Who is the Buddhist Monk to whom the Foreign Minister bowed? « Khabarhub
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Who is the Buddhist Monk to whom the Foreign Minister bowed?

23 June 2024  

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KATHMANDU: Pictures of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha bowing to a Buddhist monk have gone viral on social media. 

In the images, Minister Shrestha, dressed in white, is seen kneeling and bowing at the feet of a Buddhist monk.

The pictures were taken at Sailung Rural Municipality-7, where Foreign Minister Shrestha visited the monk, who has been residing there for around three months. 

The images have sparked curiosity about the identity of the monk.

The monk in question is the Most Venerable Pa-Auk Tawya Sayadaw Bhaddanta Āciṇṇa, commonly referred to as “the Sayadaw.” 

He is the Abbot and principal teacher of the Pa-Auk Forest Monastery in Mawlamyine, Myanmar. (Sayadaw is a Burmese honorific title meaning “respected teacher.”)

Born in 1934, the Sayadaw was ordained as a novice monk (sāmaṇera) at the age of ten. 

He studied the Pāli Texts under various teachers and passed the three Pāli language examinations while still a novice. 

At age twenty, he received higher ordination as a bhikkhu. 

He continued his studies of the Pāli Texts under learned elder monks and passed the Dhammacariya examinations at age twenty-two, equivalent to a BA in Buddhist Pali Studies, conferring the title of “Dhamma Teacher.”

In 1964, the Sayadaw intensified his meditation practice and began practicing “forest dwelling.” 

While continuing his studies of the Pāli Texts and his investigation into the Dhamma, he sought and received instruction from revered meditation teachers of that era.

In 1981, the Sayadaw became the Abbot of Pa-Auk Forest Monastery, at the invitation of Venerable Aggapañña, the previous Abbot. Since 1983, both monastics and laypeople have been coming to study and practice meditation under his guidance. 

Foreign meditators began arriving at the Monastery in the early 1990s.

In 1997, the Sayadaw published his magnum opus, a comprehensive five-volume work titled The Practice that Leads to Nibbāna, explaining the entire course of teaching in detail and supported by numerous quotations from the Pāli Texts. 

It is currently available only in Burmese and Sinhalese. 

His teachings have been published in several highly regarded books in English.

The Sayadaw is both a highly esteemed Dhammācariya (Dhamma Teacher) and an accomplished Kammaṭṭhānācariya (Meditation Teacher).

 He speaks fluent English and has lectured and led retreats in numerous countries, including Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Germany, the UK, and the USA.

In recognition of his achievements, the government of Myanmar bestowed upon him the title “Agga Mahā Kammaṭṭhānācariya,” meaning “Most Highly Respected Meditation Teacher,” in 1999. 

In 2009, he was bestowed the title “Shwekyin Nikāya Rattaññūmahānāyaka” at the 17th Shwekyin Nikaya Saṅgha Conference in Myanmar.

(Information are taken from the website of Pa-Auk Tawya Meditation Centre)

Publish Date : 23 June 2024 11:26 AM

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