The Maha Muni Buddha

It is the most revered Buddha image in Mandalay. It is also known as the Maha Myat Muni, or Phaya Gyi. It is the most ancient Buddha image in Myanmar. It was cast in the life-span of Lord Buddha in the seated posture of relaxed deportment, namely Bumi Phasa Mudras, symbolic of His Conquest of Mara.

In B.C 123, in the reign of King Sanda Thuriya, Monarch of Rakhine-Dharyawaddy, and carry the Image reverently so as to enshrine it at the present site. It took four months to carry the image reverently across the Rakhine Yoma Ranges, by inland route and by waterway a tough and rough journey indeed. The Height of the Maha Muni Buddha Image is 8 Cubits and 1 Maik ( 3.83m ). The altar is 2.13m high. There, 2 bronze Siamese images, 3 bronze lion images and 1 bronze three headed Ayeyawun elephants are housed and displayed in the precinct on the left side of the northern exit passage. Whoever visits Mandalay from local areas or from abroad unfailingly come and pay homage to the Maha Muni Buddha Image.

In the precinct of the Phayagyi is located the Maha Buddha-Win Beikman, the Museum of the Life of Buddha. It is a many-tiered building with Myanmar architectural finials. It houses a scenic map showing in old and current terms the spread of Theravada Buddhism, centered in central India, Buddha's birthplace, famous religious edifices in various lands, the routes of Lord Buddha on itinerary, and the routes of King Asoka's sending Buddhist missions to nine regions of nine countries in A.D 3rd century. Illustrations are displayed, which indicate the Four Noble Sites of Lord Buddha, namely, His birthplace, the site where He attained the Enlightenment, the site where he passed away.

The Buddha Images, representing various countries where Buddhism prospers well, and the Buddha Images revered through successive eras are exhibited in the forms of photographs, paintings and sculptures. Not only Buddhists but also foreigners studying Buddhism pay a visit to this museum. On the left side of the eastern passage, in the precinct of the pagoda, is the Sanctuary Pond of Tortoises and on the right side, the Sanctuary Pond of Fish.

http://www.myanmars.net/

The Mahamuni Buddha, (lit. The Great Sage) also known as the Maha Myat Muni Paya, Rakhine Paya, Payagyi, is a major Buddhist pilgrimage site in Mandalay, Myanmar. The Buddha statue was brought from Rakhine State in 1784 by King Bodawpaya as spoils of war. It is 4 metres high, and the statue is made of bronze, weighing 6.5 tonnes. Gold leaf is regularly applied to the face of the Mahamuni Buddha, and monks wash the face and teeth of the image each morning. The Buddha is housed under a pagoda built in the 1800s. Adjacent to the Buddha is the Mahamuni Museum, which contains displays of Buddhism throughout Asia.

Legends tell that Guatama Buddha once went to teach among the people of Dhannavati (now the northern Rakhine region of Burma/Myanmar). The king, Candra-suriya, requested that Guatama leave an image of himself for the benefit of the people. Buddha sat for a week of meditation under a Bodhi tree while Sakka, a king of the gods, created a life-like image of great beauty. Buddha was pleased with the image and decided to imbue it with his spiritual essence for a period of five thousand years.

According to ancient tradition, only five likenesses of the Buddha were said to have been made during his lifetime: Two were in India, two in paradise, and the fifth is the Maha Muni or 'Great Sage'. Archaeologists believe the image was probably cast during the reign of King Chandra Surya, who ascended the throne in AD 146, some 600 years after the Buddha actually passed away. Little is known of the Maha Muni's travels over the next fifteen hundred years. It was stolen and moved around by various kings. At other times it was buried beneath a crumbling temple in a forgotten jungle. The image was brought to Mandalay in 1784 by King Bodawpaya and placed within the specially built Payagi Pagoda. Since that time it has been the most venerated Buddha image in all of Burma.

The statue is 3.8 meters tall. Originally cast of metal, it is now entirely coated with a two-inch thick layer of gold leaf. So much gold leaf has been applied by so many different hands that the figure has developed an irregular outline. Many thousands of pilgrims visit the shrine each day and a great festival in early February draws hundreds of thousands.

In a courtyard of the Payagi Pagoda, near the Maha Muni, are six Khmer bronze statues - three lions, a three-headed elephant and two warriors - that originally stood as guardians of Cambodia's Angkor Wat temple. The statues of the warriors are reputed to have miraculous healing qualities. Legends tell that rubbing a body part of either of the statues will cure an affliction in the corresponding part of your own body. When these statues were originally brought to the Maha Muni temple following a long and circuitous journey around southeast Asia, there were no healing legends associated with them. After centuries at the temple the statues came to be regarded as having healing powers, but nothing is known of when or how this legend began. It is fascinating to reflect that the healing powers of the statues seem to have been generated over time by the intention and beliefs of the countless thousands of visiting pilgrims. For some long-forgotten reason, sick persons once began rubbing the statues while making prayers for healing. These prayers have somehow charged or energized the statues with a power that is now held accountable for many thousands of incidents of miraculous healing. While most contemporary scientists will scoff at such an idea, the fact of the matter is that otherwise unexplainable healings have indeed occurred. We can offer no other explanation for this miraculous phenomenon, but remember that merely because conventional science cannot currently explain something does not mean it is impossible.

http://www.sacredsites.com/asia/burma/mandalay.html

マハムニパゴダ Maharmyatmuni Pagoda
市 街の南の外れ、旧空港から北西へ約1キロの所にあるマハムニパゴダは、マンダレー最大にして最も重要なパゴダです。マハムニパゴダの名の由来は、本尊にあ たる高さ約4メートルのマハムニ仏から来ています。この仏像はボードーパヤー王(在位1782~1819)の手によってヤカイン地方から運ばれてきまし た。仏教の信者が階段を登って仏像の脇へ上がり(女人禁制)、思い思いの位置に金箔を貼っているのが見られます。境内には多くの建物があり、その中にはカ ンボジアで造られ、アンコールワットに置かれていた6体の人間やライオンの形をした青銅像が置かれています。この青銅像は1431年タイ軍がアンコール ワットから持ち去り、1564年にはアユタヤーに攻め込んだミャンマーのバインナウン王がバゴーへと持ち去りました。その後1600年にはバゴーのハンタ ワディー王朝が崩壊した時にヤカインのラザヂー王が持ち去りましたが、1784年にボードーパヤー王がマハムニ仏像と一緒に持ち去りました。この像には、 自分の具合が悪い部分と同じ場所をなでると体の調子が良くなるという言い伝えがあり、像の名部はなでられてツルツルに光り輝いています。マハムニパゴダは 毎日午前4時ぐらいに仏像の顔を洗う特徴があり、ミャンマー仏教徒たちの熱心な信仰心が見られます。

Mandalay Division

Mandalay Division is an administrative division of Myanmar. It is located in the center of the country, bordering Sagaing Division and Magway Division to the west, Shan State to the east, and Bago Division and Kayin State to the south. The regional capital is Mandalay. In the south of the division lies the national capital of Naypyidaw. The division consists of seven districts, which are subdivided into 30 townships and 2,320 wards and village-tracts.

Mandalay Division is important in Burma's economy, accounting for 15% of the national economy.

History
The Tibeto-Burman speaking Pyu were the first historical people to dominate the dry zone in central Myanmar that includes Mandalay Division as early as the 1st century AD. By the early 9th century, the Pyu were decimated in a series of wars with the Nanzhao kingdom from Yunnan. The Burmans, who had been migrating into the region from Yunnan since 7th century, founded a city of their own, Pagan, in 849. The Pagan dynasty slowly came to dominate the central zone over the next two centuries, and by the late 11th century, all of present day Myanmar. The Burmese language and script came to prominence with royal patronage of Pagan kings.

After the fall of Pagan to the Mongols in 1287, parts of central Myanmar came to be controlled by a series of rulers: the Mongols (1287-c.1303), Myinsaing (1298-1312), Pinya (1312-1364), and Sagaing (1315-1364). In 1364, Ava kingdom led by Burmanized Shan kings reunified all of central Myanmar. Central Myanmar was under Ava's control until 1527, and under the Shans of Monhyin (1527-1555). Burmese literature and culture came into its own during this era.

Central Myanmar was part of the Taungoo kingdom from 1555 to 1752. Parts of the region fell briefly to the Mons of Pegu (Bago) (1752-1753). Konbaung Dynasty ruled the region until December 1885 when it lost all of Upper Myanmar in the Third Anglo-Burmese War. The British rule in Upper Myanmar lasted until May 1942 when the Japanese forces captured Mandalay during World War II. The British returned after the war and granted independence the country in January 1948. Upon independence, Mandalay Division ceded Myitkyina and Bhamo districts to the newly formed Kachin State.

Demographics
The majority of the population in Mandalay Division are Bamar (Burmans). In the Mandalay metropolitan area, however, a large community of Chinese, most of whom are recent immigrants from Yunnan, now nearly rival the Bamar population. A large community of Indians also reside in Mandalay. A dwindling community of Anglo-Burmese still exists in both Pyinoolwin and Mandalay. A number of Shan people live along the eastern border of the division.

Burmese is the primary language of the division. However, Mandarin Chinese is increasingly spoken in Mandalay and the northern gem mining town of Mogok.

Economy
Agriculture is the primary economical source of livelihood. Primary crops grown within Mandalay Division are rice, wheat, maise, peanut, sesame, cotton, legumes, tobacco, chilli, and vegetables. Industry, including alcoholic breweries, textile factories, sugar mills, and gem mines also exists. Tourism now forms a substantial part of Mandalay Division's economy, as it contains many historical sites including Mandalay, Amarapura, Bagan, Pyin U Lwin, Mount Popa, and Ava. Hardwoods such as teak and thanaka are also harvested.

Education
Educational opportunities in Myanmar are extremely limited outside the main cities of Yangon and Mandalay. According to official statistics, whose accuracy is highly doubtful at best, over 1 million students were enrolled in the division's 4467 primary and secondary schools in 2005. Although the statistics claim a 15% primary school dropout rate, the real rate is certainly far higher. Indeed, of the nearly 4500 schools, almost 4000 were primary or post-primary schools, while only 234 were middle schools and 227 were high schools.

Still the division has some of the best institutions of higher education in Myanmar. As medical, engineering and computer studies are the most sought after in Myanmar, the University of Medicine, Mandalay, the University of Dental Medicine, Mandalay, Mandalay Technological University, and the University of Computer Studies, Mandalay are among the most selective universities in Myanmar. Other highly selective schools are Myanmar Aerospace Engineering University and military academies in Pyinoolwin: Defence Services Academy and Defence Services Technological Academy.

Health care
The general state of health care in Myanmar is poor. The military government spends anywhere from 0.5% to 3% of the country's GDP on health care, consistently ranking among the lowest in the world. Although health care is nominally free, in reality, patients have to pay for medicine and treatment, even in public clinics and hospitals. Public hospitals lack many of the basic facilities and equipment.

In 2005, Mandalay Division's public health care system had slightly over 1000 doctors and about 2000 nurses working in 44 hospitals and 44 health clinics. Over 30 of the so-called hospitals had less than 100 beds. Almost all of large public hospitals and private hospitals as well as doctors are in Mandalay. (These dismal numbers are believed to have improved by the advent of Naypyidaw as the nation's capital in 2006 although the level of improvement remains unreported.) The well-to-do bypass the public health system and go to private clinics in Mandalay or Yangon in order to 'get quick medical attention and high-quality service'. The wealthy routinely go abroad (usually Bangkok or Singapore) for treatment.

Web References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandalay_Division


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