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Display 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 search results per page. Display full part no talk summaries in audio search results. Audio view transcript. An often inspiring autobiographical lecture taking up Sangharakshita's story from his earliest experiences of Buddhism and telling how he came progressively to understand the centrality of Going for Refuge in the Buddhist life.

Sangharakshita and the Founding of the Triratna Buddhist Order

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Sangrahavastus Talk 5 - Samanarthata in Chapters. Sangrahavastus Talk 2 - Dana in Chapters. The Four Ordination Vows - 3. More intensive retreats might have less study and more meditation. Unlike in the Christian tradition, Buddhists do not confess in order to be forgiven. Buddhists believe that actions have consequences, and that regret after the fact is only useful if it prevents a repetition of the deed.

Hence true confession can only be made when it is accompanied by remorse and resolution not to repeat the deed. Confession is seen as an act of purification. Early on in the history of the FWBO it became apparent that it needed to raise funds for various projects. This became especially apparent with the decision to purchase and renovate a disused fire station in Bethnal Green.

At this time several small businesses were set up including a wholefood shop and a building team. These were run by collectives of people who almost immediately discovered that working together as a team seemed like a very good spiritual practice in itself. Right livelihood is one of the limbs of the Buddha's Noble Eightfold Path and consists essentially in applying Buddhist ethics to work. Right livelihood businesses now contribute substantial funds for the movement as well as providing very positive environments for spiritual growth.

Another practice that emerged from the early milieu of the FWBO is residential spiritual communities. The first community was formed after a retreat when several of the participants decided they wanted to try to continue the retreat-style living. The most stable communities tended to be single sex, and most FWBO communities these days are single sex affairs. Some of the most intensive situations are where people live and work together as a spiritual practice - the constant reminders about ethics, and the support from fellow practitioners, are seen to be particularly effective in helping people in their practice.

As an international movement diversity is a distinguishing feature. While England remains the main base of the movement, it is growing rapidly in India. Most Indian members come from the lowest strata of Indian society, from the castes that were formerly known as untouchables untouchability was outlawed by the first Independent Indian government. The movement claims a wide range of people involved, from academics to working-class people, to artists, accountants, and doctors.

About 1 in 6 are celibate, and another 1 in 6 are married in traditional families. Many live in single-sex communities and work in right-livelihood businesses - a lifestyle which has come to be called semi-monastic. A recent innovation has come from a group of people who are involved in the festival scene in the UK.


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Buddhafield both attends festivals such as Glastonbury, and runs its own outdoor events which regularly attract several hundred people. In the s Sangharakshita began handing over spiritual and administrative responsibility for the FWBO and WBO to a group of senior men and women disciples. This transfer was completed by Since then Sangharakshita's health has declined, but the movement continues to thrive. Leadership was vested in the College of Public Preceptors, a group of men and women who take overall responsibility for ordaining new members. With over 1, members, and a continuing commitment to consensus decision-making, the order is now having to explore new ways of communicating on issues of concern to all.

One such issue, which has highlighted the need for change, is the name of the order, which is now considered to be inappropriate since the movement is no longer a purely Western one. In the Public Preceptors, responding to feedback from the Order and the movement, but also following their own inclinations and pressures on their resources, decided to move away from having a formal relationship to the Order and movement, and to concentrate on what they see as their primary role in regard to the ordination of the new members of the Order.

Many of the preceptors want to focus on teaching and Dharma practice. At the same time they have expanded the number of preceptors to introduce flexibility. Change has also been fuelled by allegations of sexual misconduct by Sangharakshita during the s and early s. He has not responded directly to these allegations, but they brought widespread debate within the FWBO. A small number of order members have resigned, but most have stayed on and take advantage of a more relaxed and flexible atmosphere, in which they feel free to question and update the way things have been done, and even to question Sangharakshita.

The Order and movement the organisations of the FWBO are exploring ways to organise themselves and develop their work in this more decentralised model. Debates continue about how to ensure both coherence and flexibility, as well as spiritual depth in the Order and movement. In recent times there has been quite a lot of controversy about the FWBO.

There was a highly critical article in The Guardian - "The Dark Side of Enlightenment", October 27, - and there has been an internet-based campaign to discredit the movement, and its founder, by a former member of the Order and a handful of people who were more superficially involved. The issues are more complex than most people seem to admit, but it is clear that there have been problems in the movement.

In the s a small number of people created a cult-like culture at the Croydon Buddhist Centre. Suggestions that this was an isolated incident have tended to be met with a "where there's smoke, there's fire" attitude. The fact is that some of the attitudes and behaviour of members of the movement have been questionable, even misguided. FWBO centers are largely autonomous, and to a large extent set their own agendas and standards, although since the difficulties in Croydon there is more oversight.

Claims that the movement is a hotbed of sex, especially between men, and that the founder is a "sexual predator" are said by current FWBO members to be grossly overstated. However, Sangharakshita was sexually active for a long period, and his partners were most frequently from within the ranks of the FWBO. This has led to doubts about the appropriateness of his behaviour.

Like other spiritual groups where sex has been an issue there have been some difficulties, although the members of the order seem to be willing to address these now. Another criticism of the FWBO is that, in stepping outside the traditional structure of Buddhism, it does not have the checks and balances that exist in traditional schools.

The argument is that in traditional organisations cells of cultish behaviour would be detected and taken care of earlier, and that there is an appeal to a higher authority. It is said, in Usenet discussion groups for instance, that Sangharakshita is a law unto himself, and that this is a fundamental flaw in the structure of the FWBO. Part of this critique has been fuelled by a rather standoffish attitude to the rest of the Buddhist world.

This closed off attitude was partly also fueled by bad experiences: for instance, someone who claimed to be a Zen master and who led many early FWBO retreats one day proclaimed himself to be the next Buddha. However this has radically changed and Buddhism is now being effectively practiced by a growing number of people - although interestingly many Western Buddhists feel a sense of alienation and distrust towards institutional religion, even Buddhism.

While the isolation of the FWBO has never been absolute, it has been portrayed as such by opponents. These days however the FWBO is actively forging links to other Buddhist organisations and individuals. Given the commitment to its non-traditional approach, the FWBO will continue to be viewed sceptically by many conservative Buddhists.

Whenever a religious tradition arrives at a new location it is possible for the unscrupulous to pass off their own distorted and fallacious doctrines as genuine. In Buddhism this has traditionally resulted in scholars and sages down the ages producing texts to refute these falsities and establish what constitutes the actual Word of the Buddha. Though it would be quite improper for me to lay claim to the status of either scholar or sage, it has become clear that in the absence of a centralized voice in Buddhism in the West, someone must take the lead and question the activities and doctrines of this organization and its founder.

This questioning however is not born out of malice. Rather it is hoped that it will serve the three-fold purpose of:. Had they encountered the true teaching of Buddha, they might still be alive today. May their tragic and untimely deaths not have been in vain. The Friends of the Western Buddhist Order is one of Britain's fastest growing religious organizations. With over 70 centres on 4 continents, the FWBO also has a large publishing wing which, after building itself up over the years by producing and distributing its founder Sangharakshita's writings, has recently become active in the field of education.

As such the Order are instrumental in the construction of agreed syllabuses of study for religious education in schools across the country and, through their 'Clear Vision Trust', produce a large number of educational resources to support their input into these syllabuses. Despite having existed for only 30 years, their views on the meaning of Buddhism are clearly considered by some to be authoritative.

However, the more one examines the nature of the teachings propounded by the FWBO and the conduct of those who propound them, the more one realises the FWBO's own understanding to be "mild and amateurish", as well as extremely sinister. More importantly, one finds that the idea of Buddhist organizations being "fraught with intrigue" has nowhere reached its zenith more clearly than within the confines of the Western Buddhist Order. The organization itself is said to have been founded by Dennis Lingwood, 'Sangharakshita', born , London in Biographies speak of "The Venerable Maha Sthavira Sangharakshita" building up the roots of "an awesomely encyclopaedic scope of knowledge," even at an early age.

Later he travelled to India with H. Forces and, after the war, stayed on to pursue an interest in Buddhism. According to one source he also officiated at a mass conversion of , Untouchables to Buddhism during a period as "friend and close advisor" to Dr. Ambedkar, founder of one of India's greatest anti-untouchability movements [3]. He remained there for the next two years and soon became the idol of the British Buddhist scene.

The longer he resided at the EST centre however, the more he began to feel that "the existing British Buddhist movement had already strayed from the right path" [4]. So, in , the EST and he parted company. The rest is history. All this makes for a fascinating account and would indeed be impressive if any of it were true. Unfortunately though, the more one enquires into the background of Sangharakshita, the more impossible it becomes to find any evidence of there ever having been anything more than a hint of truth to this, what is in fact, self-created history.

It is the claim of the FWBO that Sangharakshita studied and practised the major traditions of Buddhism and has, as a consequence, been able to extract the essence of each and combine these into one seamless whole, which also happens to be the absolute core of Buddhism.

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Nevertheless, as a result of his 'training', Sangharakshita has manifested the unique ability to discern the essential supra-historical essence of Buddhism, something that no other Westerner or Asian has so far managed to do. What then, is the nature of the training in these traditions which elevated him to such a lofty spiritual viewpoint? After the war, Sangharakshita deserted from the British army shortly before being demobbed and shipped back to Britain.

We are presented with little evidence to support this claim. On the contrary, in one publication he openly admits to never having been alone during this particular period of his life, and to having spent fifteen months in the same place, hardly the life of a wandering ascetic [7]. In , after a short period of having attempted to live within the confines of the vows of a novice, Sangharakshita decided to ordain as a Buddhist monk or bhikkhu.

Contrary to popular Western belief, the taking of a bhikkhu ordination is not the culmination of a long noviciate training. In fact, someone with no knowledge of Buddhism whatsoever could travel to Thailand, for instance, and within less than a week acquire such an ordination. Sangharakshita himself stated that he hardly knew his preceptors, for example. Jagdish Kashyap. Yet, according to Sangharakshita's writings, his whole relationship with Kashyap lasted a total of seven months, a thoroughly insufficient period of time for any such relationship to develop. This then, is the extent of his actual training in the practices of the Theravada Buddhist monastic tradition as it is presented to us; a short period as a novice, an ordination from bhikkhus he hardly knew, and a period of what turns out to be a few months, studying three subjects in an academic context at what could have been nothing more than an elementary level, given the length of time.

He concluded it was clear that Sangharakshita knew nothing whatsoever about vipassana meditation [10]. Sangharakshita's understanding of the teachings of the Zen tradition arose, according to him, out of a "deep relationship" with his "friend and teacher", Yogi Chen [11], another resident of Kalimpong during the 's and 60's. No independent confirmation of the relationship exists.

However, even if it did, this would be no proof of authentic knowledge of Zen. Chen was not an authorized teacher of any of the Japanese or Chinese Buddhist systems. In fact, a large number of his writings were based on the limited knowledge of the Tibetan tradition he had managed to glean from Tibetans who had arrived in Kalimpong in the 's. His approach was, to say the least, highly eclectic, and indeed the mere mention of his name brings a wry smile to the face of most knowledgable Buddhists, he being variously described as "a renegade", "barking mad", and even "an oriental version of Sangharakshita".

Chen's writings ranged from public revelations of advanced tantric practices delineated in obscure Tibetan texts practices which initiates are sworn to secrecy in relation to, since to engage in them without an appropriate foundation can lead to madness and death , to such works as "The Fire Puja of Jesus". Like Sangharakshita then, Chen was the proverbial "Jack of all trades, master of none". Turning to claims of deep involvement with the Tibetan tradition, it must be said from the outset that there is little evidence in the founder's work, teaching or the activities of the FWBO that betrays any real connection with Tibetan Buddhism.

What knowledge they do have seems to have been gleaned from dated western books on Buddhism such as Govinda's archaic works and Guenther's perverse and illegible translations. During the 50's and early 60's, Sangharakshita reputedly met and studied with, and indeed had 'deep friendships' with, several eminent Tibetan lamas.

A friendship with the Dalai Lama is frequently spoken of and a photograph of the two together is used by the FWBO as proof of the relationship [12]. Should this be considered an indication of a deep and meaningful friendship between the two? Later, during his time as incumbent at the Hampstead Buddhist Vihara, the FWBO founder was to tell others that he was reporting back to the Dalai Lama on the nature and progress of the British Buddhist scene.

Furthermore, for the entire duration of the post-Indian period of Sangharakshita's life, there is no evidence whatsoever of any substantial communication with the Dalai Lama. It is noteworthy that when the two most eminent Tibetan lamas of the Nyingma tradition, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Dudjom Rinpoche, visited Britain in and , two lamas who, it is claimed, Sangharakshita had a guru-disciple relationship with, he made no attempt to approach them or invite them to teach in his, by then, burgeoning centres.

In a Tibetan context, where normally a disciple would offer his students to his teacher, this behaviour is unthinkable and would be considered an act of supreme spiritual arrogance. In respect of the assertion that Sangharakshita is well versed in the doctrines of tantra, it is unsure even as to whether he actually received any higher tantric initiations. In the mid-sixties, the late Trungpa Rinpoche, an accomplished master of Tibetan tantric Buddhism, stated that Sangharakshita had "definitely received no higher initiations, unless by false pretences" [14]. Nevertheless, both the FWBO's founder and his second in command, Subhuti, frequently refer to 'initiations' and indeed this 'initiation' forms an integral part of their 'ordination' ceremony.

Here students are given a tantric sadhana or visualisation practice, and are 'authorised' to practise it.


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The nature of this authorisation to practise is as follows. First a senior order member recites a short mantra three times and then the disciple repeats it. In the FWBO, this constitutes an empowerment to practise a tantric sadhana. This 'initiation' in no way resembles any tantric initiation that experts in the field are aware of. Without authentic initiation, how can these be considered authentic Buddhist practices?

Rather such procedures are an imitation of Buddhism, an example of the made up, pik 'n' mix approach to Buddhism which is a trademark of much of Sangharakshita's work. In the tantric tradition, it is a universally recognized fact that successful practice depends on receipt of an initiation from a qualified and authorised donor. Whether Sangharakshita has the authority or ability to give tantric initiations is therefore an issue of utmost importance. Not only are there strict rules governing the authority to bestow initiations but it is unthinkable that anyone would give them without the express authority of their own teacher.

One can be sure that, if he had received such authority, Sangharakshita would proclaim the fact. So we can assume that he does not have authority to give initiations. Furthermore, he himself has confirmed he has no understanding of the Tibetan language [15]. He would therefore be unable, as is clear from the above, to read the initiation text, the act of which is an integral and essential part of the initiation process. In short, Sangharakshita's claim to teach Vajrayana tantric Buddhism is bogus.

It is founded upon a careful and selective re-telling of his history in India and has survived within the confines of the FWBO only through the founder's determined effort to keep Tibetans away from his followers and vice versa. FWBO centre rules portray an organization which works for "the advancement of the Buddhist religion" and "accepts all aspects of the Buddhist tradition and recognizes the value of each.

However, Sangharakshita has elsewhere proclaimed his "conviction that the less the FWBO is involved with 'Buddhist groups' and with individuals affiliated to existing Buddhist traditions, the better. In reality, Sangharakshita would have great difficulty in finding any bona fide, knowledgeable Buddhists who would concur with his interpretations of the meaning of Buddhism. One former colleague of his suggests that the reason for this is that, "such Buddhists would Sangharakshita's claim to have received the Mahayana Bodhisattva ordination, a ceremony common to lay and monastic practitioners, from his "friend and teacher", Dhardo Rinpoche, may well be true.

The manner in which this ordination is portrayed however, is deceptive and, once again, serves only to enhance his reputation. In fact, it is relatively simple to acquire bodhisattva ordination, far more simple than it is to receive monastic ordination, for instance. The vast majority of Mahayana Buddhists have all received such an ordination on numerous occasions. This is not to denigrate its nature in any way nor to devalue it. The fact is though, that almost anyone can receive such an ordination without having to demonstrate anything resembling even a simplistic understanding of Buddhist doctrine.

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Whilst it is portrayed as a major step forward on the spiritual path in Sangharakshita's numerous biographies, the average Tibetan would probably feel as excited about the possibility of receiving the Bodhisattva ordination as the average Westerner would feel about the possibility of receiving a new National Insurance number. Nowadays, there are a large numbers of Westerners practising Tibetan Buddhism as well as a relatively large number of centres.

That is the way Tibetan Buddhism is organized and it becomes the basis of how one is trained. Serious training in Tibetan Buddhism means becoming a follower of the tradition of which one's teacher is a master, and receiving a systematic training in the textual and contemplative curricula of that tradition. The answer to these two related questions is that, whilst he undoubtedly met Tibetan lamas over a ten year period in India approx.

To do so would have required long term tutelage by a Tibetan master and knowledge of classical Tibetan that Sangharakshita simply does not possess. It is for this reason that the study programme in the FWBO is nothing like that found in any of the four Tibetan traditions. As for the necessity insisted upon by Tibetans, that to study or teach Dharma texts one must have received the lung reading transmission , nobody appears to have ever even heard of this. Doubtless in this situation of total ignorance, one can pretend to study the Jewel Ornament. Not only does this situation in respect of studies in the FWBO betray how little they are connected to the Tibetan tradition, it also allows for the passing off of Sangharakshita's own idiosyncratic view of Buddhism as somehow sanctioned by the actual Buddhist tradition.

When one scrutinizes Sangharakshita's so called 'Buddhism', it becomes clear that it is based largely on knowledge acquired in an autodidactic fashion, principally from the Western literature on Buddhism current in the 's and 50's along with English language translations available at the time. Sangharakshita's Buddhism then, is essentially self-taught.

Any gurus cited by him as teachers are mentioned largely for cosmetic effect and not because the Buddhism he professes was passed onto him by them. Nowhere is their proof of any deep involvement with teachers of any of the spiritual traditions. Sangharakshita appears, at best, to have 'rubbed shoulders' with them. None of his claims to deep involvement are supported by any substantial evidence apart from his own accounts. Furthermore, the manner in which Sangharakshita related towards his supposed Tibetan gurus in the UK and his interpretations of Tibetan Buddhist practices very clearly indicate a distinct lack of any deep involvement with the tradition.

What we are left with after the removal of falsities and exaggerations from Sangharakshita's biographies, is a list of experiences that numerous Westerners who have pursued the Dharma in the East have had. Turning to Sangharakshita's links with Dr. Ambedkar's movement, in particular, and quite apart from the unsubstantiated claim that he was Ambedkar's "friend and close adviser", the claim that Sangharakshita officiated at a ceremonial mass conversion of half a million Harijans Untouchables to Buddhism, this too has little basis in fact.

History tells us that one of the closest ordained advisers to Ambedkar was the eminent Sri Lankan bhikkhu, Dr. Saddhatissa, who officiated at the famed mass conversion at Nagpur in October Saddhatissa has now passed away, but, when quizzed, Ven. He further stated that Saddhatissa had made no mention of Sangharakshita in relation to the said event on any occasion. Another friend and confidante of Dr. Saddhatissa for many years, R. The conversion episode itself seems to have fallen victim over the years to the blight of exaggeration.

Whereas in we are told that "…over a longer period he personally officiated at the conversion ceremony of , people" [20], by Sangharakshita is "said to have officiated at a mass conversion of some , so-called 'Untouchables'". Sangharakshita, being fond of writing numerous articles on his understanding of Buddhism for publication, wrote frequently to 'The Maha Bodhi'; he was therefore not unknown to the Society.

Yet, when one examines the report of the famed conversion event, though listing the names of numerous eminent personages present and documenting meticulously the proceedings, no mention of Sangharakshita is made. An article below that mentioned actually did refer to Sangharakshita and located him in Gangtok, Sikkim, where he was said to have been from the 9th — 12th October. The conversion ceremony at Nagpur took place on the 14th. To travel from Gangtok in Sikkim, which, even today, has no airport, to Nagpur in India, through the Himalayas as the winter of set in, traversing hundreds of miles of hazardous and barren terrain, and arrive in Nagpur for the ceremony by the 14th would have been physically impossible.

Since to travel such a distance was impossible, we can be sure that Sangharakshita was not at Nagpur for the most famous conversion of the 'Untouchables' carried out by Dr. Ambedkar and his associates. The eminent Buddhist historian, Trevor Ling has written that, subsequent to this first conversion, such events became numerous and commonplace [22].

In reality then, Sangharaskshita was not a significant figure in an important Indian historic and religious event. Rather, he assisted at some of the innumerable commonplace conversions which followed it. According to F. The family claimed their son had been coerced into said acts by the monk and that his actions were an abuse of his privileged position. They were determinedly pressing for charges to be brought against the bhikkhu. The bhikkhu in question was Sangharakshita. Recognising the potential disaster for Anglo-Indian relations, the official contacted Humphreys, and a deal was made to get Sangharakshita out of the country and back into Britain before the story was brought to prominence through the courts.

The family agreed not to press charges if he left India immediately. Humphreys kept quiet and allowed the EST to believe that Sangharakshita's credentials were impeccable, a perfect candidate to fill their vacant post of resident teacher. On the basis of this, Sangharakshita was given the job. Shortly before his death in , Humphreys spoke of his intense guilt and personal dismay over what he had done. In the 's, Chime Rigdzin Rinpoche, an eminent lama of the Tibetan Nyingma tradition told the same story. Furthermore, J. Thus, three independent sources have given the above as the reason for the FWBO founders leaving India.

No person has so far confirmed Sangharakshita's account of the reasons for his departure apart from himself. Although he knew nothing of this situation, even before Sangharakshita arrived at the Vihara, the Chair of the EST began to wonder as to whether or not he had made a good choice. A man of impeccable discipline would have been essential for such a position, but rumours had begun to filter back to British Buddhists about several alleged sexual improprieties committed by the new appointee in India, indeed one person had described him to the Chair as "India's most notorious homosexual".

Furthermore, Anandabodhi, who had initially recommended Sangharakshita, now withdrew his support on the basis of what he had learned of the "bhikkhu's" conduct in India. The Chair, being reasonable, looked upon all this in light of an experience he had only recently had, wherein another colleague, who he knew to be completely bona fide, had been accused of some impropriety. The accusation later turned out to be false.

On the basis of this experience, the chairman of the Trust decided to give Sangharakshita the benefit of the doubt. Although Sangharakshita had written to him from India, swearing "by the power of Truth", that any accusations against him were false, the Chair was actually swayed by communications from an influential British Buddhist monk, Lawrence Mills or 'Phra Khantipalo'. Khantipalo stated that he knew Sangharakshita well, indeed it is probable that he had been asked to write the letter and that all the rumours could be ignored ; he heartily recommended his colleague for the post.

As resident teacher at the Vihara, Sangharakshita's fame grew. However, as his fame increased, so did his sexual exploits. Sangharakshita began turning up at the Vihara with, what the Chair of the EST describes as "a string of young men of ill repute. On occasions Sangharakshita would dress in lay clothes and travel to Covent Garden Opera with his companions.

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Furthermore, he did not limit his appetite to the willing; he also attempted to seduce heterosexual Buddhist aspirants, on more than one occasion causing them to abandon involvement with Buddhism from then on, an effect he seems to have had on several of those who have known him personally. The final straw came when the Trust received a letter from Bhikkhu Khantipalo, whose recommendation, along with an earlier one from Bhikkhu Anandabodhi, had spurred the EST into ignoring accusations against Sangharakshita in the first place.

Anandabodhi, as we know, withdrew his support even before he had arrived. Khantipalo withdrew his support, which he decribed as a mistake, thus confirming the truth of the 'rumours'.

The History of My Going for Refuge: Sangharakshita Classics (Paperback)

He later described Sangharakshita's behaviour in India as "off the rails for a celibate monk" and stated that he had parted company with him because he "found the homosexual evidence a bit hard to fit in with my idea of being a bhikkhu", finding "this side of him difficult to reconcile with the rest of him" [23]. Because of all the above, the EST had no choice but to write to Sangharakshita, requesting his resignation for "grave indiscretion and conduct wholly unbecoming in a bhikkhu. As the prevailing atmosphere became increasingly hostile and uncomfortable, Sangharakshita capitulated or, as the FWBO put it, decided to return to India for a 'farewell tour', accompanied by his friend and companion Terry Delamere.

Clearly, he knew already that, rather than his sojourn being a farewell to India, it was in fact, a farewell to Hampstead. As soon as he was out of the country, an extraordinary meeting of the EST trustees was called. They had been charged with the task of ensuring that the Buddha's teaching was implanted in the West in a pure and unadulterated form.

In light of Sangharakshita's behaviour it became clear that he was not the man to fulfil such a brief. A motion was passed that he was to be removed from that moment on from his position of responsibility with the EST at the Vihara. This completely contradicts Sangharakshita's own account of the situation wherein he states that he left the EST because they had strayed from the true Buddhist path. That night, a young man Sangharakshita had been counselling through a drug problem and with whom he had struck up a 'friendship' disappeared from the Vihara.

Residents became worried but eventually retired for the night. The next day, only a few hours after the young man had learned of the expulsion, he was found floating face down in the Thames. It was January 1st, Sangharakshita travelled to India, and subsequently Greece, with his companion and student Terry Delamere. He had first noticed Delamere at a gathering at the Hampstead Vihara and had expressed a keen interest in him to the Chairman's wife, Ruth Meisel, even going so far as to request that she introduce them.

Having forgotten to make the introduction, she later apologised to Sangharakshita for not having done so. He told her that she need not worry as the introduction had been made. In a manner which struck her as somewhat strange at the time, he added excitedly that Delamere had just broken of his engagement to be married. The relationship between the two men was not platonic. Order member Dominic Kennedy, 'Kuladeva', told me Sangharakshita had "more than just a friendship" with Delamere, although he was not sure whether they had "consummated their relationship".

Several others were, and are, in less doubt. However, having returned to England, the liaison between the two gradually soured and ended. On the 14th April , tired and depressed, and clearly deeply mentally disturbed, Delamere threw himself into the path of an oncoming tube train at Archway station. This work features a new introduction. With a timeless design and brand new introductions, "Sangharakshita Classics" refreshes these important and beloved works by Sangharakshita. First published twenty years or more ago, they are as relevant now as when they were first written.

Added to basket. Introduction to Buddhism. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. The Little Book Of Buddhism. Dalai Lama. Sue Hamilton. Writings from the Zen Masters. Buddhism is Not What You Think. Steve Hagen. The Miracle Of Mindfulness. Thich Nhat Hanh. When Things Fall Apart. Pema Chodron. Buddhist Scriptures. Donald Lopez. Clive Erricker.