Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Sri Lankan monks in Mingyinyo's Toungoo (c. 1492)

From the biography of Mingyinyo, king of Toungoo (r. 1486-1531), in Fernquest (2005):

"Min-gyi-nyo strengthened Toungoo’s ties to a more universal Buddhism originating in Sri Lanka in 1492 (BE 853). A princess, the future Queen of Yindaw, was born this year and a new capital named Dwayawaddy [Dvaravati] was built. Min-gyi-nyo moved from Myawaddy near Poppe stream to the new city and resided there (UKII:151). Harvey maps this city founding to the modern-day settlement of "Myogyi…near the Lakoktaya pagoda outside Toungoo" (Harvey, 124). A mission of Sinhalese monks from "the lineage of the great Elder Divakara who belonged to the Mahavihara fraternity” visited Min-gyi-nyo in his new city (Pranke, 2004, 268). Min-gyi-nyo invited the great elders Suvannasobhana and Divakara who accompanied this mission “to accept a monastery built for them in the eastern quarter of Dvaravati [Dwayawaddy, Toungoo]. This residence became known as Thihoyauk monastery. Under their guidance, the king purified the Sasana [religion] in the city of Taungoo [Toungoo] so that it would be wholly in accord with the Theravada, and for this reason all monks residing there became united under the lineage of the great elders" (Pranke, 2004, 218). In the same year an umbrella was raised and fixed atop the pagoda which Min-gyi-nyo had built in the middle of the new city (UKII:151). It seems to have been the experience of becoming a new father which stimulated Min-gyi-nyo to engage in this great burst of building and religious activity" (Fernquest, 2005, 54-55).


Fernquest (2005) "Min-gyi-nyo, the Shan invasions of Ava (1524-27, and the beginnings of expansionary warfare in Toungoo Burma: 1486-1539," SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research, Vol. 3, No. 2, Autumn 2005.[Link1,Link2]