Anagarika Munindra and the Historical Context of the Vipassana Movement

Authors

  • C. Robert Pryor Antioch College

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/bsrv.2006.23.2.241

Keywords:

Anagārika Munindra, vipassanā meditation

Abstract

Anagarika Munindra (1915-2003) played an important role in the movement to teach vipassana meditation, and to spread this method widely in South Asia and the West. His life is examined with respect to its historical context and the spread of the vipassana movement from Burma to India and then to North America, Europe, and Australia. His family background as a Barua caste member, involvement with the Mahabodhi Society and the Buddha Jayanti celebration of 1956 are examined in order to clarify the origins and historical significance of vipassana meditation as it spread in popularity during the second half of the twentieth century. The importance of his role as an essential link between the Burmese vipassana masters with whom he studied and his western students who have now become important meditation teachers is explained in order to shed light on the origins and signifi cance of the vipassana movement in contemporary Buddhism.

Author Biography

C. Robert Pryor, Antioch College

Director of the Buddhist Studies Program Antioch College, Ohio

References

Goenka, S.N., 2004. ‘My Friend Munindraji’. The Vipassana Newsletter, vol. 14(9) (30 August).

Harrer, Heinrich, 1954. Seven Years in Tibet. New York: E.P. Dutton.

Jordt, Ingrid May, 2001. Mass Lay Meditation and State-Society Relations in Post-Independence Burma. Unpublished PhD thesis, Harvard University.

Ling, Trevor, 1980. Buddhist Revival in India: Aspects of the Sociology of Buddhism. New York: St Martin’s Press.

Schmidt, Amy, 2005. Dipa Ma: The Life and Legacy of a Buddhist Master. New York: Bluebridge.

Spiro, Melford E., 1970. Buddhism and Society: A Great Tradition and its Burmese Vicissitudes. New York: Harper & Row.

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Published

2007-02-03

How to Cite

Pryor, C. R. (2007). Anagarika Munindra and the Historical Context of the Vipassana Movement. Buddhist Studies Review, 23(2), 241–248. https://doi.org/10.1558/bsrv.2006.23.2.241

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