February 12, 2017

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Monastic education schools and monastic institutions in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar

Ba Sein
(Religious Affairs)

Monastic education schools and monastic institutions have been existing in Myanmar during the periods of the successive Myanmar Kings since thousand years ago. As you know, Myanmar has been a Theravada Buddhist country since then. Over 90 percett of population of Myanmar believe in Buddhism and they all are Buddhists. There is no Myanmar king that does not carry out the purification, perpetutation and propagation of the Buddha Sasana throughout the country. The countless number of shrines and pagodas built and constructed by successive Myanmar Kings can be seen all over the country till now. There is at least a monastery in every village throughout the country. The Myanmar Buddhist children of ancient time have only to go to monaststery at their village becsuse there were no academic modern schools at that time . Most of Myanmar nationals of ancient time educated from the monasteries or the monastic education schools. There were many famous and learned monks and people who were well-educated from the monastic education schools all over the country. The British countial imperialists invaded and occupied Myanmar after fighting three invading wars.
The British Colonial Government ruled the whole Myanmar for one hundred years and oppressed Myanmar nationals by divisive rule. On other-hand, they persuaded Myanmar nationals to be liveve in other religious leading to overwhelm the Buddhism, the primitive religion of Myanmar nationals. The monastic education schools and monastic institutions throughout Myanmar became weak and faint because they were not encouraged and supported by the British Colonial Government at all. However, some of farsighted and learned Myanmar Chief Monks (Maha Theras)and lay-devotees managed to continue keeping up the monastic education schools and the monastic institutions throughout the country. At present, there are altoghther over fifty-one thousand monasterises and over fifteenthousand monastic education schools all over the Union of Myanmar. Over sixteen hundred thousand monks (members of the sangha) and twenty three haundred thousand novices (Samerneras) are dwelling at these monasteries and learning the Buddhast scriptures (The Pariyatti Education) which mainly lead to the prurfication, perpetuation and propagation of the Buddha Sasana in the Universe.
And now, the Ministry of Religious Affairs of the Government of the Union of Myanmar is encouraging and supporting the monastic education schools thought out the State and regions in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar under the guidance3 of the State Sanghamahanayaka Committee of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. The main aims and objectives of the Monastic Education Schools are to uplift of morale and morality of the young generations and to understand well the real, basic essence of the Buddhism, and Myanmar culture and traditions which handed down through ancient Myanmar generations. It is found that most of Myanmar young generations of today do not know and understand the real basic essence of Buddhism and the ancient coulture and traditions of Myanmar. In fact Myanmar culture and traditions mainly depend on the culture of Buddhism. For the time being, many young novices, boys and girls are attending the monastic education shoots all over the country.
During the periods of the British Colonial Government, the monastic education schools throughout Myanmar faded out and nearly disappeared for not being encouraged and supported by the British Colonial authorities concerned. After Myanmar had regained her Independence in 1948, some of the farsighted learned chief monks, lay devotees and the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar tried to re-introduce the monastic education schools. But they were not completely successful because of confuse and unstable political situation of those days. And so, many young new generations of those days were not able to go to monastic education schools for learning the real basic essence of the Buddhism and the ancient Myanmar culture and traditions. Hence, most of Myanmar young generation who were born in those days did not know well and understand the basic essence of Buddhism and Myanmar culture and traditions.
We can see vividly and clearly that ruthless and cruel activities of killing and beheading innocent people by destructive elements broke out in the period of 1988 destructive . It is learnt that the destructiN;e elements who committed these crimes are most young people who do not know the basic essence of the Buddhism and Myanmar culture and traditions.
According to the bitter and cruel experience of 1988 disturbance, the State Law and Order Restoration Council of the Union of Myanmar of the time decided to encourage and support the monastic education schools which lead to cultivate the young new generation to become good, gentle and polite in future. Besides, the Monastic Institutions, the main centres for the Pariyatti Sasana (learning canonical Texts of the Buddha) which lead to the purification, perpetuation and propagation of the Buddha Sasana have been more supported and encouraged by the Government of the State Law and Order Restoration Coucil of the Union of Myanmar of the time since 18 September 1988.
An old saying goes, “Whenever religion is pure, the society prospers”. The situation of the nation is well-developed and prosperous. when the members of the Order (Bhikkhsu) unanimously perform and practice the law and fulfill their religious duties. It is further learnt that there are altogether 1568 Monastic education schools in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

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