Art. IX.—Translation of a Burmese Version of the Niti Kyan, a Code of Ethics in Pali

E. Fowle
1860 Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland  
The work that I am about to read is called the Niti Kyan, signifying "a sacred writing." It is a short code of ethics compiled from selections from various authors, and is one of several that I have translated from the Burmese language, which are themselves translations from the Pali. The present work is taught in the Burmese monasteries to the daily scholars and resident novices. The necessity of learning and the advantages of education are impressed upon the youthful population from an early
more » ... ge, and the consequences of ignorance are contrasted at the same time. It may perhaps be interesting to notice briefly the system of education adopted in Burmah; this is so simple in its practical application that I can explain it in a few words. The clergy receive no pay, and are not connected with the State, but entirely supported by voluntary contributions of food and other necessaries, a small quantity from each meal being set apart for the priests; but this custom is so general, and the portion so freely contributed, that there is generally a surplus of food at the monasteries, sufficient to feed the poor. In return, the poongyees, or priests, educate the whole of the male population without charge or fee of any description, their vocation precluding them from touching money.
doi:10.1017/s0035869x00094612 fatcat:23s2voerlbglfdpvb6y6droh6u