Dear Dhamma Friends:     Last updated on 2014/2558 9 8, a full moon day;

We call ourselves as Theravada Buddhist following the pristine Theravada dhamma。 But in practice we have adapted our local tradition to suit our needs。 In fact a Theravadin accept only Gotama and Buddhas of the past kalpa and Bodhisattas Metreyya。 Beyond that a Theravadin do not look for helps from any Bodhisattas nor from other deities or Arahants。 Our private shrine is supposed to be exclusively Gotama Buddha lone。 We should be self reliant。 That outlook is too restricted and is only practicable to Monks and Ascetic who already renounced the world。 There is no room to cater for householders at all。 Who in the world do not need divine helps; if we can pray to Buddha to get everything we need to support the family and to offer alms every morning to Monks。 Many must learn to balance the theory and adapt them to suit in our practice for a better living now and a better rebirth in the future。

For example, even female practitioner like Sila Shin, as Theravadin, they found no room to strive for Arahantship, because they cannot be ordained as Bhikkhuni。 So many house holders adapt themselves to worship Arahants like – Shin Thi Wali, Shin Upagote and Deities Gods and Goddesses and some weizza (immortal and some of our most revered Bhikkhu) to gain mundane benefits。 In every shrines at home, we see – so many Sayadaw’s images and Deities God and Goddesses。 We have a saying that said – we need food to practice Sila and to support Monks。 We in Myanmar are very adaptable to the changing time and situation。 We make our wish to the Deities to help our children for good scholastic achievement in school and help us to support our children in their education。

We chant all night long paritta sutta’s so our children be free from dangers。 The parittas are composed and given by our Buddha to use them for protections with Deities’ helps。 All Theravadin Bhikkhu’s chant the parittas sutta to receive helps from the Deities。 The suttas calls for Deities to help us protect our loved ones。 Householders after all are not totally free from worldly responsibility, unlike Bhikkhu who has renounced the world, we need to adapt our practice to suit our needs with the changing time。

Theravada vs. Mahayana.pdf  

Ananta Metta

Maung Paw