhist council Mahā thera Moggaliputta tissa the chairman of the council advised king Asoka to send out of Buddhist mission to 9 places and 9 countries to propagated Buddhism. Asoka son and daughter who became bhikkhu and bhikkhuni took up missionary work. Sanghasumita went to sri lanka and planted a branch from the bhoddhi tree under which the Buddha became enlightenment. Mahā thera Sona and Uttara accompanied by Mahā thera Anurudha, Tissaguputta and Soneyya were dispatched to Suvana bhumi. Buddhism had arrival there before had declined. The king of Suvana bhumi and his followers after hearing the dhamma preached by the missionary monks became a Buddhist there are 60,000 became arahato 3500 men and 1500 women entered monkhood.
The fifth arrival of Buddhism at the fourth Buddhist council was held in sri lanka it was supported and convened by king Vadagamani in the Buddhist Era 450 Mahā thera Dhammarakkhita preside over the fourth Buddhist council and 500 Arahats attended Tipitaka was translated into Magadha, commentaries were rendered into Sinhalese language all the scripture and translation were inscribed on palm leaves at the first recording in writing of Tipitakata, commentaries and translation in the Buddhist Era 930 Mahā thera Buddhaghosa a native of Ghosa village in Rājagaha kingdom in India was invited by his guru monk Mahā thera Revata to reside at Mahā vihara monastery on the bank of the  kalyani river in sri lanka. Mahā thera Buddhaghosa reside at the Mahā vihara for over a decade during his staying there he was translated into Magadha commentaries written in sri lanka language. Later he came to Suvanabhumi and presented to king Dhammapala of Suvanabhumi his translated words that was the fifth arrival of Buddhism into Myanmar in the form of written Tipitaka.

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