Myanmar is a country where Theravāda Buddhism has been thriving since King Anawyahta, the founder of the Bagan unified dynasty introduced it from the Mon kingdom of Thaton in the latter part of the eleventh century. This Buddhism is generally known as the ‘monastic Buddhism’ which is principally focused on the monkhood. But it has also been permeating among the laity until the present day. We may regard the successive dynasties of Myanmar, which had introduced this Buddhism into the political sphere, as the ‘Theravāda Buddhist State’, which placed the dhamma （Law of Buddha） in the core position of the state structure. Therefore, the relationship between kingship or government （ānācakka） and religious authority （buddhacakka） has always been strained and the former has usually intervened and has been standing at predominance over the latter until today.
Although the Theravāda Buddhist Polity collapsed with the fall of the Konbaung dynasty in the late nineteenth century due to the British colonial rule, it has been regenerated as a ‘sovereign independent state’ after independence under the Constitution of the Union of Myanma adopted in 1947. Even though once Myanmar inclined towards a ‘religious state’ during U Nu’s regime under the Constitution （Third Amendment） Act in 1961 because of his treatment of Buddhism as the state religion, the country was brought back to a secular state by its strict secularity under President U Ne Win’s policy of ‘the Burmese way to Socialism’ under the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma （1974）. It had principally continued until the end of the regimes of the military administration by both the Senior Generals Saw Maung and Than Shwe in March, 2011 when the new regime of President U Thein Sein began under the Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar （2008）.
This paper is an attempt to examine the characteristic of a modern Myanmar secular state, through further detailed analysis of its previous studies on the provisions of religious affairs and also a new approach to the preamble of the constitution （2008）, comparing it with those of previous constitutions of 1947, its 1961 （Amendment） and 1974.