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A Phoongyee preaching [Burma]

A Phoongyee preaching [Burma]

Photographer: Watts and Skeen

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1895

Shelfmark: Photo 430/15(48)

Item number: 4301548

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of a monk or pongyi preaching to a group of youths and children in Burma (Myanmar), taken by Watts and Skeen in the 1890s, from the Curzon Collection. Theravada or Doctrine of Elders is a school of Buddhism which draws scriptural direction from the Pali Canon or Tipitaka, acknowledged to be the oldest record of Buddha's teachings. Theravada Buddhism is the predominant religion of Burma, prevailing from the 11th century. The sangha or Buddhist order of monks and nuns is one of the Three Jewels of Buddhism or Triratna (the other two being the Buddha and the Dhamma or doctrine). The Buddhist monk lives by a strict disciplinary code and renounces all possessions except those permitted such as alms bowls and robes. He relies on the generosity of the laity for his subsistence. His goals are to strive for enlightenment and preserve and transmit the Dhamma for others to follow. In the 19th century the monastery was the focal point of a community and traditionally also the centre for education.

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