Sayadaw U Jotalankara was born on August, 16, 1938 (6th waning day of Wa Khaung month, 1300 Burmese Era) in Zee Byu Seit village, Nga pu taw township, Pa thein (Bassein) district, Myanmar. He is the fifth son of U Phyo and Daw Aye Tin.
On July 15, 1950, he became a novice. The preceptor was Auk Kyaung Sayadaw, Laputtalote Myauk Bet village, Laputta Township. The donors of the eight requisites were his parents (U Phyo and Daw Aye Tin), U Kyin, U Kyaw Sein and Daw Sein Thin.
The first and prime ordination took place at Baddha sima in Neikbeinda Hill monastery, Pyay (Prome) on April 13, 1958. The preceptor was Auk Kyaung Sayadaw, Laputtalote Myauk Bet village, Laputta township. The donors of the eight requisites were U Maung San and Daw Pu, U Nyo Ohn and Daw Thein of Lanmadaw Street in Kyobinkauk.
At trhe request of donors, Sayadaw was re-ordained again four more times: March 16, 1965, May 13, 1966, March 16 1994 and March 24, 1994.
Education and Degrees conferred
1951 - 1959: Basic Pali literature and Prescribed Tipitaka literature
(at Lapputaloke Auk Kyaung)
1960 - 1969: Texts for the religious exams (at Taik Kyaung Pali Tekkatho, Gyobingauk) and
Patthana (at Mount Popa, conducted by Pahtan Theik Pan Sayadaw of Sagaing Hills)
1969 - 1973: Krtantra (Treatise on Sanskrit grammar - conducted by Sayadaw U Paduma) and
Basic English and Sanskrit (conducted by Sayadaw U Silanandabhivamsa)
at Anaukpyin Abhayarama monastery, Mandalay
March 1967: practiced Vipassana under the tutelage of Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw, Mahasi Meditation Center,
Examinations held by the Religious Ministry of Burma (Myanmar)
1960: Pathamange (1st Grade)
1962: Pathamalat (2nd Grade) placed third in the whole of Burma
1963: Pathamagyi (3rd Grade) won scholarship for placing second in the whole of Burma
1964: Sasanadhaja Dhammacariya
1965: Sasanadhaja Siripavara Dhammacariya
1966: Dighabhanaka (awarded at the 17th Tipitaka examination)
1966: Third prize in the Five Niyakas examination, Hlegu
1966: Dighabhanagambhiranyana (awarded by MingalaGatiVisuddhi assocation, Yangon)
1968: Dighanikaya Kovida (awarded at the 21st Tipitaka examination)
1995: B.A., San Francisco State University
1974 - August, 1979: Chief Abbot and Dhamma lecturer at Dekkhinayone
Kyaik Waing, Mayangone township, Yangon, Myanmar
August 1979 - September 1985: invited by the trustees of World Peace
Pagoda. Moji-ku, Kitakyushu City, Japan
taught Theravada Buddhism in Japanese
September 1985 - October,1986: Dhammodaya monastery, Los Angeles
End of October, 1986 - present: