Born in Myanmar in 1929, Ven. Rewata Dhamma studied under several eminent scholar monks from a young age. After completing higher studies, he was given a state scholarship in 1956 to study Hindi and Sanskrit in India. He went on to study Indian philosophy and Mahayana Buddhism, gaining his Ph.D. from Varanasi University in 1967. He edited and published the Abhidhammattha Sangaha with its commentary in 1965 and a Hindi translation of this, with his own commentary in Hindi, in 1967. For the latter he received the Kalidasa Prize from the Hindi Academy for one of the outstanding books of the year and it still remains a university textbook in India.

In 1975 he was invited to England, where he eventually set up the West Midlands Buddhist Centre, finally to become the Birmingham Buddhist Vihara. From this base he travelled to Europe, as well as the U.S.A., Mexico and Brazil, teaching Buddhism and leading Insight Meditation retreats in various centres and universities. He was also highly regarded in Asia and served on a number of commissions and international Buddhist bodies. In 2000 the Government of Myanmar awarded him the prestigious title of Aggamahapandita.

In 1998 Sayadaw realised his dream of housing the Buddha relics, formerly belonging to the Myanmar royal family, in the Dhammatalaka Peace Pagoda, which opened the same year. Subsequently he opened the Sangharama Monastery on the same site and was planning to build a Buddhist academy there too prior to his death on 26 May, 2004.

Other books by Dr Rewata Dhamma include The First Discourse of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, USA, 1997); The Buddha and His Disciples (Dhammatalaka Publications, UK, 2001) and Emptying the Rose-Apple Seat (Triple Gem Publications, USA, 2004). 


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