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Vaishali and the Indianization of Arakan

Noel F. Singer (Author)

Arakan, the deprived cousin of Myanmar (Burma), has long been neglected.  Its antique works of art vandalized or incompetently renovated by the present Buddhist clergy.  During the early yeas of the Christian era, despite rumours of demonic cannibals, its fertile plains attracted Hindu colonists.  Their nobility founded dynasties.  At the inauguration of the metropolis of the Chandra maharaja(s), its inhabitants derided the grandeur of Amaravati, the celestial city of Swargar, Indra's paradise, claiming their capital was more superior.  It was a confident kingdom in which Brahmanism, Mahayana Buddhism and local cults flourished.  The court language was Sanskrit, and the ceremonial life within the palace emulated that of the subcontinent.  Vaishali, the capital and emporium of Argyre ("Silver Land") attracted merchants from neighbouring kingdoms who came for the dazzling bullion shipped all the way from Nanzhao (Yunnan).  In its glory days, Vaishali contained hundreds of Buddhist stupas, Hindu temples, and communities of craftsmen.  Today, evidence of the Brahmanic presence has been almost eradicated by the present Rakhaing people, determined to present a land 'untainted' by any other religion except Theravada Buddhism - when in fact that is far from the case.  The work, with its no holds bared approach, investigates the achievements of a little known Indianized kingdom on the periphery of its gaint neighbour.

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About the author

Noel F. Singer

Noel F Singer was born in Myanmar in 1937.  In 1962, he moved to London and worked as a commercial artist and held exhibitions.  Having been trained in the classical dances of his country, he often took part in performances.  Enthusiasm for Myanmar archaeology and culture, knowledge of the language and frequent visits to the Motherland has qualified him, since 1988, to produce thirty-one articles and reviews for Arts of Asia; he is now one of its Contributing Editors.  His unique paintings of the thirty-seven national nat (spirits) were specially commissioned for Nat Pwe: Burma's Supernatural Sub-Culture (1992).  Published titles include Burmese Puppets (19920; Burmah: A Photographic Journey (1993); Old Rangoon: City of the Shwedagon (1995): Burmese Dance and Theatre (1995) and The Sorcerer-King and that "Great Abortion" at Mingun (2004).  He has also written Myanmar language articles in magazines such as Myawaddy and Ngwe Tar Yi.  More articles and books are planned.

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Bibliographic information

Title Vaishali and the Indianization of Arakan
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2008
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788131304051
length ii+xii+162p., Coloured & B/w Plates; Bibliography; 26cm.