Welcome to Azusa Myanmar Buddhist Temple
Myanmar Progressive Buddhist Association is a California Base Nonprofit Organization which was founded in February 1986. It is organized under the Nonprofit Religious Corporation Law for religious purposes and in particular for the practice and promotion of the Buddhist religion.
“Be not mindful other people's faults. Instead, be mindful our own faults. Only then, can we live faultless (noble) lives”
Venerable Mt. Tant Kyi Sayadaw
History of Temple
Part IAround September 1985, a group of practicing Buddhists in the Los Angeles area gathered together for the purpose of practicing their religion and to promote Buddhism. They invited a Buddhist monk who is a scholar to be their religious leader. They set up temporary quarters in Monterey Park, California, where they gathered together weekly for prayers and discussions of Buddhist religion. As more and more people joined the group, they formed a corporation known as the Progressive Buddhist Association in February 1986, and in the last quarter of 1986, the Association purchased a house in Azusa, California, to be used as the corporate headquarters and as the temple for religious services. Weekly services were held at the temple and religious discussions/instructions were given by the monk to the faithful.
The first minister that served in the Association was the Reverend U. Thondra. He was born and raised in Burma in the Buddhist Tradition. He joined the monastic at the very young age and later become the chief abbot of the Kanbawza Monastery in Rangoon, Burma. He was well versed in the Theravadan tradition of Buddhism. The Reverend U. Thondra travelled widely in Burma and Southeast Asia preaching Buddhism to the faithful as well as to all those that came to hear his sermons. Unfortunately the Reverend U. Thondra passed away on April 14th, 1987. Since the passing away of this monk, the Association has been actively looking for an appropriate monk to replace their deceased religious leader.
Part IIThey found a Buddhist monk Reverend Godakalana Gunaratana. Rev. Gunaratana was born in Seri Lanka, attained the Buddhist monastic life in 1964. He studied in the Buddhist College in Seri Lanka until 1970, then went to Hong Kong and obtained a high ordination. He conducted religious services and practised Buddhism in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Seri Lanka until 1979.
In 1979, Rev. Gunaratana went to China for further studies in Eastern philosophy, theology and Buddhism and attended the Nanking University. In 1981, Rev. Gunaratana came to the United States and preached Buddhism in Colleges and Universities and various religious and non-religious organizations. Rev. Gunaratana has written and published many articles on religion and Buddhism.
Rev. Gunaratana temporarily offered weekly Sunday services with prayers and sermons during the service hours to the faithful as well as to the general public in English and Chinese. Rev. Gunaratana taught Sunday school for the youth also. Again, the board of directors were looking for a long term or permanent new spiritual leader for a while. Finally they found Mt. Tant Kyi Sayadaw when Sayadaw first came to the United States on April 3rd, 1988.