The Sayadaw Sanathar

El Sayadaw Sanathar Tillaw Keinda

The most Venerable Sayadaw (religious master) Tillaw Keinda (the Sadayaw Sanathar), born around 1925 and  founder of Aungtawmu Monastery, located in the Magway Division, in Myanmar, is a living example of sacrifice and endurance, his path is only matched by the ancient Mahasiddhas.


The Sayadaw has been giving regular teachings and interviews since 1952. In 1973 the Aungtawmu Monastery and Aungtawmu Pagoda were built to commemorate his great accomplishments. At the age of 47, the Sayadaw  Tillaw Keinda received his higher ordination. Since then, the Sayadaw has continued giving teachings and blessings.
 

First meeting between Maung Htun Yin (the Sayadaw Sanathar) and the Sayadaw  Pandita

 

Foto de Grupo en la ocasión de la ceremonia de transformacion a traves del fuego en Pauk Kyaung, Aungtawmu Monasterio,1975

 

It was around the time of preparation of the sixth Buddhist Council at Yangon, when other events were taking place in a far remote village of Magway Division, in Myanmar.


The Siddha and Sayadaw Nareinda Dhamma Tharmi, from Taung Nyo, set up a meditation center called Sasanar Saraparlana for spreading teachings on morality and wisdom, based upon Loving Kindness, Truth, Concentration and Dharma recitations. This was in December 1951. Using the body of Ma Gyan, the daughter of San Myint and Daw Mhi, from Letkhokepin Village, he set up the teachings on morality and meditation. In 1952, wishing also to encompass Vipassana teachings, he gave instructions on how to build the Vipassana Center in Yadana Bopyan Monastery, in Pegon Village. The number of practitioners was so numerous that the National Buddhist Society gave help in various forms.


The news that the Siddha and Sayadaw  Nareinda would give teachings on Satipatthana by dhatsii (using the body of Ma Gyan) at the house of her parents, on Monday 30th of June 1952 spread far and wide.
At the same time, about 5 miles north of Minbu, in Mebegon village, a 25 year old farmer, Maung Htun Yin, and his wife, Ma Ohn Shin, were feeling miserable. The reason was that, after a year of marriage, Maung Htun Yin suffered from a strange disease. His stomach started bloating, he had loss of appetite, coughed incessantly, had shortness of breath and threw up blood, etc.


Hospitalized at the Minbu General Hospital, the surgeon advised that fluid had accumulated in the stomach and promptly suctioned it out. Despite this, the disease got worse and the surgeon said he would have to perform an operation. Maung Htun Yin was afraid of the operation. As a prerequisite in this case, Maung Htun Yin's wife, Ma Ohn Shin, had to sign a paper giving consent to the operation. At the surgeon's bidding, Ma Ohn Shin and her uncle, Ko Sein, arrived that evening in a bullock cart.


As they had arrived quite late in the evening, the surgeon has already left for home and they had to stay at the hospital till the surgeon arrived the following morning. Reluctant to undergo surgery, Maung Htun Yin discussed matters with his wife and left the hospital surreptitiously during the night. They went to the place where Nareinda was teaching.


After unyoking the cows, they sat at the edge of the crowd. Hearing the teaching but without really listening, his attention was wholly occupied by his disease. Silently, he sought a way to reach the Siddha and Sayadaw to ask for medicine to cure the disease from which he was suffering.


When Maung Htun Yin saw the Sayadaw and a person in white robes come down from Nyein's house, he thought them to be followers of Nareinda. He begged for medicine to cure the disease he had contracted. After rejoicing on the merit and saying, "may peace be with you," the Sayadaw advised that, although the disease was at an advanced stage, he need not worry because he had met him.
 

Maung Htun Yin's promise

The only thing the Sayadaw wanted was Maung Htun Yin to promise that after he was cured, he should allow the Sayadaw to use his body (through the dhatsii method) for five years and help out in the propagation of the Buddha's teaching, just like Nareinda, by using the body of Ma Gyan.


The Sayadaw continued saying that if Maung Htun Yin (today known as Sanathar, Saturday born) agreed, he would be cured in no time at all and in the process gain a lot of merit. As Maung Htun Yin was thinking things over, the Botaw (secular master) Bo Htun Aung, who was dressed in white, urged Maung Htun Yin to consent, as the opportunity was only there because the Siddha and Sayadaw Pandita and Maung Htun Ying had accumulated perfections in their past lives. Therefore, there was no point in letting this chance slip away by not agreeing to the dhatsii method for teaching’s propagation.


Maung Htun Yin (Sanathar) thought about the surgeon's words that the operation was the only way to save him, and being very much afraid of the operation, agreed to Siddha and Sayadaw Pandita's terms, promising, if he was wholly cured, to help propagate the teachings of the Buddha for five years.


When the Siddha and Sayadaw Pandita had Maung Htun Yin's promise, he said 'Sadu' (well done) and 'may peace be with you', and gave him medicine to take. Maung Htun Yin (Sanathar) was very happy to find that the medicine was fragrant and tasty. The Siddha gave him some more medicine to be taken the next day at 5 p.m.


He was also instructed to take the medicine facing in the North-West direction, concentrating on The Three Gems (Buddha, Dharma and Sangha) and calling upon Pandita. With the words: "May peace be upon you my son. Do not worry, I the Siddha and Sayadaw Pandita, shall look after you" and after blessing him, the Sayadaw (Siddha and Sayadaw Pandita) and the person in white robes (the Siddha and Botaw Bo Htun Aung) suddenly disappeared from view. Convinced of these must be all powerful Siddhas, Maung Htun Yin and his wife left feeling very happy and returned to Mebegon Village. A peculiarity of this incident is that, while Maung Htun Yin and the Siddha and Sayadaw Pandita were talking, nobody else seemed to have noticed what passed between them.


The Siddha and Sayadaw Pandita and the Botaw Bo Htun Aung had taken notice of Maung Htun Aung for a long time, which included even lives, but had bided their time.


On Tuesday the 1st of July 1952, at 5 p.m., Maung Htun Yin's wife, Ma Ohn Shin, reminded her husband of the time and method of taking the medicine. Maung Htun Yin was instructed by the Siddha and Sayadaw Pandita to drink the medicine. By 7 p.m. that night, Maung Htun Yin was feeling very uncomfortable.


His stomach seemed to be growling and churning and without warning he threw up, and in quick succession, came out a large cow's tongue, knots of hair, blood and other unspeakable things. Although he was vomiting, all these things he still felt well. By vomiting and excreting, his body was cleansed of all disease and he had a good night's sleep. In the morning, his wife and relatives found him to be completely rid of all disease and ills. They joyfully and thankfully paid homage to the Siddha and Sayadaw Pandita by thinking of the Sayadaw and praising him.


At Mebegon village at 6 p.m., on Friday the 4th  July 1952, somebody whom nobody seemed to have noticed (the Siddha and Botaw Bo Htun Aung) went around the village announcing that starting from 7 p.m. that evening, the Siddha Pandita would be teaching at Pan Aung and Daw Phwar Kywe's house (parents of Maung Htun Yin's wife).  Pan Aung and Daw Phwar Kywe were surprised to hear of the event, particularly when villagers started to arrive at their house in droves.


Soon, the whole compound was filled with people. While almost everybody was wondering about the exact nature of the evening's coming event, Maung Htun Yin's (Sanathar, Saturday born) calm voice suddenly sounded: "The Siddha and Sayadaw Pandita, dwelling in Nagama Mountain wishes to propagate the Buddha's teachings, for that he has come down here and is going to give a teaching through Maung Htun Yin by dhatsii (using the body). Maung Htun Yin is like a radio and I am like a broadcasting station." With these words began the teaching, which lasted for about an hour. During that time a brilliant light emanated from the relics.


Since that day, the Siddhas of Nagama Mountain, led by the Head Master Sayadaw Kowida, began to spread the Buddha's teachings amongst people in many unique ways, coinciding with the Sixth Buddhist Council held in Yangon, Myanmar.
 

The Inauguration of the Siddha Meditation Centre

It was on the 11th of September, 1952, about 8 p.m., when people from Minbu, Saku and Mebegon villages gathered at the Siddha Meditation Center, which by that time was the house of Pan Aung and Daw Phwar Kywe, as previously mentioned. A sound was heard in the sky and the people of the village came running towards the Siddha Meditation Center shouting "Buddha is coming! Buddha is coming!" All of the people there witnessed the sight of a statuette of the Buddha descending from the sky towards the center. On arrival above the roof of the prayer room, the statuette descended into the room without causing any damage to the roof.


Maung Htun Yin (whose body was using by dhatsii method) and some village elders welcomed the statuette of the Buddha and reverently put it on a prepared shrine. The people were so struck with awe by this apparent miracle that they could not stifle their feeling of ecstasy and wonderment. Actually, it was the Siddha and Botaw Bo Htun Aung who had brought the Buddha image from the sky without being seen by those present.


Those unbelievers were like in the time of the Buddha, when the Buddha tried to awaken thousands of acolytes by showing astounding things. But they were not convinced by what they saw with their own eyes, and said: "It is true that Gotama power is unbelievably all powerful but, he is not yet an Arahat like us." With the same attitude they refused to believe in the Siddha and kept insisting that the feats were done by conjuring tricks.


Everything started in 1952 at Aungtawmu Monastery in Mebegon, situated in an oil production area, five miles away from Minbu. Since then, by the patience and Loving Kindness of the Sayadaw Tillaw Keinda (the Sayadaw Sanathar), with great thanks to him and the Head Master Siddha and Sayadaw Kowida, together with the Siddha and Sayadaw  Pandita, the Siddha and Sayadaw Uttamakyaw and the Siddha Botaw Bo Htun Aung, has been conducted the Buddha's teachings heritage until the present day, showing to all through evidence and accomplishment, as prescribed by the Buddha himself.


It is in these very days that the natural beauty of Mebegon, in every aspect enhanced by its past and present history, giving the greatest reward in the form of being blessed with powers (siddhis) to give success, enhanced by the fact that Siddha and Sayadaw  Pandita became a Siddha at the victorious ground of Pauk Kyaung, about 700 years ago, in the banyan gate, where a pair of banyan trees (Bodhi-trees) merge together at a certain height to form a sort of gateway, which act as the entrance to the victorious cave.


Once a person steps on this ground, as in Bodhgaya, in India, the blessing permeates throughout the whole body. Here, filled naturally with peace and calmness, one may feel free from the yoke of attachments and be filled of great striving to attain enlightenment. This affects almost everyone stepping onto this victorious ground.

Sayadaw Sanathar


(Extracted from the book “Wonders of Mebegon”, by Kunsal Kassapa, founder of Trikaya)