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LEXICON

 

 

Lawkananda Zedi (လောကနန္ဒာစေတီ)

Burmese. Joy of the World Pagoda. Name of a Buddhist temple in Old Bagan, which was built in the reign of King Anawrahta (fig.), the 42nd ruler of the Pagan dynasty and a zealous convert to Theravada Buddhism. Its name is a compound of lohk (lawk) and Ananda. The bell-shaped, gilded zedi, which resembles the style of early Pyu-type stupas, was completed in 1058 AD and reportedly enshrines a tooth relic of the Buddha. It is built atop the center of a large platform with an octagonal base that consists of three receding terraces (fig.). This temple is one of four temples entwined in the Shwe Daw Lay Su legend of King Anawratha, which asserts that the King was given some tooth relics of the Buddha, which were placed on the back of a White Elephant to determine an appropriate spot to built a pagoda to house these relics. As legend has it, the White Elephant halted at four different locations and the King later had stupas built at each of them (fig.), resulting in the construction of three more pagodas, i.e. Tantkyitaung Zedi (fig.), Shwezigon Phaya (fig.), and Tuyintaung Zedi (fig.). According to popular Burmese believe, if pilgrims to the relics are able to visit all four of these holy places in a single morning, their wishes will be fulfilled.