Agga Maha Pandita
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Agga Maha Pandita (Burmese: အဂၢမဟာပဏ္ဍိတ, pronounced: [ʔɛʔɡa̰ məhà pàɴdḭta̰]) is an honorific title used in Theravada Buddhism in reference to Buddhists, usually monks, who are considered to be unusually wise, noble, and enlightened.
The title is usually awarded to holy monks who are highly proficient in teaching the Dhamma or those who are believed to be enlightened (Arahants). The Buddha had disciples who held title of Agga Savaka and Maha savaka who were already enlightened Ariyas and regarded as leaders of the communities of monks known as the Sangha or Samgha.
The title of Agga Maha Pandita is awarded every year in January by the Head of Government of Myanmar (Burma) after rigorous and subtle examination of a monk's wisdom and achievement by the Committee of Sangha Nayakas.
The prefix 'Agga' is derived from the ancient Pali word 'Aggasavaka' (အဂ္ဂသာဝက agga thawaka in Burmese). This title 'Aggasavaka' was given by the Buddha to the two top disciples, Sariputta and Mahamoggallana. 'Maha' is also derived from the Pali and it usually means 'Great'. The third word 'Pandita' means 'wise or learned person' and denotes possession of wisdom and knowledge of Tipitaka. Therefore, Agga Maha Pandita can be translated as "Foremost Great and Wise One".
List of conferees
- Ledi Sayadaw (1911, Title offered by the Government of India),
- Ashin Janakabhivamsa (1948)
- Mahasi Sayadaw (1952)
- Ambalangoda Polwatte Buddhadatta Thera (1954)
- Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Thero (1955)
- Sayadaw U Thittila (1956)
- Anisakhan Sayadaw U Pandita
- Mogok Sayadaw U Vimala (1962)
- Mingun Sayadaw U Vicittasarabhivamsa (1979)
- Myaungmya Sayadaw U Nyanika (1991)
- Birmingham Sayadaw U Rewatadhamma
- Sitagu Sayadaw Ashin Nyanissara
- Sayadaw U Silananda (1993)
- Madihe Pannaseeha Thero (1996)
- Sayadaw U Pannavamsa (1998)
- Walpola Rahula Thera (1998)
- Yaykyi Mingala Kyaungtaik Sayadaw, Bhaddanta Indobhasa
- "Sayadaw U Pannavamsa". Retrieved 2010-04-10.
- "Religious and Cultural Relations". Aggamaha Panditha Awardees. Embassy of Myanmar Sri Lanka. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- List of Some Sayadaws with Agga Maha Pandita Title
- "Myanmar Literature Project" - Southeast Asian Studies Passau
- Myanmar Theravada Buddhism website in English
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