Da Ben Monastery
The Shwedagon Paya in Yangon is a famous pilgrimage site for Buddhist from all over the world. Since ancient times, the ambience and the architecture of Shedagon Paya have impressed and inspired many visitors, pilgrims and tourists.
One of these pilgrims was Venerable Da Ben, 达本和尚, a Chinese Mahayana Buddhist monk who visited Shwedagon Paya on a pilgrimage in the 1930s.
The venerable was so inspired that he decided to settle in Yangon and founded a small monastery not far from the famous monument.
Guan Yin Hill Da Ben Monastery
This monastery was located on Guan Yin Hill and because it is so closely related to the founding Abbot Venerable Da Ben, it is known as the Guan Yin hill Da Ben Monastery.
From its humble beginning in the 1930s, the monastery continues to grow under the leadership of subsequent Abbots and support from the Chinese community.
Today, the monastery has an archway at its main gate and an impressive main hall with both Chinese and Burmese cultural influences.
The monastery’s founding story and expansion under the subsequent abbots are recorded on two steles in the monastery garden.
Chinese Burmese main hall
Inside the main hall are the three Buddhas; Amitabha Buddha, Shakyamuni Buddha, Medicine Buddha (阿弥陀佛，释迦牟尼佛, 药师佛).
By the side of the hall Bodhisattvas Ksitigarbha and Guan Yin while the 18 arahats flanks the walls.
The designs in the hall drew its inspirations from both Chinese and Burmese ascetics. On one side of the hall entrance are the four heavenly kings in Chinese styles and mirroring them on the other side are 4 devas in Burmese style.
There is also a Buddhist study center for laypeople and the monastery is also home to some teenagers. Some of them are orphans while others have parents but need the support from the monastery.
See Shwedagon Paya from Da Ben Monastery
Although many things in Burma have changed since the founding of Da Ben monastery, one thing remained unchanged.
Standing on the grounds of the monastery, visitors can still see Shwedagon Paya, the monument that inspired many devotees and the founding of Da Ben monastery.
Guan Yin Hill da Ben Monastery
No.136, Shwegondine Road, Bahan, Yangon, Myanmar