Sayadaw U Silananda Biography

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Sayadaw U Silananda

The Ven Sayadaw U Silananda(1927-2005) was born in Mandalay, Burma. He became a novice monk in 1943; four years later he received higher ordination. A natural scholar, by 1948 he had passed all three of the Government Pali examinations. In the next six years he received two more advanced scholarly degrees. In 1954-56 he served as one of the distinguished editors of the Tipitaka and Commentaries at the Sixth Buddhist Council in Rangoon. In 1979 he traveled to the US with Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw to teach meditation and Dhamma, after which he stayed on to continue teaching. He served as Spiritual Advisor of the Theravada Buddhist Society of America and was Spiritual Director of four other Buddhist centers across the country. He passed away peacefully on 13 August 2005.(From The Dhamma Encyclopedia) 

Sayadaw U Silananda was born in Mandalay, Burma (now known as Myanmar) on Friday, December 16, 1927 (the 8th Waning of the month of Nadaw in Burmese Era 1289) of parents Wunna Kyaw Htin Saya Saing and Daw Mone. Saya Saing was a renowned Burmese architect. (See "Work of Saya Saing") and had to his credit many religious buildings throughout the country. He was a very religious man and a meditator as well. He was awarded the title "Wunna Kyaw Htin" by the Government of Burma for his outstanding achievements in Burmese architecture and religious activities. 

Two brothers of Sayadaw are also prominent Burmese architects. His two nephews are graduate architects of RIT. His brother U Ngwe Hlaing was the chief designer and his nephew U Than Tun is co-designer of the "Karaweik" in Kandawgyi (Royal Lake), Rangoon. 

Sayadaw also comes from a highly religious family. His sister is Daw Thandasari, Chief Nun of "Shwe-se-di Sar-thin-daik" of "Sasanapala Choung" in Sagaing Hills. 

Ordained a novice at age 16 and received his higher ordination in 1947. 

Studied under many renowned Sayadaws both in Sagaing and Mandalay. Profoundly brilliant and excels in numerous religious examination where he was conferred prestigious titles in 1950 and 1954. In 1954 he went to Sri Lanka and passed with distinctions in Pali and Sanskrit the GCE Advanced Level Examination (University of London in Sri Lanka). Lectured at Atothokdayone Pali Unviersity in Sagaing Hills, Buddhist Scriptures, Pali, Sanskrit and Prakit languages at Abhayarama Shwegu Taik monastery, Mandalay and was an External Examiner at the Department of Oriental Studies, Arts and Science University, Mandalay for Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Lectured M.A. (Pali) students at Mandalay University, and gave guest lectures at University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University. 

He was the Chief Compiler of the Tipitaka Pali-Burmese Dictionary and was one of the distinguished editors of the Pali Canon and the associated Commentaries at the Sixth Buddhist Council (1954-56), Member of the Advisory Board of Meditation Teachers of Mahasi Sasana Yeiktha in Yangon (1993), Rector of the International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University of Yangon (1999). 

Inherited the Mahavijjodaya Chaung and became the abbot (1960), abbot of Abhyarama Shwegu Taik monastery, cofounder and Spiritual Advisor of Theravada Buddhist Society of America, founder Abbot of the Dhammananda Vihara, Spiritual Director of Dhammachakka Meditation Center, California; Bodhi Tree Dhamma Center, Florida; Society for Advancement of Buddhism in, Florida; Tathagata Meditation Center, California. His outstanding missionary contributions earned him many prestigious titles from Burma. 

Accompanied Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw during their visit to California (1979). Conducts meditation retreat internationally. And amid his busy schedules, Sayadaw has authored many English books, apart from those in the Burmese language. Sayadaw has also extensively revised and edited a translation of "Abhidhamma in Daily Life" by Sayadaw U Janakabhivamsa.