Anagārika Munindra and the Historical Context of the Vipassanā Movement
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AbstractAnagārika Munindra (1915-2003) played an important role in the movement to teach vipassanā 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 vipassanā movement from Burma to India and then to North America, Europe, and Australia. His family background as a Barua caste member, involvement with the Mahābodhi Society and the Buddha Jayanti celebration of 1956 are examined in order to clarify the origins and historical signifi cance of vipassanā 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 vipassanā 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 vipassanā movement in contemporary Buddhism.