Dhamma Joti (Light of Dhamma) is situated in Wingabar Yele Monastery Compound, Nga Htat Gyi Pagoda Road, Bahan, Yangon. It is about fifteen minutes walk away from the eastern entrance of the famous Shwedagon Pagoda. There are also Nga Htat Gyi Pagoda (with a 50 feet high sitting Buddha statute) and Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda (a large reclining Buddha statue) near the Centre.
Dhamma Joti was opened in October 1993 with with Goenkaji and Mataji present for the first three courses. Goenkaji expressed his happiness at being able to repay the debt of gratitude to Myanmar for maintaining Dhamma in all its purity. On the opening day, the elder monks of the State Monks’ Organization called the “State Sangha Mahanayaka Organization” were present and gave Ovada Katha (blessing and advising talk) to the audience.
The centre is built on an area about 12 acres of land donated by Venerable Bhaddanta Sobhita, chief monk of the Wingabar Yele Monastery. The 12 acres of land has a pond covering about one third of it, bordering the centre on three sides. A dreaming wooden bridge called Eka Maggo (the only way to Nibbanic Peace) over the pond links a gatehouse to the office where all management work is done for the centre.
The attractive Dhamma hall seats about 150-200 students. There are two double-storey dormitories, one for male and another for female with common bathrooms and toilets. Now the centre has 19 double rooms with attached bath for males and 20 single and 10 double rooms with attached bath for females. A new kitchen and two new dining rooms can cater for over 400 students. The Centre now has a Pagoda with 48 cells underneath.
Dhamma Joti is the very first of the five Vipassana centres in Myanmar, three of which have been running 10-day Vipassana courses throughout the year, and the fifth centre, Dhamma Mandala in Mandalay, has completed construction and now holding regular 10-day courses.
Due to the special nature of Myanmar being the birth place of S. N. Goenka and Sayagyi U Ba Khin, many foreign students and (teachers alike) have a desire to participate on a course in one of the centres in Myanmar. For this reason, places are always reserved for overseas students of Goenkaji to come and attend the courses, and ATs to come and conduct the courses. Please contact the centre if you wish to come to attend or serve on a course.
Myanmar is also the only country where dedicated courses are held for Bhikkus and Samaneras, led by a Bhikku Teacher. We welcome Bhikkus from other countries to participate on these courses, which normally occur around May and November-December of each year.
Courses are run solely on a donation basis. No charges are made, not even to cover the cost of food and accommodation. All expenses are met by donations from those who have already completed courses, experienced the benefits of Vipassana and wish to give others the same opportunity. Neither the teacher nor the assistant teachers receive remuneration; they and others who serve on the courses volunteer their time and efforts.