NAY PYI TAW, February 27
A ceremony to enshrine religious objects into the upper reliquary, hoist a diamond orb, a pennant-shaped vane and a golden umbrella atop Htilominlo Pagoda was held in conjunction with consecration this morning as it has already been renovated at the damaged parts caused by a powerful earthquake which hit in Bagan ancient cultural region of NyaungU Township in Mandalay Region on 24 August 2016. The ceremony was attended by Chairman of State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee Abhidhaja Maha Ratthaguru Abhidhaja Agga Maha Saddhammajotika Agga Maha Pandita Bhamo Sayadaw Dr. Bhaddanta Kumarabhivamsa and members of the Sangha.
Also present at the ceremony were Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and wife Daw Kyu Kyu Hla, former Vice-President U Nyan Tun and wife, Union Minister for Home Affairs Lt-Gen Soe Htut and wife, Union Minister for Border Affairs Lt-Gen Ye Aung and wife, Commander-in-Chief (Navy) Admiral Tin Aung San and wife, Commander-in-Chief (Air) General Maung Maung Kyaw and wife, senior military officers from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army) and their wives, retired senior military officers and their wives, Commander of Central Command Maj-Gen Kyaw Swa Lin and wife, famous artistes, invited guests, officers, other ranks and families, religious associations and local people.
First, the Senior General and wife offered rice into the emerald alms-bowl, flowers, water and oil lights to the Buddha image in the pavilion. The Senior General and congregation took the Nine Precepts from Bhamo Sayadaw. Members of the Sangha recited Parittas. Afterwards, Paritta flowers, water, thread and sand were scattered in the precinct of the pagoda. The Senior General and wife offered a jewel diamond orb, a golden casket, a pennant-shaped vane and offerings to Bhamo Sayadaw.
The Commander-in-Chief (Navy) and wife, the Commander-in-Chief (Air) and wife, former Vice-President U Nyan Tun and wife, senior military officers and those present offered religious objects for the upper reliquary and alms to members of the Sangha. The congregation took a sermon delivered by Bhamo Sayadaw and shared merits gained. The Senior General presented cash awards to staff from the Department of Archaeology and National Museum (Bagan Branch) and Special Building Group (7) of the Ministry of Construction who systematically maintained Htilominlo Pagoda through Director U Aung Aung Kyaw of Department of Archaeology and National Museum (Bagan Branch) and Permanent Secretary U Win Tint of the Ministry of Construction.
The Senior General kept jewellery items in the golden casket. The Senior General and wife and party conveyed religious objects for the upper reliquary, the jewel diamond orb, the pennant-shaped vane and tiers of the golden umbrella round the pagoda clockwise. At the auspicious time, the Senior General and party conveyed religious objects for the upper reli quary, the jewel diamond orb, the pennant-shaped vane and tiers of the golden umbrella atop the pagoda by the decorated float, and sprinkled scented water on them and performed the rituals of golden and silver showers to mark successful completion of the ceremony.
Members of the Sangha consecrated Htilominlo Pagoda. After the ceremony, the Senior General and wife, and those present offered day time meals to members of the Sangha and served the guests with lunch. Htilominlo Pagoda was built by the king with three titles namely Zeyatheinkha, Nataungmyar and Htilominlo, son of King Narapatisithu in 12th Century. Its pagoda number is 1812. Its stone plaque is kept as stone plaque No. 50 at the Bagan museum. According to the sayings, King Narapatisithu had five sons. As the king wished to appoint the Crown Prince to the youngest Prince Zeyatheinkha, he erected the white umbrella with a vow, saying “Let the white umbrella tilt towards the son who deserves to succeed to the throne”.
For the time being, the white umbrella tilted to Prince Zeyatheinkha, and the prince was appointed the Crown Prince. Since then, the titles of Nataungmyar (Zeyatheinkha) faded out and his title was famous as “Htilominlo”. When he became king, he built the pagoda called Htilominlo Pagoda by the people. It is a triple tunnel pagoda, the middle tunnel of which is a secret, dark and wide one. Visitors can go to the middle tunnel from the secret entrance at the top of a spiral stairs. The pagoda is significant with works of laying bricks, architectural works of the ectangular-shaped arch, masonry works, and yellow glaze in green on the marble. Well-wishers renovated parts of the pagoda damaged by earthquakes in successive eras. Earthquakes hit four times in 2016. As a powerful earthquake which jolted on 24 August 2016 caused much damage, families of the Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) and well-wishers donated cash for renovation of amaged stupas and temples as well as religious edifices in Bagan-NyaungU region. Among these damaged temples and stupas, Htilominlo Pagoda was enovated, and the grand ceremony to enshrine religious objects into the upper reliquary, hoist a diamond orb, a pennant-shaped vane and a golden umbrella atop the pagoda took place today.