VB : Sayadaw U Silananda

Video Broadcast : #172
January 3, 2021

U Silanandabhivamsa (1927 – 2005)

  • Sayadaw’s name is Silananda.
  • He became Silanandabhivamsa when he passed the Abhivamsa (tough monastic examination in Mandalay to be completed before the age of 26).
  • I will use both names where appropriate.

75th Birthday in 2002

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Bio and “First Sermon”

86th Birthday in 2013

On the morning of December 15, 2013 at Dhammananda Vihara, Half Moon Bay, the resident Sayadaws and devotees conducted the 86th Birthday for Sayadaw U Silanandbhivamsa and offered soon dana in the “U Silanandabhivamsa Memorial Dhamma Hall.”

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U Silananda Hall at Dhammananda Vihara, Half Moon Bay, California, USA

Trail blazer

In April of 1979, Mahasi Sayadawgi made a Dhamma Duta mission to the US. At the request of the devotees, Sayadawgyi agreed to leave behind Sayadaw U Silanandabhivamsa and Sayadaw U Kelasa as “trail blazers” for the promulgation, preservation, and the promotion of Sasana.

There were no Burmese Buddhist monasteries and/or temples, but the Sayadaws were determined to sacrifice their blissful lives back in their homeland to do whatever they can to

  • help with the Buddhist rites and rituals
  • teach theory and practice of Dhamma
  • encourage core supporters (e.g. Khoo siblings and cousins, Dr. Tin Wa, Dr. Maung Maung Chwan) to found “Theravada Buddhist Society of America (TBSA)” [by the middle of 1979]
  • solicit donations (often going “door-to-door” with Dr. Julie Han and team) from families who want pass on the legacy to their family members
  • encourage young adults and children to Dhamma Courses and take “Aye-Thet Scholarship Examination” (sponsored in part by Dr. Lyn Swe Aye and Dr. Khin Nyo Thet)
  • hold short term and long term meditation retreats (in Zen temple, and churches)
  • strive to have “Dhammananda Vihara“.


The journey was not smooth as indicated by some entries in his “journal”, but well-wishers (including the Khoo family, Dr. Tin Wa and friends, Dr. Maung Maung Chwan and friends, Dr. Julie Han and Executive Committee members who did the fund-raising, Dr. Rina Sircar who offered Sayadaw to be a Lecturer at her University, the Sri Lankan monks who “sponsored” Sayadaw) all shared Sayadaw’s resolve to spread Dhamma in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

See details in the Commemorative Book for Sayadaw U Silanandabhivamsa (1927 – 2005) and the companion DVD set for “Sayadaw’s Final Journey“.

I was fortunate to serve as the Master of Ceremony for the Service, which was attended by Sitagu Sayadadaw, Sayadaw Dr. Nandamalabhivamsa (then Pro-Rector of IMBTU) and many monks from US, UK, and Burma.

I was blessed to be a member and editor for the “Commemorative Book” project.

Sayadaw’s Achievements

  • Rector, IMBTU
  • Chief Resident Monk
    Dhammananda Vihara, Half Moon Bay, California, USA
  • Ovadacariya Sayadaw
    of various monasteries in Myanmar, US and Mexico
  • Meditation teacher
  • Expert in Pali, Sanskrit family of languages, and English.
  • Author of several texts in Pali, Myanmar and English.
  • Chief Compiler of the “Tipitaka Pali-Myanmar Dictionary
    Project of the Sixth Buddhist Council (held at Kaba Aye Pagoda in Rangoon, Burma from 1954 – 1956)
  • He is highly regarded by non-Burmese devotees (including Vietnamese and American) not only for his wisdom but also for his “humble” actions (void of “boasting”).

See details in the Commemorative Book for Sayadaw U Silanandabhivamsa (1927 – 2005) and the companion DVD set for “Sayadaw’s Final Journey”.

I was honored to be the Master of Ceremony for the Service, which was attended by Sittagu Sayadadaw and many monks from US, UK, and Burma.

I was blessed to be a member and editor for the “Commemorative Book” project.

Teachings and Legacy

Sayadaw’s teachings include

  • Basic Course in Buddhism for children
  • Abhidhamma courses in Burmese and English
  • Handbook of Abhidhamma Studies (3 volumes)
  • Dhammapada
  • Patissasamupada / Dependent Origination
  • Four Foundations of Mindfulness (Book and Summary)
  • Rahula Sutta
  • Paritta Pali / Protective Verses
  • The Essence in the Buddha’s Words
  • Fundamentals of Vipassana Meditation
  • Consecration of Sima
    Prescribed for monks
  • Ten meanings of Tathagata (Lecture)

Tathagata Meditation Center (TMC) depicts Sayadaw’s dhamma duta mission in US and Mexico by photos of the wall of the dining hall, and by publishing Sayadaw’s works.

Many audio tapes were transcribed by Sarah E. Marks, U Osadha, … and edited/polished as books.

I edited a book of Sayadaw’s short talks at the meditation retreat. The tapes were transcribed by U Osadha.

Sayadaw’s Thai devotee published “Paritta Pali: Protective Verses” in Pali and English with an accompanying audio CD.

Ko Jeffey Wong (Fremont) put Sayadaw’s Abhidhamma courses (covering 50+ audio tapes) into COBY MP-3 player and distributed them at Abhidhamma courses offered in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu.

Fundamentals of Buddhism (Course)

Sayadaw U Silananda taught “Fundamentals of Buddhism” course. The course was made available in MP3/CD (which was distributed at the ceremony for the opening of “U Silananda Hall” at Dhammananda Vihara, Half Moon Bay.

The Four Foundations Of Mindfulness

  • Author : Venerable U Silananda
  • Editor : Ruth-Inge Heinze, Ph.D.
  • Wisdom Publications
  • First Printing : 2002
  • Foreword by Larry Rosenberg, Cambridge Insight Meditation Center
  • Introduction
  • 1. Contemplation of the Body in the Body
  • 2. Contemplation of Feelings
  • 3. Contemplation of Consciousness
  • 4. Contemplation of the Dhammas
  • 5. Assurance of Attainment
  • Notes
  • Glossary
  • Select Bibliography
  • Index

Dependent Origination

  • Subtitle: Paticca-samuppada
  • The Wheel of life
  • Author: Sayadaw U Silananda
  • Editor: U Hla Myint
  • Publisher : Tathagata Meditation Center
  • Contents
  • Publisher’s notes
  • Venerable U Silananda’s biography
  • Dependent origination
  • Introduction
  • First link : Avjja-pacaya sankhara
  • Second link : sabkahara-paccaya vinnanam
  • Third link : Vinnana-paccaya nama-rupam
  • Fourth link : Nama-rupa-paccaya salayatanam
  • Fifth link : Salayatanam-paccaya phassa
  • Sixth link : Phassa-paccaya vedana
  • Seventh link : Vedana-paccaya tanha
  • Eight link : Tanha-paccaya upadana
  • Ninth link : Upadana-paccaya bhavo
  • Tenth link : Bhava-paccaya jati
  • Eleventh link : Jati-paccaya jara-marana
  • Conclusion

The Fundamentals Of Buddhism

  • Teacher : Sayadaw U Silanandabhivamsa (1927 – 2005)
  • Transcribed and edited by Sarah E. Marks, Dhammachakka Meditation Center
  • First edition : 2008
  • Fourteen chapters
  • 1. Introduction : The Fundamentals of Buddhism
  • 2. Life of the Buddha
  • 3. Four Noble Truths
  • 4. Kamma
  • 5. Dependent Origination
  • 6. Conditional Relations
  • 7. The Outstanding Characteristics of Buddhism
  • 8. Beings on the Spiritual Path
  • 9. The Spiritual Path
  • 10. Samatha Meditation : The Spiritual Path (Part II)
  • 11. Vipassana Meditation : The Spiritual Path (Part III)
  • 12. Enlightenment : The Goal of Spiritual Path
  • 13. Divisions of the Buddha’s Teachings and Buddhist Councils
  • 14. The Doctrine of Anatta
  • Eulogy
  • 1. Sayadaw’s student for more than 25 years, USA
  • 2. Luyen Pham, Tathagata Meditation Center, San Jose, USA

The Essence in The Buddha’s Words

  • Dhamma Dana Book from TRIPLE GEM PUBLICATION
  • Lectures by Sayadaw U Silananda
  • Based on the Book: “The Word of The Buddha” Compiled, Translated and Commented by Nyantiloka Mahathera
  • Transcribed by Sarah E. Marks
  • Edited by Harry Than Htut
  • 42 Chapters
  • The Four Noble Truth
    (1) The Noble Truth of Suffering
    (2) The Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering
    (3) The Noble Truth of the Extinction of Suffering
    (4) The Path of the Extinction of Suffering
  • The Noble Eightfold Path
    (1) Right Understanding
    (2) Right Thought
    (3) Right Speech
    (4) Right Action
    (5) Right Livelihood
    (6) Right Effort
    (7) Right Mindfulness
    (8) Right Concentration

Fundamentals of Vipassana Meditation

  • Primary Author : Mahasi Sayadaw
  • Translator : Maung Tha Noe
  • Editor: Sayadaw U Silananda
  • Original Publisher : Dhammachakka Meditation Center, 1991
  • Republished with other sources : Tathagata Mediatation Center
  • Other sources included the book
  • “Instructions to Meditation Practice” by Mahasi Sayadaw
  • “Benefits of Walking Meditation” by Sayadaw U Silananda
  • “Guidance for Yogis at Interview” by Sayadaw U Pandita
  • “An Interview with Mahasi Sayadaw” by Thamanaykyaw, translated by U Hla Myint

Protective Verses (Paritta Pali)

  • A Thai devotee requested Sayadaw to record Paritta Pali (Protective Verses) in Pali and English.
  • She sponsored the book (with Pali and English on opposing pages) as a birthday present for Sayadaw.


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Tathagata Meditation Center (TMC)

  • Sayadaw U Silanandabhivamsa gave a talk “The ten meanings of Tatagatha” at the Tathagata Meditation Center at 1215, Lucretia Street, San Jose.
  • For the history and activities of the meditation center, please visit
  • In the dining hall, there is an album about Sayadaw U Silanandabhivamsa’s early years in the US (e.g. meditation retreat at a church, dhamma classes at a Zen Buddhism Temple). There are two cabinets of books: one for dhamma dana distribution, and another for sale.

Highest blessing

  • Excerpts from
  • Paritta Pali (A Collection of Eleven Protective Suttas)
  • and
  • Protective Suttas (An English Translation with an Introduction)
  • by Sayadaw U Silananda
  • Not to associate with fools, to associate with the wise and to honor those who are worth of honor.
  • To live in a suitable place, to have done meritorious deeds in the past, and to keep one’s mind and body in a proper way.
  • To have much learning, to be skilled in crafts, to be well-trained in moral conduct and to ahve speech that is well-spoken.
  • Caring for one’s mother and father, supporting one’s spouse and children and having work that causes no confusion.
  • Giving, practice of what is good, support of one’s relatives and blameless actions.
  • Abstention from evil in mind, abstention from evil in body and speech, abstention from intoxicants and non-negligence in meritorious acts.
  • Respectfulness, humbleness, contentment, gratitude and listening to the Dhamma on suitable occasions.
  • Practice that consumes evil states, a noble life, seeing the Noble Truths and realization of Nibbana.
  • The mind of a person (an Arahant) who is confronted with worldly conditions does not flutter, is sorrowless, stainless and secure.
  • Having fulfilled such things as these, beings are invincible everywhere and happiness everywhere. This is the highest blessing for them.

Rahula Sutta

The MP3 “Rahula Sutta by Venerable Sayadaw U Silananda” is offered for free distribution only by “Buddhist Gem Fellowship”.

Categories: Broadcasts, Notes

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