Forty Subjects

Author By - Mahasi Sayadaw Gyi


Forty Subjects

Published Date - 2015

Buddha Date - 2559

Myanmar Date - 1377

AD Date - 2015

Author By - Mahasi Sayadaw Gyi

69 စာမျက်နှာ



The Buddha Sasana Nuggaha Organization At the request of the Buddha Sasana Council Mahasi Sayadawgyi had written a discourse on “Purpose of practising Kammatthana Meditation” in Myanmar and it was first published in 1957. Up till May 2015, this book has been reprinted for 20 times. 

This Myanmar version, has been translated into English, at the request of Mahasi Sayadawgyi, by U Pe Thin who had also translated a number of discourses of Sayadawgyi, and the English translation work was published by the Buddhasasana Council in July 1958 in a small booklet. 

The present Executive Committee of the Buddha Sasana Nuggaha Organization came to be aware of this treatise when the list of English Titles was prepared and checked in early 2015. A Mahasi Yogi Dr. Win Naing Kyaw (Pho Zar Ni) generously donated the original English Copy published by the Buddhasasana Council. The Buddha Sasana Nuggaha Organization has now published it for the first time after 57 years of its original publication. 

In this edition, we included a photo of the Venerable Mahasi Sayadawgyi and a brief sketch of his biography as

well. A list of contents has also been prepared and included. We take this opportunity to tender our heartfelt thanks to Dr. Win Naing Kyaw, and also to the Department of Religious Affairs for its kindness in giving us the permission to reprint the English version.  

At the time of the publication of this treatise in 1957, the real purpose of undertaking the meditation practice and other relevant features of Buddhist Meditation were not very well known by the public in general. The Venerable Mahasi Sayadawgyi thus, in this treatise started it with the purpose of Meditation and dwelling on the 40 subjects of Meditation and explained the practice of Vipassana Meditation in a nutshell. 

Again in 1980, U Pwint Gaung, the then President of the Buddha Sasana Nuggaha Organization requested U Min Swe (Min Kyaw Thu) to translate the same Myanmar Book into English. While the translation was in progress, U Min Swe got a copy of The Light of Dhamma (July 1958) wherein an article in English under the title “Buddhist Meditation and its Forty Subjects” translated by U Pe Thin, was found. Its original Burmese version written by  Mahasi Sayadaw was found to be the same book which U Min Swe had undertaken to translate. Nevertheles, U Min Swe tried to complete his translation, reproducing the same phrases of U Pe Thin’s Book. Then U Min Swe’s English translated work bearing the original title of the Book in Myanmar version was printed and published in December 1980.  Thus, the same book of Mahasi Sayadawgyi happened to be translated by two different translators under two different titles. 

We hope that all the readers will understand the actual purpose of Buddhist Meditation and follow the teachings in this Discourse, to be able to realize the eternal bliss of Nibbana by constant and diligent practice of Vipassana Meditation.


Dr. Tint Soe Lin


Buddha Sasana Nuggaha


August, 2015

Buddhist Meditation and Its Forty Subjects

This copy is First Edition published in August 2015 in which the grammar, punctuations and spellings of English/ English Pali words were corrected during August 2018 for the next Edition.

(1) English words corrected by “Microsoft Words” in computer by Ma Soe Soe on 17.8.2018 and checked by U Khin Maung Oo on 22.8.2018 and --8.2018.

(2) Pali words re-checked by U Maung Maung Ko-- on 15.12.2018

Note; the words in red are not to be uploaded in the website.