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Left လန္ဒန္၀ိဟာရ၏ရာဇ၀င္ Right
{ By Nyaung Kan Aye Sayadaw Ashin Eindaka, 1994}

(By U Sein Tun Aung, the Honorary Treasurer and a Founder Trustee,10th January, 1999)

This is the official translation of the article in Burmese of the History of the Britain Burma Buddhist Trust (BBBT), originally written and published in 1994 by Nyaung Kan Aye Sayadaw Eindaka. The present Resident Sayadaws, U Kumara and U Sobhita have approved the publication of this historical aspects of the BBBT at the Trusts's Vihara Website.

Ashin Eindaka is a senior monk and a member of the Mahasi Board of Spiritual Directors. As invited by the Britain Burma Buddhist Trust, London, he spent a couple of years 1991-92, in London teaching Mahasi Vipassana meditation technique in particular and lecturing on Buddhism in general. As a senior and well known monk, he had many opportunities to visit the EEC countries (Western Europe) and the United States in the West, and many countries in the East on Buddhist Dhamma missions.

In this book, titled ' LONDON - BUDDHIST MISSION DIARY' ( In Burmese), Ashin Eindaka gave a full account of the reception he received on his arrival in London, his stayed in London at the BBBT Vihara and his visits to various cities including Birmingham, Liverpool, Devon, Yeoville, Stonehenge, to deliver special lectures and to participate in important Buddhist ceremonies. As an important part of his diary, Ashin Eindaka gave a good summary of the history of how the BBBT Vihara came into its existence. He wrote, thus:


Mahasi Sayadaw's advice started the beginning of the very beginning: The most venerable Mahasi Sayadawgyi visited London for the first time in July 1979, accompanied by Venerable Sayadaw Ashin Zanakabhivamsa and a party of four other monks. At that time, there was no Burmese Buddhist temple existed in London. U Sein Tun Aung and Daw Hla Hla family in Gladstone Park, and U Aye and Daw Ohn Myint Aye family in Hendon, very generously offered to vacate their houses and Mahasi Sayadawgyi and party accepted these two premises in turn as a temporary resting places.

A lot of Burmese and English people who were interested in Buddhism came to pay their respect to Mahasi Sayadawgyi.

On the afternoon of 15 July 1979, when the sayadaws had finished their luncheon, Mahasi Sayadawgyi delivered a short talk. His message to the visitors was that they should never forget to pay homage to Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, and attend to these triple gems. In particular, they should think about our own children and the young generation and teach them the Burmese Buddhist culture, and the Teachings of the Buddha. What was lacking in London was a Buddhist place of worship; a Vihara should be established as soon as possible. For this purpose, we should listen to the advice of Birmingham Sayadaw Dr. Rewata Dhamma. Sayadawgyi urged not to lose any more time and to make a start by forming a committee for the promotion of a Vihara.

Chanmyay Sayadaw, Ashin Zanakabhivamsa then took charge of forming a committee at that evening; Sayadaw Zanakabhivamsa also undertook to explain the various tasks involved and how to effectively organizing them. That was how a 'working committee' came into being and how Mahasi Sayadawgyi's advice began working from the beginning.

Mahasi Sayadawgyi and party visited London for the second time in 1981 again accompanied by Chanmyay Sayadaw Zanakabhivamsa. Because the working committee was found to be not so active and hardly any progress had been made, Mahasi Sayadawgyi and Chanmyay Sayadaw had to coax the working committee to spring to a bit of an action.

Some more advice to carry on:

In July 1981, Taung-Pu-Lu Sayadawgyi also visited London and gave some more advice to carry on with the work of the promoting a Burmese Buddhist Vihara in London. Taung-Pu-Lu Sayadawgyi, or better known as 'World peace Taung-Pu-Lu Sayadawgyi' was also a world wide known Buddhist missionary who traveled world wide to preach Buddhism.

In 1982, Sayadawgyi Ashin Thittila, accompanied by Thabaik Aing Sayadaw Ashin Nyanissara also visited London and gave some more advice on the work of the Burmese Buddhist Vihara. Sayadawgyi Ashin Thithila was again in London in 1983; this time, the Burma Association conducted a welcoming 'Puja' at the Sri Lankan Chiswick Vihara where he repeated his advice to the worshippers present there. That was how the most venerable sayadaws who were then visiting London kept up with advice and encouragement to the very initiative which Mahasi Sayadawgyi began in his first ever visit to London in 1979.

On 6 June 1981, the charity status of the Britain Burma Buddhist Trust (BBBT) was approved and recognized by the Charity Commissioners, London. The collection for the donations to buy a place of worship had begun in 1980/81. However, with the approval of the charity status, the trustees were then more active, mainly collecting donations from the Burmese community at large in the United kingdom and from visitors from Myanmar. There was then this windfall in 1984, in the shape of 30,000 (Thirty thousand pounds) from an anonymous donor; the money was an input towards buying of a building. Then there was a second windfall, an amount of 24,000 (Twenty four thousand pounds); the anonymous donor this time stipulated that the 24,000 was to remain in the Bank. Only the interest accrued from it was to be spent.

As a result of the two windfalls, the trustees and their supporters alike were then most encouraged to buy a suitable building in and around London. The founder Trustees pooled their own financial resources together to put down as a deposit and with the aid of a very modest loan from a Bank, they bought the present building at 1 old Church Lane, Kingsbury, London NW9 8TG in 1985.

The first invited resident Sayadaw to occupy the BBBT Vihara was Sayadaw Ashin Nyanika (Myaungmya Sayadaw); he was accompanied by Ashin Pesala who was temporarily staying at the Sri Lankan Chiswick Vihara. Ashin Pesala was a native Englishman, a helper of Sayadaw Dr. Rewata Dhamma in Birmingham; he took refuge and entered into monkhood under the very supervision of the most venerable Mahasi Sayadawgyi in Oxford on his second arrival in the UK in 1981.

On 27 October 1985, the Trustees together with all their active members and supporters celebrated an opening ceremony of the first ever Burmese Buddhist Vihara with the help of Myaungmya Sayadaw Ashin Nyanika, Spiritual Director Sayadaw Dr. Rewata Dhamma and invited sanghas from Sri Lankan and Thai temples who conducted the necessary Buddhist rites to recognize the building as a Buddhist Vihara proper.

In 1986, the trustees invited the President of the Sasana Nuggaha Organization, in Mahasi Center, Yangon, to send two resident sanghas, namely, Ashin Pyinnyathami and Ashin Pyinnyathiha.

In 1987, Myaungmya Sayadaw Ashin Nyanika established a new Vihara at Woolverhampton while Ashin Pyinnathami, Ashin Pyinnathiha and Ashin Pesala continued to reside at the BBBT Vihara in London.

In 1991, it was again time for the BBBT trustees to invite from the Mahasi Meditation Centre in Yangon a senior monk to reside at their Vihara in London and to impart to the London Myanmar Buddhist community their wisdom and specialized Vipassana technique and experience. The Mahasi Centre assigned the task to Nyaung Kan Aye Sayadaw Ashin Eindaka.

Nyaung Kan Aye Sayadaw Ashin Eindaka arrived in London and on 4 August 1991, the Trustees and all BBBT supporters welcomed and celebrated his coming to reside at the London Burmese Buddhist Vihara. It was the occasion when he learned about the history of the Britain Burma Buddhist Trust.

The First Working Committee Members (as noted in Daw Ohn Myint Aye's diary) included were:
1. Dr. U Rewata Dhamma (Birmingham Sayadaw)
2. Daw Ohn Myint Aye
3. U Sein Tun Aung
4. U Khin
5. Dr. Win Maung
6. U Maung Maung
7. U Nay Win
8. Dr. Aye Naing
9. Dr. Daw Thein Thein Myint

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လန္ဒန္၀ိဟာရ၏ အင္တာနက္စာမ်က္ႏွာမ်ားကို အေမ့အိမ္ (ျမန္မာအစားအစာ) မိသားစုမွ ဖန္တီးလွဴဒါန္းပါသည္။
ရရွိိသမွ် ကုသိုလ္အဖို ့ကို ၾသဂုတ္လ ၆ ရက္၊ ၂၀၀၁ ေန ့တြင္ကြယ္လြန္သြားခဲ့ေသာ အေမ့အိမ္၏မိခင္ႀကီး ေဒၚခင္သန္းႏြဲ ့အတြက္ရည္စူးအမွ် ေပးေ၀ပါသည္။