Bhante Walpola Piyananda
Venerable Walpola Piyananda (“Bhante”) is the founder, president, and abbot of Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara in Los Angeles, California. Born in 1943 in Sri Lanka, he has been a monk since the age of twelve. He came to the United States in 1976 to further his education, attending Northwestern University and UCLA.
He is presently the adviser to the president of Sri Lanka on international religious affairs and the chief monk of the Sri Lankan Sangha in America and Canada. He has provided many services for Southeast Asian refugees in Los Angeles and was the Buddhist chaplain for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. He currently teaches Dharma and meditation at his temple in Los Angeles, one of the oldest Theravada temples in the United States.