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Exam-Sarphyanpwe (Nayon)


Nayon (June), is the third month of the Myanmar calendar, and it's a very hot month with the beginnings of the rains which will fall heavily in the coming monsoon. One Myanmar saying goes, "Tagu-Kason: hopping mad,"and another says "Nayon small rain the birth of grass." When the rain begins to drizzle, the ground begins to cool and Jasmine and Star Ipomea (Myatley) plants begin blooming.

During Nayon scriptural examinations for monks and nuns (Sar-pyan-pwe`) are held, a tradition dating back to the time of the Myanmar kings.

Lay people, mindful of the service of the monks and their life-long dedication to the study of Buddha's teachings, do their best to supply the comforts and amenities of the candidates. Apart from written examinations the candidates have to recite all the scriptures by rote. It is a tremendous undertaking to commit to memory all the Buddha's discourses, known as Three Baskets of Learning (Tri-pi-ta-ka.)

Most monks pass the recitation tests and are showered with honours and gifts. The Full Moon Day of Nayon is religiously commemorated as the Maha Thamaya Day.

During Gautama Buddha's time a dispute broke out between Koliya and Kapilavattu about sharing scarce water resources. When they were ready to battle, the Buddha arrived, and preached so they would end their quarrel. Both sides compromised, and members of both sides entered the Buddha's sasana and were ordained. Humans and celestials who admired Buddha and the monks arrived and Buddha delivered the Maha Thamaya ( Samaya) Sutta. It is believed that one who recites the Maha Thamaya Sutta is liked by the celestials, and gains riches and promotion in service.

Nayon is the month when the new academic year starts and hence it is a month connected with learning.