About Ven Ledi Sayadaw
The Ven. Ledi Sayadaw was born in 1846 in Saing-pyin village, Dipeyin township in the Shwebo district (currently Monywa district) of northern Burma (nowadays called Myanmar.) His childhood name was Maung Tet Khaung. (Maung is the Burmese title for boys and young men equivalent to "master." Tet means "climbing upward" and Khaung indicates "roof" or "summit.") It proved to be an appropriate name since young Maung Tet Khaung indeed climbed to the summit in all his endeavours.
In his village he attended the traditional monastery school where the bhikkhus (monks) taught the children to read and write in Burmese as well as how to recite many Pali texts: the Mangala Sutta, mett? Sutta, Jataka stories, and so on. Because of these ubiquitous monastery schools Myanmar has traditionally had a very high literacy rate.
At the age of eight, he began to study with his first teacher U Nanda-dhaja Sayadaw, and he ordained as a samanera (novice) under the same Sayadaw at the age of fifteen. He took the name Nana-dhaja (the banner of knowledge). His monastic education included Pali grammar and various texts from the Pali canon with a specialty in Abhidhammattha-sangaha, a commentary which serves as a guide to the Abhidhamma2 section of the canon.
Later in his life he wrote a somewhat controversial commentary on Abhidhammattha-sangaha, called Paramattha-dipani (Manual of Ultimate Truth), in which he corrected certain mistakes he had found in the earlier (and then accepted) commentary on that work. His corrections were eventually accepted by the bhikkhus and his work became the standard reference.
During his days as a samanera, in the middle part of the nineteenth century (before modern lighting) he would routinely study the written texts during the day and join the bhikkhus and other samaneras in recitation from memory after dark. Working in this way he mastered the Abhidhamma texts.
For more visit his website.