Active Buddhist Community at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

Myanmar is a country profoundly influenced by Buddhism. Flying over the country it often seemed as if there were more Buddhist pagodas than villages.

The most sacred pagoda in this country full of amazing pagodas is the great Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.

Worshippers washing a Buddha that represents the day they were born, in the Shwedagon temple in Yangon, MyanmarEntering Shwedagon via the eastern gate, we trudged up the many stairs along with huge numbers of monks and pilgrims. At a certain point we had to remove our shoes, and were wrapped in longyi – Myanmar sarongs – to cover our exposed knees. stairs leading up to the Golden Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, MyanmarAs foreigners, we were charged $8 US each to see the pagoda; the locals were allowed in for free, but often donated much more than that in offerings of all kinds, especially gold.  worshippers wandering around the Golden Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar The pagoda had a huge central stupa, covered with gleaming gold, and arrayed around it were small Buddha stations each representing different days of the week.the golden stupa of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar Buddhist belief attaches particular significance to the day of the week on which you were born, with each day having a guardian animal. People gathered around their particular birth station washing the Buddha and making offerings.People worshipping the Buddha that represents the day they were born Golden Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar.In the busyness of the temple a monk peacefully meditates.  Monk quietly meditating in the Shwedagon temple in Yangon, MyanmarAfter the sun set, the crowds grew even larger. An American sidled up to me, “Isn’t this the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen?” “There’s so many people,” I answered. “That’s what makes it so powerful,” he replied.
About the only thing lit up at night in Yangon, Myanmar is the Shwedagon Buddhist templeA great article about the pagoda is at wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shwedagon_Pagoda

For more on this photo challenge: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/photo-challenge-community/

2 responses to “Active Buddhist Community at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Community (In Hospital Waiting Rooms) | Pilot Fish·

  2. Pingback: Maximalism (and as Minimal as Maximalism Gets) | Albatz Travel Adventures·

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