Mon Sayadaw U Thilawunta (1912 – 2011)
Known fondly as “Mon Sayadaw”, DPZ Sayadaw U Thilawunta built pagodas in Burma/Myanmar, USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and several other countries.
Sayadaw visited the United Nations and U Thant. He build the first Burmese pagoda in the Allegheny mountains near New York.
He served as the Chief Abbot of the Dat Paung Zon Aung Min Gaung monastery on Windermere Road, Rangoon, Burma from 1949.
At the invitation of U Thant, Sayadaw traveled to the US (via the ocean liner – predating the days of air travel) and build a pagoda on the Allegheny Mountains.
In 1958, Leslie Dawson, Canadian of Irish and Scottish descent, asked Mon Sayadaw to be his mentor. Dawson traveled to Bodh Gaya, India to rejoin the Sayadaw and received ordination as a samanera (novice monk). He continued on to Burma where he was ordained as Anandabodhi bhikkhu at the Shwedagon temple, Rangoon (21 Dec 1958). Ananda Bodhi had followers in Canada and New Zealand, most of whom have visited Sayaadaw and the Dat Paung Zon pagoda. Two of them also ordained as Buddhist monks with Mon Sayadaw as preceptor.
Ananda Bodhi became a Tibetan Master with the name Namgyal Rinpoche in 1971, but continued to preach dhamma from Theravada, …
Mon Sayadaw built pagodas in the several countries including US, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Details of Sayadaw’s dhamma duta missions can be found in the official biography (in Burmese and English) and the web pages of his disciples.