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Maha Muni Buddha

Listed under Monuments & Landmarks in Mandalay, Burma.

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Legends tell that Buddha once went to teach among the people of northern Burma. The local king requested the Buddha to leave an image of himself for the benefit of the people. Buddha sat for a week of meditation under a Bodhi tree while Sakka, a king of the gods, created a life-like image of great beauty. Pleased with the image, the Buddha decided to imbue it with his spiritual essence for a period of five thousand years.

According to ancient tradition, only five likenesses of the Buddha were said to have been made during his lifetime: two were in India, two in paradise, and the fifth is the Maha Muni or ‘Great Sage.’ Archaeologists believe the image was probably cast during the reign of King Chandra Surya, who ascended the throne in AD 146, some 600 years after the Buddha actually passed away. Little is known of the Maha Muni over the next fifteen hundred years. It was stolen, moved around by various kings and was once buried beneath a crumbling temple in the jungle. Brought to Mandalay in 1784 and placed within a specially built shrine, it is the most venerated Buddha image in all of Burma. The statue, 4 meters tall and originally cast of metal, is now entirely coated with a two-inch thick layer of gold leaf. So much gold leaf has been applied by so many different hands that the figure has developed an irregular outline. Many thousands of pilgrims visit the shrine each day and a great festival in early February draws hundreds of thousands.

Maha Muni Buddha Information on Sacred Sites.

Written by  Martin Gray.

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very informative for a knowledge seeker!

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