Tuesday, 19 January 2016

A "Nibbana Market" in Burma

U Sarana shares the following story. He updates a weekly newsletter full of Dhamma information about Myanmar, to which any interested meditator may subscribe.

"In the Dazaunmon Month you may see in villages and especially towns what is called Nibbāna Market. Why is it called Nibbāna is little bit mystery to me, but most probably it is because all the 'sold' goods are 'sold' for free.

In the beginning, the people who will participate in this ‘run’ will gather at a certain place, make a queue, and one by one will receive tickets with numbers. Each of the ticket points to a certain stall where are already waiting volunteering ‘sellers’. There are however many such stalls, let’s assume about 50 to 100. But the person standing in the first queue will receive a single ticket only, with a single random number. These stalls are also not mapped at all – so the ‘customer’ will run here and there around the village or a town quarter, searching for the stall of his number. He comes to that stall, and gets one single thing – a soap, a packet of uncooked rice, a washing liquid, etc. If he wishes, he will obtain another ticket right at that stall. That ticket of course also contains number, and our poor customer will run here and there again – to find his new destination. In this manner the people are going here and there and searching for stalls with the right number, spending thus great amount of time just walking. And believe it or not – it is this running, which greatly reduces number of the participants and the number of stalls the visit, and thus also the goods they receive. Maybe this is also called Nibbāna Market because many people 'give up their attachment,' and realize that there is a lot of peace in detachment from craving from this constant and mindless running around, striving, and accumulating.

There are also special places where people are offered rice or sweet drinks (not with a number). These places are arranged not only during Dazaunmon, but also during various other occasions. Because people from any direction (North, East, South, West,) are welcome to come and have the meal or drink, these places are called “satuditha” (စတုဒိသာ, “four directions”)."

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