Anagarika Dharmapala

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Anagarika Dharmapala

Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933) was born in an affluent Sri Lankan family. When he went to Sarnath and Bodhgaya he was shocked at the absence of care given to the holiest places of Buddhism. He create the Mahabodhi Society in order to restore and take care of them, organized pilgrimage and toured extensively in order to raise awareness and funds to support to his projects among Buddhists. He went as far as Chicago where in 1893 he addressed the first parliament of religions, thus giving the first Buddhist teaching in the West. He was also responsible for the first contacts in centuries between Theravada and Mahayana Buddhists. Just before he died in Sarnath in 1933, he said “I would like to be reborn twenty-five more times to spread the teachings of the Buddha.”

Further Reading

  • Anagarika Dharmapala, Return to Righteousness: A Collection of Speeches, Essays and Letters of Anagarika Dharmapala, ed. Ananda Guruge, The Anagarika Dharmapala Birth Centenary Committee, Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs, Ceylon 1965.
  • Sangharakshita, Flame in Darkness: The Life and Sayings of Anagarika Dharmapala, Triratna Grantha Mala, Poona 1995.
  • The Arya Dharma by Anagarika Dharmapala - Free eBook