The teaching of Gotama the Buddha is once again flourishing in India and many parts of the world. For 2,200 years it was preserved by a chain of teachers in Burma in the monastic tradition. There the late Venerable Ledi Sayadaw learned Vipassana, and reintroduced the technique to the lay people. He taught Saya Thetgyi, a layman, who in turn taught Sayagyi U Ba Khin.
It was Sayagyi U Ba Khin’s wish that the technique, long lost to India, could again return to its country of origin and from there spread around the world. He authorised his student, S. N. Goenka, to teach Vipassana meditation, and in 1969 Mr. Goenka came to India and began conducting Vipassana courses in India and abroad. Thus after centuries of being lost to many places, the teaching of the Buddha has once again become available to people around the world.
Today people of different backgrounds, communities, and occupations are deriving real benefit from the technique of Vipassana. Executives, labourers, college students, doctors, and farmers are applying the technique and gaining strength, pragmatism, and balance of mind in their professional and personal lives. Successful experiments in different social sectors and institutions offer a broad scope for applying the technique.
Courses for prisoners within jails have proven to be effective in reforming inmates and giving them a genuine tool for a better life. Jail and police officers have equally benefited from the technique. Institutions for leprosy patients, drug addicts, college students, and priests are offering courses within their compounds. Children are able to learn the preliminary steps of morality and concentration, and this gives them a healthy orientation in their social development, academic performance, and emotional stability.
The technique of Vipassana meditation is universal, non-sectarian, practical, and result-oriented. People from different religious backgrounds, communities, professions, financial status, and walks of life are making use of it to purify their minds and live wholesome lives. The application of the Buddha’s teachings are as relevant today as they were 2,500 years ago. May the teachings of Gotama the Buddha be maintained in their pristine purity, and may they serve more and more people to walk the path of Dhamma and reach the final goal of full liberation.
“May all beings be happy, be peaceful, be liberated.”