Who is Bo Min Gaung? He is someone who is on the Path to Nivarna. He is not a man although he used to be a man just like you and I.
He is a special being called a weizzar. Now what is a weizzar? A weizzar is a superhuman being because he has super natural powers. Weizzar is a Burmese word which is derived from Pali. The word weizzar means wisdom. For example, when we recite the Nine Virtues of the Buddha, we say" vija carana sampano". This means that the Buddha has Eight Wisdom powers.
These wisdom powers are:
1. Pubbe Niwartha ... the ability to see previous lives.
2. Deibba Setku ......the Divine eye. The ability to see objects which are far away and objects which are very, very small.
3. Arthe wetkhaya nyana .... the wisdom that arises when a person attains Arahat magga and Arahata palla. There are four stages of magga nyana and four stages of palla nyana. Palla is a Pali word which means fruition. A person who attains Arahat nayna or Arahat wisdom escapes from Samsara or the endless rounds of rebirths and enters Nivarna. (this means that the Buddha is pure and does not have any of the defilements of greed, anger and ignorance.)
4. Vipassa nyana ..... the ability to see mind and matter as they really are. The ability to see the three characteristics of mind and matter, namely impernance, suffering and no-soul. The word no-soul is also translated as anatta. This concept really means that the processes of mind and matter that we see all around us are occurring according to their own process.
5. Saytaw Pariya nyana .... the ability to know the minds of others.
6. Mano Mayeiddi nayna ...the ability to create in your own body another similar body by the power of the mind.
7. Deibba Thawta nyana .... the Divine Ear. The ability to hear sounds that are far away.
8. Eiddi wida nayna ....the ability to fly in the air, the ability to dive into the earth, the ability to walk on water, the ability to create multiple bodies, the ability to be at many places at the same time, etc. In the Hindu tradition the Burmese word "eiddi" is pronounced as "iddi". In Burmese, "eidi" is translated as super normal powers. All weizzars like Bo Min Gaung have one or more of these super normal powers. That is why we say that the weizzars are more than man and equal to or almost equal to devas (celestial beings). The Burmese word "theiddi" is a derivation of the sanskrit word "iddi".
The first time I learnt about Bo Min Gaung was when my father told me about him and I thank him deeply to this day for introducing this holy man to me. Let me make myself clear on one point at the outset. Bo Min Gaung is not an Arahat. That means he has not reached the final step of Arahatship as yet. He has deferred this to a later date and his goal is to live till the day the new Buddha, the Meitreya comes to this world. In Burmese this Buddha is called Arein Meideiya Buddha.
As a boy I was facinated by the movie "superman". One day my father told me, "do you know my son, we also have superman in our culture and tradition". I became very excited and asked my father to tell me all he knew about Bo Min Gaung. My father said, "son, Bo Min Gaung is an extraordinary man. You know, your uncle Bagyi Kyawt has actually met Bo Min Gaung in person. Bagyi Kyawt told me about his experience with Bo Min Gaung."
One day after dinner, our family was sitting on the veranda looking at the stars and drinking Burmese tea and eating laphet. Laphet by the way is pickled tea leaves made into a sort of salad Burmese style. It contains dried prawns, fried garlic, sesemum seeds, peanut oil, salt, fish sauce and sliced tomatoes. It is eaten after dinner.
The sky was clear and we could see the half moon in the sky. I could smell the fragrance of the jasmine flowers from our garden. Sipping my cup of tea, I asked my father, "Pa Pa why do men want to become weizzars?"
"I don't know how to answer this question because I am not too much interested in these things as much as Bagyi Thwin". Bagyi Thwin was my father's elder brother who worked as Inspector of Schools in Mawlamyine. Bagyi in Burmese means father's elder brother. Mawlamyine is a town in southern Burma and is the capital of Mon State.
Thus I got my lead and waited to get the chance to ask this question to Bagyi Thwin. One day I got lucky as Bagyi Thwin came to Rangoon on a visit. The first chance I got I asked this question to Bagyi Thwin. "Bagyi Thwin, why do men want to become weizzars?"
"I will tell you the answer if you will do some meditation", he said.
"Why?", I asked. "What has that got to do with my question?" sounding a little annoyed.
"Well, what I am going to tell you has a lot to do with meditation so that is why I want you to get some training from me." I was in my seventh standard at that time and I was more interested in playing than studying. I studied only enough to pass my exams. I believed at that time that life was more fun playing than studying.
"What do I have to do Bagyi Thwin?", I asked a little impatiently.
"It is quite easy", he said. "You just have to sit still for about one hour".
"What!", my jaw dropped. "One whole hour, doing nothing, just sitting. This is terrible."
"Yes, one whole hour, doing nothing, just sitting still. You will learn to like it", he said.
That was how I got introduced to meditation and all the wonderful stories about the weizzars and the holy men of Burma.
Buddhist saints who flew in the air. Weizzars who could create multiple bodies and heal people.