Ledi Sayadaw

Ledi Sayadaw

Ledi Sayadaw

Ledi Sayadaw U Ñaṇadhaja (December 1, 1846 – June 27, 1923) was a highly influential Theravada Buddhist monk. He was recognized from an early age as being highly developed in both the theory (Abhidhamma) and practice of Buddhism and was therefore revered as a scholar.

Sayadaw began his studies at age 20 in Mandalay at Thanjaun. While there he was considered to be a bright and ambitious young monk but his work was scholarly. Leaving Mandalay after a great fire in 1883 caused the loss of his home and his written work to that time, Sayadaw returned to the village of his youth.

Soon, Sayadaw founded a forest monastery in the “Ledi forest” and began practicing and teaching intensive meditation. It was from this monastery that he would take his name, Ledi Sayadaw, meaning “respected teacher of the Ledi forest.” In 1900, Sayadaw gave up control of the monastery and pursued more focused meditation in the mountain caves near the banks of the Chindwin River.

He wrote many books on Dhamma in Burmese that were also accessible to serious lay followers. Hence, he was responsible for spreading Dhamma to all levels of society and reviving the traditional practice of Vipassanā meditation. Ledi Sayadaw is therefore seen as one of the forefathers of the contemporary Vipassanā movement.

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