By Acariya Maha Boowa Nanasampanno
The EARLY YEARS, the center YEARS, A middle published, 497 PAGES
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Extra resources for A Spiritual Biography of Acariya Mun Bhūridatta Thera
Such occurrences were common in those early years: women and children were terrified because they had never before seen dhutanga kammaṭṭhāna monks. Ordinarily people knew nothing about them and showed little interest, except to flee at their sight. There are several possible reasons for this. Firstly, their appearance was rather austere and reserved. They were unlikely to show much familiarity with anyone they hadn’t personally known for a long time; someone who knew their habits well. Also, their robes and other requisites were an ochre color from dye made from the heartwood of the jackfruit tree – a color that was striking but had a tendency to inspire more fear than devotion.
As the geographic environment changed, teachers like Ācariya Mahā Boowa began establishing permanent monastic communities where dhutanga monks could conveniently carry on Ācariya Mun’s lineage, striving to maintain the virtues of renunciation, strict discipline, and intensive meditation. Practicing monks gravitated to these forest monasteries in large numbers and transformed them into great centers of Buddhist practice. At Wat Pa Ban Tad, Ācariya Mahā Boowa’s forest monastery in Udon Thani, a religious center arose spontaneously, created by the students themselves, who came for purely spiritual motives in hopes of receiving instruction from a genuine master.
It is the center, the substance, the primary essence within the body. Constantly emphasizing its paramount significance, Ācariya Mun always claimed that the heart is the most important thing in the world. For this reason, the story of Ācariya Mun’s life and teachings is a story of the heart’s struggle for spiritual transcendence, and a revelation of the ineffable mystery of the heart’s pure essence. The Pāli term “citta” is a word that Ācariya Mun often used when referring to this essential knowing nature, commonly known as heart and mind.
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