Agga Maha Pandita

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Aggamahāpaṇḍita (Burmese: အဂ္ဂမဟာပဏ္ဍိတ, pronounced [ʔɛʔɡa̰ məhà pàɴdḭta̰]) is an honorific Burmese Buddhist title conferred by the Burmese government to distinguished Theravada Buddhist monks.


Aggamahāpandiṭa, meaning "foremost great and wise one," is derived from the following Pali terms:

  • Agga, from Aggasāvaka (အဂ္ဂသာဝက), which was conferred by the Buddha to his foremost disciples, Sariputta and Mahamoggallana.
  • Mahā, meaning "great."
  • Paṇḍita, meaning "wise or learned person," and denoting possession of wisdom and knowledge of Tipitaka.[1]


The title is usually awarded to Buddhist monks who are highly proficient in teaching the Dhamma or those who are believed to be enlightened (arahants). The title is awarded annually in January by the head of the Burmese government, following after rigorous and subtle examination of a monk's wisdom and achievement by the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee.

Recipients must meet the following qualifications:[2]

  • Possesses the Aggamahāganthavācakapaṇḍita title
  • Has at least 40 years (vassa) in the monkhood
  • Is an morally upright person (sīlavanta)
  • Has passed the Dhammācariya examination
  • Expert writer of Pali commentaries and Pali texts
  • Expert teacher of Pali commentaries and Pali texts
  • Serves as an abbot for a monastic college (ပရိယတ္တိစာသင်တိုက်)
  • Commands authority and influence among Sangha disciples
  • Free of accusations and disputes


Historically, the Buddha had disciples who held title of Aggasāvaka and Mahāsāvaka who were already enlightened Ariyas and regarded as leaders of the communities of monks known as the Sangha.

From 1915 to 1942, the British colonial government conferred the title Aggamahāpaṇḍita (အဂ္ဂမဟာပဏ္ဍိတ) to 98 monks.[3] From 1951 through 1953, the Burmese government awarded the Aggamahāpaṇḍita title to 15 monks.[3]

List of recipients[edit]


  1. ^ "Bala-pandita Sutta: The Fool & the Wise Person". Retrieved 2016-11-14.
  2. ^ "ဘွဲ့တံဆိပ် ဂုဏ်အင်္ဂါအရည်အချင်းသတ်မှတ်ချက်". Department of Religious Affairs (in Burmese). Ministry of Religious Affairs. 17 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b "ဘွဲ့တံဆိပ်သမိုင်း". Department of Religious Affairs (in Burmese). Ministry of Religious Affairs.
  4. ^ "Sayadaw U Pannavamsa". Archived from the original on 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
  5. ^ "Religious and Cultural Relations". Aggamaha Panditha Awardees. Embassy of Myanmar Sri Lanka. Archived from the original on 2013-12-10. Retrieved 15 February 2014.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]