Earning Karma at Kyakhatwine Monastery in Bago, Myanmar

February 05, 2015

This doctrine of Karma, a fundamental pillar of Buddhist ideology, asserts that all individuals are responsible for their past and present actions and conversely what we are today is a result of our past actions.

The direction given by Gautam Buddha is to ‘act in a way such that you earn merit or good karma’

or engage in pursuits that increase your merit – spend every moment of your limited time on earth earning karma

In my experience I believe that it is this clear directive that makes the buddhists so different from me and the paradigm I live in.

So while we have been trained to pursue the accumulation of wealth and achievements, Buddhists are trained to pursue the accumulation of Good Karma.

And so we see intense engagement in prayer, meditation and devotional pilgrimages and an indifference to – or at least a lower level of interest in the material world.

There are many ways to earn Karma, and at the Kyakhatwine Monastery in Myanmar, donating food and alms to monks, is one way.

Monks in Myanmar may eat only what they have received as alms from others. And so they spend their mornings walking around town with their bowl in hand, begging for food. They convene together at the monatsery at around 12 noon, they eat their frugal meal together in a large hall. The noon meal is the last solid meal they have in the day, the first being a little rice at breakfast.

Naturally for this to work the community is required to participate. And the society participates more than wholeheartedly. The first activity of every household is to prepare meals for the monks who will come begging in the morning. It is only after the monk’s meal is cooked, that the woman of the house begins working on her household chores.

On special days, people visit the monastery to make larger donations. On a visit to Kyakhatwine Monastery in the Mon district in Myanmar, I observed the donation ritual at noon time.

The monks had all returned to the monastery and had finished their prayers. They were now ready to eat and arrived from their chambers to the dining hall in a single file.

People waiting along the side, with quiet solemnity, bowed before them and offered them money or rice.

The dining hall:

Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar

Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar

Additional Rice cooked at the monastery with donation money.Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar

Donors waiting to serve the monks

Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar

The young monks arrive

Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar

Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar   Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar   Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar   Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar Donation Ritual at Kyakhatwine Monastery, Myanmar

jm

Feb 2015

The post Earning Karma at Kyakhatwine Monastery in Bago, Myanmar appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.





Also in Wovensouls Blog on Indian & Asian Culture

No Shoes Indoors

May 09, 2019

The origins of this  gently-but-strictly enforced rule in all traditional Asian homes might be many. But I think the real reason is the art that is displayed on the floor…. … Continue reading

The post No Shoes Indoors appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.

Continue Reading

A Note on Phulkari Classification

April 30, 2019

A compilation of my jottings on Phulkaris Textiles of Punjab

The post A Note on Phulkari Classification appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.

Continue Reading

One Old Lady meets Another

April 28, 2019

The paint has worn out. And there are plenty of nicks on the woodwork, each telling an unforgetable tale. Layers of old paint shed – layers of fresh paint applied … Continue reading

The post One Old Lady meets Another appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.

Continue Reading