Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Ashin Htavara September 25, 2007 Nothing Can Prohibit Us

September 25, 2007
Nothing Can Prohibit Us
            I arrived at 10:00 am at the Bronze Image, and saw bottles of drinking waters and packages of lunches. U Kyaw Thu ( a famous activist) was telling beads in front of a great Buddha Image. I saw around, finding scattering of men there.
            It was terrible hot that day. We’d spent three days under the rains. The sharp sunshine burnt us. I wondered that some monks might have any sickness after that day. To be frankly, I was considering about the uprising monk’s voices to be publicized. For me, I was then weak at that time. I wonder if some important monks will have such weakness, what shall I do?
            A youth monk came to us and informed,
            ‘Have you heard the news last night? The SPDC government is, according to the news, preparing to deter us, saying monks reciting the Mitta Sutta were not true monks and disloyal to the Buddhist discipline. The military members told that they don’t care because the number of the uprising monks are not more than two percentage of all the monk community.’
            General Myint Maung went to the Superior Monks and told in the news that some monks walking on the street threw drinking water bottles at the Kyatkhetwine monastery, crashing two slices of its louvers in Bago Division. That was not the true manners of Buddhist monks, those monks were just wearing the robes of monks. And according to the Buddha Dhamma Vinaya, ever a monk committing such violence meant that it was inclusive of all monks.
            Those aggressive monks must be taken action not by Dhammasak, the power of the Buddha’s teachings, but by the force of the authority power. He said so, and how would we prepare for that?
            I had to consider deeply for that. We were accused of inciting the crowd to violence then. They lied the Superior Monks that our monks were persuading the people to violence. I guessed that the authority was plotting to make a violent crackdown as in Pakokku.
            I replied to that young monk,
            ‘I’ve heard it. What we must do is to be disciplined with our Vinnya and a peaceful demonstration with great care. If the military men beat us, we will stand as our best for that peacefully. If they shoot us with guns, we will face their bullets. We have nothing to do but determining to sacrifice our live for freedom, and preparing to face it.’
            ‘Venerable, very nice and decent idea it is! I also have such courage for our people’, he boldly said to me. I felt I had goose flesh to hear that. I was interested in him.
            ‘I think you are younger than me. What’s your name? What class are you attending?’, I asked.
            ‘My name is Ashin Yewada, sir. I’m now attending classes for the course of teacher ship of Buddhist Scriptures, Dhamasaria, I’m twenty one years old,’ he replied.
            ‘Young monk, you are younger than me, but I pay my respect to you,’ I said to him.
            He had a fair complexion, slim body and dark eyebrows. His manner and style of conversation was very smart. Such smart and educated monks were involving in the strike; the number must be over thousand. The military junta, however, accused of us as fake monk and was plotting to make violent crackdown. ‘Those who will reap what they sow,’ a teaching of the Lord Buddha came into my mind, and I spread the Mitta Sutta over all beings.
            After our conversation, there was a great crowd in front of the Bronze Image. I saw the activist Phoe Phyu and Kyaw Thu having finished telling his beads at the hall. I said to (Ko) Kyaw Thu,
            ‘it’s not safe for monks who take no foot wares and umbrella in this weather condition. Medical care is needed, I think, please be ready oral rehydration salts for them,’
            He replied me, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.’
            There was a great preparation of offering alms the monks_ a special celebration. Every man as well as woman along side of the roads was bolding alms package and a bottle of drinking water to offer the monks going around past through them. We wore our robes in accordance with the Vinaya to do alarm receiving round and went on as taught the Lord Buddha for that occasion a well-trained military parade. Everyone had a chance to offer alms to the disciplined monk who passed slowly with downcast eyes in mindfulness in front of him or her. I paid a gratitude for those who implemented that program.
            There was no enough room to take lunch for all monks nearby. Many popular artists joined in offering alms, showing their support to us. Many monks took their lunches inconveniently that day, but they said no words.
            After lunch, we had our discussion for the day’s plan. Many organizations, involving the strike requested us to raise the flags. That day, we allowed the All Burma Student Union to raise their Fighting Peacock Flag as a respect to their historic efforts and activities.
            The crowd became dense while we were marching through the main streets and roads of Yangon, reciting the Mitta Sutta. Then the crowd proclaimed slogans loudly.
‘National reconciliation!’
‘Our cause, Our cause!’
‘Basic needs!’
‘Our cause, Our cause!’
‘Freedom of political prisoners!’
‘Our cause, Our cause!’
‘Myanmar Democracy!’
‘Our cause, Our cause!’
            Almost all people joined the march that day; the crowd became bigger and bigger.
            We saw some men running toward us with stones and bamboo sticks in their hands, saying rude words aggressively in one of the downtown areas. We got shocked but I warned with my hand-speaker to be tolerant and take great care not to sway from our discipline.
            We turned our blind eyes to them, going on our march; they were stunned to do anything and went back at last. We were then reciting,
‘Let none deceive another
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another…..’
            The intense sun over our clean shaven heads and flame of heat from the roads of coal tar underneath our bare feet made us putting in a horrible condition.  I, however, found no faces of dismay in the crowd. We were thirsty, and there was no drinking water then, but monks, as I found them, marching with pleasure. I said ‘Well done!’ many times in my heart.
            Uprisings occurred in more than sixty-five towns across Myanmar, coordinating with our Inclusive Strike; they made no violent actions but reciting the Mitta Sutta of the Buddha in the streets. Our demonstration or uprising or strike fully became a peaceful nation-wide challenge to over two-decade military dictatorship in Myanmar. The authority knew the momentum of the accumulation. Strikes spread across the country. They, then, barricaded main roads and streets of cities and towns to deter the march.
            We then knew no tomorrow. For me, everyone had determination of him/herself to go on to   the march. At least, everyone was to support to the proceeding demonstration against the oppressive government. I appreciated the slogans of the crowd. They seemed represent to some meanings of sufferings of the people.
            We had to consider the impact in this involvement _ for us as well as for the citizens. I had investigated that everybody around nearly area joined us. Not as an institution but their accumulation of self-reliance against the military rule was, for me, a kind of value . We’ve made our breakthrough that day! I proclaimed myself in my mind thrice:
‘Nothing can prohibit us’
‘Nothing can prohibit us’
‘Nothing can prohibit us’


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