year of birth : 1921 | place of birth : Insein
teacher/guru : Mahāsi Sayādaw
occupation : Guiding Teacher of the Mahasi Meditation Cente, FounderPanditārāma Meditation Center
education : Dhammācariya degree
" Compassion says what needs to be said, and Wisdom does not fear the consequences "
U Pandita was born in 1921 in Insein in greater Rangoon (now Yangon) during the British colonial rule. He became a novice at age twelve, and ordained at age twenty. After decades of study, he passed the rigorous series of government examinations in the Theravāda Buddhist texts, gaining the Dhammācariya degree in 1952. U Pandita began practising Vipassana under the guidance of Mahāsi Sayādaw beginning in 1950. In 1955, he left his position as a teacher of scriptural studies to become a meditation teacher at the Mahāsi Meditation Center. Soon after Mahasi Sayādaw died in 1982, U Pandita became the guiding teacher (Ovādacariya) of the Mahasi Meditation Center.
In 1991, he left that position, founding Panditārāma Meditation Center in Yangon. There are now Panditārāma branch centers in Burma, Nepal, Australia, United Kingdom and the United States. U Pandita became well known in the West after conducting a retreat in the spring of 1984 at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts in the United States. Many of the senior Western meditation teachers in the Mahāsi tradition practised with U Pandita at that and subsequent retreats. The talks he gave in 1984 at IMS were compiled as the book " In This Very Life." As of 2005, he continues to lead retreats and give dharma talks, but rarely conducts interviews himself.
He possesses extensive knowledge in both the theory and practice of Samatha and Vipassana meditation. U Pandita is known for teaching a rigorous and precise method of self-examination. He teaches Satipaṭṭhāna or Vipassana meditation, emphasizing sīla or moral discipline as a requisite foundation. He is also an erudite scholar of the Pāli Tipiṭaka or Theravāda Buddhist cano.