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     The buddha Gotama had left the world; those that were not fortunate enough to have been his contemporary and hear the dhammafrom his lips would have to wait through countless rebirths in the hope that they would be in this world, as a man, when the next and final teaching Buddha was to come, Mettaya." Though Gotama had left mankind, the legacy of his fine example (buddha), his teachings (dhamma) and the order of monks to continue his example and propagate his teachings (sangha), the path to salvation, as conceived by the people of Pagan, and indeed many a Burman to this day, was not an easy one. King Sithu I expressed this in the poetry of his Shwe-gu-gyi temple inscription dedicated in 1131:
     ..Rarely, rarely in this world are Buddhas'born and to be born a man is hard, and hard to bear the Buddha's law.
     It was Sithu's prayer that he might be present, by virtue of this meritorious deed, when Mettaya comes, for to hear the dhamma from the mouth of a buddha is to instantly attain enlightenment, a preferable option to the long struggle that he would otherwise be required to pursue. Anawrahta likewise looked to Mettaya for salvation and wrote on the back of one of his votive tablets:
     I. King Anawralrta the Great, have cast this image of the Buddha. May I, by virtue of this act of merit, gain the bliss of nibbana during the dispensation of Arimettaya.
     Mettaya thus became a popular cult figure at Pagan, and, by the Late Period, countless inscriptions clearly state that, whilst building a hpaya in honour of Gotama, the Buddha, the donor's thoughts were directed towards Mettaya upon whose advent they pinned their hopes." Devotion to Mettaya, at Pagan, did perhaps go beyond that of being a sub-cult, to become a significant religious movement in its own right. It would, though, be inaccurate to regard this religious phenomena as a Mahayana one, this was a local movement within the Theravada framework. Mettaya had been worshipped by the Pyu who passed the cult on to Pagan.
     In no other Buddhist country, Mahayana or Theravada, did the cult of Mettaya cause so radical a departure from established architectural forms. The nga-myet-hna, or pentagonal form of architectural ground plan, achieved some measure of popularity in the Late Period, including the patronage of the King Sithu II, who built the highly ambitious Dhammayazika stupa in 1196, which surely is the ultimate architectural manifestation of the Mettaya cult." Likewise in sculpture, hpaya is placed alongside hpaya. In the museum of Pyu art at Hmawza, near Prome, two stone slabs feature representations of the five buddhas of this bhadrakalpa, which includes Gotama beside Mettaya, who is uncrowned. This pictorial equivalent of the architectural nga-myet-hna is known in Burmese as hpaya-ngazu: the Five Sacred Lords'. This arrangement of the five buddhas, treated in an identical manner, is an indigenous Pyu. iconographical development. Though five buddha arrangements, the jina or dhyani buddhas, were part of the Mahayana belief system, neither a pentagonal architectural form, nor the simultaneous depiction of past and future buddhas, in identical mudra, was part of the Mahayana iconography.
     Also unearthed at Sri Ksetra is a small stone relief depicting Gotama, in his customary bhumisparsamudra, alongside Mettaya, who is bejewelled and apparelled in the costume of a cakkavatti, or 'Universal Monarch'. A near-identical work has been found at Pagan, again underlining the fact that Pagan took its version of Buddhism, and its art, from the Pyu. Images of Gotama and Mettaya together are, though, rare at Pagan, possibly one of the last interpretations of this theme are the twin Earth Touching Buddhas in the west facing shrine of the Dhamma-yan-gyi temple; this pair, by their style, may be dated to the Early Ava Period. In this instance Mettaya is seated in the bhumisparsamudra, as is Gotama, and neither is crowned nor royally adorned. Mettaya was likewise depicted in this iconographically abnormal manner, as buddha manifest, rather than bodhisattva, in the hpaya-nga-zu of the Pyu, and the images in the shrines on each of the five faces of a nga-myethan stupa or temple are likewise treated identically in the bhumisparsamudra, without any form of differing attributes for the future bunions.
     A possible textual source for either the Pyu or later 'buddha beside buddha', or Gotama alongside Mettaya, may be derived from the Saddharinapundailka Sutra,or `Lotus Sutra', a Mahayana work of great importance, that describes the ultimate moment when the two buddhas meet and sit together." Elements of the Mahayana had become infused into the religious life of the Pyu, whilst the great purification of the Early Period had suppressed any such Mahayanist tendencies in contemporary religious life; iconographic elements, such as 'buddha meeting buddha', from the Mahayana, were rarely to recur until this highly curious Ava work at the Dhamma-yan-gyi.
     Despite this hpaya-nga-zu connection, Mettaya was conventionally portrayed, in full bodhisattva garb, not as an icon in a shrine, singly or part of a cycle in a ngamyet-hna architectural complex, but as a dvarapala, or 'door keeper', usually made of stucco and brick, or painted on the wall, flanking the entrance to a shrine.
SUPPORTERS- OF THE BUDDHA
1) Bodhisattva and Dvarapala
     Though Avalokitesvara was known to the Pyu, the bodhisattva that at Pagan was most widely portrayed, with the exception of Mettaya, was Lokantha, himself a form of Avalokitesvara. Lokantha was followed in Pyu times, as a number of finds from the Sri Ksetra area testify, and his image was directly transplanted from the Pyu to Pagan. The earliest figures of Lokantha found at Pagan are on the estamped votive tablets signed by King Anawrahta: "This image of Lokantha has been cast. by the great king, Sri Aniruddhadeva, by his own hands in order that he might win liberation.
     In these images the bodhisattva poses in lalitasana, with hands raised in the varadamudra, seated on a double lotus throne; he is ornamented with fine jewellery and crowned with a jatamukutacrown. The bodhisattva'sfigure is set within a trefoil niche, carried by pillars and surmounted by a sikhara finial, about the pavilion are relief stupas, bulbous like those of the Pyu, and five in number-the hpaya-nga-zu.
     Other Lokantha depictions found at Pagan are made from bronze, some cast locally and some imported. The image found in `Scovell's Pawdawmu Pagoda' in 1920 may be compared with a similar work found in 1915 at the Paung-gu temple at Myinkaba. In their apparel and appurtenances these images are quite similar: jatamukuta crown, enveloping lotus stems and princely ornaments; however, the Paw-daw-mu image is far cruder in execution than the other, the lines less sinuous, the surfaces lacking in the smooth plasticity of the Paung-gu find. The Paunggu image is most likely an import from the northern Buddhist world, whilst the other is of local manufacture.
     Lokantha, the local variety of Avalokitesvara, existed alongside Avalokitesvara himself, and other gods of the Mahayana pantheon, in Pyu Burma. Avalokitesvara bronze images, standing in the tribhanga pose, with the figure of Amitabha Buddha in his headdress, have also been found at Pagan, as have images of Tara, however, it is in the medium of painting that the northern gods make their most frequent appearance. In the following descriptions of the monuments, the positioning of the bodhisattva in a dvarapala, or guardian, role is frequently noted. These visually impressive figures, royally regaled, sometimes multi-armed, riding their vahana and accompanied by their sakti the best preserved example of which is in the Myinkaba Kub-yauk-gyi are iconographically subjugated to the central icon of Gotama, and the portrayals of his life and past lives. At Pagan, these figures are borrowed from the Mahayana world to support and protect the faith as dvarapala, and were not themselves icons.
     Lokantha may also support the Buddha together with Mettaya, again the earliest examples of such triads are to be found in votive tablets that date back to Pyu times. In such instances, to accurately discern the one bodhisattva from the other is difficult, and it is questionable whether the tablet's donors made such a distinction. The most colossal rendition of this theme during our periods may be found in the little known temple No.315 (Taungbon Lokantha), where, set in recesses, emulative of caves, on the north and south sides of the central block, are two such bodhisattva, seated in lalitasana. Lokantha survives today in Burma; when priest or layman is asked the significance of this god invariably the answer is "Nat".It was Anawrahta himself, who, on his tablet that bears this triad, wrote by hand, "King Anawrahta, who conforms to the true doctrine, is the donor of this tablet.
2) Mogallana and Sariputta
     The two chief disciples of the Buddha do not make an immediate entry into the iconography of Pagan. From the Late Period, and up to the present times, their inclusion, whether painted or as 'sculpture, had become near mandatory. In the Early Period, other triads, arranged about a central buddha were popular: the hpaya-thon-zu or 'Three Sacred Lords', Lokantha and Mettaya, as discussed above, and Brahma and Indra. Mogallana and Sariputta's earliest painted depiction is in the Pa-hto-tha-mya temple (c.1080). At the Lokha-teik-pan (c.1130), the two disciples are prominent in the painted backdrop to the Buddha, their clean shaven heads, shadowed by haloes, in three-quarter profile. This arrangement was to continue with little variation to the end.of the period and in later periods of Burma's art. The two disciples may also appear flanking the Buddha in scenes such as the `Twin Miracle' or the `Taming of the Nalagiri Elephant' from the bodawin.In the Abe-ya-dana (c.1080s), two brick and stucco figures flank the Buddha in attitudes of devotion, these doubtless depict Mogallana and Sariputta. These premier followers of the Buddha were generally included in the votive tablets and bronzes from all of the Pagan periods and after, ever pious and adoring." In the Ananda west shrine (c.1105.1, Kyanzittha extended this human theme to include himself, with his co-reformer, Shin Arahan, the contemporary equivalents of the two original disciples of the Buddha.
3) Gavampati
     No image of this figure has yet been found at Pagan, however, he is referred to in a number of inscriptions and he is used as the prophetic spokesman in Kyanzittha's panegyric inscriptions In the Tharba Gate inscription Lord Gawampati is referred to alongside the "golden Buddha" and "four thousand one hundred and eight lords of the church of whom our lord, Shin Arahan, was the leader. 6 Gavampati was one of the Buddha's disciples, and is mentioned in the Pali scriptures, however in Burma, as Luce notes, in some mysterious way he becomes associated with Genesa. The question arises: was the disciple Gavampati depicted as Ganesa, or was he portrayed as a monk? In India, Ganesa is also called Ganapatipossibly the word Gavampati is a derivative of this.
     Gavampati'is also referred to as 'Lord of the Cattle and is said to have been patron of the Mon merchants." More likely this figure was the mysterious `Fat Monk'.
4) The Fat Monk
     n the Pagan Museum are a number of curious stone images of a pot bellied figure. These images have been found in relic chambers throughout South East Asia: in Burma at the old Bo-tataung pagoda, in modern Rangoon, at Sri Ksetra, Pegu and Mandalay. Arakanese versions have also been found, whilst a number of similar examples have been located in Thailand. This figure seems to have enjoyed a- wide following, though his cult has not survived till today. Identifications have been various: Kubera, or the Shan-Thai Mahakachi, the Chinese Mi-lo Fo, or even Mettaya. Luce believes, along with U Mya, that this image represents Gavampati, so often referred to, yet without a surviving image, for Gavampati too was a monk and his cult extended to the Mons as well as the Burpans. However, U Aung Kyaing, in a recent article, identifies the image with the Thai Mahakachi.
5) Brahma and Indra
     In certain instances four-headed Brahma, on the left, and Indra, crowned with a jatamukuta, on the right, flank the Buddha, and thus a further triad is formed. This triad was established in the early periods of Buddhist art and as a combination, supporting the Buddha, in no way contradicted the tenets of the Buddha's teaching, that had originally marked a rejection of Brahmanism. At Pagan, this triad is usually to be found in scenes depicting the Buddha's Descent from Tavatimsa.
     As an individual figure, Brahma is more frequently found than Indra, the most obvious example of this are the fine stone reliefs that face the piers of the Nanhpaya Temple (1060/70). Other early examples may be found in the Vaisnavite Nathlaung-kyaung temple and painted above the dvarapalabodhisattva guardians in the Myinkaba Ku-byauk-gyi, where they essentially continue the dvarapala role on a higher plane. Another part for Brahma was his insertion into panels within an image's pedestal, first done at the Ananda, and then more prominently at the Mye-bon-thahpaya-hla, where sandstone figures of the deity symbolically bear the mass of the Buddha. Isolated images of Brahma have also been found, old photographs of the Shwe-hsan-daw show him on the terrace comers, once again protecting the hpaya.Of these some were saved and are now in the Pagan museum.
     Indra appears rarely as a single figure, even as a dvarapala. Only one known image of him from this period is to be found in the Nat shrine in the precincts of the Shwe-zigon; much regilded, the god bears his attributes of vajra and conch, is crowned with a jatamukuta and is clad in a loincloth. Indra, or Sakka, was to be incorporated into the Burmese national .pantheon of spirit gods, the -Thirty Seven Nats, as Thagya-min, in later periods. There is little visual orliterary evidence to suggest that this incorporation occurred during the Pagan period and the present position of this image, in a Nat shrine of recent construction, is coincidental.
6) other Deities ofBrahmanic Origin
     Ganesa, with an elephant head and human body, was a deity known at Pagan arid, like Sakka, became incorporated into postPagan spirit cults under the name of Mahapenni. Like Brahma, Ganesa guarded the terraces of the Shwe-hsan-daw; what fragments that survived, noted by Ray in 1932; are now lost. Thoug,h Ganesa's image has not been found at the Pyu sites, a number of minor images have been found at Pagan, when, according to Luce, they, mere often placed in relic chambersagain the Brahmanic bulwarking Buddhism.' In painted form, Ganesa appears in the Abe-ya-dana tondi.
     Vishu had his own temple at Pagan, the Nat-hlaungkyaung, and here a set of stone relief's depict his various avatar and there are two, now headless and much battered, brick and stucco images of the deity in the ambulatory; the main image, a depiction of Vishnu anantasayin, is now lost. This was the temple of the local Indian community and, though Vishnu was a popular deity, amongst both Pyu and Mon, his image at Pagan does not appear to have been enrolled as a supporter of the Buddha. However, Kyanzittha, selfstyled bodhisattva, claimed transmigral descent from this deity in his panegyrics."'
     There is no surviving Siva temple Pagan, though one large and finely carved image of the god is now in the Pagan museum. This was noted by Phayre at the Nat-hlaung-kyaung, and recorded inhis description of this temple, which is included in Yule', Narrative, and Thomann in his book, the first book on Pagan, photographed it in situ in the Nat-hlaung-kyaung." Ray describes it as being stylistically of South Indian origin from the 12th century' An inscription in Tamil, that also dates from the later part of the period and records the dedication of a new mandapa for the temple confirms this later South Indian connection. Possibly the temple's dedication -widened to include the Siva cult in the later periods, an interdenominational chapel for the Indian community. Alternatively, the image may have been simply stored there, out of sight, lumped with other Hindu images in their appropriate: residence: `The Shrine Confining the Devas'. Siva, also appears, mounted on various vahana in a series of painted tondi in the Abe-ya-dana.

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