Most Myanmar people are Buddhist, at the same time believing Astrology which originated from Hindu Brahmanism. Actually Buddha, the awaken one was the son of the King called Suddhodana who was embraced the Brahmanism in his former days before he was in a good faith of Buddhism. So it is no wonder the Burma are still adopting some parts of those old beliefs.
It is very important for every Myanmar Buddhist people to recognize the day of their birth, such as Sunday, Monday, Tuesday etc. Otherwise, he or she may not know which part of pagoda platform to go and make special devotional acts either his or her desire or by the advice of Astrologer.
Myanmar Astrology recognizes the seven planets, namely Sun, Mon, Mars, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn. In addition, it recognizes two other planets, Rahu and Kate. All the Myanmar names of the planets are borrowed from Hindu Astrology, but the Myanmar Rahu and Kate are different from the Hindu Rahu and Kate. The Myanmar considers them to be distinct and separate planets, whereas Hindu astrology considers them to be either the Dragon's Head and Tails, or Ascending and Descending Nodes. To the Myanmar people, Kate is the king of all planets. As with other Nations the Myanmar name the seven days of their week after the seven planets, but Myanmar astrology recognizes an eight days week, Wednesday being divided into two days; until 6 p.m. it is Wednesday, but after 6.pm. to the midnight it is Rahu's day.
Just as the gods of Hindu mythology, ride on particular animals as their 'vehicle', the nine Myanmar planets have their own animal vehicles and are often represent by these animals;
The basic belief of Myanmar Astrology is that the planets except the Kate, mould a man's fate. The planet of a man's birthday will be the main guardian of his fate, but at each particular period of a man's life a particular planet throws upon him its baneful or its beneficial influence. For example, at one period of his life he will be under the influence of Saturn and ill-fortune will befall him, but at another period he will be under the influence of Venus and good fortune will result. Thus the ebb and flow of a man's fortune depends on the paths in the sky of the planets.
On every pagoda platforms, one may see devotees pouring or splashing water on some planetary posts and stone Buddha images set at intervals around the main stupa. Under the posts are also some images of animals. There is usually a large bowl of clear water in front of the image. Even in the coldest days, or even during the wettest downpour, people pour water on the posts and the image uttering some inaudible prayers. What are they doing?
Most Myanmar Buddhist approach an astrologer for something or another, whether to go ahead with a move to a new house or get married or pass exams or doing new business. The astrologer would do some calculations according to the magic formulas he alone knows and arrive at a certain conclusion. The astrologer would sometime say that he or she is under the bad influence of a certain planet and to counter this the clients should go to his or her birthday planetary post and pour a certain number of cups of water or place papier mache umbrellas or flowers etc as a "yadaya" or to put it in English, a symbolic counter to avert the bad influences the subject is under currently or looming in the future by using the inherent powers in his or her offering plus some personal wishes. Or, the symbol of water in conjunction with the symbol of a planetary post will mean that he may send a Wednesday born to pour water at the Saturday corner, and so on. He alone knows the symbols connected to each and he alone can calculate on what day or time to do it, and where. And whoever do not want to avoid misfortune and bad luck just by pouring water at one’s planetary post and ensure one’s peace of mind and end of anxieties?
The following is the chart which describes you the days of the week and their respective cardinal point.
|Wednesday(Ev)||Tusk less Elephant||North West||yahu|