Singapore DharmaNet Homepage

Biography of Venerable Dhammasami

Venerable Dhammasami
(Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre, London)

Venerable Dhammasami was born in 1965, on 22nd November in Laikha, Shan State, Union of Myanmar (Burma), and was known as Kham Mai. He became a novice (samanera) at his early teens in Sirimangalatemple, a branch of the Mahasi meditation Centre.

Venerable Dr. Khammai Dhammasami is a Theravada Buddhist monk-scholar from Oxford, Great Britain. He is now involved in teaching and research in Buddhist Studies at University of Oxford where he received his doctor of philosophy in Buddhist Studies. From 2009, he starts teaching some tutorials and giving weekly lectures. He also teaches Pali and meditation at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London where he is a research associate. Outside Britain, he holds professorship at International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University, Yangon, Myanmar and is Distinguished Professor at the Postgraduate Institute for Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. He is also a visiting lecturer in Indonesia, India and Thailand.

Apart from his university teaching, he offers Buddhist teaching and vipassana meditation regularly to the public since 1993 in Sri Lanka, Britain, Canada, USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Korea, Hungary, Spain and Thailand. He has set up two temples, one in Oxford and the other in Singapore. He also helps develop a temple set up by the famous forest meditation master, the Venerable Phra Khruva Boonchum Nyanasamvaro in Buddhagaya, India.

Since 2005, at the invitation of the Most Ven. Professor Dr. PhraDharmakosajarn, Rector of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, he has also been very active in international Buddhist organisations. He has severed as assistant secretary, general secretary and vice chairman of the International Council for the United Nations Day of Vesak. He has been the main thinker and coordinator of the two Buddhist universities groupings: the International Association of Buddhist Universities (IABU) and the Association of Theravada Buddhist Universities (ATBU). He serves as the Executive Secretary in both associations.


Sasanadhaja Dhammacariya degree (Government examination, in Burmese medium) (First degree in Buddhist Literature), Sasana Mandaing Pali University, Pegu, Burma, 1985. This degree examination is normally a three years course, and some take longer to complete. Ven. Dhammasami completed it in a year at the age of 19 while being a samanera. He was the only samanera to have gained that degree that year; there were 78 passes around the country in 1985.

Dhammacariya degree (first prize) in Shan medium in the Shan State Sangha's annual examination held in Pang Long, Shan State, 1985. This three years course was completed in one year.

MA, Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka, Colombo 1992

MA, Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, Kelaniya University, Gower Street, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 1993.

Dissertation: 'Is Sunnyta the Middle Path' - supervised by the late Prof. S.G.M Weerasinghe, dean of Dept. of Philosophy, Colombo University.

M.Phil., Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, Kelaniya University, Gower Street, Colombo, Sri Lanka 1996.

Dissertation: 'The Apheggusara-dipani-tika': An Edition and A Comprehensive Study - supervised by Prof. Galmangoda Sumanapala, Head of Dept. Buddhist and Pali Studies, University of Kelaniya. This is one of the early sub-commentaries on Abhidhamma written in Burma. This text was written in Pali by Ven. Suvannadipa of Hamsavati (Pegu) who was the teacher of Princess Sivali, the daughter of King Payin-naung.

The two external examiners, Ven. Prof. Kuala Lumpur Dhammajoti and Dr. Aloysus Pieris recommended the examination board of the Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist studies, University of Kelaniya to award an MPhil degree to Ven. Dhammasami without written and oral examinations as the Thesis was judged excellent. The Board of examination went ahead with the written and oral examinations.


Shan (mother tongue), Burmese, English, Pali, Thai, Sanskrit and a limited listening ability for Sinhala and Laotian.


Appointed a lecturer, at the Sasana Mandaing Pali University, Pegu 1985-6 immediately after graduating. There are over 600 residential student bhikkhus and samanera studying at this one of the top Pali universities in Burma.

Lecturer, YMBA, Colombo 1991-6 (teaching the Nikayas) to a group of English speaking middle class from Colombo. Some of them become YMBA teachers in the first English medium Dhamma school at Sambodhi Vihara in Colombo-7.

A series of lecture on "Causality in Buddhism" at the Buddha's Servants' Society, Colombo-3, 1994

Lecturer & meditation teacher, World Buddhist Foundation 1996- to date (teaching early Buddhist social teaching, fundamentals of Buddhism and Theravada Abhidhamma to diploma students).

A tutor on Buddhism at London Bishop's Centre for Interfaith.

Meditation retreats

Wales (Samatha Trust), England ( Birmingham), Ottawa, Montreal (Canada) and Singapore (1996-9), Malaysia (2000)

Coming retreat: 6-13 , August, 2000 in Kingsheath, Birmingham.

Visiting Lecturer/speaker

Buddhist Library, Singapore (1999)

A regular speaker at Buddhist Society forum at SOAS, University of London (since 1997) and Cambridge University (since 1999).

Visiting school talking to children about Buddhism. Those schools include Kingsbury High School and Oliver Goldsmith Primary School, Kingsbury, North London, Sutton High School, Sutton, Surrey, and Barnet Mayoral Office, Hendon, London.

Buddha Dhamma Mandala Society, Singapore (A series of ten lectures on the fundamentals of early Buddhism) (1998)

Meditation and Dhamma talks for five days at Buddhist Congress, Ottawa, Canada (1999)


Sakyadhita conference, Colombo 1994

North West London Hospice, (on How To Deal With Pain and Worry) London (1997)


Budumaga quarterly Newsletter, WBF, London

Editor: Buddhism for The New Millennium (A collection of academic articles on Buddhism), World Buddhist Foundation, London, 2000


'The Dhamma Made Easy', Penang, Malaysia, 1998 (English)

'Mindfulness Meditation Made Easy', Penang, 1999 (English)

'Different Aspects of Mindfulness', Penang, Malaysia, 2000 (English)

'Tsao Dhamma and His Vision', Rangoon, 1994 (Shan &English)

'A collection of around a hundred poems in four volumes', Rangoon, 1982-4, (Shan)

About 20 articles including:

A Tai's Brief History (in Rangoon University Shan Magazine, 1995) (in Burmese);

Buddhism in Shan State (in Rangoon University Shan Magazine, 1995) (in English);

Thaton; The Golden Land - Suvannabhumi (in Colombo Mahabodhi monthly journal), 1994, (English);

History of Laikha (in Shan State Journal), 1997, (Shan).

Academic Edition:

The Apheggusara-dipani-tika (Abhidhamma), approved by the Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, Kelaniya University, Colombo, 1996.


Return to Singapore DharmaNet