Sitagu Sayadaw

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Sitagu Sayadaw
Sitagu Sayadaw.jpg
Religion Buddhism
School Theravada
Education Khin-ma-gan Pali University, Mandalay (M.A.)
Sangha University, Yangon
Other names Venerable Dr. Ashin Nyanissara
U Nyanissara
Thegon Sayadaw
Thabeik Aine Sayadaw
Nationality Myanmar
Born (1937-02-23) 23 February 1937 (age 80)[1]
Thegon Township, Bago Division, Myanmar
Senior posting
Based in Sagaing Hills, Myanmar
Title Vice Sangha Rājā of Shwekyin Nikaya
Religious career
Teacher Anicakhan Sayadaw Ashin Pandita[2]

Ashin Nyanissara (Burmese: ဉာဏိဿရ) is best known as Sitagu Sayadaw (သီတဂူဆရာတော်). He is a meditation teacher and Buddhist scholar having written well over one hundred books.[citation needed]. He is also founder and Supreme Head of the Sitagu Buddhist Academies.

Practicing socially engaged Buddhism, he is widely respected not only as one of the most prominent monks in Myanmar but also as a leading visionary for his numerous charitable humanitarian works.[citation needed]

These works began in 1977 and encompass religious, educational, medical and infrastructural activities. He is a global Buddhist diplomat and travels worldwide to promote his humanitarian efforts and for interfaith dialogue.[1]

He became "Shwegyin Nikaya Uppaokkahta" which means Jointed Leading Head of Shwegyin Nikarya (Shwegyin Sanga Organization) of Myanmar in 2012.

Missionary and Charity works[edit]

Sitagu Buddhist Academy

Bhante Sitagu Sayadaw is known for his charismatic leadership and practices of socially-engaged Buddhism.[2] His organization has funded many social projects in Burma, including water pumps, construction of hospitals, including the Sitagu Ayudana Hospital in Sagaing[3] in 1985, and the Sitagu Buddhist Academy in 1998.[2]

Bhante Sitagu Sayadaw is lauded for his missionary and charity works, especially in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis in 2008, which killed upwards of 100,000 in the country's delta regions.[4]

He is also interested in interfaith dialogue and currently sits on the Board of World Religious Leaders for the Elijah Interfaith Institute.[5]

Honorific Titles[edit]

The Myanmar government bestowed four honorific titles upon him:

1. In 1993 Bhante Sitagu Sayadaw was awarded the title Mahādhammakathika Bahujanahitadhara which means “great Dhamma preacher”.[2]
2. In 1995 he received the title Aggamahā Saddhammajotikadhaja means “great Dhamma preacher and benefactor of many men”.[2]
3. In 1997 he received another title Aggamahā Paṇḍita which means “very excellent wise man”.[2]
4. In 2004 he was awarded a title yet again for Aggamahā Ganthavacakapaṇḍita which means “great wise man in teaching and preaching”.[2]
5. In 2017 he was received the Supreme Buddhist Title"Abhidhajamahārahthaaguru" which means"the Honourable , Excellent and Great Teacher of Country and the State".

Honorary Doctorates[edit]

Honorary doctorates received from Myanmar and International Universities:

1. In February 2003, the University of Yangon, Myanmar honored the Venerable with a Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.).

2. In April 2005, he was conferred a Honorary Doctorate Degree in Philosophy (Ph.D.) from Mahachulalongkorajavidyalaya University in Bangkok, Thailand.

3. In May 2008, he received a Honorary Degree of Doctor Philosophy (Ph.D.) from Mahamakut Buddhist University, Thailand.

4. In October 2008, he received a Honorary Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from Nava Nalanda University, India.

5. In February 2015, he received a Honorary Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from Pannasastra University, Cambodia.


  1. ^ a b "A Brief Biography of Dr. Ashin Nanissara". Sitagu Buddhist Vihara. Theravada Dhamma Society of America. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Hiroko Kawanami (2009). "Charisma, Power(s), and the Arahant Ideal in Burmese-Myanmar Buddhism". Asian Ethnology. Nanzan University. 68 (2): 211–237. 
  3. ^ "Eye Care Project ( Burma)". Australia Burma Community Development Network. 2 March 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Lintner, Bertil (2009). The resistance of the monks: Buddhism and activism in Burma. Human Rights Watch. p. 89. ISBN 9781564325440. 
  5. ^ The Elijah Interfaith Institute - Buddhist Members of the Board of World Religious Leaders