The Impact Of Theravada Buddhism On Myanmar

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Theravada Buddhism is one of two major sects of Buddhism and is practiced primarily in Southeast Asia. Its practice began in Sri Lanka and spread to Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia, and has influence in the West today. In the eleventh century C.E., King Anawratha established The Myanmas kingdom, it was at this time that he converted to Theravada Buddhism, despite a large Tantric Buddhist population in the kingdom. From then on, Myanmar has been known as a Theravada Buddhist country. As with most religions, the hermeneutics can vary; therefore, a hermeneutical analysis of Theravada Buddhism, specific to Myanmar, is essential in discovering how violence, ethnocentrism, and xenophobia develop. By doing so ways in which to reverse this social…show more content…
The Pali Cannon (tipitaka) is divided into three parts, the sutta pitaka, the vinaya pitaka, and the adhidamm pitaka. The Canon contains what is needed to show the path of nirvana. The sutta pitaka consists of written recolections of Buddha’s sermons, the vinaya pitaka is the list of monastic rules, and the adhidamm pitaka contains lists and summaries of Buddhist philosophy. Buddha’s teaching and the lived knowledge of those teaching becomes crucial for Theravada Buddhists, because without those teachings and experiences enlightenment would be unattainable. The text underscores all other traditions, and yet not all laypeople are scholars of the canon, the monks control the understanding of the Pali Canon, which births the concepts of samsara and nirvana, the monastic traditions, and is the ultimate guide for following the 8 fold path.
A central philosophy of Theravada is the distinction between samsara and nirvana. Theravada promotes a path to escape samsara, suffering, and enter nirvana, enlightenment or release from suffering, and ending the cycle samsara. This is a main distinction between other sects of Buddhism, insofar as the aim of Mahayana Buddhism is to remain in the cycle to aid others to nirvana. Myanmar Buddhists stress the need for reducing dukkha and increasing karma to end samsara. Positive karma is gained through support of the monks. Daily young monks and walk throughout the
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