July 31 ~  Truth Within Prayer for Burma

"Be a light unto yourself. Be your own confidence. Hold to the truth within, as to the only truth." ~ Buddha

Shwedagon: Golden Pagoda of Myanmar

Truth radiates from Shwedagon, Golden Pagoda of Myanmar, in the mysterious land formerly known as Burma, nestled between Thailand, Laos, China, and India.

In the heart of Yangon, the capital city, Myanmar's gleaming main spire rises about 300 feet (100 meters) atop Singutarra Hill. At sunrise and sunset, the Shwedagon Paya radiates with passionate holiness.

One of Buddhism’s most sacred sites, the legend goes that the golden, bell-shaped Shwedagon was constructed to enshrine eight hairs of the Gautama Buddha, who taught: "You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy."

Plated with over 30 tons of gold, and surrounded by pavilions and 64 stupas, the spiritual symbol holds thousands of diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. Built over 2500 years ago, writer Rudyard Kipling called it "a golden mystery" and beautiful winking wonder."

Surrounded by statues and shrines, the dome symbolizes the strength of Burmese culture and the timelessness of its history. Where visitors come to offer tributes, ring the bell to sway the wind and bring luck, and pray. "To meditate," said Buddha, "is to listen with a receptive heart."

A celebration of faith, where prayer lifts to the air and the spirit is serene, Burmese pilgrims visit the large temple complex at least once in their lifetime, walking clockwise in Buddhists tradition and light.

More BUDDHA Quotations

Hold to truth and light within.