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Nyanatiloka [Anton Walther Florus Gueth]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 1/13/20



Nyanatiloka Mahathera
Title Mahathera (Great Elder)
Born: Anton Walther Florus Gueth, 10 February 1878, Wiesbaden, Germany
Died: 28 May 1957 (aged 79), Colombo, Sri Lanka
Religion: Buddhist
Nationality: Germany
School: Theravada
Lineage: Amarapura Nikaya
Occupation monk; teacher; translator; scholar
Senior posting
Based in Island Hermitage
Students: Nyanaponika Thera, Silacara, Lama Anagarika Govinda, Paul Debes, Nyanamoli, Nyanavira, Nyanavimala

Nyanatiloka Mahathera (19 February 1878, Wiesbaden, Germany – 28 May 1957, Colombo, Ceylon), born as Anton Walther Florus Gueth, was one of the earliest westerners in modern times to become a Bhikkhu, a fully ordained Buddhist monk.[1][2][3]

Early life and education

Nyanatiloka was born on 19 February 1878 in Wiesbaden, Germany, as Anton Walther Florus Gueth. His father was Anton Gueth, a professor and principal of the municipal Gymnasium of Wiesbaden, as well as a private councillor. His mother's name was Paula Auffahrt. She had studied piano and singing at the Royal Court Theatre in Kassel.[4]

He studied at the Königliche Realgymnasium (Royal Gymnasium) in Wiesbaden from 1888 to 1896. From 1896 to 1898 he received private tuition in music theory and composition, and in playing the violin, piano, viola and clarinet. From 1889 to 1900 he studied theory and composition of music as well as the playing of the violin and piano at Hoch’sches Conservatorium (Hoch Conservatory) in Frankfurt. From 1900 to 1902 he studied composition under Charles-Marie Widor at the Music Academy of Paris (Paris Conservatoire).[5]

His childhood was happy. As a child Nyanatiloka had a great love of nature, of solitude in the forest, and of religious philosophical thought. He was brought up as a Catholic and as a child and adolescent he was quite devout. He went to church every evening and absorbed himself in the book The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis. As a child he wanted to become a Christian missionary in Africa and as an adolescent he ran away from home to become a Benedictine monk at Maria-Laach monastery but soon returned. From then on his "belief in a personal God gradually transformed into a kind of pantheism" and was inspired by the prevailing atmosphere of weltschmerz (world-weariness). From the age of seventeen he was a vegetarian and abstained from drinking and smoking.[6]

Around the age of fifteen he began to have an "almost divine veneration for great musicians, particularly composers, regarding them as the manifestation of what is most exalted and sublime" and made friends with musical child prodigies. He composed orchestral pieces and in 1897 his first composition called "Legende" ("Legend") was played by the Kurhaus Orchestra of Wiesbaden.[7]

At about the same time [1903-1904] he conceived a great love for philosophy. He studied Plato's Phaedo, Descartes, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, von Hartmann and especially Schopenhauer. He also had a great interest for languages, foreign countries and peoples.[7] While visiting a vegetarian restaurant he heard Theosophical lecturer Edwin Böhme give a talk on Buddhism which made him immediately an enthusiastic Buddhist.

(Universal Theosophical Society)


Thirty-three delegates from Berlin, Breslau, Cottbus, Halle, Leipzig, Magdeburg, and Tiloit, Members and visitors from Beesenlaublingen, Bremen, Chemitz, Cottbus, Danzig, Dresden, Eger, Forst, Gablonz, Halle, Hanover, Klagenfurt Leipzig, Magdeburg, Neuhaldensleben, Passendorf, Schweidnitz, Supplingen, Weissenfels, Vienna and Zwickau. Dr. Franz Hartmann was present from Florence. Mr. Ludwig Last was the representative of the T.S. in Austria-Hungary. Mr. Victor Lipsky, from Switzerland, was present.


I. Whitsunday, May 22d, Evening Session.

Lectures: "The Seven Principles" (Dr. Wilhelm, Vienna), "Hypnotism and the Theosophical Society" (Mr. Robert Syring, Magdeburg), "Memorable Works of H.P. Blavatsky" (Mr. Edwin Bohme). Discussion.

II. Whitmonday, May 23d, General Meeting:

1. The meeting was opened by the General Secretary, Mr. Edwin Bohme. The President of the Executive Committee, Mr. Arthur Weber, took the chair. Greeting. Addresses were delivered by Dr. Franz Hartmann and Mr. Paul Ettig. Dr. Hartmann explained that only he who recognizes the divine essence within himself and in all things, is a real "Theosopher." "All development aims at divine self-recognition (Theosophie), but there are different ways leading to this aim. Therefore it is good that there are different Theosophical Societies, each of which takes its own way. But having the same aim, they should not quarrel with each other; they ought to render absolute tolerance to each other.

Letters of greeting and telegrams were received from many friends in Germany who could not be present; also from foreign countries: Amsterdam, Budapest, Klagenfurt, London, New York, Stockholm, Vienna. See reports also.

2. The annual report of the Executive Committee, read by Mr. Arthur Weber (Extract). The organization which the International Theosophical Berotherhood has in Germany is now seven years old. It was founded on the 3d of September, 1897, at Munich, by Dr. Franz Hartmann. In fact, this "foundation" was a reorganization of the Theosophical Society, this being necessary because the free character and the original aim of the Society had been lost sight of. The T.S. in Germany has been established on the original free constitution of the Theosophical Society founded by H.P. Blavatsky. Its task is to make known its free and tolerant principles throughout the world.

The principal thing in a "Theosophical Society" is the spirit of Theosophical Brotherhood, that is, the Spirit of Tolerance and self-government. The genuineness of a "Theosophical Society" is not to be proved by its historical origin, the number of its members, or the time of its existence, but alone by the Spirit of Brotherhood and Tolerance.

Development of the Federation

The T.S. in Germany is a federation of autonomous local societies. It began with three local societies and has now twenty local societies with 419 members.

Activities of the Local Societies

Regular public and private meetings with lectures and discussions, public lending-libraries, the spreading of pamphlets.

Activities of the Lecturers

The General Secretary Mr. Edwin Bohme, of the federation, delivered eighty-two lectures at thirty-one places. Messrs. Hermann Rudolph Leipzig; Victor Lipski, Breslau; Robert Syring, Magdeburg; Otto Ziegner, Cottbus, and Friedrich Schwab, Heidelberg, also made lecturing tours.

Activities of the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is the representative of the federation inwardly and outwardly, but does not interfere with the internal affairs of the local societies, each local society receiving its members of itself and determining the amount of its financial contributions to the expenses of the federation. Therefore the federated societies are "united, yet independent." About 44 letters and 300 cards were received, and 450 letters and 400 cards sent out by the office of the federation. A short English report regarding the Theosophical movement in Germany, Austro-Hungary and Switzerland was sent quarterly to about twenty magazines in foreign countries. Theosophical notices were sent at two different times to 700 German newspapers. Pamphlets and Constitutions have been distributed. The Theosophical Central Lending Library has been used by members, non-members and groups. The number of subscribers to our monthly "Theosophicher Wegweiser" has increased in the last year (800 subscribers, Vol. VII, will begin in October, 1904). If the federation of the T.S. in Germany holds fast to its free principles, it will fulfil its task in the Theosophical movement.

3. Report of Local Societies and of Theosophical Societies in Foreign Countries

More than thirty-five autonomous local societies, circles and centres (twenty of which are federated to the T.S. in G.) are now working in Germany. They have had more than 1,300 public and private meetings during the past year. Nearly 4,000 books were lent by thirty-three leading libraries. The number of co-workers is about 550.

(For particulars see German report in "Theosophischer Wegweiser.") Further reports were received from Theosophical Societies in America, Austro-Hungary, England, Holland, Sweden and Switzerland. Dr. Fr. Hartmann reported about Italy (Florence).

(For particulars see German report. We intend to publish a list of addresses and meetings of the free and brotherly Theosophical Societies of all countries.)

4. The Executive Committee of the T.S. in Germany consists of the following officers: Arthur Weber, President of the Executive Committee; Edwin Bohme, General Secretary; Hermann Rudolph, Managing Secretary; Georg Priem, Treasurer; Miss Clara Frenzel, Assisting Treasurer; Heinrich Neuschaffer; Otto Zienger. (The officials of the Society receive no remuneration.)

5. Mr. Edwin Bohme then delivered a lecture regarding "The International Theosophical Brotherhood and the Theosophical Societies." Mr. Hermann Rudolph spoke as to "The Most Important Means for the Furthering of the Theosophical Movement." The general meeting was closed by the adoption of a Proclamation of the free principles of the T.S. in Germany and a Declaration of Sympathy directed to all societies and persons working for the realization of the Theosophical Brotherhood of Humanity.

III. Public Meetings (Lectures).

Monday evening -- "The Theosophical Movement, its Way and Aim" (Alfred Kubesch-Eger); "The Spiritual Growth of Man, Seen from the Clairvoyant's Standpoint" (W. Storost-Tilsit). Tuesday Evening -- "Reincarnation" (Dr. Franz Hartmann); "The Theosophical Society as a Factor in the Culture of Mankind" (Edwin Bohme). Answering of questions and discussion.

(For particulars see the German report, which is contained in the July and August number of the Theosophischer Wegweiser (Rundschau). We will gladly send copies of this German report gratuitously on application to the office of the Theosophical Society (F.T.B.) in Germany, Leipzig, Inselstrasse 25.)

"A firm will and a steadfast devotion to our great cause of Theosophy must and shall break down every obstacle until the stream of truth shall burst its confines and sweep every difficulty away in its rolling flood. May Karma hasten the day." -- H.P. Blavatsky, Salutory letter to the Third Annual Convention of the Theosophical Society, American Section, held at Chicago, April 28 and 29, 1889.

-- The Theosophical Quarterly, Volume 2, Issue 2, October, 1904

The following day his violin teacher gave him Buddhist Catechism by Subhadra Bhikshu and another book on Buddhism that gave him the desire to become a Buddhist monk in Asia.[8] After studying composition with the well-known composer Charles-Marie Widor in Paris, he played in various orchestras in France, Algeria, and Turkey. In 1902, intending to become a Buddhist monk in India, he travelled from Thessaloniki to Cairo by way of Palestine. After earning the necessary money by playing violin in Cairo, Port Said and Bombay, he travelled to Sri Lanka.[9]

Early years as a Buddhist monk

In 1903, at the age of 25, Nyanatiloka briefly visited Sri Lanka and then proceeded to Burma to meet the English Buddhist monk Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya [Charles Henry Allan Bennett]. In Burma he was ordained as a Theravada Buddhist novice (samanera) at the Nga Htat Kyi Pagoda under Venerable U Asabha Thera in September 1903. As a novice he first stayed with Ananda Metteyya for a month in the same room.[10][11]

In January or February 1904 he received full acceptance into the Sangha (upasampada) with U Kumara Mahathera as preceptor (upajjhaya) and became a bhikkhu with the name of Ñāṇatiloka. Although his preceptor was a renowned Abhidhamma reciter, he learned Pali and Abhidhamma mostly by himself. Later in 1904 he visited Singapore, perhaps with the intention to visit the Irish monk U Dhammaloka.[12] At the end of 1904 he left Rangoon to go to Upper Burma together with the Indian monk Kosambi Dhammananda, the later Harvard scholar Dharmananda Damodar Kosambi. In a cave in the Sagaing Mountains they practised concentration and insight meditation under the instructions of a monk who was reputed to be an arahant.[13]

Desiring to deepen his study of Pali and the Pali scriptures, he went to Sri Lanka in 1905. In 1905–06 Nyanatiloka stayed with the Siamese prince monk Jinavaravamsa, (layname Prince Prisdang Jumsai, who had earlier been the first Siamese Ambassador for Europe) in palm leaf huts on the small island of Galgodiyana near Matara, which Jinavaravamsa called Culla-Lanka ("Small Lanka"). Pictures of Nyanatiloka and Jinavaravamsa taken at this monastery suggest that they were doing meditation of the nature of the body by way of observing skeletons or were contemplating death.[14]

Silacara, Dhammanusari, and Nyanatiloka, Burma, 1907

At Culla-Lanka Nyanatiloka ordained two laymen as novices (samanera). The Dutchman Frans Bergendahl, the troubled son of a rich merchant, was given the name Suñño and the German Fritz Stange was given the name Sumano. [Saddhanusari (Sumano). Fritz Stange (German). Born 5 December 1874 Sprottau. Died 31 January 1910 in Bandarawela. Sam.: End 1905 on Culla Lanka. Bh. End 1906 in Bandarawela as Samanera Sumano.]

Fritz Stange

Fritz Felix Constantin Theobald Stange was born 1874, to Emil Stange and Bertha Stange (born Nerreter).
Emil was born on May 20 1845, in Breslau.
Bertha was born on May 25 1851, in Freystadt/Schlesien.

Ida Stange

Fritz married Ida Stange (born Nickel) on month day 1903, at age 28.
Ida was born on February 11 1875, in Bonn.
They had one daughter: Johanna Luise (Hanneliese) Pape (born Stange).

-- Fritz Stange, by

In the summer of 1906 Nyanatiloka returned to Germany to visit his parents. Sumana, who was suffering from consumption and had to get treatment, also went with him. They returned to Sri Lanka in October.

At the end of 1906 Nyanatiloka returned to Burma alone, where he continued to work on translating the Anguttara Nikaya.

The Anguttara Nikaya (aṅguttaranikāya; literally "Increased by One Collection," also translated "Gradual Collection" or "Numerical Discourses") is a Buddhist scripture, the fourth of the five nikayas, or collections, in the Sutta Pitaka, which is one of the "three baskets" that comprise the Pali Tipitaka of Theravada Buddhism. This nikaya consists of several thousand discourses ascribed to the Buddha and his chief disciples arranged in eleven nipatas, or books, according to the number of dhamma items referenced in them.

-- Aṅguttara Nikāya, by Wikipedia

He stayed at Kyundaw Kyaung, near Rangoon, in a residence built for Ananda Metteyya and him by the rich Burmese lady Mrs Hla Oung.

Bah Hla Oung is the only son of the late Oo Hla Oung, Controller of the Indian Treasuries, and Mrs. Hla Oung, daughter of the late Sitkegyi Oo Tawlay. Born at Rangoon on November 26, 1874, he received a general scholastic education at Doveton College, Calcutta, and then read for the Bar in England, being called at the Middle Temple in 1906. From 1899 to 1903, he was in the Government Service as a Provincial Judge and Magistrate. He is now in private practice in Rangoon with Mr. May Oung, B.A., LL.B.

MAY OUNG, B.A., LL.B., hon. sec. of the Bar Library, Rangoon, was called to the Bar at Lincolnas Inn in 1907. A descendant of one of the oldest families in Burma, he was born at Akyab, on January 6, 1880. After attending St. Xavieras College, Calcutta, and Rangoon College, he proceeded to Downing College, Cambridge, where he graduated in Arts and Law. For a young man still under thirty years of age, he has a record with which he may justly feel satisfied. He is a member of the Executive Council of the Educational Syndicate of Burma, a member of the governing body of Rangoon College, legal adviser to the trustees of the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, and President of the Young Menas Buddhist Association.

-- Twentieth century impressions of Burma: its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources, by Arnold Wright

He also stayed in Maymo in the high country. At Kyundaw Kyaung he gave the novice acceptance to the Scotsman J.F. McKechnie, who got the Pali name Sasanavamsa. This name was changed to Silacara at his higher ordination. Nyanatiloka also gave the going forth (pabbajja) to the German Walter Markgraf,...

Indien und die Buddhistische Welt (German Edition), by Walter Markgraf (Author)]

under the name Dhammanusari, who soon disrobed and returned to Germany. Markgraf became a Buddhist publisher and founded the German Pali Society (Deutsche Pali Gesellschaft), of which Nyanatiloka became the Honorary President.

In 1906, Nyanatiloka published his first Buddhist work in German, Das Wort des Buddha, a short anthology of the Buddha's discourses arranged by way of the framework of the Four Noble Truths. Its English translation, The Word of the Buddha became one of the most popular modern Buddhist works. It has appeared in many editions and was translated into several languages.
Nyanatiloka also started on his translation of the Aṅguttara Nikaya. He gave his first public talk, on the Four Noble Truths, in 1907. It was given on a platform in front of the Pagoda of Moulmein. Nyanatiloka spoke in Pali and a Burmese Pali expert translated.[15]

Plans for a Theravada Buddhist monastery in Europe

Upon returning to Germany, Markgraf planned to found a Buddhist Monastery in the southern part of Switzerland and formed a group to realise this aim. Enrico Bignani, the publisher of Coenobium: Rivista Internazionale di Liberi Studi from Lugano had found a solitary alpine hut at the foot of Monte Lema Mountain, near the village of Novaggio overlooking Lake Maggiore, and Nyanatiloka left Burma for Novaggio at the end of 1909 or the beginning of 1910. The architect Rutch from Breslau had already designed a monastery with huts for monks, and the plan was that Bhikkhu Silacara and other disciples were to join Nyanatiloka there. Nyanatiloka's stay and plans drew a lot of attention from the press and several journalists visited him to write about him and the planned monastery. However, Nyanatiloka suffered heavily from bronchitis and malnutrition, and after half a year left Novaggio with the German monk candidate Ludwig Stolz, who had joined him at Novaggio, to try to find a better place in Italy or North Africa. In Novaggio he worked on his Pali-grammatik (Pali Grammar) and his translation of the Abhidhamma text called Puggalapaññatti (Human Types).[16]

Italy, Tunisia, Lausanne

In Italy, Nyanatiloka first stayed with a lawyer in a town near Turin. After the lawyer tried to persuade Nyanatiloka and his companion Stolz to make harmoniums to make their living, they left to Rome, where they stayed with the music teacher Alessandro Costa. From Rome they went to Naples and took a ship to Tunis, where they stayed with Alexandra David-Néel and her husband for a week. Then they went on Gabès, where they were told to leave Tunisia by policemen. After visiting David-Néel again, they left for Lausanne, where they stayed with Monsieur Rodolphe-Adrien Bergier (1852-?) in his Buddhist hermitage called "Caritas". At Caritas, the glass painter Bartel Bauer was accepted by Nyanatiloka as a novice called Koññañño. Soon after Koññañño left to Sri Lanka for further training, the American-German Friedrich Beck and a young German called Spannring came to Caritas. After two more unsuccessful visits to Italy in search of a suitable place for a monastery, Nyanatiloka, Spannring, Stolz, Beck, and perhaps also Bergier, left to Sri Lanka from Genoa on 26 April 1911 to found a monastery there.[17]

Founding of the Island Hermitage

After arriving at Sri Lanka, Nyanatiloka stayed in a hall built for Koññañño in Galle. Ludwig Stolz was given novice ordination at a nearby monastery and given the name Vappo. From Koññañño, Nyanatiloka heard about an abandoned jungle island in a lagoon at the nearby village of Dodanduva that would be a suitable place for a hermitage. After inspecting the snake-infested island and getting approval of the local population, five simple wooden huts were built. Just before the beginning of the annual monk's rainy season retreat (vassa) of 1911 (which would have been started the day after the full moon of July), Nyanatiloka and his companions moved to the Island. The hermitage was named Island Hermitage. The island was bought by Bergier in 1914 from its Burgher owner and donated to Nyanatiloka. In September 1911 Alexandra David-Néel came and studied Pali under Nyanatiloka at the Island Hermitage while staying with the monastery's chief supporter, Coroner Wijeyesekera. Visitors such as Anagarika Dhammapala and the German ambassador visited the Island Hermitage during this period. Several Westerners—four Germans, an American-German, an American, and an Austrian—were ordained at the Island Hermitage between 1911 and 1914.[18] Stolz who had followed Nyanatiloka from Europe was ordained as a novice at the island in 1911 and was ordained under the name Vappo in Burma in 1913. In 1913 Nyanatiloka started a mission for the Sri Lankan "outcastes", rodiya, beginning in the area of Kadugannava, west of Kandy. Some of the rodiya lived and studied on the Island Hermitage. The son of the Rodiya chieftain was accepted by Nyanatiloka as a novice with the name Ñaṇaloka. After the death of Nyanatiloka he became the abbot of the Island Hermitage. Nyantiloka mentions that there were reproaches because of the caste egalitarianism at the Island Hermitage


Nyanatiloka travelled to Sikkim in 1914 with the intention to travel on to Tibet. In Gangtok he met the Sikkimese scholar translator Kazi Dawa Samdup and the Maharaja. He then travelled on to Tumlong monastery where Alexandra David-Néel and Silacara were staying, and returned to Gangtong the next day. Because of running out of finances Nyanatiloka had to return to Ceylon. He returned to Sri Lanka accompanied by two Tibetans, who became monks at the Island Hermitage.[19]

World War I

In 1914, with the outbreak of World War I, Nyanatiloka along with all Germans in British colonies, was interned by the British. First he was allowed to stay at the Island Hermitage, but was then interned in the concentration camp at Diyatalawa, Sri Lanka. From there he was deported to Australia in 1915, where he mostly stayed at the prison camp at Trial Bay. He was released in 1916 on the condition that he would return to Germany. Instead he traveled by way of Hawaii to China in order to reach the Theravada Buddhist Burmese tribal areas near the Burmese border, where he hoped to stay since he could not stay in Burma or Sri Lanka. After China joined the war against Germany, he was interned in China and was repatriated to Germany in 1919.[20]


In 1920, after being denied re-entry into British ruled Sri Lanka and other British colonies in Asia, Nyanatiloka went to Japan with his German disciples Bhikkhu Vappo (Ludwig Stolz) and Sister Uppalavaṇṇā (Else Buchholz). He taught Pali and German at Japanese universities for five years, including at Taisho University where he was assisted by the legendary eccentric Ekai Kawaguchi, and at Komazawa University where he taught with President Yamagami Sogen (山上曹源), who had also studied Pali in Sri Lanka. He also met with Japanese Theravada monks, but could not stay in any monasteries in Japan. He lived through the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, which destroyed Tokyo, but was surprised to see universities reopen just two months later. Nyanatiloka continued working on his translations of Pali texts during this period. In 1921 he visited Java, where he contracted Malaria, and Thailand, where he apparently hoped to stay since it was a Theravada Buddhist country. Although he was given a pass and visa by the Thai ambassador in Japan, he was arrested in Thailand on suspicions of being a spy and was deported after a few weeks. By way of China he returned to Japan.[21]

Return to Sri Lanka and Island Hermitage

In 1926, the British allowed Nyanatiloka and his other German disciples to return to Sri Lanka. The Island Hermitage, which had been uninhabited for many years, was overgrown by the jungle and had to be rebuilt. The period from 1926 to 1939 was the period during which the Island Hermitage flourished most.[22] Scholars, spiritual seekers, adventurers, diplomats and high ranking figures such as the King of Sachsen visited and stayed during this period. Anagarika Govinda, the later Lama Govinda came in 1928 and with Nyanatiloka founded the International Buddhist Union (IBU), which stopped functioning after Govinda converted to Tibetan Mahayana and Vajirayana Buddhism a few years later. During the period from 1931 to 1939 there were many ordinations at the Island Hermitage, mostly of Germans. Nyanaponika (Sigmund Feniger), who became a well known Buddhist writer and scholar, and Nyanakhetta (Peter Schönfeldt), who later became a Hindu Swami called Gauribala, ordained as novices in 1936 and as bhikkhus in 1937. They both had a German Jewish background. All applicants for ordination were taught Pali by Nyanatiloka, who considered a working knowledge of Pali indispensable for a proper understanding of Theravada Buddhism since the translations of Buddhist texts at that time were often faulty.[23]

World War II

In 1939, with the British declaration of war against Nazi Germany, Nyanatiloka and other German-born Sri Lankans were again interned, first again at Diyatalawa in Sri Lanka and then in India (1941) at the large internment camp at Dehradun.[24]

Last Years, 1946–1957

In 1946, Nyanatiloka and his German disciples were permitted by the British to return to Sri Lanka, where they again stayed at the Island Hermitage. In 1949 the well known Western Buddhist monks, Nanamoli, Nyanavira were ordained under Nyanatiloka. In December 1950, Nyanatiloka became a citizen of the newly independent Ceylon. For health reasons he moved to the Forest Hermitage in Kandy in 1951. Vappo and Nyanaponika soon followed him.

In 1954, Nyanatiloka and his disciple Nyanaponika were the only two Western-born monks invited to participate in the Sixth Buddhist council in Yangon, Burma. Nyanaponika read out Nyanatiloka's message at the opening of the council.[25]

Nyanatiloka also served as the first Patron of the Lanka Dhammaduta Society (later renamed as the German Dharmaduta Society) which was founded by Asoka Weeraratna in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 21 Sept. 1952. Nyanatiloka attended and spoke at the Public Meeting held at Ananda College, Colombo on 30 May 1953 [1] which was presided by Hon. C.W.W.Kannangara, then Minister of Local Government, to make public the findings of the survey carried out by Asoka Weeraratna (Founder and Hony. Secretary of the Lanka Dhammaduta Society)on the current state of Buddhist activities in Germany and the prospects for sending a Buddhist Mission to Germany before the Buddha Jayanthi celebrations in 1956. Nyanatiloka's Message to the Society dated 25 May 1953 [2] contained in a Booklet entitled ' Buddhism in Germany ' by Asoka Weeraratna, was distributed at this Meeting, which was largely attended and comprised a very representative gathering of leading Buddhists.

Nyanatiloka also resided temporarily at a new Training Centre for Buddhist Missionary work in Germany that was opened by the Lanka Dhammaduta Society in Dalugama, Kelaniya in 1953. Ven. Ñânaponika (German) and the (then) newly arrived Upasaka Friedrich Möller from Germany were also temporarily resident together with Nyanatiloka at this Training Centre. Friedrich Möller was the last disciple of Nyanatiloka. At the age of forty-three, Möller was accepted as a novice by Nyaṇatiloka on 19 September 1955, taking the Pāli name Ñāṇavimala. He was later known as Ven. Polgasduwe Ñāṇavimala Thera.


Nyanatiloka died on 28 May 1957, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. At that time Nyanatiloka was resident at the Sanghavasa located on the newly opened premises of the German Dharmaduta Society at 417, Bullers Road (later known as Bauddhaloka Mawatha), Colombo 07. This was his last place of residence prior to his death. He was given a state funeral which had the then Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Hon. S.W.R.D Bandaranaike delivering the funeral oration. The proceedings of the funeral were broadcast live over Radio Ceylon. [26]


The English translation of Nyanatiloka's German autobiography – covering his life from his childhood Germany to his return to Ceylon in 1926 after banishment; finished by Nyanatiloka in 1948, but probably based on a draft written in 1926 - was published as part of The Life of Nyanatiloka: The Biography of a Western Buddhist Pioneer (written and compiled by Bhikkhu Nyanatusita and Hellmuth Hecker, BPS, Kandy, 2009 [3]View online.) This comprehensive biography contains an introduction, large bibliography, list of disciples, biography of Nyanaponika, photographs, and detailed information on the early history of early German and Western Buddhism.


English titles by Nyanatiloka:

• Word of the Buddha: an Outline of the Ethico-philosophical System of the Buddha in the Words of the Pali Canon (1906, 1927, 1967 (14th ed.), 1981, 2001) freely available online
• Guide through the Abhidhamma-Pitaka (1938, 1957, 1971, 1983, 2009)[4]
• Buddhist Dictionary : Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines (1952, 1956, 1972, 1980, 1988, 1997, 2004)[5]
• Buddha's Path to Deliverance : a Systematic Exposition in the Words of the Sutta Pitaka (1952, 1959, 1969, 1982, 2000)[6]
• Fundamentals of Buddhism: Four Lectures (1994)[27]

Autobiography and biography

• The Life of Nyanatiloka: The Biography of a Western Buddhist Pioneer Bhikkhu Nyanatusita and Hellmuth Hecker (Kandy, 2009)[7]View online.

Nyanatiloka also translated important Theravadin Pali texts into German including:

• the Anguttara Nikaya
• the Dhammapada
• the Milindapañha
• the Puggalapannatti
• the Visuddhimagga.
• the Abhidhammatthasangaha.

In German he also wrote a Pali grammar, an anthology, and a Buddhist dictionary.

See also

• Buddhism in Germany


1. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, p. 25, endnote 26
2. Bullitt (2008).
3. Turner et al. (2010)
4. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker,pp.13–15
5. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, p.15–16, 20
6. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, p.17
7. Jump up to:a b Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, p.18
8. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, p.19
9. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, pp.23–24.
10. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, pp.24–25.
11. Harris (1998).
12. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, pp.27. Nyanatiloka wrote that Dhammaloka had a "dubious reputation" ("zweifelhaftem Ruf"), probably referring to controversial actions of Dhammaloka, such as his campaign against Christian missionaries, and appearing in Japanese monk's robes. See Turner, Alicia, Brian Bocking and Laurence Cox.
13. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, pp.27.
14. 'Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, pp.25–27, picture plate 2.
15. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, pp.25–27.
16. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, pp.30–31.
17. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, pp.31–35, endnote 71.
18. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, pp.35–39, 193.
19. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, pp.40–44.
20. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, pp.44–77, Buddhist Annual of Ceylon (1929).
21. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, p.82–101
22. Situation early 1929 described in: Mangelsdorf, Walter; Erlebnis Indien; Braunschweig 1950, p. 40-44.
23. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, p.105–110
24. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, p.128–142
25. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, p.129–143, Pariyatti (2008).
26. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, p.157
27. Bhikkhu Nyanatusita & Hellmuth Hecker, p.171–191


• Bhikkhu Nyanatusita and Hellmuth Hecker, The Life of Nyanatiloka: The Biography of a Western Buddhist Pioneer Kandy, 2009.
• Buddhist Annual of Ceylon (1929). "The 'Island Hermitage' (Polgasduwa Tapas-arama)" in "The Buddhist Annual of Ceylon" (vol. 3, no. 3), p. 189. Retrieved 19 Dec 2008 from "MettaNet" at
• Bullitt, John T. (2008). "Nyanatiloka Mahathera" in Contributing Authors and Translators: Biographical Notes. Retrieved 19 Dec 2008 from "Access to Insight" at ... yanatiloka.
• Harris, Elizabeth J. Harris (1998/2007). Ānanda Metteyya: The First British Emissary of Buddhism (Wheel Nos. 420/422). Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society. Retrieved 20 Dec 2008 from "BPS" at
• Pariyatti (2008). The Chaṭṭha Saṅgayana (1954–1956). Retrieved 19 Dec 2008 from "Pariyatti" at ... fault.aspx.
• Perera, Janaka (28 May 2007). "Pioneering Western Buddhist monks forgotten" at "The Buddhist Channel." Retrieved 19 Dec 2008 from "Buddhist Channel" at ... 02,0,0,1,0.

External links

• Nyanatiloka Mahathera (1st ed. 1952; 2nd rev. ed. 1956; 3rd rev. ed. 1972; 4th rev. ed. 1980; repr. 1988). Buddhist Dictionary: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines. Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society. Retrieved 19 Dec 2008 from "BuddhaNet" at ... ic_idx.htm.
• Nyanatiloka Mahathera (1994). Fundamentals of Buddhism: Four Lectures (Wheel Nos. 394/396). Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society. Retrieved 19 Dec 2008 from "Access to Insight" at ... el394.html.
• Nyanatiloka Mahathera (14th ed., 1967). The Word of the Buddha. Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society. Retrieved 20 Dec 2008 from "BuddhaNet" at ... wobtoc.htm or
• Ven Nyanatiloka’s message to the German Dharmaduta Society (May, 1953)
• Ven. Nyanatiloka Maha Thera (1878-1957)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:24 am

U Dhammaloka [Laurence Carroll] [Laurence O'Rourke] [William Colvin]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 1/13/20



This article is about an Irish-born migrant worker turned Buddhist monk. For the Nepalese Buddhist monk who worked to revive Theravada Buddhism, see Dhammalok Mahasthavir.

In this Burmese name, U is an honorific, not a surname.

U Dhammaloka
Photograph of Dhammaloka in monk's robes.
Dhammaloka in 1902 aged about 50.
Born Laurence Carroll
Laurence O'Rourke
William Colvin
Dublin (?), Ireland
Died 1914 (aged 58)
Religion Buddhism
School Theravada
Dharma names Dhammaloka

U Dhammaloka (Burmese: ဦးဓမ္မလောက; c. 1856 – c. 1914) was an Irish-born migrant worker [1] turned Buddhist monk, atheist[not verified in body] critic of Christian missionaries, and temperance campaigner who took an active role in the Asian Buddhist revival around the turn of the twentieth century.

Dhammaloka was ordained in Burma prior to 1900, making him one of the earliest attested western Buddhist monks in modern times. He was a celebrity preacher, vigorous polemicist and prolific editor in Burma and Singapore between 1900 and his conviction for sedition and appeal in 1910–1911. Drawing on western atheist writings, he publicly challenged the role of Christian missionaries and by implication the British empire.

Buddhist Tract Society stationery.

Early life

Dhammaloka's early life and given name are as yet uncertain. He reportedly gave at least three names for himself – Laurence Carroll, Laurence O'Rourke and William Colvin. On occasion he used the nom de plume "Captain Daylight". It is accepted that he was Irish, almost certainly born in Dublin in the 1850s, and emigrated to the United States, possibly via Liverpool. He then worked his way across the US as a migrant worker before finding work on a trans-Pacific liner. Leaving the ship in Japan, he made his way to Rangoon, arriving probably in the late 1870s or early 1880s, before the final conquest of Upper Burma by the British.[2][3][4][5]

Burmese career

In Burma, he found work in Rangoon as a tally clerk in a logging firm[6] before becoming interested in the Burmese Buddhism he saw practised all around him. Around 1884, he took ordination as a novice monk under the name Dhammaloka.[7] Fully ordained sometime prior to 1899, he began work as a teacher (probably in the Tavoy monastery in Rangoon). By 1900, he had gained the status of a senior monk in that monastery[8] and began travelling and preaching throughout Burma,[9][2][5] becoming known as the "Irish pongyi" or "Irish Buddhist".

British forces enter Mandalay in 1885 marking the final conquest of Burma.

In 1900, Dhammaloka began his public career with two largely unnoticed advertisements forbidding Christian missionaries to distribute tracts[10] and a more dramatic – and widely reprinted – declaration, first published in Akyab, warning Buddhists of the threats Christian missionaries posed to their religion and culture.[11] Following a 1901 preaching tour, he confronted an off-duty British Indian police officer at the Shwedagon pagoda in Rangoon in 1902 over the wearing of shoes – a contentious issue in Burma as Burmese Buddhists would not wear shoes on pagoda grounds. The Indians who staffed the police force equally went barefoot in Indian religious buildings, but off-duty visited Burmese pagodas in boots, in what was interpreted as a mark of serious disrespect. Attempts by the officer and the British authorities to bring sedition charges against Dhammaloka and to get pagoda authorities to repudiate him failed, boosting his public reputation.[12] Later that year he held another preaching tour, which drew huge crowds.[13]

After some years' absence Dhammaloka returned to Burma in 1907,[14] establishing the Buddhist Tract Society (see below). In December a reception in his honour was held in Mandalay with hundreds of monks and he met the new Thathanabaing, the government recognised head of the sangha;[15] in early 1908 he held another preaching tour, and continued preaching until at least 1910[16] and his trial for sedition (see below).

Other Asian projects and travels


Outside of Burma, Dhammaloka's main base was Singapore and other Straits Settlements (Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh). In Singapore, he stayed initially with a Japanese Buddhist missionary Rev. Ocha before establishing his own mission and free school on Havelock Road in 1903, supported mainly by the Chinese community and a prominent local Sri Lankan jeweller. By 1904 he was sending Europeans to Rangoon for ordination (April) and holding a public novice ordination of the Englishman M. T. de la Courneuve (October). In 1905 the editor of the previously sympathetic Straits Times, Edward Alexander Morphy (originally from Killarney, Ireland), denounced him in the paper as a 'fraud'.[17]


Dhammaloka unexpectedly left Burma in 1902, probably hoping to attend the 'World's Parliament of Religions' rumoured to be taking place in Japan. Though no Parliament took place, Japanese sources attest that in September 1902 Dhammaloka attended the launch of the International Young Men's Buddhist Association (IYMBA, Bankoku bukkyō seinen rengōkai) at Takanawa Buddhist University, Tokyo. He was the only non-Japanese speaker among a group of prominent Jōdo Shinshū Buddhist clerics and intellectuals including Shimaji Mokurai. Dhammaloka's presence at an October 'student conference' at the same university in company with the elderly Irish-Australian Theosophist Letitia Jephson is also described by American author Gertrude Adams Fisher in her 1906 travel book A Woman Alone in the Heart of Japan.[18]


From February to September 1903 Dhammaloka was based at Wat Bantawai in Bangkok, where he founded a free multiracial English-language school, promoted Buddhist associations and proposed an IYMBA-style world congress of Buddhists. He was again reported in Siam in 1914 and may have died there.[19]

Other locations

Dhammaloka is also recorded as having significant links in China and Ceylon (in both of which he published tracts.)[20][21] There are plausible newspaper reports of his visits to Nepal in 1905[22][23] and Australia (1912) and Cambodia (1913). Dhammaloka's claim to have travelled to Tibet well before Younghusband's expedition of 1904, though reported as far afield as Atlanta and Dublin, remains unconfirmed.[24]


Dhammaloka produced a large amount of published material, some of which, as was common for the day, consisted of reprints or edited versions of writing by other authors, mostly western atheists or freethinkers, some of whom returned the favour in kind.[25] In the early 1900s Dhammaloka published and reprinted a number of individual tracts attacking Christian missionaries or outlining Buddhist ideas.

In 1907 he founded the Buddhist Tract Society in Rangoon, which produced a large number of tracts of this nature. It was originally intended to produce ten thousand copies of each of a hundred tracts; while it is not clear if it reached this number of titles, print runs were very large.[26] To date copies or indications have been found of at least nine different titles, including Thomas Paine's Rights of Man and Age of Reason, Sophia Egoroff's Buddhism: the highest religion, George W Brown’s The teachings of Jesus not adapted to modern civilisation, William E Coleman’s The Bible God disproved by nature, and a summary of Robert Blatchford.[27]

Beyond this, Dhammaloka was an active newspaper correspondent, producing a large number of reports of his own activities for journals in Burma and Singapore (sometimes pseudonymously; Turner 2010: 155)[28] and exchanging letters with atheist journals in America and Britain.[29] He was also a frequent topic of comment by the local press in South and Southeast Asia, by missionary and atheist authors, and by travel writers such as Harry Franck (1910).[30]


Dhammaloka's position was inherently controversial.[31][32] As a Buddhist preacher he seems to have deferred to Burmese monks for their superior knowledge of Buddhism and instead spoken primarily of the threat of missionaries, whom he identified as coming with "a bottle of 'Guiding Star brandy', a 'Holy bible' or 'Gatling gun'," linking alcoholism, Christianity and British military power.[33]

Unsurprisingly responses to Dhammaloka were divided. In Burma he received support from traditionalists (he was granted a meeting with the Thathanabaing, was treated with respect among senior Burmese monks and a dinner was sponsored in his honour), from rural Burmese (who attended his preaching in large numbers, sometimes travelling several days to hear him; in at least one case women laid down their hair for him to walk on as a gesture of great respect) and from urban nationalists (who organised his preaching tours, defended him in court etc.; Turner 2010). Anecdotal evidence also indicates his broader popularity in neighbouring countries.[30] While also popular in Singapore, particularly among the Chinese community, Bocking's research has shown that he was less successful in Japan and in Siam.[34]

Conversely much European opinion was hostile, including naturally that of missionaries and the authorities, but also some journalists (although others did appreciate him and printed his articles as written). In general he was accused of hostility to Christianity, of not being a gentleman or well-educated, and of stirring up "the natives."[32][35]

Trial and disappearance

Dhammaloka faced at least two encounters with the colonial legal system in Burma, in one and probably both of which he received minor convictions. Turner[36][37] speculates that this was to avoid the potential political embarrassment to the colonial authorities of trials with more substantial charges and hence a greater burden of proof.

During the shoe affair in 1902 it was alleged that Dhammaloka had said "we [the West] had first of all taken Burma from the Burmans and now we desired to trample on their religion" – an inflammatory statement taken as hostile to the colonial state and to assumptions of European social superiority. Following a failed attempt by the government to gather sufficient witnesses for a charge of sedition, a lesser charge of insult was made and it appears that Dhammaloka was summarily convicted on a charge of insult although the sentence is not known.[38]

In October and November 1910, Dhammaloka preached in Moulmein, leading to new charges of sedition laid at the instigation of local missionaries. Witnesses testified that he had described missionaries as carrying the Bible, whiskey and weapons, and accused Christians of being immoral, violent and set on the destruction of Burmese tradition. Rather than a full sedition charge, the crown opted to prosecute through a lesser aspect of the law (section 108b) geared to the prevention of future seditious speech, which required a lower burden of proof and entailed a summary hearing. He was bound over to keep the peace and ordered to find two supporters to guarantee this with a bond of 1000 rupees each.[39]

This trial was significant for a number of reasons. It was one of the few times the sedition law (designed to prevent native Indian and Burmese journalists from criticising the authorities) was used against a European, the first time it was applied in Burma and precedent-setting for its use against nationalists.[37] On appeal, he was defended by the leading Burmese nationalist U Chit Hlaing, future president of the Young Men's Buddhist Association. The judge in the appeal, who upheld the original conviction, was Mr Justice Daniel H. R. Twomey (knighted in 1917), who wrote the definitive text on dovetailing Buddhist canon law and British colonial law and is of interest to scholars of religion as the grandfather of anthropologist Mary Douglas.[40]

Following the failure of his appeal, Dhammaloka's activities become harder to trace. In April 1912, a letter appeared in The Times of Ceylon. Reprinted in Calcutta and Bangkok, the letter purported to report his death in a temperance hotel in Melbourne, Australia. In June of the same year, however, he appeared in the offices of the Singapore Free Press to deny the report, whose motivation remains unclear.[41]

Between 1912 and 1913 Dhammaloka is known to have travelled in Australia (reportedly attending the 1912 annual Easter meeting of the I.O.G.T. temperance organisation in Brisbane), the Straits Settlements, Siam and Cambodia; in 1914 a missionary reported him alive in Bangkok running the "Siam Buddhist Freethought Association".[42][24] Although, to date, no reliable record of his death has been found, it would not necessarily have been reported during the First World War, if it had taken place while travelling, or indeed if he had been given a traditional monastic funeral in a country such as Siam or Cambodia.[24]

Influence and assessment

Dhammaloka has been largely forgotten by subsequent Buddhist history, with the exception of brief asides based on a 1904 newspaper item.[43][44]

On the western side, most accounts of early western Buddhists derive ultimately from Ananda Metteyya's followers, whose Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland was key to the formation of early British Buddhism.[45] These accounts do not mention Dhammaloka,[46] but construct a genealogy starting with Bhikkhus Asoka (H. Gordon Douglas), Ananda Metteyya (Allan Bennett) and Nyanatiloka (Anton Gueth).[47] By contrast with Dhammaloka, Ananda Metteyya was oriented toward the image of gentleman scholar, avoided conflict with Christianity and aimed at making western converts rather than supporting Burmese and other Asian Buddhists.[48] Dhammaloka's pugnacious Buddhist revivalism and intensive Asian Buddhist networking, by contrast, places him more beside figures such as Henry Steel Olcott and Anagarika Dharmapala. On the Burmese side, Dhammaloka takes up an intermediate place between traditionalist orientations towards simple restoration of the monarchy and the more straightforward nationalism of the later independence movement. His non-Burmese origins are inconvenient for later nationalist orthodoxy.[49]

Dhammaloka's identification of Buddhism with free thought – and his consequent rejection of multi-faith positions – was tenable within Theravada Buddhism. In terms of the global Buddhism of his day it aligned him with Buddhist rationalists[50] and those who aimed at a Buddhist revival resisting colonial and missionary Christianity; this contrasted both with post-Theosophist Buddhists who saw all religions as ultimately one[50] and with those who sought recognition for Buddhism as a world religion on a par with (and by implication extending equal recognition to) Christianity.[49]

Beyond this, his Buddhism seems to have focussed primarily on the major concerns for Burmese monks of the day, above all correct observance of the Vinaya.[7][51] In western terms this reflected a persistent concern of plebeian freethinkers in particular to assert that morality without threat of religious punishment was entirely possible, and to his own temperance concerns.[citation needed]

In Irish history, Dhammaloka stands out as a figure who rejected both Catholic and Protestant orthodoxies. Although not the only early Irish Buddhist[52] or atheist, he is also striking among these as being of plebeian and Catholic origin, undermining popular accounts which see independent Ireland in particular as until recently homogenously Catholic. [53] Like other early Irish Buddhists, he appears as having "gone native" in Buddhist Asia, representing an anti-colonial solidarity marked by work within Asian Buddhist organisations and a hostility to Christian missionaries and imperialism. [54]

See also

• Sister Nivedita - Irish woman who immigrated to Calcutta, India and became a Hindu disciple as well as a supporter of Indian Nationalism and Independence.


1. O'Connell, Brian (5 July 2011). "Putting Faith in a Broader Vision of Religion". The Irish Times.
2. Jump up to:a b Turner, Cox & Bocking 2010, pp. 138–139.
3. Tweed 2010, p. 283.
4. Cox 2009, pp. 135–6.
5. Jump up to:a b Cox 2010b, p. 215.
6. Cox 2009, p. 135.
7. Jump up to:a b Skilton & Crosby 2010, p. 122.
8. Turner 2010, pp. 157–158.
9. Turner 2010, pp. 151–152.
10. Turner 2010, p. 151.
11. Cox 2010b, p. 214.
12. Turner 2010, pp. 154–155.
13. Turner 2010, pp. 156–158.
14. Turner 2010, pp. 159–160.
15. Turner 2010, p. 159.
16. Turner 2010, p. 160.
17. Bocking 2010a, pp. 255–266.
18. Bocking 2010a, pp. 238–245.
19. Bocking 2010a, pp. 246–254.
20. Cox 2010b, pp. 178–9.
21. Cox 2010b, p. 180.
22. Turner, Cox & Bocking 2010, p. 127.
23. Cox 2010b, p. 216.
24. Jump up to:a b c Bocking 2011.
25. Cox 2010b.
26. Cox 2010b, pp. 180–182.
27. Cox 2010b, pp. 194–200.
28. Bocking 2010a, pp. 252–253.
29. Cox 2010b, pp. 193–194.
30. Jump up to:a b Franck 1910.
31. Turner 2009.
32. Jump up to:a b Turner 2010, pp. 164–165.
33. Cox 2010b, p. 192.
34. Bocking 2010a.
35. Cox 2010b, pp. 213–214.
36. Turner 2010, p. 155.
37. Jump up to:a b Turner 2010, p. 161.
38. Turner 2010, p. 154-155.
39. Turner 2010, pp. 161–162.
40. Bocking 2010b.
41. Turner, Cox & Bocking 2010, p. 141.
42. Bocking 2010a, p. 253-254.
43. Sarkisyanz 1965, p. 115.
44. Song 1967, pp. 369–370.
45. Cox 2010b, p. 176.
46. Bocking 2010a, p. 232.
47. Batchelor 2010.
48. Turner, Cox & Bocking 2010, p. 130.
49. Jump up to:a b Bocking 2010a, p. 231.
50. Jump up to:a b Tweed 1992.
51. Turner 2010, pp. 164–166.
52. Cox & Griffin 2011.
53. Turner, Cox & Bocking 2010, p. 143.
54. Cox 2010a.


Books and book chapters

• Cox, Laurence (2013). Buddhism and Ireland: from the Celts to the counter culture and beyond. Sheffield: Equinox.
• Cox, Laurence; Griffin, Maria (2011). "The Wild Irish Girl and the "Dalai Lama of Little Thibet": the long encounter between Ireland and Asian Buddhism". In Olivia Cosgrove; Laurence Cox; Carmen Kuhling; Peter Mulholland (eds.). Ireland's New Religious Movements. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 53–73. ISBN 978-1-4438-2588-7.
• Franck, Harry Alverson (1910). A Vagabond journey around the world; a narrative of personal experience. Garden City, NY: Garden City Publishing.
• Sarkisyanz, Emanuel (1965). Buddhist backgrounds of the Burmese revolution. The Hague: M. Nijhoff. OCLC 422201772.
• Song, Ong Siang (1967). One hundred years of the Chinese in Singapore. Singapore: University of Malaya Press. ISBN 0-19-582603-5.
• Turner, Alicia (2009). Buddhism, colonialism and the boundaries of religion: Theravada Buddhism in Burma 1885–1920 (PhD dissertation). Chicago: University of Chicago.
• Tweed, Thomas (1992). The American Encounter with Buddhism, 1844–1912: Victorian Culture and the Limits of Dissent. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Conference papers

• Cox, Laurence (2010a). Plebeian freethought and the politics of anti-colonial solidarity: Irish Buddhists in imperial Asia (PDF). Fifteenth international conference on alternative futures and popular protest. Manchester Metropolitan University.

Journal articles

• Bocking, Brian (2010a). ""A man of work and few words?" Dhammaloka beyond Burma". Contemporary Buddhism. 11 (2): 229–280. doi:10.1080/14639947.2010.530072.
• Cox, Laurence (2009). "Laurence O'Rourke/U Dhammaloka: working-class Irish freethinker, and the first European bhikkhu?" (PDF). Journal of Global Buddhism. 10: 135–144. ISSN 1527-6457. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 June 2011.
• Cox, Laurence (2010b). "The politics of Buddhist revival: U Dhammaloka as social movement organiser"(PDF). Contemporary Buddhism. 11 (2): 173–227. doi:10.1080/14639947.2010.530071. ISSN 1463-9947.
• Skilton, Andrew; Crosby, Kate (2010). "Editorial". Contemporary Buddhism. 11 (2): 121–124. doi:10.1080/14639947.2010.532369.
• Turner, Alicia (2010). "The Irish Pongyi in colonial Burma: the confrontations and challenges of U Dhammaloka". Contemporary Buddhism. 11 (2): 129–172. doi:10.1080/14639947.2010.530070.
• Turner, Alicia; Cox, Laurence; Bocking, Brian (2010). "Beachcombing, Going Native and Freethinking: Rewriting the History of Early Western Buddhist Monastics" (PDF). Contemporary Buddhism. 11 (125–147): 125–147. doi:10.1080/14639947.2010.530068. ISSN 1463-9947.
• Tweed, Thomas (2010). "Towards the study of vernacular intellectualism: a response". Contemporary Buddhism. 11 (2): 281–286. doi:10.1080/14639947.2010.530073.

Video presentations

• Bocking, Brian (20 January), The study of religions in a smart society: inaugural lecture, University College Cork, archived from the original (WMV) on 21 July 2011 Check date values in: |date=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
• Bocking, Brian (2011), Lost Irish Buddhist (Flash)
Other published sources[edit]
• Batchelor, Stephen (2010). "Buddhism in the west: a brief history". Boeddhistische-Unie Belgie / Union Bouddhique Belge. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011.

External links

• Dhammaloka Project website
• University College Cork. 2011. Dhammaloka Day
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:33 am

Dharmananda Damodar Kosambi
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 1/13/20



Not to be confused with his son, the mathematician and historian Damodar Dharmananda Kosambi.

Dharmananda D. Kosambi
Born 9 October 1876
Sanhkval, Goa, India
Died 4 June 1947 (aged 70)
Sevagram, Wardha, India
Occupation Buddhist scholar and Pāli language expert
Relatives Damodar Dharmanand Kosambi (son)
Meera Kosambi (granddaughter)

Acharya Dharmananda Damodar Kosambi (9 October 1876 – 4 June 1947) was a prominent Buddhist scholar and a Pāli language expert. He was the father of the illustrious mathematician and prominent Marxist historian, Damodar Dharmananda Kosambi.


Kosambi was born in the Sankhval village of Goa in 1876 in orthodox brahmin family. He was married at the age of sixteen.[1] He was passionately interested in knowledge and felt that married life would not allow him to pursue this goal. He thus attempted to leave home several times, but lacked the courage to do so and he returned to his family. However, after the birth of his first daughter, Manik, he did leave his family not returning for nearly four years. Needless to say, his wife, Balabai, suffered during these years, as it was uncommon at the time for a married man to leave his wife and family. Later, Kosambi first traveled to Pune with an intention to learn Sanskrit. From Pune, he traveled to Varanasi after brief sojourns in Ujjain, Indore, Gwalior and Prayag. At Varanasi, he diligently learnt Sanskrit under the tutelage of Gangadharpant Shastri and Nageshwarpant Dharmadhikari. He faced umpteen difficulties in Kashi on the sustenance front. He had to fight hard for his meals and accommodation and to make matters worse, Kashi was hit by a severe plague epidemic during the same time. Yet he made phenomenal progress in Sanskrit. Some time later, he moved to Nepal to study Buddhism in its original language, Pāli. However, he was rather disappointed with the dismal state of Buddhism there and instead traveled to Calcutta and then on to Ceylon (Sri Lanka), where he enrolled himself in the Vidyodaya University. He studied there for three years under the tutelage of Shri Sumangalacharya and was ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1902. Later, he went to Burma (Myanmar) and undertook comparative study of Buddhist texts in Burmese language. After spending seven years abroad, Kosambi returned to India.

He started working as a reader at the University of Calcutta and brought his wife and daughter Manik to Calcutta. His son Damodar was born in 1907. Later, Dharmananda gave up his university job to work as a research fellow in Baroda. Later, he started lecturing all over Western India, and finally moved to Fergusson College in Pune. In Bombay, he met Dr. James Woods from Harvard University, who was seeking a scholar adept in Sanskrit, Ardhamagadhi, and Pāli. Woods invited Kosambi to Harvard, to complete the task of compiling a critical edition of Visuddhimagga, a book on Buddhist philosophy. At Harvard, Kosambi learned Russian and took keen interest in Marxism. He traveled to the USSR in 1929 and taught Pāli at Leningrad University.[1]

When the Indian independence movement was at its peak, Kosambi returned to India and taught at Gujarat Vidyapith without remuneration. He also started recruiting volunteers for Salt Satyagraha. He was imprisoned for six years for participating in the Salt Satyagraha, which certainly took a toll on his health.[1]

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar got to know Acharya Kosambi during Indian's fight for independence, and Kosambi's influence on him played a part in Ambedkar's decision to convert to Buddhism when he decided to change his religion.

Besides Buddhist works, Kosambi also studied and translated many Jain works. Later, Kosambi founded Bahujanavihara, a shelter house for Buddhist monks in Bombay, which exists to this day.


Under the influence of Jainism, Kosambi decided to give up his life through sallekhana (voluntary fasting). Gandhiji requested that he move to Wardha for naturopathy and reconsider his decision to fast unto death. He moved to Sevagram, near Wardha, but kept his diet to a spoon of bitter gourd (karela) juice in order to respect Gandhi's wishes. He wanted to die on Buddha Pournima but lived beyond it for a few days. The end came after 30 days of fasting in June 1947.


He authored one of the most popular biographies of Buddha, Bhagwan Buddha (1940) in Marathi.[2] It was later translated in English and in other Indian languages by Central Sahitya Akademi. Besides Bhagwan Buddha, Kosambi also authored eleven books on Buddhism and Jainism. He also wrote a play titled "Bodhisatva" in Marathi which sketches the life of Gautama Buddha in story form. His autobiography, written in Marathi, is called Nivedan which was a serialized column published in a Panjim-based periodical called ‘Bharat’ from November 1912 till February 1916.


• Dharmanand Kosambi: The Essential Writings, ed. by Meera Kosambi. Orient Blackswan, 2013.
• Bhagawan Buddha by Dharmanand Kosambi, Sahitya Akademi.
• Nivedan: The Autobiography of Dharmanand Kosambi, trans. by Meera Kosambi. Ranikhet: Permanent Black, 2011.


1. "Portrait of D.D. Kosambi". Kamat's Potpourri. Archived from the original on 12 April 2018. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
2. Lal, Vinay (24 February 2006). "Buddhism's Revival in India in the 20th Century". UCLA College - Social Sciences. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2018.

External links

• Dileep Padgaonkar (25 September 2010). "Scholars Extraordinary". The Times of India.
• Monk, Mathematician, Marxist by Ananya Vajpeyi, The Caravan, 1 Feb 2012.
• Website devoted to Dharmanandji's literature maintained by Yashwantrao Chavan Pratishthan, Mumbai
• The making of an Indologist on Frontline
• Nivedan - Dharmanand Kosambi's Autobiography translated and edited by Meera Kosambi
• Video. Meera Kosambi speaks at the release of Dharmananda Kosambi: The Essential Writings (2013)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:41 am

Prisdang [Prince Prisdang Jumsai] [Prince Prisdang Chumsai] [Monk Jinavaravamsa]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 1/13/20



Prince of Siam
Born: February 23, 1851, Bangkok, Siam
Died: March 16, 1935 (aged 84), Bangkok, Siam
Spouse: Mom Talab Chumsai na Ayudhya
House: Chakri Dynasty
Father: Prince Chumsai, the Prince Rajchasihavikrom
Mother: Mom Noi Chumsai na Ayudhya

Prince Prisdang (Thai: พระวรวงศ์เธอ พระองค์เจ้าปฤษฎางค์; RTGS: Pritsadang; 23 February 1851 – 16 March 1935) was a member of the family of the Chakri Dynasty of Siam and a Thai diplomat.[1]

Early life and family

Prince Prisdang was born in Bangkok, as Prince Prisdang Chumsai, a grandson of Rama III. He was educated in Singapore and in England, subsequently graduated with all the top awards from King's College London in 1876.[2] The event was reported in The Times of London on 7 July that year.

Career in Diplomacy

In 1881 he established the first permanent Siamese Embassy in England presenting his credentials to Queen Victoria in 1882.[3] Over the next five years he became ambassador to eleven European countries and the United States.

King Rama V asked Prince Prisdang his opinion on how to deal with European countries hunting for new colonies. In response Prince Prisdang and his associates—Prince Naresr, Prince Svasti and Prince Sonabundhit and officials at the Thai embassy—penned a draft democratic constitution which stipulated that the monarchy be subject to constitutional law and that there be a cabinet. The proposal is known as the Ror Sor 103 proposal. ("Ror Sor 103" refers to the Rattanakosin calendar that began in 1782, the year King Rama I established Bangkok as the capital of Siam.) The petition's points, in short, are: No means diplomatic, militaristic, buffer-state dependent, or treaties reliant, would suffice to save the country from being colonized. And so it was "mandatory" for the country to reform itself internally, in addition to reforms that had already been instituted but so far not adequate. These additional reforms included: "the change from absolute to constitutional monarchy", the more "clearly defined" Law of succession of the reign, the "eradication of corruption in official circles", "freedom of the press", the establishment of "the law of equality" that would "guarantee equal justice for all", the institution of a "fair system of taxation", a "gradual phasing-in of universal suffrage", the administrative system based on merit and not birth-right.[4]

The aim of the proposal was to make Siam a modern civilized country so that the Western colonial powers would have no excuse to take control of the Kingdom.[5] The petition stated “Under its present form of government the country faces danger from without. A change towards a ‘civilized’ form of government is necessary, viz., the adoption of the European system, such as is being undertaken by Japan. This change can be brought about only with the king’s concurrence. The danger is colonization by the European powers, who claim the right to bring civilization, justice, law and order to the oppressed, to open up trade and develop resources."[6]

King Chulalonkorn disapproved of the proposal, replying that Siam was not yet ready for such a radical change. He was mainly displeased because Prisdang involved others. Since the proposal was signed by almost the whole staff of the two legations in London and Paris, it was regarded as holding the king to ransom. Prisdang's suggestion for the abolishment of polygamy in another correspondence also displeased the King. The four princes were recalled to Bangkok, but Prisdang stayed on since he attended the Universal Postal Union meeting in Lisbon in 1884 and in Berlin in 1885, successfully obtaining UPU membership for Siam.

The prince returned to Siam in 1886 and was appointed director-general of the Post and Telegraph Department in which post he remained until 1890. He also helped to set up Siriraj Hospital, organized the Siamese section for the Paris Exhibition of 1889, made a survey map of the coasts and rivers of Siam, and drew up the charter for the establishment of the Ministry of Public Works. Due to disappointment and accusations, he resigned from his post without permission from the King. While on a trip to Japan to establish diplomatic relations, he did not return to Thailand but instead went Malaysia where he worked under the British as a road engineer.[7]

In 1897 he went to Sri Lanka where he became a Buddhist monk with name of Jinavaravaṃsa. His preceptor was the well known scholar monk Waskaḍuwe Śrī Subhūti, whom Prisdang had already met in 1881 while on a visit to Dipaduttamārāma Temple in a suburb of Colombo, and with whom he had since then kept up a correspondence.[8]

While Jinavaravaṃsa went on a pilgrimage to the sacred Buddhist places in India he went to Lumbini on the border with Nepal, where Mr. Peppé showed him the relic casket with bone relics of the Lord Buddha that he had recently dug up from the remains of stupa on his estate at Piprahwa, now identified with Kapilavatthu. Through Jinavaravaṃsa's intercession, the Viceroy of India agreed to give the relics to King Chulalongkorn of Siam, who had them placed in Wat Saket in Bangkok. After Jinavaravaṃsa returned to Sri Lanka from India, he accepted the invitation to become the abbot of Dipaduttamārāma Temple. Here he made a stupa resembling the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodhgaya wherein he enshrined the small jewels from the Piprahwa relic casket that he had been given by Mr. Peppé. He also lived for some time with the German Buddhist monk Nyanatiloka on a tiny island in a bay near Matara, which he called “Culla Lanka” (“Small Lanka” with a pun on King Chulalonkorn's name).[9]


In 1911 he returned to Bangkok for the cremation of King Chulalongkorn, and was then forced to disrobe by Prince Damrong. He was not allowed to leave Thailand or reordain as a Buddhist monk, and lived in poverty until his death in 1935.[10]

Proposed New Constitution

Prince Prisdang proposed the proposal for the first Siamese constitution in 1885. These are the seven points for the proposed constitution: “The proposed Constitution does not mean, at this stage, setting up a Parliament. But it will involve the following measures:

• 1. Change must be made from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy.
• 2. Defence and administration of the country should be in the hands of ministers who will together form a Cabinet, and a clearly formulated Law of Succession should be promulgated.
• 3. All corruption is to be stamped out, and to ensure this, the salaries of government officials are to be made sufficient.
• 4. Universal contentment is to be met by ensuring equality before the law, including the tax system.
• 5. Outdated traditions are to be done away with, however time-honoured they may have become.
• 6. Freedom of thought, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are to be guaranteed.
• 7. Appointments and dismissals in government service are to be determined by clearly defined legislation.[11]


1. McDaniel, Justin T (2017-08-25). "Ambassador, provocateur, outcast" (Book review). Bangkok Post. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
2. "Outposts of the Kingdom". Thailand Tatler. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
3. "Threats to National Independence 1886 - 1896". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Kingdom of Thailand. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
4. (Manich Jumsai 1977:254-257 as quoted in Anonymous, “The Life and Time of Prince Prisdang” Accessed on 15.02.2018 at ... isdang.htm.)
5. Ploenpote Atthakor “Prince prisdang's constitutional dream”, Bangkok Post, 09.11.2010.
6. Sumet Jumsai. “Prince Prisdang and the Proposal for the First Siamese Constitution 1885”, Journal of the Siam Society Vol. 92 2004.
7. Sumet Jumsai. “Prince Prisdang and the Proposal for the First Siamese Constitution 1885”, Journal of the Siam Society Vol. 92 2004.
8. by Indrajith, Saman “Temple that keeps Thai - Sri Lanka ties strong”, The Island, 16.08.2003. Accessed on 15.2.2018 on
9. Hecker, Hellmuth and Bhikkhu Ñāṇatusita, The Life of Ṅāṇatiloka: The Biography of a Western Buddhist Pioneer, Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy 2008: 27.
10. Allen, Charles. The Buddha and Dr. Führer: An Archaeological Scandal, Penguin Books India, 2010: 201–213. Accessed on 15.02.2018 at ... e&q&f=true. Dhammika, Shravasti. Navel of the Earth: The History and Significance of Bodh Gaya, Buddha Dhamma Mandala Society, Singapore, 1996. Ploenpote Atthakor “Prince prisdang's constitutional dream”, Bangkok Post, 09.11.2010. Anonymous. “Prince Prisdang Jinavaravansa - A former Siamese ambassador turned Buddhist monk influences the fate of the Piprahwa relics”. Accessed on 15.02.2018 at ... avansa.pdf
11. Sumet Jumsai. “Prince Prisdang and the Proposal for the First Siamese Constitution 1885”, Journal of the Siam Society Vol. 92 2004: 110.

Further reading

• Loos, Tamara (2016). Bones Around My Neck: The Life And Exile Of A Prince Provocateur. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. ISBN 1-5017-0463-X.
• Allen, Charles. The chapter called “Prince Priest” in The Buddha and Dr. Führer: An Archaeological Scandal, Penguin Books India, 2010: 201–213.
• Brailey, Nigel. "Two Views of Siam on the Eve of the Chakri Reformation". Whiting Bay, Scotland: Kiscadale Publication, 1989.
• Manich Jumsai, M.L. "Prince Prisdang's Files on His Diplomatic Activities in Europe, 1880-1886". Bangkok: Chalermnit, 1977.
• Praworawongter Praongjao Julajakrapong. "Jao Cheewit". Bangkok: Riverbook Press, 2536.
• Prince Pritsdand Chumsai. "Autobiography". B.E.2472.
• Sumet Jumsai. “Prince Prisdang and the Proposal for the First Siamese Constitution 1885”, Journal of the Siam Society Vol. 92 2004.
• Terwiel, B.J. "A History of Modern Thailand 1767-1942". St.Lucia, Queensland: University of Queensland Press, 1983.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:22 am

Pali Text Society
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 1/13/20



The Pali Text Society is a text publication society founded in 1881 by Thomas William Rhys Davids "to foster and promote the study of Pāli texts".

Pāli is the language in which the texts of the Theravada school of Buddhism is preserved. The Pāli texts are the oldest collection of Buddhist scriptures preserved in the language in which they were written down.

The society first compiled, edited, and published Latin script versions of a large corpus of Pāli literature, including the Pāli Canon, as well as commentarial, exegetical texts, and histories. It publishes translations of many Pāli texts. It also publishes ancillary works including dictionaries, concordances, books for students of Pāli and a journal.


Thomas William Rhys Davids was one of three British civil servants who were posted to Sri Lanka, in the 19th century, the others being George Turnour, and Robert Caesar Childers (1838–1876). At this time Buddhism in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) was struggling under the weight of foreign rule and intense missionary activity by Christians. It was an administrative requirement that all civil servants should be familiar with the language, literature, and culture of the land in which they were posted, so the three men studied with several scholar monks where, along with an introduction to Sinhala culture and language, they became interested in Buddhism.

The Pāli Text Society was founded on the model of the Early English Text Society with Rhys Davids counting on support from a lot of European scholars and Sri Lankan scholar monks. The work of bringing out the Roman text editions of the Pāli Canon was not financially rewarding, but was achieved with the backing of the Buddhist clergy in Sri Lanka who underwrote the printing costs.

Childers published the first Pāli-English dictionary in 1874. This was superseded in 1925 by the new dictionary which had largely been compiled by T. W. Rhys Davids over 40 years, but was finished by his student William Stede. Currently another dictionary is being compiled by Margaret Cone, with the first of three volumes (A - Kh) published in 2001.

By 1922, when T. W. Rhys Davids died, the Pāli Text Society had issued 64 separate texts in 94 volumes exceeding 26,000 pages, as well a range of articles by English and European scholars.

Fragile Palm Leaves

In 1994 the Pāli Text Society inaugurated the Fragile Palm Leaves project, an attempt to catalogue and preserve Buddhist palm-leaf manuscripts from Southeast Asia. Prior to the introduction of printing presses and Western papermaking technology, texts in Southeast Asia—including the Pali scriptures—were preserved by inscription on specially preserved leaves from palm trees. The leaves were then bound together to create a complete manuscript.

While palm-leaf manuscripts have likely been in use since before the 5th century CE, existing examples date from the 18th century and later, with the largest number having been created during the 19th century.[1] Because of the materials used and the tropical climate, manuscripts from earlier eras are generally not found intact in palm-leaf form, and many manuscripts have been badly damaged. During the colonial era, many palm-leaf manuscripts were disassembled and destroyed, with individual pages of texts being sold as decorative objets d'art to Western collectors.

The Pāli Text Society created the Fragile Palm Leaves project to collect, catalogue, and preserve these artifacts, including scanning them into electronic formats in order to make them available to researchers without threatening their preservation. In 2001 the project was formalised as a nonprofit in Thailand as the Fragile Palm Leaves Foundation.

Presidents of the Pāli Text Society since its foundation:[2]

• 1881–1922: Thomas William Rhys Davids (1843–1922) (Founder)
• 1922–1942: Caroline Augusta Foley Rhys Davids (1857–1942)
• 1942–1950: William Henry Denham Rouse (1863–1950)
• 1950–1958: William Stede (1882–1958)
• 1959–1981: Isaline Blew Horner OBE (1896–1981)
• 1981–1994: Kenneth Roy Norman FBA (1925– )
• 1994–2002: Richard Francis Gombrich (1937– )
• 2002–2003: Lance Selwyn Cousins (1942–2015)
• 2003–present: Rupert Mark Lovell Gethin (1957– )


1. The Fragile Palm Leaves Foundation
2. Journal of the Pāli Text Society, volume XXIX, pages ix–xii

External links

• Religion portal
• Pali Text Society Website
• PTS Dictionary Online
• PTS Archives
• Mutukumara, Nemsiri. "Establishing Pali Text Society for Buddhist literature." (Archive) Sri Lanka Daily News. Saturday 18 October 2003.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:16 am

Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 1/19/20

Something more than two years had elapsed since my return to Japan, and in all that time the worry of my mind had kept on increasing, instead of abating; in fact, every day that passed seemed to add to the misery and to make more vivid the picture of the dreadful fate of my friends and benefactors in Tibet. The reader may well imagine, therefore, with what kind of feeling I read the following letter (from which an extract only is given here):

“Mr. Kawaguchi passed through Yatung (Tibet) on his way to Darjeeling from Lhasa about June 1902. During his brief stay at Yatung, he, to my personal knowledge, attended or prescribed for the wife of the local Tibetan official there, commonly known as Dhurkey Sirdar. Soon after he had crossed the Jelap pass into Sikkim (British protected territory) an order was sent from Lhasa to the effect that he had been living at the Gompa of Sera, Lhasa, for some fifteen months and had suddenly disappeared, and was believed to be a foreigner. Therefore Dhurkey Sirdar was instructed to compass his arrest. This in itself would seem sufficient proof or corroboration of Kawaguchi’s statements, however, they need not rest on this alone, for there is no Tibetan official or merchant whom I have met who was not cognisant of Kawaguchi’s lengthened residence at Sera Gompa and his flight therefrom....

“As I have already mentioned, I never yet met an official or merchant who did not know of Kawaguchi’s lengthened residence at Lhasa
, but I have still to meet either one or other who has ever heard of Lander of spiked-saddle fame!

“Please tell Kawaguchi that from enquiries I have ascertained that his Teacher and the merchants who befriended him have been released. I am, however, instituting fuller enquiries and will do all in my power for them and let him know as soon as possible.”

The letter is dated “c/o Gratong P. O., Tibet Frontier Commission, Tuna, 17 March, 1904,” and is from Captain Randal Parr, British Tibet Frontier Commissioner, to whom I previously had the pleasure of writing, through the introduction of Miss E. R. Scidmore [Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore] of Yokohama. It is addressed to the lady just mentioned, who has kindly placed at my disposal the contents thereof.

The present translation of my book on Tibet was near its completion when I was allowed a perusal of the above, and never before had I read any letter with so much genuine and mingled feeling of the most profound joy and gratitude as I felt on that occasion. A great tormenting load was suddenly taken off my mind—it will not be necessary to say why. I am glad further that I am able to incorporate this piece of good tidings in, and make it the concluding chapter of this translation of my book.

-- Three Years in Tibet, by Shramana Ekai Kawaguchi

Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore
Born: October 14, 1856, Clinton, Iowa, USA
Died: November 3, 1928 (aged 72), Geneva, Switzerland
Resting place: Yokohama, Japan
Nationality: American
Occupation: Author
Known for writing on Asian topics, early proponent of planting Japanese cherry trees in Washington, D.C.

Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore (/ˈsɪdmɔːr/)[1] (1856–1928) was an American writer, photographer and geographer, who became the first female board member of the National Geographic Society.[2] She visited Japan many times between 1885 and 1928.

Scidmore was born October 14, 1856 in Clinton, Iowa. She attended Oberlin College. Her interest in travel was aided by her brother, George Hawthorne Scidmore, a career diplomat who served in the Far East from 1884 to 1922. Eliza was often able to accompany her brother on assignments and his diplomatic position gave her entree into regions inaccessible to ordinary travelers.

It was on their return to Washington, D.C. in 1885 that Eliza had her famous idea of planting Japanese cherry trees in the capital. Scidmore found little interest in her cherry tree idea, but more in her impressions of Alaska, the subject of her first book, Alaska, Its Southern Coast and the Sitkan Archipelago (1885). She joined the National Geographic Society in 1890, soon after its founding, and became a regular correspondent and later the Society's first female trustee.

Further eastern travels resulted in Jinrikisha Days in Japan, published in 1891. It was followed by a short guidebook, Westward to the Far East (1892). A trip to Java resulted in Java, the Garden of the East (1897) and visits to China and India resulted in several National Geographic Magazine articles and two books, China, the Long-Lived Empire (1900), and Winter India (1903).

Another stay in Japan during the Russo-Japanese War became the basis for Scidmore's only known work of fiction, As the Hague Ordains (1907). The novel purports to be the account of a Russian prisoner's wife who joins her husband at the prisoner's hospital in Matsuyama.

Scidmore's cherry blossom scheme began to bear fruit when incoming first lady Helen Taft took an interest in the idea in 1909. With the first lady's active support, plans moved quickly, but the first effort had to be aborted due to concerns about infestation. Subsequent efforts proved successful, however, and today many visitors enjoy the sakura of West Potomac Park and other areas of the capital, particularly during the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

In support of the new conservation movement in the United States, Scidmore wrote a letter to the editor of Century Magazine in Sept. 1893 on "Our New National Forest Reserves" detailing the meaning and consequences of forest preservation on behalf of the public good.[3]

After As the Hague Ordains, Scidmore published no new books and a dwindling number of articles for National Geographic, the last being a 1914 article entitled "Young Japan." She died in Geneva, Switzerland on November 3, 1928, at the age of 72. Her grave is at the Yokohama Foreign Cemetery, Yokohama, Japan next to the graves of her mother and brother.[4]


1. Michael E. Ruane, "Cherry blossoms’ champion, Eliza Scidmore, led a life of adventure," Washington Post, March 13, 2012.
2. Mauzé, Marie; Harkin, Michael Eugene; Kan, Sergei (2004). Coming to Shore: Northwest Coast Ethnology, Traditions, and Visions. University of Nebraska Press. p. 206. ISBN 0-8032-3230-6. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
3. ""Our New National Forest Reserves" by Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore, The Century Magazine, September 1893".
4. "The Story of the Cherry Blossom Trees that Served as a Bridge between Japan and the US Cherry Blossom Tree Donation 100th Anniversary" (PDF). Naka Ward Town News. Yokohama City. May 31, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
• Place of birth from passport applications April 1, 1878, June 27, 1894 and September 28, 1903 also passenger list from Yokohama to Seattle July 1923. Her family was living in Clinton, Iowa in the 1856 Iowa Census, taken earlier in the year of her birth.
• Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore: More Than A Footnote In History by Daniel Howard Sidmore M.A.L.S. Benedictine University Lisle, Illinois Thesis Approval May 2000

External links

• Eliza Scidmore Biography Site
• New Research on Eliza Scidmore
• Works by or about Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
• Works by or about Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore at Internet Archive
• Works by Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:14 am

George Hawthorne Scidmore
by Consul Edwin L. Neville
American Consular Bulletin
Published Monthly by the American Consular Association
Vol. v, No. 2, Washington, D.C., February, 1923



George Hawthorne Scidmore

In the death of George H. Scidmore, Consul General at Yokohama, Japan, the Service has lost its oldest member, the Government has lost a faithful servant, and the many who knew and loved him have lost a friend who cannot be replaced. Mr. Scidmore’s life and work cover a period in the nation’s history and in the history of its public service which it is hard for those of us who follow in the traditions he helped to create adequately to appreciate.

He was born at Dubuque. Iowa, October 12, 1854. His father, George B. Scidmore, of old New England stock, coming from Hereford to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1635 [???], was one of the early railroad builders in what is now called the Middle West. His mother, Eliza Sweeny Brooks, was of English and Irish ancestry and came of a family that settled at Canton when Ohio was one of the younger States of the Union. George’s early life, after the death of his father, was spent at Madison, Wisconsin, from which State he was appointed to the Service. As a boy of seven or eight he saw his brother march away to war, and later, as a boy in Washington, he saw the nation slowly recover from its wounds and embark on the period of material development which was so marked a feature of our history subsequent to the Civil War. It was a period of laxness in Government administration and left an indelible impression on his mind. With the faith in and love for his country which one would expect from a man of his ancestry and upbringing, he believed that the nation would one day demand that its public offices be administered on a basis of service rather than upon a basis of political caprice. He lived to see his faith a reality.

In 1876, after graduation from the National (now George Washington) University as LL.B., he was admitted to the bar of the District of Columbia. He subsequently studied jurisprudence in England and France, and the study of the law and its development remained the dominant interest of his life. He used to insist that the perusal of a law report was frequently as interesting as a popular “thriller” and much more satisfying. His library contained practically every legal treatise of any importance and represented a collection that few private libraries could equal.

Shortly after his admission to the bar young Scidmore was appointed consular clerk (a position now referred to as consular assistant), in which capacity he served the Government in many posts until 1907, when he was appointed Consul at Nagasaki, Japan. He was one of thirteen whom President Grant and Secretary Fish are said to have referred to as Consular Cadets, in the hope that they were the nucleus of a civil service that would serve the country in a manner analogous to military and naval officers
. It was thirty years before the Consular Service really emerged from the darkness, but George Scidmore never doubted the outcome. The ordeal was frequently trying, as a glance at the organization of the Service in the early days will show.

The Consul in those days was without supervision of any kind. He sometimes was in doubt as to what department of the Government he was responsible. Part of his accounts were sent directly to the Treasury, only such funds being accounted for to the Department of State as were specifically allotted to him by that Department. Some Consuls received a salary and others were compensated only by fees, but all of them retained what were referred to as “unofficial fees.” This class of fees consisted of notarial fees primarily, and consequently an office that collected large notarial fees was a desirable post from the point of view of an applicant for a position as Consul.

As a Consul’s tour of duty usually coincided, in point of time, with the term of office of the administration that appointed him, the officer naturally felt that he should make the most of his opportunities.
It would be a mistake, of course, to include all Consular officers in the category of those who “made hay while the sun shone,” but it is undeniably true that a very large proportion of the appointees were men who were anything but a credit to the country they were supposed to represent. Conditions were so bad that in 1871 the Treasury sent an agent to investigate conditions obtaining in the Consular Service in South America, Asia, and Africa. His report, published in 1872,1 disclosed a state of affairs that would appall our hard-working Consuls General at Large. There were many instances of downright fraud in supposed payment of seamen’s relief to nonexistent seamen; vessels in which there was no American interest whatever were given the protection of the American flag for a consideration, and in countries where disturbed political conditions existed local inhabitants were, likewise for a consideration, nominated Vice or Deputy Consuls or Consular Agents by the American Consul. Some officers kept no books and sent in no accounts at all. As they were not bonded or inspected, there was little the Government could do in the matter beyond dismissing the Consul. While this action might rid the Government of an obnoxious individual, it contained no assurance that the next appointee would be any better than the officer who had been dismissed.

In the matter of subordinates, the situation was, if possible, worse than that of principal officers. The Consul nominated his own staff, and the appointment as Deputy or Vice Consul seems to have been merely a formal act on the part of the Secretary of State. This was only natural, after all, as there was practically no allowance for clerk hire and the Consul usually either had to compensate his clerks from his own funds or find some one who was willing to work without pay. This naturally led to abuses, some of which have been referred to. There was no transportation fund, and the Consul and his subordinates were left to their own devices or the tender mercies of relatives, local residents, or the good nature of railroad and steamship companies in getting to and returning from their posts. As would be expected under the circumstances, the relation of the Consul to steamship companies was the source of much scandal, resulting frequently in a working partnership that was found mutually profitable.

In 1856, in an appropriation bill, Congress had provided for thirteen consular clerks, to be appointed by the President, at a salary of $1,000 per annum and removable only for cause. These officers were to be under the orders of the Secretary of State, who could assign them to duty wherever the need arose. It does not appear that much was done under this act; in fact, very little could be done, as subsequent appropriation bills frequently omitted the item altogether. It was, however, included in the Revised Statutes, first edition, 1873-1874. The appropriation bill of 1874 provided that after five years of service the compensation of consular clerks should be at the rate of $1,200 per annum. In 1876 the corps was finally filled, and since that time has been one of the most valuable branches of the Service. For many years it was the only branch that was free from partisan interference, and it was the beginning of the Consular Service as we know it today.

As a consular clerk, then, George H. Scidmore began his service. His first assignment was to the Consulate at Liverpool, in July, 1876. Liverpool then, as now, was a shipping port of importance, and Mr. Scidmore always referred to his stay there with much pleasure. He learned ships and shipping at first hand in a school that demanded decision of character. Disputes had to be settled on the spot; there was no cabling for instructions, and Mr. Scidmore’s intimate acquaintance with Admiralty law and maritime practice were largely due, he stated, to the training he received at Liverpool in dealing with ships, crews, and cargo on the Mersey.

In 1877 he was placed in charge of the Consular agency at Dunfermline, Scotland, as Vice Consul, remaining there until July 5, 1878, when he was assigned to duty at the Consulate General at Paris.
It was during his stay at Paris that he first made the acquaintance of the telephone, to which he always had an aversion that amounted at times to active hostility. He claimed that he had been made telephone-shy by an exhibition instrument that was installed in his office without his knowledge. He stated that he never recovered from the shock of having a raucous bell ringing in his ears, followed by a flood of French directed in and out of an inanimate contraption. In 1880 Mr. Scidmore returned to the United States, and the following year was assigned to the Consulate General at Yokohama, or Kanagawa, as the office was then called.

The Consular establishment in Japan, and particularly the office at Yokohama, had in times past been the object of much adverse comment. The report to which reference has already been made disclosed some very unsavory practices in vogue.

Until 1899 the Consuls in Japan exercised extraterritorial jurisdiction. Many of them were without any legal training, and practically all the time the offices were without properly qualified subordinates. If the principal officer happened to be a capable man, conditions were not so bad. But in case of departure on leave, the office too frequently was left in the hands of a poorly equipped officer, and the fate of litigants in the Consular Court can be better imagined than described. There were no settled methods of litigation, and it was pure chance if the officer in charge happened to know enough about the law and court procedure to conduct a trial. In criminal cases, even if the principal officer who sat as judge had some knowledge of the rules of evidence, it was seldom that any subordinate in the office knew how to conduct a prosecution. To this office Mr. Scidmore was assigned on February 24, 1881.

Consulate General at Yokohama

The Consulate at Kanagawa had been raised to a Consulate General in 1874, and was made a supervisory office. The Consul General was Thomas B. Van Buren. Frequent complaints came from the office that it was understaffed and that the growing trade of Yokohama with the United States called for assistance in the Consulate beyond the uncertain and too often unreliable clerks that could be employed locally. Moreover, lack of subordinates with some legal qualifications had greatly handicapped the Consul General in taking care of the judicial functions of his office. Scidmore’s assignment was the result.

His first efforts were directed, on the legal side, to compiling a digest of cases which had come before the Consular Court and attempting to define the character and limits of Consular jurisdiction. This digest he afterwards expanded and published in book form under the title of “Consular Jurisdiction in Japan.” This volume became a manual for practicing attorneys in the Consular Courts. During this period Mr. Scidmore was allowed to engage in the private practice of law at Yokohama, and was recognized as one of the leading lawyers of the Far East, practicing before the British as well as before our own Consular Courts.
He used to relate an amusing incident in his career as a practicing lawyer which, he claimed, showed the danger of writing a book. He was pleading in a civil suit before the British Consular Court when his opponent asked the judge if the “learned counsel” on the other side was not a recognized authority in matters of law. The judge replied in the affirmative, whereupon the opposing attorney quoted “Consular Jurisdiction” to the detriment of Scidmore’s client. “After that,” Mr. Scidmore used to say, “I earned more fees by keeping my legal knowledge out of print and my clients out of court.” In addition to his other activities, Mr. Scidmore lectured at this period to the English Law College at Tokyo.

In September, 1884, Mr. Scidmore was appointed Vice Consul at Hiogo and Osaka, the office now known as Kobe, where he remained in charge until June, 1885, when he was appointed Vice Consul General at Shanghai, China, taking charge of the office until his return to Yokohama in December of the same year.

In 1891 Mr. Scidmore was instructed to proceed to the Fiji Islands and investigate the claims of American citizens to lands in that archipelago which had been disallowed in part or in toto by the British Government. In 1874 the British Government assumed control of the government of these islands and set up a land commission to settle the metes and bounds of privately owned land and to grant title. The task was a complicated one. The lands in the possession of Europeans and Americans had been acquired by possession, by gift, or by purchase from native chiefs. None of the Fijians could read, and very few of the settlers had any very clear idea of what a deed was; besides, none of the land had been surveyed, and the boundaries in each case were usually purely traditional. The results of the Crown investigation and the number of claims it disallowed caused a great deal of adverse comment from the local white residents. The German and American residents appealed to their home Governments against what they considered confiscations, while the Privy Council in London was deluged with petitions from British subjects in the Fiji Islands appealing against the decisions rendered. Mr. Scidmore spent over a year in the islands, from December, 1893, until January, 1894, investigating claims. During this period he visited practically every island of importance and made a very valuable collection of articles illustrating the manners and customs of the people. This collection he afterwards presented to the Star of the Sea School in Nagasaki. His report on the status of the land titles was published in Foreign Relations for 1895.

Upon his return to Yokohama he served in the Consulate General until the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese war, when he was detailed to the Legation at Tokyo as legal adviser. Our great trade with the Far East, together with the fact that the war was the first one fought under modern conditions between fairly equal parties, raised many unique questions of international law.
It was always a source of pride to Mr. Scidmore, and it should be intensely gratifying to the Service, to remember that even with the limited number of career men then in its ranks the Service was capable of meeting a new situation; that the Department could call upon one of its staff in a distant country for special duty with the knowledge that he was equal to the task.

During Mr. Scidmore’s detail to the Embassy (to which the Legation was raised) the Service was reorganized (1906), and he was appointed Consul at Nagasaki, “as a matter of routine official procedure,” as he used to phrase it, on March 30, 1907. Nagasaki from a scenic standpoint is the finest port in Japan and one of the most beautiful in the world. Our Consulate there was established in 1859, and is thus our oldest Consulate in the Japanese Empire. From a commercial standpoint the port is important only as a shipping point or coaling and provision and repair station. But it has a wealth of historical association as the only port in Japan that has been continually in touch with the western world since the Europeans first went to the Far East in the sixteenth century. For over three hundred years the Dutch maintained a “factory” or commercial depot at Nagasaki and were allowed to send one or at times two ships a year for purposes of trade—the only contact permitted with Europe. To this day “Hollander” or “Oranda” is the word used by' the peasants of the vicinity to designate an Occidental.

After two years at Nagasaki, Mr. Scidmore was appointed Consul at Kobe in June, 1909, taking charge as Consul of the office where he had been Vice Consul in charge twenty-five years before. Kobe is the seaport for central Japan, and has grown up since the country was opened to foreign trade. Mr. Scidmore remained there only a few months, being appointed Consul General at Seoul on August 27, 1909, where he remained four years until his appointment as Consul General at Yokohama in November, 1913.

In August, 1910, Korea was formally annexed to the Japanese Empire.
Until this time extraterritorial jurisdiction had been exercised by Consular establishments in the country, and at certain open ports, notably Chemulpo, there was a certain area in which the subjects or citizens of treaty powers carried on a municipal government. These matters had been the subject of treaty arrangement with Korea. The extension of Japanese laws to the country required many adjustments of a legal nature, which were drawn up in the form of a protocol. In this work Mr. Scidmore’s intimate knowledge of extraterritorial procedure and his familiarity with Japanese laws and administration were invaluable. It is a tribute to his foresight that none of the arrangements he made for the adjustment of American rights have since been found unworkable or the source of friction.

Mr. Scidmore arrived in Yokohama in the winter of 1913 and remained until his death, on November 27, 1922—his last tour of duty—as Consul General. This office has always been our principal Consular establishment in Japan. Yokohama is the seaport for Tokyo and eastern Japan and the chief port from which Japanese produce is shipped to the United States. It is as well the first port of the Far East to be reached by vessels from the west coast of America. The importance of the port and office was recognized very early in our relations with Japan, and Consul General Van Buren accordingly obtained a perpetual lease from the Japanese Government of the land upon which the Consulate General is now located. The annual rental is $87.35. At the time the lease was made, however, it was found impossible to obtain an appropriation to compensate the owner of some buildings which were upon the plot, so the Consul General purchased the buildings himself. The buildings subsequently were purchased in part by succeeding Consuls General or descended to their heirs, who leased them to the Government. The buildings had to be leased to the Government, for the grant of the ground lease expressly reserved the land for the use of the United States for a Consulate. Upon Mr. Scidmore’s arrival he found that the buildings were owned in part by his predecessor, Consul General Sammons, who had been transferred to Shanghai, and in part by the heirs and assigns of a previous incumbent. In 1915 Mr. Sammons, who had owned one office building for a number of years, presented his title to the United States, stating that he had received his initial investment in rents. Mr. Scidmore obtained title to the other buildings for the Government, and the property now stands in the name of the United States. The buildings are the same structures which were there when Consul General Van Buren obtained them in the 70’s, and they were not new then.

George Hawthorne Scidmore, Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore, Eliza Sweeny Brooks Scidmore

A sketch of Mr. Scidmore’s life would be incomplete without a reference to his mother, with whom he made his home until her death in 1916. Those who were privileged to know her did not wonder at her son’s devotion to duty. Their house was a little piece of America set down in the Far East, and to them and their kindly hospitality and friendly counsel many a young American owes a debt of gratitude that cannot be forgotten.

Early in the summer of 1922 Mr. Scidmore suffered a slight stroke while attending a public function. He seemed to recover, however, and no anxiety was felt until the autumn, when a visit to the dentist disclosed an abcess in his jaw. Attempts to remove it showed that the infection was deep seated. He appeared to rally after the operation, but his heart was not equal to the strain and he passed away peacefully while asleep on the morning of November 27, 1922. In accordance with the provisions of his will, his remains were cremated and buried with his mother in the Foreign Cemetery at Yokohama.

Mr. Scidmore was a man of varied interests. He was an ardent yachtsman and for years was active in the Yokohama Yacht Club, where he was a leading figure. He was a member of the Asiatic Society of Japan, a thirty-second degree Mason, and a member of many social clubs and organizations in the Far East.

It would be difficult to overestimate the respect and confidence which Mr. Scidmore commanded in the Service, particularly among the men in Japan. His wide knowledge, his unfailing courtesy and helpfulness, and his single-minded devotion to duty were an inspiration to those who came in contact with him. There seemed to be nothing in the wide range of Consular work upon which his judgment and advice were not eagerly sought and freely given. Even when he could not be consulted, many a Consular officer began the consideration of a difficult situation by asking himself, “What would Scidmore do in this instance?” Technical proficiency and success in his career are the things which immediately suggest themselves in considering his long career; and they are, of course, a requisite and in his case a badge of confidence and esteem. But those who knew and loved him best like to think of him as an American gentleman—a worthy representative of the land he loved and to whose service he gave his all.

In Memoriam
By Lillian Miller

Is this all we have left to us of you,
A little pinch of ashes, puff of dust,
Covered with fragrant petals white and red?
Can it be this little casket hides that head
With the silver of its hair, the deep-set blue,
Keen, sensitive, of those most kindly eyes?
Can it be this soft, damp earth as red as rust
Will come between us and that genial smile?
Or that the man we knew, so gentle, wise,
Warm-hearted, steady, true, has finished now
Of his life’s journey this, the last long mile?

One day we saw you full of hearty zest;
The next found us so truly unaware
Of your quick going that we thought it jest
When told that death had stopped to kiss your brow. When told that death had stroked your silver hair.
Now though we cannot help but sorely weep,
Yet we rejoice you trod no tortured path
But sank serene into the arms of sleep.
And so into the ebon arms of death,
And so rose to the radiant arms of peace.

Here where the pleasant vines will gently creep,
And roses will give out their warm sweet breath
And year by year guard you with soft increase,
We lay your ashes facing to the west,
High on a hill, in their last sheltered rest
Beside her whom you ever loved the best,
One with her before birth, now one in death.
Below, the sea dreams rainbow dreams for you.
The distant hills will watch, one peerless crest,
Snow-gleaming, or a soft grey summer shadow.
Rising from russet wastes or emerald meadow,
Will guard you all the endless seasons through.
And we, your friends, will scatter past blue seas.
Leave this a foreign, though a friendly, land.
Our voices fall on many a far. strange breeze
But always, somehow, you will be there too,
A silver thread run through our memories.

Here where chrysanthemum petals softly lie,
Crushed by our sorrowful feet upon the stones.
We stand around your flower-hidden bier
And with moist eyes, in hushed and reverent tones
Pledge you our hearts beneath the coral sky,
Pledge us to guard your name and hold it dear.
And these few humble, laboring words of praise.
Of tender praise, are but as lowly leaves
Picked from the laurel of your honored days
Won by long service to an end immortal;
And though infinity divides, and my heart grieves,
I would be glad if some day you should gaze
On this my song as on the least white petal
Dropped from these flowers that stand in crystal sheaves.

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1. A report on the Consular Service to the Secretary of the Treasury by De. B. Randolph Keim, Govt. Print. Off., 1872. [34]
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:36 am

Symposium on A Century of Nepali Students in Japan and Perspective for the 21st Century: Ekai Kawaguchi and the Beginning of Cultural Exchange Between Japan and Nepal
by Professor Ryuzo Takayama
Embassy of Japan in Nepal
April 7, 2002



The first exchange between Japan and Nepal had a cultural purpose. It was fortunate when compared to the interchange between Japan and some other Asian countries, where the objective was of a political or military nature. After the Meiji Restoration many young Japanese Buddhist monks were alarmed at the decline of Buddhism in Japan, and some of them wished to enter Nepal or Tibet in order to acquire original Buddhist sutras.

Ekai Kawaguchi: The First Japanese to Enter Nepal

Kawaguchi Ekai, a Zen priest, is known for his explorations in Tibet. He was the first Japanese to enter Nepal on 26 January, 1899. Then on 4 July, 1900 he entered Tibet by crossing a pass in the Himalayas. Later he stayed in Nepal: in 1903, 1905, 1912, and 1913. In total, the length of his stay was two and a half years.

According to his famous book, Three Years in Tibet, the purpose of his travel was to collect the original Sanskrit Buddhist sutras of Buddhism and their Tibetan translations. Kawaguchi had read the Tripitaka which was translated into Chinese and printed in Japan, and he knew that there were various translations of the original, and also that the Chinese translations had been underestimated by European scholars. He got information about original Sanskrit Buddhist sutras that were not to be found in India, but which might remain in Nepal, as well as correctly translated Tibetan sutras.

Kawaguchi learned Chinese in Japan, Tibetan in Darjeeling, Tsaran (Mustang) and Tibet, and Sanskrit in Calucutta, Kathmandu and Varanasi, in order to carry out comparative studies of the sutras.

Kawaguchi visited Nepal four times:

1. He smuggled himself into Nepal in the guise of a Chinese priest (1899-1900).
2. He made an entreaty to Maharaja Chandra Shamsher to use his influence to save captured Tibetans who were Kawaguchi's friends in Lhasa (1903).
3. He presented the Chinese Buddhist sutra, the Tripitaka, printed in Japan to Maharaja Chandra Shamsher (1905).
4. He guided Takakusu Junjiro, Professor of Tokyo University and another person to Lumbini and Kathamandu (1912-1913).

Japanese Monks Who Headed for Nepal

Kawaguchi was not the only Japanese monk who wanted to enter Nepal. According to an academic journal of Oriental Studies in the early 20th century, Omiya Kojun, a student of the Tendaishu sect of Buddhism; Shimizu Mokuji, a student of the Shinshu sect of Buddhism; and Oda Tokuno, a priest of the Shinshu sect of Buddhism, went to India for the purpose of entering Nepal. Two of them met Sarat Chandra Das in Darjeeling, and learned Nepalese there. However, only Shimizu entered Nepal, at Tarai. Shimizu said in his letter to his family, "Kawaguchi was the first Japanese who entered Nepal, but he only passed through the country. Even if I could not find the Sanskrit sutras of Buddhism, I wanted to observe the religion and the customs of the Nepalese which Kawaguchi had not observed. And I would like to collect many materials in order to inform Japanese. I wanted to enter Nepal with the knowledge of Indian and Nepalese languages." Shimizu studied Sanskrit in Varanasi, but became ill and died in Bombay in August, 1903.

While Kawaguchi was in Nepal from February to March in 1903, Shimaji Daito, a member of the expedition led by Otani Kozui, was doing archaeological research on the Buddha in Tarai. His journey started from Birganj in Nepal, went on north-westward, and northward from Mafan village through the forest. He crossed the Churia Range, then reached the upper course of the Rapti River, went on westward to the Narayani River, and lastly went out to India. According to the record of Hasebe Ryutai in Koyasan, who entered Nepal later, Shimaji was driven back from Nepal at the end of the forest of Tarai.

From February to March, 1903, Shimizu, Honda Eryu, and Inoue Koen, the members of the expedition led by Otani Kozui, entered Tarai, went to Araurakot, Tilaurakot, and Lunmindi (Lumbini), where they did archaeological research on Buddhist artifacts.

Kawaguchi and Nepalese Students in Japan

Kawaguchi came back to Japan in May, 1903. According to a newspaper of that time, two months after his return he met two Nepalese students, Jang Narshing Rana and one other, who had already been studying for one year in Japan. After they talked in Nepalese about circumstances in Nepal, Kawaguchi sang a Nepalese folk song. The two students were surprised and delighted at his hospitality, and clapped their hands. Kawaguchi reported to the Maharaja on some misunderstandings which existed between the students and their Indian supervisor that was requested by the Maharaja.

Buddha Vajura, the chief priest of Bouddhanath, sent a letter to Kawaguchi on the Russo-Japanese War. Kawaguchi guessed that it was actually the Maharaja's question to him, and he replied by giving the reasons for the start of the war, the circumstances of the war and the other details in Tibetan.

Presentation of the Tripitaka and "The Memorial"

Kawaguchi tried to collect Sanskrit Buddhist sutras in Kathmandu and other places, but it was not so easy. He proposed to the Maharaja an exchange of the Sanskrit for the Japanese sutras, and it was agreed upon.

Then, Kawaguchi carried one set of the Tripitaka printed in Obakusan Manpukuji (Uji-city, Kyoto Prefecture), and presented it to the Maharaja in 1905. He had once belonged to Manpukuji Temple, where he had read the Tripitaka, and he had some questions about the Chinese translations.

He brought many volumes of the Tripitaka in special wooden boxes covered with galvanized iron. Unfortunately, a fire occurred in the warehouse in Bombay. He received the information that his cargo was lost in the fire, but then was informed that only the cargo of the sutra was safe.

Kawaguchi brought a tomi with him, a rice and rice-case separating machine and a model of a water wheel. He thought that these Japanese agricultural machines would be useful to Nepali agriculture. But this cargo may have been lost in the fire. If the gifts had really arrived, it might rightly have been called the first step in Nepal and Japan cooperation. Kawaguchi stayed in Bouddanath, waiting to collect the Sanskrit sutras of Buddhism, and also tried to collect them by himself. During this time he was requested by the Maharaja to present a long English letter titled 'The Memorial, Peace and Glory' (57 pages.). It was published in the journals Nepali (1992) and Himal (1993). Kawaguchi's detailed proposal on the modernization of Nepal was in it. The English letter and its translation were published in Kawaguchi Eikai Chosaku Syu (The Complete Works of Kawaguchi Ekai). Vol. 15, 2001, which I edited.

Kawaguchi stayed in Varanasi, India, studied Sanskrit and translated sutras, and researched Buddhist artifacts. He started from Calcutta, reentering Tibet at the end of the year of 1913, and came back to Japan in September, 1915. He may have visited Lumbini in February 1907.

Search for the Sanskrit Sutras of Buddhism

Sakaki Ryosaburo of Kyoto Imperial University might have collected the Sanskrit sutras of Buddhism in 1910, but the details are not clear. Aoki Bunkyo passed Ilam and Urunzon in eastern Nepal, entering Tibet by the order of Otani Kozui in September 1912.

Several young Japanese came together in Kawaguchi's dwelling in Varanasi, where Professor Takakusu Junjiro of Tokyo Imperial University visited on his way from England. Takakusu, Masuda Jiryo and Tani Dogen entered Nepal without visas under Kawaguchi's guidance, and researched sites of Buddhist ruins. Soon after this research, Takakusu, Kawaguchi and Hasebe Ryutai entered Nepal, and collected the Sanskrit sutras of Buddhism in January and February 1913.

In 'the List of Europeans who have visited Nepal' in the Appendix of Nepal. Vol.2 by Perceval Landon, "Mr. J. Taka, M. A. D. Lit., Professor of Tokio University, Mr. Ekai Kawaguchi, of Japan, two Japanese, names not known (January - February), to study Sanskrit MSS." were written. Takakusu's name was not correct. Takakusu had an audience with the Maharaja, and he was asked his opinion. Against Takakusu's proposal on general education, the Maharaja expressed his reluctance because of his fear of the influence of civilization and education. Also the Maharaja said that he sent some students to Japan, but that it was useless, and he stopped sending them.

According to the record of Hasebe, Hem Bahadur, a Newali who was a student in Japan, spoke to them in Japanese in a Buddhist Temple at Patan. He was glad to see some Japanese in his country, and then he showed them around.

Hasebe visited the National Library, maybe Bir Library. Hasebe said "the Tripitaka of Japan was Kawaguchi's present, and was seen by no one, but it was completed." He may be the only testifier of the Tripitaka which Kawaguchi presented to the Maharaja. The year of 1913 was the year we see the stamp of Maharaja Chandra Shamsher on each sutra.

The number of the Sanskrit manuscripts collected by Kawaguchi and Takakusu in Tokyo University was 566. Among them, 390 manuscripts were collected by Kawaguchi. These Catalogues were made by Professor Matunami Seiren in 1965.

My Confirmation of the Sanskrit Sutras of Buddhism

The sutras were safe, that was clear, but what was not clear was whether he had brought one set of all the volumes of the sutra and dedicated it to the Maharaja, and whether those sutras he presented were preserved or not. Therefore, the main objective of my visit to Nepal in 1998 was to look at these sutras and establish whether or not they were the real ones that Kawaguchi presented to the Maharaja. With this purpose in my mind, I visited the National Archives, Department of Archaeology with Professor Abhi Sbedi, on 4 September, 1998.

It was very difficult for the Nepali to read the Chinese letters. In fact, nobody here in Nepal could evaluate and identify the Tripitaka or establish its authenticity.

The Tripitaka in the National Archives was the exact Japanese edition hand-printed in Obakusan Manpukuji. Each package contained five or six book-form sutras. The number of the last package was 275, but at first I could count only 249. I wondered if the other packages were lost. Fortunately, I found that the 26 packages that were not numbered were kept in another place. The total number of the packages was exactly 275. I was very delighted to find the complete Tripitaka in the National Archives.

The next problem was that of the authentication of the actual dedication of the Tripitaka to Maharaja Chandra Shamsher. I confirmed that the front and the last pages of each book bore the seal or stamp signet of Chandra Shamsher Rana. The date was recorded as 1970 B. S., or 1913 A. D. It was certain that Kawaguchi had presented the Tripitaka in 1905, but it must have been received only later.

After making some proposals in my report, I concluded with the following words: "The sutras are the symbols of a Nepal-Japan relationship that started 93 years ago."

My Research of the Tripitaka

My research in 1998 brought me the confirmation of the existence of the Tripitaka, which Kawaguchi Ekai presented to Maharaja Chandra Shamsher in 1905. However, I did not know whether or not it was a complete set. I would like to do further research based on my proposals. I visited the National Archives with Professor Abhi Sbedi on 30 August, 1999 again. Under the permission of the Chief of the National Archives, the following tasks were conducted between 30 August and 9 September:

1. Cleaning the packages and books.
2. Arranging the books according to the "Chinese letter number" and to our list.
3. Labeling each book by number. The first number indicated the package number, the last number indicated the book number.
4. Checking the package title, the book title, and the sutra title of contents. If any differences were found, there were recorded.
5. Affixing titles on non-titled packages and non-titled books.
6. Some books, whose titles and contents were mistaken, were corrected.
7. Labeling the package numbers.
8. Arrangement of all the packages, according to their numbers.

After checking all packages and all books, we have found the Tripitaka of the National Archives in a completely preserved state. We, the Japanese, thank the Bir Library and the National Archives for preserving it for 94 years. The total of the packages was 275, and the total of the books was 2100.

I am sorry to say that two packages were badly eaten by worms. Also, I am sorry to have found a slight disarrangement and missing pages, from the stages of bookbinding back in Japan.

I have added the package numbers and book numbers to the so-called "Nanjo Catalogue (A Catalogue of the Chinese Buddhist Tripitaka)", which has the Chinese letter title, its Chinese pronunciation, English title, Roman Sanskrit title, and English explanation of each sutra. I already presented the catalogue with the number of packages and books, as a record of the Tripitaka which Kawaguchi Ekai presented to Maharaja Chandra Shamsher in 1905, in the National Archives, to the Royal Nepalese Ambassador, Dr. Mathema, on 17 November 1999 in Tokyo.

Why had Kawaguchi brought such voluminous sutras from Japan? Though he surely wished to present the Tripitaka according to his agreement with the Maharaja, there is no doubt that he wanted to return the Tripitaka made by the Japanese to the country of the Buddha's birth, and to complete a great circle of Buddhism: India-Silkroad-China-Japan-India (Nepal).
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:03 am

Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 1/21/20



Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal
Sidkeong Tulku
Chogyal of Sikkim
Reign 11 February 1914 – 5 December 1914
Predecessor Thutob Namgyal
Successor Tashi Namgyal
Born 1879
Died 5 December 1914 (34–35)
Gangtok, Sikkim
House Namgyal dynasty
Father Thutob Namgyal
Mother Maharani Pending
Religion Buddhism

The 13th Dalai Lama, Sir Charles Bell (both seated) and Maharaj Kumar Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal (standing between the other two) pose for photograph, 1910, Calcutta.

Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal (Sikkimese: སྲིད་སཀྱོང་སྤྲུལ་སྐུ་རྣམ་རྒྱལ་; Wylie: srid skyong sprul sku rnam rgyal) (1879–5 December 1914) was the ruling Maharaja and Chogyal of Sikkim for a brief period in 1914, from 10 February to 5 December.


He was the second son of Maharaja Sri Panch Sir Thutob Namgyal, and was educated at St. Paul's School, Darjeeling and at Pembroke College, Oxford. A polyglot, he was learned in Chinese, English, Hindi, Lepcha, Nepali and Tibetan.

He was recognised as the reincarnation (tulku) of his uncle, Sidkeong Namgyal, the abbot of Phodong Monastery.[1] Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal reconstructed the monastery.[2]

After his education in Oxford, he returned to Sikkim where he was closely associated with the administration of the country. He worked to dissolve the greed that occurs in vested interests and tried to unify Buddhists by renovating monasteries and their roles.[3]

He engaged to Burmese HRH Princess Hteiktin Ma Lat, a daughter of Prince Limbin. In 1912, he chose to marry Princess Ma Lat and set the wedding for 24 January 1915 in Rangoon. But he died.[4]

When Alexandra David-Néel was invited to the royal monastery of Sikkim, she met Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal, at that time Maharaj Kumar (crown prince). She became Sidkeong's "confidante and spiritual sister",[5] Following an attack of jaundice, Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal died of heart failure on 5 December 1914, aged 35, in most suspicious circumstances.[6][7] He was succeeded by his younger brother, Tashi Namgyal.

Palden Thondup Namgyal was subsequently recognised as the reincarnate leader of Phodong.[8]


• 1879 - 1899: Prince Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal
• 1899 - 1911: Maharajkumar Sri Panch Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal
• 1911 - 1914: Maharajkumar Sri Panch Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal, CIE
• 1914: His Highness Sri Panch Sikeong Tulku Namgyal, Maharaja Chogyal of Sikkim, CIE


British Empire

• Delhi Durbar Medal, 1 January 1903.
• Delhi Durbar Medal, 11 December 1911.
• CIE: Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire, 12 December 1911.


1. Mahendra P. Lama, Sikkim: society, polity, economy, environment
2. Kuldip Singh Gulia, Mountains of the God
3. H. G. Joshi, Sikkim: past and present, Mittal Publications, 2004, ISBN 81-7099-932-4, ISBN 978-81-7099-932-4
4. "A Royal Proposal of Marriage". Endangered archives blog. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
5. Middleton, Ruth (1989). Alexandra David-Neel. Boston, Shambhala. ISBN 1-57062-600-6.
6. Patrick French, Younghusband: the last great imperial adventurer
7. Earle Rice, Alexandra David-Neel: Explorer at the Roof of the World, Infobase Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0-7910-7715-2, ISBN 978-0-7910-7715-3, p. 51
8. Lawrence Epstein, Richard Sherburne, Reflections on Tibetan culture: essays in memory of Turrell V. Wylie, E. Mellen Press, 1990; ISBN 0-88946-064-7, ISBN 978-0-88946-064-5; p. 61
9. Royal Ark


• A detailed biography, archived here:[1]

External links

Media related to Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal at Wikimedia Commons
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:15 am

Charles Alfred Bell
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 1/21/20



Charles Alfred Bell
Bell in 1922
Born: October 31, 1870, Calcutta, India
Died: March 8, 1945 (aged 74), Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Occupation: diplomat, writer, Tibetologist

Sir Charles Alfred Bell KCIE CMG (October 31, 1870 – March 8, 1945) was the British Political Officer for Bhutan, Sikkim and Tibet. He was known as "British India's ambassador to Tibet" before retiring and becoming a noted tibetologist.


He was educated at Winchester School and then at New College, Oxford, after which he joined the Indian Civil Service in 1891.[1][2]

In 1908, he was appointed Political Officer in Sikkim. He soon became very influential in Sikkimese and Bhutanese politics, and in 1910 he met the 13th Dalai Lama, who had been forced into temporary exile by the Chinese. He got to know him quite well, and later wrote his biography (Portrait of the Dalai Lama, published in 1946).

Thubten Gyatso, 13th Dalai Lama and Charles Alfred Bell in 1910 at Hastings House Calcutta

In 1913 he participated in the Simla Convention, a treaty between Great Britain, China and Tibet concerning the status of Tibet. Before the summit, he met in Gyantse with Paljor Dorje Shatra, the Tibetan representative to the British Raj at Darjeeling and advised him to bring to Simla with him all documents concerning relations between China and Tibet, as well as Tibetan claims to land occupied by China. Bell was designated to assist the Tibetans in the negotiations, with Archibald Rose assigned to be his counterpart for the Chinese. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 1915 New Year Honours for his services.

In 1919 he resigned as Britain's political officer in Sikkim to devote himself full-time to his research. However, London sent him to Lhasa in 1920 as a special ambassador.[3]

After travelling through Tibet and visiting Lhasa in 1920, he retired to Oxford, where he wrote a series of books on the history, culture and religion of Tibet. He was awarded a knighthood for his Lhasa Mission in 1922.[2]

Palhese [Dewan Bahadur Palhese Sonam Wangyal, or Kusho Palhese c. 1873-c.1936], Bell's Tibetan friend and confidant travelled to England in 1927-28 to assist him in editing several of these books.[2]

During the 19th century the Government of India employed various types of local people to obtain information about Tibet. The most important of these were the pandits (trained surveyors, native to the Indian Himalayas, who travelled in various disguises to clandestinely map Tibet), and the school teacher Rai Bahadur Sarat Chandra Das CIE. (1849-1917).[2]

The pandits' main duty was to gather geographical data, and they were extremely successful in this task. But whereas they travelled among the lower social classes in Tibet, Chandra Das's mission was to contact powerful figures in Tibetan society in order to collect political information. Just as Political officers were directed to 'cultivate the friendship of the local Ruling Chiefs', Das was under instructions to 'cultivate the friendship of influential persons'.[3]

Chandra Das, a Tibetan speaking Bengali, was the first headmaster of the Bhotia [Bhutia] Boarding School in Darjeeling, which was opened in 1874 specifically to train Bhotia and Sikkimese intermediaries in preparation for the opening of Tibet to the British. In 1891 the Bhotia school merged with the Darjeeling school to become Darjeeling High School.[4]

Das became the first of many intermediaries from the school when he was given a nominal government post as a school inspector, freeing him to travel to Tibet. He was accompanied by Rai Bahadur Urgyen Gyatso, a Sikkimese lama from an aristocratic family, who had been employed as a teacher at the Bhotia School after serving on the staff of the Rajah of Sikkim. Urgyen Gyatso made a number of journeys to Tibet under British auspices, alone, or accompanying Chandra Das. Unlike the pandits, the two schoolteachers continued to be employed as Tibetan specialists after their return to India. [5]

When the Tibetan Government later discovered that Chandra Das had visited Lhasa, and correctly assumed that he had been spying for the British, the strength of their reaction underlined the Lhasa Government's determination to preserve Tibet's isolation. The Panchen Lama's Prime Minister, Kyabying Sengchen Tulku, an incarnate lama from Dongtse Monastery who had been Das's principal sponsor, was executed, and the Dongtse ruling family, the Palhes, close associates of Sengchen Tulku, were severely punished.[6]

The last re-incarnate Lama bearing this title [Re-embodied Lama in western Tibet, Sen-c'en-Rin-po-ch'e], and the tutor of the Tashi Grand Lama, was beheaded about 1886 for harbouring surreptitiously Sarat C. Das, who is regarded as an English spy; and although the bodies of his predecessors were considered divine and are preserved in golden domes at Tashi-lhunpo, his headless trunk was thrown ignominiously into a river to the S.W. of Lhasa, near the fort where he had been imprisoned. On account of his violent death, and under such circumstances, this re-incarnation is said to have ceased. From the glimpse got of him in Sarat's narrative and in his great popularity, he seems to have been a most amiable man.

-- The Buddhism of Tibet, or Lamaism With Its Mystic Cults, Symbolism and Mythology, and in its Relation to Indian Buddhism, by Laurence Austine Waddell

The ruin thus brought about by the Babu's visit extended also to the unfortunate Lama's relatives, the governor of Gyantsé (the Phal Dahpön) and his wife (Lha-cham), whom he had persuaded to befriend Sarat C. Das. These two were cast into prison for life, and their estates confiscated, and several of their servants were barbarously mutilated, their hands and feet were cut off and their eyes gouged out, and they were then left to die a lingering death in agony, so bitterly cruel was the resentment of the Lamas against all who assisted the Babu in this attempt to spy into their sacred city.

-- Laurence Austine Waddell, Lhasa and Its Mysteries: With a Record of the Expedition of 1903-1904, Cosimo, Inc., 2007, 740 pages, p. 79

The decision to force the Tibetans to open diplomatic relations with British India meant that a new type of intermediary was required, one who was accustomed to dealing with the Lhasa aristocracy. Such people were particularly difficult to locate in such an isolationist society as Tibet, where the ruling class appeared to present a united front against high-level foreign contact. Increasing Western contact with Tibet in the late 19th century had produced a small body of men with experience in guiding European travellers there, but these guides, such as caravan leader Mahmood Isa, were mostly members of the Central Asian trading class, and they had little social status. [7]

Individuals of low social status had neither the contacts, nor the prestige and social skills, necessary to approach and influence the Tibetan ruling class. However the punishment inflicted on the aristocratic Palhe family had alienated them from the Lhasa ruling classes, creating an opportunity for the British to exploit their estrangement, as well as to reward the assistance they had given the British agents.

Kusho Palhese, (later Dewan Bahadur Palhese) exiled scion of the Palhe family, came to Kalimpong when Bell was seeking a suitable Tibetan instructor, and he became Bell's personal assistant. Bell's notebooks reveal the enormous contribution Palhese made to his understanding of Tibet, and Bell was, by the standards of the time, generous in his praise of the Tibetan's contribution to his work. The two men became close friends, and Bell brought Palhese to Britain in the 1920s to assist his research. Palhese's association with the British enabled him to restore the family estates, although Bell's account attributes his primary motivation to more personal factors.[8]

The punishment of the Palhe family also provided O'Connor with his principal assistant, a Buriat monk, Sherab Gyatso (later Rai Sahib Sherab Gyatso; d.1909), known as Shabdrung Lama. He had been a personal attendant of Sengchen Tulku when the lama was executed for assisting Chandra Das. Imprisoned and tortured along with his master, Shabdrung Lama escaped to Darjeeling. There he was given employment as a teacher at the Bhotia school, and as a British agent gathering information from Tibetans in Darjeeling bazaar, before being employed by O'Connor as his personal secretary on the Younghusband Mission. [9]

-- Tibet and the British Raj, 1904-47: The Influence of the Indian Political Department Officers, by Alexander McKay

The 13th Dalai Lama (right), Sir Charles Bell (left), and Maharaj Kumar Sidkeong Tulku (centre) in Calcutta around March 1910.

Some of the photographs that he took in Tibet can be found in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. Some of these were included in the 1997 book Tibet: Caught in Time.

His English-Tibetan colloquial dictionary was first published in 1905 together with a grammar of colloquial Tibetan as Manual of Colloquial Tibetan.

Peter Fleming mentions Bell in the introduction to the book Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer, Flamingo imprint 1997, specifically his surprisingly close relationship to the 13th Dalai Lama even though he was a foreigner.


1. Alex McKay (2001). "'Kicking the Buddha's Head': India, Tibet and Footballing Colonialism". In Dimeo, Paul; Mills, James (eds.). Soccer in South Asia: Empire, Nation, Diaspora. p. 91.
2. Portrait of Sir Charles Bell CMG KCIE, National Museums Liverpool.
3. Michael and Barbara Foster (1987), Forbidden Journey: the life of Alexandra David-Neel, Harper & Row, ISBN 9780062503459


• Manual of Colloquial Tibetan. Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press, 1905. (Part II, English-Tibetan vocabulary; later editions 1919 and 1939)
• Portrait of a Dalai Lama: the Life and Times of the Great Thirteenth by Charles Alfred Bell, Sir Charles Bell, Publisher: Wisdom Publications (MA), January 1987, ISBN 978-0-86171-055-3 (first published as Portrait of the Dalai Lama: London: Collins, 1946).
• Tibet: Past and Present. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924
• The People of Tibet. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1928
• The Religion of Tibet. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1931
• Tibet: Caught in Time. Reading: Garnet, 1997. Contains photographs by Charles Bell and John Claude White

External links

• the Tibet Album, British photography in Central Tibet 1920 - 1950
• List of illustrations from 'The People of Tibet', Sir Charles Bell, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1928
• Photo
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