About TBSA

The  Theravada Buddhist Society of America (TBSA) was founded in 1980 to support the sasana activities in general and the Dhammananda Vihara activities in particular.  A brief history of TBSA can be read in “Happy 20th Anniversary TBSA” by U Myat Htoo, President. The news and articles in this web site cover how TBSA has helped propagate the sasana in Bay Area and beyond. For example, see “Dhamma in a Foreign Land” by U Nandisena.

There are two major branches of Buddhism: Theravada (“Way of the Elders”) as practiced in Burma/Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia, and Mahayana (“Greater Vehicle”) as practiced in China and Tibet.

Burmese Sayadaws played an important part in upholding the tradition of Theravada Buddhism. The Fifth Buddhist Council was held in Mandalay, Burma during King Mindon’s reign. The Pali canon was transcribed on to kyauk-sa (stone enscription). The Sixth Buddhist Council was held in Kaba Aye (World Peace) Pagoda Cave in Rangoon, Burma from 1954 – 56.

Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw was the Questioner. Dhammananda Vihara and numerous meditation centers throughout the world teach and practice the Mahasi method (of alternating sitting and walking meditation) in conformance to the classic “Four Foundations of Mindfulness”. Read the four-part article by Sayadaw U Silananda.

Venerable Mingun Tipitaka Sayadaw recited and recounted the Three Baskets: Vinaya (Rules), Sutta and Abhidhamma.
His memory feat has been recorded in the “Guiness Book of World Records”. For details, see “Mingun Sayadaw”.

Sayadaw U Silananda was the Chief Compiler of the Tipitaka Pali-Burmese Dictionary and the associated Commentaries. For more details on Sayadaw’s projects, see “TBSA Twenty Years in Commentary” by Hla Min.

TBSA regularly holds events that are prominent for Burmese Buddhists. They include: Htamane pwe (Ovada Patimauk Festival), Thingyan (Burmese New Year), Kason, Waso, Thadinkyut, and Kathein (offering of Kasina robes).

With the permission of YMBA, TBSA reprinted “The Life of Buddha”, with drawings by U Ba Kyi, renowned artist and arts teacher, and the description by the lateSayadaw Ashin Janakabhivamsa, prolific writer of Burmese and Pali works. An English translation [which was printed as a supplement to the original Burmese work] was incorporated into the edition printed by TBSA. It is a book that every Buddhist should have.

Eight years ago, Dr. Lynn Swe Aye and Dr. Khin Nyo Thet established the “Aye-Thet Scholarship” fund. See, “Beneficiaries of the Aye-Thet Scholarship” and related articles.

TBSA is currently soliciting donations for the construction of a new monastery and an associated “swan-sar-kyaung and ei-dhamma-yone” (auxiliary building where the resident and visiting Sayadaws are offered meals, and where group meditation can also be conducted). For details, see “Donors” Page.

TBSA has published newsletters. For a historical perspective, see “Fruits of Cetana“.

Some of the early work on the TBSA web site was done by Kevin Kyar, Sayadaw U Nandisena and Ko Aung Zaw Maung. The current web master Ko Thant Lwin Oo has worked hard to improve the look and feel of the web site, and to ensure that the contents are up to date.

This work would not have been possible without the dedication of the Sayadaws, Executive Committee members, the Board of Directors, the Newsletter Committee members, the donors, and last but not the least the authors and their readers. See “Tribute to the TBSA Officers”.

Feel free to provide feedback. See “Contact” section.