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Entries in Mahapasana Cave (2)


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].


Buddhist Summit Bell

The World Buddhist Summit of 2004 was held inside the holy Mahapasana Cave in Yangon, Myanmar.  A commemorative bell was placed at the entrance to broadcast the merit of all that enter the cave.  The inscription on the bell reads:

In the world which lost the Dhamma,
(the) drum of deathlessness will be beaten.

[NOTE: Posted from a painfully slow internet cafe in Yangon. Good lessons in patience].