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English 8




The literature of Myanmar, formerly Burma, has a long history. The Mayazedi
inscription (A.D. 1113) is the earliest extant specimen of Burmese literature. It narrates
the dedication of the Golden Buddha by a prince and the gift of slave-villages to the
image, ending with a prayer for the donor and his friends. Over a thousand such
dedicatory inscriptions were set up in the next 700 years, containing eloquent poems
and prayers of poetic merit.
In the fifteenth century up to the nineteenth century, palm-leaf (scratched with
a stylus) and folded-paper literature became common. Such works were filled with
Buddhist piety and courtly refinement of language. The authors were monks, educated
courtiers, and court poetesses. Prose works during this period were few, mostly Buddhist
scriptures and chronicles of kings. Poetry was varied: there were historical ballads,
panegyric odes, the pyo (Buddhist story in verse), and the ya-du (poems of love or
nature). The writers also used the mixed style or prose and poetry together. Examples
of this are the Yagan, a serio-comic epic, and the Myil-Ta-za, a letter of an abbot to the

Modern fiction began with the novel. An example is Tet-Pongyn, a classical novel. With the founding of the University of
Rangoon in 1920 came an increase in output of Burmese literature.
Foreign literature, especially English works, was transplanted. With
independence in 1948, Burmese has gradually replaced English as
the medium of instruction, and literature has become nationalistic.

Group into five (5). Fill up the butterfly

organizer on the main idea and supporting idea
of the article read about the literature of


adj. Incapable of being avoided or prevented

adj. Lasting for a markedly brief time; Move along rapidly and lightly; v., skim or
dart, Disappear gradually
adj. Lasting a very short time
v., Collect or gather; Get or gather together
adj., Impossible to satisfy
adj., Having a useful function; Having utility often to the exclusion of values
v., Use or manipulate to one's advantage; Draw from; make good use of; Work
excessively hard
adj., Unrestrained and violent; Rearing on left hind leg with forelegs elevated
and head usually in profile
adj., That cannot be entirely consumed or used up; Incapable of being
entirely consumed or used up
v., Devote oneself entirely to something; indulge in to an immoderate degree,
usually with pleasure; Roll around, "pigs were wallowing in the mud"

Evils that Plague





Effects on the Lives Inevitables in Life

of People

How Science
Conquers each

Statements that
Indicate Reality
(actual, exists)
and Fantasy


Humanity has been led astray by three evils greed, hatred
and ignorance. Whether we are Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims,
Christians, Animists, or Atheists, we cannot escape the three
inevitables: old age, disease, and death. Nobody can deny that
the five sense objects pretty sight, delightful sound, fragrant
smell, savory taste, and nice touch are only fleeting
phenomena. They are neither lasting nor permanent.
Nor can anybody deny that property is transitory: no one
can carry away his property after death. Men have been chasing
these transitory pleasures with a dogged tenacity mainly because
they hold false views regarding property. They forget that this life
is not even one millionth part of the whirlpool of Samsara (the
cycles of rebirth), and go on amassing wealth even though it
never brings them full satisfaction.

This insatiable greed for wealth results in the profit motive which
is not directed toward any utilitarian purpose. Once upon a time all
commodities were common property, and everybody had a right to
use them for his own benefit. But with the advent of the profit motive
these commodities became objects of exploitation. They became
instruments of wealth and stimulus for greed. This led to the following
1. Human society was split into two classes: Haves and Have-nots.
2. The Have-nots had to depend on the Haves for their living, and
thus the evil system of exploitation of one class by another
3. With class exploitation, the poor became poorer because they
could not get adequate returns for their work. They had to resort
to evil ways like stealing, looting, and prostitution.

4. The Lord Buddha has taught us that there are four causes of death:
kamma, frame of mind, weather, and food. Under the system of class
exploitation, how can the Have- nots enjoy good food and protect
themselves from extremes of weather? Can there be any sense of
happiness or contentment for them? Can even a good kamma favor
one who is cheerless? Thus one who is born into the class of Have-nots is
handicapped in all the above four factors, and disease is the inevitable
5. How can the Have-nots care for education with their hard struggle for
a bare living? Lack of education breeds an ever-increasing band of
ignoramuses and Mr. Zeros.
6. How can a country abounding in ignoramuses and Mr. Zeros ever

It is evident that most of the evils in the world can be traced to

the advent of the profit motive. Do you remember the legend of the
Padaythabin (the tree of fulfillment) we heard as children?
According to the legend, there was once a time when men and
women could get whatever they wanted from the Padaythabin tree.
There was no problem of food or clothes or housing, and there was no
crime. Disease was comparatively unknown. In course of time,
however, the people fell victim to greed and spoiled the tree of
fulfillment which eventually disappeared. Then a class of people who
could not afford to eat well, dress well, or live well appeared, and
crime became rampant

Now I ask you to think of the Padaythabin as the natural wealth

of our country, both above and under the ground. If only this natural
wealth is used for the common good of mankind it will be
inexhaustible, besides satisfying the needs of everybody. But greed
comes in the way. The poorest of the poor wants to become rich; the
rich want to become richer, and the process goes on ad infinitum.
Spurred on by greed, people are apt to botanize on their mothers
graves, so to say, in order to become richer. Thus the distribution of
wealth becomes unequal. While some can amass wealth which
cannot be spent in ten lives, others have to wallow in extreme poverty
with bare rags on their bodies.