Ba Khin, U

   (1898-1971)
   A prominent teacher of vipassana (insight) meditation, he was not, like the Mahasi Sayadaw, a member of the Sangha but a layperson. After graduating from St. Paul's College in Rangoon (Yangon) in 1914, he worked for the Thuriya (The Sun) newspaper for a few years and then joined the civil service as a lowlevel clerk. Working his way up through the ranks of the Office of the Auditor General of the British colonial government, he became a special supervisor after the Government of Burma Act was implemented in 1937. It was around this time that he became interested in Buddhism, reading the works of the Ledi Sayadaw and becoming a member of several Buddhist devotional and discussion groups. He sought guidance from respected meditation teachers, perfected his vipassana techniques, and taught them to others, including members of the wartime Burmese government such as Foreign Minister U Nu. When Burma became independent in 1948, he was appointed the nation's first accountant-general, at the same time continuing his spiritual activities. He established the Accountant-General Vipassana Association in 1952. This became the nucleus of the International Meditation Centre in Rangoon, which specializes in teaching vipassana to foreign devotees. Though not a monk, his rapid progress in mastering meditation techniques and passing them on to others made him one of postwar Burma's most respected public figures.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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