Source: Asian Tribune/The Buddhist Channel
Vesak was celebrated at Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara in Los Angeles this last Saturday and Sunday, and the focus was on children.
Ven. Walpola Piyananda, Abbot of Dharma Vijaya and President of the Buddhist Sangha Council of Southern California, said that the Buddha always emphasized the importance of educating and training children, and that he consistently showed his compassion to the innocent young.
Vesak, of course, is the anniversary of the Buddha’s birth and passing away – as well as his enlightenment – a fitting occasion for emphasizing the importance of the children who will carry on the Buddha’s legacy, and live the Dhamma in their daily lives.
The Vesak weekend was divided into two main events over the two days. Saturday was the “day of children,” and over one hundred of them participated in special activities. With the parents’ permission, twenty four bright young boys and girls sat last Sunday at the temple and wrote essays for competition. They chose topics ranging from “Buddhism and World Peace,” “The Five Precepts,” “Respect for Elders and Parents,” and “Buddhism in America.” Dr. Ananda Guruge, former Ambassador to the US and a distinguished scholar, was the judge of the essay competition, and he announced the winners on Saturday evening.