Our Services


Religious Services


Monks begin the day at 6 a.m. with services in the shrine room. First, there are offerings to the Buddha, then a recitation of a sutta invoking blessings for the world, and finally a meditation on loving-kindness that extends good will and harmony to all beings. At 11:30 a.m. an offering of food at the shrine is made after which lay devotees offer food to the monks. At 7 p.m., there are devotional services and recitations of suttas, followed by meditation in which everyone present is welcome to participate.


Facilities are available at the Vihara for the performance of all rites and ceremonies observed by Theravada Buddhist communities. Lay people also have the privilege of inviting monks to their homes to perform ceremonies.


Various Religious Services and Ceremonies

  • Meditation Classes (Tuesday and Friday from 7 to 8:30)
  • Dana Ceremony
  • Memorial and/or Funeral Services
  • Blessings for Birthdays
  • Wedding Ceremony
  • Service in Remembrance of a Deceased Loved
  • One Monthly 1 day retreats for observance of Full Moon Day on 1st Sunday of every month except in May and October
  • Rainy Season Observance
  • Vesak Ceremony
  • Kathina Ceremony
  • Religious counseling
  • Dharma Classes
  • Sri Lankan New Year Celebration
  • Mother’s and Father’s Days

Social Welfare


Dharma Vijaya has been part of the social fabric of Los Angeles helping whenever it can. During the Los Angeles riots, there was conflict between African Americans, Koreans and others. The monks were involved trying to bring the groups together, fostering mutual understanding of their cultural differences. The monks also participate with monks of other Buddhist traditions to help their congregations navigate the differences in American culture and their own cultural traditions. They also participate in interfaith dialogues to promote understanding of Buddhism in the religious community of Southern California.


Vision Vijaya


The program Vision Vijaya was created to send eyeglasses to poor vilagers in sri lanka over the years, we have been able to send over 25,000 pairs of glasses. Working with optometrists we are able to give the gift of sight so that the poor vilagers are able to become productive members of society and provide for themselves and their families. We are working with an eye doctor in Sri Lanka who examins the vilagers and provides flasses to us ro dispence at a discouted rate.


Medical Student Scholarships


For over 25 years Dharma Vijaya has found sponsors who give scholarships to needy medical student in Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, education is free, however some students need financial help to pay for board, lodging, books and school supplies, which are not provided by the government. Thus far as a couple hundred students have graduated withe help provided by these scholarships.


Sanga Scholarships


For 15 years there has been a scholarship program for monks attending the university to study Pali and Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The fund was established by Dhammacari Panna with the help of her friends in the Vietnamese community. So far over 50 monks have been helped by this program.


Other Scholarships


Our temple monk, Ven. Bambarawane Kalyanawansa provides scholarships for 24 collage children in the Galle District who attend college. Another 10 students who attend university receive scholarships with the help of Oliver Namal Gamage and his compassionproject.net organization.


English Study Classes


Ven. Susila is a nun who was ordained at Dharma Vijaya. She funds w English study classes, providing teachers and supplies for the children of the village of Imaduwa, Walpola in the Galle District. Ven Susila also provides three medical scholarships.


"Give to Lanka"


Through this program we have raised money to provide 11 water purification machines for the Anururadhapura and Polonnaruwa districts where some people suffer from Kidney Disease. Each machine costs $1,200.00 USD


Working with the Community


We work with Oliver Namal Gamage and his Compassion Project (www.compassionproject.net) to provide lunches for the homeless in downtown Los Angeles.



Sunday School


Group 1: 3-7 year olds


  • 3:00 – 3:30 View an animated video, Life of Buddha
  • 3:30 – 4:00 Discussion about the video to engage children to think about Buddhist teachings
  • 4:00 – 4:30 Sinhala language: alphabet and writing
  • 4:30 – 5:00 Sinhala language: developing speaking skills


Group 2: 8-12 year olds


3:00– 4:30
       Buddhist Studies 3 & 4 (Singapore publication)
     Dhamma topics:
       Buddhism for today
       The Four Noble Truths
       Kamma and Rebirth
       Buddha’s wisdom and compassion
       The Four Immeasurables
       Good conduct in practice
       Buddhist history of Sri Lanka
       Dhammapada verses
     Supplementary reading:
       Saffron Days in LA by Ven. Walpola Piyananda
4:30 – 5:00
     Sinhala cultural values and traditions
     Buddhist observances
     Buddhist scout services
     Debates on Buddhist topics


Group 3: Ages 13+

3:00– 4:30
       Family & Society, based on Sigalovada Sutta
     Discussions on Buddhism and Science:
       Kamma and rebirth; why we are here.
       Kamma and Rebirth
       How we can overcome our negative thoughts.
      Debates on appropriate Buddhist topics
      Comparative religions
     Supplementary reading:
       What the Buddha Taught by Ven. Walpola Rahula
       Away from LA by Ven. Walpola Piyananda
       Thus We Heard: The Life of Buddha by Ven. Walpola Piyananda and Dr. Stephen Long
4:30 – 5:00
     Open discussion
     Buddhist scout services



Adults Class (Advanced Dharma Topics)

The adult class focuses on the Pali teachings of the Buddha and how they are applicable in families, businesses, relationships etc. This class allows the parents and guests to incorporate the teachings of the Buddha in their day-to-day lives as well as learn the Pali chantings themselves. This class goes through entire Pali verses, translating the Pali to Sinhalese and English when necessary, and decoding the meanings behind them. Taught by resident monks, the adult class will enhance your knowledge of Buddhist teachings and allow to learn Pali along the way.




On Tuesdays and Fridays, 7 to 8 p.m., instruction in meditation is given to beginners as well as those more experienced. Meditation is followed by a Dhamma talk based upon the teachings of the Buddha. From time to time, weekend intensive retreats are organized. On the first Sunday of each month, a one-day retreat is held form 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. People of any tradition or background are invited to attend. Traditionally meditation was a tool used for spiritual development, but today it is also utilized to help people attain better health, insight and creativity. There are many different styles of meditation that have developed in specific cultural environments. The Buddha gave his followers many different suggestions to help them cultivate their mind in order to achieve the ultimate goal of Nubbana. Three such instructions are: Mindfulness of breathing (Anapanasti), Insight (Vipassana) and Loving Kindness Meditation.




Initiation For Lay People


Dharma Vijaya has a program whereby lay people can be initiated with titles reflecting their level of commitment to learning and practicing Buddhism. The first level is Upasika; the second is Dhammacari; and the third is Bodhicari, which is the equivalent of a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist minister.






In Southeast Asia the bhikkhuni order had died out in ancient times, and Ven, Piyananda has been working very hard to get it re-established. As early as 1919 he tried to arrange for some Sri Lankan Dasasitmata to train for full ordination. Finally in 1986 an ordination of a samaneri (novice nun) was held at Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihata. For the first time after eleven hundred years, 10 Theravada bhikkhunis were ordained in Saranath, India in 1996 by Sri Lankan monks who were joined by Korean monks and nuns. The ordination was organized by the General Secretary of the Maha Bodlhi Society, the late Ven. Mapalagama Wipulasara Matra Thera and Ven. Walpola Piyananda Maha Thera. Since then, Dharma Vijaya has held ordinations of both samaneris (novices) and bhikkhunis here in Los Angeles.