An important new booklet by Subhuti, ‘A Buddhist Manifesto: The Principles of the Triratna Buddhist Community’. You can read it online, download the free eBook, or order an inexpensive printed copy today.

For the past couple of years, Subhuti has been re-exploring and re-clarifying with Sangharakshita the core principles of Buddhist practice as exemplified in the teaching and collective life of the Triratna Buddhist Order and Community. From that process has come several major papers, ‘Re-imagining the Buddha’, ‘Buddhophany’, ‘Revering and Relying Upon the Dharma’, and ‘Initiation Into a New Life’. So perhaps the best introduction to this ‘manifesto’ comes from Sangharakshita himself in the foreword:

‘When I founded what is now the Triratna Buddhist Community in 1967, I did so after many years experience of Buddhism in the East and some two or three of the nascent Buddhist movement in Britain. I had of course seen much that inspired me and I had met many good Buddhists and some great ones, some of whom indeed became my teachers. However, I had also witnessed much more that was corrupt or decadent and much that simply had no relevance to the modern situation. It had become clear to me that, in many respects, a completely new start was required if the Dharma was to survive at all, let alone make any impact in the contemporary world. I came to this conclusion somewhat reluctantly, being by character something of a traditionalist. But I saw no alternative. Time has only reinforced my conclusion; indeed we must, I believe, be more radical still.

As I set out on this work of renewal, I found that certain principles were becoming clear to me as a basis for it, and these guided me in establishing the Triratna Buddhist Community. I believe these principles are applicable to all who work for the Dharma today and so wanted to bring them to the attention of other Buddhists worldwide. I am, however, now unable to write much myself, being partially sighted, and so I have asked one of my senior disciples, Dharmachari Subhuti, to give a brief synopsis of the main principles on the basis of which we work, as a sort of manifesto for modern Buddhism. Subhuti has been working with me for almost forty years and knows these principles very well, both in their theoretical depth and in their practical application. What he has written does indeed well summarise what I consider to be the essential basis for the renewal of Buddhism. I therefore commend it to my own disciples and to our Buddhist brothers and sisters everywhere. May it contribute to the flourishing of the Dharma throughout the world.’

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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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