I'm Bo Bo Gyi
The Latest Incarnation

I need to explain my claim to be the latest incarnation of Bo Bo Gyi. My explanation is the backstory. For several years, whenever my two young grandsons had a birthday or on Christmas, they would get gifts from me. Since education is important to me, all my gifts had some educational interests. Jack is now 7, but when he was not even 3, I was working on an online art history class while watching him in Indy. Jack toddled into the room in which I was working. He saw a famous painting on my laptop and asked what it was. He was satisfied with my explanation and off he went only to return fifteen minutes later. He saw another painting and wanted an explanation of that also. It was then that I thought, perhaps he wanted to learn. Today, he knows dozens of famous paintings and the artists that painted them.

To further Jack and Owen’s education for Christmas and their birthdays, they receive famous paintings about which they are familiar. Along with the picture, they get a signed letter from the artist explaining that artist’s painting. They have received paintings from Marc Chagall, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and El Greco.

Over the years, the boys received coin folders for pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters with a roll of the coins. As with the other gifts, they received signed letters from Lincoln, Jefferson, and Truman.

Another interesting story occurred when Jack was in my backyard, which butts up to a small lake. We were merely throwing rocks into the lake until he asked about a rock that he found. I looked at the rock, and it contained a half dozen fossilized brachyopids. Thus, began my teaching geology to Jack.

Owen came along a couple years after Jack, and the two of them know a long list of paintings and fossils. They know far more paintings and fossils than the vast majority of American adults. However, the last time Jack got a fossil from Darwin, he wanted to know how old Darwin was. It won’t be long before this wondrous educational endeavor will be discovered by him. That is the back story.

In a month, I will be on the road again…to Burma. I am still trying to connect with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi about an interview. I would love to sit down with her and discuss her drive to bring democracy to her country. If I was able to sit down with her and discuss Burma, I could use the interview on my website and also in the classes that I teach.

However, I want to see Ti Ti again. I consider Ti Ti my granddaughter. When we met, she was around nine years old and beat me at Scrabble.

I’m demanding another game. Perhaps, this time I can win at Scrabble. However, to be honest, I think that, if you were a betting person, you’d put your money on her. Besides, she is around twelve years old now.

This is recent picture of Ti Ti that her mother sent me. She is a beautiful young lady.

Now, Ti Ti won’t buy my assertion that I am the incarnation of Bo Bo Gyi (ဘိုးဘိုးကြီး). Nevertheless, Ti Ti has two younger sisters who are probably around five or six today. They might believe that I am Bo Bo Gyi. It is worth a try.

Unless you are Burmese, you won’t know who Bo Bo Gyi is. This is Bo Bo Gyi.

This is a bit regal image of Bo Bo Gyi.

I don’t feel that I am quite that grandiose as this shrine. However, the photo below is more my level incarnation.

This statue is far more common.

Bo Bo Gyi was a venerated nat or local spirit in Burmese Buddhism. He was also a well-known alchemist. Alchemist is a Greek word, χυμεία, which means a person who can transform base metals into gold. Apparently, Bo Bo Gyi must have been good at alchemy. To be perfectly honest with my readers, I am not in the league as Bo Bo Gyi when it comes to alchemy. However, I am able to turn a great many things around my home into gold via spraying the object with gold paint.

While I need more work with alchemy, I bought a puppet’s head of an alchemist by the name of Zawgyi.

The name, Bo Bo Gyi means respected grandfather or great grandfather. While my achievement is this life aren’t into alchemy, I am a grandfather and moving rapidly to becoming a great grandfather. However, for the time being, I’ll settle for respected grandfather.

In Burma, Bo Bo Gyi is an old man generally portrayed with a cane. On the top of his head is a gold colored cap. When worshippers visit a pagoda containing a statue of him, they will put on scarves and paso made of silk or cotton. Many Burmese will go to pagodas to receive blessings from Bo Bo Gyi.

If I tell Ti Ti’s younger sisters that I am Bo Bo Gyi, I could give the two of them gifts. It would be like Jack and Owen getting gifts from Darwin or van Gogh. Except, in this case, the girls will be getting their gifts from Bo Bo Gyi. When I return from Burma in January, I’ll tell you whether they bought into me being an incarnation of Bo Bo Gyi.

Burma flag

Burmese independence flag

Visit the Burma Independence page to read more about this topic.