revised on 2019-05-26
Mogok Sayadaw (1899-1962) Portrait
The following short biography of Mogok Sayadaw is based on the remarkable biography by Sayadaw U Gosita. The title is, “One Life Teaching.” After it came out, became popular among Buddhists and reprinted for a few times during a short period. That time before, he had written the biography on his own teacher, the very well-known scholar monk Mahāgandhāyon Sayadaw U Janakābhivaṃsa. Later U Gosita became a meditation teacher in Mogok Meditation Centre and wrote the biography. Mogok Sayadaw's Dhamma talks were very well received among Buddhists in Burma, even before the biography came out and whatever their meditation systems might be; because Sayadaw's talks were mostly based on emptiness (suññatā), dependent co-origination (paṭiccasamuppāda) and many suttas on practice. These teaching were the foundation knowledge for insight practice. It is very important for yogis to know them before and during the practice. These were like guidelines for yogis without a teacher. These Dhamma talks can be called manuals of insight practice. Why I translated most of Sayadaw's talks into English? He passed away for a long time now (i.e., 1962), but his talks were never known, or even heard about it outside Burma. This is the time for me to repay his gratitude and metta for Buddhists. There are also other very good reasons which I will quote from the introduction of a book entitled, “Manual of Vipassanā Contemplation from Mogok Teaching.” This is written by a well-known author U Sun Lwin before he became a Buddhist monk (Ven. Ādiccaramsī). His view on Mogok talks were the same as mine. Therefore, let him expressed it on behalf of me.
An extract: I must admit the following matter. I was satisfied myself for a long time as a true or genuine Buddhist. It can be said as my wrong thought. In brief, at the age of 35, I had abandoned my parent's faith (i.e., Islam), my lover's faith (i.e., Christianity) and my doctrine of that religions are like opium (i.e., communism), because at that time I had been studied deeply in Theravada Buddhism. (It seemed he studied Buddhism extensively for his text book on ethics for philosophy within that period.) After 15 years at the age of 50, I wrote a book on my life. It was entitled, “A Man Has Faith and Taken Refuge in the Triple Gems.” It was about my struggle and change in philosophical view. I was also thinking myself as true or genuine Buddhist when I wrote this book. But it was not so. At that time, I still had not practiced vipassanā yet because I satisfied with myself as a bodhisatta. [In true, bodhisatta also has to practice vipassanā up to the knowledge of equanimity to the formations (saṅkhāra).] I did not know that even encountering the Buddha-Dhamma was still not an insider of the teaching (sāsana). An insider of Dhamma should benefit from the sāsana. Even up to my 50 years of age, I still did not have this clear view. Only believing in the law of kamma is not enough for becoming a true Buddhist. (It is true only becoming a normal Buddhist, and at any time he/she can be fallen into other faiths.) To become a true Buddhist, one must have the knowledge in accordance with the truths – saccanulomika ñāṇa. I only have this knowledge by studying Mogok Sayadaw's Dhamma talks series in transcribed volumes, and listening to his talks in recordings.
Even though I gained knowledge on truth, I still attached to the vow of a bodhisatta. After I understood the significance of becoming a true Buddhist, seeing the traditional Buddhists as living their lives and died in the unbeneficial ways. And compassion arose in me and wanted to become a true Buddhist (i.e., cūḷa-sotāpanna – this is commentary view of someone who has insight to the truths). According to the text, after a worldling (puthujjana) dies, and next life will be more chances to take rebirth in the painful realm. (The Buddha also mentioned that the frequent homes of living beings were the 4 painful planes – Hells, animals, ghosts and Titans.) If someone perseveres in the vipassanā practice and becomes a true Buddhist (i.e., discerns anicca), he will be escaped from the painful birth in next life. I wanted to help people for it and made a resolution. From then onwards I was looking for a teacher. In 1991, he received a letter from a female doctor – Jenny who contacted him after reading his well-known autobiography. At that time, she was staying in northern Burma in a remote area. She had met a practicing monk who was quite significant. She invited him to come and study the monk. (This monk was Mon-le Sayadaw and staying at the Mon-le forest retreat in Western Gan-gow area.) I did not know why and had great interest in it, so I decided to go and see it. I went and stayed there for a week. What I found out was he used Mogok Sayadaw's teaching and system in his practice. The Dhamma talks by Mon-le Sayadaw were not coming from the books. It came out from his direct knowledge of the khandhas. In gist Mon-le Sayadaw was changing my view and encouraging me to study Mogok Teachings. I made a plan for detailed study in Mogok Sayadaw's talks. Luckily, there were 2 families appeared to offer me Mogok talks in completed volumes. These were 33 volumes in all (nowadays seem to be more volumes came out). After studied them, I made a plan to write a book on vipassanā practice based on Sayadaw's talks. Before that I had to try it out for its effectiveness. (U Sun Lwin was a very practical man and did not believe everything very easily.) I made the real practice and found out that it was really effective.
In 1993, I was attacked by heart disease for the first time. And then my health became degenerated. After that I had more interest in the matter of dying than living. By listening Mogok Dhamma on dying gave me a lot of comfort. In January of 1995, 3 Italian Buddhist yogis came to Rangoon for vipassanā practice. My spiritual friend U Ko Lay (Sayagyi U Ba Khin's disciple) took them to Narani Sima forest retreat for practice. I also had the chance to go with them. I took this opportunity to teach them the Mogok Teachings. They said to me that it was very interesting and they never heard it before. And requested me to come Europe and taught the teaching there. (U Sun Lwin never had the chance to go outside Burma for teaching until he passed away as a monk. A person like him should teach westerners than others, because he could communicate with them and very rich knowledge in many things which the westerners would appreciate. He was a practical man with bright and sharp mind.)
In May, 1995, I ordained as a monk for a year and practiced at the forest retreat. This event benefited me a lot because I had the chance to use Mogok Teachings in vipassanā practice. (At that time he also had the chance listening to nearly all of Mogok Sayadaw's talks which were recorded from 1954 to 1962. These were donated to him by Mogok Centre. Nearly at the time, he received the excellent biography of Mogok Sayadaw by U Gosita. So it can be said that he was an expert on Mogok Teachings. After he became a monk for the whole life in the second time, he gave lectures on Dependent Arising – Paṭiccasamuppāda around Burma with many invitations everywhere.) As many know in the Theravada tradition there are many different views on vipassanā practice. In accordance with my research Mogok system is easy and clear, but profound and significant. Mogok Sayadaw was quite a learned monk in the Pali Texts. He taught the monks before the 2nd World War on Abhidhamma teachings and very well known for it. During the War periods he stayed in a cave for 4 years retreat and escaped the war. (At that time warmongers were battling and killing each other and Sayadaw was with his inner enemies – the kilesa – defilements.) Most people believed Sayadaw finished his spiritual journey. This case became known only after he laid down his khandha. Among the many relics in the ashes (i.e., sarīras), the strange thing was Sayadaw's both eye balls remained intact as eye relics. What I listened and studied many of his talks found out the following points.
Sayadawgyi understood the Pali Texts with penetrative knowledge. He could view them in significant ways which are different from others. Sometimes he was like a new commentator and could give their meanings not the same as others. Sayadawgyi also had the courage to change some of the traditional customs and views.
Nowadays the words vipassanā is quite popular in the world. Westerners become interest in vipassanā from the Burmese Theravada tradition. Therefore, I have translated this manual of insight (Mogok System) into English. (Actually he compiled it from the biography of Mogok Sayadaw; "One Life Teaching" into Burmese, and then translated into English for the English readers.) It will fulfill the wishes of my Italian friends. I believed that whoever reads this manual will aware the significance of Mogok Teachings. Sayadaw tried to explain the Buddhist vipassanā practice in many different ways to make it clear and easy. It is quite easy for practice. It included penetrative knowledge and profundity.
Here I want to add more of my view on these talks. Wholesome dhammas are like medicines and unwholesome are poisons or viruses. Therefore, should not view the listening Dhamma, reciting Dhamma, reflection on Dhamma, etc. as insignificant. The Burmese Tipiṭaka monks were very good examples. They had very good memories and sharp minds. One time Mogok Sayadaw mentioned to U Tun Tin (a disciple and regular listener of his talks). Sayadaw said to him, “Mg Tun Tin, with the development of science can record the sound is good. Knowing how to use it can lead to Nibbāna. If not will be fallen into the wok (hell cauldron).” It seemed to be Sayadaw predicted the outcome of science and technology of the future. Nowadays we can see the problems come from many kinds of media. With the help of science and technology media have very great effect on man and society. When humans use them in unwholesome ways, it will create evil kammas for oneself and others – such as lying, cheating, frivolous talks, harming, etc. It leads human beings to moral degeneration. Even the Chinese sages did not know about the Buddha-Dhamma, they understood the working nature and the results came from these practices (wholesome or unwholesome). Therefore, they invented some systems in Chinese moral education for the students, such as reading texts for 100 times, 1000 times and others. In China, a moral educational school made a research with students in different ages from children to youths. Let them read a text book on the law of kamma for 100 times, every day with long hours. Before a month, and interviewed some of them. What they found out was the students developed and progressed in the wholesome directions – such as good sati, Samadhi, discernment and changed or overcame their bad habits. This is similar to Buddhist monks with their study and practice (practice is not only sitting with the closed eyes). In Buddhist practice, there were some words found very often in the suttas, such as – anupassanā (contemplation), bhāvetabba (development), bahulikata (cultivation), etc. These are must practice not only once or twice, but for many times. So that it can be developed and progressed. Buddhist meditation is contemplation of the truth. It is also called anupassanā – contemplate for many times, making it development (bhāvanā). It let knowledge arises and develops. It is also sure that if someone watches and listens to polluted media very often, he/she will have the negative results. I myself have great benefits from listening very often to Mogok talks. I also hope the readers will be benefited from these talks.
Mogok Sayadaw (1899-1962)
Sayadaw was born on 27th December, 1899 at Uyintaw Village, Amarapura Township and not far from Mandalay. This village was a Burmese king's garden before and a pleasant place with many trees. He was the 5th child and had 7 siblings. His parents were well to do in life with good virtues. He was named Mg Hla Baw and easy to teach and remembered things. Sometimes the village children were playing novice ordinations. He always played as the village monk and was bowed by the other children. At the age of 4 he attended the village primary school. At the age of 8 ordained as a novice at the Gwe-pin forest monastery with Sayadaw U Jagara (this was Burmese Buddhist custom to every boy as a novice for some periods). U Jagara was an old monk and this monastery also supported by his family generation for a long time ago. He became a novice and named him Vimala. It meant free from defilements, or dirt. Mg Hla Baw was ordained as a novice in the summer of school holiday until the rain retreat (i.e., July to October). After the rain retreat he did not want to disrobe and happy with the holy life. So continued to stay there and learnt the Buddhist texts – including fundamental text for Abhidhamma (Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma – Abhidhammattha Saṅgaha). He had more interest in the Abhidhamma teachings.
At the age of 12 or as a novice for 3 years (vassas), one day a strange thing was happening. A lot of bees in group were flying towards his outer robe which was hanging on a line. And then it made home there. All the novices went to see Sayadaw U Jagara and reported him the strange incident. Sayadaw said to them, “Mg Vimala is not bad indeed. He will be great in the future. It is like these bees are occupying his robe. This is the sign of the future. People will encircle him (for Dhamma).”
There was another strange thing happened to novice Vimala. One day his cousin the 7 years old Mg Ba Yin wanted to eat corns and persuaded him of going together to the corn field near the river bank, so both of them went with a small boat there. Mg Ba Yin was sitting near the head of the boat with an oar. They crossed the river from the north direction to the south where the corn field was. But there was a strong whirl pool in front of them. It would sink everything approached near it. All villagers were shunned this place. They did not know about it and the boat went into this area. Some farmers on the bank saw it and shouted to them to row back. At the same time some got any boat nearby to save them. When they arrived at near, and saw that both were rowing the boat with calm and ease. Both escaped the danger without harm.
The old monk U Jagara became weaker and weaker in health with the time passed by. So he told his novices to find for new teachers. He would send them there. Novice Vimala remembered his elder sister who was a nun. She came back to the village every year. Once time he asked the elder sister where she stayed as a nun. She described to him the place and the Vihāra where she studied. This was Maṅgala Vihāra and a very good Abhidhamma teacher was teaching there. And she encouraged the novice brother to come and study there. He decided to go there and told the parents. The mother did not want to separate with the novice (at that time 14 years of age). So she delayed the matter. At last novice Vimala could not bear it anymore, he made the decision to go there by himself. With some books, 2 robes and a bowl he left the village for the Amarapura city. He was only 14 years old and had never been to anywhere. With difficulty he arrived at Maṅgala Vihāra.
He had permission to stay in the Vihāra. This was a blessing for him, because at that time this place was packed with monks and very difficult to have a place to settle in. The reason was everywhere around Burma, many monks came here for the Abhidhamma study which was very popular at this Vihāra. After he was disappeared, the parents were searching for him. At last his father and brother came to the Vihāra to take him back. He refused to go back and continued to study there. He was introduced to Sayagyi U Ohn who was an expert teacher on Abhidhamma.
Sayagyi U Ohn was the contemporary of Ledi Sayadaw and a monk before. After Burma became a British colony many monks disrobed, and went back to lay life. U Ohn was one of them. Because of his superb knowledge in Abhidhamma still monks went to his place for study. At last he was invited to the Maṅgala Vihāra for teaching the monks. Novice Vimala was looked after and trained by Sayagyi U Ohn. Later he became a good monk and a well-known Abhidhamma teacher.
In 1919, near the age of 20, novice Vimala became a monk. After ordination his robes were wetting with sweat. So he spread them on a pole line. This time again many bees were flying to his robe and made home on it. The tutor monk U Nāgavaṃsa who was like a brother to U Vimala made the following prediction. “This making home by bees is a good sign. In this life he will has the attainment– he will finish his task. And then this is the sign of which people will come and drink his Dhamma nectar.” U Nāgavaṃsa knew this and always guided the young monk U Vimala in the right direction. U Vimala started teaching the monks Abhidhamma when he had 3 rains (vassa)(i.e., 1922). There were some nuns studied Abhidhamma with Sayagyi U Ohn. Some of them were Daw Sucari (U Vimala's sister), Daw Vicari, Daw Vilasi and Daw Khemacari. The other 3 nuns were from Mogok area in Northern Burma and well known for its rubies. Daw Vilasi had a place in the Mingoon Hill range which was in the west of Mandalay across the Irrawaddy River. Every winter some pilgrims from Mogok came to Mingoon for pilgrimage. Daw Vilasi always took them to the sites of pilgrimage. One time the leader of the pilgrims was Daw Dine Chon. On the way Daw Vilasi took them to see and pay respect to U Vimala. Before, Daw Dine Chon already heard some good news from her on U Vimala. After meeting with U Vimala she had more respect and veneration in him. Daw Dine Chon went back to Mogok and mentioned about U Vimala to her husband U Le. U Le also had strong respect in U Vimala and decided to invite him to Mogok in the future. This was the beginning of how U Vimala later became well known as Mogok Sayadaw.
In the year of 1925 Sayagyi U Ohn passed away at the age of 79. At the age of 26 U Vimala taught Abhidhamma extensively and became well known. He had many student monks, and he was also starting to give talks wherever people invited him. At the age of 28 wrote a commentary text on the 6th Abhidhamma book – Yamaka (Book of Pairs) within a year. It was well accepted by students. As he was so busy with external matters, U Nāgavaṃsa reminded him that giving Dhamma talks and teaching were just gained wholesome merits only. So it is necessary to practice by himself for someone to be secure. From that time on U Vimala started to use a part of his times for practice. To encourage people for practice U Vimala wrote a small text call “Showing Light to the Worldlings”. In 1934, Mogok U Le and Daw Dine Chon invited U Vimala to Mogok for Dhamma talks since they heard about him giving talks in Nyaung-lay-bin. Before it was a place for Ledi Sayadaw or one of his disciples giving talks in every year. In the beginning U Vimala's talks were on Abhidhamma. Mogok people liked his Dhamma talks that invited him to come every year in summer time. Some of the lay supporters from Mogok were very rich people. In 1937, a rich family built a very big building for U Vimala to live in and teach students. With these many connections to mogok supporters that he became well known as Mogok Sayadaw.
At the age of 37, Mogok Sayadaw was becoming a very popular Abhidhamma teacher and giving Abhidhamma talks. One day in 1937, Mogok Sayadaw had a strange dream. In dream he was flying from the sky to Sri Lanka where the Mahā Ceti (stupa) was situated. He respectfully bowed to the Mahā Ceti, swept the area there, and did the other duties also. He was never thinking or imagining these things before. But it appeared in his dream. Not very long after the dream, the care takers of Mahā Ceti wrote a letter to Mogok Sayadaw for help. In the letter they mentioned that Mogok City was rich with gem stones. Sri Lanka Mahā Ceti now needed a large Holy Crystal for the top part of the ceti. They believed that if Sayadaw helping them, it would be successful. So they requested him for help. With great joy Mogok Sayadaw discussed this matter with rich and high class people in Mogok. And then Sayadaw replied the letter that he would do it for them. With the generosity of Mogok citizens, they received a lot of gem stones, gold and silver for the large Holy Crystal.
The records of these were:
Ven. Vinayalankara came to Burma to receive the Holy Crystal. With him the Burmese monk U Kosalla and some of Mogok Sayadaw's lay disciples sent the Holy Crystal to Sri Lanka by ship. But Mogok Sayadaw stayed behind.
At that time Mogok Sayadaw separated his times for 4 places. In the beginning of summer time he went to give Dhamma talks in Nyaung-lay-bin. After that he went to Mogok for talks, and then came back to Amarapura (his monastery) for Abhidhamma lectures for monks. In the beginning of winter he went to Mingoon and gave lectures to the nuns there. One of the regular duty Mogok Sayadaw done in Nyaung-lay-bin was first he went to see the well-known practicing monk Nyaung-lay-bin tawya Sayadaw U Ariya (a forest monk). Paid respect to him and received his teaching and advice. Even though Sayadaw gave Dhamma talks on Abhidhamma there, also including paṭiccasamuppāda. Both of these had connection. U Ariya himself wrote a well-known text – “The Taste of Dependent Arising” and propagated paṭiccasamuppāda. One day in Nyaung-lay-bin for talks, Mogok Sayadaw had a strange dream. In the dream, when he was giving Dhamma talk, lay people came towards him and tried to suckle his left and right breasts. U Vimala did not forbid them and let them suckled it. After that he woke up instantly and knowing that it was a dream. He was surprised and did not know the meaning behind it. So next morning he went to see Sayadaw U Ariya and told him the dream. Sayadaw with exclamation and said to him; “Oh! You should take joy in it. It is a very good sign. This sign means the citizens and lays alike will drink your sweet milk Dhamma nectar of truth. It is significant and never heard before. It's a very good indeed. You should not take it lightly. Try hard in the Dhamma practice.”
Mogok Sayadaw gave 9 years of talks in Nyaung-lay-bin. It was stopped because at the time it was closer to the 2nd World War. The whole country became unstable. The 2nd World War started in 1939 in the west. And then it spread to the east in 1941. The Japanese war planes dropped bombs on Rangoon. Rangoon had fallen into the Japanese army in March, 1942. Later Japanese war planes continued the bombing missions in upper Burma. The war effects were spreading to the whole country like a forest fire. Therefore, U Le worried about the safety of Mogok Sayadaw that he came to invite him to Mogok. Sayadaw arrived Mogok in March, 1942. In the beginning Mogok City was free from danger. Later Japanese war planes came to observe this area. For more safety the disciples invited Sayadaw to a more secure place. This was Baw-pa-tan Village, 4-miles distance from Mogok City. It was in June, 1942. The village was on the mountain cliff and a beautiful place with many big trees such as pine, cherry, etc. Outside the village there was a very nice cave. To reach there had to go upwards 200 feet. The cave inside was 15'x10' ft wide and round about 10' ft height. Mogok Sayadaw preferred this cave and decided to stay there. The lay supporters thinking on his health built a small dwelling place near the cave. Sayadaw took his morning and before noon meals at there. Most of the time Sayadaw was practicing in the cave and only sometimes he went out the cave for walking meditation. Outside the world the war mongers were fighting and killing each other for power and wealth. But U Vimala was fighting and battling with his inner enemies – the kilesas. In the external world, the whole world was burning with fire and led to destruction. He was in the cave and did not know anything about it. But he knew that his inner world (i.e., the khandha) was perishing at the same time. The 2nd World War was ended in 1945.
Sayadaw stayed in this cave for totally 4 years. In 1945 he was 46 years of age and had 27 rains (vassas). It seemed to be U Vimala was totally conquered his inner enemies – kilesas. In the external war English and American conquered Japanese might be not forever. The inner conquered only forever and never changed that the holy conquest.
Sayadaw left the cave only after the vassa (i.e., in October) in 1945. Arrived back in Mogok he stayed at the Cemetery Monastery. Lay people requested him for Dhamma talks. Sayadaw reminded them with these words; “You should not satisfy only with Dhamma talks; you must practice practically. You have good luck that escape from the dangers of war. You should take it as we still alive for the Dhamma.” From then on Sayadaw started teaching vipassanā practice. At that period Sayadaw gave his talks at U Le-Daw Dine Chone's house every night from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. More and more people came and listened to it. In 1947, Bo-Ta-Thong Ceti needed a holy crystal. The care takers of the Ceti heard about the news before that Sayadaw helped Sri Lanka in this matter. Sayadaw was helping them to get the Holy Crystal. At that time, he was 48 and had 29 rains.
In 1949, Sayadaw was at the age of 50, and still in Mogok. In 1952, he was 53 and in Mogok already for 10 years. Before, he was in Amarapura for many years as a novice, young monk, lecturer and abbot. So the lay people from Amarapura expected him to come back. Especially an old lay woman supporter Daw Thet Yin mentioned about him very often. She said; “I am very old now. Before I die, want to see Sayadaw and listen to his talks.” Therefore, some lay people from Amarapura went to Mogok and invited him. In November 1952, Sayadaw returned to Amarapura. He prepared to teach Abhidhamma lectures to the monks. After Sayadaw came back Daw Thet Yin came to the monastery for everyday that he had to arrange a time for her to teach vipassanā. In the beginning there were over 50 or 60 monks came for the Abhidhamma lectures. Even some lay people came for it. So he told them what he taught to the monks were the profound parts of the Abhidhamma. And he arranged the foundations of Abhidhamma talks for lay people at 4 p.m. And then these talks were slowly including the ways of vipassanā practice. Therefore, more and more people came and at last became vipassanā dhamma talks.
From 1954 to 1956, Burma celebrated the 6th Saṅghayana – Saṅgha Council to edit and correct the Tipiṭaka. 1956 was fallen into the 2500 years of Buddha Sāsana. And at the same time people were more and more interested in practice, mostly in vipassanā practice. Every evening Sayadaw went for a walk after Dhamma talks. That year Sayadaw became ill and stopped giving talks. He needed a proper treatment that a lay couple living in Mandalay invited Sayadaw to their place for treatment. These couples were U Chit Swe and Daw Ma Ma. They were business people and very close disciples. The relationship between Sayadaw and them was like a father and children. Not very long his health was restored. So he told them that he would deliver talks. Many people came to listen to his talks every night from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. More and more people came and they requested Sayadaw to give talks everyday as in Amarapura. So Sayadaw divided his time as follow:
Also in 1956, a businessman U Kyaw Thein came to Taung-ta-mun Lake for pleasure, it was in Amarapura. This lake was a tourist spot. In the evening on the way back he passed through near Maṅgala monastery. He saw a lot of cars and people there that with curiosity went near and observed. He saw and heard Mogok Sayadaw was giving talks. The talk subject was about Santati Minister who was like him in drunk. The difference between them was Santati became arahant, but he was not. He listened to it to the end. On that day onwards he came for the talks every day from Mandalay. After sometimes he approached Sayadaw and later became a very close disciple. For him Sayadaw was like a father figure, not only for him but also for his wife Daw Tin Hla. They owned the Aung Myanmar Paper Company and no children, pouring their wealth to support Sayadaw. Later they left their business for others to take care. And most of the time they stayed in the meditation centre to help and look after Sayadaw. It seemed both of them were quite developed in their practice because U Kyaw Thein could predict his time of death 6 months earlier.
In 1959 Sayadaw was 60 years of age and had 41 rains (vassas). At these periods he pushed himself to do a lot of works for disciples. Giving a lot of Sacca Dhamma talks. Maybe he knew himself that there was not much time for him. From 1959/60 to 1961/62 he did not take free times and continued to give a lot of talks. It might be very tired for him. If he met people exhorted them that “Do the practice! Do the practice! There is not much time now. It becomes less and less.” A merchant from Mandalay came to ordain for a short period in Mahā-Gandhāyon Monastery. This place was very well known in Burma and outside Burma. Even many westerners went there for observations. Every day in the early morning Sayadaw U Janakābhivaṃsa gave the exhortations. This merchant became aware of the view of Sayadaw. He told to U Gosita, a disciple of U Janakābhivaṃsa as follow; “I come to ordain here. But usually I go to listen to Mogok talks. Now I am aware of their differences. In one of his morning exhortations, Sayadaw U Janakābhivaṃsa had said this. How long we will go in Saṁsāra, we don't know yet. For doing well in Saṁsāra we have to live well with a good heart. Observe the sīla and respect the vinaya. He also gave this example. Let's say you go to Rangoon from Mandalay by train. Do you want to ride in an ordinary class which is with many passengers, dirty and smelly with difficulty? Or in the upper class, clean and tidy, with chair and table, electric fan and light, with clean toilet and water, completed with food, with clean and tidy passengers? Ask yourself. How will you answer? You will be answered: I want to go happily in the upper class. All right even if you want to go happily for this small journey, it needs more happiness for the longer saṁsāric journey. Can be taken by in this upper class, you have to pay the proper fee for it. In the same way, if you want to wander happily for the saṁsāric journey, you have to pay a large amount of proper deposits. These deposits are dāna, sīla and bhāvanā. Live your life in the wholesome ways, keep a good heart and take care of your virtues (sīla).”
But Mogok Sayadaw did not talked in this way. He was different, and said; “Don't go slowly on the long saṁsāric journey by taking pleasure in happiness. It's better arriving to safety (i.e., Nibbāna) as quicker as possible. Don't be choosy and go with whatever you get. Don't wait for good carriage. If you get the upper class, then just go with it. With the ordinary class, then be just with it. With the cargo carriage, then go with it. At last if you get only in the carriage of coals, and then go with it. It's better to arrive there as quickly as possible.”
At that time the disciples could use tape recorders extensively to record Sayadaw's talks. One time Sayadaw said to Daw Phom; “Daw Phom, you have to record all of my talks. In the future it will be more valuable than gold.” (Daw Phom was from Mogok and a strong supporter and had gems business.) This prediction also became true, after Sayadaw passed away. On 12th November 1960, U Tan Daing and U Tun Yin came from Rangoon to visit Sayadaw for Dhamma. Next day, Sayadaw started to give them talks. And then more people came from Rangoon. They were politicians and businessmen. For the people of Rangoon, he arranged a special day time talk for them every day. (Among the Rangoon disciples, U Tan Daing and U Tin were very important. After Sayadaw passed away, U Tan Daing was the first one who preserved and propagated Sayadaw's Dhamma talks. U Tin later became a monk with the name of U Dhammasara and a well-known meditation teacher.)
In Mogok's teachings it is emphasized to have right view and understanding of Paṭiccasamuppāda. In the beginning of the teaching of Dependent Co-arising Sayadaw did not have the chart of 12 links of paṭiccasamuppāda. For this purpose, he only used the betel nuts for the 12 links one by one placed them in front of his table. When U Tan Daing and U Tun Yin visited Sayadaw from Rangoon, Sayadaw was still using the betel nuts. U Tun Yin was the owner of an art design company and had artistic view. He discussed with Sayadaw and suggested the small drinking plastic cups instead of betel nuts. So it changed from betel nuts to plastic cups which were clearer. Later with more discussion with Sayadaw the chart cycle of Paṭiccasamuppāda came into being. It became very popular and spread to everywhere. During the 1960, winter talks in Mandalay a lot of people came to listen to his talks everyday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. These people were not only from Mandalay, many were from other cities. They came by cars and train. Wanted to know how many people came, Daw Tin Hla offered 6000 paper fans to one for each person. Even these numbers were not enough for each person.
Mogok talks were very right and true, because these were sacca dhammas. It's never out of date and never enough for listening again and again. A Mogok yogi in Rangoon (i.e., U Min Swe) mentioned on it as follow; “I have listened to Mogok Sayadaw's talks in volumes – 1 to 10 for 13 times already. But it's never out of date and boring for me. It's increasing my knowledge every time. With the increasing of knowledge comes more understanding and better in reading the talks.”
In southern Shan State the yogis of a Mogok Centre also had the same view on Mogok talks. They always read and listened to these talks in serial. These were: 33 volumes of Mogok talks, 2 volumes of the 16 meanings of truths (i.e., 4 noble truths), 7 books of Dullaba Desanās (These were 7 small volumes which were extracted from Sayadaw's talks, beginning with Dhamma verses (poems) by yogi U Myint Swe). They arranged a fixed time everyday to listen to the talks. And everyone had to come. A person with good and clear voice had to read the talks for the group. Had to listen quietly and then sitting for meditation. They had been finished these 42 books for many times already. But it never became out of date, never enough for listening. These Dhamma talks were true and real. It can be experimented and increased knowledge with every reading.
In 1962, in the beginning of summer Sayadaw arrived at Mogok for teaching. This would be the last time for him in Mogok. By the study of his talks in this period, we might find that there had been some significant differences; talking about things more concerned with death and exhorting yogis to work hard. These talks had the taste of saṁvega and sadness. He left Mogok a little earlier than usual. Because he had some matters to do in Rangoon.
His last talk in Mogok was based on Kosambī Sutta – about the nature of a sotāpanna (stream winner). It was 1st July 1962. It can be said Sayadaw gave the standard of measurement for his yogis in Mogok. Because he would know that this was his last time and would never come back again. Next day he left Mogok for Amarapura. He had to go to Rangoon for receiving the title of Aggamahāpandita. For receiving this title his disciples had to request him many times. But he did not want to receive it. He said, “Now, I am working for the Sāsana (i.e., pariyatta and patipatti), not for getting the Aggamahāpandita title.” Some of them responded him that even though it did not make any different for him. But it needed for them in the future to continue his teachings. With Sayadaw permission on the 5th of July they hired a whole carriage to Rangoon. People heard about this news. Therefore, people from every city at every train station along the way were coming to see and pay respects him. It was quite amazing experiences.
Next day (i.e., 6th July) the train arrived at Nyaung-lay-bin at 10 a.m. The whole train station area was packing with people. (He had been stopped to give talks there for sometimes ago.) People offered him foods and requisites. Sayadaw took his meal there. Out of respect for Sayadaw the train officers stopped the train there for more than half hour. They requested him that in the future came to teach them every year. What he responded was; “if my mind and body are not falling apart, and if the cause allows me, I'll come to teach you all. All of you should work hard for realization. My khandha is galloping towards death.”
The train arrived at Rangoon at 2 p.m. on the same day. U Tan Daing and other well-known politicians and businessmen were waiting to welcome him. One of the amazing thing was there were a lot of citizens welcoming Sayadaw inside and outside the station between 5,000 and 6,000 numbers. During the journey of the train, Sayadaw was thinking to deliver many talks within the short period in Rangoon. At that time a disciple came near him and talked about the title of Aggamahāpandita. Sayadaw told him that he came to Rangoon not for the title and also it's not an important matter. His intention was for Rangoon citizens who had the potentiality for the Dhamma. It was very true. The year 1962 was his last year of life. He had never been to Rangoon before. This would be the first and the last one. This episode was very important for his Dhamma propagation in the future.
U Tan Daing and others took Sayadaw to U Tan Daing's big house. U Than Mg – a businessman had bought a modernized and the most expensive car for Sayadaw in this occasion. He put Sayadaw into this car and Sayadaw exclaimed instantly as; “Your palanquin is quite suitable for my corpse” (It could have some hidden meaning behind it.) Sayadaw arranged 2 times for Dhamma talks everyday; from morning 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and evening from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Next day on Sunday morning Sayadaw started to give talks. In the afternoon he went to receive his Aggamahāpandita title. The reason the government offered it to him was; well known in teaching Abhidhamma, writing text and teaching Dhamma on practice. Even though he had made arrangement for talks twice on daily, he did not have much time for rest because close disciples and Dhamma listeners came in groups from morning to the late night for inquiring Dhamma – giving them Dhamma exhortations and guiding in meditation. The people requested him to come and teach them every year. He only said to them that his khandha would give the answer. They took the opportunity to ask Sayadaw some difficult matters on Dhamma. Sayadaw also patiently answered them to their satisfaction. Among them, Christian U Pe Win's questions and the Tax Office Governor U Loon Pe's questions were interesting.
U Loon Pe asked questions concerning with insight practice from the points of Abhidhamma which seemed impossible for it. But Sayadaw from his direct experiences and rich knowledge of Abhidhamma answered them to U Loon Pe's satisfaction.
Sayadaw was clearing away U Pe Win's doubts. (13th July 1962)
U Pe Win, an educated man, was from southern Shan State, he believed in the Christian teachings. As an export-import businessman, he had been foreign countries for many times. He came to see Sayadaw for some of his doubts in religion.
In this way he asked Sayadaw in many matters. Sayadaw explained to him with many examples and similes. Later U Pe Win had satisfaction and stayed with Sayadaw for some times. He practiced meditation under Sayadaw's guidance and had faith in the Buddha-Dhamma.
The time for the rain retreat (vassa) was very near. So, on the 14th July 1962, Sayadaw gave his last talk in the morning. In the evening returned to Mandalay with reserved carriage. On the returned journey there were also many people coming to pay respects Sayadaw at the stations along the railway line. Next day at noon he arrived at Mandalay. But Sayadaw did not take any rest and started his talks next day. On 17th July 1962, he spent his last rain in his life in Maṅgala Vihāra, Amarapura.
It was like swallowing what others spit out foods:
It happened at one of kaṭhina ceremonies (Robes offering). As usual the duty monk piled up all the requisites which lay people offered on this occasion. The materials were more than the Saṅgha numbers distributed. So the duty monk sorted out the best things for Sayadaw. After Sayadaw knew about it and said to him; “Don't leave out anything. Share out all of them.” He asked Sayadaw for the reason. His respond was; “These things are offered by lay people who cut off their clinging taṇhā. If we are attached to these things; is it suitable for us? It was like swallowing what others spit out foods.” (it's a very good teaching for monks.)
Sayadaw had great spiritual power. At that time, he was offered by influential and very rich people with expensive robes, blankets and requisites. There were over numbers. He just received them out of compassion. But he did not have any attachment to these expensive and excellent things. He offered them to any monk who requested for them to his satisfaction. If no-one came he would share all of them with his monks and other Vihāras. All the big offerings came before the rain and after the rain. With his relinquishments and more and more donors appeared. This was the power of dāna and relinquishments.
Rangoon disciples came very late:
During the 1962 rain year, sometimes Sayadaw mentioned to lay down his burdened khandha (always indirect ways). But disciples did not understand what he had said. One time in the evening he went for a walk with a disciple near the surrounding of Sa-gaing Bridge. Sayadaw walked fast like a youth. Behind him was U Saw Mg (a coffee shop owner) and said to him; “Last year you had a heart attacked and suffered badly. With the medical treatment, and now you seemed to be very well. I am quite happy about it.” Sayadaw without turning backward replied to him; “Mg Saw Mg… Medicines are only for temporary.” He stopped and continued the walking. After some moments said it again; “The body nature is always degenerating. You should remember this profoundly. Do you hear me?” U Saw Mg responded with only “Yes, Ven.” Sayadaw continued his speech; “You must listen to me seriously. I do not talk this without reason.” After with some pauses and mentioned again; “Rangoon disciples came to me very late indeed.” U Saw Mg asked him; “Yes, Ven. Will you go to Rangoon next year?” He answered; “My body will tell the answer.”
It was near the end of September, 1962. He asked U Kyaw Thein to come Amarapura from Mandalay. U Kyaw Thein and Daw Tin Hla couple had strong faith and respect for Sayadaw as children to parents. He told him; “Mg Kyaw Thein, you have to come and stayed here. Leave your business for a while. Here is more important.” And then he took him to check some of the buildings which were still under construction in the vihāra. He checked some of the unfinished cement works and said to U Kyaw Thein; “Let the workers finish the buildings and jobs as quickly as possible. I want to see them finished before I leave.” After the checking of the works, he mentioned to him again; “I want to see all the buildings finished and ready for use before I leave.” But Sayadaw seemed to be very healthy and fresh. So U Kyaw Thein was thinking that Sayadaw might go to Rangoon. The above incidents were just a few of them. But no one was aware and understood what it meant. Sayadaw himself never had checked the buildings around the Vihāra before. And also never concerned and mentioned about them. Now it was very strange indeed.
The strange light:
It was 11th October, 1962 at mid-night. Near U Chit Swe – Daw Ma Ma Dhamma Sālā had a big tree. Every night thousands of sparrows slept there. During that mid-night suddenly a strange loud sound arose, as like the whole sky collapsed. All the sparrows were frightened and flew away instantly in groups. U Kyaw Thein came out to see the situation. Above that big tree he saw a big light as bright as day light for 2 minutes and then disappeared. From that day onwards all the sparrows never came back to rest on this tree.
Speaking to whom?
14th October, 1962, Sunday at mid-night, a bright light appeared inside Sayadaw's bedroom. U Hla Bu was outside the room entrance and saw this light because he slept there. He waited there for a while and heard Sayadaw was talking to someone in the room. He had no idea of who was speaking. All the doors of the room were also closed and no any disturbance. He could not think anything. What it was? Who came here? Three days before (11th October) at night, a strange big light came down from above the big tree. He heard about it from U Kyaw Thein. What it was tonight? With this thought suddenly he remembered the verses in the discourse of the blessings (Maṅgala Sutta). All the deities with their body lights lit the whole Jetavana Vihāra. They came to see the Buddha and asking questions.
Who came for doing about?
15th October, 1962, Monday at night time, as usual some lay men (very close disciples) were helping to massage Sayadaw. At that time Sayadaw was always discussing and talking Dhamma with them. After finished he told them; “Sleep with sati, viriya and alertness.” At mid-night seeing a bright light coming out from Sayadaw's room. This time U Hla Bu who slept outside his room suddenly opened the door and looking inside. He saw Sayadaw was sitting on his bed. But saw no-one there. Then U Hla Bu asked him; “Sayadaw! I have seen a big light before. And also heard your voice. Who are you speaking to?” Sayadaw responded was; “Hla Bu, you know it.” Only mentioned this much and kept quiet. (Sayadaw had the ability of reading people mind. U Hla Bu already knew what it was.)
You know, but asking again and again:
16th October, 1962, at Tuesday night, some were expecting the light appeared again. So they reminded each other about it. True it appeared at mid-night. Some people in the surrounding also saw it. It went down to Sayadaw's building. U Hla Bu also saw it and heard voices inside. So he opened the door and asked Sayadaw. He responded; “Hla Bu, you knew it and why asking me again and again.”
The last day, the end of dukkha:
17th October, 1962, Wednesday; morning time – in the early morning Daw Tin Hla and a nun offered Sayadaw Quaker Oat meal. After he finished his meal he had some talks with them. He asked Daw Tin Hla to call U Kyaw Thein to him. U Kyaw Thein arrived and Sayadaw said to him; “Listen carefully what I say. After I have gone, you will encounter different worldly conditions. So you have to practice to overcome them. You have been recorded my talks and have to listen it. If you did not understand, you have to listen to it again and again. Following with what I have been said.” U Kyaw Thein thought that Sayadaw's exhortation was strange. Maybe he would go somewhere. After his morning Quaker Oat meal, Sayadaw went to the Maṅgala Vihāra which was not very far distance. (He slept and ate his oat at the meditation centre.) There were over 200 invited monks having their morning meals. (This was a Kaṭhina Ceremony day – robes offering.) Sayadaw went to a table where his brother like monk U Nāgavaṃsa was. He greeted them and sat there talking with them. After they finished the meal and were ready to leave. At the moment, Sayadaw bowed to U Nāgavaṃsa's feet and talked as follow. “Ven. Sir, this prostration will be my last one to you.” Monks and lay people around saw and heard about this. Most people would think it as a custom for a junior monk bowed to a senior. For Sayadaw it was a profound prostration. After all the monks consumed their meals and offered all the requisites to them.
The body load became heavy:
After all the guest monks left, Sayadaw with U Hla Bu went back to the meditation centre. At the entrance of the Centre, Sayadaw made a groaning and said; “My body load is becoming heavy.” U Hla Bu did not understand it and replied; “Sayadaw! I don't understand what you say.” Sayadaw only responded as; “you are so thick.”
The situation was changing – 11 a.m.
Sayadaw was sitting on an armed chair and only with U Kyaw Thein near him. He said to him; “Mg Kyaw Thein, after I have gone continue your practice. Don't do any selling and buying. You have enough to eat.” And then, U Kyaw Thein asked him; “Ven. Sir, when will you go to Rangoon?” “Where I'll go and do, my khandha will tell you. You only listen what I have told you. I am not so well.” Then, U Kyaw Thein said to him; “I'll go to Mandalay and invite a doctor.” Sayadaw:” Never mind, I am ok.” But U Kyaw Thein continued to say it again; “I think it's better to invite a doctor.” “All right, if you want to invite a doctor and go at 1:30 p.m.” After saying these words Sayadaw closed his eyes and kept quiet. (Note: Sayadaw laid down his burdened khandha at 1:20 p.m., so it was no need to invite the doctor after this time, i.e., at 1:30 p.m.)
U Kyaw Thein was running down from Sayadaw's kuṭi very quickly. He went to the lay sālā (lay people dwelling in the centre) to discuss the matter with yogis (some from Rangoon and others from Amarapura). All agreed to invite doctor.
Tormented vedanā arose (11:30 a.m.):
At 11 a.m. Sayadaw consumed his soup brought by Daw Tin Hla and others. After his soup, he exhorted the yogis with Dhamma. At that moment strong tormented vedanā arose from the body. So Daw Tin Hla went quickly to the meditation hall and called the people there. They came and treated him. Suddenly Sayadaw looked at U Than Mg and told him; “U Than Mg, help me to release my stomach. The khandha load is so heavy.” With this groaning he went into his bedroom which was at the south-eastern corner of the kuṭi. Accordingly, U Than Mg used the instrument to release his stomach. The toilet was near the bed room and he went in without anyone help. Sayadaw's manners were as usual and stable and did not show any sign of changing in voice and tone.
At noon time (12 p.m.):
The group went to invite doctor; brought Dr. Soni to Amarapura (Dr. Soni was a well-known Indian doctor in Mandalay). After arriving he checked Sayadaw's illness and injected some medicines and asked them to invite Dr. Saw Mya Aung the Head Doctor at Government Hospital in Mandalay. Professor U Nek (Mandalay University) went to invite doctor at 12:30 p.m. Dr. Saw Mya Aung took with him complete instruments and medicine (as informed by Dr. Soni on Sayadaw's situation). Both tried to treat him.
Surrounded by monks and disciples (1 p.m.):
The time was 1 p.m. The saṅgha surrounded him with worry. Some lay people from Rangoon and Amarapura who were looking after him without stop. Some were from Mandalay, including U Chit Swe – Daw Ma Ma couple and U Kyaw Thein – Daw Tin Hla couple. They, the monks and all the lay people, were very sad and their hearts were painful, because they could not do anything for him. But it seemed to be that Sayadaw could endure the pain with strong and stable mind. Therefore, he told them; “Whoever has khandha will experience pain. So look at here, look at here.” And then he asked U Thit who was near him; “Is it ready for Dhamma talk?” (This was the Kaṭhina Ceremony day and Sayadaw had been requested to give a talk on this occasion.) “Yes, Ven. Sir, it's ready now. But Sayadaw is not in a suitable situation to give talk.” And then Sayadaw asked U Pandita who was near him; “You go to the Dhamma Sālā and give the talk.” To Kundala; “And you do the sharing of merits.”
Cannot escape from the dangers of aging, sickness and death:
Time was changing second by second. In the same way people were worrying for him with the seconds of time. At last, Sayadaw with calm and turning towards the doctors and said; “All right, if you still have to inject me with medicines and do it now. No more time anymore. Your medicines also can't do anything for it. This is the danger of aging, sickness and death.” At that moment, U Chit Swe and Daw Ma Ma were pushing through the crowds and coming near Sayadaw and prostrating him. Sayadaw exhorted them; “Mg Chit Swe, this time is impossible. Ma Ma! Look at here. For everyone who has this khandha will encounter vedanā like this.” (Before Sayadaw had some treatments in Mandalay and cured the illness.) After that Sayadaw gave the last teaching in his life, surrounding by monks and lay people who were bowing to him.
The last Ovāda – Exhortation: (time: 1p.m: 15 minutes)
“Everyone who has the khandha will suffer with pain. Contemplate to overcome them. (i.e., to discern the ending of impermanent vedanā – Nibbāna.) Staying with diligence.” After the exhortation, he was inclining towards the right-side and staying with the Dhamma. The people were very quiet with their añjali. [intro-03] Sayadaw's in-breath and out-breath became refined and the whole body calmed down. At last everything stopped and peaceful. This time was 1 p.m:20 minutes.
“Bhāra nikkhepanaṁ sukhaṁ” [intro-04]
Putting-down the khandha load forever is attaining the great happiness. In accordance with this desanā, Mogok Sayadaw's khandha load came into cessation. This was on 17th October, 1962, Wednesday 1 o'clock and 20 minutes in the afternoon time.
(Note: The cause of the sickness was one of the main blood stream had been clotted with a solid lump of blood.)
Arrangement for the cremation ceremony:
Saṅgha and lay people organized a funeral committee, and made the decision for the funeral ceremony as follow:
From 3rd Jan. to 9th Jan. 1963; i.e., 7 days for paying respects to the body. On 9th Jan. 1963 at 2:30 p.m. will cremate the body.
The cremation place was over 50 acres wide field at south-west of Amarapura City.
The committee had 2 and half months for the preparation to build the cremation platform and other buildings for this occasion.
(Note: On the same day Sayadaw passed away; at 9 p.m. at night, injected medicines to preserve the body for short period before the cremation. This procedure found out the cause of Sayadaw's death. They injected for 7 days. Every time of injection made the affected area sprouting out with fresh blood. Everyone saw it. After the injection the body became tight. On the first day of injection brown spots appeared on the body. After that the whole body became bright with yellow colour.)
The body inside the ruby studded coffin:
The Mogok lay people took Sayadaw's body as a lump of ruby gem. For them it was priceless. So they made a coffin studded with ruby gems and other precious stones. For placing the coffin, they build a small pavilion made from an alloy of silver and aluminum. (Some of these close disciples were gem mine owners and gem merchants.)
From the hall of Meditation Centre to the cremation field:
On the 3rd Jan. 1963, Sayadaw's body inside the jeweled coffin was carried to the cremation field at 12 a.m. It was a very grand ceremony and very rare indeed. Along the way, both sides of the road were full of people waiting for paying their respect. The coffin was placed on a big vehicle with the statues of 3 flying horses. It looked like carrying the coffin in the sky. Following behind with full of people. At the center of the field was a sālā for the coffin. It was surrounded by 6 pavilions; 3 on the right and the others on the left. Also in the field was a cremation ground built with concrete. They placed the coffin at the central sālā for 7-days ceremony. For 7-days each of the 6 pavilions took their turn to carry the coffin from the central sālā to their place for veneration.
Bees made home for the 3rd time:
On the 8th Jan. 1963, U Kyaw Thein and Daw Tim Hla's pavilion had the chance to invite the coffin for veneration. It was 3 p.m., and when it was carried to their place from the central sālā, a strange thing happened. Many bees were flying above people heads along the way to U Kyaw Thein's pavilion. Before the coffin arrived there they made home inside the pavilion. Two minutes later the coffin arrived. Inside was full of people.
The last cremation day:
It was on 9th Jan. 1963, 2:30 p.m. The body was carried by people on their shoulders along the way by changing hands. After the body was laid down on the cremation shelf, it did not look like a corpse. Because the body was soft and yellow bright and it seemed Sayadaw slept there peacefully. The place was encircled with 3 layers of people; i.e., inner layer was with monks, the middle with firemen and the outer with policemen. Because some lay disciples were planning to take Sayadaw's body away for preservation, instead of cremation. And then it was covered by white and red sandalwoods (i.e., included 1,000 woods in number) and became a ceti mount. It was spread with liquid butter and put fire on it. It did not catch up with fire for sometimes. So a monk sprayed petrol on it and lit the fire. With a sudden “boom” sound the monk fell on his back with a big sooty smoke arose. And then it flared up suddenly that the monks had to run down from the platform for safety. It was finished around 9 p.m. at night and cooling the fire place with coconut water. And then put all the ashes and charcoal into 2 silver pots, sealed with 2 bags, and sent to the meditation centre. Next morning some people found body relics (sarīra) on the cremation site. After 3 days passed the bags were opened and checked the ashes in the silver pots. What they found were:
Some of the relics were enshrined in the Maṅgala Dhamma Dhātu Ceti which was built on the cremation spot. It took 2 years to finish. Before to end the short biography of Mogok Sayadaw here; I want to present 2 well known Burmese Sayadawgyis' views on Mogok Sayadaw's teachings and his wisdom. They were; Shwe-hin-tha Sayadaw U Pandita, Sa-gaing Hill Range and Tipiṭaka Sayadaw U Vicittasarabhivamsa, Min-goon. Both of them were very well known and respected in the whole Burma.
Shwe-hin-tha Sayadaw mentioned on Mogok Sayadaw as follows.
“I had been followed Mogok Sayadaw's lectures before. At that time, he was lecturing Paṭṭhāna – Conditional Relations (the 7th text book of Abhidhamma). He was a person with great and sharp knowledge. Paṭṭhāna Abhidhamma is like an ocean. It is very wide, deep and difficult. To swim across to the other shore is very difficult indeed. He could help the students to cross to the other shore. He had this ability.”
Tipiṭaka Sayadaw's view
A lay supporter asked Sayadaw; “Ven. Sir, nowadays Mogok Vipassanā Dhammas are everywhere. Do these teachings are in accordance with the suttas, commentaries and sub-commentaries? ”Sayadaw not answered them as right or wrong. Instead he said as follow; “If the Buddha still alive will give him the title of foremost in teaching the Burmese people in Burmese language for understanding Dhamma. He could get the foremost title for Burmese Commentator.” Mogok Sayadaw' skill
Every time when there were conditions and chances, Min-goon Tipiṭaka Sayadaw mentioned as follow; “Mogok Sayadaw had the ability or skill to take out all the meanings in a Pali verse of the Buddha. He had this amazing skill. These Pali verses were also explained by commentators and sub-commentators before. But what Mogok Sayadaw's explanations of them were more natural and complete. He had the skill of taken out all the meanings without leaving any trace of meaning behind. Even he could express other meanings which were still not including in the commentary and sub-commentary. With Burmese language he had the ability to give the exposition in complete ways.” This might be one of the reasons he referred to Mogok Sayadaw as a Burmese commentator should receive the foremost in title.
(Note: Min-goon Tipiṭaka Sayadaw U Vicittasarabhivamsa was not an ordinary being. He had full of energy, power and skills in the Tipiṭaka. After Sayadaw passed away, 10 of his Tipiṭaka disciples compiled his life for a biography for over 2 years. After reading on his life and knew about the extreme difficulties of becoming a person like him.)
Five kinds of Dhamma-listeners
On 13th June, 1977, at Gyo-pin-kauk City. At 7:30 p.m., Sayadaw U Vicitta started his Dhamma talk as follow. There are always many people in my Dhamma talk. Also now, here is full of people and over-crowded. There are 5 kinds of Dhamma-listeners. It was mentioned in the Aṅguttara Nikāya. These people are:
- There are people having faith and respect in someone with good voice. This kind of people can't attain Nibbāna.
- There are people having faith and respect in someone with good looking. This kind of people also can't attain Nibbāna.
- There are people having faith and respect in someone with qualification and fame. Take me as an example. I am a Tipiṭakadhara monk with high qualifications. (It seemed there was no-one like him with many titles and qualifications before and now. Even may be in the future.) Even worship by very high classes of people. Tipiṭakadhara person is very rare. So these people have faith and respect in me. They can't attain Nibbāna.
- There are people having faith and respect in someone who has few wishes and few things (as example, Ven. Mahākassapa or forest monks). This kind of people can't attain Nibbāna.
There are people having faith and respect only in Dhamma. They don't care about the voice, nor concern about the appearance, not for the qualification and fame and not care about few wishes and few things, but only have respect and veneration in the Dhamma. Only this kind of people can attain Nibbāna in this life. Their numbers are not many. If I have to give example in this day, they are the listeners of Mogok Dhamma. Mogok Sayadaw U Vimala's talks were this kind of Dhamma. It can send one to Nibbāna in one sitting. People who respect this kind of Dhamma can be praiseworthy. And then Mogok Sayadaw U Vimala's Dhammas were 2 armed-lengths higher than my head. (His knowledge on the Tipiṭaka was from perception. Sayadaw can recite them by heart and even can tell the page number of a subject. Mogok Sayadaw knowledge came from wisdom or penetration of the khandha process.)
revised on 2019-05-26; cited from https://www.oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4022 (posted on 2018-12-14)
- A Brief Biography of The Mogok Sayadaw (Excerpts from "The Biography and Practice of The Mogok Sayadaw", Translated by Dr. Jenny Ko Gyi, ITBMU, Myanmar)
- Dhamma e-Book written about Mogok Sayadaw U Wimala's teaching (linking of Dhamma download web about Theravada Buddhism)
- Content of "Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"
- Content of Publications of Ven. Uttamo
This is only an experimental WWW. It's always under construction (proofreading, revising)!
According to the translator—Ven. Uttamo's words, this is strictly for free distribution only, as a gift of Dhamma—Dhamma Dāna. You may re-format, reprint, translate, and redistribute this work in any medium.
|[intro-01]||peittha: traditionally known as a viss in English; 1 viss= 1.63293 kg (cited from: Myanmar units of measurement , Wikipedia ; retrieved on 2019-01-02)|
|[intro-03]||añjali: lifting of the folded hands as a token of reverence|
bhāra: a burden or duty;
nikkhepana= nikkhepa: putting down, laying down, casting off, discarding, elimination, giving up, renunciation