Thursday, November 26, 2009

Widely Respected Burmese Monk Dies

The respected Burmese monk and author of 15 books on Buddhism, Phyu Sayadaw Bhaddanta Narapati, died in Rangoon on Tuesday, aged 68.

Phyu Sayadaw, an authority on meditation and dharma, traveled widely abroad and won a large following. Tributes flowed in from many countries.

Phyu Sayadaw Bhaddanta Narapati
Phyu Sayadaw was born in 1942 in Burma's Sagaing Division. He was initiated as a novice in 1953 and later ordained a fully-fledged Buddhist monk.

He studied in monasteries in Sagaing, Pakkhoku and Mandalay Divisions, attaining the degrees of Sasanadhaja Dhammakariya (High Dhamma Teacher) and Dhammakathika Bahujanahitadharain. He learned and practiced insight meditation under the Most Venerable Mahasi-Sayadaw, putting his knowledge to use as a lecturer at the Mahasi meditation centers of Laykyunthaya, Sagaing and Rangoon.

Phyu Sayardaw conducted meditation retreats and lectured on dharma in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and other countries of Asia.

Among his best known books are "I Don’t Die without Owing the Debts of My Mother’s Gratitude," "Religion Written in Blood," "Flower Blooms in Burning Land," "Sacrifice Your Lives forthe Victory of Sasana (religion)" and ‘Human Life that Nats (Spirits) are Longing to Get."

Phyu Sayardaw donated about US $7,000 for the construction of the Lawka Chanthar Pagoda in the US state of New Jersey.

He established Phyu Mahasi meditation centers in Rangoon's Hlaing Township and Phyu Township in Pegu Division, with the aim of teaching young people about religion, culture and customs and instruct novice monks, nuns and yogis about dharma.

Ashin Nandasariya, a follower who lives in Thailand, said: "I admire him for his brilliant explanations of dharma. He delivered the essence of Theravada Buddhism. Some of his dharma teaching is invaluable for ordinary people.”

A monk at the International Theravada Buddhist University in Rangoon said: “We should take example from the great work of Phyu Sayadawgyi. He emphasized the real essence of Theravada Buddhism and criticized belief in nats (spirits) and the occult."

Nyi Nyi Lwin, a follower who lives in Singapore, said: “I feel great sadness at Phyu Sayadawgyi's death, which is a great loss for Burma and the Buddhist religion. I respected him for his honesty and frankness.”

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