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Sayadaw U

TitleAgga Maha Pandita, Agga Maha Saddhammajotika Dhaja, Sasanadhaja Siripavara Dhammacariya and Pariyattisasanahita Dhammacariya
Born16 December 1927
Died13 August 2005 (2005-08-14) (aged 77)
LineageShwegyin Nikaya
EducationKelly High School
University College Columbo
TempleMahavijjodaya Chaung monastery
Abhyarama Shwegu Taik monastery
Dhammananda Vihara monastery
Senior posting
AwardsDhammacariya (1950)
Abhivamsa (1954)

U Sīlānanda (Burmese: သီလာနန္ဒ) was a Burmese Buddhist monk and scholar of vipassana meditation. Born in Mandalay, he first ordained as a novice monk (samanera) on 14 April 1943 at the age of 16, during Thingyan celebrations. He was ordained under Sayadaw U Pannavata at the Mahavijjodaya Chaung Monastery on the Sagaing Hills and given the Dharma name Sīlānanda. He attended the Kelly High School, an American Baptist mission school, before entering the monkhood.

On 2 July 1947, he underwent higher ordination at the same monastery. Four days later, he was re-ordained at Mandalay's Payagyi monastery. From 1946 to 1948, he passed three grades of the Burmese government religious examinations and given the status of Dhammacariya (Master of the Dhamma in 1950 and was conferred the title Sasanadhaja Siripavara Dhammacariya. In 1950, he was ordained once again, at Rangoon's Kyaungtawya Shwegyin monastery. In 1954, he gained an honorific suffix -abhivamsa for passing the religious examination of the Pariyattisasanahita Association in Mandalay. He travelled to University College Columbo and passed GCE Advanced Level Examinations with distinctions in Sanskrit and Pali.

In 1960, he became the chief abbot of the Mahavijjodaya Chaung monastery, where he had been ordained as a novice monk. In 1968, he moved to Abyarama Shwegu Taik monastery in Mandalay, and presided as chief abbot. He also served as the spiritual advisor of the Theravada Buddhist Society of America (TBSA) and abbot of TBSA's Dhammananda Vihara monastery in the United States.

He taught Buddhist scriptures at Sagaing's Atothokdayone Pali University and Mandalay Arts and Sciences University and compiled the Tipitaka Pali-Burmese dictionary and became a distinguished editor of the Pali Canon at the Sixth Buddhist council in Rangoon. More recently, he taught at Mandalay University and International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University.

He died of a brain tumor on 13 August 2005 at the age of 78 in Northern California.


He came from a distinguished family, born to Wunnakyawhtin Saya Saing, a renowned Burmese architect, and Daw Mone. His two brothers and two nephews are also prominent Burmese architects. Silananda's brother Ngwe Hlaing and his nephew Than Tun designed a replica of the Karaweik royal barge on Yangon's Kandawgyi Lake. His sister Daw Sandasari (ဒေါ်သန္တာစာရိ) is the chief abbess of Shwezedi Sathintaik near Sasanapala River on the Sagaing Hills.


  • "World renowned Theravada teacher passes away". The Buddhist Channel. 15 August 2005. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  • "Sayadaw U Silananda". Theravada Buddhist Society of America. Retrieved 27 April 2012.