MRAUK OO DHAMMA CENTER
The history of the Mrauk Oo Dhamma Center dates back over a hundred years with the first "Howakai" or religious gathering held in mid-November of 1899. By January 1900, the center was officially recognized by the San Francisco headquarters and it went on to be known as the Fresno Hompa Hongwanji (official title of Fresno Betsuin Buddhist Temple). The first official service was held on January 27, 1901 by Rev. Fukyo Asaeda from Kyoto, Japan.
A year later on April 8, 1902 a three-story wooden temple was built and dedicated by first generation Japanese immigrants, the Issei. The Fresno Japanese Buddhist community practiced in this building until 1919 when tragedy struck. A fire destroyed the building completely, but the resilient community came together to raise funds for a new building. A year later, in November 1920 a concrete temple was built and dedicated in its place by Rev. Kakuryo Nishijima of the San Francisco Bukkyo Seinenkai.
The temple has remained a place of worship for over a hundred years, it has been a pillar of the Japanese community hosting hundreds of celebrations such as weddings and festivals.
In 2011, the Japanese American Betsuin community put the temple up for sale and moved to North Fresno. On July 18, 2018, the Myanmar (Burmese) Buddhist community purchased the temple from the Japanese Buddhist community and renamed it the Mrauk Oo Dhamma Center. Housing and training for monks was provided in addition to a community meditation center. The meditation center is open to people all over the country looking to find inner peace.
1340 Kern St, Fresno, CA 93706
SACRED BODHI TREE
"TREE OF AWAKENING"
The Bodhi Tree, also known as the "tree of awakening" is said to have been the tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment. The Mrauk Oo Dhamma Center has a Bodhi tree that is a direct descendant of Buddha's sacred tree.
The Mahabodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, India was the sacred tree Buddha sat under for seven weeks to attain enlightenment. When the tree died in India, it was cloned and one of those clones was sent to Sri Lanka. This tree which is known as the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Tree then produced a seedling which was brought to Fresno by the Japanese American congregation of the Fresno Buddhist Temple (now known as the The Mrauk Oo Dhamma Center).
As a direct biological descendant of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Tree, the tree at the Mrauk Oo Dhamma Center holds a lot of spiritual significance. Located on the posterior of the annex building next to the temple, the tree is easily recognizable by its heart-shaped leaves