Ven. Bhikkhu Vūpasama Thera is a Chinese born in Taiwan. The Master Vūpasama studied and practiced the Buddha's doctrine for over forty years. The Master is the Dharma lineage successor having revived and revitalized the original teaching of the Sakyamuni Buddha that was dormant for nearly 2200 years.
The Master was ordained by Ven. Baddanta Zagara Bhivamsa, a Burmese Theravada Saṅgha, and disciple of Ven. Ledi Sayadaw (C.E. 1846-1923). He is currently the chief mentor of Original Buddhism Society in Taiwan, America, Malaysia, Australia, Europe as well as the "Sambodhi World" in Taiwan, Malaysia and New York. His disciples, the "Sambodhi Saṅgha" follow the practice of Original Buddhism.
The Master Vūpasama not only succeeded the Dharma lineage of Original Buddhism, he is also knowledgeable in all schools of Chinese Buddhism, and the thoughts of the three Indian Bodhisattva Schools, "Prajñā", "Yogācāya", and "Tathāgata-garba". In addition, he has deep comprehension and extensive teaching experiences in the thoughts of "Prajñā-Pāramitā Sutras" and "Mādhyamikā commentary", as well as the meditation methods of the Chinese Zen School.
In 2011, the Master invited many elder monks of Theravada Sangha to organize "the Joint Declaration of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism" in Taiwan, Malaysia and the United States. These activities facilitated exchanges and cooperation among the Sangha members in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, United States, Malaysia and Taiwan, as well as promoted social influence of "Buddhism of Four Noble Truths."
In 2014, based on the mission of Original Buddhism Society, the Master founded the Buddhist Society of Four Noble Truths in order to unite disciples of Original Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism, both of which believe and practice the Four Noble Truths. He advocates that the four lineages: Original Buddhism, Theravada School, Chinese exoteric School and Tibetan esoteric School share similar mission to benefit all beings.
In 2015, the Master published a book "Three stages of mindfulness of the Buddha in Amitābha meditation", based on "Agama Sūtras", "Amitābha Sūtra" and "the root Sūtra of Vinaya". He advocates the three stages of mindfulness of the Buddha, namely "chanting the name", "concentrating" and "realizing the truths", guiding toward "realizing the truths by seeing the principle of influencing". Master uses this method to redirect Dharma back to the righteous Dharma stage. This book points out "the practitioners of Amitābha school will actually become the practitioners of Original Buddhism; the practitioners of Original Buddhism are also the practitioners of Amitābha school." Master promotes a new era that Original Buddhism and Chinese Buddhism are of the same family prospering together in harmony.
Since 2013, the Master began teaching meditation in various temples in China. He is invited as a mentor at Holy Buddha Temple and Middle-Path Cultural Center in Jilin, China. He guides Chinese Buddhists in studying the Original Buddha's teachings and meditation methods, promoting the exchange and learning of various Buddhist cultures.
In 2015, Ven. Bhikkhu Vūpasama Thera gave Dharma talks jointly with Rev. Tenrai Ryushin Azuma Roshi of Japanese Soto Zen lineage, and later jointly with Venerable Wendaruwe Sri Upali Anunayaka Thero from the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Sri Lanka, promoting cooperation among various Buddhism Schools.
The Master's main objectives in the exploration and practice of Buddhism are to investigate and discover the original doctrines of Early Buddhism, making every effort to advocate and practice the Buddha Sākyamuni's original teachings, meditation methods, and the stages for awakening path.
Master Vūpasama has completed a comparative study on the Chinese translated "Samyukta-Āgama" of Ven. Anānda lineage and the Theravadin "Samyutta-Nikāya" of Ven. Upāli lineage. His study is based on the common doctrines, cross referencing with verification of the seven categories, namely "causations", "nutriment", "noble truths", "realms", "five abstruseness (aggregates)", "six sense bases", and "Noble Paths (including Four Objects of Mindfulness)" of the two Canons, consequently restored the original teaching of the Buddha.
The Original Buddhism doctrine is different from Theravada Buddhism that is mainly based on Vibhajjavāda.
The main contents of Original Buddhism include:
- Using six sense bases as the divider for "the Twelve Causation (Nidānas)";
- Using nine methods of insight meditation into "the Twelve Causation (Nidānas)";
- Using Insight meditation into "the Twelve Causation (Nidānas)" to cultivate the Seven Factors for Awakening (Satta Bojjhaṅgā) for cessation of The Five Hindrances (Panca Nivaranani);
- Sequentially complete three rounds with twelve aspects of the Four Noble Truths to accomplish awakening, detachment of craving, the Four Immeasurable Attitudes (viz. loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity), liberation (Mokkha), and Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi through "One Path" (Ekayāna-magga).
Master Vūpasama does not accept, save or use money offerings, not even through a dayaka (layman who manages money offerings). He travels around the world to spread the Buddha's original teachings and does not reside in one location permanently.
- In the Path of Buddha, 2003
- Vegetarian Diet and Kindness, 2005
- The Connected Discourses on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, 2008.
- Confirmation and Development of Original Buddhism, 2010.
- Knowing and Overcoming Jealousy, 2011.
- The Wisdom and Methods to Break through Difficulties, 2014.
- An Enlightened View on Wealth and Career Planning, 2015.
- Planning and Fulfillment toward an Enlightened Life, 2014.
- Brief Talks on the Original Statements of the Twelve Factors of Causation, 2014.
- The Guideline of the Connected Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, 2015.
- Definition of Original Buddhism, 2014.
- Seven Factors for Awakening Integrate the Buddha's Teachings, 2015.
- True Meaning of Pure land, 2014.
- Three Stages of Mindfulness in the Amitābha Meditation, 2015.
- Official website
- Four Noble Truths website
- Original Buddhism Society facebook
- Four Noble Truths facebook
- Ven. Bhikkhu Vūpasama Thera's teachings in YouTube
- Joint Declaration of "Buddhism of the Four Noble Truths"
by the saṅgha of Original Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism, 2011.
- Three Rounds and Twelve Aspects of the Four Noble Truths, 2013.