Myanmar refugees find hope in Thai garbage dump

Myanmar refugees find hope in Thai garbage dump

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India to repair Shwedagon

India to repair Myanmar’s most-revered shrine

NEW DELHI: India will repair Myanmar’s famous Shwedagon Pagoda, or Golden Pagoda, which was damaged by cyclone Nargis on May 3. This offer was made during Sunday’s pledging conference where around 52 countries promised rehabilitation and reconstruction aid to Myanmar.

India’s offer is a diplomatic coup of sorts. Shwedagon is Myanmar’s most revered Buddhist shrine and is believed to house eight hairs of Gautam Buddha. For India, it’s an unbeatable way of building up confidence with Myanmar, but it’s also a way of claiming the diplomatic advantage on Buddhism.

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Factors that influenced the evolution of Burma Part IV

Factors that influenced

the evolution of Burma Part IV

Pyu

Pyu, one of the three founding father of Bamar or Myanmar race was believed to be the mixture of three groups;

(i) Few insignificant local inhabitants since Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age,

(ii) many migrants came from India bringing in Hinduism and Buddhism along with their cultures and literatures successively

(iii) and the last group believed to came down from north, Tibeto-Burman group.

Pyu language started in 5AD in Southern Rakhine.

The famous Mya Zedi Pagoda stone inscriptions were written in Pyu, Mon, Bama, and Pali in 1113AD.

  1. Pyu had written records, dated from 1st century A.D.
  2. and Mon from 5th century A.D.
  3. and Bama had its own written records only in 11th century A.D.

Beikthano (Vishnu)

Beikthano (Vishnu) at the end of 4th. AD (9Khmer troops occupied 210-225 AD. (Taung Dwin Gyi) after which the Mons moved in, giving the cities names Panthwa and Ramanna pura. Religious remains show both forms of Buddhism, Mahayanism and Hinayanism, together with Vishnu worship. There are large stone Buddhist sculptures in relief in the Gupta style, bronze statuettes of Avalokitesvara, one of the three chief Mahayanist Bodhisattvas, and so many stone sculptures of Vishnu that the city was sometimes referred to as ‘Vishnu City’.

Pyu chronicles speak of a dynastic change in A.D. 94. Sri Ksetra village was apparently abandoned around A.D. 656 it was sacked by the Nan Cho Chinese Shan in the mid-9th century, ending the Pyu’s period of dominance.

Pyu Kings are Maharajas

In Chinese Chronicles they recorded Pyu as ‘P’aio’. But Pyu Called themselves Tircul..

  • There are records of Nan Cho and Tibet alliance in 755 AD to defeat Chinese.
  • Nan Cho king Ko-lo-fen communicate with Pyu. Pyu Kings were called Maharajas and Chief ministers were called Mahasinas.
  • Nan Cho conscripted Pyu soldiers to attack of Hanoi in 863 AD.
  • In 832 AD Nan Cho looted Han Lin village from Pyu.

Pyu kings named Vishnu as in Gupta, India

Inscriptions in Pyu language using a South Indian script, showed a Vikrama dynasty ruling there at least from AD 673 to 718.

  • On Pyu’s stone inscriptions, kings names with Vikrama were suffix with Vishnu. The same tradition was noticed in Gupta era India 100 BC. and in Sri Kestia, Mon in south, Thai and Cambodia.
  • Statue of Vishnu standing on Garuda with Lakshmi standing on the lotus on left.
  • And Brahma, Siva and Vishnu thrones were also found.
  • Name, Varman indicated that there was influence of Pallava of India.
  • The mentioning of Varman dynasty, an Indian name, indicated there was a neighbouring and rival city, but Old Prome is the only Pyu site so‘ far to be excavated in that area.

Indian Dravidian tribe in Panthwa

In Chinese Chronicles Chen Yi-Sein instead gives an Indian derivation for Panthwa village, as the name of a Dravidian tribe settled in Mon’s areas around the Gulf of Martaban. This group was later one of the pioneers in a ‘Monized’ occupation of Beikthano village, which also led to the village/city being called Ramanna-pura, linked to Mon areas of southern Myanmar (1999:77).

The Tagaung dynasty is explicitly incorporated into the story of Duttabaung’s mother and father; the lineage of the Queen of Beikthano is less consistent, but always intertwined with that of the Sri Kestra village rulers. In all of these, links are made between territorial control, royal patronage of Hindu or Buddhist sects and supernatural events.

Thamala and Wimala. Two princes named Thamala and Wimala (Myanmar version of Indian names-Thalma and Vimala.) established the town Bago in 573AD. Tabinshwehti (Taungoo Dynasty) conquered it in 1539 AD.

The evidence of the inscriptions, Luce warns us, shows that the Buddhism of Pagan ‘was mixed up with Hindu Brahmanic cults, Vaisnavism in particular.

 Dear darling Nan,                                                                                            

Are you tired or fed up of reading my compassionate letters?

It is your prerogative, up to you to decide whether you continue to receive my letter or not. I will stop any time if you say so. 

Kindly allow me to quote a famous saying, ‘My letters could not be written out unto their end even if all the trees on earth were pens, and if the sea eked out by seven seas were ink’.

May be my favourite song ‘Want to stay together, two of us only but  no-one else’ by Mar Mar Aye could explain my feelings. She sang about using the sky to write upon, a river as the pen and using the ocean water as ink.

But in this age of ICT, neither do we need to use pens nor ink but just ‘typing’ onto the key board is enough. So I have to change or modified these into, “My letters could not finish even if my hands suffered ‘Carpel Tunnel Syndrome’.

Dear darling, do you still remember the day you showed me the news of the fossilized remains of rhinoceros and crocodiles found in the Pontaung Ponnya regions. Padalin cave paintings are the proof that there were early dwellers in late Old Stone Age Shwe Bama village. In the new Stone Age, stones were smoothly polished to make tools and were perforated to make beads. Fire was built. There were domestications of goat and sheep, buffalo and ox and later horse and elephant. As ploughing, sowing, reaping, threshing, pounding rice, cooking rice, weaving baskets, pottery making, spinning, weaving, carrying big stone from a very far place where it was available and lifting it up to the height where they want to place it, the practice of selling and buying came into being through barter system, etc. can be imagined.

Dear darling, I was heartened because formerly, we had nothing much about the Bronze Age found in Nyaungkan, lower Chin Dwin region up to confluence with Irrawaddy. At Mon Ywa (1500-1000 BC). There are nowadays evidence of our early Shwe Bama ancestors in Samon valley south of Mandalay, Taungthaman, Amarapura Iron age 460 BC, Pyu 200BC – 900 AD.Dear Nan, most of the historians try to visualize the human characteristics from their archaeological fossils. There were savages in the Old Stone Age from 400,000 to 8000 BC and barbarians in the new Stone Age from 8000 to 2000 BC. In our Shwe Bama village tract’s Iron Age or civilization began from 2000 BC because Iron Age was recognized as a civilized age in the history of the world.In 2500 BC, in U Kala’s village tract villagers in the Indus Valley wrote in cuneiforms which could not be decoded. Later in 1500 BC, Aryan came to India and they later started writing in Brahmi script. Since then, they have had records written in alphabets and people were taken as civilized in the history. Dear Nan lets go back to our topic today to the early Pagan village, which was our first Shwe Bama empire/village tract. There is a saying in Shwe Bama village, if we want to discuss or talk about Pagan village; ‘we need to be armed with sticks and knives or rather machetes.’ Yes there is no consensus about the history of Pagan village and every argument leads to controversy and used to end with a quarrel.

Dear Nan, now I am going into the mind field with the intention to challenge the nationalists with some radical views.  I will start with Ah Yee Gyis or Aries, who were notoriously powerful in Pagan or Bagan village, before the Buddhist Religion arrived in our first Shwe Bama village. Nan, why did your face became red and try to gaze away from my letter. I know my wife, although you already got the grand children, you are still acting like a maiden. I would start a first salvo or bombardment with this fact. Ah Yee Gyis or Aries were related to one Indian sect or religion from Ko Kala’s village tract. The same Aris or Ah Yees from Ko Kala’s village were known for, swimming, martial arts, traditional medicine practice and the custom of sleeping with the brides on the first night of weddings.  

I am not revealing some ‘blue stories’ or Thousand and one nights Arabian stories. I am not sure whether Ko Kalar Aries came physically here or their ‘religion’ or practice only arrived here. Never mind don’t worry dear, I just tease you with this story. Now I would like to trace our ancestors. I hope you already knew my habit of parroting or just informing you what I happened to know by chance. Sometime I just mentioned or write about anything I heard or read in the newspapers or books. All that I mentioned are not because I supported the idea or believed that it is an irrefutable truth. I just mentioned casually, sometimes light heartedly, sometimes as a joke to irritate you or sometimes just wish to highlight a controversy welcoming a heated debate in our platform or stage, this blog. In Burmese ‘Pwe sue aung_ loke thee’. I hope that then only more people will notice or read this Blog or there may be better hits on this web page. I already knew that this web page, is visited by Shwe Bamas abroad but I hope to see more progress. Dear darling that radical ideas came into my mind because I rarely have a chance to read any feed back from our readers. If we could even attract our oppositions and radicals, of course there must be decorum, mutual respect and some politeness from all the sides, to refute what we wrote; it may be a great progress.  You had said before, “Counting the ballots is better than cracking the heads.” 

Let me modify or think beyond that, or apply this to another area. I hereby wish to propose that, ‘we better fight with our pens rather than fighting with live ammunitions’.  Fighting as a gentleman on the Internet is much better, more desirable and humane than fighting on the real battle field. Although I may be seen as a coward because of these words, after all the real battle ground is also not a level playing field for us. In the Shwe Bama village compound, anyone talking, speaking, writing or even possesses the papers against the SPDC or Daw Than Shwe would be arrested and prosecuted or more correctly persecuted.   

Do you remember the famous case of a gentleman, a representative of few western countries, arrested for using the unregistered Fax Machine? (I wrote about him in previous letter.) And on the real battle front, at the border areas our freedom fighters are outnumbered. Their ammunition, transport, organization, intelligent networks and equipments, budget and etc. are also not able to compete with SPDC’s strong forces. Guerrilla warfare in the Shwe Bama village itself is also almost impossible.  So we have only one easy option, ICT warfare or propaganda warfare on internet. And it is relatively safe and quite effective. But because of heavy censorship on Internet contents, it may be less effective inside the Shwe Bama village itself; until and unless those opposition radio stations actively promote and inform regularly on most of the opposition Internet contents. We are sad that there is some intense rivalry and competition every where among our various opposition groups. We should make all the articles bilingual, in Burmese for the general population, in English to attract and explain the foreigners to persuade them to support us. We need to translate all the information vice versa. I had seen a lot of second and third generations of our Shwe Bama Migrant’s children out of touch with our Shwe Bama language. Most of them could still speak fluently in Shwe Bama but could not read nor write in Shwe Bama well enough. Surprisingly most of them still love our Shwe Bama country, they care about our country and interested in all the things Shwe Bama. I hope if we could attract all of our people in the free outside world to participate in the open discussion, discourse, dialogue or even a heated argument, it would be beneficial for all of us as it could definitely lead to more mutual understanding. 

Nan, thank you for the valuable advice you had secretly given to me. Because of your desire to promote unity through mutual understanding and reciprocal respect and of course, as this is the official aim of this blog. Do you notice that in my letters I purposely try to put in few controversial sensitive words or ideas against some of the groups. I just wish to increase their awareness, maturity and thank you for reminding ‘to stay colour blind’, that is against all kind of racial and religious discriminations.   Please may you kindly understand me for provoking the radical ends of the spectrum like a rebel rousers in this letter and my future few letters. With each weekly letters I am probing more and more deeply into Shwe Bama village history. I hope our readers could judge and treat this blog as the one site of revolution that would sparks a thousand ideas. We all need ideas, not only moderate but even from the extreme end of the spectrum, we need all the possible views. Then we must judge or compare our notes with the universally accepted, UN recognized facts. All of us may not agree to all the facts but we have to make a consensus, and once the decisions are made, we all have to accept them as our guiding principle for the benefit of our beloved Shwe Bama country. Even if 95% of Shwe Bamas don’t get what we are writing…the remaining 5% who get it will definitely have an impact on our society. 

I wish to present you with the wise advice of the Dalai Lama, our cousin Buddhist (Mahayana) leader. I told you in my very first letter that I even wish to spend my last days of my twilight years and like to even die in your Shan Land but when I have to change my wish now after I read Dalai Lama’s words which came out from his heart and vibrated right into my heart because of harmony of the feelings:“In Tibet, I would have been a prisoner, a puppet leader. But it doesn’t mean I ever forget about Tibet. I never stop thinking about it, and I tell the refugees that if they can, they must return one day or the Chinese will have won.” “But the Tibetans always say: wherever you feel most comfortable, that is your home. Whoever shows you greatest kindness and comfort, they are your family. So I am happy to die in India.”Although we all Shwe Bamas missed home, wish to return for retirement at old age or even die or wish to breathe the last breath at the homeland, most of us have no choice but to stay away from our beloved Shwe Bama Paradise for a long time.The wise religious leader continued:” You have bigger homes, yet smaller families. You have endless conveniences — yet you never seem to have any time. You can travel anywhere in the world, yet you don’t bother to cross the road to meet your neighbours,” he said. I think the Dalai Lama is right when he said that we don’t count our blessings and realize how much we truly have.“Too many people have given up on marriage. They don’t understand that it is about developing a mutual admiration of someone, a deep respect and trust and awareness of another human’s needs,” the Dalai Lama said.  I think the Dalai Lama is right when he said that we don’t count our blessings and realize how much we truly have. 

 SPDC is going to ICC with four main charges: (1) being a threat to regional/international stability,(2) genocide, (3) drug trade and (4) nuclear ambitions. UN Security Council could take action urgently on SPDC regime. Nowadays many people and countries around the world want justice to be done by bringing SPDC generals to International Criminal Court in The Hague on these four charges. The choice is yours. If not, once you are going to be charged in the International Criminal Court of Justice in The Hague, you would know the grave consequences. And even if you could able to avoid that fate, acting like Hitler or Milosevic by deciding to die, you all should understand that once in the hereafter, you have to face the judgment of God or your Kamma. Even at The Hague, you could still show off your colour like Saddam Hussein or Milosevic by arguing your own case with an attack, but in the hereafter you could not argue anything if your deeds are already recorded in the dog-leather book of Tha Gyar Min. (Note: Don’t angry Nan, I understand that you have no connections with SPDC but I am 101% sure that once my letter was sent through Burma Digest, the SPDC spies would definitely ‘peek’ into the letter. And I wish to request those gentlemen to translate and give the full report to their Ah Ba Senior General Than Shwe so that he could review his latest condition or position at the edge of the Ah Thu Yar Gauge.) The facts that we wish to reveal to SPDC Generals are: This is the time to seek forgiveness, to repent, to regret, for salvation and for redemption. Instead of just releasing the fish and birds, release Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, U Tin Oo, U Khun Htun Oo and all the political prisoners. Instead of donating your ill gotten booties, give back the country you looted from the NLD and opposition. Instead of continuing governing Shwe Bama which is not yours and give back our independence. If not they would be charged soon in the International Criminal Court in The Hague on the crimes against humanity and genocide.If they still have some sense of dignity, they should bow to the discontented citizens and relinquish their posts.

Now the whole world knows that the SPDC Junta is trying to cheat the whole population of Myanmar, ASEAN, UN and the rest of the world. So we all wish and pray that the SPDC Generals would just repent, ask forgiveness from all the citizens including NLD Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, all the oppositions and prepare to retreat to the barracks, where they belong, according to the promise given by General Saw Maung, their previous leader before the election. Many of the top SPDC Junta leaders should go for retirement and spent their last precious time on earth with meditation and prayers. 

 Good-bye Yours  loving other side 

(Ko Tin Nwe)

BO AUNG DIN   

See also_

  1. Basic factors that influenced the evolution of Burma Part I
  2. Factors that influenced the evolution of Burma Part II
  3. Factors that influenced the evolution of Burma Part III
  4. Factors that influenced the evolution of Burma Part IV
  5. Factors that influenced the evolution of Burma Part V
  6. Factors that influenced the evolution of Burma Part VI
  7. Factors that influenced the evolution of Burma Part VII
  8. The Golden days of the Great Mon Empire I
  9. Renascences of the Golden days of the Great Shan Empire
  10. The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire II
  11. The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire III
  12. The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire IV
  13. The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire V
  14. The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire VI
  15. The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire VII

Power of the powerless

 Power of the powerless

Muslims in Myanmar(Burma) must struggle to get the ‘Power of the powerless instead of armed struggle. 

All kinds of violence, means more risks and less chance of success. 

As we are a minority only, we have to sacrifice a lot without any hope at all.

Instead of aiming to get the top executive administrative Power, we should aim to get the power to influence those in power!

To become a power broker, king maker, king breaker, or have the power to pull the strings from behind the curtain should be the target of Muslims in Myanmar. 

  • Power of friendship,

  • power of wisdom,

  • power of intelligence,

  • power of knowledge,

  • power of wealth,

  • power of good connections,

  • power of goodwill,

  • power of good tract record,

  • power of trustworthiness,

  • power of good moral and manners,

  • power of unity and

  • power of cooperation for mutual benefits and prosperity

are the main pillars of the POWER OF THE POWERLESS.      

All of us know that power leads to corruption. 

And the absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Any one in power will corrupt. 

Even if we, Muslims have power, there is no way to guarantee that we would be able to avoid this totally.

And those corrupt leaders or rulers could not escape Sansara, or they may have to pay back later on the judgement day.

According to Buddhism, even Lord Buddha, was scared of becoming king, and tried many times to avoid or abdicate.

Actually if we look at the condition in our country, it is a blessing, in disguise for the Muslims.  Instead of wasting time and grooming ourselves to become a politi­cian, we could use, our time mainly on education, economy and of course on religious and social works. 

It is better, less controversy and is sure of good results.

If we become highly educated professionals, wealthy, good moral characters, no one could ignore us. 

Definitely we would be able to influence any politician in power. 

  • So it is no need, for the Muslims in Burma to be jealous of our Burmese Buddhist friends in power.

  • No need to fight them or sabotage them but we must slowly and steadily try to expend our influence and contacts with them.

  • We must build a good relationship for the mutual benefit.

  • We must aim at the win win situation.

  • No need to make them poor or suffer.

 If we have no political power to abuse_

  • we will have less sin,
  • less enemy and
  • will get more time to spend on more productive and useful things.
  • We could use that valuable time for our-selves, our family, our religion and for our country. 
  • Even if we use that time on recreation and health it will indirectly increase our productivity.

  Actually power comes from within

If we, Myanmar Muslims have_

  • confidence,

  • self respect,

  • proud being a Muslim and

  • if strongly believe that we are not a simple person,

  • but one day will surely progress,

  • there is definitely a very bright future of crowning with the success.

  • Inner spiritual strength is more important and always guides the outer physical power.

  • Even if we are weak physically, inner spiritual and mental strength and power will guide, train and convert it to become powerful.

Common virtues of Buddhism and Islam

 Common virtues of

Buddhism and Islam

 We must cultivate mutual respect, trust and understanding among all the religions.

  • We must search, point out, and promote the common virtues and good points from our various religions.

  • We must ignore the controversial, potential igniting differences in various religions.

  • Actually, non of us can easily prove that the other religions are totally wrong and our religion is absolutely true and right. Religion depends on our faiths.

  • All of the religions some times need blind faith without any question.

  • We are not arguing here that any religion or all the religions are not true. Actually I am a practising Muslim and absolutely believe in Islam.

  • But I would never say or try to prove that other religions are wrong.

  • According to Islam, Allah had send more than 124,000 prophets to our world.

  • There is a strong possibility that the various religions are just the various forms of a common faith with different approaches.

  • There may be gradual degradation or slow changes because of prolonged time factor but we should not blindly accuse that other old religions are wrong.

In spite of serious instances of abuse of various religions by some of their claimed followers so as to justify or instigate acts of brutality and bloodshed, there are positive and helpful common themes in these religions. Therefore, peaceful and candid intra-faith and inter-faith dialogues are important tools in working for such goals. (Read more)

Dear Buddhist brothers, please don’t take it as an insult. Even if you could not accept my following idea, please forgive and forget about this. I am not degrading your Lord Buddha in to a Prophet.

  • Lord Buddha had revealed that there are a lot of Buddhas as much as the number of the sands on the Ganges River. And all of them could not avoid the ‘nature’ of Kama (Kan) and must at last die or end at Parinivarna or Nivarna (of nothing or free from all the sufferings of life i.e. the circle of Sansara- birth, old age, disease and death.)

  • I do not think that it is just a coincidence in the enormous numbers of Buddhas and our prophets.

  • I deeply believed that all of them are the same honourable great Holy personalities, whether we accepted as God or Prophets.

  • I hope God would definitely forgive me for telling this fact that even if you or I could get some superpower of God, we would definitely send our representative (Prophet) or go ourself (e.g. forgive me God) to the strategic place, Nepal, which is located between the two early great civilizations, China and India.

  • Accoprding to Islamic the prophets were sent by God to every nation.

  • In Islam, only Muhammad was sent to convey God’s message for the whole of mankind, whereas other prophets were sent to convey a message to a specific group of people or nation.

    • “And certainly We sent messengers (rasul) before you: there are some of them that We have mentioned to you and there are others whom We have not mentioned to you…” [Qur’an 40:78]
    • “For We assuredly sent amongst every People a messenger…”[Qur’an 16:36]
  • Muslims believe in other prophets other than those mentioned by name in the Quran as ther are many verses in the Quran that speak about this:

Additional numerous historical religious figures may have been prophets, but this is a source of debate and contention, among them: Zoroaster, Gautama Buddha and Rama. The Islamic Hadith and Qur’an support such claims that say that a messenger was sent to every people.

Allow me to quote the venerable Thubten Chondron’s Home page. Here the article by Dr. Alexander Berzin was really wonderful. It is titled, Islamic-Buddhist Dialogue.

“… Historically, Islamic law has accepted Buddhism as a “religion of the Book.” Because “Dharma” was translated as “law,” and “law” referred to “book,” Buddhists as “people of the Dharma” were understood to be “people of the Book” throughout medieval Central Asia. Islam tolerates all “people of the Book.”

Indonesian Buddhists posit Adibuddha, the primordial Buddha of the Kalachakra Tantra, as the “creator.” I had several interesting discussions with Buddhist monks in Indonesia about the issue of God in Buddhism. Since Adibuddha can be interpreted as the clear light primordial consciousness, and since all appearances of samsara and nirvana are the play or “creation” of that mind, we concluded that it could be said that Buddhism accepts a “creator God.” The fact that Buddhism asserts Adibuddha not to be an individual, separate being who created the universe, but something present in each sentient being, can be seen as a theological difference concerning the nature of God. That is, Buddhism does accept a “creator God” but with its own unique interpretation. As the Muslims say, “Allah has many names,” and many Christian, Islamic, Hindu, and Jewish thinkers assert that God is abstract and present in all beings. Taken from_

Dear Buddhist brothers, don’t angry with me, I hereby apologize all of you from the bottom of my heart for copying and publishing the above paragraph. I just wish to show that we are not far apart. Not totally different.

I am not telling that you and your religion is wrong. I just want to highlight the similarities. If we look at the virtues or goodness of teachings of all the religions, all are same, advising to do good and to avoid the evil or bad.

modern Islamic scholars have asserted that the Prophet Dh’ul Kifl–the “man from Kifl”–mentioned twice in the Qur’an, refers to the Buddha, with Kifl being the Arabic rendering of the name of Buddha’s native kingdom, Kapilavastu. The Qur’an stated that the followers of Dh’ul Kifl are righteous people. Secondly, al-Biruni and Sehristan, two eleventh century Islamic scholars who visited India and wrote about its religions, called Buddha a “Prophet …”

“Dispute not with the People of the Book save in the fairer manner, except for those of them that do wrong; and say, ‘We believe in what has been sent down to us, and what has been sent down to you: Our God and your God is One, and to Him we have surrendered’.” (XXIX: The Spider: 45)

In other places the Qur’an says:

Not all of them are alike; a party of the people of the Scripture stand for the right, they recite the Verses of God during the hours of the night, prostrating themselves in prayer. They believe in God and the Last Day; they enjoin Al-Ma’rûf and forbid Al-Munkar ; and they hasten in (all) good works; and they are among the righteous. And whatever good they do, nothing will be rejected of them; for God knows well those who are Al-Muttaqûn .(3:113-115)

Muhammad (pbuh) in Buddhist Scriptures:

1. Buddha prophesised the advent of a Maitreya:   

A. Almost all Buddhist books contain this prophecy. It is in Chakkavatti Sinhnad Suttanta D. III, 76:

“There will arise in the world a Buddha named Maitreya (the benevolent one) a holy one, a supreme one, an enlightened one, endowed with wisdom in conduct, auspicious, knowing the universe:”

What he has realized by his own supernatural knowledge he will publish to this universe. He will preach his religion, glorious in its origin, glorious at its climax, glorious at the goal, in the spirit and the letter. He will proclaim a religious life, wholly perfect and thoroughly pure; even as I now preach my religion and a like life do proclaim. He will keep up the society of monks numbering many thousands, even as now I keep up a society of monks numbering many hundreds”.        

B. According to Sacred Books of the East volume 35 pg. 225:

“It is said that I am not an only Buddha upon whom the leadership and order is dependent. After me another Buddha maitreya of such and such virtues will come. I am now the leader of hundreds, he will be the leader of thousands.”     

C. According to the Gospel of Buddha by Carus pg. 217 and 218 (From Ceylon sources):

“Ananda said to the Blessed One, ‘Who shall teach us when thou art gone?’

And the Blessed one replied, ‘I am not the first Buddha who came upon the earth nor shall I be the last. In due time another Buddha will arise in the world, a holy one, a supremely enlightened one, endowed with wisdom in conduct, auspicious, knowing the universe, an incomparable leader of men, a master of angels and mortals. He will reveal to you the same eternal truths, which I have taught you. He will preach his religion, glorious in its origin, glorious at the climax and glorious at the goal. He will proclaim a religious life, wholly perfect and pure such as I now proclaim. His disciples will number many thousands while mine number many hundreds.’

Ananda said, ‘How shall we know him?’

The Blessed one replied, ‘He will be known as Maitreya’.

i. The Sanskrit word ‘Maitreya’ or its equivalent in Pali ‘Metteyya’ means loving, compassionate, merciful and benevolent. It also means kindness and friendliness, sympathy, etc.

One Arabic word which is equivalent to all these words is ‘Rahmat’.

In Surah Al-Anbiya:

“We sent thee not, but as a mercy for all creatures.”
[Al-Qur’an 21:107]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was called the merciful, which is ‘Maitri’. 

ii. The words Mercy and Merciful are mentioned in the Holy Qur’an no less than 409 times.

iii. Every chapter of the Glorious Qur’an, except Chapter 9, i.e. Surah Taubah begins with the beautiful formula, ‘Bismillah Hir-Rahman Nir-Rahim’, which means ‘In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful’.

iv. The Word Muhammad is also spelt as ‘Mahamet’ or ‘Mahomet’ and in various other ways in different languages. The word ‘Maho’ or ‘Maha’ in Pali and Sanskrit mean Great and Illustrious and ‘Metta’ means mercy. Therefore ‘Mahomet’ means ‘Great Mercy’.Here are some other links regarding Gautama Buddha’s Prophecy about Muhammad being another Buddha (Maitreya Buddha):

http://www.irf.net/irf/comparativereligion/middle/buddhism/dawahtobudhhists.htm

Comparative analysis:
http://www.irf.net/irf/comparativereligion/index.htm

Dear Buddhist brothers, after reading the above, if I were in your place, I would think that this Muslim is trying to put our God, Buddha under his Islamic Prophet and trying to put his Prophet as next Buddha.

No, no, no. I am just trying to rationalize that we all are the same. All the religions are same. We cannot or should try to run down, looked down as false on other religions. 

Not only the Muslims, but other religious persons could say or prove that the following teachings of Buddha are wrong. I personally could accept the following teachings of Buddha  as the absolute truth! 

But I am born in a Muslim family. So I decided to stay as a Muslim but would never look down on Buddhism as a wrong religion. I had learnt a lot of Buddhist teachings and also Scripture of Christians in the mission school.  And later read about other religions, Hindu, Jews etc.

But we understand that Buddhism does not explicitly recognize a God, or the concept of prophethood. However, there is no official Buddhist view of God, and Buddhism does not specifically oppose monotheism.

Buddhism is usually regarded as a religion (or a spiritual philosophy) without an Absolute Creator God (who created the universe ex nihilo and to whom worship and adoration are due). Even though an Absolute Creator God is absent in most forms of Buddhism, veneration and worship of Gautama Buddha (and other Buddhas) do play a major role in both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism. In Mahayana Buddhism there is the notion of the Buddha as the omnipresent, omniscient, liberative essence of Reality, and the idea of the Buddhas as generators of vast “Buddha lands” or Buddha Paradises, in which beings will unfailingly attain Nirvana. (Wikipedia)

In Buddhism, there is no Supreme Being named that is the creator of all. However Gautama Buddha does state that our thoughts make the world. The Buddha considers thought as the creator of the world.

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.

Dhammapada, 1.1-3

All the religions’ virtues or values or the essence of are good, same and we differ in practice only. I think the covering outside form and the way we practice are the things dividing all of us. The Essence of all the religions  are  the same. 

Even we, humans used to like new models of cars and chased the new fashions. I believe that God Himself purposely avoid the creation of assembly line product HUMAN ROBOTS. 

In every religion we believe in Angels. God create Humans different from Angels. If all the humans are same it may be boring. God given us the choice, we could choose Good or EVIL. And God had given promise that the good persons will be rewarded and the bad would be punished. 

Buddha never taught that all other good persons from other religions would be punished or are going to HELL.

Jesus also never preached that.

And Allah also clearly said that those GOOD Non-Muslims could enter HEAVEN. 

The Five Precepts 

The Five Precepts constitute the basic Buddhist code of ethics, undertaken by lay followers of the Buddha Gautama in the Theravada and Mahayana traditions.

The Five Precepts are commitments to_

  1. abstain from killing,

  2. stealing,

  3. sexual misconduct,

  4. lying and

  5. intoxication.

The laity undertake to follow these training rules at the same time as they become Buddhists, taking refuge in the Triple Gem: In the Buddha (teacher), in the Dharma (teaching) and thirdly in the Sangha (community of monks and nuns).

The following are the five precepts rendered in English and then Pali:

  1. I undertake the precept to refrain from taking the life (killing) of living beings.
    Pānātipātā veramani sikkhāpadam samādiyāmi

  2. I undertake the precept to refrain from stealing. (lit. “taking what is not offered”)
    Adinnādānā veramani sikkhāpadam samādiyāmi

  3. I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct (adultery, rape, exploitation, etc).
    Kāmesu micchācāra veramani sikkhāpadam samādiyāmi

  4. I undertake the precept to refrain from false speech (lying).
    Musāvāda veramani sikkhāpadam samādiyāmi

  5. I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicants which lead to heedlessness. (Can include intoxicating ideas)
    Surā meraya majja pamādatthānā veramani sikkhāpadam samādiyāmi

  Noble Eightfold Path 

Noble Eightfold Path is, in the teachings of the Buddha, declared to be the way that leads to the end of dukkha, or suffering. Essentially a practical guide of bringing about ethical and meditative discipline, the Noble Eightfold Path forms the fourth part of the Four Noble Truths, which have informed and driven much of the Buddhist tradition

These are divided into three basic categories as follows:

A.Wisdom (Sanskrit: prajñā, Pāli: paññā)

1. Right view

2. Right intention

B.Ethical conduct (Sanskrit: śīla, Pāli: sīla)

3. Right speech

4. Right action

5. Right livelihood

C.Mental discipline (Sanskrit and Pāli: samādhi)

6. Right effort

7. Right mindfulness

8. Right concentration

In all of the elements of the Noble Eightfold Path, the word “right” is a translation of the word samyañc (Sanskrit) or sammā (Pāli), which denotes completion, togetherness, and coherence, and which can also carry the sense of “perfect” or “ideal”. 

And if we look at the HINDU religion, we all could be surprized as starting from the basic concepts of life, sansara, nivarna, kamma to the vocabulary, glossary, terminology and jargon, all are almost the same.

Just look at the Christian Tritiny. God, Father and the Son. I am ashamed when some non-Christians mocked this vague or different concept as I believed in the GREATNESS of JESUS. Yes, whether we believed that he was a Prophet as Islam taught us or one of the Trinity or all, it is beyound our human’s knowledge. Why should we argue uselessly?

In Islam, we have to believe those facts which are beyond our common sense or knowledge. We must believe in all the prophets send by Allah.

It is clear that although we believe in Jesus and Moses, we cannot accept all the teachings of present Christianity and Judaism. But I also never believe that it is right to tell that they are wrong. This is not my point or idea to argue the different concepts and beliefs of the religions.

  • I here by want to promote mutual understanding and respect of all the religions.

  • Let us not provoke each other.

  • Let us promote mutual understanding, mutual love and mutual respect for each other.

  • All the religions have common good virtues and teachings.

  • Let us highlight the common and similar teachings and leave the differences to practice personally in our own homes and in the premise of the religious worshipping places. We must fulfil our religious rituals and prayers in our own houses and in worshipping places.

  • We should avoid argues, debates, quarrels and discussions on religious differences. These must be avoided in the public but it should be strictly done  in the confines of our own religious community.

  • We should have a communication hot line open always to discuss any social and religious problems among the different faiths as we are staying together and the potential problems will crop up any time.

Engaged Islam is the path we, Muslims in Myanmar should choose, in this modern world of multiethnic society.

  • As we are staying in a non-Islamic country, it is more important for us not to isolate our-selves.

  • But we must communicate, relate, discuss and have a dialogue with or Buddhist Burmese friends.

  • No man is an island. We should not just stay in our own religious atmosphere.

  • We have a lot of things to do in unity despite of our differences in religions.

  • We have to build our beloved country.

  • We have to work together to eradicate hard core poor. Many social and welfare works. World peace and more important than that, peace, stability and progress of Myanmar etc.

We should cooperage extensively in various social and welfare works.

 Please just read the following article by HRH Raja Petra Kamarudin

The law of relativity
Posted by Raja Petra   
Thursday, 10 January 2008
Mankind is quick to judge and pass judgement according to their own values and beliefs. They believe that if they believe it is right then it has to be right and if they believe it is wrong then it has to be wrong. NO HOLDS BARREDRaja Petra KamarudinImage

For example, I am a poor man. I am poor in relation to the wealth that Bill Gates has. And Malaysia Today is making me poorer by the day. But in relation to a Bangladeshi labourer who washes dishes in a Mamak restaurant for a living, I am a rich man. After all, how many Bangladeshi labourers live in a semi-detached house overlooking a golf club? So perception is therefore everything. And this perception can be influenced or clouded by time and place.

There is another thing that influences how you see things. And this would be your own values and beliefs. If you believe that such a thing is right then it would become right, and vice versa. And this belief, again, would be influenced by time and place.

In the pre-Islamic days, women in the Arabian Peninsular were allowed more than one husband. And daughters would be buried alive because women are ‘worthless’ compared to men. Women are merely ‘property’ that can be passed down just like sheep and camels. Nevertheless, in spite of women being regarded as property, they could have more than one husband. In Europe, at around that same time, women would be made to wear chastity belts to ensure that they did not indulge in sex with another man. And halfway across the world the women there, ‘second-class’ people according to Arab standards, could legally enjoy sex with many men.

The same time but in two different places and what was right for one society was very wrong for another. So who are we to judge what is right and what is wrong? Right and wrong all depends on when that particular thing happened and where it happened.

Right and wrong are very much in the mind. It very much depends on how you have been brought up and educated and what your mind has been conditioned to become. And religion of course plays a very big part in all this.

Let us look at another example. Muslims would be very offended if you invite them for dinner and the food is non-halal or there is pork on the table. Even if there is no pork on the table but the kitchen cooks pork they would still feel offended. You have to ensure that the restaurant is totally pork-free and that the food is halal. It is not enough that pork is not on the table.

But Muslims do not feel offended if they invite vegetarians, Hindus or Buddhists for dinner and there is beef on the table. While Muslims may become very violent if you serve them pork, they are cool about serving vegetarians, Hindus and Buddhists, beef. If you point out to them that according to your religious belief beef is not halal, they would just suggest you lay off the beef. They would not apologise and instruct the waiter to remove the beef. They would then continue consuming beef in front of you. Try eating pork in front of them and see how they would react.

To Muslims, it is wrong to serve pork or even have it on the table or cooked in the kitchen. But it is right to serve beef and have it cooked in the kitchen and even eat it in front of you while you look on totally repulsed by the sight. The Muslim view of right and wrong would be what is right and wrong in Islam. What about what is right and wrong in the other religions? Muslims regard only Islam as the true religion and all other religions as false so they will only take what Islam says is right and wrong as the criteria. The right and wrong for the other religions need to be ignored or else you would be regarded as ‘practicing’ the values of another religion.

Unfortunately, this value system and the yardstick adopted to gauge right from wrong make Muslims very selfish. They only worry about what is right and wrong from the Islamic perspective while totally ignoring what may be allowed or taboo for the other religions. They would not bother to find out the religious persuasions of their dinner guests or ensure that the right menu is prepared in compliance to that particular religious belief. But they expect you to know that they are Muslims and that Islam forbids pork. And it is your duty to ensure that the restaurant is totally halal and that not only there is no pork cooked or served anywhere in the restaurant but that the beef and other livestock have been properly slaughtered the correct Islamic way.

Mankind is quick to judge and pass judgement according to their own values and beliefs. They believe that if they believe it is right then it has to be right and if they believe it is wrong then it has to be wrong. And they will use the present time and place and according to how they have been brought up and educated into believing as the criteria.

In the days before the French Revolution, cat burning was a popular form of entertainment. Cats would be rounded up and placed in a cage and then lowered slowly into an open fire. The cats would scream with pain, and as they burned the spectators would clap and squeal with delight. Yes, this was a very popular form of entertainment in France in the days before cable TV, the internet, computer games and the like.

There is of course nothing wrong with that form of entertainment. This is not considered cruelty to animals. Yes, there is nothing wrong and it is not cruel against the backdrop of France 500 years ago. Try doing that in Paris today and see what happens. Therefore, what was right 500 years ago in France is wrong today. And 500 years ago even the ‘primitive’ and ‘backward’ Malays in this country would not burn alive hundreds of cats for entertainment. It was wrong for Malays to subject cats to what today would be regarded as cruelty even 500 years ago when it was fashionable in France and a very popular form of entertainment. Right and wrong therefore depends on who you are, where you are, and at what point of time or when you are considering all this.

Now let us look at religion. Every religion, not only Islam, says it is right and that all the other religions are wrong. But which one is the really right religion? Do you know? Of course you do know. And your answer would be: the right religion is the religion you were born into and which you were brought up in and taught to believe in. All the others are wrong.

But how can you be sure of this? Is it because you have been brainwashed and indoctrinated so? Okay, what if you were born into a Muslim family instead of a Christian family? Would you still say that Jesus was the last Prophet and that Muhammad was a fake? You were taught your entire life that Islam is the true religion and all other religions are false. Your entire family is Muslim and you have been taught to believe that if you do not believe in Islam you will be sent to hell where you will remain forever. How would you not believe this is so?

Right and wrong all depend on how you were born. If you were born in Sweden to a Christian family then your beliefs would be moulded along that society’s value system. And if you were born in Saudi Arabia to a Wahabbi family then your beliefs would be moulded along that society’s value system. In both situations you would believe you are right. And in both situations you could actually be wrong.

How could both be right? One has to be right and the other wrong. But the right and wrong would all depend on which family you were born into. So right could be wrong and wrong could be right according to who you are in terms of time, race and religious beliefs. Therefore, since right and wrong are not static but would change according to which family you were born into and at which point of time, then there cannot be any right and wrong. Right and wrong do not exist. Right and wrong are merely how you perceive things and perceptions — since they are influenced by time, place, upbringing, etc. — are not real.

But mankind will not accept this. No one would declare that the religion they believe in is wrong while the religion they do not believe in is right. Right is always what you believe in and wrong would be all which is opposed to what you believe in. That is the value system you will uphold.

But how do you even know in the first place that there is such a thing called religion and that it came from God? You don’t. You only have faith. And you will allow your faith to decide your beliefs. This is what you have been taught and what those who have taught you have been taught before that. So it is a hand-me-down ‘knowledge’ that cannot be proven but must be believed only because those before you have believed the same.

If I tell you that God listens to my prayers every night you would believe this because you believe the same thing. In fact, billions of people believe this same thing so as long as this belief is shared by the majority then it must be right. But if I tell you that God talks to me through my notebook computer and He leaves me messages on my word processor you would not believe me mainly because no one else believes the same thing. Your beliefs and your perception of right and wrong therefore is based on majority view. As long as the majority thinks the same then this is correct. It is wrong only when it goes against the majority view. Cat burning, if made into an international event, would be right only if many think so, as was so in France 500 years ago. Would you think that boxing is an acceptable sport if 99% of the world condemned it? If boxing is acceptable why not duels with pistols?

You may think this statement is ridiculous. Well, it would not be considered ridiculous during the time of the Romans when gladiators battled to the death in the Coliseum. It may be wrong today but it was very right then. And as recent as 150 years ago witches were burned alive at the stake in ‘modern’ Europe and America. An estimated 20,000-50,000 witches were burned alive over 300 years or so and it was very much right then and sanctioned, in fact encouraged, by the church. It is only wrong to burn witches today.

The throw of a dice

     
Posted by Raja Petra   
Monday, 28 January 2008
Undeniably, our beliefs and prejudices are influenced by the environment we are brought up in. The era we live in also plays a very important part in all this. 250 years ago I would not be running Malaysia Today. Instead, I would be holding a keris in my hand and would be leading an army to oust the government and replace it with a better government.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Image

RPK, I have a simple experiment for you to prove that what we said is a whole bunch of baloney.

Please ask your lovely wife Ms. Marina why she converted to Islam?

Then ask her again:

1) If you were a Christian will she convert?

2) If you were a Jew will she convert?

3) If you were Chinese will she convert?

4) If you were an atheist will she convert?

5) Lastly, tell us if you are mama boy and mama said no to Islam will she convert?

If she can give you the same answer every time, then she is a true believer of Islam.

written by Semuaok, January 28, 2008 | 00:11:42 (with editing of grammatical/spelling errors)

————————–

 

Dear Semuaok, I really don’t know what you are going on about and what your five questions have to do with the subject matter, which is Malaysia is a failed state. Anyway, so as to not give you the impression I am at a loss for words, in 1973, my wife Mabel was informed by the Imam Besar of the Masjid Negara that since she is a Catholic she need not convert to Islam just to marry me. She can remain a Catholic and still marry me. Not being a practicing Muslim myself, other than the fact I was merely born a Muslim, I did not insist she convert and was very happy to maintain status quo. After all, I did enjoy escorting her to church on Christmas Eve and Christmas was a family tradition on my mother’s side of the family, though it was never regarded as a religious affair – sort of like New Year’s Eve. (We actually went to church to look at the girls, if you know what I mean).

 

To cut a long story even longer, she wanted to convert on her own free will and later some of her cousins and their entire family, plus her mother (my mother-in-law), converted as well – although I had no plans to marry any of them, so you can’t blame this on marriage. Some of her cousins remained Catholics while her sister and family remained Buddhists. My wife, Mabel, took on the ‘Muslim’ name Marina, which is not quite a Muslim name as such. But then, in that sense, neither is my name Petra a Muslim name as well. The name Marina was suggested by the wife of the then Deputy Chief of the Special Branch, Raja Adnan Raja Abdullah, my brother’s father-in-law.

I really did not live the life of a Muslim so I honestly can’t say that I set a good example for her to follow and that she became ‘attracted’ to Islam because of me. Actually, I could be regarded as a very bad Muslim and it would make sense that my example should have put her off from converting to Islam. Anyway, she wanted to convert on her own free will and without any prompting from me and in spite of the Imam Besar of the Masjid Negara telling her that she need not convert.

They say those who are born Muslims have a very shallow knowledge of Islam while the ‘Orientalists’ and converts seem to study Islam in greater depth and have a better understanding of the religion. After all, when you are born a Muslim you are sent to religious and Quran recital classes at a very tender age and at that age you are just taught to follow, obey and believe without doubts and without question. All you need to do is attend Friday prayers at any mosque and you will hear the imam preach that we must not question, doubt or dispute what the guru tells us as that would go against Islamic teachings. We are also taught that we must always learn religion from a ‘human’ guru and never alone from ‘non-human’ books because if we do then the devil (shaitan) will become our guru.

Invariably, because of this ‘understanding’ of Islam, Muslims shy away from conducting research and would rather sit cross-legged on the floor of the mosque and absorb anything and everything that the religious teachers tell us without debate or question. We assume that the guru knows what he is talking about and to question, dispute or doubt what is being taught would cause us to be led astray.

The so-called ‘Golden Age of Islam’ was actually during the time of Harun Al Rashid. This was the time of innovation and invention. In the era when Europe still believed that headaches are caused by the devil entering our head, the Muslims diagnosed headaches as brain tumours. In the era when Europeans summoned priests to exorcise the devils from our heads, the Muslims performed brain surgery to remove the tumour. Irrigation, clocks, ‘modern’ weapons of war, etc., were invented by the Muslims. The Europeans then had no notion of precise time while the Muslims invented clocks that used water to drive the mechanism which could tell time to the nearest second. Arid desert land were irrigated using mechanical pumps and soon became fertile enough to support agriculture. And so on and so forth.

Of course, not all inventions were from scratch and not all the scientists were Muslims. Some were Jews or Christians living in Muslim lands. The Muslims went to China to learn how to make gunpowder, but while the Chinese used gunpowder for ‘entertainment’ purposes such as in firecrackers and fireworks, the Muslims used gunpowder to make cannons and whacked the shit out of the Crusaders who were merely using swords and bow-and-arrows. Saladin or Sallahuddin was not a brilliant general as much as he was aided by ‘modern’ technology to defeat the Europeans and capture Palestine.

Eventually, a conflict arose between the ruling elite, who were seen as not Islamic enough, and the members of the cloth. The conflict was finally settled with an agreement that religion would come under the jurisdiction of the ulamak while the ruling elite would just run the state. The ulamak decided on the laws and on what would be regarded as right and wrong. That, basically, was how the Shariah came into being although the Islamists would dispute this opinion and would insist that the Shariah existed since the time of Prophet Muhammad.

The ulamak eventually prohibited innovation and called it bidaah and that was the beginning of the end for Muslim technology. If I can be so bold as to say at the risk of my head getting separated from my shoulders that the ulamak ‘killed’ Islam. The Europeans mastered Arabic and went to Muslim Spain to learn from the Muslims. They then went back to Europe and translated all the Arabic books into western languages. While the Muslims slid backwards because of the prohibition on innovation (bidaah), the Europeans innovated even further and propelled forwards. Today, Muslim countries can’t even make a plastic cup and all are in the category of failed states.

Anyway, to cut a long story even longer, my wife, now called Marina, learned how to recite the Quran from Tok Guru Haji Abbas Khatib Muhammad, a man most would know if they hail from Kuala Ibai, home of the famous ‘floating’ mosque south of Kuala Terengganu. She also read Hadith Sahih Bukhari and Kitab Imam Ghazzali, basically recommended reading for those who want to become ‘proper’ Muslims.

But there was one problem in all this though. In spite of the ten or so trips she made to Mekah and the various readings and religious classes she attended, my wife had been brought up to think, unlike the ‘born’ Muslims who have been taught to accept and believe without question, dispute or debate. So she read more. And she researched. And we both sat for long hours with dozens of books spread out across the bed to refer and cross-refer the various and different opinions on what Islam really teaches and what Islam is all about.

My wife pointed out to me the verse in the Quran that says do not accept anything without verification. She also pointed out the verse that asked do we want to merely follow the majority belief and justify this with the excuse that we just followed what our ancestors believed before us whereas our ancestors were wrong? She then read books written by both Muslims as well as ‘Orientalists’ (who sometimes do better research and know more about Islam than even Muslims themselves) to get a wider and more balanced view on Islam. She and I would spend hours at the bookshops scouring the bookshelves in search of books that would satisfy our lust for more knowledge.

One book she read, which is in fact a very popular book, related how one day the Prophet’s wife got accidentally left in the desert when she went to answer the call of nature and the caravan went off without realising she was not around. This book was trying to explain how the animosity between the Prophet’s son-in-law cum cousin, Ali, and the Prophet’s youngest wife, Aishah, came about. A young, handsome Arab happened to pass by and saw the frantic Aishah marooned in the desert and he immediately recognised her as one of the Prophet’s wives although he had never met her before. He recognised her as one of the Prophet’s wives because she wore a tudung and only the Prophet’s wives wore tudungs.

The young, handsome Arab came to Aishah’s rescue and the following day she was reunited with the caravan which by then had realised she was missing and had stopped, wondering what they should do. Aishah was missing for one whole night and when she rode up the next morning with this young, handsome Arab this started tongues wagging. Eventually, the whole of Medina was gossiping about the ‘affair’ Aishah had with the young, handsome Arab and Ali pressured the Prophet to divorce her to protect his reputation. Muhammad was a Prophet and he could not afford people gossiping about his ‘unfaithful’ wife. Invariably, this was how the animosity between Ali and Aishah started and later, when Ali became the Fourth Caliph, Aishah led an army from Mekah to attack Ali in Medina. The tragedy to this whole thing is that this animosity still exists even after 1,400 years. And this is one of the reasons for the conflict between the Shiahs and the Sunnis that has taken millions of lives in the many Muslim versus Muslim wars since the time of Ali-Aishah.

This was not a story about whether Muslim women should wear tudungs. It was a story about what led to the War of the Camel fought between Ali and Aishah. But my wife did not miss that part about the young, handsome Arab man immediately recognising Aishah as one of the Prophet’s wives because of the tudung she wore and that only the Prophet’s wives wore tudungs. My wife then read what the Quran said about women having to wear tudungs and the verses in the Quran she came across spoke about covering your bosom and that when you talk to any of the Prophet’s wives you must ‘screen’ yourself and not gaze into their eyes.

Okay, I have dragged this long story far enough and will now address your questions, Semuaok. I really do not know whether my wife would have converted to Islam had I been born a Christian, Jew, Chinese, Indian, Atheist, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. Maybe she would or maybe she wouldn’t have. Who can say? But I do know she is a better-read Muslim than many ‘born’ Muslims. Furthermore, many have converted to Islam not because of marriage but for other reasons such as because they have studied many religions and finally decided that Islam is the best choice. How did they come to that decision that Islam is the best choice whereas others feel that Islam is in fact the worst choice (probably you included)?

These people are not farmers or fishermen but are in fact very intelligent and well-educated people. Surely they are able to think. And with that super-brain they still chose Islam? How do we explain this? Can we say that these people are not really that clever after all or that Islam is really the better religion and these people know it? How do we answer this question? A religious person would argue that God moved their hearts and a Muslim would say that God showed them the correct path. But if you are not religious or not a Muslim you would not accept this argument as valid.

I can’t speak for my wife, Semuaok, but I can certainly testify that had I been born in Sweden to a Christian family I would most definitely not be born a Muslim. Pure common sense can tell you that and you need not go to a religious school to understand this. And had I been born in Saudi Arabia or Iran then I would most likely be a Wahhabi Muslim or a Shiah Muslim respectively. However, had I been born in Sweden or China or Tibet or wherever, and whether I would later leave the religion of my parents and convert to Islam is a question no one, if they are honest with themselves, can answer.

Undeniably, our beliefs and prejudices are influenced by the environment we are brought up in. The era we live in also plays a very important part in all this. 250 years ago I would not be running Malaysia Today. Instead, I would be holding a keris in my hand and would be leading an army to oust the government and replace it with a better government. That was how my ancestors lived their lives and I have no reason to suspect I would be any different. I have a terrible temper, as did all my ancestors before me, so, just like my ancestors, I will not take any crap from anyone. The Internal Security Act did not come into law until 1960 but 15 years before that one of my grandfathers, Raja Musa (Moses), was exiled to the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean for opposing the government. Even earlier than that another of my ancestors, Raja Haji, died fighting the Dutch in Melaka. The Dutch honoured him with the title Raja Api (Prince of Fire) in spite of him being ‘the enemy’. And many of his great-grandfathers and grandfathers before that died fighting the Siamese and the other superpowers of that era.

Of course, that was then, when fighting governments and superpowers was a noble and manly thing to do. And plundering the Dutch and British ships was an honourable profession and women would swoon over you and fall over each other to become one of your twenty wives. Today, they would hang me by the neck until I die or lock me away in Kamunting and throw away the key. Anyway, I don’t think I want to die plundering British ships in the Straits of Melaka.

I have said this before in one of my previous articles and I will say it again: when and where you were born will determine what you become. As I also said, I would like to be more than just a Blogger. I would like to be at the head of an army that topples this government. But that does not work any more. Today, we have elections and democratically-elected governments. So that is how we shall have to change the government in spite of the elections being heavily rigged in favour of the ruling party. And as to whether my wife would today be a Muslim if not for the fact that she met me and later we got married, hey, I don’t even know whether you would be asking me that question had you been born in Java and came to this country in a boat to look for work in one of the construction sites. Some things in life will have to remain a mystery. Maybe someone, somewhere, threw a dice so now we are what we are. Who knows?

A STUDY OF ISLAMIC ARAKAN COINAGE

A STUDY OF ISLAMIC ARAKAN COINAGE  

Dr San Oo Aung_

Note: The following was extracted from the Wikipedia, TALK PAGE Burmese Indian article from my argument with other Wiki Editors_

I started doing research on our Muslim history  fifteen years ago. Therefore I have a lot of facts and although I tried my best to put in the relevant facts only in your so called ENCYCLOPEDIA, it is a little bit long.

This is not a fairy tale Mr – – – . Even 1001 Arabian nights is quite long.

If you can prove that Arakan is not related to Burma and Bangladesh is out of Indian sub continent, my facts written there could be labelled irrelevant.

After all, you all want to lump the Burmese Indian Muslims in this Burmese Indians site or section. So, all the Muslim related facts are appropriate here. Because of your decision (to put all of us under the Burmese Indians) only, Hindi and Buddhist Indians’ related facts became relevant to mention. TQ very much. However, after putting or feeding all the facts, I will stay away from further comments or trying to put back the facts, you erased. You all are free to edit, as you like. My world is much larger than to waste in this small fighting.

Ko  – – -, sorry that you misunderstood my threats as directing to you. Don’t take as an insult, what you do to my article or what happens to you is not important for me at all.

I am only warning the relevant authorities above  to stop the act of GENOCIDE on all of our Muslim-brothers in Burma/Myanmar. These atrocities are even against the Buddha’s teachings. We are trying to persuade the world Muslim countries to support the US action in UNSC. See, we had successfully persuaded Qatar and Indonesia!Please feel free to edit my articles into short and precise up to the Wiki standard. For me 15 years of my collection made me bias. ( Becoming Nga_thine_mya_taut Hin_hone.)But please understand me, I could prove that I had tried to be concise by looking at the following fact_I wrote one very short section only, Arakan Kings minted coins with Muslim names and declaration of Islamic faith. The facts behind are just the gist from the following_
“ARAKAN’S PLACE IN THE CIVILIZATION OF THE BAY”
A STUDY OF COINAGE AND FOREIGN RELATIONSM.S. COLLIS, in collaboration with San Shwe Bu. The Article below appeared in BURMA RESEARCH SOCIETY 50TH ANNIVERSARY PUBLICATION’S, NO-2, RANGOON 1960, FROM PAGE-1485-504.

Coins found in Arakan.

Mr. Htoon Aung Gyaw, Barrister-at-law and certain other private collectors of Akyab have coins found in Arakan.

Sixteen of them were confirmed to belong to the Maruk-U dynasty (1430 to 1784 AD) were distinct specimens, bearing the dates and titles of fifteen different kings of that time.

Moreover there were a few coins belonging to the Wesali dynasty (788 to 951 AD).

I propose in this paper to show the relationship of these coins to Indian coinage as a whole and to use them as a document from which to draw certain general conclusions on the history of Arakan.

As that history has never been written and as the data for the early centuries are scanty and controversial, I trust that the inevitable shortcomings of this summary will be understood and excused.

Types of Indian coinage.

Speaking generally the coins of India fall into two distinct types, the Hindu and the Mohamedan.

Specimens of Hindu coinage of as far back as 600 BC are in the British Museum, but it was not until India came into Hindu contact with Mediterranean civilization in 327 BC. that its coinage developed and became an art. This connection, beginning with the invasion of Alexander and continuing through the Satraps into Roman times resulted first in the striking of coins almost pure Greek in design and gradually in the adaptation of that design to Hindu ends.

With the Guptas (320 to 455 AD) a coinage had been evolved which while owing much to the Greek theory of form, was pure Hindu in feeling. Now all this Hindu coinage, from its highest as a work of art to its lowest as a barbarous confusion, has certain definite characteristics. It exhibits portraits of kings, figures and animals, deities and symbols of deities. Inscriptions take a very subordinate place; dates are infrequent; as it is not always possible to identify a coin with a particular king, a classification by dynasties and localities is the most that can often be attempted.

Mohamedan Types of Indian coinage:

Mahomedan coinage, which came into India in 1203 AD has opposite characteristics.

  1. It is of an inscriptional nature.

  2. Save for a few exceptions, it contains not a portrait or a figure.

  3. The King’s name, title, date and faith are carefully recorded.

  4. The coin’s artistic merit depends upon the calligraphy;

  5. and as everyone is aware who has studied the Persian script as at mural decoration this can give a remarkably balanced and vital impression of art.

Coins of Arakan.

The coins found in Arakan belong to both the groups described above;

  1. those of Wesali are Hindu and

  2. those of Mrauk-U are Mahomedan.

Wesaii, Archacological evidence.

The ruins of the city are stilI to be seen on the bank of a tidal creek, about six miles from Mrauk -U (now known as Myo Haung) and about fifty miles inland from the Bay of Bengal. The site has neither been surveyed nor excavated, but the casual observer may perceive the remains of brick walls enclosing a large area. On the south side was to be seen until lately portions of a stone pier. Within the walls are numerous mounds and lying on them are pieces of stone statuary, bas-reliefs, capitals, floral designs in stone and inscriptions in the Nagari character of the 8th century. All these remains are purely Hindu in execution and subject. The figures represent deities; on the capitals is the sacred bull of Siva; the style is rougher than the best Hindu work, but is not debased. Close by the walls is a large stone monolith of Buddha belonging to the same date. This is the image now known as the Paragri, praying at which Fra Manrique found King Thiri-thu-dhamma eight centuries later. Various Nagari inscriptions, still un deciphered, have been found in the vicinity of the city; and at Mahamuni, 15 miles N. E., are to be seen surrounding the mound on which once sat the great image of the Buddha, which is now in Mandalay, a number of statues and bas-reliefs of the Hindu Pantheon. Incomplete and insufficiently worked out as is this archaeological evidence, it suggests that in the city of Wesali were practised both the Hindu and Buddhist religions or that it was a Mahayanist city.Wesaii MSS. evidence.Mr. San Shwe Bu has placed in my hands his translation of a curious Arakanese MS. called. “The true chronicle of the Great Image.” Its caligraphy is order than that of the rest of the MSS. in my possession. – Sam Shwe Bu. The age of this MS. like that of most Arakanese MSS. is unknown, but it purports to give some account of the

Wesali dynasty. 

Its contents in this respect may be summarized as follows: –The area now known as north Arakan had been for many years before the 8th century the seat of Hindu dynasties. In 788 AD. a new dynasty known as the Chandra, founded the city of Wesali. This city became a noted trade port to which as many as a thousand ships came annually. The Chandra kings were upholders of Buddhism, guarding and glorifying the Mahamunni shrine; their territory extended as far north as Chittagong. The dynasty came to an end in 957 AD. being overwhelmed by a Mongolian invasion. The conclusion to be drawn from this MS. is that Wesali was an easterly Hindu kingdom of Bengal, following the Mahayanist form of Buddhism and that both government and people were Indian as the Mongolian influx had not yet occurred.Hinayanism had already fled the India and that Mahayana Buddhism was really a compromise in which the Hindu gods and Buddha ranked equally.

Wesaii a Mahayanist State.

These are some of the data for forming an opinion as to the religious condition of Bengal from 400-1000 AD. As Wesali was a Hindu State adjacent there to, the presumption is that its religious history was similar. Hinayanism had vanished; Mahayanism had compromised with original Hinduism to such a point that Buddha had become one of many gods; even the sexual magic of Tantricism was no anomaly. Such, it appears, was the Chandra kingdom of Wesaii, Mahayanist in the sense that word carried in the Bengal of the 8th century. It is significant that at least one Tantric sculpture has been found in Wesaii.Wesali, as will be explained later, must be regarded not as an early Burmese but as a late Hindu State. With the whole tradition of the great Hindu past it had inherited coinage. All these data indicate that the coins of Wesali were in the pure Brahmanical tradition. But coins bearing Brahmanical symbols are not inconsistent with a Mahayanist dynasty. I am not aware of any Indian coin of a period later than the 1 st century AD., which contains a Buddhist figure, symbol or inscription. The Mahayanist kings of the periods mentioned above struck Brahmanical coins. Nothing is therefore more to be expected than that the Wesali coins should also be Brahminical. It is merely another proof of how closely the Mahayanist Buddhism of 8th century Bengal approximated to Hinduism.

The end of Wesaii & the beginning of the Arakanese. Such was the kingdom of Wesali, an Indian state in 957 AD, occurred an event which was to change it from an Indian into an Indo-Chinese realm and to endow the region of Arakan with its present characteristics.

The “True Chronicle” records that in the year 957 AD., a Mongolian invasion swept over Wesali, destroyed the Chandras and placed on their throne Mongolian kings.

Over the border in Bengal the same deluge carried away the Pala kings. The evidence for this latter irruption is fully cited in a paper by Mr. Banerji and there is no doubt that the Mongolian invasion, which terminated the ruler of the Palas, closed also the epoch of the Chandras.

But while in Bengal the Hindus regained their supremacy in a few years, it would seem that in Arakan the entry of the Mongolians was decisive.

  1. They cut Arakan away from India

  2. and mixing in sufficient number with the inhabitants of the east side of the present lndo-Burma divide,

  3. created that Indo-Mongoloid stock now known as the Arakanese.

  4. This emergence of a new race was not the work of a single invasion. The MSS record subsequent Mongolian incursions. But the date 957 AD., may be said to mark the appearance of the Arakanese, and the beginning of a fresh period.

The period 957-1430 AD, General characteristics.

The cardinal characteristic of the new period is that Arakan (as the area may now be called) looked East instead of West. The Mongolians were savages and following their invasion supervened a period of darkness.

But the invaders became educated in the culture of the country they had conquered.

The resulting civilization was of a mediaeval character. The capital was moved from Wesali to the Lemro River, some fifteen miles south-east. There during the ensuing centuries numerous dynasties ruled each with its own city but always in the same locality. Few archaeological remains of this period of five centuries exist, though brick foundations may be seen on the Lemro bank. In Bengal the Mohamedans were not to arrive till 1203. Over the mountains in Burma proper was the quaint kingdom of Pagan. It was with Pagan alone the Arakan had any considerable dealings and it was to learn much. Thus during these five centureis the inhabitants of Arakan became more similar to the inhabitants of Burma and less like Indians. Their religion became less Mahayanist and more Hinayanist.Particular Characteristics of the period 957-1430 A. D.

There existed a road connecting the Lemro with Pagan. That road was known as the Buywet ma-nyo. It has long been overgrown, but the present Government is seeking to resurvey it. It was along that road that the ideas of Burma passed into Arakan. But India was again to play its part in the making of Arakan.

To understand the age of Mrauk-U (1430 – 1785 AD.), the profound changes which had taken place in Bengal since the time of the Palas must be called to mind.

From all points of view, military, political and cultural, the Moslem Sultanates were in the van of civilization. For every other state they represented modernity, as industrial Europe now represent what is modern for Asia and Africa. Bengal was absorbed into this great polity in l293 AD. But that was its extreme eastern limit.Why Araken turned towards India in 1450.

The circumstances which made Arakan turn from the East and look West to the Moslem States were political.

In 1404 A. D., Min Saw Mwan was King of Arakan, ruling from Launggret, one of the Lemro Cities already mentioned.

As the kings of Pagan had regarded Arakan as their feudatory. The Kings of Ava, succeeded them was annoyed by the Arakanese who raided the Yaw and Laungshe. The heir apparent to the throne of Ava invaded Arakan in 1406.

Min Saw Mwan fled the country, taking refuge at Gaur, the capital of the Sultan of Bengal.

That kingdom had been independent of the Sultanate of Delhi for eighty six years. It was one of the many sovereign states of the world wide Moslem polity.The Arakanese king remained there for twenty four years, leaving his country in the hands of the Burmese. (This part of the history was written in other chapter.)

The Arakanese king loomed from the mediaeval to the modern, from the fragile fairyland of the Glass Palace Chronicle to the robust extravaganza of the Thousand Nights and one Night.

  • Nasir-ud-din restored him in 1430 A.D.

  • and Mrauk-U was built.

  • It is noteworthy that one of that Sultan’s coins was recently found near the site of that city. It is a unique document in the history of Arakan.

Origin of Arakanese coinage.

Nasir-ud-din’s coin is in the tradition and it was on that coin that the coinage of Mrauk-U was subsequently modeled.

In this way Arakan became definitely oriented towards the Moslem State.

Contact with a modern civilization resulted in a renaissance. The country’s great age began.

The Mrauk-U dynasty

l450-1786 Period 1. 1430-1530.

As feudatory to Bengal.

It was a curious fact that while the government of Further India was Mongolian-Buddhist, that of India and westwards beyond was Mongolian- Mohamedan. That basic distinction centred in the matter of war and agggrandisement.

They founded what was known as the Arakanese empire.

  • For the hundred years, 1430 to 1530,

  • Arakan remained feudatory to Bengal,

  • paid tribute and

  • learnt history and

  • politics.

  • Eleven kings followed one another at Mrauk-U in undistinguished succession.

During the whole of Minbin’s (Zabauk Shah) reign the administration of Bengal was totally defenseless. Minbin occupied Eastern Bengal and remained to Arakan for the next hundred and twenty years, till 1666. Its administration was left in the hands of twelve local rajahs, who paid an annual tribute to the Arakanese king’s Viceroyat Chittagong. In Mr. Htoon Aung Gyaw’s collection is one of Minbin’s coins. It presents a succinct commentary on the sudden rise of Arakan to importance in the Bay.

  • On one side of it is inscribed the word “Minbin” in the Burmese character.

  • On the reverse in Nagari is his Moslem title, Zabauk Shah.

  • So Arakan had turned into a Sultanate.

  • The Court was shaped in Gaur and Delhi;

  • there were the eunuchs and the seraglio, the slaves and the executioner.

  • But it remained Hinayana Buddhist. Mahamunni was still there, still fervently worshipped.

The architecture of the Period.It is Hindu, but of so unique a design. This architecture was the work of Indian builders employed by Minbin and working to his general specifications. It illustrates the cosmopolitan origins of the state of Mrauk-U, which derived from the Hindu and theBuddhist as well as from the Prortuguese and the Moslem. But it also indicates how Minbin was able to fuse diverse elements into a particular and separate style.

If Minbin founded the prosperity of Mrauk-U, Razagri, his sussessor of forty years later, may be said to have consolidated it. In 1576 central and western Bengal was definitely administered by Akbar. Hence the Arakanese in eastern Bengal found themselves on the frontier of the Moghul. There was now no buffer state between.

It was known that the Moghul regarded all Bengal as rightly his and that it was entered in his records as such. Hence it behaved Mrauk-U to guard that frontier well. But it was not feasible to do so with the regular army. Arrangements were therefore made with Portuguese mariners who had been allowed to found a trade settlement and refitting base near Chittagong. It was agreed between them and the king that they would protect the frontier against the Moghul in return for all the trade openings their position at Chittagong afforded. The king had his brother or near relative as Viceroy. Portuguese, made a dash at the city of Mrauk-U itself but they were defeated. Thus at this time, the government of Mrauk-U was strong enough to keep the Portuguese in order. Maruk-U, having turned the tables on Bengal proceeded to do the same on Burma,

This was the first and only period in its history when Arakan was able not only to repulse the Burmese but even to annex part of their country.

  • Razagiri, in alliance with Ava, took Pegu.

  • On the division of the spoils the strip up to and including Syriam and Moulmein was added to his long coastline.

  • This campaign was rendered possible by his excellent navy and Razagri in appointing the Portuguese de Brito, as Governor of Syriam was repeating the policy of the north west frontier. He depended on those mariners, in conjunction, presumably, with his own seamen,to keep his borders for him.

For a short period during the reign of Razagri,

Arakan extended from Dacca and the Sundabans to Moulmein, a coast strip of a thousand miles in length and varying from 150 to 20 miles in depth.

This considerable dominion was built up by means of the strong cosmopolitan army and navy organized by Minbin and by inducing the Portuguese outside his army of fight for him in return for trade concessions. It is difficult to conceive of a state with less reliable foundations. But during the short years of its greatness, the century from 1540 to 1640, it was brilliant and imposing.

Copying the imperial Court of Delhi, its kings adopted the title of Padshah.

The French traveller Fyiard, who was in India at the time, sums up its position in the Bay as second only to that of the Moghul. In my studies from Fra Manrique and the Arakanese MSS. I have tried to paint a picture of Arakan at this moment of its highest destiny. He depended upon his foreign mercenaries. These were ready to unmake him. The sanctity of authority was gone. Moreover the victories of previous reigns had flooded the country with Moghul, Burmese and Portuguese prisoners of war.

These were centers of discontent on which any adventurer could count. On such men counted Shuja, Aurangzebe’s elder brother, rightful Emperor of Hindustan, when he fled to Arakan after being worsted in the struggle for the imperial crown which followed the death of Shah Jahan. Only a strong national king can control an army of foreign paid soldiers.

After 1600 a change for the worse overcame the Portuguese. They became pirates.

They recruited their numbers from the halfbreeds. Yet it was on the good faith of these desperate men that the King of Mrauk-U depended for the defense of his Northwest Frontier. As the 17th century advanced, the Moghuls consolidated their administration. But Bengal remained and irritant. It was the base from which resolute pirates crossed into their domains, raiding even to Moorshedabed.

The pirate boats were manned by pure Portuguese, half-breeds and Arakanese. They seized from the riverbanks’ goods and persons. They were latter sold in Arakan, as slaves.

But it was a shortsighted policy for the kings of Arakan to annoy so strong a neighbouring State as the Moghul Empire. However, it is doubtful whether the usurping kings after Thiri-thu-dhamma attempted to control the Portuguese. They had established an independent bandit State on the Bengal border.

So intolerable a condition of affairs could not last. Moghul Sultan Aurangzebe sent to Bengal a strong Governor, Shaistah Khan with instructions to stop the piracy.

Shaistah Khan warned the Purtuguese bandits to come over to his side before he attack. They were promised the rewards greater than they had received from the king of Arakan.

In 1665 the Moghul operations took place, the huge fleet built by the Nawab, the assisted by the Dutch defeat the rest of the Portuguese fleet. When the Moghuls advanced into Arakan proper, the Arakanese army resisted them in force with success.

After the loss of Chittagong the territory of the Kingdom of Mrauk-U was reduced to the present districts of Akyab, Kyaukpyu and Sandoway.

Those areas In Lower Burma which had been won by Razagri and resumed in part by Thiri–ru-dhamma had all lapsed back to the Burmese. Arakan was now confined to its natural boundaries and was no larger than it had been two hundred and fifty years previously. There were twenty five kings of Mrauk-U during those hundred and nineteen years. The coins themselves exhibits little variations Their design is neither more not less inserving. It remains in the Mohamedan tradition of 1450 AD.The fall of Mrauk-U.

The Moghuls had ceased to an expanding power. Burma was mearly as distracted as Arakan; the English were new comers.

In 1760 the Alaungpaya dynasty had united Burma, Mrauk-U’s fate was certain. In 1782 Thaniada became king of Maruk-U and Ngathande asked Bodawpaya, king of Burma, to invade the realm.After so long a period of looking west, Arakan turned eastward again. Ngathande’s idea was that Bodawpaya would place him on the throne as a feudatory monarch.. Bodawpaya, however used Ngathande, invaded the country and reduced it to the position of an administered province, the first time in its long history that it had lost a home government of its own. It is noteworthy that when Bodawpaya decided to annex Arakan, he bowed to the old idea that the Mahamuni was the defence of that kingdom. For so many centures it had been the common belief of Further India that as long as Mahamuni was in Arakan, the country would remain independent, that Bodawpaya thought it safer to tamper with those calculations in Yadaya which were reputed to protect both the image and the realm. He therefore sent masters of that Art before his troops crossed the mountains and the formula were detected. After his victory he removed Mahamuni to Amarapura, where it now sits. This event, long prophesied and long guarded against, crushed the Arakanese more than defeat in the field. Bodawpaya’s first act was to strike a medallion in the style of the Mrauk-U coinage.The Burmese administration of Arakan. ( 1784 to 1825) Bodawpaya’s medallion.Burmese had never used coins and hence he had no model of his own. He copied therefore the Moslem design. The legend reads- “The kingdom of the Master of Amarapura and of Many White Elephants.” This is the numismatic document to the fall of Mrauk-U.It was the last coin struck in Arakan.The Burmese governor of Mrauk-U found the country in a very lawless state. One Chinbya organized a rebellion. To secure peace and maintain order the Burmese put to death some and deported others to Burma. Two hundred thousand are said to have fled to India.In her previous connections with outside states Arakan had always been the gainer. As feudatory to Pagan she had received the Little Vehicle and learnt her present alphabet. As feudatory to Bengal she had laid the foundations of her great age. But administered as a governorship by the Burmese of the 18th century, she had nothing to gain for the Burmese had nothing to teach a country which for centuries had been in touch with the world of thought and action through the Moslem Sultanates at a time when Burma herself was isolated and backward. But an extraordinary turn of events had changed the face of India since the fall of Chittagong in 1666. The Moghuls had disappeared and their place had been taken by the English. They became irritated with the Burmese in 1824 because of frontier raids. The Burmese were not aware that the English, the masters of Hindustan represented a more modern polity than their own. The Arakanese, however, were better informed. For just as Min Saw Mwan realised in 1430 that the Sultanate of Bengal was a polity in the van of the world’s thought and would be able to drive the Burmese out of Arakan and restore him, so the Arakanese of 1824 perceived that the English were moderns and that the Burmese could not resist them. Accordingly they sided enthusiastically with them and facilitated in every way the English occupation of Arakan in 1825. When the Burmese had fled and Mrauk-U was occupied by the English, the Arakanese expected that the history of 1430 would be repeated and that an Arakanese prince would be placed on the throne.The significance of the English administration of Arakan. 1825 to 1929. Conclusion.The rhythm of the history of Arakan is that of a dancer who sways now to the East and now to the West. Rarely has she stood Upright.AUTHORITIS CONSULTED1.Mr. Tun Aung Gyaw’sArakanese coins, arranged, translated and annotated by Mr. San Shwe Bu.
2.The True Chronicle of the Great Image. An Arakanese MSS. translated by Mr. San Shwe Bu.
3.Notes from private Arakanese MSS. placed at my disposal by Mr. San Shwe Bu.
4.Lecture by Mr. Htoon Chan, Bar-at-law. Printed in “Arakan News” of May 1916.
5.The coins of India. P. Brown.
6.Coinages of Asia. S. Allan.
7.The Palas of Bengal, Banerji
8.Early History of India. V. Smith.
9.Travels of Fa-Hein. Edited by Giles.
10.Padre Maestro Fray Seb. Manrique (Translated in Bengal Past and Present).
11.Shihabuddin Talish. Persian MS. Translated by Sarkar.
12.The Glass Palace Chronicle. Tin and Luce.
13.History of Bengal, Stewari.
14.Musaimans of Bengal. Fuzli Rubbee.
15.Outline of Burmese History. Harvey.
16.Catalogue of Coins in Phayre Provincial Museum.
17.Reportof Superintendent, Archaeoligical Survey, Burma, fortheyears 1917,1921,1922 and1923.
18.From Akbar to Aurangzebe. Moreland.
History of the Portuguese in Bengal. Campos.
19.Coins of Arakan, of Pegu and of Burma. (In Numisman Orientalia) Sir Arthur Phayre.
The above Article appeared in BURMA RESEARCH SOCIETY, 50TH ANNIVERSARY PUBLICATION’S NO-2, RANGOON 1960, FROM PAGE-1485-504.