U Vimala

Last updated
Mogok Sayadaw U Vimala
Mogok Sayadaw portrait.jpg
Title Agga Maha Pandita
Personal
Born
Maung Hla Baw

(1899-12-27)27 December 1899
Uyindaw Village, Mandalay Province, Burma
Died17 October 1962(1962-10-17) (aged 62)
Religion Buddhism
NationalityMyanmar
School Theravada
Dharma names Vimala
ဝိမလ
Occupation bhikkhu
Senior posting
Based inMogok Monastery, Amarapura, Burma

U Vimala (Burmese : ဦးဝိမလ; 27 December 1899 - 17 October 1962), commonly known as the Mogok Sayadaw (Burmese : မိုးကုတ်ဆရာတော်), was a renowned bhikkhu and vipassanā meditation master of Theravada Buddhism. [1]

Contents

Early life

Mogok Sayadaw seated. Mogok Sayadaw.jpg
Mogok Sayadaw seated.

He was born Maung Hla Baw to Daw Shwe Ake and U Aung Tun in a small village close to Amarapura in Mandalay Province, Burma on 27 December 1899. [2] Hla Baw began his education at 4, and enrolled as a samanera or novitiate at age 9 under U Jagara. [2] He later left for Mingala Makuna Monastery at Amarapura to continue his religious studies. [2]

Monkhood

In 1920, [2] he was ordained as a bhikkhu (monk) in the tradition of Burmese Buddhism with the dharma name Vimala (ဝိမလ) which means "stainless, Undefiled." As his monkhood was sponsored by the residents of Mogok, a town well known for rubies and gems, Vimala became known as "Mogok". In 1924, Vimala became the chief abbot of Pikara Monastery. He began to give sermons focusing on abhidhamma and teaching vipassana meditation. [2] He attained Nirvana by practicing meditation for four years and became an Arhat. Then, he disseminated his method to the pupils for attaining Nirvana. He focused on the insight learning of the dynamic nature of mind and materials in his teaching. His teaching audio recordings are still available and learnt by Myanmar Buddhists to learn meditation methods.

Legacy

U Vimala established the Mogok tradition of vipassana meditation, which is independent of the meditation traditions established by his Burmese predecessors, Ledi Sayadaw and Mahasi Sayadaw. [3] U Vimala stressed dependent origination and cittanupassana as part of meditation practice. [3] There are currently over 300 meditation centers in Burma that teach his form of meditation. [3]

See also

Related Research Articles

Theravada Branch of Buddhism, oldest extant school

Theravāda is the most commonly accepted name of Buddhism's oldest existing school. The school's adherents, termed Theravādins, have preserved their version of Gautama Buddha's teaching in the Pāli Canon. The Pāli Canon is the most complete Buddhist canon surviving in a classical Indian language, Pāli, which serves as the school's sacred language and lingua franca. For over a millennium, theravādins have endeavored to preserve the dhamma as recorded in their school's texts. In contrast to Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna, Theravāda tends to be conservative in matters of doctrine and monastic discipline.

Vipassanā (Pāli) or vipaśyanā (Sanskrit) literally, "without-seeing", "without (Vi), seeing (Passanā)", is a Buddhist term that is often translated as "insight". The Pali Canon describes it as one of two qualities of mind which is developed (bhāvanā) in Buddhist meditation, the other being samatha. It is often defined as a form of meditation that seeks "insight into the true nature of reality", defined as anicca "impermanence", dukkha "suffering, unsatisfactoriness", anattā "non-self", the three marks of existence in the Theravada tradition, and as śūnyatā "emptiness" and Buddha-nature in the Mahayana traditions.

Satipatthana

Satipaṭṭhāna is the establishment or arousing of mindfulness, as part of the Buddhist practices leading to detachment and liberation.

Mahasi Sayadaw

Mahāsī Sayādaw U Sobhana was a Burmese Theravada Buddhist monk and meditation master who had a significant impact on the teaching of vipassanā (insight) meditation in the West and throughout Asia.

Ledi Sayadaw

Ledi Sayadaw U Ñaṇadhaja was an influential Theravada Buddhist monk. He was recognized from a young age as being developed in both the theory (Abhidharma) and practice of Buddhism and so was revered as being scholarly. He wrote many books on Dhamma in Burmese and these were accessible even to a serious lay person, hence he was responsible for spreading Dhamma to all levels of society and reviving the traditional practice of vipassana meditation, making it more available for renunciates and lay people alike.

Buddhist meditation

Buddhist meditation is the practice of meditation in Buddhism. The closest words for meditation in the classical languages of Buddhism are bhāvanā and jhāna/dhyāna.

Kammaṭṭhāna

In Buddhism, kammaṭṭhāna is a Pali word which literally means the place of work. Its original meaning was someone's occupation. It has several distinct but related usages, all having to do with Buddhist meditation.

<i>Visuddhimagga</i>

The Visuddhimagga, is the 'great treatise' on Buddhist practice and Theravāda Abhidhamma written by Buddhaghosa approximately in the 5th Century in Sri Lanka. It is a manual condensing and systematizing the 5th century understanding and interpretation of the Buddhist path as maintained by the elders of the Mahavihara Monastery in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

The Vipassanā movement, also called the Insight Meditation Movement and American vipassana movement, refers to a branch of modern Burmese Theravāda Buddhism which gained widespread popularity since the 1950s, and to its western derivatives which were popularised since the 1970s, helping give rise to the mindfulness movement.

The Buddhist Publication Society is a charity whose goal is to explain and spread the doctrine of the Buddha. It was founded in Sri Lanka in 1958 by two Sri Lankan Buddhist laymen, A.S. Karunaratna and Richard Abeyasekera, and a European-born Buddhist monk, Nyanaponika Thera. Originally conceived as a limited effort to publish small, affordable books on fundamental Buddhist topics, the Society expanded its scope in response to the reception of their early publishing efforts. Reflecting its Sri Lankan roots, the Buddhist Publication society's publications reflect the perspective of the Theravada branch of Buddhism, drawing heavily from the Pāli Canon for source material.

Sati (Buddhism) Buddhist concept of mindfulness or awareness

Sati is mindfulness or awareness, a spiritual or psychological faculty (indriya) that forms an essential part of Buddhist practice. It is the first factor of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment. "Correct" or "right" mindfulness is the seventh element of the Noble Eightfold Path.

Gil Fronsdal

Gil Fronsdal is a Norwegian-born, American Buddhist teacher, writer and scholar based in Redwood City, California. He has been practicing Buddhism of the Sōtō Zen and Vipassanā sects since 1975, and is currently teaching the practice of Buddhism in the San Francisco Bay Area. Having been taught by the Vipassanā practitioner Jack Kornfield, Fronsdal is part of the Vipassanā teachers' collective at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. He was ordained as a Sōtō Zen priest at the San Francisco Zen Center in 1982, and was a Theravāda monk in Burma in 1985. In 1995, he received Dharma transmission from Mel Weitsman, the abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center.

Nyanaponika Thera

Nyanaponika Thera or Nyanaponika Mahathera was a German-born Sri-Lanka-ordained Theravada monk, co-founder of the Buddhist Publication Society, contemporary author of numerous seminal Theravada books, and teacher of contemporary Western Buddhist leaders such as Bhikkhu Bodhi.

Joseph Goldstein is one of the first American vipassana teachers, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) with Jack Kornfield and Sharon Salzberg, contemporary author of numerous popular books on Buddhism, resident guiding teacher at IMS, and leader of retreats worldwide on insight (vipassana) and lovingkindness (metta) meditation.

Bhikkhu Analayo

Bhikkhu Anālayo is a bhikkhu, scholar and meditation teacher. He was born in Germany in 1962, and went forth in 1995 in Sri Lanka. He is best known for his comparative studies of Early Buddhist Texts as preserved by the various early Buddhist traditions.

Samatha (Pāli) or śamatha is a Buddhist term that is often translated as the "tranquility of the mind", or "mind-calmness". The Pali Canon describes it as one of two qualities of mind which is developed (bhāvanā) in Buddhist meditation, the other being vipassana (insight). Samatha is said to be achieved by practicing single-pointed meditation. This includes a variety of mind-calming techniques. Samatha is common to many Buddhist traditions.

Shaila Catherine

Shaila Catherine is an American Buddhist meditation teacher and author in the Theravādan tradition, known for her expertise in insight meditation (vipassanā) and jhāna practices. She has authored two books on jhāna practice, Focused and Fearless and Wisdom Wide and Deep, and has introduced many American practitioners to this concentration practice through her writings and focused retreats.

Sri Lankan Forest Monks' Tradition claims a long history. As the oldest Theravada Buddhist country in the world, several forest traditions and lineages had been existed, disappeared and re-emerged circularly in Sri Lanka. The current forest traditions and lineages in Sri Lanka have been influenced by the Thai and Burmese traditions which descend from the ancient jambudeepa (Indian) and Seehaladeepa traditions.

Sunlun Sayadaw, was a renowned Burmese Sayadaw and vipassanā meditation master of Theravada Buddhism. He was named for Sunlun village, which is near Myingyan, middle Burma.

References

  1. Aung Chi (2000). The Mogok Sayadaw: A Translation. Yangon.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Sway Tin (15 November 1999). "The Mogok Sayadaw". Nibbana.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 Crosby, Kate (2013). Theravada Buddhism: Continuity, Diversity, and Identity. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN   9781118323298.

Further reading