MAHASI SAYADAW U SOBHANA
life period : 1904 - 1982 | place of birth : Seikkhun, Shwebo District, British Burma
nationality : Burmese | occupation : Burmese Theravada Buddhist Monk
education : Dhammācariya
website : www.mahasi.org
“ Where love, compassion, and respect pervade human society, there shall one find enduring unity.”
“ If the Path is practiced to gain direct personal experience, it is usual that knowledge deepens as time goes on.”
BOOKS BY THE MASTER
Mahasi Sayadaw U Sobhana was a Burmese Theravada Buddhist Monk and Meditation Master who had a significant impact on the teaching of Vipassana (Insight) Meditation in the West and throughout Asia. In his style of practice, derived from the so-called "New Burmese Method" of U Nārada, the meditator anchors their attention on the sensations of the rising and falling of the abdomen during breathing, observing carefully any other sensations or thoughts.
Mahāsi Sayādaw was born in 1904 in Seikkhun village in Upper Burma. He became a novice at age twelve, and was ordained at the age of twenty with the name Sobhana. Over the course of decades of study, he passed the rigorous series of government examinations in the Theravāda Buddhist texts, gaining the newly introduced Dhammācariya (dhamma teacher) degree in 1941.
In 1931, U Sobhana took leave from teaching scriptural studies in Moulmein, South Burma, and went to nearby Thaton to practice intensive Vipassana meditation under Mingun Jetawun Sayādaw, also known as U Nārada. This teacher had practiced in the remote Sagaing Hills of Upper Burma, under the guidance of Aletawya Sayādaw, a student of the forest meditation master Thelon Sayādaw. U Sobhāna first taught Vipassana meditation in his home village in 1938, at a monastery named for its massive drum 'Mahāsi'. He became known in the region as Mahāsi Sayādaw. In 1947, the Prime Minister of Burma, U Nu, invited Mahāsi Sayādaw to be resident teacher at a newly established meditation center in Yangon, which came to be called the Mahāsi Sāsana Yeiktha.
Mahāsi Sayādaw was a questioner and final editor at the Sixth Buddhist Council on May 17, 1954. He helped establish meditation centers all over Burma as well as in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, and by 1972 the centers under his guidance had trained more than 700,000 meditators.