LECTURE No. XIX: BAGAN'S RELATIONS WITH BUDDHIST COUNTRIES - 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.      Relations with Sri Lanka
This island country was known to Myanmaras Lankadipa or Theingo or Thiho which means Lion country, since earliest time. Chronicles of Ceylonand Myanmare-g. cūllavamsa of Sri Lankaand the Glass Palace chronicle of Myanmar mention contacts between the two cultural fields.
2.      The decline of Buddhism in Sri Lanka due to Chola invasion. Buddhist King Vijayabāhu asked military assistance from King Anawrahta of Bagan to repulse the repulse the invaders and Myanmarmissionary monks to revive Buddhism in his country.
3.      Anawrahta sent to him military assistance to drive out the chola invaders and a religious mission of learned Myanmarbhikkhus to reestablish Buddhism in Sri Lanka in A.D. 1070
4.      Myanmar monks went to Sri Lanka to be reordained in th Sima on the bank of the Kalyani Rive Thay learnt pariyatti at Maha Vihara there. They brought home Sinhalese Tipitakas, religious and cultural objects.
5.      Sinhalese designs of stupa, sima and Vihara were built at Bagan. e-g. Sapada stupas were Sinhalese styled stupas. Maha Thera Sapada who lived in Maha Vihara in Sri Lankabrought to Bagan that design and such styled stupas came to be known as Sapada Pagodas. So also Sinhalese designed Sima and monasteries came to be called Theho Thein and Theho Kyaung. Monks ordained in Sri Lanka were called Thaho Phongyi.
6.      Anawrahta had relations with Buddhist kingdom like Hariponja, Yonaka and Yuan in Indochina; Buddhist states in Malayu and Java as well as Majamadesa and Patikhara. He exchanged embasies with Cambodiaand Linzin [Laos}
7.      When a replica of the scred To oth Lelic of the Buddha was sent to Anawrahta by the King of Sri Lanka as a token of gratitude for his assistances, it was welcomed and received ceremonially.
8.      Anawrahta came out in state to the Lokananda harbour and waded neckdeep to receive the sacred relic from the ship. It was carried on his head. Later it was encased in a bejewelled gold casket and carried on the back of a white elephant in a royal pageant from the jetty to his Palace. Later the Relic was enshrined in a stupa built on a sand bank. Today this stupa is well-known as Shwezigon of Bagan.
9.      Four more similar replicas of the Tooth Relic were enshrined, each in one of four other stupas at four different places, namely (1) Loka Nanda  (2) Tant Kyi Taung  (3) Tuyin Taung and (4) Pyet Khaywey Taung, These Stupas were objects of veneration for Buddhist pilgrims.
10. Anawrahta and Kyanzitha established diplomatic relation with China. The former visited China to worship the Tooth Relic of the Buddha at Beijing. He received from the Chinese Emperor an emerald Buddha Image [jade image] and many royal presents.
11. Alaungsithu and all his successor kings maintained relations with Buddhist countries far and near. 

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