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The sacred sites of Burma are amongst the most beautiful and spectacular in all of Asia. However, the fame and sacredness of these holy places rests almost solely on the myths and legends that surround their founding and the origins of their relics. These Buddhist tales can arise and evolve with astounding speed and creativity drawing on a variety of sources ranging from local folklore to Sri Lankan chronicles. This book uncovers the evidence for and traces the development of these intricate myths across a wide spectrum of sacred sites ranging from Yangon and the Mon State in Lower Burma to Pagan and Mandalay in Upper Burma as well as considering the areas of Shan influence around Inle lake. The author illustrates how sacred sites can emerge with remarkable frequency even in our own time with only those that possess myths catching the imagination of the Buddhist faithful having any chance of long term survival. This book represents an essential read for anyone interested in the development of Buddhism in its many aspects, be they its art, archaeology, history or belief.
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|Author by||Donald Martin Stadtner|