Myanmar Buddhism

Theravada Buddhism.

The main direction of Buddhism in Myanmar is the Theravada version, it is visible everywhere via Buddhist Monk and Nuns plus monasteries shrines including Pagodas and Temples. However, Islam is practiced but has a much smaller although in different areas quite remarkable follower amounts. e.g. in the border regions with India and Bangladesh plus in the former capital Yangon and the Bago area Muslim influences are visible via several mosques.

Christianity has arrived in the country via missionary activities of the British during colonial times when many Karen people in the eastern region to Thailand and Chin in the western Chin-State converded. The Brits tried to use Christianity as a door opener by promising both their a own state if they side with them against the predominantly Burmese (bamar) People which finally was a lie just according to the old Roman Philosophy divide and get political influence actually these political power games are the main cause of the eternal clashes between the different tribes in Myanmar of today.

Buddhism rules are written in the Tripitaka.

Buddhism rules are written in a book called Tripitaka, actually its not one book, but there are thousands.of rules. Among other to maintain a acceptable moral standard monks and nuns keep strict discipline. Although the rules are strict the monasteries pagodas and temples are always open to anyone who wants to go there and maybe stay either for a short or longer period. Followers consists of monks, nuns and laypersons. Monks and nuns shave their heads and have only three robes and possess only a few necessary items. They give spiritual advice guidance and the right interpretation of beliefs.

Novices in the Buddhist monastery.

Currently the Dalai Lama is probably the one Buddhist Monk who get the highest respect.

In Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) almost every younger male person stay for some time in a Buddhist monastery. This tradition anchors the people strongly into the religion. In Myanmar there are thousands of Buddhist monasteries with all together around one million monks and novices, this monasteries also have some social functions such as a place for the elderly and an orphanage. In Thailand are around half a million monks and novices.

Monks form the Sangha:

Monks form the Sangha one of the three parts of Buddhism; the other is the Buddha and the Dharma his teachings. They follow and teach the three main virtues: wisdom purity and compassion. Abbots and monks still play a vital social roles in the rural areas. Usually the villagers supply the funds by donations to build the monastery for their community. The village temple and pagoda plus monastery serves as the center of social life and activities of the village observing the holidays festivals and merit-making ceremonies. Buddhism rules are written in a book called Tripitaka