Nay Pyi Taw December 28
A ceremony to donate cash contributions to build Thata Thattaha Mahabodhi Pagoda in the precinct of Buddha Garden near the village of Pan Kwe, some 15 miles from Kengtung in eastern Shan State was held this morning at Dhammayone near the project site. It was attended by members of Sangha led by Abbot of Sasana Wai Pon La Monastery in Kengtung Agga Maha Gandhavasaca Bhaddanta Vijaya and Sila Dhamma Gontha Tawya Monastery (Wa-Si-Peik) Sayadaw Bhaddanta Vimala.
Also present at the ceremony were Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and wife Daw Kyu Kyu Hla, Commander-in-Chief (Navy) Admiral Tin Aung San, Commander-in-Chief (Air) General Maung Maung Kyaw, senior military officers of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army), commander of Triangle Region Command Maj-Gen Khin Hlaing and donors.
First, the Senior General and the congregation received the Five Precepts from Sasana Wai Pon La Sayadaw and Metta Sutta recited by members of Sangha. Regarding the building of Thata Thattaha Mahabodhi Pagoda, he said the pagoda is meant for pilgrims and local ethnic people of hilly region who cannot afford to go and visit Bodh Gaya in India, and for regional stability and prosperity. He thanked the donors who donated funds to build the pagoda.
The Senior General regarding the donation of cash contributions for the pagoda said Abbaya Raja Muni Buddha Image is built to bring about peace and stability in eastern Shan State, perpetuate Theravada Buddhism, and contribute to regional development as local and foreign pilgrims visit the site. And it was planned to build the replica of Thata Thattaha Mahabodhi Temple in India’s Bodh Gaya where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment so that local ethnic people and Buddhists from neighboring countries bordering with Kengtung can also pay visit to the pagoda. And he thanked the donors who made cash contributions.
The Senior General, the Commander-in-Chief (Navy) and the Commander-in-Chief (Air) accepted cash contributions and returned certificates of honour to donors. The Senior General and the congregation received sermons from Sasana Wai Pon La Sayadaw and shared merits gained for the donation. The Senior General and party then inspected the construction of Thata Thattaha Mahabodhi Pagoda and replica of the four sites where the Buddha is said to have been born, attained enlightenment, preach Dharma and Parinirvana. They then offered meals to members of Sangha.
This morning, the Senior General and wife paid homage to Abbaya Raja Muni Buddha image, and offered flowers, water and light to the Buddha image, and viewed the marble stone carvings depicting the life of Buddha beneath the altar of the Buddha.
The amount of cash contributions donated at the second time cash donation for the pagoda totalled Ks-430 million, and cash contributions at the first time totalled over Ks-335 million. So, the total amount donated by Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) families and donors is over Ks-765 million. The Thata Thattha Mahabodhi Pagoda will be the replica of Mahabodhi Temple in India’s Bodh Gaya, and its height will be 108 feet. And replica of the four sites where the Buddha is said to have been born, attained enlightenment, preach Dharma and Parinirvana will also be built along with the pagoda.