By Dragon Naga, a Russian in Yangon



In 1997, the official Myanmar Ministry of Religious Affairs on behalf of U Kyaw Lwin published in Mawlamyine, the capital of the south-eastern Shatat Mon, 40-page brochure with a brief and concise title – “969”. It was printed by the publishing house “Hla Hla Phet”, which translates as “the beauty of both sides.” In this book, U Kyaw Lwin tried to introduce Buddhism to the modern numerological component, which, on the one hand, would be understandable to ordinary Buddhists, on the other hand – would proceed from the fundamental teachings of the Buddha. Such a “digital code” with a high degree of inevitability, sooner or later was to appear in Myanmar Buddhism. The numbers (especially in tune and repeated – “kou kou-chow” – “969”) is easier to remember, and for a single number can stand a whole philosophical concept. A Myanmar with its traditional veneration of numerology (even at the highest level decisions are made ​​taking into account the combination of “lucky” and “unlucky” numbers) just was bound to express the concept of numbers. There was another reason – many mosques, shops and homes of Muslims in Myanmar are decorated with figures 786 – behind them the phrase “In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate.” According to Buddhist preachers, if you catches your eye and you figure 786 it mentally to yourself to read – you have to praise Allah. That is, you, the Buddhist, forcing someone else to pray to God.In the 786 numbers used to the numerological analysis myanmantsy saw another sinister meaning. 7 +8 +6 amount equal to 21 – which means that Muslims are going to make 21 centuries since the adoption of the total domination of Islam in the world. And mechanically reading the numbers on the gate of the mosque, or on the wall of the Muslim tea, Buddhist thus are programmed to accept this idea, and humility in front of her. So, Buddhist scholars and educated many Buddhists believe that our task is to counter the Muslim numerological programming something like this, but with the opposite sign.Myanmar has always been a country with a high degree of religious tolerance. In Yangon are a variety of mosques, Hindu temples and Christian churches and sects, and no one bothers to people in their religious rites and ceremonies – which at times, in the opinion of the European, look strange and wild (eg, bloody, public self-harm in people of Indian origin). Therefore the question of how to bring down the numbers 786 to the gates of mosques, or remove plates with this number from the walls of the question. Something had to give in return to a Buddhist, which caught the eye of “Muslim” is the number, it made ​​up for ten times before hitting him on the way Buddhist numerological symbol. So there was number 969. meaning of this number is very simple – as it should be. In Buddhism there is the concept of the “three treasures” (“Triratna”) – is the Buddha, his teachings (Dharma) and the monastic community (sangha). Buddha inherent in nine major qualities, dharma – six basic qualities and sangha – nine basic qualities. (More information on this topic can be found in Russian in Wikipedia – here: Although monks and say that the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha are countless inherent qualities, but it is 9-6-9 – these are the main ones. Essentially, 969 – is a mnemonic character abbreviation, which carries the information that the Buddhist must constantly remember. Nothing aggressive this number can not be held, and is intended to eliminate in Myanmar creates an imbalance between the Muslim and Buddhist numerology. In his pamphlet U Kyaw Lwin urged his co-religionists in every possible way to promote the 969 number and put it in the greatest possible number of locations for public viewing – on the doors of houses on the walls of cafes and shops owned by Buddhists vehicles (ranging from bicycles with sidecars that in Myanmar, called “Arctic cod”, to large buses.) In the opinion of U Kyaw Lwin and supporters of his monks, Buddhist, each time repeating to himself-encountered number 969 on the eye, thereby repeatedly expressed their respects to the Buddha in person, his teachings and the Buddhist monastic community. As Buddhist prayer – prayer is not at all from a Christian point of view (they do not have access to God the request, and in fact they are – is a set of some basic truths and behavioral norms, repeating that Buddhist thereby “programs” themselves to good deeds), it is clear that the number 969 could well be interpreted as the most brief and Buddhist prayer (though about the place of the number 969 in the modern Theravada Buddhism to Myanmar still debate.) That is, the book U Kyaw Lwin was not directed against any other religion, and probably was an internal affair of Buddhism. But, as always, there were people who engaged in a creative re-interpretation of the ideas expressed in the book. A a few years after the book U Kyaw Lwin, around 2000, in the sangha and the rank and file of the Buddhists began to circulate the text “The threat of extinction of race.” Just the word “race” in this case should not be looking for that aggressive and negative meaning that it sometimes has in the everyday consciousness of Russians, and certainly not worth it to read in the context of Nazi ideas of racial superiority. “national races of Myanmar” in the official propaganda for a long time, and traditionally refers to all nations and nationalities living in the country, their culture and religion affiliation. fact is, we are in the brochure was about the protection of national and religious identity myanmantsev – which in itself is quite normal and does not cause problems. In it were listed and commented 17 moments of good conduct for every Buddhist zischite their religion. Nevertheless, only couple of paragraphs was knocked out of the abstract and general didactic tone – they declared that protecting Buddhism, it is necessary to counteract specifically Islam. Precisely because of these passages of this brochure could never be legally published in Myanmar, since the call to oppose the Muslims straight fall under Article 5 (j) of the 1950, punishing religious extremism and incitement to religious hatred. According to this law, in the case of the pamphlet published author and publisher immediately got to seven-year imprisonment. Nevertheless, the book is circulating in “samizdat “variant, and, judging by the number of copies, enjoyed quite popular. basic principle of countering the aggressive expansion of Islam, according to the anonymous author of the pamphlet, was to “three failures.” First, you need to sever all business ties with the Muslim businessmen (in including not to buy anything from Muslim traders and not to use the services of Muslim masters). Secondly, Buddhists should not enter into marriage with Muslims. And third, it was recommended did not communicate with the Muslims, and to avoid even casual conversations. After the circulation of the text “Three out” so were associated with the movement of “969”, spontaneously arose as a reaction to the book U Kyaw Lwin, which came to be regarded as an integral part – with which not everyone agrees monks. Those who believe that “three out” should put into practice, indicate that they are not aggressive. Nobody calls on Muslims to be rude, to join with them to fight or organize pogroms. should simply ignore their presence next to him and ignore their business. And if they do not have buyers – sooner or later they will close their shops and leave somewhere far away from you. Supporting these ideas refer to the fact that such a practice – a classic embodiment of the principles of Mahatma Gandhi, whom no one could be accused of aggression or extremism. They point out that the campaign “969” from the outset assumed a peaceful cultural and educational focus. Within its framework, the monasteries were established in schools, where the monks explained the basics of Buddhism and the children talked about the rules of proper behavior in society. Throughout the country, the campaign was organized lectures and sermons of the monks. Homily for lay Buddhist monk in Myanmar are usually built on repetition. Shape “feedback” is what the crowd after the monk utters his last words, spoken before a pause, in which, as a rule, is the quintessence of the previous few sentences. So build dialogue with the audience – a rather effective method, and the monks that specifically taught. Repeating the last sentence – it is also an occasion to keep the audience in a permanent mobilization, and therefore – the audience does not sleep well and not distracted perceives said. One of Myanmar newspaper I read an article a sermon in Mawlamyine monk named U Vimala – one of the most famous orators of the campaign “969.” “” So, – he said – today we’ll talk about the number 969. ” He made ​​a brief pause, and then asked, “What are we today we say? ” “969,” – said in unison present.”About what?” – he said into the microphone, raising his voice. “969” , “Louder You must proudly and loudly chanting the numbers: Even if your votes from collapse ceiling of this room – we shall restore it! ” “969!” ” I think that those who have experience of teaching in the school, will appreciate the style and methods of work of the monk with the audience.But the most famous face of the campaign “969” was another monk, Ashin Virat. was born 45 years ago, July 10, 1968, in the town Chyaukse province Mandalay. I must say that Chyaukse known for another famous native – Senior General Than Shwe, and this lies on the old road from Yangon to Mandalay city (by the way, cozy , quiet and relatively clean) is still regarded as the patrimony of senior general, where all his family apart and for their family business. Therefore, the mere fact of birth in Virat Chyaukse spawned many conspiracy theories about what the monk is if not the Shwe , the group of related and influential fellow nominees who are interested in destabilizing the situation today in the country. these statements, in my opinion, quite flimsy – because that is the time when the head of Myanmar Senior General, Virat was behind bars. Moreover, the almost all the monastic life is not with Virat Chyaukse, and from Mandalay. Virat has not even received a full secondary education – he stopped to go to school when he was 14 years old. Since 2001, he was – one of the main promoters of the campaign “969” and one of the fiery its speakers. monk status allowed him to travel with lectures, sermons across the country, and so he became known in many parts of Myanmar. Sermons it is ambitious views were, as they say, “on the edge” – although it is entirely in the context of the peace ideology campaign “969.” However, in 2003 for incitement to religious hatred, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison, which allowed him to become in the eyes of the international human rights defenders and even a “prisoner of conscience”, the victims of the bloody dictatorship for their beliefs. Unsurprisingly, after the elections and the democratic transformation of the country Virat was included in the list of political prisoners to be released. This is why in 2010 he was released from prison on amnesty. 2012 was marked by violent events in Rakhine State. This conflict has radically changed the consciousness myanmantsev . victims of the extremists rohindzhya rakhayntsev thousands of Burmese and settled all over the country with relatives. Meanwhile abroad began a noisy campaign in defense of rohindzhya, and they were portrayed as peaceful people, which for no apparent reason attacked bloody angry Buddhist thugs and began to kill them. Websites Islamic countries were full of insults and curses against the Burmese Buddhist religion and the clergy. That is easy to imagine a situation where you, your nation and your religion on all sides insulted and accused with murder and persecution innocent people, and sitting next to you a man who has these “innocent people” burned the house and killed her mother and raped his sister. As a result of this – from the rejection of “come in large numbers” of public consciousness rohindzhya myanmantsev beginning of the evolution to a complete rejection of Islam as a religion at all. Radicalization public consciousness – it is always dangerous. Gradually formed psychology siege, widespread conspiracy theory (it was then just remember that 7 +8 +6 = 21). Under these conditions come finest hour Ashin Virata. Virat showed himself not only as a good speaker, and clearly knows how to talk to ordinary people (I have already said that an excess of education he can not boast.) It is also a very charismatic person, youthful, slim and open dispose of his charming smile.’s hard to stand out, as being all shaved bald and wearing a maroon monastic martingale. Nevertheless, Virat did it to the fullest. Incidentally, modern monks of Myanmar I know, perhaps, just one more example of such charisma – the older monk, Sayadaw Theological Academy Sitagu , whose name is Ashin Nyanissara. Nyanissare But already 76 years old, and Virat just joined the monastic age of maturity. And in my opinion, the relationship of these two Sayadaw now more fit in the classical scheme of a young offensive “nesistemschika” on the well-established “in the statutes” system (suspended – Bulk Putin, if understandable). Moreover, Virat no formal opposition to the older and less radical generation of monks in the current environment priobrtaet more and more storonik – demonstrated it met 227 most influential Buddhist monks of Myanmar, held in mid-June at the monastery Dhammaduta Chekinda Yama near Yangon. Actually opponents Virat was not there – even those who were unhappy with his style and methods of action, acknowledged that the issues that it raises, do exist and are critical to today’s Myanmar.Virat Popularity and contributed to two more events.

First – in the June issue of the American magazine “Time” a portrait of him with the provocative title “The Face of the Buddhist terror” was placed on the cover. This led to mass demonstrations in support of Virat across the country, and as a result the government has taken the decision to ban this issue of the implementation in Myanmar (he was also banned and Sri Lanka). And on July 21 near the site of the sermon Virat explosion and injuring five people. Virat was not injured, but the fact of the attempted assassination of a charismatic preacher further enhanced his popularity. Virat Sermons can now be found on the Internet (eg on YouTube) and they are widely sold throughout Myanmar on DVD-disks. Virat have its own interesting way of preaching. On many shots he sits, his eyes half closed and said slow monotone voice, creating the audience the impression that he gives a mystical revelation. He finds simple words to explain his position. If you come to a Muslim shop and bought something, he says – you left your money there, which immediately will be used against you your nation and your religion. buddlistke If a Muslim swears that he loves her and wants to marry her – do not believe him, he does it for the money, if he marries a non-Muslim, and turn it in Islam, he will receive a reward from the special fund of the Muslim. Muslims – the source of all the problems in Myanmar society, they behave arrogantly and offensive to Buddhists, and their main goal – the destruction of Buddhism as a religion, myanmantsev conversion to Islam and establishing Muslim rule over Myanmar. They do not choose the means to achieve this, and are the dirtiest and violent ways. This is why Buddhists can not sleep well, concludes Virat – can a man sleep in peace, if there’s a mad dog running around?

Such passages Virat prvieli to ensure that foreign websites it immediately dubbed “Buddhist Bin Laden” and compared with the Hitler. Nevertheless, despite its unfriendly toward Muslims rhetoric, Virat clearly emphasizes that he – totally against any form of violence, extremism and terrorism against Muslims, and that his main goal – to achieve the strengthening of the Buddhist religion and the Myanmar Nation by peaceful means. When I asked an acquaintance of the Buddhist, the owner of a small shop, why he supports the anti-Muslim rhetoric Virat and hung his portrait in the store (along with the sticker “969”), he said that Muslims are to blame for what happened. “We Virat just one, and the one against the violence against Muslims – and see how many preachers on the Muslim side, who calls us to kill and cut off our heads. “He recalls that even before the campaign began,” 969 “, many Muslims pointedly refused buy the products in his shop and insulting him shouting in the street, he products are “dirty” (“I guess they wanted to say that you do not halal products?” – I tried to clarify. “No, they shouted that the products it is dirty – and I have the cleanest shop around the block “). Myanmantsy believe that in colonial times, Muslims were “spoiled” by the British, which gave them more rights than the indigenous Burmese, to the Burmese did not feel themselves masters of the country. In massively in Burma were imported Muslims and Muslims prolitseyskie officials tolerate rudeness and arrogance and that obey that was insulting to the Burmese. They were followed by Muslim businessmen, who bought up the land from the Burmese peasants and Muslim workers from overpopulated India, deprived the work of many Burmese. For all the dislike to General Ne Win majority Burmans believes he did the right thing by giving the Burmese opportunity to feel what it is they, and not alien Muslims – the owners of the country. But these measures of General Ne Win’s just initiated the topic “oppression of Muslims” in Myanmar. Campaign “969”, as well as any non-structured movement that is going through its ups and periods of calm. now – a relatively “peaceful” period. Buddhists, pasted stickers with the numbers 969 on his taxi and Arctic cod, gradually realize that so they may lose Muslim customers – which are often richer Burmese Buddhists and therefore willing to use a taxi. owners Muslim shops hiring salesmen to Buddhists – Buddhists and buyers come to these shops with a clear conscience. And recently I’ve seen in downtown Yangon, as a Buddhist Monk stitched torn bag a Muslim with a sewing machine, and they quietly talked about something and smiled. And I suddenly realized that if the monk decides in the surrounding areas, where a lot of studio and just street “stitched” with sewing machines, find a tailor -Buddhist, he runs the risk of a very long walk through the streets with a bag full of holes.

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