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 I

Around 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 II

They 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.

Part III

On April 10th 1988, by the request of board of directors, the Venerable Tant Kyi Taung Sayadaw Bhaddanta SoMaBuddhi (Thaw Ma Bote Dhi) accepted to be spiritual leader of the Progressive Buddhist Association and to spread Buddha Dhamma and Sasana (Buddha Teaching) at Thondrarama Brahma Vihara.

“All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else. ”

Gautama Buddha

Thank You

We, PBA Board of Directors, would like to thank you all guarantors, sponsors, donors and volunteers. Your commitment to helping and supporting in our Azusa Thondrarama Brahma Vihara and our Burmese community is sincerely appreciated.

Each year PBA continues to advance its mission of Buddha Sasana and Sasana's Building. Through our projects and programs, we have seen many improvements at this Blessing Vihara.

The goal of our organization is continue to make a difference in the Sasana Images, with the help of donations and volunteering from supporters such as you. We will continue to see improvements in this Thondrarama Azusa Brahma Vihara.

We wish you all a happy, wealthy and long life.

Board of Directors
Progressive Buddhist Association