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Worshipping Of Nats In Myanmar


Mount Popa Taungkala Myanmar


  • In Myanmar the praying of Nats is a type of a conventional tradition from one generation to another.

Legend

  • In the 11th century, prior to King Anawrahta assumed power in Bagan, it was usual for the people of Myanmar to construct small tombs or spirit houses devoted to accommodate Nats who were evacuated by the building of hermitages, homes, or other constructions, or by the growing of rice as well as other harvests. The tenants or owners of the buildings made daily offerings of flowers, incense and food at the tombs to appease these "guardian" Nats.
  • It was believed that if a member of royal family had died brutally, then that person turned into a Nat. These exceptional Nats, when properly appeased, could help believers in crushing enemies, completing important jobs etc.
  • King Anawrahta attempted to prohibit the Nat worship in Bagan as he desired to make Theravada Buddhism the national religion. He ordered the demolition of all Nat tombs in the kingdom as part of his anti-Nat drive. He also banned the ritual of animal slaughter at nearby Mt. Popa, a volcanic eruption believed to be the home of the 36 most influential human Nats. In place of leaving their faith in Nats, the Myanmar just took their rituals underground, reconstructing the guardian Nat tombs in their houses.
  • Eventually, the King recognised that people were turning away from Buddhism, instead of abandoning their faith in the Nats, the king withdrew his ban and permitted Nat images as well as tombs.


  • He himself placed 36 Nats. He added 37th Nat as "King of the Nat". These 37 Nats are:

1.     Thagyamin meaning Sakra or Indra, King of Nats.

2.     Shin Nemi meaning little lady with the flute.

3.     Shigwa meaning Lady Bandy-legs.

4.     Shingon meaning Lady Hunback.

5.     Anauk Mibaya meaning Queen of the Western Palace.

6.     Myaukpet Shinma meaning Lady of the North.

7.     Min Kyawzwa meaning Prince Kyawzwa.

8.     Min Sithu meaning King Alaung Sithu.

9.     Pareinma Shin Mingaung meaning The Usurper Mingaung.

10. Htibyusaung Medaw meaning Lady of White Umbrella.

11. Htibyusaung meaning Lord of White Umbrella.

12. Mintha Maungshin meaning grandson of King Alaung Sithu.

13. Shwebyin Nyidaw meaning younger brother Inferior God.

14. Shwebyin Naungdaw meaning elder Brother Inferior God.

15. Mandalay Bodaw meaning Lord Grandfather of Mandalay.

16. Maung MinByu meaning Prince MinByu.

17. Yun Bayin meaning King of Chiengmai.

18. Maung Po Tu meaning Shan Tea Merchant.

19. Medaw Shwedaw meaning Lady Gold Words.

20. Shwe Sit thin meaning Prince, son of Saw Hnit.

21. Minye Aungdin meaning Brother-in-law of King Thalun.

22. Tabinshwehti meaning King of Myanmar between 1531 to 50.

23. Nyaung-gyin meaning old man of the Banyan tree.

24. Shindaw meaning Lord Novice.

25. Maung Minshin meaning Lord of the North.

26. Taungmagyi meaning Lord of Due South.

27. Aungbinle Hsinbyushin meaning Lord of the white elephant from Aungbinle.

28. Ngazishin meaning Lord of the 5 white elephants.

29. Aung Zawmagyi meaning Lord of the White Horse.

30. Shwe Nawrahta meaning the young prince who was drowned by King Shwenankyawshin.

31. Thandawgan meaning the Royal Secretary to Taungoo Minkaung.

32. Mintara meaning King Hsinbyushin.

33. Taungoo Mingaung King Mingaung of Taungoo.

34. Thon Ban Hla meaning Lady of Three Times Beauty.

35. Shwe Nabe meaning Lady with Golden Sides.

36. Hnamadawgyi meaning Great royal sister of Magagiri.

37. MahaGiri meaning Lord of the great mountain.