Shwegyin Nikaya (Burmese: ရွှေကျင်နိကာယ, IPA: [ʃwèdʑɪ́ɴ nḭkàja̰], also spelt Shwekyin Nikaya) is the name of the second largest monastic order of monks in Burma. Approximately 5% of Burmese monks (50,000) belong to this order. It is one of 9 legally sanctioned monastic orders (nikaya) in the country, under the 1990 Law Concerning Sangha Organizations. Shwegyin Nikaya is a more orthodox order than Thudhamma Nikaya, with respect to adherence to the Vinaya, and its leadership is more centralized and hierarchical. The head of the Shwegyin Nikaya is called the Sangha Sammuti (သံဃာသမ္မုတိ), whose authority on doctrine and religious practice is considered absolute (နိကာယဓိပတိ ဥက္ကဋ္ဌ မဟာနာယက ဓမ္မသေနာပတိ).
Shwegyin Nikaya was founded in the mid-19th century by a chief abbot monk in the village of Shwegyin[disambiguation needed]. It formally separated from the Thudhamma Nikaya during the reign of King Mindon Min and attempts to reconcile the two sects by the last king of Burma, Thibaw Min, were unsuccessful. Monks of the Shwegyin Nikaya did not participate in the nationalist and anti-colonial movement in British Burma of the early 1900s.
In the 1960s, with the ascent of Ne Win to power, the Shwegyin Nikaya gained monastic influence in the country, as Ne Win sought counsel from a monk at the Mahagandayon Monastery, a Shwegyin monastery in Amarapura.
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