A. BURMESE ENCHANTMENT. 62
In building the Ka-ye-paya, the architect had to employ all the bricks thus set aside, using neither one more nor one less. So, the puzzling out of the model was a good deal more troublesome than the construction of a big pagoda itself.1
It is a popular error to suppose that pagodas, like churches, are used as places of worship. This is not so. A man's destiny is in his own hands, and he shapes it according to his deeds. The gods cannot help, and therefore are not prayed to. People kneeling in the pagodas, who appear to be praying, are really repeating scriptures, texts, formulae, or vows. Buddha images and pagodas are set up, not to be worshipped or adored, but to visualize the Law taught by the Buddha and to keep it always and everywhere before the eyes of the people. The building of such monuments is therefore not as useless as one might at first suppose. In cities and villages, on mountains and cliffs, and all up and down the river ways, men are thus reminded constantly of the Law.
The passages repeated at pagoda are numerous. They aTe taught to the people when they attend the monastic schools, or Phoongyi-kyaungs, as children. (Every Burmese boy assumes the yellow robes of a monk, if only for a few weeks.) The simplest formula is the Yatana-thon-ba, or ' Three jewels.' These are
1 Some other facts relating to pagodas will be found in my " Pugan " (Hanthawaddy Press, Rangoon).1 Some other facts relating to pagodas will be found in my " Pugan " (Hanthawaddy Press, Rangoon).