Dhamma Mum is an honouric name given to the mother of a Buddhist monk. Dhamma (Skt.Dharma) means the teaching of the Buddha as well as the realisation of truth that it leads to. Mae Moon is a Tai (Shan) word for Dhamma mum; Mae means mother; Moon is approximately translated in popular Shan Buddhist terms as Dhamma. Moon is indeed derived from a Pali word, punnya, “merit”. That is why some Tai (also Dai) people pronounce it as Mae Boon (punnya).

This website is dedicated to the memory of a Dhamma mum, Nang Swe (1926 – 2008) who is the mother of Venerable Dr. Khammai Dhammasami, the founder- Executive Secretary of the International Association of Buddhist Universities (www.iabu.org) and of the Association of Theravada Buddhist Universities (www.atbu.org). He now resides at the Oxford Buddha Vihara (www.oxfordbuddhavihara.org.uk) which he founded in the university town of Oxford in Britain. Mae Moon Swe, as this Dhamma mum was known among the Tai Buddhists, came from a rice growing central Shan state, Laikha, which was under the autonomous rule of a chaofa (sawbwa) until 1960.

Although this website is dedicated to a Dhamma mum, its general purpose is to honour all the Dhamma mums. For allowing and indeed supporting their sons to practise the teaching of the Buddha as a full time practitioner and to serve the society through the Dhamma.

As can be seen in the Life Story, Mae Moon Swe came from a simple family background. Hers is a life full of challenges.  Disadvantaged by the male dominated society and made worse by the brutal World War Two that disabled her father, she never gave up. Her principle sources of strength were her family and her strong faith in the Buddha. The Life Story tells some of those strengths. Although she was illiterate herself, two of her children won a scholarship to study abroad (Japan and Sri Lanka), with her Dhamma Son finally graduating with a doctorate from Oxford University.