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CAS's beings' trip to holy, beautiful Myanmar
For 5 frantic days in December 2005, three beings @ CAS travelled to Myanmar, tugging along 7 giant
luggage, containing clothings, chocolates, biscuits, pens, soft toys, from and for our friends to one
In addition, these 3 beings, with the highest of devotions, gave their hearts to some of the holiest shrines
in Myanmar: the Shwedagon Pagoda / the Katiyo Rock / Tooth-Relic of Lord Buddha ( A gift from China to
the Myanmar non-democratically-elected military regime, where just less than 30 years ago, they were
busy burning temples, splitting Buddha statues, disrobing monks and nuns in the frenzied Cultural
Revolution -- what irony !!) and one of the largest reclining Buddha in the world.
Following in the footsteps of HH the 100th Ganden Trisur [ Official Head Emeritus of the holy Gelugpa
Lineage ] and 3 other beings @ CAS who went on a private pilgrimage trip to Myanmar in December 2004,
the present 3 beings @ CAS attempted to cover much ground, physically and spiritually, in clumsy parroting
of their Perfect Teacher !!
The beings reached Yangon, the capital of Myanmar in the afternoon on Day 1. After dropping the luggage
in the hotel, the beings crossed to the mall next to their hotel for a hurried lunch of vegetarian fried rice.
They debated over lunch on whether they have been "hacked" by the food court: 800 kyat per plate.
[ About 4.03805 kyat ( the Myanmar currency ) to S$1/- ]
At about 2 pm [ Myanmar time ] then, the beings flagged down a cab and proceeded to the Shwedagon --
the awesome golden pagoda, containing Lord Buddha's hair and the relic of 3 Buddhas of the past.
The Shwedagon is THE most venerated and honoured pagoda in the whole of Myanmar,which is about twice
the size of Germany, of more than 54 million people.
In 1586, Ralph Fitch, an English explorer wrote:
" ... it is the fairest place, as i suppose, that is in the world."
After the manifestation of Buddhahood by Lord Shakyamuni, 2 Burmese merchants passed by the forest
where they were overwhelmed by the glory and light of the Buddha.
"Venerable Sir, are you King of the Gods, Lord and Creator of the Universe ??"
"No. I am not," calmly replied the Buddha.
"Are you, then, Venerable Sir, an Universal Monarch, the King of all men and Righteous Ruler of the
"No. I am not," again calmly replied the Buddha.
Before long,, the merchants were coming to the end of their list of all the types and species of all
animate beings that live !!
At their wits end, the merchants finally asked, "Then, who, Venerable Sir, are you ??"
"I am a Buddha - an Enlightened One. I do not belong to any realms of beings though i am the Teacher of
all. I arise out of compassion for the world solely for the good and liberation of all."
The merchants, filled with the highest joy at meeting the Teacher of Gods and Men offered the Buddha honey
cakes of which the Buddha accepted, out of compassion for them and the world, that this may be a cause
for liberation from Cyclic Existence for all beings.
So as to remember the Buddha, the merchants requested for and was given 8 strands of the Buddha's hair.
They returned to Myanmar and offered the precious relic-hair to their King who built a golden pagoda to house
With the help of Sakra - King of the Gods - relics of the 3 previous Buddhas were revealed and housed in the
pagoda and all subsequent kings venerated and expanded upon it.
".... there was tumult among gods and men .... rays emitted by the Hairs penetrated up to the heavens above
and down to hell... the blind see, the deaf hear, the dumb spoke.. the earth quaked, the winds of the ocean
blew, Mount Sumeru shook, lightning flashed, gems rained down until they were knee deep and all trees of the
Himalayas, though not in season, bore blossoms and fruit."
- traditional account on construction of the Shwedagon.
To date, the Shwedagon stands at 99 metres, one of the largest and oldest known human-constructed structure
in the world, [ more than 2,500 years according to traditional accounts and at least 2,000 years according to
modern anthropological studies ], THE largest collection of solid gold in the world [ more than 60 tons ], one of
the largest collection of diamonds, emeralds, rubies in the world [ more than 5 thousand diamonds of more
than 2,000 carats and truly unbelievable collection of other precious stones ].
Emperor Ashoka, one of ancient India's greatest King, personally visited Shwedagon once, completely
captivated by the sheer majesty of the structure and the unmistakably holy aura emanating
from it, describing it as," ... the sole ornament of the world."
The awe-struck beings @ CAS were equally struck at seeing the Shwedagon and offered, solely for good of the
holy Teachings and all beings who have been one's kind mothers repeatedly and uncountably in the past,
as according to the precious instructions of their holy Teachers, a large Topaz, more than 3 kilograms of gold,
white gold and their hearts.
Reciting a short self-initiation text from their "Lam-Dus" Hevajra text and re-taking their Bodhisattva and
Tantric vows from this holiest of pagodas, the beings continued with reciting of the "Three Incisive Precepts",
the final testament of Garab Dorje with commentary by Paltrul Rinpoche, the quint-essential text of the Ati-Yoga
With joy and so much compassion, the fortunate beings @ CAS returned for a happy night of semi-unconscious
sleep at their hotel after spending more than 5 hours at Shwedagon, truly a wonder of the world.
In an open temple beside the main Shwedagon pagoda, hangs a large bell, a few tons heavy, inscribed with the
holy teachings of Lord Buddha.
The Portuguese and English, between them, one or two centuries apart, have tried to ship it off back to the Old
World as their war booty [ the latter is said to want to present to lovely Queen Victoria ] after smashing silly the
embattled Myanmar people, putting to good though wicked use their superior gun-power, in the name of their 3
"Gs": "for Gold, for Glory and for God".
Again and again, the great bell exercises its occult power, sinking the largest of their ships, capable of
transporting much heavier loads.
Everytime, the Myanmar people retrieved the bell to this temple beside the Shwedagon with mere bamboo sticks,
astounding all with its apparent weightlessness !!
With the advent of increased human interaction and understanding, may the Bell now find its permanent home
besides holy Shwedagon !!
The Katiyo Rock
At about 4 am the next morning, the 3 beings, guided by their new-found Myanmar friend, Min Min,
proceeded via public transport, to Katiyo Golden Rock, 160 km to the south of Yangon.
Clinging for dear life at the back of trucks, getting shaken about like rag dolls along baked highways, the beings
are happy to death for the great "purification" wrecking havoc whilst they gritted their teeth amidst mutterings
of mantras, masterfully co-ordinating with scrupulous countings on their rosaries !!
Shouldn't someone kiss their Reebok-encased feet and fling rose petals onto the "die-hards" !!??
The Katiyo Rock is THE other shrine in Myanmar housing one hair of Lord Buddha.
Legend goes that one great Yogi-Practitioner, left this hair of Lord Buddha to Sakra - King of the Gods - who
subsequently placed the precious Hair of Lord Buddha, in a rock whose shape resembles that of the late
great Practitioner and who also then built a pure golden pagoda on top.
Renowned scientists from the greatest universities in the world, physicists and what not, have all attempted
in vain to "scientifically" explain how the Katiyo Rock, is able to perch impossibly, against all laws of gravity,
on the edge of a cliff.
Being educated in some of Singapore's more rigorous and famous schools, the 3 beings filmed and took
photographs at every possible angle in cute attempts at "de-mystifying" what the great scientists
have failed .....
Giving up finally and bowing in utter homage at this "small" miracle* which arises due to the Buddha's greatness,
the beings bought all the most spectacularly beautiful flowers on sale ( these flowers, the beings were told,
were plucked fresh from the surrounding jungles !! ), negotiated and bought a large, powerful electronic spotlight
with the words, "Charitable Assistance Society ( CAS ) - Singapore: for all beings !!" written on it, to be shone as
light offering on the holy, precious rock with Lord Buddha's hair housed in the golden pagoda on top, every single
night, supposedly into posterity. The electricity bill will go to Myanmar's military regime [ good for them !! ] and
bulb shall be re-placed, bill again going to the "Big Brothers".
[ *The Buddha teaches that the REAL and GREATEST miracle is a change of heart !! ]
Jumping at more chances to do good to all, the 3 beings negotiated for 22 slightly bigger -than-palm-size bells
to be hung on the fences surrounding the Katiyo Rock.
In the negotiation package, too, the beings have schemed for the personal name-mantra of their precious,
beloved Root Teacher, the 100th Ganden Trisur:
"OM AH GURU VAJRADHARA SUMATI SURYA SIDDHI HUNG HUNG"
[ Sumati Surya is the name in Sanskrit of Ganden Trisur Rinpoche - Jetsun Lobsang Nyima ] /
as well as the holy mantras of Shri Kalachakra / blissful Hevajra / the kingly Guhyasamaja / great Heruka /
Namgyalma / Chenrezig or Guan Yin / Amitabha / the great Gyalwa Karmapa / holy Mother Green Tara /
Medicine Buddha ...
to be carved onto the 22 gold bells... the powerful gusts of winds carrying tingling of infinite wishes
and blessings to the world from the holy sanctuary of Katiyo Rock.
After a fantastic vegetarian fare and after giving our respects to the great Protector of this holy shrine*, the 3
untiring beings @ CAS proceed to another great pagoda directly opposite the Katiyo Rock.
This stupa houses the precious relics of the great Practitioner who secretly kept Lord Buddha's Hair-relic in His
hair before finally commanding the King of Gods, as final instruction, on building of the Katiyo.
[ *The beings @ CAS intelligently deduced that this great Protector, being the Chief of the 37 powerful
Protector-Spirits of Myanmar and the holy Dharma and whose temple, is the only man-made structure,
together with the Katiyo Rock itself, being spared from the fire that consumed the entire mountain top some
years ago, got to be really powerful and possessed of great merits indeed to have the par excellent karma
to be a designated protector of Lord Buddha's holy Hair !! ]
This pagoda is further re-furbished every few hundred years and the 3 beings @ CAS happen to walk right into a
gap between these few hundred years !!
Not wanting to miss any chances at accumulating so that they could be Buddhas fasting for good of all, they
offered 108 golden bells to be placed on top of this holy pagoda, supposedly into posterity ( again !! ).
Inscribed on the bells are mantras of:
- Sparsha Vajra
- The 100th Ganden Trisur
- Lama Takhyung Barwa
- White Tara
- Ushnisha Vijaya or Namgyalma
- Green Tara
- The Gyalwa Karmapa
- Namo Guru Bhye
- Namo Buddhaya
- Namo Dharmaya
- Namo Sanghaya
- Medicine Buddha
- Guan Yin or Chenrezig
- Mantra of Guru Padmasambhava
- Mantra of Je Tzongkhapa
- Mantra of Amitabha
[ All the rest of the bells being mantra of the great Namgyalma / Ushnisha Vijaya:
OM BHRUM SOHA OM AMRITA AYUR DADE SOHA
the mantra that Lord Buddha Himself, as taught in the great tantras, is THE mantra to place on top of all temples
and pagodas, ensuring the greatest inconceivable good and benefit to the world !! ]
The beings @ CAS recited the long-life prayers of all the holy Teachers -- those whom they know, they recited
the Masters' respective Long-life prayers -- those whom that they don't know, they recited the general Long-life
prayer composed by the great Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche.
Their sorely-missed good friend, Min Min, walked for more than 25 minutes, bare-footed, to buy for them sweet,
hot tea while they sat, with easily more than five thousand most devout Myanmar people - with sprinkling of a
few westerners - around and about the holy Katiyo Rock, in dipping temperature, half-frozen, lips quivering,
fingers clicking ( on their rosaries !! ) and hearts shimmering with blessings from their Root Teachers whom
they see inseparable from Lord Buddha.
Occasionally, too, the beings tear when contemplating the sufferings of mother sentient beings, unbearably pitiful
in their state of "Ma Rigpa" or non-recognition of their own inherent Intrinsic Awareness, uncontrollably whirled
about in samsara..... for the unknown mother cradling her starved baby in Africa, for the chicken skinned for tasty
cutlet, the Tibetan monk who lost his frost-bitten finger to catch a glimpse of their beloved Dalai Lama while
trudging across the Himalayas ~~
Around the thousands of devout congregation, the great protector deities of Myanmar and the holy Teachings,
circumambulate, bestowing their protection and blessings: it is magic ~~
The Reclining Buddha
After spending nearly 2 and a half days at Katiyo Pagoda and returning to Yangon, the 3 very happy beings @ CAS
travelled to pay homage to one of the largest Reclining Buddhas in the world.
Initially meant for any poor monks they could have met, they ended up offering the 5 monk-robes they have
bought for the reclining Buddha, the temple, of which is planning to totally cover with.
It, again, happened to the first day the project started... what blessings !!
Again, they are pleasantly surprised to see a plaque, thanking Khenpo Kunga Wangchuk* and His students for their
offering to the temple.
[ *Khenpo is one of the Teachers of HH the present Sakya Trizin ]
Besides its size, this statue of the reclining Buddha amazes all with the incredible life-like beauty of its eyes.
On the soles of this Buddha, are detailed markings of the 108 auspicious signs of a "Great Lord", every sign
corresponding to the culmination of a "Perfection"*.
[ * According to the Mahayana School, every Buddha will have perfected the 6 Perfections of:
Generosity / Morality / Patience / Joyful Perseverance / Meditation and Wisdom ]
The Tooth-Relic of Lord Buddha
After a feast-full banquet of vegetarian cuisine, generously hosted by the beings' very kindly and helpful,
hospitable Singapore friends, the beings are finally left with one last night in Myanmar.
Tucking in early and then waking up early the next day, the 3 ( by-now !! ) gleeful and irritatingly
grinning beings @ CAS travelled to pay respects to the Tooth-Relic of Lord Buddha on their way to the airport.
Extremely touched to be so near a close personal relic of Teacher of Gods and Men, the beings decided to
offer, for good of all, 3 pure sapphires they have bought to the Tooth-Relic, the management of the temple,
accepting them and promising to offer them in the inner chamber of the holy relic.
The beings are plotting to hold a video-screening session at some auspicious location of their fantastic
Myanmar trip ...... all the great "sights" in this article of which are being captured on the silver screen.
Despite the impossible schedule, the beings @ CAS managed to grab a few of the purest ( within our budget !! )
gems to be offered -- for the good of all ( again and as always !! ) --
- One Ruby for HH the Dalai Lama
- One Ruby for Lama Takhyung Barwa
- One Ruby for the great Nechung Protector
- One Emerald for Green Tara
- One Ruby for Naro Kachod; Vajrayogini
- One Onyx for Yellow Zambhala
- One Sapphire for the great Palden Lhamo
The gems are authentic, as they are acquired from Min Min's super rich Myanmar friends who actually "sold"
the gems to the beings at a frightfully low rate, given the understanding that the beings will be offering them
to the Buddhas and their Teachers --
Our Singapore friends working for more than a decade in Myanmar actually scrutinized the gems and are shocked
that each gems are being "sold" to the beings at impossibly low rate..... !!
After much discussions and debate, the kindest beings @ CAS decided to open up the offer to our thousand
plus friends @ CASoline to partake and share in the incredible merit of offering for good of all mother sentient
beings at some of the holiest shrines in the world --
a) The gold offered at Shwedagon: S$170/-
b) The 22 gold bells at Katiyo Rock: S$6/- each
c) The powerful electrical spot light at Katiyo Rock: S$153/-
d) The 108 gold bells at the pagoda opposite Katiyo Rock: S$2/- each
e) The gems totally costs more than S$1,000/- in total..... any amount offered will be taken to be offered to all the holy beings / objects --
The Topaz and White Gold at Shwedagon and the 3 Sapphires at the Tooth-Relic already "chopped" by the 3 horrible beings @ CAS already.
No obligations at all !!
The offer to share in the merit is purely and solely only to "Share-in-the-Merit" !!
If you need / want any dedications, please include that in your mail. We will request our monks to dedicate for
To reiterate, the writing of this article has taken up more than 6 hours and that being who wrote this is not
going to spoil the whole effort by talking about $$ at the end and allowing people to think that the point of
the whole article is to beg for money ...... [ pardon the "behinds" and the scream !! ]
Even if one out of our thousand readers rejoice.... the beings will be happy liao !!
Technical Points to Note:
Crossed Checks may be sent to:
"Charitable Assistance Society" at
Blk 719, Jurong West Ave 5, #01-66, Singapore 640719
Please indicate clearly at the back of the check to which project-offering your offering is meant for --
If you need a receipt, CAS will issue to you as a transit account but you will need to post to us
your mailing address.
bb & other chickens @ CAS