Birmingham Buddhist Vihara was established by Sayadaw Dr Rewata Dhamma in 1981 with the aim of propagating the Buddha’s teaching in the west both through the medium of meditation and the study of the scriptures.
Sayadaw had three projects to fulfill his aims in his lifetime:
- the establishing of the Peace Pagoda (1998),the Sangharama Vihara (2002) and,
- the Teaching Hall for a Buddhist Academy, and
- the Dhamma Hall
He was successful in completing the first two in his lifetime; the third one, Dhamma Hall, was completed successfully by his supporters in 2007.
During The Buddhist conference, in the Peace Pagoda on 26 November 2005, Dr Martin Stranger, (Head of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham) stated that: ‘’Together, the Department and the Vihara hope to work towards the establishment of a Buddhist Academy, collaborate in the production of joint conferences in Buddhist studies, construct university level courses and build a partnership that will generate a greater interest in Buddhist Studies.’’
On 25th November 2010, during my visit to Myanmar, I submitted an application to the State Sangha Committee, in Yangon, for the establishment of a Buddhist Academy at the Birmingham Buddhist Vihara. In return two letters of approval were presented to me (please see the following pages). I would like to say special thank to Sayadaw Dr Kumarabhivamsa, Chairman of State Sangha Committee, Religious minister and Dr T Z Naing, Pro-rector of the International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University, Yangon for their support.
Now, the Buddhist Academy appears successfully today and fulfilling Sayadaw Dr Rewata Dhamma’s main aim as well as following in the Lord Buddha’s footstep. The Lord Buddha appeared in the world for the welfare, the blessing and the happiness of all beings. Therefore, we can say ‘’ Lord Buddha is for everyone and Buddhism is for all’’. The Lord Buddha said: There are beings with a little dust in their eyes, who, not hearing the dhamma are decaying, (but) if they are learners of dhamma, they will grow (The Book of Discipline, Vol. IV,P.28).
In conclusion, we would like to thank all of our supporters, devotees and dhamma friends for their supporting of the vihara and especially for the Buddhist Academy. As well, we must acknowledge Mr. Robert Black for all of his hard work in gathering together and editing the contents of the special issue of Lotus Review-39, Buddhist Academy Inauguration.
Finally, we would like to say again special thanks to Ven. Dr Kumarabhivamsa, (Abhidhaja Maharatthaguru) Chairman Sayadaw of State Sangha committee
from Myanmar, for the help he has given towards the establishment of the Birmingham Buddhist Academy.
by Ven. Dr Ottara Nyana, 30th June, 2013
On 25th November 2010 Dr Ottara Nyana, during his visit to Myanmar, submitted an application to the State Sangha Committee, in Yangon, for the establishment of a Buddhist Academy at the Birmingham Buddhist Vihara, UK. In return the following letters of approval were presented to Dr Ottara Nyana.