Stories behind Bagan
Stories behind Bagan
by Ms Khaing Khaing Nyein on 11-Oct-2018
Stories behind Bagan
Bagan is not only the city of temples, but also the first capital of Myanmar Kingdom. So, there are much more than amazing architecture and breathtaking mural paintings behind these long-living temples. Love, Hate, Politics, War, Economics, Merits and Demerits painted Bagan like a picture of vibrant colors. Here are some famous stories behind some well-known temples of Bagan.
- Mya Zedi Stone Inscription
It is one of UNESCO heritage sites in Bagan, located in Mya temple compound. Actually, it is the earliest stone inscription that has ever found in Myanmar according to the recorded year written in the inscription. It was written in four languages: Pyu, Mon, Myanmar, Pali. It is about the donation of Prince RaZaKonMar. He is the eldest son of King KyanSitThar. But he did not get the throne after KyanSitThar. His mom is Queen ThanBuLa who married KyanSitThar during his punishment period. And when KyanSitThar became King of Bagan, she came to palace with RaZaKonMar. But KyanSitThar had already announced his grandson AlongSiThu as the heir of the throne without knowing the existence of RaZaKonMar. So, he stayed as only as a normal prince. One day, his dad becomes seriously ill and nearly dead. So, he made a golden Buddha statue with his late mother’s jewelries and gave it to the King to donate it by himself. He also donated his own three villages with that statue. After the king said Sardu three times and completed the donation, he built a temple and put the Buddha statue in it. And he recorded all about it as Mya Zedi Stone inscription. So, this inscription is also named after Prince RaZaKonMar, Razakonmar inscripition. When you see this inscription, the unconditional love and gratitude of an unrecognized son for the King although he wasn’t the heir of the throne.
- SuLarMaNi (or) the temple of reunion
This over 800 years old temple was built by King Nara Pati Si Thu. The construction started with the conflict between the King and his mentor Pant Tha Ku Sayardaw. The king chose a very deep landfill as the construction site because he saw very bright color of ruby in it. So, he ordered public to fill that land to rise the level up to normal grand. Due to exhaust and complaint of public, Pant Tha Ku Sayardaw bravely said to King “If you cause exhaust to public when you build a temple, that is not merit. That is just a cruel torture of demerit. Stop the construction immediately.” But the king continued and his mentor denied all the support and donation from the King. So, the King made him leave the country and Sayardaw planned to go to Srilanka. Due to this, public protest arose. After that, the King regretted and reunited with Sayardaw. He stopped the order to fill the land by public and used his own servants according to Sayardaw’s wish. Then public also forgave the king and helped in construction as much as they can. In this way, the temple with the most beautiful mural arts was born. Since Bagan era, people know the fundamental nature of democracy and the power of forgiveness and reunion between the king and his country.
- Kandot Palin (or) The temple of respect
The meaning of this temple’s name is ‘where you pay respects’ because it is located at where King Nara Pati Sithu apologized and paid respects to Pant Th Ku Sayardaw about Sularmani temple mentioned above. Another story is that that is where King AlongSiThu paid respect as an apology to his grandparents after wrongly saying ‘I am the Greatest King of Bagan. No one in my generation is better than me.’ After paying respect, the blindness of the King was cured. The last story is quite unique. There was a pair of big forceps which closed for sinner at Kandot Palin temple location in Bagan era, serving as an honest judge. And there was a cunning white-robe novice monk who tricked a nun stealing her gold ring. The conflict reached to the forceps. But the sinner monk escaped punishment by putting the ring in a walking stick secretly and giving it to nun as a health-aid before she entered the circle of forceps. So, when she told that he didn’t return the ring, it became a lie and the forceps can’t punish the novice monk. After coming out of the circle, the monk took the stick back. Due to this kind of manipulative trick, the forceps disappeared. In Pali, forceps are called ‘Gaw Da’. So, the temple is also called Gaw Da Pa Lin. If you reach Kandot Palin, it will show you the humbleness, the apology and also the tricky nature of humans and the blind eye of justice.
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