U Vimala , commonly known as the Mogok Sayadaw; 27 December 1899 – 17 October 1962) was a renowned bhikkhu and Vipassana Meditation master of Theravada Buddhism.
He was born Maung Hla Baw to Daw Shwe Ake and U Aung Tun in a small village close to Amarapura in Mandalay Province, Burma on 27 December 1899. Hla Baw began his education at 4, and enrolled as a samanera or novitiate at age 9 under U Jagara.He later left for Mingala Makuna Monastery at Amarapura to continue his religious studies.
In 1920,he was ordained as a bhikkhu (monk) in the tradition of Burmese Buddhism with the dharma name Vimala which means “stainless, undefiled.” As his monkhood was sponsored by the residents of Mogok, a town well known for rubies and gems, Vimala became known as “Mogok”. In 1924, Vimala became the chief abbot of Pikara Monastery. He began to give sermons focusing on Abhidhamma and teaching Vipassana Meditation. He attained Nibbana by practicing meditation for four years and became an Arahat. Then, he disseminated his method to the pupils for attaining Nibbana. He focused on the insight learning of the dynamic nature of mind and materials in his teaching. His teaching audio recordings are still available and learnt by Myanmar Buddhists to learn meditation methods.
U Vimala established the Mogok Tradition of Vipassana Meditation, which is independent of the meditation traditions established by his Burmese predecessors, Ledi Sayadaw and Mahasi Sayadaw. U Vimala stressed Dependent Origination and Cittanupassana as part of meditation practice. There are currently over 300 meditation centers in Burma that teach his form of meditation.