Ledi Sayadaw

A Manual of the Excellent Man

A Manual of the Excellent Man

This manual is written in reply to a layperson requesting guidance in developing insight, clarifying doctrinal aspects, and advancing from a blind worldling to a wise and virtuous person who has the eye of knowledge.

In clear, concise, vivid language the author explains the perfections, seven aspects of the five aggregates to be perceived, the true peace of Nibbana, how to be mindful while doing a meritorious deed, practicing the three refuges, the four types of Buddhists, and understanding the Four Noble Truths and Dependent Origination. Included is an exhortation regarding great opportunities for human rebirth, meeting the Buddha, becoming a bhikkhu, having confidence, and hearing the Dhamma.

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About 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.

You yourselves must strive, the Buddhas only point the way

Buddha, Dhp 276