Buddhism in Burma
Buddhism has two main branches, Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism. In Burma, approximately 89% of the population adheres toTheravada Buddhism.
Theravada Buddhism (school of the elders) is the oldest and purest form of original Buddhism.
Everyone strives for personal liberation. This requires no help from others. Everyone must therefore use their own power to try to reach enlightenment.
Mahayana Buddhism has Bodhisattvas, enlightened mortals who have remained on earth to show everyone the right path.
Buddha is present everywhere
There is no country in the world where daily life is as imbued with Buddhism as in Burma.
There are thousands of pagodas and people practise their religion everywhere in the streets.
They work in or on pagodas, give food to monks and make offerings to Buddhas.
Part of their often modest income is spent on purchasing gold leaf to decorate the Buddha statues. The idea behind this is that it will earn them merit (religious credit), ensuring that their next life will be a better one.
Discover more about
Lonely planet Myanmar (Burma)
Art, Architecture and Design of Burma
Burmese Buddhist Sculpture
The Johan Möger Collection