Lecture No. IX: BUDDHA SASANA IN PRE-BAGAN - 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 IX
(1)         Tagaung is another Pre-Bagan city kingdom which was to the North of Bagan city kingdom which was to the north of Bagan; in the upper reaches of the Ayeyawaddy River. It is now a big village growing into a town due to economic development based upon gold washing and sugar cane plantation and local trade.
(2)         It is an old historical site. Tagaung’s legend claims to be contemporary of the Buddha.
(3)         Myanmarsaying “Myanmar’s origin is Tagaung.
(4)         A branch of the Buddha’s clan Sakya [Thetkya] lost a battle with their rivals in North India [Nepal?]. King of the defeated clan Abhiraja with his followers fled to where Tagaung mow is. He founded a city kingdom and set up his dynasty Tagaung.
(5)         Tagaung is geographically and strategically located on both banks of the Ayeyawaddy River, Land, water, mountain, hill ranges with thick forest – suitable for human habitation and for establishing a city kingdom [patirupa desa]
(6)         Excavation of the archaeological sites there reveal artefacts dating both pre-Bagan and Bagan contemporary
(7)         Ruined monuments mostly Buddhist, city walls and gates prove that Tagaung was another Pyu city kingdom.
(8)         Though archaeological evidences Tagaung city kingdom was Buddhist, there are tangible pfroofs to confirm that animism especially Naga worship was also prevalent.
(9)         There is a statue of Naga nat [serpent god] in a big shrine at the entrance of Tagaung proving that local people still believe animism.
(10)     Tagaung is infested with snakes. There are iron ores and remains of iron extracting and smelting and black smiths' workshops.
(11)     The legend of s mighty blacksmith Maung Tint De [Mr. Handsome] and his sister Shwe Myet Hnar.
(12)     Their association with Bagan and Mount Popa.
(13)     Pyay dynasty: Enriched with legendary kings, queens, heroes, mythical animals supernatural beings, but all ended up in Buddhism.
(14)     Stories of the visit of the living Buddha
(15)     Buddha's divine power of prophesy or prediction.
(16)     There is yet another city kingdom which existed before Bagan. Its archeological site in Rakhine State has been excavated twice. The city walls and gates of sand stone and brick have been unearthed. It was known as Weithali in Rakhine history. Its legend claims to be contemporary of the living Buddha, Artefacts and ruined monuments prove that there but which type of Buddhism, it is not certain yet.
1.      G.H Luke, U Pe Maung Tin – The glass Palace chronicle
2.      U Aung Thaw                      - Historical sites of Burma
3.      Dr. Khin maung Nyunt    - Hagiography of Shin Arahan
Department of Archeology

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