The Venerable U Āciṇṇa
commonly referred to as the Venerable Pa-Auk Tawya Sayadaw (“the
Sayadaw”), or Pa-Auk Sayadaw in brief, is the revered abbot
(“the Abbot”) and the principal teacher (“the
Teacher”) of the Monastery.
Born in 1934, the Sayadaw was ordained as a novice monk at the age of 10. During the next decade, he studied the Pāli
Texts under famous teachers of the time, and passed the three levels of Pāli
language examinations (Primary, Intermediate and Higher levels), while
still a novice. In 1954, he received his higher ordination as a bhikkhu
at the age 20. He passed the prestigious Dhammācariya
examination which confers the title of Dhamma
Teacher in 1956, at the age of 22.
Commencing in 1964, the Sayadaw began to practise forest dwelling during his tenth vassa
(three month rains retreat). While continuing his study of the Pāli
Texts, he sought out and gained instructions from eminent meditation
teachers in Myanmar of those times. Since then, the Sayadaw has
practised meditation as much as he could while living a simple life
till this day. In 1981, he came, in response to the request by the then
dying abbot of Pa-Auk Tawya, and became the Abbot of the Monastery. He
subsequently went on to found the Upper Monastery.
It has been the lifelong aim of the Sayadaw, and the mission of Pa-Auk Tawya, to promote and propagate the Buddhasāsana
, the teachings of The Buddha through pariyatti
(realization). As advised by The Buddha, learning goes hand-in-hand
with practice, and practical experience of that knowledge leads
eventually to the realization of it.
Since 1983, monks and laity have been coming to Pa-Auk Tawya to learn
and train in meditation under the Sayadaw. Foreign meditators began to
arrive at the Monastery in the early 1990’s.
The Sayadaw speaks fluent English, and he has given Dhamma
talks and led meditation retreats internationally. These include Sri
Lanka, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, and most recently the
United States of America. In 2005 he is scheduled to lead retreats in
the United States, Japan, UK, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Singapore and
Malaysia. Please refer to International Retreats
In 1997, the Sayadaw published his magnum opus, a five-volume tome titled Nibbānagāminipaṭipadā
(The Practice that Leads to Nibbāna
in Burmese. This has been translated into Sinhala. A number of smaller
books by the Sayadaw have been published in Burmese. Also published are
a number of books comprising re-edited translations of Burmese texts
into English. For books in English and in Chinese and other foreign
languages, please refer to Books
In public recognition of his achievements, the government of the Union of Myanmar awarded the Sayadaw the title Agga Mahā Kammaṭṭhānācariya
(Highly Respected Meditation Master) in 1999.