After visiting Naypyidaw, most will agree that the city was created to repel outsiders – especially insurgents. However, there is one magnificent exception – the Uppatasanti Pagoda. Also, known as the “Peace Pagoda” the Uppatasanti Pagoda is modeled on the more venerable Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.
Indeed, with its recent consecration in 2009, the pagoda in Naypyidaw is much younger than its Yangon cousin. Additionally, visitors are able to enter the inside of pagoda which is also unique. Inside they will find lots of Myanmar treasures such as the four jade Buddhas. However, the most beautiful aspect of the Uppatasanti Pagoda is its striking golden beauty against the night sky.
Four Buddhas at Uppatasanti Pagoda
Uppatasanti pagoda has four entrances, each leading to a Buddha that faces one of the four cardinal directions.
Features of the pagoda interior include images of four beautiful Buddha statues carved from jadeite jade. The four Buddhas – Kassapa Buddha, Konagamana Buddha, Kakusandha Buddha and Gautama Buddha are the first four Buddhas of the new kalpa – the “Fortunate Aeon”. Therefore, they are prominently displayed throughout the country.
However, at other pagodas in Myanmar they are usually metal or wooden based gold gilded statues.
National Treasure of Myanmar
Jadeite jade, also known as “Burmese Jade” is unique to Myanmar because the country has the largest known deposit in the world. Additionally, Myanmar is a devout Buddhist country and Burmese Jade has meditative qualities which induce calmness and contemplation. Also, the composition of the mineral is similar to diamonds which gives it gem like quality. Indeed, a jadeite jade Buddha pendant is a very precious item in East Asia – especially China.
Additional Features of Uppatasanti Pagoda
The interior of the pagoda also features plaques that portray allegories of Gautama Buddha’s life and accomplishments. The images include his renunciation, austerity, temptation of Mara and also the day of supreme awakening.
Around the exterior of the Pagoda are seven Mahabote altars where devotees can find their zodiac animal. Additionally, accompanying each zodiac animal is a statue of the Buddha and also a statue of a Burmese Nat (native spirit).
In Myanmar, Buddhists pray at the zodiac altars according to the day of the week that they were born. For example, I was born on a Saturday. Therefore, my zodiac animal sign is the dragon and my direction is southwest. As a result, my zodiac statue of the dragon can be found at the southwest corner of the pagoda.
Burmese Buddhists believe that pouring water on the Buddha and their zodiac animal will bring them luck and purify bad karma.
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