Shwedagon Pagoda

By U Than Zaw

THE glittering glorious golden pagoda or is well-known as “Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon City. In Myanmar, the Shwedagon is the most famous and the oldest pagoda among all the pagodas in the historical record of this country. That is why the U.N.O (United Nations Organization) recognized it as one of the ‘Wonders’ of the world.

It was built on the hilltop of ‘Singottara’ and its (the Pagoda) original height alone is over 300 feet since over 2,500 years ago. At that time, the age of Lord Buddha was only 35 years of age and it was 45 days after His Enlightenment or becoming omniscient Lord Buddhahood. He was the greatest or the holiest – one in his time on the earth of this ‘Universe’.

What happened was that the two own-brothers by the name of “Taphosa and Balika” who were the merchants travelling to India from the Okkalapa Kingdom, met Lord Buddha unexpectedly and offered him the alms-food made of honey-corn-puff. As in response, Lord Buddha rendered them back the eight strands of his sacred hair to pay worship on his behalf. Those two brothers were the first devotees to Lord Buddha.

On their way back to Okkalapa Kingdom (in Myanmar). They handed over the whole eight strands of sacred hair to their King Okkalapa. So, the Kind blissfully accepted the Royal Gift and built Shwedagon Pagoda encoring those four relic-hairs out of eight plus the remains of the past Lord Buddhas named Kokkusana, Gonagamna and Katsapha of which were given, legendarily, by the local spiritual-beings in those days, to King Okkalapa.

However, it might be in the legendary background. So nowadays the golden glorious ‘Shwedagon Pagoda’ can be seen from very far away before arriving Yangon City, wherever you are either at sea, on land or in the air by aircraft. It’s a pride not only for Yangon City but for the whole of Myanmar also.

Many people from far and near come to the pagoda every day but especially more crowded on festive days and holidays as pilgrims. They used to donate money, flowers, candle-lights and sacred-water etc. to the pagoda. The pagoda festival is held with celebrities every year on the full moon of Tasaungbon (on 22 November).

The Shwedagon Pagoda is the main attraction to the ‘Tourists’, coming to Myanmar.

You all are welcome with our wide arms! Friends.