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Examination Hall

The Mahapasana Cave is part of the campus complex of the State Pariyatti Sarana University of Yangon, one of several Buddhist colleges in Myanmar.  Once a year the cave is set up as an examination hall for student monks to be tested by their teachers. As shown in the image above, the cave is set up with rows of chairs and wooden platforms.  The teachers sit in the chairs, and one by one the young monks come forward, assume a meditation posture on the platform, and engage in lively dharma combat about the meaning of different sutras. The exams last all day, I am told. [NOTE: You have to scroll down a bit on the Ministry of Religious Affairs link to get to the part about the State Pariyatti Sarana Universities. Apparently, 436 monks have graduated from the Yangon campus over the past ten years].

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