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Shin Upagutta

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Shin Upagutta

A streetside shrine of Shin Upagutta in downtown Yangon
In this Burmese name, Shin is an honorific.

Shin Upagutta (Burmese: ရှင်ဥပဂုတ္တ or ရှင်ဥပဂုတ် ; also spelt Shin Upagot, Shin Upagote or Shin U Pagoke) is a Buddhist arahant commonly venerated by Buddhists in Burma, as he is believed to protect worshipers from danger, including floods and storms. He is also venerated in Northern Thailand and Laos, where he is known as Upakhut (อุปคุต).[1]

He is commonly depicted sitting cross-legged, dressed in monk's robes and with a hand tilted into an alms bowl called a thabeik, and is associated with nāga, water serpents. He is believed to be either Moggaliputta-Tissa, a Buddhist monk who presided the Third Buddhist Council, Upagupta, a Mahayana arhat, or a creation of Mahayana Buddhism, because he is not described in the Tipitaka, the Pali Canon, and only mentioned in the Burmese historical chronicle, Maha Yazawindawgyi.[2][3]

Some Burmese believe that Shin Upagutta is still living, in a floating brass palace in the southern ocean, and that he can be invoked through a special Pali incantation, and that his mere invisible presence will prevent storms and floods.[4] Shin Upagutta is commonly venerated by people in the Ayeyarwady delta region. A major festival dedicated to Shin Upagutta is in Shwegyin, near Bago, during the Burmese month of Thadingyut.[4] Another, called the Ye Hmyaw Pwe (ရေမျှောပွဲ), is held in Yangon's Chinatown in October and involves a Chinese-style procession and ceremonial dispersal of ashes into the Yangon River.[5]

See also

References

  1. ^ Walker, Andrew (25 April 2007). "Upakhut – saint and spirit". New Mandala. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  2. ^ Houtman, Gustaaf (1990). Traditions of Buddhist Practice in Burma. ILCAA. p. 278. 
  3. ^ Maung Htin Aung (2 October 2008). "Shin Upagote". Folk Elements in Burmese Buddhism. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Paw, Maung. "Moggaliputta Tissa Maha Thera". Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Kaung Htet (10 October 2011). "Buddhist festival marked in Yangon". Myanmar Times. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
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