aga szydlik, bagan

Bagan | The Empire of 10,000 pagodas

Bagan is an ancient city located in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar. From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom, the first kingdom that unified the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar.

aga szydlik, bagan

Over the course of 250 years, Bagan’s rulers constructed over 10,000 religious monuments (approximately 1000 stupas, 10,000 small temples and 3000 monasteries) in an area of 104 square kilometres in the Bagan plains.

aga szydlik, bagan

The prosperous city grew in size and became a cosmopolitan centre for religious and secular studies, specializing in philosophical-psychological studies as well as works in a variety of languages, astrology, alchemy, medicine, and legal studies. The city attracted monks and students from as far as India, Ceylon as well as the Khmer Empire.

Stupas, Pagodas and Hollow Temples 

stupa is also called a pagoda, Bagan stupas evolved from earlier Pyu designs, which, in turn, were based on the stupa designs of the Andhra region. By the 11th century, the stupa had developed into a more bell-shaped form in which the parasols morphed into a series of increasingly smaller rings placed on one top of the other, rising to a point.

aga szydlik, bagan

In contrast to the stupas, the hollow gu-style temple is a structure used for meditation, devotional worship of the Buddha and other Buddhist rituals.

aga szydlik, bagan

The gu temples come in two basic styles: “one-face” design and “four-face” design—essentially one main entrance and four main entrances.  The temples, whose main features were the pointed arches and the vaulted chamber, became larger and grander in the Bagan period.

aga szydlik, bagan

Theravada Buddhism

The culture of Bagan was dominated by religion, which was fluid, syncretic and by later standards, unorthodox. It was largely a continuation of religious trends in the Pyu era where Theravada Buddhism co-existed with Mahayana Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, various Hindu (Saivite, and Vaishana) schools as well as native animist (nat) traditions.

aga szydlik, bagan

About 90% of the Burmese people follow Buddhism. Central to their religious beliefs is karma, the ultimate aim in life according to Buddhist belief is to escape the cycle of rebirth and reach Nirvana, it is through the good deeds that a person will attain Nirvana.

aga szydlik, bagan

It’s customary for a male in Myanmar to enter a monastery twice in his life. Once as a novice monk, between the age of 2 and 10, and again as a fully ordained monk, around the age of 20. Some might remain a monk for just a few months, while others stay for life.

aga szydlik,  burma

Life of a monk

Monks hold the highest status in Burmese society.  Very often the young novices start their monastic life in a small village at the age of nine or ten.  When they grow older they get the opportunity to go to a bigger city or religious centres.

aga szydlik, bagan

Early in the morning the monks and novices go out carrying a bowl to get food offerings and spend the rest of their days on religious studies and chores at the monastery.

aga szydlik, bagan

Sources | Links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagan
http://baganrazagyohotel.com/index.php/history-of-bagan
http://factsanddetails.com/southeast-asia/Myanmar/sub5_5a/entry-3001.html
https://dietmartemps.com/travel-blog/monks-and-novices-in-myanmar-the-buddhism-way-of-life_512/
http://tfgtraveling.com/monks-daily-life-in-myanmar/

If by any chance I have omitted your website as the source of reference, please accept my apologies and please email me, so I’m able to make necessary corrections, after all, I’m just a human…….. 

Share Button