Dhammayazika Pagoda (947/ 412 A)

Type of monument Type II Temple (Zedi)
Location West Pwasaw
Region West Pwasaw
Built by King Narapatisithu
Date A D 1196
Monument Number 947/ 412 A

Dhammayazika Pagoda

At first glance looking much like the famous Shwezigon, the Dhammayazika is unusual because it has pentagonal terraces instead of the usual square ones. Above the three receding terraces, which are ornamented with glazed Jataka plaques, rises a bell-shaped doe which merges directly into a sharply dome which merges directly into a sharply tapering conical finial.

On each of the five sides of the pagoda there is a small temple housing an image of the Buddha. The usual practice in most temples was to have four images facing the cardinal points, representing the four Buddhas of the present world cycle who have already attained Enlightenment: Kakusandha, Konagamana, Kassapa and Gotama. The fifth image, when added, represents Metteyya, the coming Buddha who is now still a Bodhisattva in the celestial abode of Tushita. The temples themselves are of the usual form, square in plan, with a porch for entrance, and surmounted by terraces and a curvilinear spire.

The inscription records that in 1197 King Narapatisithu (1174-1211) received four holy relics from the King of Srilanka and that he built the pagoda in 1198 to enshrine them.

The name of the pagoda Dhammayazika or Dhammarajika in Pali, means “Pertaining to the King of Law”. The word dhammaraja, “King of the Law”, was included in the formal titles of the Bagan kings from Kyansittha (1084-1113) onwards, Narapatisithu’s own title being Sri Tribhuvanaditya-pavarapanditadhammarajanara-patijeyyasura, “The Victorious King, Sun of the Three Worlds, Most Excellent and Wise King of the Law, Lord Supreme, Victorious Hero”. By calling themselves “King of the Law”, the kings of Bagan expressed their adherence to the ideal of Buddhist kingship, of a king upholding the Religion and living by its tenets.

Dhammayazika Pagoda (Google Map)

Reference Books:

Glimpse of Glorious Bagan, Universities Historical Research Centre, Yangon, Myanmar, The University Press, 1996

Pictorial Guide to Pagan, Ministry of Culture, Yangon, Myanmar, The Printing and Publish Corporation, Reprint 1975

The Pagodas and Monuments of Bagan, Vol. 1, Translated by Dr Khin Maung Nyunt, Ministry of Information, Yangon, Myanmar, Graphic Training Centre (G.T.C), 1995

The Pagodas and Monuments of Bagan, Vol. 2, English Text by Dr Khin Maung Nyunt, Ministry of Information, Yangon, Myanmar, Graphic Training Centre (G.T.C), 1998

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