Yedaya

   (Yadaya)
   Magical rituals used by many Burmese to prevent misfortune. Building a pagoda is considered an effective method. In late 1961, the government of U Nu ordered the construction of 60,000 sand pagodas throughout the country to prevent the occurrence of a terrible calamity, possibly a world war, predicted for the following year. Ne Win, a devoted practitioner of yedaya, is said to have decreed that cars in Burma must drive on the right rather than left side of the road (the previous practice, inherited from British colonial days) to neutralize the threat of an insurgency; the former cancels out, or counteracts, the latter. When the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) sponsored construction of a complex to house a gigantic Buddha image made of white stone at Min Dhamma Hill in northern Rangoon (Yangon), it included a large marble replica of a Buddhist monk's offering bowl on the platform surrounding the image. The stone bowl is right side up, meant to counteract the threat of a monks' boycott of the Tatmadaw, known as Overturning the Offering Bowl and symbolized by the bowl turned upside down.
   Yedaya is closely associated with the practice of astrology because practitioners of the art claim to foretell inauspicious days, on which special ritual measures need to be taken. Some monks are skilled in devising yedaya rituals, which are also sometimes used to obtain a desirable thing, such as a promotion or a lover's affections. Many Burmese believe that the success of both Ne Win and the SPDC junta in holding onto power is almost entirely due to their skill in using yedaya rituals, which allegedly have rescued them from repeated misfortunes.
   See also Numerology.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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