8 September 2012

My True Experience About Thabarwa Sayadaw U Ottamasara

My True Experience About
Thabarwa Sayadaw U Ottamasara

Htar Yi Win

I am a niece of Major-General Ne Win, Military Assistant to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. I am a yogi disciple of Thabarwa Sayadaw U Ottamasara, meditating in the Thabarwa Centre under the guidance of Sayadaw. I also offer my voluntary humanitarian services to look after the residents who come to take refuge in the Centre. My name is Daw Htar Yi Win.

I am a Buddhist by tradition. My father was an Officer in the Defence Services. He was an elder brother of Major-General Ne Win. When he went out on front line duty in the battlefields, my mother used to pray in the shrine room for his safety and safe return home. She also taught me to pray for my father and recite parittas and mantras.  We used to visit the monasteries and offer donations to the presiding Sayadaws and monks.  We also observe the precepts of morality and fasting. When my father was transferred to many towns in the course of his duty assignments we all followed him. In that way we gained general knowledge. We also had opportunities to pay respect to many venerable sayadaws and monks in different towns. 
Frankly speaking I had no strong devotion to Buddhism. I did not know much about the teachings of Lord Buddha or Dhammas. I was only an ordinary Buddhist by tradition, not by devoted belief. We all experienced the ups and downs of life. When we are faced with difficulties we went to meditate in the Dhamma centres to find relief from troubles.
One day during the Thingyan festival (Water festival) one of my friends asked me whether I was interested in meditation practice. She told me that she knew one very learned and disciplined Sayadaw worthy of veneration and respect. I consented to her proposal and she took me to visit Sayadaw U Ottamasara in Thanlyin. At that time it was just a casual meeting with no strong impression of Sayadaw’s virtues and accomplishments.

It was one summer time. Yangon city was reeling under extreme heat.  By chance while I was shopping in town I saw Sayadaw and monks going on alms rounds from one street to another under the bright burning sun. All monks walked barefooted. Sayadaw was enduring such hot weather to find alms and donation to feed more than one thousand yogis who took shelter in his Thabarwa Centre. Very pitiably those yogis were old, infirm and sick, and abandoned by their relatives. I could imagine the selfless compassion of the Sayadaw by his good deeds in taking care of the food, shelter and clothing for these unfortunate people in old age. Thus my feeling of respect and devotion for Sayadaw and his missionary spirit grew instantly from that moment.

Later I frequently visited Thabarwa Centre in Thanlyin to pay respects to Sayadaw. I listened to his Sacca Dhamma teaching sermons. I entered into meditation under his guidance. I volunteered to help the old residents in many ways. With such close contacts I came to personally observe the respectable quality and compassion of Sayadaw. He was indeed endowed with morality, virtue and wisdom. He has foresight and supreme vision. His devotion to Lord Buddha and Dhamma teachings was unquestionable and absolute. His efforts to take care of the unfortunate old persons, his sympathy and accomplishments are truly commendable which cannot be fulfilled by any other ordinary person except himself with conviction and dedication.

In his daily practice Sayadaw guided through sermons and practical meditation to bring relief to people suffering from the evil influences of greed, anger, delusion, wrongful craving, wrong and heretical beliefs . Sayadaw showed his disciples and yogis to follow the right way ultimately realizing nibbana, end of all suffering. He guided terminally ill people to find true dhamma in their dying moments. He gives refuge to all people, old and young, the sick and the healthy, good and evil equally without discrimination. He feeds them, gives them shelter and clothing, take care of their health and guides them to follow the teachings of Dhamma  to bring peace of mind.

Sayadaw is young in age and also young in monkhood. But he has accomplished humanitarian deeds which no one can do so. I have never come across such a truly admirable monk like Sayadaw in my life.  Thabarwa Centre’s reputation has spread to the whole country (shores of Myanmar) and abroad. Many poor and needy and sick old people come to seek refuge in large numbers and is overcrowded.  Many donors donate generously for the poor and needy, with full confidence in Sayadaw’s honesty and humanitarian work. New buildings are built to accommodate the increasing crowd.

I am always trying to follow Sayadaw’s instructions and his admirable examples. I pray that many holy monks may appear to help the poor and needy people as Sayadaw is doing now.