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Ven. Sayadaw U Thittila (1896-1997)

Born in 1896 in Pyawbwe, Myanmar.

Studied the scriptures at the age of seven to eight. Ordained a novice at the age of 15 and already well-versed with the primer to Abhidhamma studies, the Abhidhammatthasangaha, also the Mahasatipatthana Sutta and Kaccayana's Pali Grammar, and received his higher ordination in 1916.

Selected, from among five thousand candidates, as the Pathamakyaw Scholar of all Burma (1918), one of the four successful graduates from one hundred and fifty entrants for the highest of all monastic examinations, the Panyattisasanahita (1923). His success accorded him an appointment to co-head a monastery at a relatively young age. Went to India to study English and Sanskrit and had contributed much to the revival of Buddhism in South India (1933). Left for England and further his study of the English language at the London Polytechnic (1938-39). During this time forth he started to teach Abhidhamma to the West.
Accepted an invitation from the Association for Asian Studies at the University of Michigan, U.S.A., to lecture in America (1959), and delivered over a total of one hundred and sixty lectures at various universities and arranged meetings in six months. His later teaching engagement for two years in England allowed him the opportunity to translate into English from the Pali, for the very first time that it had ever been done, the second of the seven books of the Abhidhamma Pitaka, Vibhanga. It was published by the Pali Text Society in 1969 under the title of The Book of Analysis.

Served as the Spiritual Adviser to the central council of the Sangha Mahanayaka of Burma (1966-82); trustees of the Shwedagon Pagoda, Sule Pagoda, Kaba Aye Pagoda among others, examiner for the well known Abhidhamma Propagation Society in Rangoon, and had since traveled to more than 25 countries to lecture.