The Theravada Dhamma Society of America

Sitagu Dhamma Vihara is part of a wider organization which encompasses three monasteries in the United States – Sitagu Dhamma Vihara in Maplewood, Minnesota, Sitagu Buddha Vihara in Austin, Texas, and Sitagu Sangha Vihara in Palm Beach, Florida, each named after the three Jewels of Buddhism.  The organization, the Theravada Dhamma Society of America (TDSA), was founded by Dr. Ashin Nyanissara in order to provide centers for Theravada Buddhism practices as well as to support monastic residents.

Nyanissara, also known as Sitagu Sayadaw of Burma, is a charismatic monk who is very active in Burma and abroad.  In Burma, he has created projects for clean water, founded a Buddhist academy, and helped in the construction and development of thirty hospitals.  In the United States, he founded the three monasteries listed above and has travelled extensively to give Dhamma talks and lectures at several universities.  He has published 38 books on Buddhism in Burmese and five in English.1 He has met the Dalai Lama as well as Pope Benedict XVI.  His picture is featured prominently in the Dhamma Hall at Sitagu Dhamma Vihara, as well as in the small temple where he is pictured in front of the Minnesota landmarks like the St. Paul Capital and the Minnesota Historical Society.

  1. “Ashin Nyanissara,” Thegon Sayadaw U Nyanissara, accessed December 16, 2013,