Bringing Buddhism to the West

A Life of Sangharakshita

by Subhuti

“His life shows what a single human being can do, given sufficient courage, determination, and inspired vision.”

As the Rolling Stones belted out “Sympathy for the Devil” at a concert in Hyde Park, Alex Kennedy, a young philosophy student, caught his first glimpse of Sangharakshita. “What struck me about him were the very things I lacked at the time: purposefulness, confidence, mindfulness, individuality.”

Over twenty-five years later, Kennedy — now ordained as Subhuti — offers this account of his friend and teacher’s remarkable life.
Born in London, Dennis Lingwood realized he was a Buddhist at the age of sixteen. Conscripted during the Second World War, army life took him to India where he stayed on to become the Buddhist monk, Sangharakshita. By the mid-fifties he was an increasingly active and forthright exponent of Buddhism, and had established a uniquely non-sectarian center in Kalimpong.

As hippies flocked eastwards in the sixties, Sangharakshita returned to England to establish the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (now known as the Triratna Buddhist Community). This dynamic movement has been pioneering a vital form of Buddhism for the modern world. It is also at the heart of a Buddhist revival in India — the land where Buddhism was born 2,500 years ago.

A complex and highly gifted man, Sangharakshita is a poet, scholar, and commentator. Above all, he is a teacher of great clarity and vision whose presentation of Buddhism is at once fully traditional and completely fresh. His story is proof that it is possible to live a truly spiritual life in the modern world.
Paperback, 544 pages with bibliography
List Price: $18.95

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Believe nothing merely because you have been told it… Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings — that doctrine believe and cling to and take it as your guide.
The Buddha

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