S. N. Goenka was a Vipassana meditation teacher in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin of Burma (Myanmar).
He was born and raised in Burma into a conservative Hindu family.
He was a successful businessman and the leader of the Indian community in Burma.
It is here that he meets his teacher U Ba Khin, from whom he learned the Vipassana technique.
He ended up practicing Vipassana meditation looking for a cure for his health problems
Thus, with the help of Vipassana’s meditation, he manages to get rid of the serious migraines he suffered from, but also to make a significant change in his life.
He stayed with his teacher for fourteen years, and in 1969 he also received authorization to teach this technique. From that moment on, he moves to India, where he begins to teach.
Although in a country divided by differences in caste and religion, Goenka attracted thousands of people from all strata of society, but also from many other countries.
He held over 300 courses in India, but also other countries in the East or the West, and then trained assistant professors to be able to cope with the growing demand for courses. Under his guidance, meditation centers were established in India, Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Nepal and other countries.
Although he was a layman, he attracted the attention of high-ranking monks due to the efficiency of the technique and the quality of the teaching in Vipassana meditation
The technique taught by S.N.Goenka is part of the Buddhist tradition, the path to liberation – Dhamma, which is universal. In the same tradition, Goenka takes a totally non-sectarian approach. For this reason, his teaching attracts people of all conditions, of all religions or without religion, from all parts of the world.
Another reason why he enjoyed such success was due to the practical, simple and logical nature of this technique.
He himself was a practical, calm person with the capacity for empathy and compassion.
He was married to Mata Elaichidevi, with whom he had 6 children.
Goenka died at the age of 90 at the age of 90 at his residence in Mumbai.