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Folk Elements in Burmese Buddhism


Maung Htin Aung. Printed and published by U Myint Maung, Deputy Director, Regd: No (02405/02527) at the Religious Affairs Dept. Press. Yegu, Kaba-Aye P.O., Rangoon, BURMA. 1981.

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contn. from p107

Contents of this page
List of Thirty-seven Lords
List in Folk Elements in Burmese Buddhism
List in Method of Worshipping 37-Nats

Author's notes

UKT notes

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List of Thirty-seven Lords

UKT 170712: The Bur-Myan name of this group of nats is {37 mn:}. Since the number 37 is usually written in numerical form rather than being spelled out, I have followed the Burmese practice.
   A well known work on Thirty-seven Kings (in Burmese) by U Po Kya, {pa-ra.mi sa-p} 2nd printing 1999, pp.146 gave three sets of thirty-seven nats:
1. Buddhist 37 nats, p.9
   -- headed by {Ein~da.}
2. Inner 37 nats, p.12
   -- Pagan-era 37 nats kept within the precincts of Shwzigon pagoda, headed by {Da.ta.raT~Hta} with { i-kra:} as the fifth.
3. Outer 37 nats, p.36
   -- nats kept outside the precincts of Shwzigon pagoda, headed by {i.thi-kra:} with {ma.ha-gi-ri. nt} as the second.
   The list referred to by Dr. Htin Aung corresponded to that of the Outer 37 nats of U Po Kya.
   Though the 37 were headed by Thagyamin {i.kra:mn:} according to Dr. Htin Aung, a contemporary book, Method of Worshipping 37-Nats (in Bur-Myan), 2nd printing by MinRama, Yangon, 1992, did not mention Thagyamin at all. Instead, the list was headed by Min Maha-Giri' {mn:ma.ha-gi.ri.}. It should be noted that though Dr. Htin Aung was an internationally noted scholar, Min Rama was U Ohn Maung who I met in Yangon in 2004. He is a local scholar writing under the pen-name of Min Rama. He has extensive information on nat-worship, particularly from the keepers of the Taungbyoan Nat shrine.

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List in Folk Elements in Burmese Buddhism

UKT: The following list tallied with the list of Outer 37-nats Thirty-seven Kings of U Po Kya, {pa-ra.mi sa-p} 2nd printing 1999, p.36-51.

  Dr. Htin Aung U Po Kya (Burmese) U Po Kya (Romabama)
  01. Thagyamin (the King of the Gods)
02. The Lord of the Great Mountain
03. Princess Golden Face
04. Lady Golden Sides
05. Lady Three Times Beautiful
01. {i.kra:mn:}
02. {ma.ha-gi-ri. nat}
03. {nha.ma.tau}
04. {rhw-na.p}
05. {on:pn-lha.}
  06. Little Lady with the Flute
07. Brown Lord of Due South
08. White Lord of the North
09. Lord with the White Umbrella
10. Royal Mother (of No.9)
06. {ma.n:mi.}
07. {rhn-o}
08. {rhn-hpru}
09. {hti:hpru-hsan:}
10. {hti:hpru-hsaung: m-tau}
  11. Sole Lord of Pareim-ma
12. Elder Inferior Gold
13. Younger Inferior Gold
14. Lord Grandfather of Mandalay
15. Lady Bandy-Legs
11. {pa.reim~ma.rhin-ming:hkaung}
12. {rhw-hpyi:kri:}
13. {rhw-hpri:ng}
14. {man~ta.l: Bo:tau}
15. {rhn-kwa.}
  16. Old Man by the Solitary Banyan Tree
17. Lord Sithu
18. Young Lord of the Swing
19. Valiant Lord Kyawswa
20. Captain of the Main Army Aungswa
16. {an-hkyn:o}
17. {mn:s-u}
18. {dn:man-rhn}
19. {kyau-swa}
20. {an-swa-ma.kri:}
  21. Royal Cadet
22. His Mother, the Lady Golden Words
23. Lord of Five Elephants
24. The Lord King, Master of Justice
25. Maung Po Tu
21. {rhw-sic-n}
22. {m-tau rhw-sa.ka:} [{p108}]
23. {nga:si:rhn}
24. {mn:ta.ra: nt}
25. {maung-po:tu}
  26. Queen of the Western Palace
27. Lord of Aungpinl, Master of White Elephants
28. Lady Bent or Lady Hunchback
29. Golden Nawrahta
30. Valiant Lord Aung Din
26. {a.nauk-mi.hpu.ra:}
27. {an-pn-l hsn-hpru-rhn}
28. {rhng-koan:}
29. {rhw-nau-ra.hta}
30. {mn:r:an-tn}
  31. Young Lord White
32. Lord Novice
33. Tabinshwehti
34. Lady of the North
35. Lord Minhkaung of Toungoo
31. {man-mn:hpru}
32. {rhn-tau nt}
33. {ta.pn-rhw-hti:}
34. {mrauk-Bak rhn-ma}
35. {tan-gnu-rhn mn:hkan}
  36. Royal Secretary
37. King of Chiengmai
36. {thn-tau-hkn}
37. {ywn: Bu.rn}

According to Minister Myawaddi and the devotees of the cult at the present day, the Nats numbered 1 to 22 belonged to the pre-Pagan and Pagan periods and the rest to the Ava and Toungoo periods of Burmese history.

UKT: Minister Myawaddi -- Thirty-seven Kings of U Po Kya, {pa-ra.mi sa-p} 2nd printing 1999, p.52, gave the identity of the minister as {mya.wa.ti wn-kri: U:sa.} (1128-1215 BE) corresponding to (1766-1853 AD)

However, according to the list recognized by the hereditary attendants of the Nat images at the Shwezigone Pagoda, we find that:
1. Nos. 1 to 17, 19, and 20 are included;
2. Nos. 18, The Young Lord of the Swing, 21, The Royal Cadet and 22, The Lady Golden Words are not included;
3. Nos. 23, The Lord of the five Elephants, 25, Maung Po Tu, 26, The Queen of the Western Palace, 27, The Master of White Elephant from Aungpinle Lake, 34, The Lady of the North, and 36, The Royal Secretary are included as belonging to the Pagan period, for the attendants do not recognize any Nat who belonged to a later period than Pagan as one of their Thirty-seven, and
4. the following twelve Nats complete the list of Thirty-seven:

01. Master Aung Pyi
02. The Lord of the White Elephant
03. The Lord of the White Horse [{p109}]
04. The Lord of the Nine Towns
05. The Lord of the Four Islands
06. The Lord of the Five Village
07. The Lord of the Ten Villages
08. The Great Physician
09. The Lord of the Ninety-nine Shan States
10. The Lady of the Tame Waters (i.e. Inland Waters)
11. The Lord of the Salt Water Lands (i.e. the Irrawaddy Delta)
12. The Lord of the Open Ocean

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List in Method of Worshipping 37-Nats

UKT: The following list is given in Method of Worshipping 37-Nats (in Burmese), 2nd printing by MinRama (Zoology), Yangon, 1992.
UKT170711: According to the late Rama U Ohn Maung of Ygyaw quarters in East Yangon, whom I knew fairly well, he was the real author who wrote the above book. He was running a publishing house in East Yangon.

House-interior Nat Group -- 7 nats
1. {ain-twn: mn:ma.ha-gi.ri.},
2. {rhw-na.B nt} also known as {na.ga: m-tau},
3. {mrt-hla} also known as {mi.hpu.ra: sau-m-ya}
4. {dw: hpru} also known as {oak~ka.la-pa. mi.hpu.ra:}
5. {rhw-nh:mi.} also known as {ma.nh:l:}
6. {rhn-hpru}
7. {rhn-o}

Popa Nat Group -- 5 nats
1. {pop~pa: m-tau} also known as {m-wN~Na.}
2. {tan-tau-a.hkin-ma.} also known as {ma.m-U.}
3. {ko-rn-man nt}
4. {tan-proan:mn:kri:} also known as {rhw-hpyi:kri:}
5. {tan-proan:mn:l:} also known as {rhw-hpyi:l:}

Master of White Horse Group -- 4 nats
1. {yam~ma: mrn:hpru-rhn}
2. {kan~ni mrn:hpru-rhn}
3. {rhw-pr. mrn:hpru-rhn}
4. {rhw-sic-n mrn:hpru-rhn}

Nine-Towns Group -- 4 nats
1. {ko:mro.shn}
2. {pu.l:yi} also known as {a.m-pu.l:}
3. {hkn-hkyo}
4. {hkn-tha}

Five-Mothers Group -- 5 nats
1. {a.rh. m-tau}
2. {a.nauk m-tau} also known as {a.m-r-yi} and {r-yi-ka.tau}
3. {tan m-tau}
4. {mrauk m-tau}
5. {a.m-gym:}

Pye Lei Pyin Group -- 2 nats
1. {pr-l-prn man-tau}
2. {pr-l-prn nha.ma.tau}

Pegu Group -- 2 nats
1. {nan-ka-ren: m-tau}
2. {ko-an-nen} also known as {an-nen}

Delta Group -- 2 nats
  UKT: {r-ngn-pen} literally means the 'master of salty water' which implied
  'owner of Irrawaddy-delta waters'. Since the ocean tides reached far up the delta,
  the river-water as well as water in the surface wells tastes salty and is not portable.
  Formerly, people of the Delta
  (I was born in a small Delta-town now incorporated into Greater Yangon)
  drank rain-water stored in huge dug-up tanks protected by earthen bunds
  from the outside contamination.
1. {r-ngn-pen U:rhn-kri:}
2. {kwn:pen a.hpo:}

Miscellaneous Group -- 6 nats
1. {poan:ma.kr nt}
2. {pa.hkan: U:mn:kyau}
3. {ko:ain:rhn}
4. {bei~a.no: nt} also known as {bei~a.no: nt-a.mi:}
   UKT: though the spelling is the same as for the Hindu god Vishnu who is male, {bei~a.no: nt} is a female.
5. {rhn-ma.an-hpru nt} also known as {hpya-leip nat}
6. {mo:hkan-kyau-swa nt}

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Author's notes


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UKT notes


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End of TIL file