The Most Venerable Taungpulu Tawya Kaba-Aye Sayadaw
Kaba Aye U Chit Tin
(First published in the ' The Light of Dhamma', Vol. 1, No. 2, Department of Religious Affairs, Rangoon, Burma, 1981)
The most Venerable Taungpulu Tawya Kaba-Aye Sayadaw was born to his cultivator family of Tezu Village, Wundwin Township, in the former Meiktila District of Upper Burma. He was the eldest chief of U Yan and Daw Shwe The and was born on Saturday the 3rd Waning day of Tabaung 1258 B.E. Maung Paw Lar was the name given by his parents.
At the age of seven he was admitted as a school boy to the Yewun Monastery of nearby Yewun Village, whore the presiding Sayadaw was U Teja. He studied not only the basic Buddhist education but also some fine arts and painting. He also studied basic Pali grammar and the Abhidhamma Sangaha.
As a bhikkhu
He was initiated as a novice samanera at the age of 13 by the preceptor Venerable Sayadaw U Teja, and He was called Shin Nandiya.
When he attained 7th year of novicehood, at the age of 20, he was fully ordained as a hhikkhu as Ashin Nandiya," by the Preceptor, U Teja, the Yewun Kyaung Sayadaw, supported by U Tun Aye and Daw Kyar Mhwe, Tezu village, Wundwin Township in 1917.
He studied the basicPitaka four years from his Preceptor U Teja, while performing his duties faithfully. In the 5th year of his monkhood, he went to Mandalay to study Pali Texts, Commentaries and Sub-commentaries. He stayed at Shwebo Kyaung, Dakkhinarama Phayagyi Taik for further studies.
He learned the Abhidhamma Texts from the Venerableble Shwebo Kyaung Sayadaw Ashin Acara, Abhidhamma Night-course (nyawa) and Kankha vitarani Commentary from the Venerable Sayadaw U Neyya and the Saratthadipani tika, sub-commentary from the Venerable Sayadaw U Tejavanta; and Five books of Vinaya from the Venerable Sayadaw U Narada, who were the then Venerable Lecturers of Dakkhinarama Phayagyi Taik. He learned pariyatti from the wellknown Venerable Sayadaws of Mandalay and other townships. Among them was the Venerable Kywepwe Osaik Sayadaw U Sasana of Pakokku Taik, from whom he learned five books of Vinaya again and three books of Suttanta as an outstanding pupil with great success. Hence he became famous for his learning of pitaka canonical literatures occording to Mandalay and Pakokku methods.
As a dhamma lecturer
After completing four years of study in Mandalay, he accepted the Yelekyaung Taik, Thazi in 1925, being requested by his younger brother, the Venerable Yelekyaung Sayadaw Ashin Nandobhasa - and he started teaching the dhamma. There were about one hundred sanghas learning pariyatti in Yele kyaung Taik; he taught them till he attained 20th year of his monk-hood.
From Pariyatti-learning to Patipatti-practice
In the year 1937 he left Yele kyaung Taik for Thaton with Asbin Nandobhasa and Htootwin Sayadaw, to undergo a training in Vipassana-Insight meditation. At that time the Venerable Mingun Jetavana Sayadaw U Narada was teaching the Mahasatipatthana Vipassana-Insight Meditation in Thaton. The Venerable Mingun Jetavana Sayadaw laid down rules and regulations for his Meditation Centre: The Meditators must have learnt patimokkha vinaya rules, must observe the practice of alms-round, and must have observed parivatta vinaya- kamma.
Ashin Nandiya stayed there for three years to get a proper training in Satipatthana-Insight Meditation. But as requested by Daw Kusala (a nun) and as instructed by the Venerable Jetavana Sayadaw, he went to Kanywin Village Monastery, 6 miles from Moulmein to propagate Satipatthana-Insight Meditation for two years. Thus he had practised in Lower Burma, 2 years from the Venerable Mingun Jetavana Sayadaw and 2 years at Kanywin Village.
13 Dhutanga Practices
Ashin Nandiya returned to his native, Tezu Village in 1941 and practised the dhutanga practice and Satipatthana Vipassana-Meditation. Since his 20th year of ordination he went from forest to forest, from grove to grove practing meditation without any social contact except on alms-round. When people frequent his place, he would soon leave that place and move to another secluded one. Sometimes he was found staying at Kyauksin Tawya, sometimes at Thabye Chaung and sometimes at Taungpulu. Since he was dwelling at Kyauksin Towya, he practised the 13 dutanga practices.
Taungpulu Meditation Centre
In 1951 the Taungpulu Se Reservoir was cocstructed. At that time Ashin Nandiya was dwelling at the foot of the trees, or in the bushes nearby. Sometimes he went for alms-round to the workers of the Reservoir and sometimes to Thaphan, Kyaunggon, Seywa, Thayetkan, Toungnyo-gone villages, several miles away. After his morning meals he used to return to the trees, or to the bushes, or to the rock which sheltered him temporarily. Meiktila Saya Hti and U San Nyein of Taungpulu Reservoir built a small bamboo building for him. He did not lie on his back but rest only in sitting posture.
Taungpulu Tawya Kaba-Aye Sayadaw
The Kaba-Aye Pagoda was built in 1962. He laid the foundation-stone of the Pagoda. The Ceremony of hoisting the parasol onto the Pagoda and the opening Ceremony of the Taungpulu Reservoir were held simultaneously on the same day. Hence he was known as the most Venerable Taungpulu Tawyaa Kaba-Aye Sayadaw.
He staved at the first Sinkyan Kyaung till 1963, and at the North Sinkyan Kyaung since 1964. The disciples are advised (1) to practise only in robes, (2) to have learnt Patimokkha rules of vinaya,(3) to go alms-round punctually and (4) to observe parivatta (vinaya kamma) duties faithfully.
Going abroad for Propagation of Buddha-Dhamma
On the invitation of the American Buddhists sponsored by Dr. Rina Sircar, of San Franisco, California, the most Venerable Taungpulu Tawya Kaba-Aye Sayadaw went on tour to United States of America for three months and twenty days, and proceeded to India for one month and fifteen days. In U.S.A. he consecrated a sima-hall. The 45 persons were ordained to become bhikkhus, 15 become novices, 30 female isi-yogis; and altogehter 800 became Buddhists; in India also, 14 were ordained to become bhikkhus, 12 became novices, and altogether 300 became Buddhists as the result of his first tour (1st August 1978—9th January 1979). Wherever he went he delivered the Mahasatipatthanana Vipassana-Insight Meditation, the fundamental tenets of Buddhism.
* Now the most Venerable Taungpulu Tawya Kaba-Aye Sayadaw is on tour in U.S.A. 25th April 1981) to propagate Buddha-Dhamma for the second time. As the current tour seems to be longer than the first one, it is hoped that the missionary effort may be more successfully accomplished. For his remarkable missionary work he won the international fame as the most Venerable Taungpulu Tawya Kaba-Aye Sayadaw of Burma.
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