U Nārada

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In this Burmese name, U is an honorific.
U Nārada
Religion Buddhism
School Theravada
Other names Mingun Jetawun Sayadaw
Mingun Jetavana Sayādaw
Dharma names Nārada
Personal
Nationality Burmese
Born 1868
Died 1955 (1956) (aged 87)
Senior posting
Title Sayadaw
Religious career
Students Mahasi Sayadaw, Nyanaponika Thera

U Nārada (Burmese: နာရဒ; 1868–1955),[1] also Mingun Jetawun Sayādaw or Mingun Jetavana Sayādaw, was a Burmese monk in the Theravada tradition credited with being one of the key figures in the revival of Vipassana meditation.[1]

His prominent students, particularly Mahasi Sayadaw, helped popularize what is now known as the "New Burmese Method" or the "Mahasi method."[1] Sayadaw is a Burmese term of respect when addressing major Buddhist monks and means "great master".

Creation of the New Burmese method[edit]

Nyanaponika Thera, himself a student of Mahasi Sayadaw, describes the manner in which U Nārada developed the New Burmese Method:

It was at the beginning of this century that a Burmese monk, U Nārada by name, bent on actual realization of the teachings he had learnt, was eagerly searching for a system of meditation offering a direct access to the Highest Goal, without encumbrance by accessories. Wandering through the country, he met many who were given to strict meditative practice, but he could not obtain guidance satisfactory to him. In the course of his quest, coming to the famous meditation-caves in the hills of Sagaing in Upper Burma, he met a monk who was reputed to have entered upon those lofty Paths of Sanctitude (ariya-magga) where the final achievement of Liberation is assured. When the Venerable U Narnda put his question to him, he was asked in return: 'Why are you searching outside of the Master's word? Has not the Only Way, Satipaṭṭhāna, been proclaimed by Him?'

U Nārada took up this indication. Studying again the text and its traditional exposition, reflecting deeply on it, and entering energetically upon its practice, he finally came to understand its salient features. The results achieved in his own practice convinced him that he had found what he was searching for: a clear-cut and effective method of training the mind for highest realization. From his own experience he developed the principles and the details of the practice which formed the basis for those who followed him as his direct or indirect disciples. In order to give a name to the Venerable U Narada's method of training in which the principles of Sattipatṭṭhāna are applied in such a definite and radical way, we propose to call it here the Burmese Sattipatṭṭhāna Method; not in the sense that it was a Burmese invention but because it was in Burma that the practice of that ancient Way had been so ably and energetically revived.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Robert H. Sharf, Buddhist Modernism and the Rhetoric of Meditative Experience, Numen 42 (1995) pg 242
  2. ^ The Heart of Buddhist Meditation: Satipaṭṭhāna: a handbook of mental training based on the Buddha's way of mindfulness, with an anthology of relevant texts translated from the Pali and Sanskrit by Nyanaponika (Thera). Buddhist Publication Society, 1992 pg 95–96[1]