A note to my friends: To speed up my photo uploading to this blog, I’ll try to put up photos with minimal writing (that’s what’s holding me up) or using Wikipedia info if available. I’ll try to provide more detailed info in the early future. A number of photos taken in Shwedagon Pagoda and Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda (Reclining Buddha) were accidentally deleted from the SD card, fortunately, I still have enough to show the premises.
列位看官: 过去两年照片堆積了很多, 由於整理需時, 加上此網頁的中文書寫功能有所改变, 寫起來不太方便。 現在權宜之計是先上照片, 配上简单文字, 或将維基百科適當的文字植入, 方便大家看相片, 其他資料稍後再補上。
If my memory serves me well, we were allowed an hour of free time to explore this important pagoda, we had two options: 1. follow our guide who would show us the must-sees in the premises with detailed history and stories ; 2. free exploration on our own risking missing some important landmarks . Well, before I knew, the colorful processions of shinbyu had made the decision for me, and I must confess that I was too preoccupied with the processions and missed a lot of important landmarks. In any case, one can’t even scratch the surface of Shwedagon Pagoda in 1-2 hours. Should I had the chance to visit Shwedagon again, I would spend 3-4 hours in the early morning and another 3-4 hours in the late afternoon there, the magic-hour light would be magical, however, in any case, make sure to have a long lunch break and hide from the harsh midday sun.
四月的仰光, 熱浪迫人, 躲过42C的中午, 四點左右踏進大金塔。地上鋪着大理石, 雖然平滑, 但炙熱難行。不过當大金塔進入視綫, 人就興奮起來, 尤其看到提着金傘的遊行隊伍, 我就脫隊跟着他們走。我们只有一个小時的時間, 只能走馬看花, 所以先拍照, 回家再看。
Wikipedia: “The Shwedagon Pagoda (Burmese: ရွှေတိဂုံဘုရား, IPA: [ʃwèdəɡòʊɴ pʰəjá]), officially named Shwedagon Zedi Daw (Burmese: ရွှေတိဂုံစေတီတော်, [ʃwèdəɡòʊɴ zèdìdɔ̀]) and also known as the Great Dagon Pagoda and the Golden Pagoda, is a gilded stupa located in Yangon, Myanmar. The 326-foot-tall (99 m)pagoda is situated on Singuttara Hill, to the west of Kandawgyi Lake, and dominates the Yangon skyline.
Shwedagon Pagoda is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar, as it is believed to contain relics of the four previous Buddhas of the present kalpa. These relics include the staff of Kakusandha, the water filter of Koṇāgamana, a piece of the robe of Kassapa, and eight strands of hair from the head of Gautama.”
維基百科- 仰光大金寺或雪德宮大金塔（英語：Shwedagon Pagoda；緬甸語：；拉丁化拼音：hrwe ti. gum. bhu. ra:；官方稱為：Shwedagon Zedi Daw）是一座位於緬甸仰光的窣堵坡(佛塔)。其高度為98米，表面則鋪上了一層金，再加上它是位於皇家圓林西的聖山Singuttara之上，所以這座塔也就在仰光市天際線中獨佔鰲頭了。它是緬甸中最神聖的佛塔，因為它供奉了四位佛陀的遺物，包括是拘留孫佛（Kakusandha）的杖，正等覺金寂佛（Konagamana）的淨水器，迦葉佛（Kassapa）的袍及佛祖釋迦牟尼的八根頭髮。
↑ Kassapa Buddha image 迦葉佛
塔基周長433米，周圍有由木石建成，風格各異的64座小塔和4座中塔，塔有四個入口（mouk）皆有石獅把守，而在入口後則有一連串的梯級直達至山上的平台。在東及南面的入口有售賣金箔、香燭、鮮花等祭祀用品及幸運符、佛像、書籍、傘子之類紀念品的攤檔；而在南大門兩旁則有一對”chinte”的獅身人面像把守，見圖。在一連串梯級上面，則有第二位佛陀Konagamana的像。塔底是由磚塊砌成，並覆上金塊。在塔底之上則為寺廟的梯台（pyissayan），是寺廟的核心部分的開始，故只有僧侶及男性才能進入。在更上的地方，就是其鐘型的部分（khaung laung bon），在其上面則是經幡（baung yit）及倒轉的鉢（thabeik），再接著的是蓮花瓣（kya hmauk kya hlan）及蕉的花蕾（nga pyaw bu）。而最上面的金傘（hti）有5448粒鑽石及2317粒紅寶石。在塔的尖端，則有一顆被稱為sein bu，重76卡拉的巨鑽。而在塔的周圍則懸掛著1065個金鈴和420個銀鈴。
Located on the far right on the back is the Naungdawgyi Pagoda ↑.
↑ Kakusanda Buddha Image 拘留孫佛
⇑⇓ In front of each pagoda, there are clinthes (Singha in Thailand) arrayed to protect the pagoda.
Rituals (Wikipedia- Rituals) :
“Most Burmese people are Theravada Buddhists, and many also follow practices which originated in Hindu astrology. Burmese astrology recognizes the seven planets of astrology — the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. In addition, it recognizes two other planets, Rahu and Ketu. All the Burmese names of the planets are borrowed from Hindu astrology, but the Burmese Rahu and Ketu are different from the Hindu Rahu and Ketu. The Burmese consider them to be distinct and separate planets, whereas Hindu astrology considers them to be either the Dragon’s Head and Tails, or Ascending and Descending Nodes. To the Burmese people, Ketu is the king of all planets. As in many other languages, the Burmese name the seven days of their week after the seven planets, but Burmese astrology recognizes an eight-day week, with Wednesday being divided into two days; until 6 p.m. it is Wednesday, but after 6.pm. until midnight it is Rahu’s day.
It is important for Burmese Buddhists to know on which day of the week they were born, as this determines their planetary post. There are eight planetary posts, as Wednesday is split in two (a.m. and p.m.). They are marked by animals that represent the day — garuda for Sunday, tiger for Monday, lion for Tuesday, tusked elephant for Wednesday morning, tuskless elephant for Wednesday afternoon, mouse for Thursday, guinea pig for Friday and nāga for Saturday. Each planetary post has a Buddha image and devotees offer flowers and prayer flags and pour water on the image with a prayer and a wish. At the base of the post behind the image is a guardian angel, and underneath the image is the animal representing that particular day. The plinth of the stupa is octagonal and also surrounded by eight small shrines (one for each planetary post). It is customary to circumnavigate Buddhist stupas in a clockwise direction.
The pilgrim, on his way up the steps of the pagoda, buys flowers, candles, coloured flags and streamers. These are to be placed at the stupa in a symbolic act of giving, which is an important aspect of Buddhist teaching. There are donation boxes located in various places around the pagoda to receive voluntary offerings which may be given to the pagoda for general purposes. As of December 2017 foreigners are charged a 10,000 Kyats (approx. 7 USD) entrance fee.”
維基百科 – “儀式:訪客在入寺前必須把自己的鞋子脫掉。而在東及南的梯道上則有闊的階梯及傳統的店舖；在南方的梯道有升降機，而在較少人用的西通道也有電梯以方便遊客。緬甸人會在塔前以順時針繞行的。緬甸人相信人出生的日子會決定其星座，這樣的星座有八個，分別代表一星期的七天及星期三的上、下午，而星座則有八種的動物，有鵬鳥、虎、獅、有牙象、無牙象、鼠、天竺鼠及龍，分別代表在星期日至星期六出生的人。而每一個星座則有一個佛相，而信眾則向其佛相供奉花，旗子及潑水以祈禱及許願。而塔的地基則為正八邊型，並被較少的神龕圍著，而八這字則代表了一星期的各天，也就是緬甸人的八個星座。”