Myanmar is one of the most devoted countries to Buddhism and a major preserver of the oldest Theravada tradition.
It has produced a series of advanced masters that have kept Buddhas teachings and example to this day.
This statue of Gautama Buddha stands on a 13.5-metre (44 ft) throne located in the village of Khatakan Taung, near Monywa, Myanmar. Construction began in 1996 and it was completed on 2008. It was commissioned by the Chief Abbot Ven. Nãradã.
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Why the GIANT Buddhas and Maha-Nirvana?
Notes by the author - Raul:
The Buddha was a saint (Arhat) that was determined NOT to be reborn as a Humanagain (he had recalled billions of former lives after his 2-year fasting...). When he 'dropped' the body - after passing thru all stages of mediation and concentration - he finally dissolved his consciousness into Maha Nirvana.
This is way beyond sensory and mental stages - but some call it the 'Glory of God' or simply the Infinite. In this stage the mind resolves into a glorious experience of infinite rays and there is no way to return to a 'small body-mind' after this.
It is an immeasurable space bigger than the physical or astronomic universe - beyond space and time, body and mind. It is also way beyond experiences of infinite love or happiness. Thus the GIANT Buddha.
Note: In Buddhism the Buddha is the final aim and example, both an historical being and a final state of liberation, the Dhamma is Truth and the teachings and Sangha are the monks or spiritual aspirants as a group together.
Lord Buddha last words and final teaching:
Ananda - Buddhas main disciple - When I saw the Blessed One's sickness ...The Lord Buddha responded, What more does the community of monks expect from me, Ananda? I have taught the dharma openly and completely.
I have held nothing back, and have nothing more to add to the teachings. A person who thought the sangha depended on him for leadership might have something to say. But, Ananda, the Tathagata has no such idea, that the sangha depends on him. So what instructions should he give?
Now I am frail, Ananda, old, aged, far gone in years. This is my eightieth year, and my life is spent. My body is like an old cart, barely held together.
THE FINAL TEACHING OF THE BUDDHA:
Therefore, Ananda, be islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves, seeking no other refuge; with the Dharma as your island, the Dharma as your refuge, seeking no other refuge.
Direct Buddhas teachings: http://lirs.ru/do/Mahaparinirvana_Sutra,Yamamoto,Page,2007.pdf
Buddhas most practical teachings (free pdf) - incredibly direct: The Maha Satipatthana Suttra in English Greater Discourse on Steadfast Mindfulness Translated by U Jotika and U Dhammida (Thus I have heard...): http://nrcvee.iitd.ac.in/files/sutta-study/mahasatipatthana-english.pdf