Anagarika Munindra

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Anagarika Shri Munindra (1915 – 2003), also called Munindraji by his disciples, was a Bengali vipassana meditation teacher, who taught many notable teachers including Dipa Ma, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, and Surya Das.

Anagarika simply means a practicing Buddhist who leads a homeless life without attachment in order to focus on the Dhamma. Munindra was born in Chittagong, Bangladesh, to the Barua family, descendants of the original Buddhists of India forced east by the eleventh-century Muslim invasion.

He was an active member of the Maha Bodhi Society whose purpose was the resuscitation of Buddhism in India and the restoration of ancient Buddhist shrines there. Munindra was the superintendent of the Maha Bodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya from 1953 to 1957, the first Buddhist to hold this position in modern times. From 1957 to 1966 he lived in Burma where he was a close disciple of Mahasi Sayadaw, who authorized him to teach vipassana meditation. While in Burma he also studied the Pali canon thoroughly, before returning to India where he taught vipassana for many years in Bodh Gaya. Admired for his gentleness, wisdom, and insatiable curiosity, he had a deep knowledge of the Pali canon which he made accessible to Westerners. He was also known to be very open-minded and relaxed in the way he taught. He would encourage his students to study with other teachers, and investigate other traditions.

The book, Living This Life Fully: Stories and Teachings of Munindra provides a great deal more information about Munindra, by Mirka Knaster, 2010.

(For more information on this book, see: http://www.mirkaknaster.com/ )