Alt det ligger år tilbage og er milelangt fra mig,
og fra Bank of England går der ingen bus til Mandalay.
Hvad det gamle mandskab siger, må jeg sande højlig her:
"Den som østen først har kaldt på kan kun trække der sit vejr!"
Alting er mig til besvær, på den lugt af hvidløg nær,
og det solskin og de palmer, og de klingre klokker der.
Oh, den vej til Mandalay, fuld af flyvefisk i leg,
og hvor solen brød som torden frem bag Kinabugtens kaj!
Temple bells donated to the Sangha are held in high esteem. They are sounded three times at the conclusion of personal devotions as an invitation to all sentient beings to share the merit accumulated by their spiritual practices. Onlookers may respond with the congratulatory refrain- thadu, thadu, thadu- well done, well done, well done. The casting of large bells is a major event which takes place with an air of great ceremony and rejoicing. Sweetness of tone is very important for the temple bell.
Burmese chronicles relate that King Dhammazedi, 9th of the Mon kings of Burma (now known as Myanmar), who reigned at Hanthawaddy (Bago) from 1464 onward, had ordered a census of households in his kingdom sometime around the year 1480. However, his over-zealous ministers not only counted the households; they also taxed them— thus obtaining some 180,000 vis (293.4 metric, or about 600 US tons) of copper. King Dhammazedi was not pleased and so, to allay his wrath, the ministers proposed to have the copper cast into a bell. That was how the biggest bell in history came to be. The chronicles also note that the date chosen for the casting of the Bell, 5 February 1484, was astrologically inappropriate and that the Bell had an unpleasant sound.
He presented the bell to the Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon (then known as Dagon). According to texts of the time, the bell metal included silver and gold as well as copper and tin. The bell is also said to have been encrusted with emeralds and sapphires. In view of the opulence of the pagoda itself, the story is likely true. The bell itself was said to be twelve cubits high and eight cubits wide. Another, smaller bell of 500 vis (about 5/6 of a ton) was cast at the same time and also offered to the Buddha.
In 1825, British attempted to steal it from Shwedagon Pagoda. However, the ship that carried the bell to India sank in Rangoon River together with the bell. After several unsuccessful attempts to salvage the bell, British finally gave up. Then, a group of Burmese people successfully raised the bell from the river bed without using any modern techniques. The bell was then restored to its original position in Shwedagon pagoda.
Det har tydeligvis haft stort symbolsk værdi for herskere og magthavere at være i stand til at få støbt kæmpeklokker. Ved at donere dem til templerne forsøgte de derigennem at opnå religiøs legitimering af deres magt.
The weight of the bell is 55,555 viss (90,718 kilograms or 199,999 pounds). This number is conveniently remembered by many people in Myanmar as a mnemonic "Min Hpyu Hman Hman Pyaw", with the consonants representing the number 5 in Burmese astronomy and numerology. The weight of the bell and its mnemonic words are written on the surface of the bell in white.The bell is uncracked and in good ringing condition. The bell does not have a clanger but is rung by striking the outer edge.Casting of the bell started in 1808 and was finished by 1810. King Bodawpaya (r. 1782–1819) had this gigantic bell cast to go with his huge stupa, Mingun Pahtodawgyi. The bell was said to have been cast on the opposite side of the river and was transported by using two boats, which after crossing the river, proceeded up two specially built canals. The canals were then dammed and the bell was lifted by raising the water level by the addition of earth into the blocked canal. In this way the bell was originally suspended.
I år 2000 blev den fortrængt fra førstepladsen af denne kinesiske "Bell of Good Luck" der vejer 116 tons:
Der er som regl inskriptioner på de store Burmesiske tempelklokker der angiver hvem der har doneret den, til hvem og hvornår. Inskriptionen på Exbory-klokken er oversat til engelsk som følger:It is thought that Exbury’s Burmese Temple Bell was brought back to England after the 1st Anglo-Burmese War 1824-26, when English troops occupied Rangoon.The Bell used to hang in the Gardens of the Rothschild family home at Gunnersbury, North West London and, following Gunnersbury’s sale, was transferred to Exbury by Lionel de Rothschild in the 1920s.Exbury lore – totally apocryphal, mind you – has Lionel’s staff from Exbury House sounding the bell to advise when his lunch or dinner was ready; Lionel would often be tending to his rhododendrons deep in the Home Wood in front of the House, with the bell’s tone carrying down to the Beaulieu River. Today the Bell is a favourite spot for the 100,000 plus visitors to the Gardens and the scene of many proposals and wedding blessings.
‘In the Buddhist era in the year 2355 after the Buddha’s entry into Parinirvana, and in the year 1173 of the secular era of the Burmese kings, on the 11th day of the waning moon of the month of Tabodwe, on Saturday, the Venerable Kondana residing at the Lesa monastery in Rangoon, with his pupils and his followers laymen and laywomen, generously cast a bell to honour the Dagon Pagoda, where the hair relics of the Buddha are enshrined.’
(fortsættelse følger - om pagoder, Buddhaer - og om den engelske besættelse af Burma)But that's all shove be'ind me -- long ago an' fur away,An' there ain't no 'busses runnin' from the Bank to Mandalay;An' I'm learnin' 'ere in London what the ten-year soldier tells:"If you've 'eard the East a-callin', you won't never 'eed naught else."No! you won't 'eed nothin' elseBut them spicy garlic smells,An' the sunshine an' the palm-trees an' the tinkly temple-bells;On the road to Mandalay .
NB! Googler man "burmese bells" opdager man også at betegnelsen kan dække noget helt andet: småt og pikant! Se: