Sayadaw U Narada
Maha Bodhi Tahtaung Sayadaw
|Title||Maha Bodhi Sayadaw Agga Mahā Saddhamma Jotika Dhaja U Nãrada|
31 January 1931
|Died||22 November 2006 (aged 75)|
|Based in||Maha Bodhi Ta Htaung|
Sayadaw U Narada was the founding sayadaw (chief abbot) of Maha Bodhi Ta Htaung, who planted many thousands of Bodhi trees, built thousands of pagodas and Buddha statues, including the Standing Buddha Statue, Reclining Buddha Image and Aung Sakkya Pagoda.
Narada was born Toe Kywe at 4 am on 31 January 1931 (the 14th Waxing of Tabodwe 1292 ME) to parents U Tun Myat and Daw Saw Myaing in Ywa-kyat village (now Shwedwingon village) in Ayadaw Township (previously Tabayin Township), Sagaing Region.
He was with placenta across his shoulder and two upper eye teeth when born.
At the age of five, he started to study Buddhist literature under Koesu Kyaung U Suneyya, the first cousin of his mother. He worked hard his studies, and was patient, polite, kind and peaceful.
At the age of 13, he was initiated into novicehood under the patronage of Abbot U Suneyya. His Dharma name was Shin Narada.
On 26 June 1950 (10th Waxing of First Waso 1312 ME), Narada received higher ordination under the patronage of Abbot U Suneyya at Koesu Monastery's Khanda Ordination Hall under the sponsorship of U Htein and Daw Thant of Abhaya village in Dabanyin Township.
Study of Buddhist literature
He studied Buddhist literature at famous monasteries in Monywa, Chaung-U, Pakokku and Mandalay Townships for 14 years. He picked up tuberculosis pursuing education in Maha Visutarama Monastery in Pakokku. He received treatment at Pakokku Hospital and Mandalay Hospital. However, he was not getting well. So, he met with Venerable Nan-U Monk with the arrangements of U Maung Ko.
He continued his study of Buddhist literature under Venerable Nan-U Monk and practised tranquility meditation and insight meditation (vipassana). After residing together with Venerable Nan-U Monk, he returned to Koesu Monastery.
On the full moon Day of Tabaung 1318 ME, he made a trip with Bachit (his attendant or kappiya) to Myayeik. There, they found an 18-cubit-high Buddha image and a 13-cubit-high Buddha image while excavating the ground on a hill. Then, the Buddha image became well known as Pawdawmu (strangely excavated) Mya Yeik Buddha Image, and Shin Narada, as "Pawdawmu Kodawlay" (lit. 'young monk who had excavated the images') and as Yaykodawlay since it rained in just Myayeik and Ywa-kyat village after he had excavated them. Moreover, an earthquake occurred while excavating, so they did not excavated hardly.
Establishment of Bodhi Tahtaung
After he had been a monk for ten years, his uncle Abbot U N´eya of Khatakkan (South) Village Monastery died; he moved to the monastery at the invitation of laypersons and resided there as the abbot. On the 11th Waxing of Kason 1322 ME, he conveyed 27 Bo tree saplings from Koesu Monastery. At 8.55 am the following day, together with Venerable Nan-U Monk, he planted the 27 Bo saplings.
Now, the 15 acres (0.061 km2) Bodhi Tahtaung (One Thousand Bo trees) Auspicious Ground has been extended to a 250 acres (1.0 km2) one, and it is lush and green with more than 9,000 Bo trees. So, he had been locally and globally well known as Bodhi Tahtaung Sayadaw (One Thousand Bo Trees Monk).
He died in Mandalay at 12.35 pm on Wednesday, 22 November 2006 (the 3rd Waxing of Nadaw 1368 ME).
- Be sympathetic; Others, like you, want to be rich. Do not seek self-interest at expense of others' interest. Others, like you, have to struggle to earn their living. Do not earn your living at expense of others' interest.
- Forget them not; It is food that you are not content with although you eat every day. It is speech that you cannot deliver properly although you speak every day. It is Dhamma (Universal Truth) that you do not realize although it exists really. Mental sufferings cause physical ones. Without a calm mind, your soul and body cannot be in harmony. You should try your best to keep your mind calm. Have mindfulness whatever you do.
- Man good for nothing;Perform at least a meritorious deed a day. Do not stay idle. If you do, you will be the one good for nothing.
- Door to Nirvana;To open the door to Nirvana,do charity firstly and observe the Precepts. Then, contemplate Attributes of the Three Gems.And then, practice insight meditation.
- Ways to prosperity; Surely, you will enjoy a promising future if you have strong desire and hard work. Surely, you will enjoy a promising future if you are patient and tolerant. Earn money and practice thrifty. Spend money expeditiously and live in a suitable place.
- Four causes of ruin; No repair to damaged things, failure to search what has been lost, extravagance, and stupidity, they are four causes of ruin.
- Our Task; Be patient, persevering and tolerant. Go on practicing, and exert efforts. This is our task.
- The gift of Bodhi Tahtaung; Want to be rich? Have good will. Want to be poor? Have ill will. Mindlessness leads one to hell. These words constitute the gift of Bodhi Tahtaung.
- Three good things; Try to do the three good things- Do good deeds; Say good words; Think good thoughts. So, good deeds, good speech and good thoughts be your guide.
- Three Don'ts; Never do, say or think anything that is harmful to others.
- Three Do's; There are three do's you need to practice. They are; Find light in the dark; Stay clean and clear in a mess; Keep cool in the heat.
- The beneficiary; You are the one who will reap the fruits of your deeds, good or bad.
- Good will; One will be lucky if one has good will. One will be unlucky if one has ill will. Only a man of goodwill wins good friends.
- Attitude; It is a big mistake to think too little of others. One will make enemies if one is rude. There may be those who do not like you. But don't let them hate you. You will have peace of mind instantly if you are free from envy and jealousy.
- Do not get depressed; You will hurt your body if you are in despair. You will feel tired if you are in distress. It does not matter if you are tired physically. Do not get depressed.
- He who always cultivates mindfulness attains Nirvana. He who does not cultivate mindfulness is born and dies endlessly. Lord Buddha delivered a discourse time and again, mindfulness should be cultivated at all times.
- Remain calm in the face of vicissitudes
- You acquire one thing or another. But, do not be conceited for what you have got.
- You lose one thing or another. But, do not feel downhearted.
- You get acquainted with one person or another. But, do not be conceited for whom you have got acquainted with.
- You will be hated by one person or another. But, do not feel offended for being hated.
- You will come under criticism of one person or another. But, do not feel downhearted.
- You receive praise of one person or another. But, do not be conceited for being praised.
- You sometimes feel happy with something. But, do not be conceited.
- You sometimes feel unhappy with something. But, do not feel downhearted.
- The magazine of honour published in the second Diamond Jubliee on the 75th birthday of Maha Bodhi Tahtaung Sayadaw
- The biography of Maha Bodhi Tahtaung abbot; Life Journey in 60 years, written by Migada Wone abbot.
- Words of Guidance given by Venerable Maha Bodhi Tahtaung Sayadaw; translated and published by U Thet Tin