Philosophy Writer Nanda Thein Zan Passes Away
covering burma and southeast asia
Saturday, July 02, 2022


Philosophy Writer Nanda Thein Zan Passes Away

By THE IRRAWADDY Monday, August 15, 2011

Philosophy writer Nanda Thein Zan who died in Rangoon on Sunday. (Photo: Eleven Media Group)

Burma has lost its third well-known writer this year as Nanda Thein Zan, who contributed writings on philosophy and Buddhism, passes away in Rangoon on Sunday evening aged 65 after suffering lung problems.

He is survived by his wife Khin Mar Mar.

Nanda Thein Zan was born in February 1947 in Paunde Township of Pegu Division. He started his writing life producing philosophical literature in 1963, while he also contributed to Thit Bawa Magazine under the pen name Thein Zan.
His first publication in 1969 was also considered one of his masterpieces. Definition and Truth of Life was his thesis paper during a master's degree in philosophy at the University of Rangoon.

From 1969 to 2011 he published at least 18 books related to philosophy and Buddhism. Among them was another widely acclaimed work called Ka Yaung Lan Ko Phyat Kyaw Chin (Passing Over Rough Ground) which was a collection of his lectures at the Workers' College in Rangoon.

Nanda Thein Zan also wrote books about Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu's economic and military strategies which were popular amongst Burmese readers.

“When public talks on literature were popular, Saya Nanda Thein Zan could explain philosophical terms so that both young and old people could understand easily,” said Pe Myint, writer and editor of People’s Era journal.

“His great ability was that he could make people understand his thoughts on philosophy during an hour talk,” he recalled, adding that Nanda Thein Zan's writing had similar strengths.

The writer’s other work was as a Burmese academic in philosophy. He joined the philosophy department at the University of Rangoon in 1970 as a tutor. Apart from his scholarly work in the former capital, he also served at the University of Moulmein, Tavoy College and Basein College from 1972 to 2003 as tutor, lecturer or assistant professor.

Nanda Thein Zan was then made professor and head of the University of Rangoon philosophy department in 2003. He remained in the post until his retirement in 2008.

He was Burma’s third writer to die in 2011 following Paragu, who introduced Burmese readers to alternative Buddhism in the past decades, and Nat Nwe, a well-known leftist writer and translator who helped Burmese readers connect with world literature. Paragu died in April and Nat Nwe passed away in May.

Please read our policy before you post comments. Click here
E-mail:   (Your e-mail will not be published.)
You have characters left.
Word Verification: captcha Type the characters you see in the picture.

khin Wrote:
a great loss

a reader Wrote:
I am personally very sorry for the irreplaceable loss that Saya Nandar Thein Zan passed away. In fact, it was a great loss to all Myanmar readers, especially in the time when the works of great philosophical writers are rare in Myanmar. Saya, thank you very much for everything you share with us and every effort you tried to show us the way in search of the truth.

zarni Wrote:
They were free from many of the writer’s sins 'narcissism' and the need, out of deep intellectual insecurities, to impress the readers with fancy, big words and jargons. Two specific works of this outstanding and influential writer certainly have made the lasting imprint on me and helped me steady my ship: Namely Hka Yaung Lan Goe Hpyat Kyaw Gyin (an inspirational work which pushes readers to understand the need to persevere, against all odds, in life to reach whatever one's own goal may be) and Meik Kaung Hswe Gaung Hnin Kha Yee Thwar Gyin (the work that attempts to make individuals realize their real friends in Samsara or the Buddhist cycle of lives) - not just the here and the now - are one's own daily conducts in accord with the Dhamma of Righteous Livelihoods, one's own personal integrity in the face of temptations, etc).

May he travel well with his real friends.

zarni Wrote:
Based largely on Buddhist philosophical outlook and Buddhist understanding of human mind and advanced what may be a redundancy "applied philosophy", but also informed by other non-Indic traditions such as Greek philosophies, Saya’s writings were easily accessible to any literate, with college degree or not and had egalitarian/non-elitist character.

khunazm Wrote:
Really sorry for the great writer and philosopher who always write unforgettable stories and truth about life.
wish you a peaceful rest.

more articles in this section