Dr. Ottara Nyana is the present head of the Birmingham Buddhist Vihara. He was born in Myanmar in 1949. He has studied Theravada Buddhism since childhood under several eminent scholarly monks. He passed the higher examination in spiritual studies and was awarded the prestigious titles of Sasanadhaja Dhammacariya (1971) and Sasanadhaja Siripavara-Dhammacariya (1973). He got his B.A. from Yangon University (1986).
In 1992, he went to India for further study and he obtained M.A (1994), M.Phil and Tibetan Diploma (1995), PhD. (Samgha and Royalty, 1998) Degrees from Delhi University in India.
He stayed at Mahasi Meditation Centre in Yangon for three years (1984-1986). He worked in the State Pariyatti Sasana University in Mandalay from 1986 to 1992 as Registrar, Professor of Myanmar Literature and Secretary of the Administration and Academic Board. In 1999 he worked in the Theravada Buddhist Missionary University in Yangon as Dean of the Meditation (Patipatti) Faculty and Secretary of the Text Book Committee until 2003.
The Myanmar government conferred on him the religious titles Mahaganthavacaka Pandita (1992), Aggamahaganthavacaka Pandita (2002) and Aggamaha Pandita (2011) for his academic activities.
He now teaches Majjhimanikaya, Pali grammar, Abhidhamma and Vipassana meditation in Birmingham Buddhist Academy in United Kingdom. The academic board of International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University (ITBMU) has unanimously decided to grant “An Autonomous Branch of ITBMU” to Birmingham Buddhist Academy formally opened and established in July 2013 in Birmingham, United Kingdom.