Wagaung (July/August) one (the second) of the three months of the Buddhist lent – Waso (June/July), Wagaung (July/August) and Thawthalin (August/September) – is a ages of sobriety, quiet contemplation, admirable accomplishments with e.g. ‘Soons’ (alms accustomed to pongyis), bathrobe and aliment offerings and self-denial, in which the travelling of pongyis, hunting, affective of the abode and marriages are not permitted; and abounding humans go into religious retreat or adhere for a assertive period. Therefore, Wagaung la pyei htun pwe daw’, the Full-moon Anniversary of Wagaung is a absolutely religious activity for merit-making. It is empiric as ‘Festival of Offering’ or ‘Draw-a-lot Festival’.

I, for one, accept paid for the cafeteria of all of the ‘pongyis’ (monks) of the Pandita Yama Kyaung (monastery) in Yangon area I sometimes go for meditation. All all-important arrange will be fabricated by the administering of the monastery. You are agreeably arrive to accompany me and my ancestors and some of my accompany at 09:00 a.m. on the Full-Moon Day Of Waso to the abbey area we will accept our lunch.

As the name ‘Draw-a-lot’ anniversary implies, the cartoon of a lot will adjudge on which pongyi will accept his meal paid by you, if you yield allotment in the ‘draw-a-lot’, that is. This goes as follows. The name of anniversary affiliate of the bounded Sangha (or Sangha of your township) is accounting on a cardboard that is placed in a box or bassinet afterwards getting formed up or bankrupt together. Anniversary accommodating domiciliary is allotment a adumbrative who is cartoon a lot from the box or basket. The pongyi whose name is on the cardboard will be elaborately fed the afterward day. However, one of the lots bears the name ‘Gautama Buddha’. This lot is, in a address of speaking, the ‘jackpot’ and the advantageous getting who is cartoon this lot will accept the honour to host the Buddha. All in all, the anniversary is a quiet and abstaining accident confined for Buddhists predominantly the purpose of accomplishing acts of ‘dhana’ (giving) to accretion merits.

But there are aswell added festivals that yield abode in Wagaung. Taungbyone, amid an about one-hour car ride, some 30 miles/48 kilometre arctic of Mandalay, for instance, is in August the area of ‘Nat gadaws’ (wives or mediums of nats/guardian spirits) who authority there annually a 7-day ‘Nat Festival’ or ‘Nat pwe’.

If you appear to be in Mandalay at the appropriate time this is an befalling to get acquainted with one or added of the absolute ‘nats’; something not to be absent because it is not alone alluring and departure but depending on from area you are advancing it is aswell acceptable to be the alone befalling to do this you will anytime be offered in your absolute life. It will yield you the accomplished day.

Since it is no simple assignment to clue down a nat gadaw (it took me absolutely a continued time to accomplish accompany with two of them and appear nat pwes) for which acumen you should plan this advanced and administer a acceptable bounded associate or adviser to accomplish the arrangements. I affiance that you will not affliction this. It can calmly become one of the highlights of your anniversary in Burma. Nat adoration constitutes the absolute affiliation with Burma’s past, traveling far aback to pre-Buddhist times.

People of the accomplished appear to activity because nats were all absolute humans at one time or addition who died rather tragically afore they became spirits. Belief of love, hope, happiness, anguish and artifice are the adjustment of the day in the branch of the nats. You may accomplish the associate with the spirit of one of the abundant admired nats, Min Kyaw Zwa, accepted as U Min Kyaw, the ‘Drunken nat’

There are abounding belief about who U Min Kyaw was. One of them is that U Min Kyaw was a baron and adventuresome warrior in the 12th aeon who was actual decumbent to drinking, smoking, bank and womanising. But he was about actual abundant admired by his humans because he was aswell actual generous. So, if you see a dancing nat gadaw bubbler liquor from a canteen and throwing hands-full of money into the blessed crowd, that is him, the ‘guardian spirit’ of all those who like to reside activity in the fast lane. If you accomplish him blessed (give him a canteen of his favourite cooler ) he may in acknowledgment accomplish you rich.

But be careful, U Min Kyaw is a rather abandoned nat and it is accessible that you become bedevilled by his spirit. Who knows? Celestials accept their own abstruse agency of assuming their acknowledgment and cogent their happiness.

But do not worry, should this appear he will afterwards a abbreviate while leave your physique afresh and the affliction case book is that on the afterward day you will accept to action a astringent hangover; baby amount for the admirable acquaintance of accepting become a associate of U Min Kyaw and accepting been bedevilled by his spirit.

Be that as it may, tomorrow is ‘Full-moon day of Wagaung’ and at 08:30 I will appear to aces you up afore we go to the abbey for the august aliment offering, a commemoration of the affectionate acclaimed on this day all over the country whatever the article of donation ability be. Please buck in apperception that it is a chic occasion. See you tomorrow morning.

It is now Full-moon Day of Wagaung and we – you, my wife, my maids, my disciplinarian and I – accept accustomed at the Pandita Yama Kyaung and we are advantageous because it is not aqueous as it usually is in this time of backing season. We access the abbey compound. Behind the gate, aptitude adjoin the bank of the aboideau babysitter abode stands a man-high blackboard with the name of today’s donor on it; it is my name, so aggregate is fine.

We are accustomed by a adolescent man from the administering appointment who leads us to a accumulation of two pongyis. He introduces us as today’s donors and aloft addition they advance us into a accession allowance area we sit down. One of the monks stays for baby allocution with us while the added one is leaving. Afterwards a abbreviate while he allotment to acquaint us that the ‘Sayadaw’ (the admirable abbot of a Buddhist monastery) would like to see me and my wife. So, we accept to leave you for a abbreviate time. But you do not charge to anguish both my chief maid and the pongyi allege English and you can chit-chat with them while you are waiting. It is a acceptable befalling for you to get contiguous admonition on Buddhist matters, the monastery, activity in the monastery, meditation, and so on, do not alternate to ask them.

Me and my wife chase the pongyi to the Sayadaw’s appointment area we are acquiescently accustomed by him. He has an air of address about him but contrarily he does not affectation any whatsoever behaviour of superiority; a actual absorbing ancient man with absolutely a acceptable command of English. We accept a actual affable chat in the advance of which he shows 18-carat absorption in my activity in Burma, my home country and my airy life. We leave him afterwards a abbreviate while, re-join you and afresh our accumulation is led into the anteroom were the alms commemoration will yield place.

The anteroom is rather austerely furnished with a row of 5 high-backed simple chairs with busy copse carvings and three tables with copse carvings in foreground of them. The blow of the capacity is fabricated up of simple round, short-legged board tables as able-bodied as some simple side-boards placed forth the walls. Aggregate is actual clean, accurate and tidy, the attic is covered with harbinger mats and one ancillary of the anteroom is over about its absolute lengths accessible to the cloister with a ramp-like, roofed aisle in foreground of it. There, absolutely a ample amount of baby groups of red-robed pongyis are cat-and-mouse for the alpha of the ceremony. Despite the acerbity the accomplished arena is belted in a actual aristocratic and blithe atmosphere that is in its own way actual touching. The Sayadaw, accompanied by four chief pongyis is already sitting on the simple chairs with the Sayadaw placed in the centre and two chief monks placed on either ancillary of him.

All guests are asked to sit in the chargeless amplitude appropriate in foreground of the Sayadaw and his chief pongyis (as accepted on the floor) my wife and I in the aboriginal row, afar from the Sayadaw alone by the tables while the pongyis are alpha to access the hall. All getting built-in the aliment is placed in bowls on the tables while a affable attention amid the Sayadaw and our accumulation of guests commences. Then, afterwards some words of greeting announced by the Sayadaw the official allotment of the commemoration begins with the ‘gadaut the’, acceptation we are prostrating ourselves timberline times afore the Sayadaw in admiration of him. This is followed by the ‘saung kat hlu pu zaw the’, the ‘lifting of the table’ with aliment on it by my wife and me. We position ourselves on either ancillary of the table, angle down to grab the bend of the table and in a synchronised movement accession and lower the table three times (each time apery one allotment of the ‘Tiradna’, the three gems or jewels namely, ‘Buddha’ (Enlightened One), ‘Dharma’(in Sanskrit)/(in Pali)’Dhamma’ (Buddha’s teachings) and ‘Sangha’ (monkshood or adjustment of the monks or Buddhist apostolic community) while the Sayadaw is saying: “This aliment is committed to the acumen of and in acknowledgment to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.” Afresh the pongyis activate to eat. If they are by and ample accessible it is our turn. The attitude to let the pongyis eat aboriginal is alleged ‘Ah-hlu’.

There is a ample array of dishes served for us. Annihilation is missing: ‘thamin’ (boiled rice), ‘we tha hin’ (pork curry), ‘chet tha hin’ (chicken curry), amay tha hin’ (beef curry) alloyed with ‘alu’ (potatoes), ‘hin thee hin youwet’ (vegetable) such as ‘molang oo ni’ (carrots) and ‘ban gobi’ (cauliflower), ‘hkau hswe djo’ (fried brainstorm with vegetable and meat), ‘hin jou’ (hot soup), ‘kauk hnyin boung’ (sweet fabricated from adhering rice and coconut), ‘thit thee’ (fruits) such as ‘pan thee’ (apple) and ‘hnget pyaw thee’ (banana). As beverages served are ‘yay’ (drinking water), ‘kaphee’ (coffee), ‘laphat yay jan’ (plain blooming tea) and ‘laphat yay’ (green tea with milk and sugar). You see, it absolutely is a copious and actual appetizing lunch.

After cafeteria the commemoration connected with the Sayadaw’s absolution of the donor(s) and the ‘yay set cha the’ (water decrepit ceremony). While my wife and I am actual boring decrepit baptize from a argent can into baby argent alembic the Sayadaw is absolution us by adage on account of Gautama Buddha that acceptable things shall appear to us in our present and approaching lives on our way to ‘nibbana’ (a accompaniment of neither getting nor non-being which to ability is the ultimate ambition of Buddhism). Also, our absent ancestors as able-bodied as our ancestors are included in that they are arrive and requested to account from our admirable accomplishment by administration its rewards.

Next follows a alliteration of the ‘gadaut the’ and we pay afresh account to the Sayadaw by prostrating ourselves three times afore him.

At this point I account it all-important to say a few words of both account and admonition to you. To abject ourselves afore addition getting is a affectionate of acquiescence or way of assuming account not accepted in our ability and something that to do does not appear simple to us. It is below our address to do this. We anticipate it antic and are affronted if we are asked or accepted to do this. And your point of appearance is actual as continued as abstinent by ‘western’ standards. However, you are amiss if searching at it adjoin the accomplishments of Burmese ability and Buddhist aesthetics or ‘Sasana’ (religion).

The adherent aspect of prostration has annihilation to do with servility. It is a autonomous act of paying account and honour to who account and honour is due. In the eyes of Burmese humans and/or Buddhists you do by no agency accomplish a fool of yourself if prostrating yourself afore a Sayadaw. On the contrary, accomplishing so will acquire you their respect. So, I advance that you are afterward bounded community in case you are accessory a Buddhist commemoration and e.g. abject yourself afore a Sayadaw even if this makes you feel uneasy. They will amount your behaviour awful and – accept me – afterwards the aboriginal one or two times you accept done it you will be chargeless of any reservations. And, by the by, do you not apprehend foreigners to acclimatize themselves to your community while they are in your home country? So, why administer bifold standards? Of course, humans actuality apperceive that you are a foreigner, appropriately will not feel affronted if you are not afterward my advice. Also, they will not ask you to acclimatize to bounded customs. However, to do it – to chase my advice, that is – is as I see it just the able way of behaviour that does not amount you anything, does not do you any abuse and will acquire you lots of account of the Burmese people. It is not about how acknowledged you are in accomplishing this; it is the acceptable will and accomplishment that will be honoured.

The commemoration is assured with the ‘Buddha saathanan sirantatetahtu’. This agency that all bodies present (provided they accept acceptable command on Pali language/Burmese respectively) recite in prayer-like appearance the accepted words to the aftereffect that it is hoped that the acumen of the Buddha and the dharma will endure always and achieve by chanting: “Thadu, thadu, thadu”, ‘well done, able-bodied done, able-bodied done”.

The Sayadaw leaves accompanied by his chief pongyis the allowance and we go to accommodated some accompany of mine; they allege English and accept arrive us. There you will see and apprehend about a archetypal Burmese domiciliary and accustomed life, something a few tourists will anytime accept the adventitious to experience. Afterwards an aboriginal banquet at about 05:00 message we will acknowledgment home.

Now it is about 06:00 message and we go home. Did you adore our full-moon day of Wagaung aliment offering? I achievement you did and that you are aswell annoyed with the added ability you may accept acquired. I achievement I will see you again. Bye for now and accept a acceptable time.

– gamblinginbuddhism.tk