A Manual of the Excellent Man (Uttamapurisa Dīpanī) - Ledi Sayadaw

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A Manual of the Excellent Man Uttamapurisa Dīpanī Venerable Ledi Sayādaw Aggamahāpaṇḍita, D.Litt. A Manual of the Excellent Man Uttamapurisa Dīpanī Venerable Ledi Sayādaw Aggamahāpaṇḍita, D.Litt. Translated from the Burmese by U Tin Oo (Myaung) Edited by Bhikkhu Pesala Table of Contents Editor’s Preface ...................................................................................iii Preface to the First Edition ..................................................................v T

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  A Manual of the Excellent Man Uttamapurisa Dīpanī  Venerable Ledi Sayādaw Aggamahāpaṇḍita, D.Litt.  A Manual of the Excellent Man Uttamapurisa Dīpanī  Venerable Ledi Sayādaw Aggamahāpaṇḍita, D.Litt. Translated from the Burmese by U Tin Oo (Myaung) Edited by Bhikkhu Pesala  Table of Contents Editor’s Preface...................................................................................iiiPreface to the First Edition..................................................................v The Venerable Ledi Sayādaw’s Reply ................................................viPreamble...............................................................................................1Chapter One The Perfections Defined .......................................................................1The Perfections Explained....................................................................8The Three Grades of Perfections.........................................................11The Noblest Aspiration.......................................................................14Chapter TwoSeven Aspects of Materiality to be Perceived.....................................22Seven Aspects of Feeling to be Perceived...........................................33Seven Aspects of Perception to be Perceived.....................................35Seven Aspects of Mental Formations to be Perceived........................36Seven Aspects of Consciousness to be Perceived...............................39Chapter ThreeThe Element of Deliverance................................................................60 The True Peace of Nibbāna .................................................................62Chapter FourTwo Types of Ordinary Person..........................................................64Chapter FiveHow to be Mindful while Doing a Meritorious Deed........................66Chapter Six The Five Māras ....................................................................................70Chapter SevenHow to Practise the Three Refuges.....................................................78Chapter EightThe Four Types of Buddhists..............................................................80Chapter NineThe Four Noble Truths Need to be Understood................................82Dependent Origination Needs to be Understood..............................83 Some Difficult Points in Dependent Origination ...............................94The Four Noble Truths Explained....................................................101Chapter TenAn Exhortation Regarding Great Opportunities..............................109 ii  Editor’s Preface For Burmese Buddhists, Venerable Ledi Sayādaw needs no introduction, since his fame is legendary. Many Buddhists outside Burma will also haveread his Manuals of Buddhism, or at least extracts from it such as the MaggaṅgaDīpanī  or the Bodhipakkhiya Dīpanī, which are both published by the BuddhistPublication Society. As the name implies, a Dīpanī  is a work that illuminatesthe subject, so we can call it a “manual” or an “exposition.” The Venerable Ledi Sayādaw is deservedly famous for his expositions, of which he wrotemore than seventy. All of them show his deep learning of the Pāḷi texts and commentaries, but this work especially urges Buddhists not to be contentwith mere devotion or academic learning, but to take up insight meditationin earnest to gain penetrative knowledge of the Noble Truths. The Venerable Ledi Sayādaw was the “father” of the insight meditation tradition in Burma. Before he became famous, only a few monks practisedinsight meditation, and even fewer lay people. He lived during the time of the British Raj, when many ignorant Buddhists were converting to Christianity.At the same time, English scholars were studying Buddhism. The Venerable Ledi Sayādaw replied to some questions in Pāḷi put by Mrs Caroline RhysDavids, who was then working on the translation of the Pāḷi texts into English. The srcin of this edition deserves some mention since it has been so longin coming to print. I think it was in 1991 that James Patrick Stewart-Ross, an American Buddhist, visited me at the Burmese Vihāra in Wembley, England and gave me a stack of computer disks, on which were more than thirtyvoluminous works by various authors. Many of them were by the Venerable Ledi Sayādaw. Mr Ross had spent many years collecting works by famousBurmese Sayādaws and had made heroic efforts to get English translations made. While living in Thailand, he made many trips into Burma, to searchout able translators and typists to help him with this colossal undertaking.During the following years, I gradually sifted through the works I had beengiven and picked out a few that seemed most worthy of publication. Amongthe best were the Uttamapurisa Dīpanī  and the Dāna Dīpanī, both by the Venerable Ledi Sayādaw. I edited these two works and printed out a few copies,  but I lost touch with Mr Ross. It was not until 1997 that I met him again inBurma. Meanwhile I had had some correspondence with Bhikkhu Bodhi of theBuddhist Publication Society, and he agreed that the Uttamapurisa Dīpanī  wasworth publishing. While in Burma, I worked through the entire book several times, removing many Pāḷi passages that I thought would be too intimidating for most modern readers, and I improved the grammar to the best of my ability.I hope the result will be acceptable. Reconciling the need for simplicity withiii
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