Most Myanmar people are
Buddhist, at the same time believing Astrology which originated from Hindu
Brahmanism. Actually Buddha, the awaken one was the son of the King called
Suddhodana who was embraced the Brahmanism in his former days before he was
in a good faith of Buddhism. So it is no wonder the Burma are still adopting
some parts of those old beliefs.
It is very important for every Myanmar Buddhist people to recognize the day
of their birth, such as Sunday, Monday, Tuesday etc. Otherwise, he or she
may not know which part of pagoda platform to go and make special devotional
acts either his or her desire or by the advice of Astrologer.
Myanmar Astrology recognizes the seven planets, namely Sun, Mon, Mars,
Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn. In addition, it recognizes two other
planets, Rahu and Kate. All the Myanmar names of the planets are borrowed
from Hindu Astrology, but the Myanmar Rahu and Kate are different from the
Hindu Rahu and Kate. The Myanmar considers them to be distinct and separate
planets, whereas Hindu astrology considers them to be either the Dragon's
Head and Tails, or Ascending and Descending Nodes. To the Myanmar people,
Kate is the king of all planets. As with other Nations the Myanmar name the
seven days of their week after the seven planets, but Myanmar astrology
recognizes an eight days week, Wednesday being divided into two days; until
6 p.m. it is Wednesday, but after 6.pm. to the midnight it is Rahu's day.
as the gods of Hindu mythology, ride on particular animals as their
'vehicle', the nine Myanmar planets have their own animal vehicles and are
often represent by these animals;
- Sunday planet rides on a Galon, the Myanmar name for the Pali
Garuda, a mythical bird (the symbol of Indonesia Airline), who is the
eternal enemy of the Naga (Dragon).
- Monday planet rides on Tiger.
- Tuesday planet rides on Lion.
- Wednesday planet rides of an elephant with tusk.
- Rahu's planet rides on a tusk less elephant (tusk less elephants are
believed to be more powerful than elephant with tusk).
- Thursday planet rides on rat.
- Saturday planet rides on a Naga (Dragon).
- Kate planet rides on an "Animal of five beauties, a mythical animal
with the antlers of a deer, the tusk and trunk of a elephant, the mane
of a lion, the body of a Naga, and the tail of a fish.
The basic belief of Myanmar Astrology is that the planets except the Kate,
mould a man's fate. The planet of a man's birthday will be the main guardian
of his fate, but at each particular period of a man's life a particular
planet throws upon him its baneful or its beneficial influence. For example,
at one period of his life he will be under the influence of Saturn and
ill-fortune will befall him, but at another period he will be under the
influence of Venus and good fortune will result. Thus the ebb and flow of a
man's fortune depends on the paths in the sky of the planets.
On every pagoda platforms, one may see devotees pouring or splashing water
on some planetary posts and stone Buddha images set at intervals around the
main stupa. Under the posts are also some images of animals. There is
usually a large bowl of clear water in front of the image. Even in the
coldest days, or even during the wettest downpour, people pour water on the
posts and the image uttering some inaudible prayers. What are they doing?
Myanmar Buddhist approach an astrologer for something or another, whether to
go ahead with a move to a new house or get married or pass exams or doing
new business. The astrologer would do some calculations according to the
magic formulas he alone knows and arrive at a certain conclusion. The
astrologer would sometime say that he or she is under the bad influence of a
certain planet and to counter this the clients should go to his or her
birthday planetary post and pour a certain number of cups of water or place
papier mache umbrellas or flowers etc as a "yadaya" or to put it in English,
a symbolic counter to avert the bad influences the subject is under
currently or looming in the future by using the inherent powers in his or
her offering plus some personal wishes. Or, the symbol of water in
conjunction with the symbol of a planetary post will mean that he may send a
Wednesday born to pour water at the Saturday corner, and so on. He alone
knows the symbols connected to each and he alone can calculate on what day
or time to do it, and where. And whoever do not want to avoid misfortune and
bad luck just by pouring water at one’s planetary post and ensure one’s
peace of mind and end of anxieties?
The following is the chart which describes you the days of the week and
their respective cardinal point.
||Tusk less Elephant