Thin-gyan-Memory (Junior Win)

Tha-Gyar-Min
(Tha-Gyar-Min has with  two parchments (Gold plate and Dog-hide) when he comes down to the human abode.
Illustration Credit – Maung Yit)
According to folklore, Tha-Gyar-Min, king of the celestials, will be on a visit to the human abode for three days during Thingyan Festival (water festival on April, – Tahku – the first month of Burmese calendar). The story goes that Buddha entrusts him with the responsibility of seeing that the Buddha’s teachings flourish. Tha-Gyar-Min is there to see that humans live according to the way of life taught by the Buddha. He must see that justice is done; he must save the good and let the bad get their deserts. We do not know if he accomplishes his duties faithfully, but one thing we are sure is that he comes down in the New Year, and reminds people of their religious and spiritual duties. Tha-Gyar-Min will be in the human abode to see that people live and practice the Buddhist Way. He returns  to his celestial on the last day of Thingyan Festival.
He brings two kinds of parchments (Gold Plate and Dog-hide)  with him and he notes down the names of the people who are good and who are bad on his each parchment. Here, no need to explain which parchment belongs to
whom. We should not kill, or steal, lie or use bad language or hurt others  especially on Thingyan days, because Tha-Gyar-Min will put our names inscribed on the parchment of dog-hide, which means disgrace and punishment. Those who
are good will have their names inscribed on the gold plate, the roll of honor.
 Thin-gyan-sar
 
(One of the example of Thin-Gyan-Sar.)
As my grandmother, Khin Myo Chit says in her book of Colourful Myanmar:
Thin-gyan-sar, a single sheet of hand-bill, we still read and believe what is written on, on which is printed all the information of what to expect in the coming year. It is a kind of oracle sheet for us. It also tells us how Tha-Gar-Min is coming down to us like for example, this year Tha-Gyar-Min will be riding on a dragon, holding a bow and arrow in one hand and a spear in the other.” How important Tha-Gyar-Min is! What animal he will be riding this year? Or What instruments he is holding in each hand this year? We believe that these things can tell the future for the coming year
We buy such a single sheet of hand-bill before the Thingyan festival comes, and read and follow the instruction that goes with it. We can find there is a set of instruction for each of us born on a particular day of the week! Sometimes it says: “those born on Sunday should wear roses in the hair after shampooing, those born on Monday should choose the color white for having good health, those born on Saturday should wear a diamond ring when they have
to meet an important person, those born on Wednesday should avoid the color ‘green’ if they have to decide something important matter, etc. It also tells the future of the country and the world about politics, economy, agriculture, sociology, weather, etc. It foretells generally, but it is exciting to read and still popular among Burmese Buddhists.

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