By Donald K. Swearer
A wide-ranging, readable account of the Theravada Buddhist notion and perform within the Southeast Asian societies of Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka.
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Additional resources for The Buddhist World of Southeast Asia (S U N Y Series in Religious Studies)
May all blessings be yours; may all the gods protect you. By the power of all the Dhammas, may all happiness be yours forever. May all blessings be yours; may all the gods protect you. 44 A reciprocal transaction has just taken place. In return for the offerings presented to the monastic order, the laypeople receive a spiritual blessing. In the calculus of merit making, the participants hope for a reward in a future life brought about by the power of this good deed. Why is this particular ritual of exchange so important?
The popular tradition: inclusive syncretism 21 Merit making links the cosmology of Theravada Buddhism in graphic and practical terms to the daily lives of the people. Recall, for example, the story of the pious monk, Phra Malai, who teaches human beings the heavenly rewards for good deeds and the grim consequences of punishment in hell for evil ones. Late canonical texts, such as the Vim¡navatthu (Stories of the Heavenly Mansions) and the Petavatthu (Stories of the Departed Ghosts), commentaries (atthakatha), and many tales in the vernacular literature of Southeast Asia reinforce the future negative and positive results of behavior in this life.
The New Year Festival In the Buddhist Era lunar calendar of Theravada Southeast Asia, the end of the hot, dry season and the onset of the monsoon rains mark the beginning of a new year. It is celebrated during the month of April (in Myanmar, the month of Tagu) for a period of three to four days. In Thailand the New Year festival is named as Songkran (Sanskrit, sankranta), signaling the change of seasons, or in astrological terms, when the sun leaves the zodiacal sign of Pisces and enters the sign of Aries.