Burmese Water Libation

In Burmese Buddhism, the water ceremony, called yay zet cha, which involves the ceremonial pouring of water from a glass into a vase, drop by drop, concludes most Buddhist ceremonies including donation celebrations and feasts. This ceremonial libation is done to share the accrued merit with all other living beings in all 31 planes of existence. While the water is poured, a confession of faith, called the hsu taung imaya dhammanu, is recited and led by the monks. Then, the merit is distributed by the donors, called ahmya wei by saying Ahmya ahmya ahmya yu daw mu gya ba gon law three times, with the audience responding thadu, Pali for “well done.” The earth goddess Vasudhara is invoked to witness these meritorious deeds. Afterward, the libated water is poured on soil outside, to return the water to Vasudhara. (from Wikipedia)

Burma; Budhism; Ritual, Ceremony

The rescueing flood

This painting shows a scene from early buddhist texts from the 3. and 4. Century AD: When Mara, the God of Death, attacked Siddhattha, Siddhattha called on Vasundhara, also referred to as Bhumi or Mother Earth, to save him. Vasundhara creates a massive flood by wringing her long hair and ths drowning all the adversaries. Here Siddhattha, later to become Buddha, can be seen seated and meditating in a small tower high above the flood created by Vasundhara. The image is from the 19. Century. As Christian Rohr notes, the image of Vasundhara wringing her hair is particularly popular in modernity. Today it is a popular talisman in Thailand and Burma.

Thailand; 3. Century AD; Buddhist; Painting, Sculpture