The Venerable Sayadaw U Pandita (29 July 1921 - 16 April 2016) was one of the foremost masters of Vipassana meditation of our era. He trained in the Burmese Theravada Buddhist tradition. A successor to the late Mahasi Sayadaw, he taught many of the Western teachers and students of the Mahasi style of Vipassana meditation. He was the abbot of Panditarama Meditation Center in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma).
We are happy to be able to present the following two texts for personal use, in Acrobat format, in association with the Saddhamma Foundation. It retains the copyright of the texts and permission should be sought from the Foundation in regard to wider distribution or publication.
The teachings contained in this publication are a selection of transcribed talks given by Venerable Sayadaw U Pandita at the Tathagatha Meditation center, in San Jose, California over a number of years. To be in the midst of noble warriors steeped in the satipatthana meditation practice is a blessing, to learn from them, a rare occurrence, and to realize their wisdom, an aspiration.
Freedom Within was completed in the wake of Most Venerable Sayadaw U Pandita’s passing away on 16 April 2016. It is hoped that the insightful and practical teachings contained in this publication are a helpful guide to those dedicated to the Buddha’s way, the direction of travel where all things uncreated and unbound are free of cessation.
"Developing a state of mind that is beautiful:
In an uncultivated plot of land, weeds will sprout and take over. It won’t be a pleasant sight. If we make the effort to landscape this, it might be attractive and we may benefit from the plants, we may even build a house on the land and make use of it. Our plot of land becomes useless if we fail to cultivate it. To the extent we cultivate the land, it is valuable. Our lives are the same; to the extent that we cultivate and nourish our minds, our lives become very valuable.
Failing in mindfulness, to note and to know, we leave room for defilements (kilesa) to creep in. We can fall victim to sense experience if the observing power of satipatthana is absent, not knowing the processes of seeing, hearing, smelling and so forth. As a result, we will be left in ignorance (moha) of the way things are."
This free e-book contains the essence of over 50 years of Sayadaw U Pandita's clarification of Satipatthana Vipassana meditation practice. The message conveyed in this set of lectures is that one must be meticulous (with correct practice) if one wants to experience the incredible Buddha Dhamma for oneself.
"The Buddha recommended dhamma puja – to undertake the three sikha trainings, morality, concentration and wisdom. Amisa puja, paying respect by offering material things cannot maintain or prolong the teachings of the Buddha.
The Buddha constructed the dhamma pagoda (dhamma ceti) by eradicating all defilements. Ceti is what people establish to pay respect and reflect upon the virtues of the Buddha. There are different types of ceti. There are those that contain relics (dhatu ceti) and those that contain the Buddha's belongings (pariboga ceti) as well as those that contain images of the Buddha (udesa ceti).
None of these are as important as the construction of a dhamma ceti through the practice of satipatthana meditation. Practice the thirty seven requisites of enlightenment, become mindful of sensory consciousness and be aware of “seeing”, “hearing”, “smelling” and so on so that you can attain path and fruition knowledge (magga pala ñana) and construct a dhamma ceti within your own heart. Constructing a dhamma ceti doesn't involve brick, sand, water or cement. It is constructed through the practice of satipatthana meditation. By practicing diligently, one realizes the four noble truths and can pay respect to the Buddha by offering the highest dhamma puja.
May you all be able to do dhamma puja by practicing satipatthana mediation in the way that the Buddha really liked and appreciated!"