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Dhammazedi (ဓမ္မစေတီ)

Pali-Burmese-Mon. Name of the 16th ruler of the Hansawati Kingdom, who succeeded Queen Shin Sawbu and reigned from 1471 to 1492 AD. In his youth, he was a Buddhist monk and was educated in the rival Kingdom of Ava. As a trusted adviser of the Mon Queen Shin Sawbu, he was selected by the Queen to succeed her. After he was married to one of her daughters, he was handed over all administrative duties of the kingdom and as her son-in-law soon became the de facto ruler of Hansawati, which under his wise rule as a Buddhist dhammaracha became a center of Theravada Buddhism. He purportedly renovated Kyai Pun Bhura Kyee, i.e. the ‘Pagoda of the Four Large Buddha images, known in English as the Kyaikpun Pagoda (fig.), in present-day Bago. During his reign, the kingdom was peaceful and maintained friendly ties with neighboring states, such as Yunnan, thus allowing foreign trade. Pprofiting from all the above, Hansawati reached the peak of its Golden Age. Dhammazedi is considered one of the most enlightened rulers in Burmese history. His name is a composition of the terms dhamma, i.e. ‘right principles’, and zedi, i.e. ‘a shrine for sacred objects’.