Tuesday, 19 January 2016

"I Moved to Myanmar with the Determination that I will Attain Nibbana Here Indeed."




"My name is monk Sarana (Ashin Sarana), as a lay person I was known as Jan Šťovíček. I am from Czech Republic, Pilsen City. Born in 1987, at the age of 20 I left to Sri Lanka because I wanted to become a monk, and preferably attain psychic powers. In Sri Lanka I was ordained ca. 6 months later as a novice. I realized that best psychic power that an ardent monk can attain, is Nibbana. The monastery where I stayed supplied me with peace and the most important necessities, so that I could dedicate myself to meditation, calm the mind, develop loving-kindness, get control over subtle greed and hatred, and keep equanimous even in difficult times.

I attended Buddhist and Pali University while staying in a village monastery in Sri Lanka. Thanks to the monastery, I could dedicate my time to the studies, and study not only what was required, but also additional subjects, such as Myanmar language. Because of the peace and freedom I gained in monastery, I was able to learn and understand great portions of Buddha's teachings - and to repay this wealth provided to me by lay people, I taught lay people Dhamma and meditation. Once I had a Dhamma discourse in Sri Lankan TV during the Vesak day, and ca. 10 million people were reportedly listening to my words. It was so successful, that it was repeated again next day in the morning. Also, I tought once loving-kindness meditation to ca. 3000 people, still while in Sri Lanka. In different monasteries I taught loving-kindness meditation to groups of 10-50 people, daily. At a certain period I was appointed to be a chief-monk, to increase moral of a whole village, when I stayed in a monastery where a monk just passed away. I believe the moral of the people increased, and their morality as well.

After four years in Sri Lanka I moved to Myanmar, with the determination that I will attain Nibbana here indeed. A few days after my arrival to Myanmar I gained the higher ordination, I became a bhikkhu. I continued to practice loving-kindness meditation under most positive conditions here in Shwe Oo Min, and with help of Sayadaw U Tejaniya's teachings I was able to penetrate the truth of reality in the way the scriptures praise it. Since then I helped a great number of visiting lay people and monks to understand the nature of meditation, and support them in purifying their views and methods, so that their practice progresses smoothly.

I am still staying in Shwe Oo Min monastery, and next year I plan to move to a true forest monastery, not only to meditate, but also to memorize another great portion of Pali Scriptures. Already here, apart from my meditation successes in Shwe Oo Min, I was able to memorize a great amount of Pali Scriptures and gain knowledge and understanding of both theoretical Dhamma as well as monk's discipline. These days the sayadaws here send the visiting foreigners 'monks-to-be' to see me and attend a basic course of monastic discipline under my guidance. Sometimes I am given the role of 'instructor' during higher ordinations. These then become monks for a short period of a month or so, and become lay people again. Thus by the help of a monastery lay people learn meditation, Dhamma, and themselves taste the peace and purity of monks.

I believe that the greatest benefit of existence of monasteries - and with it the support of monks - is that any other people can also become monks (temporarily or undeterminedly) and practice meditation, live in peace and purity. Monks in Myanmar are reported to increase people's moral, morality, happiness, peace, and especially wisdom in terms of non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion."