Yunnan Hinayana Buddhism

Yunnan Hinayana Buddhism is mainly distributed in prefectures such as Shishuangbanna, Dehong, Simao, Lincang and Baoshan and worshipped by nationalities such as the Dai Nationality, the Bulang Nationality, De'ang Nationality and Achang Nationality and part of the Wa people. The number of religious believers reaches about more than seven hundred thousand.

There are two routes for Hinayana Buddhism to be introduced into Yunnan. Generally speaking, it was under greater influence of Thai Buddhism in Xishuangbanna and Burmese Buddhism in Dahong Area. Hinayana Buddhism in Xishuangbanna approximately arose in the Sui and Tang Dynasties, enjoyed greater development in the Song Dynasty and flourished in the three Dynasties of Yuan, Ming and Qing. The Hinayana Buddhism in Dahong Area was introduced into Burma after the middle period of the 16th century.

Hinayana Buddhism retains the earlier Buddhist tradition of keeping on abiding by rule of law and advancing cultivation,adores the relics of Shakyamuni Budda such as Buddhist tooth, Buddhist pagoda and Buddhist tree, and pays special attention to medication and some commandments of Buddhism in initial stage.

Hinayana Buddhism has a profound influence on the culture, political life and conventions of the nationalities such as the Dai Nationality, the Bulang Nationality, the De'ang Nationality and A'chang Nationality, etc. Every man of the Dai Nationality should follow the customs, be a Buddhist monk in early youth and resume secular life after three to seven years. Some become lifetime clergymen. Men who haven't been a monk will be looked down upon there.

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