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Entries in Yangon (10)


Sunset at Shwedagon

Arrived yesterday to Yangon. First stop after dropping the bags at the hotel was the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda complex. Temples look great. Lots of re-gilding work, painting, and fixing-up going on. Full of tourists, and monks, and nuns, and sweeping brigades (see Sweeping Shwedagon). There are even a few ATM machines in the temple complex now and some advertising (sigh). And then the sun started to go down. [NOTE: Wish you had been there].


Re-Visiting Shwedagon

Took 18.5 hours of sitting on a plane, but I made it to Yangon this morning and will fly to Sagaing Division tomorrow to start fieldwork. I will definitely go to bed early tonight, but I want to try to get on the right time zone. Best way I know to get over jetlag is to walk up the street to Shwedagon Pagoda (see Sunday at Shwedagon and several other posts). This is one of my favorite places in the whole world. [NOTE: Was wonderful, but I am still very sleepy].


Yangon Taxi

Theravadan still life shot from the back seat of a Yangon taxi. One of the numerous local pagodas is shown in the background; the foreground is dominated by the rear view mirror with its garland of Plumeria flowers, mala, and strip of saffron cloth. About 90% of the population of Myanmar is Buddhist.


Evening at Shwedagon

The sun starts to go down in Yangon, and the temperature drops, and the lights come on - and everything takes on a whole new aura. The monk seated in the corner continues to chant and count his mala (see Sunday at Shwedagon).


Market Fruit

Durians (see Fresh Fruit), and mangos, and mangosteens (see Mangosteen), oh my. One of the many fruit stalls tucked away along the side streets of Yangon, Myanmar. 


Saffron Buses

If you look closely inside the twelve buses that go streaming by in this clip from Yangon, you'll notice that they are all filled with saffron-robed Theravadan monks on their way to attend the funeral of a prominent local Sayadaw, or teacher. Several dozen of these buses passed by as we waited in traffic. Encouraging to see that monks are allowed to congregate to some degree now [NOTE: You can pause the video to get a closer look inside the buses]. 


Pause to Reflect

A Burmese monk pauses in front of one of the thousands of statues of Buddha at Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon (see Sunday at Shwedagon) to reflect on The Four Noble Truths.  


Kyauktawgyi Buddha

The Kyauktawgi Pagoda in Yangon contains a colossal statue of the Buddha, 37 feet tall and 24 feet wide. The statue was carved from a single piece of white marble, floated on a raft down the Ayeyarwady River (see Confluence of the Ayeyarwady) to Yangon from Mandalay Division. [NOTE: Thanks to U Saw Htun for showing this to me].


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].



Peaceful Countenance

Close-up of one of the hundreds of statues of Buddha at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar (see Sunday at Shwedagon).  The painted lines are so simple and the face so beautifully rendered.  Exquisite Buddhist iconography.  I spent a long time gazing at this.