Resident sayadaws of the Dhammananda Vihara, other sayadaws from
the San Francisco Bay area, TBSA board members (past and present), and
devotees attended the meeting regarding Sayadaw U Silananda's funeral
The devotees took Three Refuges and Five Precepts from the
sayadaws. Sayadaw U Jotalanka expressed the loss of his distinguished
mentor Sayadaw U Silananda. "We have lost an irreplacable sayadaw, who
is world renown for his prowess in pariyatti, paripatti, and pariveda.
I first studied under him in Manadalay from 1970 - 74. I wanted to
continue my studies, but I was assigned to be a chief monk of my local
monastery. With Sayadaw U Silananda's recommendation, I was later sent
to Japan to do sasana work. Later, Sayadaw asked me join at the
Dhammananda Vihara. [Details can be found in the preface of my books.]
We all feel sad, but we should learn invaluable dhamma lessons through
Sayadaw's sickness and demise: that 'everyone has to face the ultimate
realities such as death'. We should try our best to carry on Sayadaw's
legacy such as teaching and practising dhamma."
Sayadaw U Sobana (aged 84) spoke next. "I first met Sayadaw U
Silananda at Kaba Aye (World Peace Pagoda) in 1952 when preparations
were being made for the Sixth Buddhist Council. I was sent to Colombo,
Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1953 to do sasana work. Sayadaw U Silananda
joined me in 1954 and he studied in Colombo until 1956. He treated me
as an elder brother, and occasionally sought advice. [I was in Bangkok,
Thailand for some time doing sasana work.] Sayadaw invited me to
Dhammananda Vihara [then in Daly City in the early days]. Over the
years, I have found Sayadaw to be extremely contented. ... His wish
would be to have 'simple rites' and not to have elaborate ceremonies.
We should try to carry on his legacy."
U Myat Htoo, President of TBSA, and Dr. Than Htay, Sayadaw's
nephew, gave detailed accounts of Sayadaw's last days. Sayadaw's health
has deteriorated in the past few days. Several organs (liver, kidney,
...) started to malfunction. Even though Sayadaw has no history of
diabetes, the blood sugar level had risen considerably due to side
effect of the medications. After consulting with the specialists, U
Myat Htoo and Dr. Than Htay requested Sayadaw to be relocated from ICU
[which had restrictions regarding visitation hours] to a private room
so that Sayadaw can wear the yellow robes and have his head shaved and
more devotees can pay respect more freely. Sayadaw continued to have
the "life support" and medications.
Sayadaw's karma for the present life apparently ended at 7:24
a.m. today. According to the doctors, Sayadaw passed away peacefully. U
Osadha noted that Sayadaw's body still felt fresh and relaxed around 10
U Osadha requested the Metta Vihari chanting group to volunteer
at the viewing. In the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw's funeral
procession, the devotees should conduct Sayadaw U Silananda's last
journey with "Noble Silence" and practice "Contemplation of Death".
Note: Mahasi Sayadaw passed away on August 14, while U Silananda passed
away on August 13. Both were in their late seventies.
The Sayadaws and several devotees donated to the "Funeral Fund".
They approved the [tentative] agenda to be posted on the TBSA web site.