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Walpola Piyananda

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Walpola Piyananda
Born Sri Lanka
Nationality USA
Education B.A., M.A., M.A., Ph.D., Ph.D.
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles
Occupation Buddhist monk, teacher, author
Known for Abbot of one of the first temples in the U.S.
Home town Los Angeles, California
Religion Buddhism, Theravada

Walpola Piyananda, Ph.D. (b. 1943- ) was born in Sri Lanka and ordained as a novice monk at the age of 12. He earned his B.A. degree from Kaleniya University in Sri Lanka. He earned an M.A. from Calcutta University and another M.A. degree from Northwestern University.

Bhante Piyananda earned two Ph.D.s, one from UCLA and another from the College of Buddhist Studies. He is the founder and abbot of Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara in Los Angeles, California. It is one of the first Buddhist temples in the U.S. He has been in service to the Dhamma for many decades, teaching among the Sri Lankan and American born communities in the Los Angeles area. He has also trained and help found many other Dhamma centers and viharas around the U.S. Several temples in other states are affiliated with Dharma Vijaya being the parent temple.

Bhante Piyananda has been instrumental in the re-establishment of the bhikkhuni Order. He was there with the planning and work as a Preceptor in 1996 in Sarnath, India when the first group of women became fully ordained nuns (since the Order had previously died out in the year 1017). Since that time he has ordained many more women as fully ordained bhikkhunis. See also: Bhikkhuni ordination.

Buddhist publications

  • Saffron Days in L.A. Shambhala, 2001.
  • The Bodhi Tree Grows in L.A. Shambhala, 2008.

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