Burmese proverb – Destroy the Rafts

The king ordered his general to take a part of the army and pursue the opposing forces. The king said, “When you find them, do not attack but wait until I arrived with the main army”.

After following for several days scouts reported that they had found their prey. The general and his troops make haste and by night fall arrived quietly at the bank of a river.

On the other side of the river they saw the camps of the opposing forces unaware of the arrival of the general and his troops.

The opposing forces had many times more men then the general’s. The general thought he could win if he launches a surprise attack and decided not to wait for the main army. He gave order to prepare for a battle.

They make many bamboo rafts and silently cross the river during the night. After all the troops had crossed over, the general ordered to destroy all the rafts. His lieutenants objected that the raft would be needed if they have to retreat.

The general said, “If we lose, the king will execute us for disobeying him. It is better to die fighting then to be executed, so these rafts are useless for us. By destroying the rafts, I am preparing my men to fight to their death to win”.

The general and his men fought bravely and won the battle.

The general’s name was ‘Bayint Naung’. He later became a great king who unified Myanmar for the second time in its history. The battle was known as ‘The Battle of Naung Yo’.

The phrase ‘Destroy the rafts’ became famous. We use it when we have to win at all cost. It is similar to the American phrase ‘to go for broke’.

Editor’s note: This is the first post by our contributor Ko Ko. He had joined Myanmar Today since its launch but was quite busy to contribute any post. He is also writing a number of blogs and websites. He writes about PHP language in Burmese language, Korean movie stars (his favorite subject) and Korean film stars.

Destroy The Rafts

The king ordered his general to take a part of the army and pursue the opposing forces. The king said, “When you find them, do not attack but wait until I arrived with the main army”.

After following for several days scouts reported that they had found their prey. The general and his troops make haste and by night fall arrived quietly at the bank of a river.

On the other side of the river they saw the camps of the opposing forces unaware of the arrival of the general and his troops.

The opposing forces had many times more men then the general’s. The general thought he could win if he launches a surprise attack and decided not to wait for the main army. He gave order to prepare for a battle.

They make many bamboo rafts and silently cross the river during the night. After all the troops had crossed over, the general ordered to destroy all the rafts. His lieutenants objected that the raft would be needed if they have to retreat.

The general said, “If we lose, the king will execute us for disobeying him. It is better to die fighting then to be executed, so these rafts are useless for us. By destroying the rafts, I am preparing my men to fight to their death to win”.

The general and his men fought bravely and won the battle.

The general’s name was ‘Bayin Naung’. He later became a great king who unified Myanmar for the second time in its history. The battle was known as ‘The Battle of Naung Yo’.

The phrase ‘Destroy the rafts’ became famous. We use it when we have to win at all cost. It is similar to the American phrase ‘to go for broke’.

( Myat Thura, please do not substitute the word ‘enemy’ in place of  ‘opposing forces’, the Mons are not our enemy)

1 comment for “Burmese proverb – Destroy the Rafts

  1. Robert
    November 29, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    I feel like this should be a movie

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