Wagaung (July/August) one (the second) of the three months of the Buddhist loaned – Waso (June/July), Wagaung (July/August) and Thawthalin (August/September) – is a month of moderation, calm consideration, commendable deeds with for example ‘Soons’ (aid given to pongyis), robe and sustenance contributions and abstemiousness, in which the going of pongyis, chasing, moving of the house and relational unions are not allowed; and numerous individuals go into religious retreat or attach for a specific period. In this way, Wagaung la pyei htun pwe daw’, the Full-moon Celebration of Wagaung is a simply religious undertaking for legitimacy making. It is seen as ‘Celebration of Offering’ or ‘Draw-a-ton Celebration’.
I, for one, have paid for the lunch of the majority of the ‘pongyis’ (priests) of the Pandita Yama Kyaung (cloister) in Yangon where I here and there go for contemplation. Every single important game plan will be made by the organization of the cloister. You are genially welcomed to go with me and my family and a portion of my companions at 09:00 a.m. on the Full-Moon Day Of Waso to the religious community where we will have our lunch.
As the name ‘Draw-a-great deal’ celebration suggests, the illustration of a ton will settle on which pongyi will have his feast paid by you, in the event that you participate in the ‘draw-a-ton’, that is. This goes as pursues. The name of every individual from the nearby Sangha (or Sangha of your township) is composed on a paper that is set in a case or container subsequent to being moved up or collapsed together. Each taking an interest family unit is picking a delegate who is drawing a great deal from the case or bin. The pongyi whose name is on the paper will be extravagantly bolstered the next day. Be that as it may, one of the parcels bears the name ‘Gautama Buddha’. This parcel is, so to speak, the ‘big stake’ and the fortunate individual who is drawing this part will have the pleasure to have the Buddha. All things considered, the celebration is a peaceful and calm occasion filling for Buddhists dominatingly the need of doing demonstrations of ‘dhana’ (giving) to pick up benefits.
Yet, there are additionally different celebrations that occur in Wagaung. Taungbyone, found an around one-hour vehicle ride, exactly 30 miles/48 kilometer north of Mandalay, for example, is in August the setting of ‘Nat gadaws’ (spouses or mechanisms of nats/gatekeeper spirits) who hold there yearly a 7-day ‘Nat Celebration’ or ‘Nat pwe’.
In the event that you happen to be in Mandalay at the ideal time this is a chance to get to know at least one of the almighty ‘nats’; something not to be missed on the grounds that it isn’t just entrancing and leaving yet relying upon from where you are coming it is additionally liable to be the main chance to do this you will ever be offered in all your years. It will take you the entire day.
Since it is no simple undertaking to find a nat gadaw (it set aside me a significant long effort to make companions with two of them and go to nat pwes) for which reason you should prepare and utilize a decent nearby companion or manual for make the courses of action. I guarantee that you won’t lament this. It can without much of a stretch become one of the features of your vacation in Burma. Nat love establishes the immediate association with Burma’s past, going far back to pre-Buddhist occasions.
Individuals of the past wake up in light of the fact that nats were all genuine individuals at some time who kicked the bucket rather appallingly before they progressed toward becoming spirits. Accounts of affection, trust, bliss, trouble and interest are the request of the day in the domain of the nats. You may make the colleague with the soul of one of the much adored nats, Min Kyaw Zwa, known as U Min Kyaw, the ‘Tanked nat’
There are numerous anecdotes about who U Min Kyaw was. One of them is that U Min Kyaw was a ruler and brave warrior in the twelfth century who was inclined to drinking, smoking, betting and womanizing. Be that as it may, he was by the by especially cherished by his kin since he was additionally liberal. Along these lines, on the off chance that you see a moving nat gadaw drinking alcohol from a container and tossing hands-loaded with cash into the cheerful group, that is him, the ‘watchman soul’ of each one of the individuals who like to live in the fast track. On the off chance that you satisfy him (give him a jug of his most loved drink ) he may consequently make you rich.
Yet, be cautious, U Min Kyaw is a somewhat saucy nat and it is conceivable that you turned out to be controlled by his soul. Who knows? Celestials have their very own baffling methods for demonstrating their appreciation and communicating their joy.
Be that as it may, don’t stress, should this happen he will after a brief time leave your body again and the most dire outcome imaginable is that on the next day you should battle a serious headache; little cost for the great experience of having turned into a companion of U Min Kyaw and having been controlled by his soul.
In any case, tomorrow is ‘Full-moon day of Wagaung’ and at 08:30 I will come to lift you up before we go to the religious community for the formal sustenance offering, a service of the benevolent celebrated on this day everywhere throughout the nation whatever the object of gift may be. Kindly remember that it is a dressy event. See you tomorrow first thing.
It is presently Full-moon Day of Wagaung and we – you, my significant other, my house keepers, my driver and I – have touched base at the Pandita Yama Kyaung and we are fortunate in light of the fact that it isn’t raining as it as a rule is in this season of blustery season. We enter the religious community compound. Behind the door, inclining toward the mass of the watchman house stands a man-high slate with the name of the present contributor on it; it is my name, so all is well.
We are invited by a young fellow from the organization office who drives us to a gathering of two pongyis. He presents us as the present contributors and upon presentation they lead us into a banquet hall where we take a seat. One of the priests remains for casual chitchat with us while the other one is leaving. After a brief time he comes back to educate us that the ‘Sayadaw’ (the respected abbot of a Buddhist religious community) might want to see me and my significant other. Thus, we need to abandon you for a brief span. Be that as it may, you don’t have to stress both my senior house keeper and the pongyi communicate in English and you can babble with them while you are pausing. It is a decent open door for you to get direct data on Buddhist issues, the cloister, life in the religious community, contemplation, etc, don’t waver to ask them.
Me and my significant other pursue the pongyi to the Sayadaw’s office where we are energetically invited by him. He has a quality of nobility about him yet else he doesn’t show any at all conduct of predominance; a truly affable senior man with a significant decent order of English. We have an extremely lovely discussion throughout which he indicates certified enthusiasm for my life in Burma, my nation of origin and my otherworldly life. We abandon him after a brief time, re-go along with you and afterward our gathering is driven into the corridor were the offering service will occur.
The corridor is fairly gravely outfitted with a line of five high-supported armchairs with expound wood carvings and three tables with wood carvings before them. The remainder of the outfitting is comprised of basic round, short-legged wooden tables just as some straightforward side-sheets put along the dividers. Everything is spotless, flawless and clean, the floor is secured with straw mats and one side of the corridor is over nearly its whole lengths open to the court with a slope like, roofed walkway before it. There, a significant substantial number of little gatherings of red-robed pongyis are sitting tight for the start of the service. In spite of the gravity the entire scene is encompassed in an honorable and bubbly climate that is in its own particular manner extremely contacting. The Sayadaw, joined by four senior pongyis is as of now sitting on the armchairs with the Sayadaw put in the middle and two senior priests put on either side of him.
All visitors are approached to sit in the free space directly before the Sayadaw and his senior pongyis (as regular on the floor) my significant other and I in the main column, isolated from the Sayadaw just by the tables while the pongyis are starting to enter the lobby. All being situated the nourishment is set in dishes on the tables while an agreeable preservation between the Sayadaw and our gathering of visitors begins. At that point, after certain expressions of welcome spoken by the Sayadaw the official piece of the function starts with the ‘gadaut the’, which means we are prostrating ourselves tree times before the Sayadaw in veneration of him. This is trailed by the ‘saung kat hlu pu zaw the’, the ‘lifting of the table’ with nourishment on it by my better half and me. We position ourselves on either side of the table, twist down to get the edge of the table and in a synchronized development raise and lower the table multiple times (each time speaking to one piece of the ‘Tiradna’, the three pearls or gems to be specific, ‘Buddha’ (Edified One), ‘Dharma'(in Sanskrit)/(in Pali)’Dhamma’ (Buddha’s lessons) and ‘Sangha’ (monkshood or request of the priests or Buddhist ascetic network) while the Sayadaw is stating: “This sustenance is committed to the shrewdness of and in appreciation to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.” At that point the pongyis start to eat. When they are all around prepared the ball is in our court. The convention to let the pongyis eat first is called ‘Ah-hlu’.
There is an extensive assortment of dishes served for us. Nothing is missing: ‘thamin’ (bubbled rice), ‘we tha hin’ (pork curry), ‘chet tha hin’ (chicken curry), amay tha hin’ (hamburger curry) blended with ‘alu’ (potatoes), ‘hin thee hin youwet’ (vegetable, for example, ‘molang oo ni’ (carrots) and ‘boycott gobi’ (cauliflower), ‘hkau hswe djo’ (seared noodle with vegetable and meat), ‘hin jou’ (hot soup), ‘kauk hnyin boung’ (sweet produced using glutinous rice and coconut), ‘thit thee’ (organic products, for example, ‘skillet thee’ (apple) and ‘hnget pyaw thee’ (banana). As refreshments served may be ‘yippee’ (drinking water), ‘kaphee’ (espresso), ‘laphat yahoo jan’ (plain green tea) and ‘laphat whoopee’ (green tea with milk and sugar). It genuinely is a bounteous and exceptionally delicious lunch.
After lunch the function nonstop with the Sayadaw’s favoring of the donor(s) and the ‘whoopee set cha the’ (water dr