NAY PYI TAW March 31
Ceremonies to hoist jewelled diamond orb, pennant-shaped vane, consecrate Lawkananda Pagoda in Sittwe of Rakhine State
Ceremonies to hoist a jeweled diamond orb and pennant-shaped vane atop Lawkananda Pagoda were held in conjunction with the consecration in Sittwe of Rakhine State this morning, attended by Joint Secretary of the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee Presiding Patron of Pariyatti Dhammikarama Buddhist Learning Centre in Minbya Agga Maha Saddhamma Jotikadhaja Agga Maha Gandhavasaka Pandita Bhaddanta Indacariya Minbya Sayadaw and members of the Sangha.
Also present at the ceremony were Chairman of the State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, wife Daw Kyu Kyu Hla, Council Joint Secretary Lt-Gen Ye Win Oo and wife, SAC members and their wives, Union ministers, the chief minister of Rakhine State and wife, the Chief of the General Staff (Army, Navy and Air) and wife, senior military officers of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief and their wives, the commander of Western Command, invited guests, officers, other ranks and families, religious associations and local people.
The Senior General, wife Daw Kyu Kyu Hla and party paid homage to the Buddha image in the cave of the pagoda and offered alms in the emerald alms bowl, flowers, water and oil light.
The ceremony was opened with three-time recitation of Namo Tassa. Disciples recited Ratanatapuja Gatha and Sabbasangahaka verse to disperse Metta. The Senior General, wife and attendees took the Nine Precepts from Minbya Sayadaw, and members of the Sangha recited Paritta.Disciples offered Paritta flowers, water, threads and sand to members of the Sangha. They then listened to Parittas recited by members of the Sangha.
The disciples took Paritta flowers, water, threads and sand and scattered around the precinct of the pagoda.
The Senior General and his wife offered the jewelled diamond orb and the pennant-shaped vane dedicated to the Lord Buddha to members of theSangha and donated offerings to venerable Sayadaws. The SAC Joint Secretary, SAC members and Union ministers together with attendees offered alms to members of the Sangha.
Presiding Patron of Dhamma Thukha of Sittwe Agga Maha Pandita Agga Maha Saddhamma Jotikadhaja Bhaddanta Soma delivered a sermon, followed by sharing of merits.
The Senior General, wife and party conveyed the jeweled diamond orb and the pennantshaped vane by the decorated palanquin round the pagoda clockwise and sent them to the temporary site in front of the Maha Mingala pavilion. At the auspicious time, the wife of the Senior General, party and attendees conveyed a jewelled diamond orb and the pennant-shaped vane atop the pagoda by the decorated float. The Senior General and party fixed the jewelled diamond orb and the pennant-shaped vane atop the pagoda and sprinkled scented water on them. Then, they performed rituals of golden and silver showers to mark successful completion of the hoisting ceremony.
Before the consecration ceremony, the Senior General and his wife presented cash for offering gold foils to the whole structure of the pagoda to Rakhine State Advocate-General U Hla Thein and Chairman of the pagoda board of trustees U Maung Thein Khaing.
Members of the Sangha consecrated the pagoda and recited Buddha Sasanam Ciram Titthatu three times at the concluding ceremony. They performed rituals of golden and silver showers to mark successful completion of the hoisting ceremony.
The Senior General, wife and party paid homage to the Cakkamuni Buddha image in the Cakkamuni ordination hall, offered alms in the emerald alms bowl, flowers, water and oil light and gave instructions on the long-term existence of the image and beautifying tasks to officials.
After the ceremonies, the Senior General, wife and attendees offered day meals to members of the Sangha and served the guests with a lunch.
Lawkananda Pagoda is located at the junction of Meyu and the mining department road in Yenwesu Ward of Sittwe. Its construction was contributed by well-wishers led by Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council Senior General Than Shwe from 18 February 1995. The golden umbrella was hoisted atop the pagoda on 28 February 1999 and consecration on 2 March. “Lawkananda” means paying homage to the Buddha by human, celestial beings and Brahma abodes. The pagoda is 162 feet with 232 feet in circumference on 459 square feet of terrace, encircled by eight Cetis. Four archways of the pagoda were decorated with ancient Rakhine artistic works and the interior of the wall was decorated with 550 Jataka of the Lord Buddha. Four Buddha images namely Kasusanda, Konagamana, Kassapa and Gotama on marble thrones are magnificently placed in four dimensions in the cave. Currently, well-wishers led by the Senior General renovated the pagoda including the interior of the cave for long-term existence, and the jewelled diamond orb and the pennant-shaped vane were successfully hoisted atop the pagoda successfully today.