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Burmese Temple Boy Attendants/ Guardian 2

$ 1,400.00

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  • Burmese Temple Boy Attendants/ Guardian 2
  • Approx. 23" tall
  • Base Size : 8 1/2" x 8 1/2"
  • Ca 1950
  • Boy Attendants, Pairs of Figures
    Small carved-wood statues of young servants were a common are seen in older Buddhist temples. They appeared at the foot of larger sculptures of Buddhist Deities. These boy attendants, known as “kappiya” in Burma, are usually shown bringing gifts to the gods.
    The term kappiya, which literally means "lawful" or "proper," is of Pali origin, and is also employed in the Burmese language (Burmese: ကပ္ပိယ). The compound word kappiyakāraka (lit. 'one who makes it befitting') is also used in Pali. In Thailand, the terms luuk sit wat (ลูกศิษย์วัด) and dek wat (เด็กวัด), commonly rendered into English as "temple boy", are typically used. In Cambodia, the term khmeng voat (ក្មេងវត្ត) is used.
    The kappiya's primary role is to assist ordained Buddhist Monks with various tasks, especially those which are forbidden by the Vinaya, the set of Buddhist Monastic rules (e.g., handling of money). A kappiya is not ordained, unlike bhikkhu, bhikkhunī, sāmaṇera or sāmaṇerī. Kappiya may also assist in other capacities, including carrying alms bowls during morning alms collection, and preparing food for Monks.
    In Myanmar (Burma), kappiya are generally young men or boys who live in the Monastery they support. Some female renunciants called kappiya thilashin also serve as lay attendants to Monastic Institutions for Women (kyaung), providing support to ordained Nun’s and Monks as managers and treasurers, entrusted with the ongoing upkeep of monasteries
    Another use of these boy figures might be used symbolically as Shinbyu.
    Shinbyu (Burmese: ရှင်ပြု; MLCTS: hrang pru.; pronounced [ʃɪ̀ɰ̃bjṵ], also spelt Shinpyu) is the Burmese term for a Novitiation Ceremony (Pabbajja) in the tradition of Theravada Buddhism, referring to the celebrations marking the Sāmaṇera (Novitiate) Monastic Ordination of a boy under the age of 20.
    Shinbyu is considered one of the Twelve Auspicious Rites in Burmese Culture. It is deemed the most important duty that parents owe to their son by letting him go forth and embrace the legacy of Gautama Buddha, join the Sangha and become immersed in the Teachings of the Buddha, the Dhamma, at least for a short while, perhaps longer if not for the rest of his life. A boy may become a Novice on more than one occasion, but by the age of twenty there will be another great occasion, the Upasampada Ordination, in which the boy becomes a fully Ordained Bhikkhu. Those who are not blessed with a male child will seek for an orphan boy or a boy from very poor families in order to receive this special dispensation by the Buddha and hence gain great merit by the act. Shinbyu may well be regarded as a Rite of Passage or Coming of Age Ceremony as in other religions. Allowing a son to spend some time however short it may be, in a Kyaung (Burmese Buddhist Monastery) is regarded by most Burmese Buddhists as the best religious gift that his parents can give him and it is believed to have a lasting effect on his life.