CIOFFI, Salvatore (U Lokanatha Thera). Cervinara, Campania 26.12.1897 — Maymyo (Pyin Oo Lwin), Burma 25.5.1966. Italian-American Bauddha, lived as Buddhist Monk in Burma. Son of Napoletan parents, the family moved to the U.S.A. in 1900. Studies of chemistry at Columbia University in New York (B.Sc. 1922), then at Cooper Institute and Rockefeller Institute. Became interested in Buddhism and went to Asia (first India and Sri Lanka). In 1925 he was ordained as monk in Burma. A visit to Italy was disappointment, and he returned to Burma by foot. Lived now as an ascetic and Buddhist missionary in South and South-East Asia, during the war interned in India. In 1946 back to Burma, in 1947 visited the U.S.A. and then Europe as a delegate of Mandalay Buddhist Mission, in 1950 in Sri Lanka, and only in 1951 back to Burma. In the 1930s knew Ambedkar and apparently influenced his adoption of Buddhism.
Publications: Girdling the Globe with Truth. 1947.
Sources: Peiris, Buddhism. 222-224; P.A. Morniroli in www.mahayana.it; Wikipedia.