Work coordination meeting on Maravijaya Buddha Image, which is the tallest stone Buddha Statue in seated posture in the world, held; Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing cordially greets pilgrims from far and near

NAY PYI TAW August 19

    A work coordination meeting on Maravijaya Buddha Image, which is the tallest stone Buddha Statue in seated posture in the world, located in Dekkhinathiri Township, Nay Pyi Taw, Union Territory, was held at Maravijaya Board of Trustees Office in Maravijaya Buddha Park this afternoon.

Present were the main donor Chairman of State Administra Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Adviser to SAC Chairman Lt-Gen Nyo Saw, Union Minister for Construction U Myo Thant, Union Minister for Energy U Ko Ko Lwin, Lt-Gen Kyaw Swa Lin, Lt-Gen Kan Myint Than and senior military officers from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army), the Nay Pyi Taw Command commander, the deputy minister for Religious Affairs and Culture, and officials.

In his address, the Senior General said efforts should be made to develop Nay Pyi Taw as it is the capital city and the administrative centre of Myanmar.

Nay Pyi Taw should have the characteristics of a State capital. In the late 2017, former Head of State Senior General Than Shwe transferred a huge marble stone donated to him for turning it into a Buddha Image for public obeisance under the leadership of Tatmadaw. Views were pondered from various angles in erecting the grand Buddha statue in the best way.

The best location was selected on the donated land plot for the Image. Careful calculations were made to determine the volume of the marble of the finest quality for curving a 63-foot Buddha Image. Gandakudi chambers and Thudhamma rest houses were also built. The Image was curved into a Bumiphassa posture of the Yadanabon era design In accord with the counsel of OvadacariyaSayadaws, Sixth Synod version of Pitaka treatises were written in both Pali and Romanized Language on the stone tablets with the help of advanced equipment.

Despite some difficulties during the erection stage, Maravijaya Buddha Image could be built successfully. The account recording total amount of donations was finalized and merits gained were shared on the date the consecration ceremony was held. Maravijaya Buddha Image is the tallest stone Buddha Statue in seated posture in the world. Best cultural designs were applied in building the most aweinspiring Buddha Image. All the religious buildings, platforms and the whole compound including Maravijaya Buddha Image are marble structures, and their wonderful architectural designs and grandeur are matchless and cannot be found anywhere. Implementation of such a marvelous project once again may be impossible in terms of the availability of a large marble boulder, the degree of systematic supervision and the situation. According to Myanmar traditions, marble is included in the precious and high class gems. Because of its excellent properties, pilgrims can enjoy peace, tranquility and glory and honour.Special attention must be paid in maintaining even the smallest part of the Image. The marble Image should always be kept clean and preserved.

Spare parts for maintenance undertakings must always be readily available.

Maintenance programs must be laid down in advance. Employees must be appointed to carry out security, maintenance and electricity supply duties and expense for this program must be taken into account. There are remaining portions of the work and parts for machinery must be supplied in advance.

Entrance fees are collected from visitors at the pagodas in some countries. The entrance fee of the Image is fixed at a price affordable for every person.

Board of trustees must be set up to carry out maintenance functions. Proper rules should be sought in appointing members of the boards.

Systematic maintenance measures are required to make the surrounding areas of the pagoda green, neat and pleasant.

The trees planted including the Maha Bodi banyan tree always need to be green and survive. Meanwhile, the religious buildings need to be maintained.

Preparations are necessary for the systematic management of everything. Therefore, any discussions and suggestions are invited for the longterm existence of the Maravijaya Buddha Image.

SAC Chairman’s adviser Lt-Gen Nyo Saw reported on the maintenance of the Buddha Image for its existence as long as the world exists and propagation of the Sasana and the peace and prosperity of the country, measures for maintenance, renovation and management, daily visits of civilians, monks, civil servants and students from across the country and their donations, plans for use of e-tickets for admission and collection of fees, no admission fees for monks, nuns and students, collection of half fees from civil servants holding staff identity cards, measures for the longterm existence of the Buddha Image and stone tablet stupas and other religious buildings so long as the world exists, maintenance of the sacred relics of the Buddha Image, supervisions for maintenance tasks, formation of the Ovadacariya committee, patronage committee, maintenance committee, pagoda board of trustees, advisory committee and support committees, and security and other general matters.

Lt-Gen Kyaw Swa Lin from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army) reported on the formation of the pagoda board of trustees and other necessary departments in various sectors, Brig-Gen Zaw Naing Oo on taking of photos of the water fountain square and stone tablet stupas using drones, plans to build two monastery buildings, construction of a brick mountain outside the chamber and two prayer halls, installation of washbasins, a display of things in the archive, construction of a dining hall for monks, laying of marble on the water fountain square, plans to build ticket boxes at the archways, to install water fountain donors’ names, growing of flower plants and windbreaks, assigning of cleaners and guards for the convenience of visitors, and measures for making the pagoda neat and tidy.

Then, Union Minister for Construction U Myo Thant reported to the Senior General on construction of the entrance road from the expressway to the Buddha image, security gates and check points. Nay Pyi Taw Council Chairman U Than Tun Oo reported to the Senior General on upgrading Myat Mingalar Road while Lt-Gen Kan Myint Than of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army) reported to the Senior General on compilation of records for technologies and designs, measures and techniques to be implemented for the durability of the Buddha image. Deputy Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture U Aye Tun reported to the Senior General on formation of the body of Ovadacariya Sayadaws of the Maravijaya Buddha Image and Commander Brig-Gen Wai Lin reported to the Senior General on security measures being taken.

After hearing the reports, the leading donor Senior General said it is necessary to take measures to prevent undisciplined pilgrimages and to consider ways and means to facilitate pilgrimages of government employees. Plans must be developed to reduce the use of electricity and solar lights have been installed to reduce the use of electricity. It is necessary to take measures to supply drinking water without disruption, to take care of trees that have been planted for greening of the precinct of the Buddha image and to cut grass properly. Efforts must be made to park vehicles of pilgrims properly. Plans are underway to allow monks, nuns and students to make pilgrimages to the Buddha image free of charge and to collect only 50 percent of the entrance fees for government employees.

Entrance fees will be collected as of 3 September to raise funds for the durability, cleanliness and pleasantness of the Buddha image. In conclusion, the Senior General urged responsible officials to spend the funds depending on the revenues and gave other necessary instructions.

After the meeting, the Senior General and party paid obeisance in the precinct of the Maravijaya Buddha Image, chamber for Buddha images, precinct where the Maha Bodhi banyan tree has been planted, the fountain square and the Aggadhipati Sasana Beikman and cordially greeted public pilgrims.

After auspicious ceremonies to consecrate the Maravijaya Buddha Image, to hoist gold umbrellas atop stupas for stone inscriptions and to share merit were held on a grand scale on 1 August, members of the Sangha and the public have been allowed to make pilgrimages to the Buddha image as of 8 August and the Buddha image is crowded with pilgrims from the entire country every day.

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