It is not something strange if you meet a witch in your Myanmar vacation although their mystery abilities are still a controversial topic.
“ I can see your future and anyone I have ever met, but you have to promise that you will obey Buddhist teachings if you want me to tell you everything”, a witch named U Aung Baung smiled in the dark, behind him was the magnificent light of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.
Burmese regularly go to Weikzas – wizards, to ask for some advice such as medical methods or the way to change their life. Wizards in Myanmar are assumed to be gained the power by practicing the teachings of Buddhism, thanks to incantation and alchemy.
An unnamed senator of Yangon said, “ I found that it is unbelievable about their existence, however, I can totally not explain the magic tricks of them”.The others claimed more decisively, “ I completely believe in wizards because all three times I prayed, they all appeared in my dream and helped me make important decisions.” said a taxi driver.
Wizards have ever had a high position and have been perfectly respected in Myanmar society. Dr. Thomas Patton, a witch expert at the University of Hong Kong, assumes that belief in witchcraft started from Anglo-Burmese era in the nineteenth century to avoid disadvantage influences of the British
Shrines dedicate to the witch are constructed around the country, which wizards can come to meditate, while the people seek them for advice. For example, U Aung Baung lives at Shwedagon Pagoda, the biggest pagoda in Yangon has attracted a great number of local people, visitors, and even wizards. He said that it took him 37 years since he started cultivation. During 37 years, he has to obey Buddhist teachings and practice a special kind of meditation. Moreover, U Aung Baung has revealed an unexpected thing that some of the witches can fly if they have done their long cultivation process.
The witches go around the country to give people sacred guidance if being required, then they will receive food and drink justice from them.
After finish the cultivation process, the witches are given immortality, which means they can leave the earth and their body to go to a mysterious kingdom where they can look down on the human realm.
Unlike monks, witches can be male or female and can get married. However, after initiating the cultivation process, they have to live pure and ascetic.
Furthermore, wizards are also believed to have the ability to heal power and eliminate evil spirits. People will call them when his family is sick, which modern medicine can not help.
It is true that many people in Myanmar do not believe in witchcraft and they claim that it just dedicates to the poor, uneducated, but not being a truly Buddhists. However, when Myanmar opened up, witches appeared more in the media, and the perception of the society about them gradually increased.
Before 2013, images and information about witches are strictly controlled by the military government. After the country opened, guides or books about witches became common and published without limited, they were frequently mentioned on news programs, magazines …
Not only the Burmese but the foreigners also frequently go to the witches such as Chinese businessmen. They come and look for advice and good fortune for their business, Dr. Patton said.