Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:04 am

Sangharakshita [Dennis Philip Edward Lingwood]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/7/20



Alongside this noticeable success, Freda faced some acute disappointments. She made enemies as well as friends, and sometimes these rivalries became vicious. Lois Lang-Sims commented, without saying what prompted the observation, that Freda's enemies 'were not only numerous but of an almost incredible malevolence'. That intense animosity seems to have been behind the most wounding public assault on Freda and her integrity. The stiletto was wielded by D.F. [Dosabhai Framji] Karaka, an Oxford contemporary of the Bedis. He was a writer and journalist of some distinction, though by the early 1960s he was the editor of a not-so-distinguished Bombay-based tabloidstyle weekly, the Current. This was awash with brash, sensationalist stories, reflecting Karaka's fiercely polemical style, his crusading anticommunism and his impatience with Nehru, India's prime minister, for his supposed lack of zeal in standing up for the national interest. The weekly paper bore the slogan 'God Save the Motherland' on its front page.

Image
The front page of 'Current' in September 1963 which caused Freda great distress.
Saturday, September 28, 1963 GOD SAVE THE MOTHERLAND
THE CURRENT, VOL. XV, NO. 3 All India Edition 30 N.P. WEEKLY
On Govt. of India notepaper ...
... Noted Communist appeals to unwary Americans for funds for
YOUNG LAMAS
by D.F. Karaka
According to an All India Radio news bulletin, Mr. Ghulam Mohammed Bakshi recently stated in Srinagar that Communism was infiltrating into Kashmir through Buddhism. This statement was later confirmed by Mr. Kusho Bakula, Minister of State for Ladakh Affairs, who is himself a Ladakhi and a Buddhist monk.
Information reaching CURRENT through reliable sources indicates that an Englishwoman, married to an Indian, is attempting to express a great deal of anxiety to help the Buddhist cause as a screen for her Communist activities.
This Englishwoman, whose name is FREDA BEDI, and her husband, BABA P.L. BEDI, have been most active workers for Communism for nearly 30 years.
Freda has dabbled with Communism ever since my student days in Oxford. She was, in fact, at Oxford at the same time as myself. Later, she married Bedi, a well known Indian Communist. They both came out to India and plunged themselves into the Communist movement.
They were at one time said to be card-holding Communists, and their police records in this country would certainly testify that before Partition they were not mere sympathisers, but active workers of the C.P.I.
Comrade Bedi was the leader of the Communist Party in Lahore, where in pre-Independence ...


In September 1963, Freda's photograph graced the front-page of the Current, accompanying a story which also took up much of the following page. It was a hatchet job. Under his own byline, Karaka asserted that 'an Englishwoman, married to an Indian, is attempting to express a great deal of anxiety to help the Buddhist cause as a screen for her Communist activities'. He insisted that 'Mrs Freda Bedi ... will always, in my opinion, be a Communist first, irrespective of her outwardly embraced Buddhism.' This was an absurd accusation. Freda's days as a communist sympathiser had come to a close almost twenty years earlier. Her husband had abandoned communism a decade previously.

By 1951, the thorny political issue of offering the people of Kashmir a plebiscite to let them decide whether they wanted to join Pakistan or accede to India hung heavily in the air. Freda was torn. While she believed in the people’s right to choose, she was adamantly against Pakistan’s propaganda, with its call for Islamic separation and the holocaust she feared would irrevocably follow, with Hindus and Sikhs the losers.

“There will be a tough fight when and if a plebiscite takes place. The other side uses low weapons – an appeal to religious fanaticism and hatred, which can always find a response. We fight with clean hands. I am content as a democrat that Kashmir should vote and turn whichever way it wishes, but I know a Pakistan victory would mean massacre and mass migration of Hindus and Sikhs – and I hate to face it. God forbid it should happen,” she said.

For the first time she revealed an anticommunist leaning. “I feel the British Press –- with the exception of our friend Norman Cliff on the News Chronicle -– is Pakistan minded, and while I realize that Pakistan and Middle East oil interests are linked, I think it is a great injustice to Kashmir. While a very brutal invasion and a lot of propaganda from the Pakistan side has been trying to make the state communist minded, it has valiantly stuck to his democratic ideas and built up this very war-torn, hungry world.”

BPL was valiantly doing his part in promoting counterpropaganda (a role given to him by Sheikh Abdullah’s administration), churning out publicity and articles both in Delhi and in Kashmir. One day in 1952, things went catastrophically wrong. BPL had a huge argument with his old friend Sheikh Abdullah, who was about to make a speech ratifying the plebiscite.

Kabir said, “My father warned him that India would never accept such a move and that Sheikh Abdullah would be jailed. He was also afraid that a plebiscite would deepen the split already existing in the state and would destroy the work that he, Mummy, and others had been carefully building up over the fragile early years to promote harmony and improve the living conditions of all the people. Kashmir had a huge Muslim majority, but anti-Pakistan feeling was also very high In Kashmir. That was what my father was working with, especially with his counterpropaganda. His ultimate commitment and hope was that Kashmir would be joined to secular India, with its democratic principles. Sadly the best of friendships ended in a bitter battle.”

The minute his argument with Sheikh Abdullah was over, BPL went home, packed up all his household goods and his family, and within twenty-four hours had moved everyone to Delhi. He could no longer stay in a Kashmir that he felt was heading for trouble, and in the employ of a man whose policies he no longer believed in. His prediction was right. In 1953, Sheikh Abdullah was dismissed as prime minister, arrested on charges of conspiracy against the state, and jailed for eleven years.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie


[1954] As with Freda, Bedi's crisis had a lasting spiritual aspect. He developed a keen interest in the occult, establishing the Occult Circle of India; he became attracted to the mystical Sufi tradition within Islam and -- re-engaging with the religion he was born into -- in Sikh mysticism; he believed he had acquired special powers, and took to hands-on spiritual healing. He dressed in a smock and carried a staff; as his hair became increasingly unkempt, he looked like a latter-day Moses. He chose to be known as Baba, which carried with it an echo of a mystical or spiritual identity. It was a reinvention almost as complete as those that marked out the phases in Freda's life; he had gone from gilded youth, to communist and peasants' rights activist, to political apparatchik, to prophet and visionary. Bedi had largely broken links with the organised left and although he remained active in a Delhi-based Kashmir support group, he moved decisively away from active politics. 'I had been under an impulsion to take to spiritual life,' he recalled a decade later. 'I resigned at once from all organisations .... It was like a realization that now [the] time had come to quit all this work and take to a new form of life.' Bedi insisted... that his embrace of a spiritual purpose did not involve any repudiation of his socialist beliefs. 'The statue of Lenin I loved still lies on my mantelpiece, and not a dent on [my] Marxist convictions exists.' But several of his old associates felt uncomfortable with Bedi's new look and message and kept their distance. Ranbir Vohra, who had known the Bedis in Lahore and Srinagar as well as Delhi, recalled that his old friend offered to help him communicate with anyone who had passed on: 'He suggested that I talk to Marx. I declined the generous offer.'

-- The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead


But the accusation of being a concealed communist was deeply wounding especially when the Tibetan refugees regarded communist China as their arch enemy -- the occupiers of their homeland and destroyers of their culture, faith and tradition -- and when India had recently been at war with China.

The idea to write Red Shambhala developed gradually as a natural offshoot of my other projects... By chance, I found out that in a secret laboratory in the 1920s Gleb Bokii -- the chief Bolshevik cryptographer, master of codes, ciphers, electronic surveillance -- and his friend Alexander Barchenko, an occult writer from St. Petersburg, explored Kabala, Sufi wisdom, Kalachakra, shamanism, and other esoteric traditions, simultaneously preparing an expedition to Tibet to search for the legendary Shambhala. A natural question arose: what could the Bolshevik commissar have to do with all this? ...

Meanwhile, I learned that during the same years, on the other side of the ocean in New York City, the Russian emigre painter Nicholas Roerich and his wife, Helena, were planning a venture into Inner Asia, hoping to use the Shambhala prophecy to build a spiritual kingdom in Asia that would provide humankind with a blueprint of an ideal social commonwealth. To promote his spiritual scheme, he toyed with an idea to blend Tibetan Buddhism and Communism. Then I stumbled upon the German-Armenian historian Emanuel Sarkisyanz's Russland and der Messianismus des Orients, which mentioned that the same Shambhala legend was used by Bolshevik fellow travelers in Red Mongolia to anchor Communism among nomads in the early 1920s.

I came across this information when I was working on a paper dealing with the Oirot/Amursana prophecy that sprang up among Altaian nomads of southern Siberia at the turn of the twentieth century. This prophecy, also widespread in neighboring western Mongolia, dealt with the legendary hero some named Oirot and others called Amursana. The resurrected hero was expected to redeem suffering people from alien intrusions and lead them into a golden age of spiritual bliss and prosperity. This legend sounded strikingly similar to the Shambhala prophecy that stirred the minds of Tibetans and the nomads of eastern Mongolia. In my research I also found that the Bolsheviks used the Oirot/Amursana prophecy in the 1920s to anchor themselves in Inner Asia. I began to have a feeling that all the individuals and events mentioned above might have somehow been linked...

Shambhala... was a prophecy that emerged in the world of Tibetan Buddhism between the 900s and 1100s CE, centered on a legend about a pure and happy kingdom located somewhere in the north; the Tibetan word Shambhala means "source of happiness." The legend said that in this mystical land people enjoyed spiritual bliss, security, and prosperity. Having mastered special techniques, they turned themselves into godlike beings and exercised full control over forces of nature. They were blessed with long lives, never argued, and lived in harmony as brothers and sisters. At one point, as the story went, alien intruders would corrupt and undermine the faith of Buddha. That was when Rudra Chakrin (Rudra with a Wheel), the last king of Shambhala, would step in and in a great battle would crush the forces of evil. After this, the true faith, Tibetan Buddhism, would prevail and spread all over the world....

In the course of time, indigenous lamas and later Western spiritual seekers muted the "crusade" notions of the prophecy, and Shambhala became the peaceable kingdom that could be reached through spiritual enlightenment and perfection. The famous founder of Theosophy Helena Blavatsky was the first to introduce this cleansed version of the legend into Western esoteric lore in the 1880s. At the same time, she draped Shambhala in the mantle of evolutionary theory and progress: ideas widely popular among her contemporaries. Blavatsky's Shambhala was the abode of the Great White Brotherhood hidden in the Himalayas. The mahatmas from this brotherhood worked to engineer the so-called sixth race of spiritually enlightened and perfect human beings, who possessed superior knowledge and would eventually take over the world. After 1945, when this kind of talk naturally went out of fashion, the legend was refurbished to fit new spiritual needs. Today in Tibetan Buddhism and spiritual literature, in both the East and the West, Shambhala is presented as an ideal spiritual state seekers should aspire to reach by practicing compassion, meditation, and high spirituality. In this most recent interpretation of the legend, the old "holy war" feature is not simply set aside but recast into an inner war against internal demons that block a seeker's movement toward perfection....

Lama Phuntsok was one of the dozens of lamas we had met, or were going to meet, in our future. It was already starting to get boring; all these amazing, enlightened Tibetan lamas and their cookie-cutter teachings we had access to, for free, because of our circumstances taking care of Trungpa's son. Although I wouldn't admit it, these lamas were all starting to sound the same and quite dull to me. This old lama from Tibet was different, however, being straight from the old country; unskilled in the strategic charms the lamas had learned for western audiences.

Phuntsok, we were told, was the incarnation of every great lama of the past, which was always the case for any new lamas who needed the boost, and this one seemed incoherent and all over the place. But, one thing was for sure, he was teaching us the real Kalachakra prophecy and its inner and secret teachings; how Trungpa's Shambhala legacy was embedded within it. It was not the Camelot Kingdom terma of Trungpa, nor the Shangri-la paradise of Saint Dalai Lama, filled with peace, love, and harmony, that we had come to believe.

This Kalachakra prophecy, the real one, we had never heard about before. Not in this direct and non-evasive way.

The Dalai Lama had finished giving his fourth, U.S. Kalachakra Wheel of Time empowerment in 1991, in New York City, to crowds of unsuspecting thousands, with the usual pitch that it was about bringing peace throughout the world. This Kalachakra prophecy, the real one, straight from this Lama Phuntsok's mouth, straight from Tibet, wasn't talking peace. He was talking about a third world war, the idea of which he seemed to relish, when Tantric Lord Chakravartins, as Rigden Kings, like Trungpa, would come to rule the world.

Lama Phuntsok told us we were the "special" Trungpa students of the "Shambhala Kingdom" and that Trungpa was a lama, who was not just a great bodhisattva, but a great military leader, connected to Gesar of Ling; an emanation of Rigden Kings who would come to rule the earth, in the near future. We were the future army of Shambhala warriors. Nothing new here; the usual teaching by Trungpa and his early students, but told were simply symbolic. We, as his students in this life, and part of his military branch, his kasung, were going to be reborn in the pure land of Shambhala. Yes, that was the same, but then Phuntsok continued: 'when you will come back to fight as Shambhala warriors, some of you as generals, in this great Wheel of Time war between heretics and Shambhala.'

When this war ended, he told us, it would usher in the Age of Maitreya, the Adi-Buddha world of Shambhala and its enlightened society, after this future great apocalyptic war, predicted by these lamas and their ancient prophesies, had destroyed the enemies of their 'dharma.' It was starting to sound like being reborn as kamikaze in a great, epic bloody battle. Not something you would wish for, for any of your next lives, as Lama Phuntsok was describing it. I just flinched, and filed it away.

What remained clear, however, was this great coming war was very real to this old lama from Tibet, and not symbolic at all; not an internal fight, or struggle within us, to tame our own demons -- our egoistic propensities, -- as we had been taught.

It was the first red flag, waving madly before my eyes, about why these lamas are building all their centers and temples, around the world. I realized, that they really believe they will rise up, at the end of this apocalypse they are all predicting; as the new Lord Chakravartins, the Rigden God Kings, ruling over the earth.

Lama Phuntsok, unskilled in donning a 'peaceful' mask for western consumption, had just told us that Tibetan Buddhism is an apocalyptic cult, that believes it will be the world religion in the not too distant future; once it has conquered the other heretic religions. The lamas had been telling us the same thing; but always making sure it was seen as just a metaphor; in a twilight language; about the war inside us, caused by that bug-a-boo: ego. Lama Phuntsok, straight from Tibet, and therefore straight from the thirteenth century, was telling us the truth about his Tibetan Buddhism; this religion of peace.

In a few short years, in Digby, Nova Scotia, at my last graduate Shambhala retreat -- Trungpa's Kalapa Assembly -- I would learn that Trungpa's ambitions to rule the world were as real for him as it was for Lama Phuntsok, transmitting the prophecy of Shambhala before me, now. Clearly, all these lamas believed and wished for the same thing.

-- Enthralled: The Guru Cult of Tibetan Buddhism, by Christine A. Chandler, M.A., C.A.G.S.


Red Shambhala is the first book in English that recounts the story of political and spiritual seekers from the West and the East, who used Tibetan Buddhist prophecies to promote their spiritual, social, and geopolitical agendas and schemes. These were people of different persuasions and backgrounds: lamas (Ja-Lama and Agvan Dorzhiev), a painter-Theosophist (Nicholas Roerich), a Bolshevik secret police cryptographer (Gleb Bokii), an occult writer with leftist leanings (Alexander Barchenko), Bolshevik diplomats and revolutionaries (Georgy Chicherin, Boris Shumatsky) along with their indigenous fellow-travelers (Elbek-Dorji Rinchino, Sergei Borisov, and Choibalsan), and the rightwing fanatic "Bloody White Baron" Roman von Ungern-Sternberg. Despite their different backgrounds and loyalties, they shared the same totalitarian temptation -- the faith in ultimate solutions. They were on the quest for what one of them (Bokii) defined as the search for the source of absolute good and absolute evil. All of them were true believers, idealists who dreamed about engineering a perfect free-of-social-vice society based on collective living and controlled by enlightened spiritual or ideological masters (an emperor, the Bolshevik Party, the Great White Brotherhood, a reincarnated deity) who would guide people on the "correct" path. Healthy skepticism and moderation, rare commodities at that time anyway, never visited the minds of the individuals I profile in this book. In this sense, they were true children of their time -- an age of extremes that gave birth to totalitarian society.

-- Red Shambhala: Magic, Prophecy, and Geopolitics in the Heart of Asia, by Andrei Znamenski


'Freda has dabbled with Communism ever since my student days in Oxford,' Karaka reported. 'She was, in fact, at Oxford at the same time as myself. Later, she married Bedi, a well known Indian Communist. They both came out to India and plunged themselves into the Communist movement.' The article resorted to innuendo, suggesting that 'the alleged indoctrination of Sheikh Abdulla [sic] was largely to be traced to his very close association with Freda Bedi'. It suggested that some former associates of the Bedis in Kashmir had 'mysteriously disappeared'. Freda was alleged to have been caught up in controversy about Buddhist property and funds before turning, 'with the active encouragement of Shri J. Nehru, the Prime Minister', to the running of the Young Lamas' Home School. The article suggested that Freda was getting money from the Indian government, and using government headed paper to appeal for funds from supporters in America and elsewhere. Karaka suggested that the Tibetan Friendship Group was a 'Communist stunt' and he alleged that 'noted Communists, with the usual "blessings" of Mr. Nehru, are using the excuse of helping Tibetan refugees and Buddhist monks for furthering the cause of Communism in strategic border areas.'

Aside from the venomous smears, the only evidence of inappropriate conduct that the article pointed to was her use of official notepaper to appeal for funds for her school and other Tibetan relief operations. It cited a letter of complaint, sent by an unnamed Buddhist organisation which clearly was antagonistic to Freda, stating that she had been using the headed paper of the Central Social Welfare Board which bore the Government of India's logo. A civil servant's response was also quoted: 'Mrs Bedi is not authorised to use Government of India stationery for correspondence in connection with the affairs of the "Young Lama's Home" or the "Tibetan Friendship Group". This has now been pointed out to Mrs. Bedi.'

Even if Freda has been using government headed paper to help raise money -- which those who worked with her say is perfectly possible -- it was hardly a major misdemeanour. But detractors were able to use this blemish to damage her reputation. She was, it seems, distraught at this vicious personal attack and took advice about whether to take legal action. She was advised, probably wisely, to do nothing, as any riposte would simply give further life to accusations so insubstantial that they would quickly fade away. 'The accusation was that Freda was a communist in nun's clothing -- not that Freda was a nun at that time,' recalls Cherry Armstrong. 'I remember her being particularly distressed and "beyond belief' when she believed she had identified the culprit. Freda was totally dumbfounded about it.'

Freda was convinced that another western convert to Buddhism, Sangharakshita (earlier Dennis Lingwood), was either behind the slur or was abetting it. They had much in common -- including a deep antipathy to each other. Lingwood encountered Theosophy and Buddhism as a teenager in England and was ordained before he was twenty by the Burmese monk U Titthila, who later helped Freda towards Buddhism. During the war, he served in the armed forces in South and South-east Asia and from 1950 spent about fourteen years based in Kalimpong in north-east India, where he was influenced by several leading Tibetan Buddhist teachers. In the small world of Indian Buddhism, the two English converts rubbed shoulders. More than sixty years later, Sangharakshita -- who established a Buddhist community in England -- recalls coming across Freda, then new to Buddhism, living at the Ashoka Vihar Buddhist centre outside Delhi. 'She was tall, thin, and intense and wore Indian dress. She had a very pale complexion, with light fair hair and very pale blue eyes. In other words, she looked very English! I also noticed, especially later on, that she was very much the Memsaheb ... During the time that I knew Freda she knew hardly anything about Buddhism, having never studied it seriously .... She had however developed what I called her "patter" about the Dalai Lama, compassion, and the poor dear little Tulkus. So far as I could see, Freda had no spiritual awareness or Enlightenment. She may, of course, have developed these later.' His view of the Young Lamas' Home School is also somewhat jaundiced -- 'some of [the tulkus] developed rather expensive tastes, such as for Rolex watches.'


In 1989 he was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize, he is the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism -– and he, himself is a self-confessed watch lover. The speech is of course by Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. Granted, the ascetic monk is not the first name that comes to mind in connection with luxury watches. But the Dalai Lama has a weakness for mechanical watches and has been happy to disassemble and reassemble them for years. His personal collection consists of over 15 watches, about which, however, little is known....

However, three of his watches can be clearly seen in photos and we are able to identity them. In addition to a Patek Philippe pocket watch, given to him as a young boy from U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the monk also has two Rolex models whose origin is unknown.

His love of mechanical watches began very early: At the age of 6 or 7, the Dalai Lama received his first watch, from none other than the U.S. American President Franklin D. Roosevelt....Eric Wind identified the watch... in a Hodinkee article as a pocket watch with Ref. 658, of which only 15 were made between 1937 and 1950, a truly special gift!... Roosevelt did not hand over the gift personally. Two agents of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor of today’s CIA, offered the watch along with a letter from the president. Brooke Dolan and his colleague Ilia [Ilya Andreyevich] Tolstoy, who was allegedly the grandson of the famous author Leo Tolstoy, strictly followed the protocol: visitors silently handed over their presents and received a so-called 'katha‘, a prayer shawl traditionally handed over. The two had a mission to find out more about the possibility of building a road from India to China, which was strategically important to the United States for supplying China during the war with Japan.

The Dalai Lama’s watch is a complex and rare specimen that displays the moon phases, date, day of the week and months. It aroused his enthusiasm for mechanical watches and watchmaking. A well-known photograph shows him working on watches....

If you are interested in mechanical watches, there is no way around a classic Rolex. The Dalai Lama owns two models that are well-known: A Rolesor Rolex Datejust made of gold and stainless steel with a Jubilee bracelet and a Rolex Day-Date, both presumably gifts. The latter is made of yellow gold and has a blue dial, as seen in some photographs. Some people say that they are a sign of proudness among a monk, but if you look at the meaning of the colours in Tibetan Buddhism, you will see a beautiful picture: blue stands for heaven and spiritual insights, yellow for earth and the experiences of the real world. Thus, the watch purely by chance reflects the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism.

-- The Dalai Lama and his [Rolex] watches, by Manuel Lütgens


Sangharakshita's recollection is that he and Freda 'got on quite well, even though I did not take her "Buddhism" very seriously' as they were both English and (in his view) of working-class origin. He was not impressed by her husband: 'he struck me as a bit of a humbug ... I was told (not by Freda) that he was then living with one of his cousins.' In his memoirs, he recycled one of the allegations that featured in Current, that an 'Englishwoman married to a well-known Indian communist' was trying to 'wrest' control of Ashoka Vihar outside Delhi from the Cambodian monk who had founded it. Decades later, he continues to recount this and other of the items on the Current charge sheet, describing Freda as 'a rather ruthless operator' while in Kashmir. He recalls the furore over the Current article, but says that he had no reason to believe that Freda was using the Lamas' School for a political purpose. Freda never tackled him over her suspicions, but he does not deny a tangential involvement. 'It is possible,' he concedes, 'that certain reservations about the Young Lamas' Home School eventually reached the ears of Current.'

The incident was a reflection of the intense rivalries within the Tibetan movement and its supporters. 'Strong personalities do seem to draw opposition by their very nature,' Cherry Armstrong comments, 'and there is a lot of personal politics amongst the Tibetan groups -- not all light and loveliness as one might like to think.'


-- The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead


Image
Sangharakshita
At the Western Buddhist Order men's ordination course, Guhyaloka, Spain, June 2002
Personal
Born: Dennis Philip Edward Lingwood, 26 August 1925, Tooting, London, England, U.K.
Died: 30 October 2018 (aged 93), Hereford, Herefordshire, England, U.K.
Religion: Buddhism
Nationality: British
Dharma names: Urgyen Sangharakshita
Occupation: Buddhist teacher, writer
Senior posting
Based in: Coddington, England, United Kingdom
Website: sangharakshita.org

Sangharakshita (born Dennis Philip Edward Lingwood, 26 August 1925 – 30 October 2018) was a British Buddhist teacher and writer. He was the founder of the Triratna Buddhist Community, which was known until 2010 as the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order, or FWBO.[1][2]

He was one of a handful of westerners to be ordained as Theravadin Bhikkhus in the period following World War II,[3] and spent over 20 years in Asia,[4] where he had a number of Tibetan Buddhist teachers.[5] In India, he was active in the conversion movement of Dalits—so-called "Untouchables"—initiated in 1956 by B. R. Ambedkar.[4] He authored more than 60 books, including compilations of his talks, and was described as "one of the most prolific and influential Buddhists of our era,"[6] "a skilled innovator in his efforts to translate Buddhism to the West,"[7] and as "the founding father of Western Buddhism"[8] for his role in setting up what is now the Triratna Buddhist Community,[9] but Sangharakshita was often regarded as a controversial teacher.[3] He was criticised for having had sexual relations with Order members,[10] which allegedly amounted to abuse and coercion.[11]

Sangharakshita retired formally in 1995 and in 2000 stepped down from the movement's ostensive leadership, but he remained its dominant figure and lived at its headquarters in Coddington, Herefordshire.[12]

The Triratna Order Office announced the death of Sangharakshita after a short illness on 30 October 2018.[13][14]

Early life

Sangharakshita was born Dennis Philip Edward Lingwood in Tooting, London, in 1925.[15] After being diagnosed with a heart condition he spent much of his childhood confined to bed, and used the opportunity to read widely.[16] His first encounter with non-Christian thought was with Madame Helena Blavatsky's Isis Unveiled,[17] upon reading which, he later said, he realised that he had never been a Christian.[18] The following year he came across two Buddhist texts—the Diamond Sutra and the Platform Sutra—and concluded that he had always been a Buddhist.[18]

As Dennis Lingwood, he joined the Buddhist Society at the age of 18,[19] and formally became a Buddhist in May 1944 by taking the Three Refuges and Five Precepts from the Burmese monk, U Thittila.[16]

He was conscripted into the army in 1943, and served in India, Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon) and Singapore as a radio engineer[20] in the Royal Corps of Signals.[21] It was in Sri Lanka, while in contact with the swamis in the (Hindu) Ramakrishna Mission, that he developed the desire to become a monk.[22] In 1946, after the cessation of hostilities, he was transferred to Singapore, where he made contact with Buddhists and learned to meditate.[23]

India

Having been conscripted into the British Army and posted to India, at the end of the war Sangharakshita handed in his rifle, left the camp where he was stationed and deserted.[23] He moved about in India for a few years, with a Bengali novice Buddhist, the future Buddharakshita, as his companion, meditating and experiencing for himself the company of eminent spiritual personalities of the times, like Mata Anandamayi, Ramana Maharishi and Swamis of Ramakrishna Mission. They spent fifteen months in 1947-48, in the Ramakrishna Mission centre at Muvattupuzha with the consent of Swami Tapasyananda and Swami Agamananda. In May 1949 he became a novice monk, or sramanera, in a ceremony conducted by the Burmese monk, U Chandramani, who was then the most senior monk in India. It was then that he was given the name Sangharakshita (Pali: Sangharakkhita), which means "protected by the spiritual community."[23] Sangharakshita took full bhikkhu ordination the following year,[21] with another Burmese bhikkhu, U Kawinda, as his preceptor (upādhyāya), and with the Ven. Jagdish Kashyap as his teacher (ācārya).[23] He studied Pali, Abhidhamma, and Logic with Jagdish Kashyap at Benares (Varanasi) University.[19] In 1950, at Kashyap's suggestion, Sangharakshita moved to the hill town of Kalimpong[17] close to the borders of India, Bhutan, Nepal. and Sikkim, and only a few miles from Tibet. Kalimpong was his base for 14 years until his return to England in 1966.[20]

During his time in Kalimpong, Sangharakshita formed a young men's Buddhist association and established an ecumenical centre for the practice of Buddhism (the Triyana Vardhana Vihara).[20] He also edited the Maha Bodhi Journal and established a magazine, Stepping Stones.[24] In 1951, Sangharakshita met the German-born Lama Govinda, who was the first Buddhist Sangharakshita had known "to declare openly the compatibility of art with the spiritual life", and who gave Sangharakshita a greater appreciation for Tibetan Buddhism.[25] Govinda had begun his explorations of Buddhism in the Theravada tradition, studying briefly under the German-born bhikkhu, Nyanatiloka Mahathera (who gave him the name Govinda), but after meeting the Gelug Lama, Tomo Geshe Rinpoche, in 1931, he turned towards Tibetan Buddhism.[26] Sangharakshita's spiritual explorations were to follow a similar trajectory.

Sangharakshita was ordained in the Theravada school, but said he became disillusioned by what he felt was the dogmatism, formalism, and nationalism of many of the Theravadin bhikkhus he met[5] and became increasingly influenced by Tibetan Buddhist teachers who had fled Tibet after the Chinese invasion in the 1950s. Two years after his meeting with Lama Govinda he began studying with the Gelug Lama, Dhardo Rinpoche.[5] Sangharakshita also received initiations and teachings from teachers who included Jamyang Khyentse, Dudjom Rinpoche, as well as Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.[5] It was Dhardo Rinpoche who was to give Sangharakshita Mayahana ordination.[19] Later, Sangharakshita also studied with a Ch'an teacher, Yogi Chen (Chen Chien-Ming), along with another English monk, Bhikkhu Khantipalo.[27] Together, the three men turned their ongoing seminar on Buddhist theory and practice into a book, Buddhist Meditation, Systematic and Practical.[28]

In 1952, Sangharakshita met Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar[29] (1891–1956), the chief architect of the Indian constitution and India's first law minister. Ambedkar, who had been a so-called Untouchable, converted to Buddhism, along with 380,000 other Untouchables (now known as "dalits") on 14 October 1956.[30] Ambedkar and Sangharakshita had been in correspondence since 1950, and the Indian politician had encouraged the young monk to expand his Buddhist activities.[31] Ambedkar appreciated Sangharakshita's "commitment to a more critically engaged Buddhism that did not at the same time dilute the cardinal precepts of Buddhist thought".[32] Ambedkar initially invited Sangharakshita to perform his conversion ceremony, but the latter refused, arguing that U Chandramani should preside.[32] Ambedkar died six weeks later, leaving his conversion movement leaderless, and Sangharakshita, who had just arrived in Nagpur to visit dalit Buddhists,[32] continued what he felt was Ambedkar's work by lecturing to former Untouchables,[29] and presiding over a ceremony in which a further 200,000 Untouchables converted.[30] For the next decade, Sangharakshita spent much of his time visiting dalit Buddhist communities in western India.[33]

Return to the West

In 1964, Sangharakshita was invited to help with a dispute at the Hampstead Buddhist Vihara in north London,[34] where he proved to be a popular teacher.[15] His ecumenical approach and failure to conform to some of the trustees' expectations was said to contrast with the strict Theravadin-style Buddhism at the vihara.[15] Although originally planning to stay only six months, he decided to settle in England, but after he returned to India for a farewell tour, the Vihara's trustees voted to expel him.[15]

Sangharakshita returned to England and in April 1967 founded the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order.[15] The Western Buddhist Order was founded a year later, when he ordained the first dozen men and women. The first ordinations were attended by a Zen monk, a Shin priest and two Theravadin monks.[35]

Satisfied neither with the lay-Buddhist approach of the Buddhist Society, nor the monastic approach of the Hampstead vihara—the two dominant Buddhist organisations in Britain at that time—he created what he said was a new form of Buddhism. The order would be neither lay nor monastic,[36] and members take a set of ten precepts[35] that are a traditional part of Mahayana Buddhism.[37]

Initially, Sangharakshita led all classes and conducted all ordinations.[35] He gave lectures drawing on what he felt were the essential teachings of all the major Buddhist schools.[34] He led major retreats twice a year and frequent day and weekend events.[34] As the order grew, and centres became established across Britain and in other countries, order members took more responsibility until, in August 2000, he devolved his responsibilities as the head of the Western Buddhist Order to eight men and women who formed what was called the "College of Public Preceptors."[38] In 2005 Sangharakshita donated all of his books and artefacts, with an insurance value of £314,400, to the charitable trust dedicated to his 'support and assistance' as well as enabling his office to 'maintain contact with his disciples and friends worldwide' and to 'support them in activities'.[39] In 2015 this trust had an income of £140K, and for 2016 it was £73K.[40][41]

Sangharakshita died, aged 93, on 30 October 2018 after a short illness.[42]

Sexual misconduct

Main article: Triratna Buddhist Community

In 1997, Sangharakshita became the focus for controversy when The Guardian newspaper published complaints concerning some of his sexual relationships with FWBO members during the 1970s and 1980s.[43] For a decade following these public revelations, he declined to give any response to concerns from within the movement that he had misused his position as a Buddhist teacher to sexually exploit young men. He later addressed the controversy, stressing that his sexual partners were, or appeared to be, willing, and he expressed regret for any mistakes.[44]

Contributions and legacy

Image
Ven. Rewata Dhamma, Sangharakshita and Thich Nhat Hanh at the European Buddhist Union Congress, Berlin, 1992

Sangharakshita has been described as "among the first Westerners who devoted their life to the practice as well as the spreading of Buddhism" and also as a "prolific writer, translator, and practitioner of Buddhism".[45] As a Westerner seeking to use Western concepts to communicate Buddhism, he has been compared to Teilhard de Chardin,[46] termed "the founding father of Western Buddhism,"[8] and noted as "a skilled innovator in his efforts to translate Buddhism to the West."[7]

For Sangharakshita, as with other Buddhists, the factor that unites all Buddhist schools is not any particular teaching, but the act of "going for refuge" (sarana-gamana), which he regards "not simply as a formula but as a life-changing event"[17] and as an ongoing "reorientation of one's life away from mundane concerns to the values embodied in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha."[47] Any decisive act upon the spiritual path—renunciation, ordination, initiation, the attainment of Stream Entry, and the arising of the bodhicitta—are manifestations or examples of Going for Refuge.[48]

Among his distinctive views is his use of the scientific theory of evolution as a metaphor for spiritual development, referring to biological evolution as the "lower evolution" and spiritual development as being a form of self-directed "higher evolution". Though he considers women and men equally capable of Enlightenment and ordained them equally right from the start, he has also said he had "tentatively reached the conclusion that the spiritual life is more difficult for women because they are less able than men to envisage...something purely transcendental..."[49] He also criticised heterosexual nuclear relationships as tending to neuroticism. The FWBO has been accused of cult-like behaviour in the 1970s and 80s for encouraging heterosexual men to engage in sexual relationships with men in order to get over their fear of intimacy with men and obtain spiritual growth.[48] He has drawn parallels between Buddhism and the spirit of the Romantics, who believed that what art reveals has great moral and spiritual significance, and has written of "the religion of art."[50]

Including compilations of his talks, Sangharakshita has authored more than 60 books. Meanwhile, the Triratna Buddhist Community, which he founded as the FWBO, has been described as "perhaps the most successful attempt to create an ecumenical international Buddhist organization".[51] The community is one of the three largest Buddhist movements in Britain,[52] and has a presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa. More than a fifth of all Order members, as of 2006, were in India,[53] where Dr. Ambedkar's mission to convert dalits to Buddhism continues.[54] Martin Baumann, a scholar of Buddhism, has estimated that there are 100,000 people worldwide who are affiliated with the Triratna Buddhist Community.[54]

For Buddhologist Francis Brassard, Sangharakshita's major contribution is "without doubt his attempt to translate the ideas and practices of [Buddhism] into Western languages."[55] The non-denominational nature of the Triratna Buddhist Community,[35] its equal ordination for both men and women,[56] and its evolution of new forms of shared practice, such as what it calls team-based right livelihood projects, have been cited as examples of such "translation", and also as the creation of a "Buddhist society in miniature within the Western, industrialized world".[4] For Martin Baumann, the Triratna Buddhist Community serves as proof that "Western concepts, such as a capitalistic work ethos, ecological considerations, and a social-reformist perspective, can be integrated into the Buddhist tradition".[57]

Bibliography

Biography

• Anagarika Dharmapala: A Biographical Sketch
• Great Buddhists of the Twentieth Century

Books on Buddhism

• The Eternal Legacy: An Introduction to the Canonical Literature of Buddhism
• A Survey of Buddhism: Its Doctrines and Methods Through the Ages
• The Ten Pillars of Buddhism
• The Three Jewels: The Central Ideals of Buddhism
Edited seminars and lectures on Buddhism[edit]
• The Bodhisattva Ideal
• Buddha Mind
• The Buddha's Victory
• Buddhism for Today – and Tomorrow
• Creative Symbols of Tantric Buddhism
• The Drama of Cosmic Enlightenment
• The Essence of Zen
• A Guide to the Buddhist Path
• Human Enlightenment
• The Inconceivable Emancipation
• Know Your Mind
• Living with Awareness
• Living with Kindness
• The Meaning of Conversion in Buddhism
• New Currents in Western Buddhism
• Ritual and Devotion in Buddhism
• The Taste of Freedom
• The Yogi's Joy: Songs of Milarepa
• Tibetan Buddhism: An Introduction
• Transforming Self and World
• Vision and Transformation (also known as The Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path)
• Who Is the Buddha?
• What Is the Dharma?
• What Is the Sangha?
• Wisdom Beyond Words

Essays and papers

• Alternative Traditions
• Crossing the Stream
• Going For Refuge
• The Priceless Jewel
• Aspects of Buddhist Morality
• Dialogue between Buddhism and Christianity
• The Journey to Il Covento
• St Jerome Revisited
• Buddhism and Blasphemy
• Buddhism, World Peace, and Nuclear War
• The Bodhisattva Principle
• The Glory of the Literary World
• A Note on The Burial of Count Orgaz
• Criticism East and West
• Dharmapala: The Spiritual Dimension
• With Allen Ginsburg In Kalimpong (1962)
• Indian Buddhists
• Ambedkar and Buddhism

Memoirs, autobiography and letters

• Facing Mount Kanchenjunga: An English Buddhist in the Eastern Himalayas
• From Genesis to the Diamond Sutra: A Western Buddhist's Encounters with Christianity
• In the Sign of the Golden Wheel: Indian Memoirs of an English Buddhist
• Moving Against the Stream: The Birth of a New Buddhist Movement
• The Rainbow Road: From Tooting Broadway to Kalimpong
• The History of My Going for Refuge
• Precious Teachers
• Travel Letters
• Through Buddhist Eyes

Poetry and art

• The Call of the Forest and Other Poems
• Complete Poems 1941–1994
• Conquering New Worlds: Selected Poems
• Hercules and the Birds
• In the Realm of the Lotus
• The Religion of Art

Polemic

• Forty Three Years Ago: Reflections on My Bhikkhu Ordination
• The FWBO and 'Protestant Buddhism': An Affirmation and a Protest
• The Meaning of Orthodoxy in Buddhism
• Was the Buddha a Bhikkhu? A Rejoinder to a Reply to 'Forty Three Years Ago'.

Translation

• The Dhammapada

See also

• Dharmachari Subhuti - Senior associate of Sangharakshita

References

1. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 333, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
2. George D. Chryssides; Margaret Z. Wilkins (2006). A Reader in New Religious Movements: Readings in the Study of New Religious. London: Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0826461674.
3. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 326, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
4. Baumann, Martin (May 1998), "Working in the Right Spirit: The Application of Buddhist Right Livelihood in the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order" (PDF), Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 5: 132.
5. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 329, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
6. Smith, Huston; Novak, Philip (2004), Buddhism: A Concise Introduction, HarperCollins, p. 221, ISBN 978-0-06-073067-3
7. Doyle, Anita (Summer 1996), "Women, Men, and Angels (review)", Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, 5: 105
8. Berkwitz, Stephen C (2006), Buddhism in world cultures: comparative perspectives, ABC-CLIO, p. 303, ISBN 978-1-85109-782-1
9. Kay, David N (2004), Tibetan and Zen Buddhism in Britain: transplantation, development and adaptation, Routledge, p. 25, ISBN 978-0-415-29765-3
10. Tsomo, Karma Lekshe (2000), Innovative Buddhist women: swimming against the stream, Routledge, p. 266, ISBN 978-0-7007-1253-3
11. Doward, Jamie (21 July 2019). "Buddhist, teacher, predator: dark secrets of the Triratna guru". The Observer. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
12. "Adhisthana". Triratna Buddhist Order. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
13. "Urgyen Sangharakshita 1925-2018".
14. Littlefair, Sam (30 October 2018). "Sangharakshita, founder of Triratna Buddhism, dead at 93". Lion's Roar. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
15. Chryssides, George D.; Wilkins, Margaret Z. (2006), A Reader in New Religious Movements, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 46, ISBN 978-0-8264-6168-1
16. Chryssides, George D.; Wilkins, Margaret Z. (2006), A Reader in New Religious Movements, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 47, ISBN 978-0-8264-6168-1
17. Lopez Jr, Donald S (2002), A Modern Buddhist Bible: Essential Readings from East and West, Beacon Press, p. 186, ISBN 978-0-8070-1243-7
18. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 323, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
19. Snelling, John (1999), The Buddhist Handbook: A Complete Guide to Buddhist Schools, Teaching, Practice, and History, Inner Traditions, p. 230, ISBN 978-0-89281-761-0
20. Chryssides, George D. (1999), Exploring New Religions, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 225, ISBN 978-0-8264-5959-6
21. Prebish, Charles S. (1999), Luminous passage: the practice and study of Buddhism in America, University of California Press, p. 47, ISBN 978-0-520-21697-6
22. Chryssides, George D.; Wilkins, Margaret Z. (2006), A Reader in New Religious Movements, Continuum International Publishing Group, pp. 47–48, ISBN 978-0-8264-6168-1
23. Chryssides, George D.; Wilkins, Margaret Z. (2006), A Reader in New Religious Movements, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 48, ISBN 978-0-8264-6168-1
24. Oldmeadow, Harry (1999), Journeys East: 20th century Western encounters with Eastern religious traditions, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 280, ISBN 978-0-8264-5959-6
25. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, pp. 328–329, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
26. Lopez, Donald (2002), A Modern Buddhist Bible: Essential Readings from East and West, Beacon Press, p. 98, ISBN 978-0-8070-1243-7
27. Khantipalo, Laurence (2002), Noble Friendship: Travels of a Buddhist Monk, Windhorse Publications, pp. 140–142, ISBN 978-1-899579-46-4
28. Chen, C.M. (1983), Buddhist Meditation, Systematic and Practical (Volume 42 of Hsientai fohsüeh tahsi), Mile ch'upanshe, p. xiii
29. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 331, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
30. Chryssides, George D. (1999), Exploring New Religions, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 226, ISBN 978-0-8264-5959-6
31. Ganguly, debjani (2005), Caste, Colonialism, and Counter-Modernity: Notes on a Postcolonial Hermeneutics of Caste, Routledge, pp. 167–168, ISBN 978-0-415-34294-0
32. Ganguly, debjani (2005), Caste, Colonialism, and Counter-Modernity: Notes on a Postcolonial Hermeneutics of Caste, Routledge, p. 168, ISBN 978-0-415-34294-0
33. Ganguly, debjani (2005), Caste, Colonialism, and Counter-Modernity: Notes on a Postcolonial Hermeneutics of Caste, Routledge, p. 169, ISBN 978-0-415-34294-0
34. Chryssides, George D.; Wilkins, Margaret Z. (2006), A Reader in New Religious Movements, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 49, ISBN 978-0-8264-6168-1
35. Rawlinson, Andrew (1997), The Book of Enlightened Masters, Open Court, p. 503, ISBN 978-0-8126-9310-2
36. Queen, Christopher S.; King, Sallie B. (1996), Engaged Buddhism, SUNY Press, p. 86, ISBN 978-0-7914-2844-3
37. Keown, Damien (2003), A Dictionary of Buddhism, Oxford University Press US, p. 70, ISBN 978-0-8126-9310-2
38. "Have Map, Can Unravel". Dharmalife.com. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
39. ADM of Triratna Buddhist Community (Uddiyana), 2015, Charity Commission for England and Wales. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
40. "Triratna Buddhist Community (Uddiyana)". Charity Commission for England and Wales. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
41. "Triratna Buddhist Community (Uddiyana)". Charity Commission for England and Wales. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
42. Triratna Buddhist Order Website. Sangharakshita Memorial Space. https://thebuddhistcentre.com/sangharak ... splay=team
43. Tsomo, Karma Lekshe (2000), Innovative Buddhist Women: Swimming Against the Stream, Routledge, pp. 266–267, ISBN 978-0-7007-1219-9
44. Vajragupta (2010), The Triratna Story: Behind the Scenes of a New Buddhist Movement, Windhorse, ISBN 978-1-899579-92-1
45. Brassard, Francis (2000), The Concept of Bodhicitta in Santideva's Bodhicaryavatara, SUNY Press, pp. 22–23, ISBN 978-0-7914-4575-4
46. Brassard, Francis (2000), The Concept of Bodhicitta in Santideva's Bodhicaryavatara, SUNY Press, p. 23, ISBN 978-0-7914-4575-4
47. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 334, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
48. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 335, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
49. Transforming Self and World, 1995, p117
50. McMahan, David L. (2008), The Making of Buddhist Modernism, Oxford University Press US, p. 334, ISBN 978-0-19-518327-6
51. Oldmeadow, Harry L. (2004), Journeys East: 20th century Western encounters with Eastern religious traditions, World Wisdom, Inc, p. 280, ISBN 978-0-941532-57-0
52. Beckerlegge, Gwilym (2001), From Sacred Text to Internet, Ashgate, p. 147, ISBN 978-0-7546-0748-9
53. McAra, Sally (2007), Land of Beautiful Vision: Making a Buddhist Sacred Place in New Zealand, University of Hawaii Press, p. 18, ISBN 978-0-8248-2996-4
54. King, Sally B. (2005), Being Benevolence: The Social Ethics of Engaged Buddhism, University of Hawaii Press, p. 79, ISBN 978-0-8248-2935-3
55. Brassard, Francis (2000), The Concept of Bodhicitta in Śāntideva's Bodhícaryāvatāra, SUNY Press, pp. 22–23, ISBN 978-0-7914-4575-4
56. McAra, Sally (2007), Land of Beautiful Vision: Making a Buddhist Sacred Place in New Zealand, University of Hawaii Press, p. 60, ISBN 978-0-8248-2996-4
57. Baumann, Martin (May 1998), "Working in the Right Spirit:The Application of Buddhist Right Livelihood in the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order", Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 5: 135.

External links

• Official website
• FWBO files
• Works by Sangharakshita at Project Gutenberg
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Royal Corps of Signals
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/7/20

Image
Royal Signals
Cap Badge of the Royal Corps of Signals
Active: 1920 – present
Allegiance: United Kingdom
Branch: British Army
Garrison/HQ: Blandford Camp, Dorset
Motto(s): Certa Cito (Swift and Sure)
March: Begone Dull Care (Quick); HRH The Princess Royal (Slow)
Commanders
Colonel-in-Chief: The Princess Royal
Master of Signals: Lieutenant General Sir Nick Pope
Corps Colonel: Col J Gunning ADC
Corps Sergeant Major: WO1 D Corcoran

Image
Arms of the British Army
Combat Arms: Royal Armoured Corps and Household Cavalry; Infantry; Guards Division, Scottish, Welsh and Irish Division, King's Division, Queen's Division, Parachute Regiment, Royal Gurkha Rifles, The Rifles; Special Air Service; Army Air Corps; Special Reconnaissance Regiment
Combat Support Arms: Royal Artillery; Royal Engineers
Royal Corps of Signals: Intelligence Corps
Combat Services: Royal Army Chaplains' Department; Royal Logistic Corps; Army Medical Services; Royal Army Medical Corps, Royal Army Dental Corps,Royal Army Veterinary Corps, Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps; Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers; Adjutant General's Corps, Educational and Training Services Branch, Army Legal Services Branch, Provost Branch (Royal Military Police, Military Provost Staff, Military Provost Guard Service); Small Arms School Corps; Royal Army Physical Training Corps; General Service Corps; Corps of Army Music

The Royal Corps of Signals (often simply known as the Royal Signals - abbreviated to R SIGNALS) is one of the combat support arms of the British Army. Signals units are among the first into action, providing the battlefield communications and information systems essential to all operations. Royal Signals units provide the full telecommunications infrastructure for the Army wherever they operate in the world. The Corps has its own engineers, logistics experts and systems operators to run radio and area networks in the field.[1] It is responsible for installing, maintaining and operating all types of telecommunications equipment and information systems, providing command support to commanders and their headquarters, and conducting electronic warfare against enemy communications.

History

Origins


In 1870, 'C' Telegraph Troop, Royal Engineers, was founded under Captain Montague Lambert. The Troop was the first formal professional body of signallers in the British Army and its duty was to provide communications for a field army by means of visual signalling, mounted orderlies and telegraph. By 1871, 'C' Troop had expanded in size from 2 officers and 133 other ranks to 5 officers and 245 other ranks. In 1879, 'C' Troop first saw action during the Anglo-Zulu War.[2] On 1 May 1884, 'C' Troop was amalgamated with the 22nd and 34th Companies, Royal Engineers, to form the Telegraph Battalion Royal Engineers;[2] 'C' Troop formed the 1st Division (Field Force, based at Aldershot) while the two Royal Engineers companies formed the 2nd Division (Postal and Telegraph, based in London). Signalling was the responsibility of the Telegraph Battalion until 1908, when the Royal Engineers Signal Service was formed.[3] As such, it provided communications during the First World War. It was about this time that motorcycle despatch riders and wireless sets were introduced into service.[3]

Royal Warrant

A Royal Warrant for the creation of a Corps of Signals was signed by the Secretary of State for War, Winston Churchill, on 28 June 1920. Six weeks later, King George V conferred the title Royal Corps of Signals.[4]

Subsequent history

Before the Second World War, Royal Signals recruits were required to be at least 5 feet 2 inches tall. They initially enlisted for eight years with the colours and a further four years with the reserve. They trained at the Signal Training Centre at Catterick Camp and all personnel were taught to ride.[5]

During the Second World War (1939–45), members of the Royal Corps of Signals served in every theatre of war. In one notable action, Corporal Thomas Waters of the 5th Parachute Brigade Signal Section was awarded the Military Medal for laying and maintaining the field telephone line under heavy enemy fire across the Caen Canal Bridge during the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944.[6]

In the immediate post-war period, the Corps played a full and active part in numerous campaigns including Palestine, the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation, Malaya and the Korean War. Until the end of the Cold War, the main body of the Corps was deployed with the British Army of the Rhine confronting Soviet Bloc forces, providing the British Forces' contribution to NATO with its communications infrastructure. Soldiers from the Royal Signals delivered communications in the Falklands War in 1982 and the first Gulf War in 1991.[7]

In 1994, The Royal Corps of Signals moved its training regiments, 11th Signal Regiment (the Recruit Training Regiment) and 8th Signal Regiment (the Trade Training School), from Catterick Garrison to Blandford Camp.[8]

In late 2012, 2nd (National Communications) Signal Brigade was disbanded.[9] Soldiers from the Royal Corps of Signals saw extensive service during the eight years of the Iraq War before withdrawal of troops in 2011,[10] and the 13 years of the War in Afghanistan before it ended in 2014.[11]

In 2017 the Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team, then in its 90th year, was disbanded; senior officers had complained that it "failed to reflect the modern-day cyber communication skills in which the Royal Signals are trained".[12]

Personnel

Training and trades


Main article: Royal Signals trades

Royal Signals officers receive general military training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, followed by specialist communications training at the Royal School of Signals, Blandford Camp, Dorset. Other ranks are trained both as field soldiers and tradesmen. Their basic military training is delivered at the Army Training Regiment at Winchester before undergoing trade training at 11th (Royal School of Signals) Signal Regiment. There are currently six different trades available to other ranks,[13] each of which is open to both men and women:

• Communication Systems Operator: trained in military radio and trunk communications systems
• Communication Systems Engineer: trained in data communications and computer networks
• Royal Signals Electrician: trained in maintaining and repairing generators and providing electrical power
• Communication Logistic Specialist: trained in driving and accounting for communications equipment
• Installation Technician: trained in installing and repairing fibreoptics and telephone systems
• Electronic Warfare Systems Operator: trained in intercepting and jamming enemy communications

Staff Sergeant & Warrant Officers work in one of five supervisory rosters:

• Yeoman of Signals - trained in the planning and deployment and management of military tactical/strategic communications networks;
• Yeoman of Signals (Electronic Warfare) - trained in the planning, deployment and management of military tactical/strategic electronic warfare assets;
• Foreman of Signals - trained in the installation, maintenance, repair and interoperability of military tactical/strategic communications assets;
• Foreman of Signals (Information Systems) - trained in the installation, maintenance, repair and interoperability of military tactical/strategic Information Systems;
• Regimental Duty - trained in the daily routine and running of a unit.
Whilst SSgts are generally regarded as being Regimental Duty, this roster does not start until WO2 and therefore all SSgts in the Royal Signals who are not supervisory are still employed "in trade".

Museum

The Royal Signals Museum is based at Blandford Camp in Dorset.[14]

Dress and ceremonial

Tactical Recognition flash


The Corps wears a blue and white tactical recognition flash. This is worn horizontally on the right arm with the blue half charging forward.

Airborne elements of the Royal Signals wear a Drop Zone (DZ) flash on the right arm of their combat jacket. It is square in shape with its top half white and the bottom half blue. When 5 Airborne Brigade was re-formed for the Falklands War, Signal elements adopted the Airborne Bridges Headquarters DZ Flash but this changed back to its original colours in the mid 1980s.

Cap badge

The flag and cap badge feature Mercury (Latin: Mercurius), the winged messenger of the gods, who is referred to by members of the corps as "Jimmy". The origins of this nickname are unclear. According to one explanation, the badge is referred to as "Jimmy" because the image of Mercury was based on the late mediaeval bronze statue by the Italian sculptor Giambologna, and shortening over time reduced the name Giambologna to "Jimmy". The most widely accepted theory of where the name Jimmy comes from is a Royal Signals boxer, called Jimmy Emblem, who was the British Army Champion in 1924 and represented the Royal Corps of Signals from 1921 to 1924.

It is one of the eight chalk hill figure military badges carved at Fovant, Wiltshire. It is the latest one to be made, as it was placed in 1970 following the Corp's 50th anniversary.

Lanyard

On Nos 2, 4 and 14 Dress, the Corps wears a dark blue lanyard on the right side signifying its early links with the Royal Engineers. The Airborne Signals Unit wears a drab green lanyard made from parachute cord. This dates back to the Second World War, when, following a parachute drop into France, the unit's Commanding Officer ordered all Signal personnel to cut a length of para-cord from their chutes in the event they may need it later in the fighting.

Motto

The Corps motto is "certa cito", often translated from Latin as Swift and Sure . It is easily seen on any of the Corps Badges.

Appointments

The Colonel in Chief is currently the Princess Royal.

Equipment

Main article: British Armed Forces communications and information systems

The Corps deploys and operates a broad range of specialist military and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) communications systems.[15] The main categories are as follows:

• Satellite ground terminals
• Terrestrial trunk radio systems
• Combat net radio systems
• Computer networks
• Specialist military applications (computer programs)

Royal Corps of Signals units

Brigades


There are now two signal brigades:

• 1st Signal Brigade: The Brigade Headquarters is co-located with HQ ARRC at Gloucester and the ARRC Support Battalion. The Brigade is made up of four specialist units, each trained to carry out a unique and challenging role in support of the overall brigade mission and is prepared to deploy at short notice anywhere in the world. The Brigade consists of ARRC Sp Bn, 16 Sig Regt, 22 Sig Regt, 30 Sig Regt, 32 Sig Regt, 39 Sig Regt and 299 (SC) Sig Sqn.[16]
• 11th Signal Brigade: The Brigade Headquarters is located in MoD Donnington, near Telford. The Brigade is divided into one Signal Group: 7 Signal Group comprises 1 Sig Regt, 2 Sig Regt, 3 (UK) Div Sig Regt, 21 Sig Regt, 15 Sig Regt (IS), 37 Sig Regt, 38 Sig Regt, 71 Y Sig Regt. 2 Signal Group comprises 10 .[17] 2 Signal Group however disbanded on 31 July 2018 as part of Army 2020 Refine.[18]

The structure of the Royal Signals has changed under Army 2020.[19] The listing below shows the present location of units and their future location:[20][21][22]

Regular Army

• 1st Signal Regiment - Supporting 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade at Beacon Barracks (moving to Swinton Barracks)
o 200 Signal Squadron
o 246 Gurkha Signal Squadron
o Support Squadron
• 2nd Signal Regiment - Supporting 2nd Strike Brigade at Imphal Barracks (moving to Catterick)
o 214 Signal Squadron
o 219 Signal Squadron
o 249 Gurkha Signal Squadron
o Support Squadron
• 3rd (United Kingdom) Divisional Signal Regiment supporting 3rd (UK) Division HQ at Picton Barracks
o 202 Signal Squadron
o 206 Signal Squadron
o 228 Signal Squadron
o 249 Signal Squadron
o Support Squadron
• 10th Signal Regiment depth signals support at Basil Hill Barracks
o 225 Signal Squadron (ECM (FP)) at Lisburn
o 241 Signal Squadron (IT Support) at Bicester
o 243 Signal Squadron (ICS and IA Support) at Andover
o 251 Signal Squadron (COu ICS Suport) at Aldershot
o 81 Signal Squadron (V) [Corsham][23]
• 11th (Royal School of Signals) Signal Regiment, Blandford
o Royal School of Signals
• 13th Cyber and Electromagnetic Activity Signal Regiment (to be formed)
• 14th (Electronic Warfare) Signal Regiment, Cawdor Barracks
o 223 Signal Squadron (Electronic Warfare)
o 226 Signal Squadron (Electronic Warfare) - supporting HQ 16 AA Brigade
o 237 Signal Squadron (Electronic Warfare)
o 245 Signal Squadron (Electronic Warfare)
o Support Squadron
o JESC Troop at RAF Digby
• 15th Signal Regiment (Information Support) at Blandford Camp (moving to Swinton Barracks)
o 233 (GCN) Squadron at Corsham
o 259 (GI Support) Squadron
o 262 (LS Support) Squadron at Bicester
o 254 (SGIS) Signal Squadron at Corsham
o Land Information Assurance Group at Corsham
• 16th Signal Regiment at Beacon Barracks (supporting 12 AI Brigade)
o 207 (Jerboa) Signal Squadron
o 230 (Malaya) Signal Squadron
o 247 (Queen's Gurkha Signals) Squadron
o 255 (Bahrain) Signal Squadron
o Support Squadron
• 18th (United Kingdom Special Forces) Signal Regiment, Hereford
o Special Boat Service Signal Squadron
o 264 (Special Air Service) Signal Squadron
o 267 (Special Reconnaissance Regiment) Signal Squadron
o 268 (United Kingdom Special Forces) Signal Squadron
o 63 (United Kingdom Special Forces) Signal Squadron (Reserve)
• 21st Signal Regiment, Colerne
o HQ Squadron
o 215 Signal Squadron[24]
o 220 Signal Squadron[25]
o Support Squadron
• 22nd Signal Regiment, Stafford
o 217 Signal Squadron
o 222 Signal Squadron
o 248 (Gurkha) Signal Squadron
o 252 (Hong Kong) Signal Squadron (based at Imjin Barracks, Innsworth alongside HQ Allied Rapid Reaction Corps
o Support Squadron
• 30th Signal Regiment, Bramcote
o 244 Signal Squadron (Air Support)
o 250 Signal Squadron
o 256 Signal Squadron[26]
o 258 Signal Squadron (early entry squadron)[27]
o Support Squadron
• 1st Signal Brigade Headquarters and 299 Signal Squadron (Special Communications), Bletchley[28]
• 16 Air Assault Brigade Headquarters and 216 (Parachute) Signal Squadron, Colchester
• HQ 38 (Irish) Brigade Headquarters and Signal Troop, Northern Ireland
• 600 Signal Troop - (Attached to 15 Signal Regiment (Information Support))
• 628 Signal Troop (GBR DCM D) - 1st NATO Signal Battalion (Formerly 280 (UK) Signal Squadron 4 Dec, formerly (28th Signal Regiment)
• 643 Signal Troop (COMSEC) - (Attached to 10th Signal Regiment)
• 660 Signal Troop (Attached to 11 EOD&S Regt RLC for support in ECM and communications)
• Joint Service Signal Unit, Cyprus (Ayios Nikolaos Station, Cyprus) (electronic intelligence gathering)
o Regimental Headquarters
o 234 Signal Squadron
o 840 Signal Squadron RAF
o Engineering Squadron
o Support Squadron
• Cyprus Communications Unit (British Forces Cyprus)
• Joint Communications Unit (Falkland Islands)
o 303 Signals Unit RAF[29]
• Band of the Royal Corps of Signals (Corps Band)
• Royal Corps of Signals Pipes and Drums (P&D)

Army Reserve

• 32 Signal Regiment [RHQ Glasgow]
o Kohima Troop [Imphal Barracks]
o 2 (City of Dundee and Highland) Signal Squadron [Dundee/Aberdeen]
o 51 (Highland) Signal Squadron [Edinburgh/East Kilbride]
o 52 (Lowland) Support Squadron [Glasgow]
o 40 (North Irish Horse) Signal Squadron [Belfast/Derry]
• 37 Signal Regiment [RHQ Redditch]
o 33 (Lancashire) Signal Squadron [Liverpool and Manchester]
o 48 (City of Birmingham) Signal Squadron [Birmingham/Coventry]
 Stafford Signal Troop [Stafford]
o 50 (Northern) Signal Squadron [Darlington/Leeds]
o 54 (Queen's Own Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry) Support Squadron [Redditch]
o 64 (Sheffield) Signal Squadron [Sheffield/Nottingham]
• 39 Signal Regiment [RHQ Bristol]
o 43 (Wessex and City and County of Bristol) Signal Squadron [Bath/Bristol]
o 53 (Wales and Western) Signal Squadron]] [Cardiff/Gloucester]
o 93 (North Somerset Dragoons (Yeomanry)) Support Squadron [Bristol]
o 94 (Berkshire Dragoons (Yeomanry)) Signal Squadron [Windsor]
• 71 (City of London) Yeomanry Signal Regiment [RHQ Bexleyheath]
o 31 (Middlesex Yeomanry and Princess Louise's Kensingtons) Signal Squadron [Uxbridge/Coulsdon]
o 36 (Essex Dragoons (Yeomanry)) Signal Squadron [Colchester/Chelmsford]
o 68 (Inns of Court & City Yeomanry) Signal Squadron [Lincoln's Inn/Whipps Cross]
o 265 (Kent and County of London Sharpshooters Yeomanry) Support Squadron [Bexleyheath]
• Central Volunteer Headquarters Royal Signals (CVHQ Royal Signals) [Corsham]
• 63 (UKSF) Signal Squadron (Reserve) [Thorney Island] (part of 18th (United Kingdom Special Forces) Signal Regiment)
• Royal Signals (Northern) Band [Darlington] – attached to 32 Signal Regiment
• Joint Forces Command
o Land Information Assurance Group (LIAG) [Corsham], as part of Joint Force Cyber Group

Corps changes under Army 2020 Refine

The future structure of the Royal Signals will change under Army 2020 Refine.[30][31] A presentation by the Masters of Signals indicates that 16 Signal Regiment will shift from 11 Signal Brigade to 1 Signal Brigade and focus on supporting communications for logistic headquarters. Similarly, 32 and 39 Signal Regiments will shift to 1 Signal Brigade. 15 Signal Regiment will no longer be focused on Information Systems but will support 12th Armoured Infantry Brigade while 21 and 2 Signal Regiments will support the 1st and 2nd Strike Brigades respectively. Furthermore, a new regiment, 13th Signal Regiment, will form up under 1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade and work with 14th Signal Regiment on Cyber and Electromagnetic Activity.[32]

Cadet Forces

The Royal Corps of Signals is the sponsoring Corps for several Army Cadet Force and Combined Cadet Force units, such as in Blandford Forum, home to the Royal School of Signals.[33]

Order of precedence

Preceded by
Corps of Royal Engineers Order of Precedence Succeeded by
Foot Guards

See also

• CIS Corps (Ireland)
• Bermuda Volunteer Engineers
• 97 Signal Squadron (Volunteers)

References

1. Career paths
2. The Royal Signals Museum: Telegraph TP & Boer War
3. The Royal Signals Museum: Corps History
4. "Royal Corps of Signals". National Army Museum. Retrieved 27 September2016.
5. War Office, His Majesty's Army, 1938
6. "Pegasus Bridge hero honoured in exhibition". Dorset Echo. 23 July 2004. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
7. "No. 52589". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 June 1991. p. 45.
8. "Blandford Garrison". Army Garrisons. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
9. THE SIGNAL OFFICER IN CHIEF'S MESSAGE ON CHANGE FOR THE CORPS, dated 19 Sep 11
10. "Chilcot report: Who were the 179 British soldiers who died during the Iraq War?". The Independent. 5 July 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
11. "UK ends its war in Afghanistan: These are the 453 British men and women who died fighting the Taliban". The Independent. 27 October 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
12. Sawer, Patrick (1 September 2017). "'Old fashioned' White Helmets display team wound up as Army looks to promote more high tech role". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
13. Royal Signals Careers - Soldier Trades Archived 29 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
14. "About us". Royal Signals Museum. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
15. Royal Signals Equipment Archived 13 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
16. "1st United Kingdom Signal Brigade - British Army Website". Army.mod.uk. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
17. "HQ 11 Sig Bde - British Army Website". Army.mod.uk. Archived from the original on 28 August 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
18. "The Wire Autumn 2018" (PDF). royalsignals.org. August 2018. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
19. "Royal Signals Journal" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
20. "Army 2020 listing" (PDF).
21. "Royal Signals Changes" (PDF).
22. "The Wire".
23. "81st Signal Squadron (Volunteers)". The National Archives. 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
24. "21 Sig Regt - British Army Website". Army.mod.uk. Retrieved 27 September2016.
25. "21 Sig Regt - British Army Website". Army.mod.uk. Retrieved 27 September2016.
26. "The Wire" (PDF). October 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 July 2016.
27. "The Wire" (PDF). August 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016.
28. "299 Sig Sqn (SC)". British Army. Archived from the original on 13 December 2017.
29. at 2:18pm, 21st June 2019. "Falkland Islands: Signals Unit Gets Its Own Crest For Protecting The Islands". Forces Network. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
30. "Army 2020, p. 56-57" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 September 2013.
31. "Royal Signals Journal, p. 42-45" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 April 2014.
32. "Royal Signals The Caduceus Programme A Corps for the 21st Century" (PDF). Royal Signals. October 2018. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
33. "Homepage of ACF/CCF Signals Training". Retrieved 28 October 2008.

Further reading

• Lord, Cliff; Watson, Graham (2003). The Royal Corps of Signals: Unit Histories of the Corps (1920-2001) and Its Antecedents. West Midlands: Helion & Company Limited. ISBN 9781874622925.
• Warner, Philip (1989). THE VITAL LINK : The Story of Royal Signals 1945-1985. London: Leo Cooper. ISBN 0850528828.

External links

• The Royal Corps of Signals official website
• Royal Corps of Signals RSTL
• Royal Signals Museum
• Royal Signals Association
• Royal Signals ACF and CCF
• Royal Engineers Museum - Origins of Army Signals Services
• 32 Signal Regiment
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:17 am

Intelligence Corps (United Kingdom)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/7/20

Image
Intelligence Corps
Badge of the Intelligence Corps
Active: 1914–1929; 19 July 1940 – present
Allegiance: United Kingdom
Branch: British Army
Role: Military intelligence
Size: 7 Battalions
HQ: Chicksands
Directorate: Templer Barracks
Intelligence Corps: Maresfield
Nickname(s): Int Corps
Motto(s): Manui Dat Cognitio Vires Knowledge gives strength to the arm
Beret: Cypress green
March: Rose & Laurel (quick); Purcell’s Trumpet Tune and Ayre (slow)
Website: army.mod.uk/intelligence/intelligence.aspx
Commanders
Colonel-in-Chief: HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT, OM, GBE, AC, QSO, PC
Colonel Commandant: General Sir Nick Houghton

The Intelligence Corps (Int Corps) is a corps of the British Army. It is responsible for gathering, analysing and disseminating military intelligence and also for counter-intelligence and security. The Director of the Intelligence Corps is a brigadier.

History

In the 19th century, British intelligence work was undertaken by the Intelligence Department of the War Office. An important figure was Sir Charles Wilson, a Royal Engineer who successfully pushed for reform of the War Office's treatment of topographical work.[1]

In the early 1900s intelligence gathering was becoming better understood, to the point where a counter-intelligence organisation (MI5) was formed by the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DoMI) under Captain (later Major-General) Vernon Kell; overseas intelligence gathering began in 1912 by MI6 under Commander (later Captain) Mansfield Smith-Cumming.[2]

First World War

Although the first proposals to create an intelligence corps came in 1905, the first Intelligence Corps was formed in August 1914 and originally included only officers and their servants. It left for France on 12 August 1914.[3] The Royal Flying Corps was formed to monitor the ground, and provided aerial photographs for the Corps to analyse.[4]

Irish War of Independence

During the Irish War of Independence, Intelligence Corps operatives were used in an unsuccessful battle to defeat the Irish Republican Army. The Cairo Gang were overwhelmingly Intelligence Corps operatives. On Bloody Sunday, 1920, twelve of these agents were assassinated at their lodgings by Michael Collins' Squad. Due to this and similar failures, the Intelligence Corps was disbanded in 1929.[4]

Second World War

On 19 July 1940 a new Intelligence Corps was created by Army Order 112 and has existed since that time. The Army had been unprepared for collecting intelligence for deployment to France, and the only intelligence had been collected by Major Sir Gerald Templer. The Corps trained operatives to parachute at RAF Ringway; some of these were then dropped over France as part of the Special Operations Executive (SOE). Intelligence Corps officers were involved in forming the highly-effective Long Range Desert Group, and Corps officer Lt Col Peter Clayton was one of the four founders of the Special Air Service (SAS). Around 40 per cent of British Army personnel at Bletchley Park were in the Intelligence Corps.[5]

The Combined Allied Intelligence Corps as it was known in Malta, began recruiting in 1940 following Italy’s entry into the war on the side of Germany.[6] Among its many responsibilities in the Mediterranean Theatre were debriefing and interrogation of high-ranking prisoners of war in East Africa following Mussolini's invasion of Abyssinia (“Eldoret” P.O.W. Camp no. 365 being one example), counter-intelligence operations following Operation Husky the Allied invasion of Sicily in August 1943, and implementation of the Allied Screening Commission. [7] The Commission was established by Field-Marshal Sir Harold Alexander a few days after the fall of Rome in June 1944 to identify and reimburse Italian civilians who had assisted Allied escapees.[8]

Cold War

The Corps gained its regimental march in 1956, first played at Kneller Hall, the home of the Royal Military School of Music. From August 1957, the Corps first had a permanent cadre of officers; previously all personnel serving in the corps were officers from other parts of the army, on occasional tours. Throughout the Cold War, Intelligence Corps officers and NCOs (with changed insignia) were posted behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany, to join in the intelligence-gathering activities of the British Commanders'-in-Chief Mission to the Soviet Forces in Germany (Brixmis).[9]

Northern Ireland

Many members of the Intelligence Corps served in Northern Ireland during "the Troubles". Units such as the Military Reaction Force, Special Reconnaissance Unit, Force Research Unit and 14 Intelligence Company contained Corps soldiers and officers.[10]

Designation

On 1 February 1985 the corps was officially declared an 'Arm' (combat support) instead of a 'Service' (rear support).[5]

Corps traditions

Intelligence Corps personnel wear a distinctive cypress green beret with a cap badge consisting of a union rose (a red rose with a white centre) between two laurel branches and surmounted by a crown. (According to the late Gavin Lyall, the Intelligence Corps cap badge is referred to jokingly as "a rampant pansy resting on its laurels".) Their motto is Manui Dat Cognitio Vires ("Knowledge gives Strength to the Arm"). The corps' quick march is The Rose & Laurel while its slow march is Henry Purcell's Trumpet Tune & Ayre.[11] Due to the colour of the beret, Intelligence Corps personnel are often referred to as 'Muppets', 'Green Slime', or simply 'Slime' by fellow soldiers.[12]

Locations

Their headquarters, formerly at Maresfield, East Sussex, then Templer Barracks at Ashford, Kent, moved in 1997 to the former Royal Air Force station at Chicksands in Bedfordshire along with the Defence Intelligence and Security Centre (DISC) and the Intelligence Corps Museum.[11] DISC was renamed as Joint Intelligence Training Group in January 2015.[13]

Training and promotion

The corps has a particularly high proportion of commissioned officers, many of them commissioned from the ranks, and also a high percentage of female members. Non-commissioned personnel join as an Operator Military Intelligence (OPMI) or Operator Military Intelligence (Linguist) (OPMI(L)). They do basic 14-week military training at either the Army Training Centre, Pirbright, or the Army Training Regiment, Winchester.[14] OPMI soldiers then will complete a 20-week special-to-arm training at Templer Training Delivery Wing, Chicksands, at the end of which they are promoted to Lance Corporal and posted to a battalion.[15]

Image
Chicksands camp

Structure

1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade:

• 1 Military Intelligence Battalion – Catterick (Regular Army)[16]
o 5 x MI Companies
• 2 Military Intelligence (Exploitation) Battalion – Trenchard Lines, Upavon (Regular Army)[17]
o 6 x MI Companies
• 3 Military Intelligence Battalion (Reserve) – London
o HQ Company – London
o 31 MI Company – London
o 32 MI Company – London
o 33 MI Company – London
o 34 MI Company – London
o 35 MI Company
• 4 Military Intelligence Battalion – Bulford (Regular Army) - supports 3rd UK Division[18]
o Headquarter Company
o 3 x Multi-Functional Military Intelligence (MFMI) Companies
o Operations Support Military Intelligence Company
o Land Intelligence Fusion Centre, Hermitage
• 5 Military Intelligence Battalion (Reserve) – Coulby Newham
o HQ Company – Coulby Newham
o 51 MI Company – Edinburgh
o 52 MI Company – Gateshead
o 53 MI Company – Leeds
• 6 Military Intelligence Battalion (Reserve) – Manchester
o HQ Company – Manchester
o 61 MI Company – Manchester
o 62 MI Company – Lisburn
o 63 MI Company – Stourbridge
• 7 Military Intelligence Battalion (Reserve) – Bristol
o HQ Company – Bristol
o 71 MI Company – Bristol
o 72 MI Company – Southampton
o 73 MI Company – Thatcham

1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade is part of 6th Division.

Notable personnel

• Category:Intelligence Corps officers
• United Kingdom portal
• War portal

References

1. "Major General Sir Charles William Wilson, 1836-1905". Palestine Exploration Fund. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
2. "The spymaster who was stranger than fiction". The Independent. 29 October 1999. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
3. Clayton 1996, p. 18-20.
4. "History of the Intelligence Corps, p. 3" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
5. History of the Intelligence Corps, p. 4
6. Recorded interview with Captain “C.M.” (Rtd) (1941–1946) of the Combined Allied Intelligence Corps (Sliema, Malta on 7 November 2012)
7. Recorded interview with Captain “C.M.” (Rtd) (1941–1946) of the Combined Allied Intelligence Corps (Sliema, Malta on 7 November 2012)
8. Roger Absalom (2005) Allied escapers and the contadini in occupied Italy (1943 – 5), Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 10:4, 413-425, DOI: 10.1080/13545710500314603
9. Gibson 2012, p. 57
10. "PREM 16/154: Defensive Brief D - Meeting between the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach, 5 April 1974 "Army Plain Clothes Patrols in Northern Ireland"" (PDF). The National Archives. London. Retrieved 15 April 2015.[permanent dead link]
11. History of the Intelligence Corps, p. 5
12. "Military Slang and Acronyms". Hollinsclough.org.uk. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
13. "Bedfordshire - Joint Intelligence Training Group Chicksands". Sanctuary (44): 74. 2015. ISSN 0959-4132.
14. "ATC Pirbright". Retrieved 5 May 2014.
15. "Intelligence Corps opportunities". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
16. "1 MILITARY INTELLIGENCE BATTALION". British Army. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
17. "2 Military Intelligence (Exploitation) Battalion". British Army. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
18. "4 Military Intelligence (MI) Battalion". British Army. Retrieved 23 August 2018.

External links and further reading

• Official website
• Intelligence Corps Association
• 3 MI Bn (V) – London
• 5 MI Bn (V) – Coulby Newham
• Military Intelligence Museum
• The Intelligence Corps in the Second World War The Services 1930 – 1956 at http://www.BritishMilitaryHistory.co.uk
• Clayton, Anthony (1996). Forearmed: History of the Intelligence Corps. Brassey's (UK) Ltd. ISBN 978-0080377018.
• Gibson, Steve (2012). Live and Let Spy: Brixmis the Last Cold War Mission. The History Press, Stroud, Glos. ISBN 978-0-7524-6580-7.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:52 am

Tibet Relief Fund: About Us
by Tibet Relief Fund
Accessed: 3/7/20

Image

We've been having a bit of re-organise here in the office and, with kind help from volunteers Carole and Neil, we have unearthed some fascinating documents and photos dating all the way back to Tibet Relief Fund's beginnings in 1959. One such photo was of Francis Napier Beaufort-Palmer, the founder and first chairman of Tibet Relief Fund.

Mr. Beaufort-Palmer was a remarkable man with a strong sense of social justice and was particularly motivated by helping people in small countries who suffered at the hand of foreign powers. Following news of the Dalai Lama's escape from Tibet, in April 1959 he wrote a letter to The Times suggesting that a society be set up to support Tibet. In July, a further letter was sent to The Times informing readers that the newly formed Tibet Society had opened a "Tibet Relief Fund" to bring practical relief to Tibetan refugees; from this Tibet Relief Fund was established. Now, over 50 years later, our work covers a broader brief including projects inside Tibet.

Francis Beaufort-Palmer was Chairman of Tibet Relief Fund for 15 years and remained a trustee until he died ten years later in 1984.

Image

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TIBETAN REFUGEES

Sir. – Recent devastating events in Tibet caused over 15,000 Tibetans to cross the perilous Himalayas into India. It may be a long time before these unfortunate people can safely return to their overrun country. Our own consciences should allow us neither to neglect nor forget them.

The Indian Government has manfully coped with this addition to its own problems at home. In this country we are bound in honour to help relieve needs of the Tibetan refugees, because from 1905 to 1947 there was a special relationship between Tibet and the United Kingdom – a relationship handed on to the new India.

On balance we think it wisest to concentrate chiefly on collecting money which can be used for the benefit of the refugees, not least in the purchase of necessary antibiotics and other medicaments. The Tibet Society has opened a Tibet Relief Fund for which we now appeal in the hope of a generous response. Donations should be sent to the address below or direct to the National Bank Ltd. (Belgravia Branch), 21 Grosvenor Gardens, S.W.I.

Yours faithfully,

Thubten Jigme Norbu; F.M. Bailey; Birdwood; J.D. Boyle; [Indian Foreign Secretary Sir] Olaf Caroe; Clement Davies; A.D. Dodds-Parker; Peter Fleming [Master of Deception: The Wartime Adventures of Peter Fleming, by Alan Ogden]; Thomas Moore; [Esmond Harmsworth, 2nd Viscount Rothermere] Harmsworth; Marco Pallis; Hugh E. Richardson; Francis Napier Beaufort-Palmer, Chairman; Major J.C.W. Napier-Munn [Tac HQ Calcutta (Advanced HQ ALFSEA)], Hon. Secretary; D.C. Nicole, Hon. Treasurer, The Tibet Society.
The Tibet Relief Fund, 58 Eccleston Square, S.W. I., Letter to the Times, July 31, 1959, p.7.


-- The Founding of Tibet Relief Fund, Tibet Matters, Issue 17, Autumn 2013, by Tibet Relief Fund


In 1950, the remote country of Tibet, high in the Himalayas, was invaded by the People’s Liberation Army of China. Over 60 years later, Tibet remains occupied and Tibetans live in fear of political and religious persecution, imprisonment and torture.

In 1959, the Dalai Lama made the agonising decision to leave Tibet, to live in exile and work towards justice for his people. Over the ensuing years thousands of Tibetans have followed him into exile.

Founded within months of the Dalai Lama arriving in India, Tibet Relief Fund has been working with Tibetans since then to help give them a sustainable future, both in Tibet and in exile.

Since 1959 Tibet Relief Fund has funded vital projects, including the construction of schools, old people’s homes, medical centres and libraries; provision of water pumps and irrigation systems and a major youth initiative for employment and career development.

Today, the need is as great as ever; every year many Tibetans still choose to risk their lives to escape China’s rule by undertaking the hazardous journey across the Himalayas to India. Inside Tibet, rural communities and nomads live in grinding poverty with little or no healthcare or access to education.

Tibet Relief Fund continues to work with Tibetans to support and develop humanitarian aid projects within Tibet, India and Nepal, funding initiatives in education, healthcare, self-sustainable community building and youth development.

Through the generosity of our supporters, since 1959 Tibet Relief Fund has financed over £4 million worth of vital projects and helped tens of thousands of Tibetans, both inside Tibet and in exile. Our projects have included …

• Building schools, medical centres, old people’s homes and libraries in Tibet, India and Nepal
• Facilitating a broad sponsorship programme for Tibetan children, monks, nuns and elderly people in India and Nepal
• Developing a groundbreaking Tibetan-run youth initiative providing mentoring, career development and vocational training in India
• Promoting health and medical programmes, travelling eye clinics and providing materials for grassroots healthcare in Tibet, India and Nepal
• Partnering with NGOs in Tibet to provide access to clean water, community water pumps and solar kettles for nomadic families
• Providing Tibetan settlements in India and Nepal essential tools and equipment including tractors, ambulances and water tanks

Charity trustees

Tibet Relief Fund is a registered charity and is managed by a board of trustees. The charity operates from a small and vibrant office in Hackney, London with six full-time staff.

UK registered charity: No. 1061834

Patron: Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
Chair: Philip Wilson
Treasurer: Thomas Madelin
Trustees: Gary Heads, Peter Gordon Muffett, Professor Dibyesh Anand, Philip Wilson, Rebecca Chick, Thomas Madelin, Tashi Gyaltsen

Our mission:

Tibet Relief Fund works to empower Tibetans to build sustainable communities and better futures through education and innovative practical grassroots initiatives.

Our vision:

A world where Tibetans can live and work with equality and security and celebrate their rich culture and traditions.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:24 am

Young Lamas Home School
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/9/20

Image

[A] friend of my mother remarked, "I could arrange for you to work in India with the Tibetan refugees. You could go tomorrow if you liked. You wouldn't get much pay and conditions are not great, I hear, but it would be interesting work. I know an English lady who has a school for Tibetan lamas at Dalhousie in the foothills of the Himalayas. She always needs teachers and secretaries."

A few letters were exchanged, and my job confirmed...

I was brought up in a Quaker household, though a very liberal one, and my mother's interests ranged over the years through Spiritualism and Theosophy to Buddhism....

-- Tibetan Tapestry, by Sarita [Cherry] Armstrong


The Young Lamas Home School was a school established by the 14th Dalai Lama and Freda Bedi in 1960.[1] Its funding was provided by Christopher Hills and its early abbot was Karma Thinley Rinpoche.

Freda Bedi asked Chogyam Trungpa to train young Tibetan monks, and then he became the spiritual advisor of them.[2] In addition to Chogyam Trungpa, there were Thubten Zopa Rinpoche,[3] Akong Rinpoche, Tulku Pema Tenzin, Gelek Rimpoche, Yeshe Losal, and the sons of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Chokyi Nyima and Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche who attended the school.[4] Freda Bedi was the principal of the school in Delhi which later moved to Dalhousie.

Tenzin Palmo and Robert Thurman were teachers there.[5][6]

References

1. Chögyam Trungpa, Sam Bercholz, Meditation in Action
2. Diana J. Mukpo, Carolyn Rose Gimian, Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chogyam Trungpa, p. 71
3. Jamyang Wangmo, The Lawudo Lama: stories of reincarnation from the Mount Everest region p. 191 : "The Young Lamas Home School started in Delhi in 1961 in the house of Frida Bedi, with Chogyam Trungpa, Akhong Rinpoche, Tulku Pema Tenzin, and Geleg Rinpoche as the first students. After a while, Mrs. Bedi rented a beautiful new house at L-7, Green Park, in the Hauz Khas area of New Delhi. When I joined the school in 1962 there were twelve tulkus attending."
4. Young Lamas Home School in Dalhousie
5. Vicki Mackenzie, Cave in the snow: a western woman's quest for enlightenment, 1999, ISBN 1-58234-045-5
6. Why the Dalai Lama Matters, interview by Claude Arpi, 21 April 2010

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Part 1 of 3

14: The Young Lamas' Home School, Excerpt from The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi
by Andrew Whitehead

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Of all the ventures that Freda Bedi embarked upon in her varied life, the Young Lamas' Home School has borne the biggest legacy. This was entirely her initiative and although it wasn't either a large or a long-lasting venture, and was never intended to be, it was a crucial step towards enabling Tibetan spirituality to find a resonance in the west. 'Over a hundred incarnate lamas and monks have taken training in English,' she told Olive Shapley when looking back on the school's achievements. 'Many of them now are in different parts of the world.' Among the pioneering generation of Tibetan lamas to teach in Europe and North America, a large proportion were pupils at or associated with the Home School. The language skills they gained there, as well as the confidence and breadth of vision and the personal example that Freda offered of outside reverence for Tibetan spirituality, propelled many of the more adventurous among the tulkus to seek new fields of endeavour.

The idea of reincarnation or rebirth is common to several religions, particularly those with their roots in South Asia. In Tibetan Buddhism, this extends to the identification as a child of the reincarnation of the towering figures in the religion. The current Dalai Lama, the fourteenth in a line that stretches back 500 years, was formally recognised as the reincarnation at the age of four, about six years after his predecessor had died. There is elaborate protocol and tradition which guides the finding of tulkus, the incarnate lamas, as there is with many aspects of Tibetan Buddhism. For a revered lama to choose reincarnation and so another life of suffering in the world is regarded as an act of great compassion. When her old Oxford friend Olive Shapley came to visit at Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, Freda sought to explain this aspect of Tibetan practice which is so alien to conventional western thinking.

An incarnate lama is a special lama -- a child who the Tibetans believe has in his former life been a big lama. And you see, the Tibetans are highly evolved spiritually and a rather extraordinary people. Really I do believe that they can find these children. They know the signs of a special child. Of course, in the west we also think about ... educating specially gifted children. They've been doing that with the incarnate lamas in Tibet for hundreds of years. There has to be a special way [to] bring up such children with special gifts .... And I also feel having worked among them for some time that there's something very special about these children.1


Suppose a Grand Lama dies, and a necessity arises to determine the place of his re-incarnation. The four temples dedicated to the four deities are ordered by the authorities to undertake the mysterious business of identification, this order being generally issued about a year after the death of the august Lama. All the priests of the four temples are summoned on that occasion, and they separately consult their own respective oracles. Their deities are, however, not infallible, and often prove just as divided in their judgment as ordinary mortals are, for very rarely do the four oracles coincide, and usually those oracles produce three different candidates. The choice has therefore to be made from among the three.

The three or four boy-candidates (as the case may be) are brought to Lhasa, when they have reached the age of five years. The ceremony of selection is next performed. This is of course conducted with great pomp and solemnity. The dignitaries who are privileged to take part in it are the Chinese Commissioner residing in Lhasa and the Regent Lama; also the Prime Ministers and all the Ministers, Vice-Ministers and a number of high Lamas are allowed to be present. First the names of the boy-candidates (three or four in number, as the case may be) are written on so many pieces of paper, and put in a golden urn which is then sealed. For the period of a week a kind of high mass is performed in the ceremony-hall, in order to entreat the divine intercession for the selection of the real re-incarnation. When this period expires all the dignitaries before-mentioned are once more assembled around the sealed urn. This is carefully inspected and the seal is then taken off. The Chinese Commissioner then takes a pair of tiny ivory sticks something like ordinary chop-sticks in shape and size and, with his eyes shut, puts them into the urn and solemnly picks out one of the papers. The name written on that paper is read, and the bearer of that name is acknowledged as Grand Lama-elect.

From what I have described, there is apparently little room, if any, for trickery, but I have heard from the Secretary of the Chinese Commissioner that dishonest practices are in reality not infrequent. Indeed the temptations are too strong for greedy and dishonest minds to resist, owing to the keen rivalry among the parents of the boy-candidates to have their own boys selected. Strong interest urges them on in this rivalry, for the parents of the Lama-elect are not only entitled to receive the title of Duke from the Chinese Government, but also enjoy many other advantages, above all the acquisition of a large fortune. Under these circumstances the parents and relatives of eligible boys are said to offer large bribes to the Chinese Amban, and to others who are connected with the ceremony of selection. I do not affirm the fact of bribes, but at least I have heard that cases of such under-hand influence have occurred not unfrequently.

The selection of the Grand Lama is thus made by an elaborate process, in which the influence of the oracle-invokers plays an important part. The priests who have charge of this business are in most cases men who make it their business to blackmail every applicant. Most of the oracle-priests are therefore extremely wealthy.

The Nechung who are under the direct patronage of the Hierarchy, are generally millionaires, as millionaires go in Tibet. This, taken in conjunction with another fact, that the re-incarnations of higher Lamas are generally sons of wealthy aristocrats, or merchants, and that it is only very rarely that they are discovered among the lowly, must be considered as suggesting the working of some such practices.
I have even heard that some unscrupulous people corrupt the oracle-priests for the benefit of their unborn children, so as to have their boys accepted as Lamas incarnate when born. From a worldly point of view the expense incurred on this account not unfrequently proves a good ‘investment,’ if I may use the profane expression, for the boys who are the objects of the oracles have a good chance of being installed in the temples where their spiritual antecedents presided, which are sure to possess large property. This property goes, it need hardly be added, to the boys, after they have been duly installed. Whatever may have been the practical effect of incarnation in former times, it is, as matters stand at present, an incarnation of all vices and corruptions, instead of the souls of departed Lamas.

I once remarked to certain Tibetans that the present mode of incarnation was a glaring humbug, and that it was nothing less than an embodiment of bribery.


-- Three Years in Tibet, by Shramana Ekai Kawaguchi


She described the lamas as the intelligentsia of Tibet, and she was determined to help them keep the tradition alive 'because it's very deep and very beautiful'. Tibetan society prior to the 1950s was built around Buddhism. The Dalai Lama was a rare, almost unique, institution in the modern world which combined spiritual leadership and temporal authority.

Question 22. Do Communists reject existing religions?

Answer: All religions which have existed hitherto were expressions of historical stages of development of individual peoples or groups of peoples. But communism is that stage of historical development which makes all existing religions superfluous and supersedes them.

-- Manifesto of the Communist Party, by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels


Although Tibet's high altitude and unforgiving climate did not deliver much in the way of agricultural surplus, the country supported a huge monastic community. Of Tibet's 6 million population, it's estimated that prior to the Chinese takeover about 200,000 were monks -- or approaching 10% of the adult male population.2

The Tibetan administration is of an anomalous description—a hybrid partaking of feudalism on the one hand and of the modern system of Local Government on the other.

The relation between Peers and commoners apparently resembles feudalism. The first recipient of the title was granted a certain tract of land in recognition of his service, and there at once sprung up between this lord of the manor, as it were, and the inhabitants of that particular place a relationship akin to that between sovereign and subject. This lord is an absolute master of his people, both in regard to their rights and even their lives.

The lord levies a poll-tax on the inhabitants, and even the poorest are not exempted from this obligation. The levy varies considerably according to the means of the payer, from say one tanka paid by a poor inhabitant to even a hundred paid by a wealthier member of the community. Besides, every freeholder must pay land tax, the land held by him being understood theoretically to belong to the lord. However heavy the burden of the poll-tax may be, each person is obliged to pay it, for if he neglects to do so he is liable to be punished with flogging and the confiscation of his property to boot. The only means of escape from this obligation consists in becoming a monk, and there must be in the Tibetan priesthood a large number of men who have turned priests solely with this object of avoiding the payment of taxes. The witty remark once made to me by my teacher, Ti Rinpoche, on this subject may illustrate the state of affairs in the Tibetan priesthood. He said: “I do not know whether to rejoice at or to regret the presence of so many priests in Tibet. Some seem to take this as a sign of the flourishing condition of the national religion and on that ground seem to be satisfied with it. I cannot quite agree with this argument; on the contrary I rather hold that it is better to have even two or three precious diamonds than a heap of stones and broken tiles.” The motives that lead people to become priests lying in that region, it is not strange that the Tibetan priesthood should contain plenty of rubbish with very few diamonds among them.

However, when it is remembered how heavy are the burdens imposed on the shoulders of the people, it is not strange that they should try to evade them by entering the Order. The condition of even the poorest priest presents a great contrast to that of other poor people, for the priest is at least sure to obtain every month a regular allowance, small as it is, from the Hierarchical Government, while he can expect more or less of extra allowances in the shape of occasional presents from charitable people. But a poor layman cannot expect any help from those quarters, and he has to support his family with his own labor and to pay the poll-tax besides. Very often therefore he is hardly able to drive the wolf of hunger from his door, and in such case his only hope of succor lies in a loan from his landlord, or the lord of the manor wherein he resides. But hope of repayment there is none, and so the poor farmer gets that loan under a strange contract, that is to say, by binding himself to offer his son or daughter as a servant to the creditor when he or she attains a certain age. And so his child when he has reached the age of (say) ten years is surrendered to the creditor, who is entitled to employ him as a servant for fifteen or twenty years, and for a loan which does not generally exceed ten yen. The lives of the children of poor people may therefore be considered as being foreclosed by their parents. Those pitiable children grow up to be practically slaves of the Peers.

The relationship existing between the Peers and the people residing on their estates, therefore, partakes of the nature of feudalism in some essential respects, but it cannot be said that feudalism reigns alone in Tibet to the exclusion of other systems of Government. On the contrary a centralised form of Government prevails more or less at the same time. The Peers, it must be remembered, do not generally reside on their own estates; they reside in Lhasa and leave their estates in charge of their stewards. And they are not unfrequently appointed by the Central Government as Governors of certain districts.

Consequently the Tibetans may be said to be divided into two classes of people, one being subject to the control of the lords of the manors and other to that of the Central Government. Not unfrequently the two overlap, and the same people are obliged to pay poll-tax to their lords and other taxes to the Central Government.

The work of revenue collection is entrusted to two or three Commissioners appointed from among the clerical or lay officials of higher rank, and these, invested with judicial and executive powers, are despatched every year to the provinces to collect revenue, consisting of taxes, imposts and import duties, these being paid either in money or kind.

The demands on revenue are many and various, and among the items of ordinary expenditure may be mentioned first of all the sums required for supporting, either wholly or partially, a large number of priests residing both in Lhasa and in the provinces, the former alone numbering about twenty-five thousand. The outlay on account of building temples and religious ceremonies is not small, but that on account of salaries paid to the officials of the Central Government appears to be less....

Part of the work done by the Tibetan Minister of the Treasury is the management of the subscriptions of the people. Everything offered to the Buddhist Temple and given to the priests at the time of the Great Assembly is at once paid into the Treasury, to be given out only by the order of the Minister of that department. Another business taken by the Minister is the household expenses of the Pope. These expenses are not fixed, and the Pope can draw out as much as he pleases within the limit of usage, and his own moderation. It is said that since the accession of the present Pope both the expenditure and the revenue have been greatly increased. The Minister of the Treasury has also to pay all the salaries of officials and priests in the service of the Papal Government. These expenses for salaries are very small, as compared with those of other countries, but the officials and priests derive an additional income from the land in their own possession.

Officers and priests in Tibet can each borrow fifteen hundred dollars from the Government at an interest of five per cent a year and they can lend it again at fifteen per cent, which is the current rate of interest in Tibet, though usurers sometimes charge over thirty per cent. Thus any officer can make at least ten per cent on fifteen hundred dollars without running much risk. If an officer or priest fails to repay the loan the amount is not subtracted from his next year’s loan. Compound interest is unknown in Tibet however long the debtor may prolong his payment; it is forbidden by the law. Another subsidy given by the Government is six dollars extra pay per annum to each priest of the Three Great Temples. In this connexion it must also be stated that the Three Great Temples just mentioned receive a vast amount of mal from the Government.

The supplementary resources of the Pope’s revenue are subscriptions from the members and laymen, the leases from meadow-lands in his personal possession, and profits acquired by his own trading, which is carried on by his own caravans. The Pope’s caravans must be distinguished from those of the Treasury Department....

The property of the Grand Lama, after his death, is divided in the following way: One-half of the property (in fact a little more than half) has to be divided among his relatives in his native place, and the remaining half is distributed as gifts among the priests of the Great Temples and those of the New Sect. In the case of an ordinary priest, if he leaves property worth five thousand dollars about four thousand is used in gifts to the priests and for the expense of lights, and almost all the remaining thousand is used for his funeral expenses, leaving perhaps three hundred to his disciples. In cases when a priest leaves very little money, his disciples are obliged to borrow money to supply the want of gifts and money for lights in his honor—a custom entirely foreign to the laity.

-- Three Years in Tibet, by Shramana Ekai Kawaguchi


The Theravada Buddhism that Freda had encountered in Burma emphasised the human nature of the Buddha while the Mahayana school that prevailed in Tibet portrayed the Buddha as a transcendent force not limited to the human domain. It was an approach which, Freda said, 'fits me like a glove. It brings in all the compassion for all sentient beings and the great cosmic Mahayana point of view which attracts me very much. And of course I do feel a very great nearness to Tibetan culture and the incarnates.'3 Freda had been enriched by her encounter with Tibetan Buddhism. She wanted others to benefit in the same way, to share in her spiritual discovery. And once she had a cause or a quest, there was an impulsive aspect to her -- she just got on and did it, believing that if you got things started they could grow, while too much time planning and preparing was sometimes a drain on energy and enthusiasm.

Tortures are carried to the extreme of diabolical ingenuity. They are such as one might expect in hell. One method consists in drilling a sharpened bamboo stick into the tender part of the tip of the fingers, as already described. Another consists in placing ‘stone-bonnets’ on the head of the victim. Each ‘bonnet’ weighs about eight pounds, and one after another is heaped on as the torture proceeds. The weight at first forces tears out of the eyes of the victim, but afterward, as the weight is increased, the very eye-balls are forced from their sockets. Then flogging, though far milder in itself, is a painful punishment, as it is done with a heavy rod, cut fresh from a willow tree, the criminal receiving it on the bared small of his back. The part is soon torn open by the lashing, and the blood that oozes out is scattered right and left as the beater continues his brutal task, until the prescribed number, three hundred or five hundred blows as the case may be, are given. Very often, and perhaps with the object of prolonging the torture, the flogging is suspended, and the poor victim receives a cup of water, after which the painful process is resumed. In nine cases out of ten the victims of this corporeal punishment fall ill, and while at Lhasa I more than once prescribed for persons who, as the result of flogging, were bleeding internally. The wounds caused by the flogging are shocking to see, as I know from my personal observations.

A prison-house is in any case an awful place, but more especially so in Tibet, for even the best of them has nothing but mud walls and a planked floor, and is very dark in the interior, even in broad day. This absence of sunlight is itself a serious punishment in such a cold country.

As for food, prisoners are fed only once a day with a couple of handfuls of baked flour. This is hardly sufficient to keep body and soul together, so that a prisoner is generally obliged to ask his friends to send him some food. Nothing, however, sent in from outside reaches the prisoners entire, for the gaolers subtract for their own mouths more than half of it, and only a small portion of the whole quantity gets into the prisoners’ hands.

The most lenient form of punishment is a fine; then comes flogging, to be followed, at a great distance, by the extraction of the eye-balls; then the amputation of the hands. The amputation is not done all at once, but only after the hands have been firmly tied for about twelve hours, till they become completely paralysed. The criminals who are about to suffer amputation are generally suspended by the wrists from some elevated object with stout cord, and naughty street urchins are allowed to pull the cord up and down at their pleasure. After this treatment the hands are chopped off at the wrists in public. This punishment is generally inflicted on thieves and robbers after their fifth or sixth offence. Lhasa abounds in handless beggars and in beggars minus their eye-balls; and perhaps the proportion of eyeless beggars is larger than that of the handless ones.

Then there are other forms of mutilation also inflicted as punishment, and of these ear-cutting and nose-slitting are the most painful. Both parties in a case of adultery are visited with this physical deformation. These forms of punishment are inflicted by the authorities upon the accusation of the aggrieved party, the right of lodging the complaint being limited, however, to the husband; in fact he himself may with impunity cut off the ears or slit the noses of the criminal parties, when taken in flagrante delicto. He has simply to report the matter afterwards to the authorities.

With regard to exile there are two different kinds, one leaving a criminal to live at large in the exiled place, and the other, which is heavier, confining him in a local prison.

Capital punishment is carried out solely by immersion in water. There are two modes of this execution: one by putting a criminal into a bag made of hides and throwing the bag with its live contents into the water; and the other by tying the criminal’s hands and feet and throwing him into a river with a heavy stone tied to his body. The executioners lift him out after about ten minutes, and if he is judged to be still alive, down they plunge him again, and this lifting up and down is repeated till the criminal expires. The lifeless body is then cut to pieces, the head alone being kept, and all the rest of the severed members are thrown into the river. The head is deposited in a head vase, either at once, or after it has been exposed in public for three or seven days, and the vase is carried to a building established for this sole purpose, which bears a horrible name signifying “Perpetual Damnation.” This practice comes from a superstition of the people that those whose heads are kept in that edifice will forever be precluded from being reborn in this world.

All these punishments struck me as entirely out of place for a country in which Buddhist doctrines are held in such high respect. Especially did I think the idea of eternal damnation irreconcilable with the principles of mercy and justice, for I should say that execution ought to absolve criminals of their offences. Several other barbarous forms of punishment are in vogue, but these I may omit here, for what I have stated in the preceding paragraphs is enough to convey some idea of criminal procedure as it exists in the Forbidden Land.


-- Three Years in Tibet, by Shramana Ekai Kawaguchi


With the support of the Dalai Lama, Freda's solution to meeting the educational needs of the young lamas was to do it herself. She was throughout her life a 'doer'. She didn't simply comment and diagnose -- she rolled up her sleeves and got involved. As a civil liberties campaigner in Lahore, she had made a point of travelling to villages to identify cases of police high-handedness. In Kashmir, she had become involved both in the [Communist] women's militia and in providing practical support to Partition refugees. In Misamari, she hadn't just compiled a report for the Indian government but had sought personally to provide redress for the problems she identified. She had teaching experience -- in both Lahore and Srinagar -- and was trusted both at the top ranks of the Indian government and among senior figures in India's Tibetan community. Her lodgers in Delhi, Trungpa and Akong, were potential collaborators who stood to gain from classes and could help in the running of the school. Trungpa in particular was keen to broaden his horizons. 'By contrast to the medieval world of Tibet, India was a very modern place,' he wrote in his memoirs. 'Here for the first time I had contact with Westerners, and I realized that it was absolutely necessary for me to study their language in order to spread the Dharma.'4 Their involvement also made the enterprise feel less like external do-gooding and more an initiative that Tibetans themselves were shaping -- though it was always very much Freda's show.

The Young Lamas' Home School opened in a large, detached house in Green Park in south Delhi in October 1961.

Green Park is an upscale and affluent locality, in the South Delhi district of Delhi, India. It is among the most posh and popular districts of Delhi. The Locality falls under Category 'A' of residential colonies in Delhi alongside other Category 'A' colonies like Greater Kailash, Defense Colony and Gulmohar Park. The neighbourhood registered a 4.4% growth in residential sales and was recently featured alongside Greater Kailash, Defense Colony, Vasant Vihar and Anand Niketan in the 2019 edition of Knight Frank's quarterly report on prime luxury residential properties in various mega cities around the globe.

Established in the early 1960's, Green Park today is among the most desired neighborhoods in the capital city. The Locality not only has its very own metro station on the yellow line but also has numerous professionally maintained parks in each block. It has its own prime market which hosts numerous chic salons, boutiques and eating joints. It also borders the famous Deer Park which is known to be among the very few large green spaces left in today's heavily urbanized Delhi....

It was established in early 1960's and today has all the amenities of a rich cosmopolitan culture along with large residential and commercial areas and many religious places. Green Park is considered by some as the "lungs" of Delhi, as it is near one of the largest green areas in the city. It is also believed to be an upscale residential area with real estate prices soaring as high as ₹100 crore (US $14.5 million).


-- Green Park, Delhi


It was, as the name suggests, home and school combined. A measure of support was provided by the Indian government while the Dalai Lama nominated the young lamas to be enrolled, who came from all four principal traditions within Tibetan Buddhism. They ranged in age from seven to twenty-one. 'I have 17 young Tibetan incarnate lamas in my latest effort for the refugees -- an English-Hindi language school, combined with their Tibetan studies,' Freda told Olive Chandler. 'Such a joy to have them here; to see their own happiness reflected in their faces.'5 Lama Yeshe, still a teenager, was associated with the school from the start. 'All the young lamas from all four schools were able to learn English and spread Buddhism in the world,' he says. 'It's her vision -- otherwise we could not have achieved it.' And as well as the educational and spiritual development, Freda also provided emotional support to young men who were, for the most part, without parents or separated from them. We all [had] to call her Mummy. She really like[d] everybody calling her Mummy. And she treated everybody like Mummy.'6

Through the Tibetan Friendship Group and the network of western well-wishers, Freda was able to attract independent funding for and interest in her new venture. Lois Lang-Sims arrived in Delhi just a few days before the school opened. She was a few years younger than Freda, a spiritual seeker who had helped to establish the Tibet Society in London and had 'adopted' a young lama as part of Freda's scheme. She wanted to see for herself whether the Home School was worthy of further financial support.

Lois Lang-Sims, who died on March 11 at the age of 97, was perhaps the last of Charles Williams’s ‘disciples’ – those who, for a time, took him as their spiritual teacher....

Charles Walter Stansby Williams (1886-1945) is the unjustly neglected third member of the Inklings, after C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien...

According to C.S. Lewis, everyone who met Williams fell in love with him—including many young women who became his disciples and with whom he practiced semi-sexual, semi-magical rituals of transference to heighten his creativity...

He was a member of A.E. Waite’s occult secret society, the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, for ten formative years. He rose high in the ranks, leading initiates in practicing alchemy, astrology, Cabalism, conjuration, divination with tarot cards, and meditation on the Sephirotic Tree...

He was fascinated by the mystical body of Christ: he believed that sex is an act of co-inherence and that every romance corresponds to Jesus’ earthly life. In his Arthurian poetry, he carried the simple doctrine of Christian unity into a multi-layered symbolism infused with occult significance.


-- An Introduction to Charles Williams, by Sørina Higgins


One of the first English people to become aware of the sad plight of the Tibetan refugees who fled to Nepal and northern India after the Chinese invasion of 1959, she helped to found the Tibet Society, the first charity dedicated to helping them, becoming a friend of the Dalai Lama and other senior Tibetan lamas.

Her Tibetan adventures are depicted in a beautifully-written volume of autobiography, Flower in a Teacup.... [S]he was also the author of Canterbury Cathedral: Mother Church of Holy Trinity, a discursive account of the Cathedral, its history and its significance, as well as of One Thing Only: A Christian Guide to the Universal Quest for God and The Christian Mystery: An Exposition of Esoteric Christianity.

I met her in 2001, when I went to record her memories of Charles Williams. She lived in a care home in Hove, where, as a devout mystical Christian, she spent much of her time in prayer and contemplation.

-- Lois Lang-Sims (1917-2014), by Grevel Lindop


Lang-Sims described Freda as a 'tall, fair-haired Englishwoman, with a face that was both soft and strong, looking remarkably Anglo-Saxon despite the rumpled sari which she wore as if she had never known any other kind of dress.' But she also delved beyond first appearances and was keen to get the measure of Freda. 'Her personality was disturbingly potent; but I learnt to shake off its slightly hypnotic effect ... ' Lang-Sims recorded. When I got behind the barrier of her total self-dedication, her blind indifference to her own and other people's comfort and convenience, I discovered a humanity and a kind of pathos which drew me towards her in affection and friendship. Moreover I perceived that she was entirely sincere; and this was more than could be said for the majority of those persons who were concerning themselves with Tibetan refugee relief.'7

Lois Lang-Sims' passing reference to others' comfort, or the lack of it, was an elliptical reference to her own astonishment in discovering that the Bedis' flat, where she had arranged to stay, was full to overflowing.

There seemed to be a great many people in the room in which I found myself. They were all seated round a low table on the floor, with the exception of an elderly Tibetan monk who was dining apart from the rest on a raised seat. Two of those on the floor were young monks, and there were several other Tibetans, another fair-haired woman in a sari, [and] an Indian whom I guessed to be Freda Bedi's husband.


The old monk, Lois discovered, was not an incarnate but a geshe or teacher, and as such treated with particular respect. The young men were probably Trungpa and Akong, destined to be 'the senior pupils' in the new school.

I took a place in the circle and was handed a plateful of dahl and rice. The time was half-past ten in the evening but I could see that the working day had only just finished. I began to look round the room which had a dingy beauty of its own ... There were no chairs in this room, only cushions and mats and the hard bed-seat, covered by a Tibetan rug, which was occupied by the old monk. In the corner of the room was a Tibetan shrine glowing with lighted butter-lamps. As my eyes turned to the level of the ground I saw a large brown rat sidling along by the wall on soft feet.8


She was startled to find that the room where she was to sleep was both a passageway and in use day and night for meditation classes.

Lang-Sims saw at close quarters the setting up of the Home School. The house was newly built with stone floors, standing on raised ground on an 'exceptionally pleasant' site amid an expanse of scrubland. She was invited to stay there but demurred because the plumbing didn't seem to be up-and-running, but she was on hand when the first pupils moved in.

Immediately before the opening of the school two contingents of young Lamas arrived at the [Bedis'] flat. All were refugees and in sore need of the robes with which Freda intended to provide each one as a welcome-present. Several were no more than children; but the behaviour even of these was strangely adult. They sat smiling and talking quietly in Tibetan, accepting everything that was done for them with perfect courtesy and no trace of anxiety or fuss. When the time came for the move they piled into the taxis together with all the furniture, crates, boxes, bedding-rolls and miscellaneous oddments, their gentle gaiety as undisturbed as if they were off on a picnic.9


Two days later, Lang-Sims -- feeling guilty that she had abandoned Freda and the young lamas for a hotel -- returned to see how they were settling in. 'I followed Freda into the house and gazed about me in astonishment. The disorder was cleared away; everything was in its place even to the tankas [religious paintings] on the walls; there was an atmosphere of peace. I remembered the plumbing and glanced at a large pool of water in the vicinity of the wash-place. Something had overflowed but at least there was water to flow.'10 Still more impressive was the shrine that had been constructed in one of the two principal rooms, taking up the whole of a wall, 'a thing of wonder and yet made out of nothing but the simplest oddments, an ordered profusion of colours and shapes seeming as if it had fallen into a pattern of itself. There were a few small images; a number of crude prints and tinted photographs; scarves; ribbons; bits of coloured materials; rows of offering cakes (called 'tormas'); bowls containing water and offerings of seeds, sweets and rice; and, of course, the lighted butter-lamps.' Seated on floor mats, the pupils were chanting their morning office each one crouched over a sacred book and rocking to and fro. 'The boys, on Freda's instructions but left entirely to themselves, had produced this shrine in a day by their own unaided imagination and efforts. They were all working hard; although, of course, they did not expect to be asked to perform "menial" tasks: the actual work of the house was done entirely by Freda's servants and the servant-monks.'

Freda's energy, drive and organisation had established the school and marshalled the young lamas. She was every bit as effective at developing the profile of the new school, which was so important in ensuring continued government support and private fundraising. With an eye perhaps on both goals, Freda took Lois Lang-Sims to meet Nehru, then in his early seventies and increasingly worn-out after fourteen years in office. 'Freda expressed her gratitude for his encouragement and assistance in her school project: suddenly he really smiled, seeming to wake out of his dream, and said teasingly, in a very low, quiet voice: "It was not for you I did it." Then he half closed his eyes and appeared almost to go to sleep.'11 The encounter gave every indication that it was precisely for Freda that Nehru had put his weight behind establishing the school.

Within a few weeks of the founding of the school, the New York Times came calling -- though they weren't allowed inside. '"We're sorry, but one of our young lamas is in bed with chicken pox,'" their reporter was told. 'Mrs. Bedi treats the seventeen boys at the school as members of her family. She listens patiently to their problems of growing up. "Even lamas have them," she says.'12 Freda explained that the purpose of the school was to impart traditional education in the context of the modern world. '"It aims," Mrs Bedi said, "at constructing a bridge of understanding between the young lamas and the changing young people of their own generation. It will make them aware of the new world into which they have found their way after the tragic fate of Tibet.'" She estimated that there were in total about seventy-five incarnate lamas under the age of twenty-five in India. Each group would study for six months, then a new intake would take their place. Four such intakes would cover all the tulkus, then the initial group would return. The plan was to give three semesters of instruction to each group of lamas in rotation -- a six-year project. And the school was hoping for financial contributions from abroad, towards which goal sympathetic coverage in one of America's leading daily papers was as good as gold dust.

The school initiative was extempore all the same -- and as the New York Times pointed out, Freda was still a civil servant and supervising the lamas' school was supposedly a spare-time activity. Apart from the spiritual studies, most of the teaching was done by volunteers -- mainly young westerners who happened to be passing through. Anita [Plattner, nee] Morris, an English woman in her mid-twenties who by her own admission had been 'bumming around' Asia, was introduced to Freda and promptly started working at Green Park, teaching English and assisting more generally. She was not a Buddhist, had no Tibetan or Hindi, and her teaching experience was as a dance instructor. She liked Freda and the young Tibetans and relished being part of such a worthwhile project, but there were uncomfortable moments. 'I was going down with a couple of the tulkus to get to Green Park,' she recalls. 'I think Freda must have said: can you take them because they don't know the way. These were more adult people than children. And I can remember one of them suddenly rushing off and disappearing behind a tree. I was not quite sure whether he's going to be sick or he was going to shit. But he came out with a stick with a worm over the stick which had come out of him.'13

The school got off to a sound start but Delhi was not the ideal location. Even the more comfortable southern suburbs offered a lot of distractions and -- more crucially -- little respite from the often oppressive heat. As spring approached the young Tibetans were overwhelmed by the relentlessly rising temperature. Freda's plan had always been to move the school for the summer months to Dalhousie, an old colonial hill resort a day or two's travel by road to the north of Delhi and, at an altitude of 7,000 feet, a lot cooler. A large house overlooking the town was made available on rent. It bore the name 'Kailash', after one of Tibet's most commanding and sacred peaks. Several hundred Tibetan refugees had been encouraged to make their home in and around Dalhousie and the lamas felt less isolated here. When Freda, her volunteers and pupils departed from Green Park in the spring of 1961, it was a final farewell to the school's initial home. 'Dalhousie air is crisp + fresh as new pine needles. Such a heavenly view across the snows!' Freda said in a letter to Olive Chandler in England. And she added: 'To work for the Lamas is blessing unlimited.'14

Chime Rinpoche, then about twenty and a friend of Trungpa and Akong from their days in monasteries in eastern Tibet, remembers meeting Freda Bedi initially in Kalimpong and then being nominated by the 16th Karmapa for a place at the Home School. 'She [was] wearing saris,' he recalls, 'and she tried to look like [an] Indian -- she's not, she's very very English'. Freda clearly traded on her dual identity. She may sometimes have resented being regarded as an outsider after decades of living in India, but she was adroit in taking advantage of the profile her English pedigree allowed. She almost certainly got more attention, support and funding because potential donors and supporters were more comfortable with a westerner in charge. In a curious way, the English aspect of Freda became more prominent again as she became immersed in a new religion and culture. While others may have been curious about the clash of identities which Freda embodied, it wasn't something she dwelt on herself. She never regarded herself as constrained by the boundaries of race, religion, language or culture -- indeed these were barriers to be surmounted to gain access to wider sources of knowledge and stimulation.

Freda encouraged the idea that she had a maternal role towards the young lamas. Ringu Tulku Rinpoche was about ten when he arrived in Dalhousie shortly after the school moved there, and believes he was for a while the youngest pupil. He recalls Freda as 'a very kind and compassionate lady. Like a mother. We all used to call her Mummy. She was running this school. The teaching was done by volunteers. We had different kind of Tibetan and Buddhist classes, and we also had prayers together. But then we also had English classes, maths classes, and these were taught by these other volunteer teachers.' For the more vulnerable lamas, Freda's love and attention was a big support. 'She was especially kind to the younger ones,' Ringu Tulku recalls. 'In the evenings sometimes, she would call us and give hot chocolate, and that was really very nice. So sometimes I used to walk in front of her window, making some noise to remind her that I'm there. Not every day, but sometimes she would call me and then give me hot chocolate and I was very happy with that.' He describes Freda as kind hearted, clear minded and 'a very, very strong lady'. If young lamas didn't write back to the pen friend 'adoptees' Freda had arranged, or send thank you letters, she would reprimand them.

Chime Rinpoche also recalls Freda as a disciplinarian. At Dalhousie, he says, there were strict rules against any socialising outside the classroom between the lamas and the women volunteer teachers. And he admits to being afraid of Freda. He wasn't the only one. 'Freda was tall and, by this time, heavily-built. She wore a maroon sari and kept her well-oiled gray hair tied back in a bun. She had piercing blue eyes and was the quintessential memsahib whose imperious manner quelled even high lamas,' according to Tenzin Palmo, who as Diane Perry went out from England to volunteer at the Home School in Dalhousie. 'Indeed most lamas were somewhat in awe of her. She was not accustomed to being subservient and usually gave the orders! Of course, by this time she was already an older woman which made her dominance more socially acceptable. She was also great fun and a wonderful source of Tibetan lama gossip.'15

The move to Dalhousie obliged Freda finally to forsake the role of editor of Social Welfare which she had occupied since before the monthly started publication in 1954. The Central Social Welfare Board held a farewell party for her, recording that she had resigned 'to devote herself completely to the cause of the Young Lamas' Home School'.16 She was no longer a civil servant but alongside the greater freedom was the loss of her salary and her government accommodation. The ground-floor flat in Moti Bagh had been cramped but it was the focus of the family. Ranga was well established in the tea business and with a family of his own; Kabir was sixteen and on the cusp of admission to St Stephen's College in Delhi; Guli was just twelve and increasingly spent time in her holidays with her older brothers. 'My brothers and Ranga's wife Umi cushioned me from my insecurities,' she says. Kabir and Guli visited Dalhousie, and indeed Kabir taught there -- one renowned Buddhist lama insists with a broad smile that whatever the limitations of his spoken English, Kabir Bedi is to blame.

Baba Bedi moved from the government flat into Raj Narindra's house in Jangpura Extension in south Delhi where he had been a regular, if surreptitious, visitor for some years. He continued to write, if irregularly and without conspicuous success, and to embrace the occult and forms of mysticism. In June 1963, he sent Margaret Bourke-White an inscribed copy of his latest pamphlet -- 'Unity of Man & World Peace, by BABA, Grand Master of the Celestial Order of the White Lion, Master of the Occult Circle of India, Director, Institute for Inquiry into the Unknown'.

"As a student, athlete, politician, mystic and writer Baba Pyare Lal Bedi better known as Baba Bedi XVI, considered the sixteenth descendant of Nanak, who was in the past, one of the best known and active Sikh teachers.

Father of the well-known actor Kabir Bedi, he spread a Sikh spirituality. Its setting is different from that of the Sikh master Yogi Bhajan who founded a Toronto, in 1968, the 3HO organization, also known as Sikh Dharma. Master of the Occult Circle of India, he is the descendant of the sixteenth generation of Sat Guru Baba Nanak, Founding Master of the Sikh faith, in 15th century. Born in 1909 in Punjab, Northern India, he graduated from universities Punjab and Oxford; he was a researcher at the University of Berlin with a scholarship named after Alexander Von Humboldt, working with Prof. Werner Sombart and with the Prof. Rudolf Otto of the University of Marburg.

As an athlete he won the championship in the hammer throw in the Indian Olympic race and at the English inter-university meeting in Oxford. Returning to India in 1934 he began to participate, as a leftist revolutionary, in the liberation battle of India and passed a few years in concentration camps and in English prisons....

In 1953, after 20 years of political activity, he gave up politics and turned to mystical life. In 1961, to dig deeper into the heart of the occult, he founded the "Institute for Inquiry into the Unknown "(Institute of Investigation into the Unknown).

In 1963 he added a new dimension to his work by starting the Center for Psychic Art (Center for Psychic Art).

From 1972 onwards he came to Italy where, after numerous conferences in Rome and Turin, he stopped in Milan where he founded and lead the Aquarian Philosophy Center, from which it dissociates and opens his School of New Philosophical Thought by developing his philosophy for the Aquarian Age, taking courses to learn Vibration Therapy, and helping the development of human personality also through the Psychic expression. His teachings are about meditation, awareness of God, psychophysical well-being, evolution of personality.

In 1981 he chaired the International Congress on Reincarnation, held in Milan, and began the World Movement to "live according to Ethical Consciousness" as a means for achieve social Peace.

In the Italian years, Baba Bedi XVI published the 3 reference books of Aquarian philosophy: "Total Man" (1975), "Man in the Age of Aquarius" (1982), "Consciousness eye of the Soul "(1991). Furthermore, in 1981, he founded and directed the Aquarian philosophy magazine “La Resonance".

He revealed truly new positive dynamics to humanity, which can be implemented on all levels and at every level; as long as one desires it first. He never tired of repeating: “You can't bring the horse to the river and force him to drink, even if he is thirsty, no violation is possible to free will."

His works published jointly with his wife Freda M. Houlston Bedi*:

• *India analyzed, work in 4 volumes (1933-1934 London, Victor Gollancz);
• *Gandhi: Mahatma Gandhi, Saint and statesman, with a preface by Prof. Rudolf Otto, London 1934);
• Karl Marx - Letters on India, Lahore, Contemporary India Publication (1936);
• Sheikh Abdullah: his life and ideals (1949);
• Harvest from the Desert, Sir Ganga Ram Trust Society (1940);
• Muslims in USSR, Lahore, Indian Printing Works (1947);
• Mystic India, (3 vol.), The Unity Book club of India, New Delhi;
• Hands off West Irian: Indonesia's national demand from Dutch colonialists (1962);
• Prophet of the Full Moon: Guru Baba Nanak, founder master of Sikhism, New Delhi, Chaudhari Publishers, (1966);
• The art of the tetress, Bombay, Pearl books (1968), translated into Italian by La nuova Via ed. 1972;
• The pilgrim's way, with a preface by the Indian President S. Radhakrishanan, India (1969), Patiala, Punjabi University;
• *Dynamics of the New Age, New Delhi (1970);
• Conscience as Dynamics of the Psychic for Human Well-being, New Delhi, Institute for Inquiry Into the Unknown;
• Mystic & Ecstacy Eros, New Delhi, Institute for Inquiry Into the Unknown;
• The dynamics of the occult, New Delhi, Unity Publishers;
• The total man, Age of Uranus ed. 1977;
• Soul Eye Consciousness, ed. Zanfi, 2008, second edition of Cittadella Instit. Aquarian pedagogy.

-- Biographical note of Baba Pyare Lal Bedi XVI, by Alleva Franca


Although Freda and Bedi lived apart, they remained close. When in Delhi, Freda would on occasions come to stay in Jangpura Extension, often with a small retinue of monks and assistants. Some in the extended family described these visitations as 'Freda's revenge'.

Freda was exhaustive in seeking funds for the school. In April 1963, seventeen-year-old Kabir Bedi wrote a letter to 'Aunty Margaret', Margaret Bourke-White, acknowledging a donation which she wished to keep anonymous. 'Here in Dalhousie, the school has almost doubled its numbers and is expected to reach seventy-two Tibetans,' Kabir wrote, with a touch of exaggeration. We also have a team of volunteers who teach. I am also teaching until I join college in July.'17 Freda's reach even extended to her old friends in Derby. A historian of Parkfields Cedars school recorded: 'Something a little different in 1963 was a donation to a school for Buddhist lamas, founded by an Old Girl.'18 The term networking was not then in common use for maintaining and utilising a web of friends and contacts -- but that is what Freda was doing, with both determination and success.

The move to a bigger property at Dalhousie also allowed for some modest expansion of the school, requiring more volunteers and a gearing up of the administration. Cherry Armstrong, an eighteen-year-old whose mother was active in the Buddhist Society in London, arrived towards the end of the school's first summer in the hills.

So I went to the phone book, and I looked up “Tibet.” Now in London, there’s 12 million people, the phone book is in four volumes, but I looked up in the “T’s,” and there was only one entry that began with the word “Tibet.” And that was “The Tibet Society of the United Kingdom.”

So I saw that, and noted down the address -- I think it was 58 Eccleston Square -- and I didn’t think of phoning. I thought, “Well, I’ll go in person to see what happens.” ...

[S]o I got in the car, and I knew where Eccleston Square was, and I managed to find a parking place ... And it was sort of a Victorian townhome. And I went up the steps and there was a brass plate that said, “Buddhist Society.” And I thought, “Ha, that’s a good sign.” And underneath it it said, “Tibet Society.” So I pressed that bell push, the buzzer sounded, the door opened, and I went in.

-- Richard Arthure on Meeting Chogyam Trungpa, by The Chronicles of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:42 am

Part 2 of 3

Her role was a loosely defined mix of administrative and secretarial, particularly helping with the correspondence generated by the Tibetan Friendship Group and Freda's scheme for pen friends for young Tibetan refugees.

The western friend would include a small monetary gift, usually in the form of money orders ... In return the Tibetan pen friend would send a little photograph or a prayer written in Tibetan ... My job initially was to keep this scheme working and it was often a life-saver for individuals with no financial aid. It was a system that needed no overheads -- once the connection was established the money went directly to the person for whom it was intended and usually continued for years.

Freda was good at delegating, and at multitasking. Every morning she 'held court' with a pile of papers (the morning post) on her lap. Tibetan matters were handed over to Trungpa Tulku who acted as her interpreter and scribe (as well as doing his own religious and language studies). Indian matters were handed to the Indian administrator of the school, Attar Singh; English letters were handed to me, while Freda herself would be simultaneously writing her own more important letters. During this time there would be frequent Tibetan or Indian visitors asking for help or for Freda to use her influence on their behalf and everyone was attended to with care and foresight. Sitting beside her whilst all this was going on I could see that her method of coping was to give her undivided attention to the specific matter in hand; a kind of purposeful concentration to the exclusion of all other matters. When one matter was dealt with, the next had her exclusive attention .... She had an immense capacity for work.19


Cherry learnt to type, often with an old typewriter balanced on her lap or on her bed. It was rudimentary but it worked. Alongside the daily grind, Freda was also adept at maintaining connections with those of influence. When a couple of months after the move to Dalhousie Anita Morris headed home to England, she carried a package for Christmas Humphreys, the judge and doyen of the Buddhist Society in London, and for the renowned violinist Yehudi Menuhin.

He performed for Allied soldiers during World War II [over 500 concerts for wounded servicemen and Allied troops] and, accompanied on the piano by English composer Benjamin Britten, for the surviving inmates of a number of concentration camps in July 1945 after their liberation in April of the same year, most famously the Bergen-Belsen. He returned to Germany in 1947 to play concerto concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic under Wilhelm Furtwängler as an act of reconciliation, the first Jewish musician to do so in the wake of the Holocaust, saying to Jewish critics that he wanted to rehabilitate Germany's music and spirit...

Menuhin secured a Rockefeller Foundation grant for the financially strapped Grand Prize winner at the event, Argentine violinist Alberto Lysy [performed for UNESCO in Paris]...

Menuhin made several recordings with the German conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler, who had been criticized for conducting in Germany during the Nazi era. Menuhin defended Furtwängler, noting that the conductor had helped a number of Jewish musicians to flee Nazi Germany...


Furtwängler made his London debut in 1924, and continued to appear there before the outbreak of World War II as late as 1938, when he conducted Richard Wagner's Ring [Die Nibelungen]...

On 10 April 1933, Furtwängler wrote a public letter to Goebbels ...

"If the fight against Judaism concentrates on those artists who are themselves rootless and destructive and who seek to succeed in kitsch, sterile virtuosity and the like, then it is quite acceptable; the fight against these people and the attitude they embody (as, unfortunately, do many non-Jews) cannot be pursued thoroughly or systematically enough. If, however, this campaign is also directed at truly great artists, then it ceases to be in the interests of Germany's cultural life [...] It must therefore be stated that men such as Walter, Klemperer, Reinhardt etc. must be allowed to exercise their talents in Germany in the future as well, in exactly the same way as Kreisler, Huberman, Schnabel and other great instrumentalists of the Jewish race"...

Goebbels and Göring ordered their administration to listen to Furtwängler's requests...

The violinist Yehudi Menuhin was, with Arnold Schoenberg, Bronisław Huberman, and Nathan Milstein, among the Jewish musicians who had a positive view of Furtwängler. In February 1946, he sent a wire to General Robert A. McClure in February 1946:

"Unless you have secret incriminating evidence against Furtwängler supporting your accusation that he was a tool of Nazi Party, I beg to take violent issue with your decision to ban him. The man never was a Party member. Upon numerous occasions, he risked his own safety and reputation to protect friends and colleagues. Do not believe that the fact of remaining in one's own country is alone sufficient to condemn a man. On the contrary, as a military man, you would know that remaining at one's post often requires greater courage than running away. He saved, and for that we are deeply his debtors, the best part of his own German culture... I believe it patently unjust and most cowardly for us to make of Furtwängler a scapegoat for our own crimes."...

At the end of his life, Yehudi Menuhin said of Furtwängler, "It was his greatness that attracted hatred".


-- Wilhelm Furtwängler, by Wikipedia


In 1965 he received an honorary knighthood from the British monarchy...

Menuhin also had a long association with Ravi Shankar, beginning in 1966 with their joint performance at the Bath Festival and the recording of their Grammy Award-winning album West Meets East (1967). During this time, he commissioned composer Alan Hovhaness to write a concerto for violin, sitar, and orchestra to be performed by himself and Shankar. The resulting work, entitled Shambala (c. 1970), with a fully composed violin part and space for improvisation from the sitarist, is the earliest known work for sitar with western symphony orchestra, predating Shankar's own sitar concertos, but Menuhin and Shankar never recorded it...

In 1990 Menuhin was the first conductor for the Asian Youth Orchestra which toured around Asia, including Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong with Julian Lloyd Webber and a group of young talented musicians from all over Asia...

[H]e married the British ballerina and actress Diana Gould, whose mother was the pianist Evelyn Suart and stepfather was Admiral Sir Cecil Harcourt.

Admiral Sir Cecil Halliday Jepson Harcourt GBE KCB (11 April 1892 – 19 December 1959) was a British naval officer. He was the de facto governor of Hong Kong as commander-in-chief and head of the military administration from September 1945 to June 1946. He was called by the Chinese name "Ha Kok", a reference to the fourth-century Chinese nobleman Chung Kok... On 18 December 1945, he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB). In 1946, he was promoted to vice-admiral.

-- Cecil Harcourt, by Wikipedia


The couple had two sons, Gerard, notable as a Holocaust denier and far right activist..

Gerard Menuhin (born 1948 in Scotland) is a Holocaust denier and far-right activist, associated with the neo-Nazi movement in Germany.

His book Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil, published in 2015, argues that the Holocaust is "the biggest lie in history", that Jews are an "alien, demonic force which seeks to dominate the world", that Jews are flooding Europe with non-white races, to create a "society of racial mongrels, under the rule of a “new Jewish nobility”", and plan to create a one-world government. Menuhin argues that "the world owes Adolf Hitler an apology".

He is the son of the violinist Yehudi Menuhin and dancer Diana Gould, and brother of pianist Jeremy Menuhin.


-- Gerard Menuhin, by Wikipedia


In 1953, Life published photos of him in various esoteric yoga positions. In 1952, Menuhin was in India, where Nehru, the new nation's first Prime Minister, introduced him to an influential yogi B. K. S. Iyengar, who was largely unknown outside the country. Menuhin arranged for Iyengar to teach abroad in London, Switzerland, Paris, and elsewhere. He became one of the first prominent yoga masters teaching in the West.

Menuhin also took lessons from Indra Devi, who opened the first yoga studio in the U.S. in Los Angeles in 1948...


Her first spiritual awakening happened while attending a gathering of Theosophists in Ommen in the Netherlands in 1926, to listen to Jiddu Krishnamurti. Devi was moved, became a vegetarian, and traveled to the headquarters of the Theosophical Society in Adyar, India.

-- Indra Devi, by Theosophy Wiki


Aldous Huxley and his second wife, Laura, visited Gstaad to hear Krishna[murti] speak several times at the end of July 1961, along with Huxley's friend, Yehudi Menuhin. Huxley said the talks were among the most impressive things he'd ever listened to. He likened the experience to that of listening to a discourse by the Buddha: "such power, such intrinsic authority, such an uncompromising refusal to allow the homme moyen sensual any escapes or surrogates, any gurus, saviours, fuhrers, churches." Krishna showed one how to end sorrow but if one didn't choose to fulfil these conditions, sorrow would continue indefinitely.

-- Jiddu Krishnamurti: World Philosopher (1895-1986): His Life and Thoughts, by C. V. Williams


Yehudi Menuhin wrote of Aldous: "He was scientist and artist in one -- standing for all we most need in a fragmented world where each of us carries a distorting splinter out of some great shattered universal mirror. He made it his mission to restore these fragments and, at least in his presence, men were whole again. To know where each splinter might belong one must have some conception of the whole, and only a mind such as Aldous's, cleansed of personal vanity, noticing and recording everything, and exploiting nothing, could achieve so broad a purpose."

-- One Taste: Daily Reflections on Integral Spirituality, by Ken Wilber, Shambhala Publications


Awards and honours...

• Ambassador of Goodwill (UNESCO, 1992)...
• The Otto Hahn Peace Medal in Gold of the United Nations Association of Germany (DGVN) in Berlin (1997).


-- Yehudi Menuhin, by Wikipedia


Among those who came to visit was the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, who turned up 'with an equally scruffy-looking mate, looking like a couple of beggars' -- as Cherry recalls. 'Freda invited him to our communal supper. I can't say I was impressed.'20

Cherry Armstrong's unpublished account of the year she spent at the Young Lamas' Home School has the freshness and excitement of a youthful odyssey but one laced with a shrewd eye for how the operation held together as well as affection for the lamas and her fellow volunteers. She described Freda as a 'grey-haired English lady in a dark red sari, looking very much like a lama herself, who greeted her on arrival with a bear-hug and a resounding kiss. 'She talked of England with some nostalgia in spite of the fact that she had completely adopted the Indian way of life, the Buddhist religion, and the oriental way of conducting affairs.' The main room at Kailash, large and shabby, 'could have been the sitting room of an old English farmhouse if it were not for the red-robed figures padding silently over the worn carpet.' She had a room with views over the mountains, heated by a stove, 'a squat black metal cylinder standing with its three legs in a pan of water to prevent the floorboards burning', with a lid into which wood and fir cones were fed.21

In the evening the lamas were doing a special puja, or religious chanting ceremony, to which we were all invited. The lamas were already assembled in the shrine room as we seated ourselves cross-legged at the back of the room. As they began chanting the sound which filled the room was completely alien to my ears and at first seemed quite cacophonous. Yet there was a fascination about it and I soon learnt to notice the rhythms and variations in tone. Half way through the ceremony the chanting faded away. Tin mugs were distributed and a monk brought Tibetan tea in a kettle with a yellow marigold stuck into the spout. I had been warned about Tibetan tea made with butter and salt as well as milk, but no one had warned me that unless I hid my mug somewhere out of reach it would be refilled again and again in spite of desperately shaking my head, nor that my pleadings of 'No more, thank you,' would be taken as mere politeness so long as my mug stood unguarded within easy reach of the spout of the kettle.


Cherry was also drawn into the teaching at the school -- one of perhaps half-a-dozen young westerners of different nationalities, only a few of whom had a serious interest in Buddhism. She found the atmosphere at the school to be relaxed and convivial. 'It was a place of laughter and joking.'

The yearly rhythm of the school adapted to changing circumstances. The Home School operated in Dalhousie from April to November. During those summer months, as Cherry recalls, the tulkus could learn English, French or German as well as Hindi, general knowledge and simple mathematics, while still keeping mainly to the rules of monastic discipline. One of the aims of the school was to avoid a social rift between the bulk of the Tibetan refugees who were getting educated in Indian schools and the young lamas, the elite of Tibetan society, whose religious vocation required them to be educated separately. The plan was that each winter the pupils would return to their gurus and concentrate on their religious studies.

In the first winter in Dalhousie, that plan was disrupted by a month-long border war between India and China, which ended with the victorious Chinese declaring a ceasefire on 20th November 1962. China crossed into what India held to be its territory both on the western part of the border, in Aksai Chin a remote area of eastern Ladakh, and in the east in what was then known in India as the North East Frontier Agency where many Tibetans had initially sought refuge. The school wasn't in any immediate peril but there was a real sense of alarm. 'Every evening we sat silently attentive round the tiny transistor radio as it crackled and spluttered out the latest reports of fighting and death,' Armstrong wrote. 'Every evening the news became worse. For this reason many of the tulkus' gurus who were living in the frontier area very near to the fighting had begged Freda not to send the tulkus back to them as was customary for the winter months. Freda had of course agreed and in a manner typical of her ways she decided to turn this into something positive for everyone.'22 She decided to move the entire school for the winter months to a Buddhist centre in Delhi, the Ladakh Buddhist Vihar, in one of the older and more central districts of the city close to the Yamuna river.

Image
Ladakh Buddha Vihara


And she arranged two coaches to transport both young lamas and volunteers. On the way, the entire school visited the Dalai Lama at Dharamsala -- where Freda, Cherry and the lamas had their photo taken with the most revered figure within the Tibetan diaspora -- and meandered through Punjab on the way to the Indian capital. From there, several of the group went by train on a pilgrimage to the Buddhist sites in north India -- as Freda sometimes remarked, the Tibetan refugees were helping to bring Buddhism back to its original home, to the land where the Buddha achieved enlightenment.

The impact of the border fighting followed the school to Delhi. Hundreds of Tibetans displaced by the fighting, and so uprooted for a second time, appeared at the gates of the Buddhist centre.
Cherry Armstrong looked on from her balcony as a yellow-robed senior lama strode over to the entrance: 'the gates were flung open and the people poured through, eager but unhurried'.

Many filled the unoccupied dormitories, others crowded into tiny rooms and some made homes under the stairs, while others claimed a little patch of veranda for their belongings. Those at the back of the crowd for whom there was no room sat down with their loads on the river bank. During the next few days more and yet more arrived until they totalled over a thousand. Huge marquees usually reserved for festivals were erected to house them. Even more camped in the open around Delhi -- on islands in the middle of roundabouts, in parks, and on the roadside verge.

Their tattered clothes hung on them, thick and heavy in the Delhi heat, yet their grimy faces were cheerful. Lama Lobsang organised those inside the vihara into groups of a dozen or so, and it was not long before food aid and parcels of clothes arrived.
I would never have believed that human beings in such desperate straits could have distributed these windfalls with such calm orderliness. I never saw any ill-feeling or someone trying to take more than their share ... The women and girls were shy about wearing short cotton frocks and indeed all their quiet dignity was lost in the new attire. They had lost everything to do with their homeland and now they had to change even the way they looked.23


For Freda, it must have reminded her of Misamari: the destitution, the shortage of medicine, and the desperately ill -- there were many suffering from TB among the new arrivals -- who sought her out for help in getting treatment.

Alongside this new emergency, Freda continued to pursue another hugely ambitious project. 'My two lama "sons" are coming to England in March ... wonderful young lamas,' Freda told Olive Chandler -- an indication of the strong emotional as well as spiritual bonds forged with these tulkus.24 Along with John [E. Stapleton] Driver, a scholar of Tibet who had spent several years in Kalimpong, she managed to secure a Spalding scholarship to allow Trungpa to study at Oxford University. Akong was to accompany him.

What’s the difference between a foreign accent and an exotic one? Chogyam Trungpa knew. He claimed to have an “Oxonian accent,” acquired during his “matriculation” at Oxford College. At least that’s how Diana, the first of Trungpa’s eight wives, put it in her Dragon Thunder memoir, that details her maturation from child bride into den mother of a global cult devoted to the worship of her man, during a breathless two decades that passed in a whirl of booze, ménages-of-however-many, producing children from multiple unions who were uniformly recognized as reincarnated Tibetan saints and tossed to the winds.

Well, not the winds, precisely. Diana’s children, whether sired by Trungpa or Mitchell Levy, Trungpa’s close disciple, were cared for by devotees who treated them like born spiritual athletes –- asking them for spiritual advice, deferring to their presumed wisdom, etc. This did not do them much good, since they were mostly bemused by the unearned respect from clueless Buddhists, and didn’t take to the job of pretending to be founts of Eastern wisdom. Diana certainly taught them little enough, while she sought shelter from domestic chaos by jetsetting from one horsey event to another, buying dressage horses with donor funds as the natural right of ecclesiastical royalty.

As for her much-declared devotion to her husband, Diana greased the skids to Trungpa’s grave, enabling his sordid fate –- death by self-induced coma due to drug abuse and organ failure -- one more rock star sucked dry by the American celebrity-killing machine. Harsh as the assessment seems, evidence for it can be found on every page of Dragon Thunder, that has some of the candor that only the truly dissolute can exhibit. Their goalposts have moved so far, their judgment is faulty –- they can’t quite see when they’re confessing to scandal.

This poor judgment can lead to over-embellishing a cherished myth, as Diana did when she claimed that Trungpa “matriculated” at Oxford College in Dragon Thunder. Because that is a fact subject to verification or disproof, and I have obtained documents that disprove it, and I will share them with the reader. But before I proceed to that reveal, allow me to point out that these documents were not particularly difficult to obtain. It required only a modicum of research, emailing, and persistence in making followup inquiries to obtain them from Oxford College officials. Since virtually all formally published writing about Trungpa is mere hagiographic propaganda, we do not expect fact checking from the Dharma hacks who crank out these obligatory tomes. However, two books on Freda Bedi that pretend to be scholarly works were recently published, and they both repeated the apparent fable that she helped Trungpa get the Spalding sponsorship that "sent him to Oxford." So my question is -– why was I the first to make the enquiry of Oxford?

-- The Absent Oxonian -- Musings on Trungpa’s Faux Academic Credentials & Why So Few Cared to Inquire, by Charles Carreon


They were, in Cherry Armstrong's words, Freda's 'golden boys'. She recognised in Trungpa, in particular, an exceptional spiritual presence and an ability to communicate and to inspire those with whom he came into contact. Both had formal roles at the school -- Trungpa as codirector (he described himself as the school's spiritual advisor) while Akong made sure that the place ran with tolerable efficiency. Anita Morris, who taught English both at Green Park and at Dalhousie, had mixed opinions of the two. 'Akong was very much taking care of the younger ones -- a lot of them were a lot younger. So if they had any pains or any problems, they would go to Akong,' she recalls. 'He'd be going down maybe to a doctor at Dalhousie if necessary or just for ordinary shopping and taking care of things. Whereas Trungpa just did his own thing, his bits of painting and that sort of stuff.'25 A Tibetan lama who knew both well at Dalhousie comments that Trungpa always wanted attention and prominence, while Akong was solid and reliable. Trungpa was already developing a reputation as something of a wild child. Although it was a well-kept secret, he apparently fathered a child with a Tibetan nun who came to Dalhousie to visit him. They took a mattress up on the roof of the school -- said Trungpa's English wife in her memoirs -- and spent the night there. That was not at all typical of the school, but not entirely untypical ofTrungpa.26 He was an enormously important figure in the spread of Tibetan Buddhism in North America and Europe and one of the first to teach westerners in English, but he had lifelong issues about sexual promiscuity and the use of drink and drugs.

At Ladakh Buddhist Vihar, Cherry remembers Trungpa and Akong sitting in their room studying maps of the London Underground and out-of-date bus timetables in preparation for their journey. They travelled by boat. On the day they were due to dock outside London, the pupils at the Home School -- by now back in Dalhousie -- held a prayer ceremony on an open patch of woodland on the hillside adjoining Kailash. 'They lit a fire of juniper branches and the smoke rose in a blue spire into the branches of the trees and on up into the cloudless sky. We sat on brightly patterned Tibetan rugs spread over the stony ant-infested ground and the lamas began their chanting. It was a happy, picnic-like affair around the scented bonfire, with kettles of hot buttery Tibetan tea.'27 At Tilbury, Cherry's parents were on hand to welcome the two Tibetans -- as were Anita Morris and other well-wishers -- and to provide them with an initial berth at the family home in High Wycombe. Once installed at Oxford, Trungpa and Akong were joined by an old friend and another alumnus of the Home School, Chime Rinpoche. They shared a small flat in St Margaret's Road, on the same street as Freda's old college, and Akong took work as a hospital orderly to help support the household. All three became powerful beacons of Tibetan Buddhism in the west.


Alongside this noticeable success, Freda faced some acute disappointments. She made enemies as well as friends, and sometimes these rivalries became vicious. Lois Lang-Sims commented, without saying what prompted the observation, that Freda's enemies 'were not only numerous but of an almost incredible malevolence'.28 That intense animosity seems to have been behind the most wounding public assault on Freda and her integrity. The stiletto was wielded by D.F. [Dosabhai Framji] Karaka, an Oxford contemporary of the Bedis. He was a writer and journalist of some distinction, though by the early 1960s he was the editor of a not-so-distinguished Bombay-based tabloidstyle weekly, the Current. This was awash with brash, sensationalist stories, reflecting Karaka's fiercely polemical style, his crusading anticommunism and his impatience with Nehru, India's prime minister, for his supposed lack of zeal in standing up for the national interest. The weekly paper bore the slogan 'God Save the Motherland' on its front page.



All great men have their little weaknesses, which characterise them. Nehru’s weakness is emotion, which rules him much more than his head. He has got away with it through the years, because he has always been able to count on the personal affection the people have for him, which has carried him through every and any opposition. That is his strength. That is also his Achilles heel. The destiny of India cannot perpetually depend on an individual’s emotional appeal, and everyday affairs of administration cannot always be conducted by intuition. Consequently, the planning of Jawaharlal Nehru, whether it is the planning of our nationalism or of our economy, has been chaotic. Figures cannot tally when they are based purely on emotion.

Men often call themselves progressive when they only mean that they are not reactionary. Progressive men start and lead progressive movements like the many we have seen spring up around us all over the world in the last two decades. Some of these progressive movements have had a great fascination for Nehru. He always likes to be looked upon as a modern; he wants to be a Picasso hung up in the Royal Academy, looking upon the classical forms around him with a supercilious air. He is easily moved by the righteousness of a cause and by anything that smacks of a crusade. He always comes back from his trips abroad full of admiration for some other people in some other part of the world who may be fighting their battle for freedom, whether that battle is to achieve freedom or to retain it. He is fond of reading literature which speaks the language of freedom. All this has endeared him to our people, to whom he is more a legend than a practical leader. In terms of folklore, he could be likened to a prince, ready with his sword to defend the unarmed, to guard the rights of man, to fight for human justice. But all this Tennysonian allegory of the days of King Arthur and Lancelot does not sit so well at the desk of the Prime Minister of India, more especially when this knight with the shining piece of steel has constantly got to dip it in ordinary blue-black ink to append his signature to executive actions, some of which could be likened to those of a small-town dictator in a neo-fascist state. That new streak, perceptible in Jawaharlal Nehru, some say has come with responsibility; others strongly suspect it has come with power.

To understand this, one has to go back fifteen years, when, in the staid Modern Review1 [1. November 1937.] of Calcutta, a magazine which circulates among ‘highbrows’ only, there appeared an article, anonymously written, entitled ‘Jawaharlal Nehru’. Readers of the Modern Review were disturbed by the appearance of this ridiculously melodramatic article in an otherwise weighty publication. The author was obviously an enthusiastic college student whom the editor was trying desperately hard to encourage. Nehru was at that time President of the Indian National Congress, and he had indicated his unwillingness to carry on the appointment for another term. The young writer was trying to dissuade the Congress from reelecting him, on the grounds that in Jawaharlal was the germ of a fascist, and that if he were pampered too much, the pampering would go to his head. Of course, he wrote in glowing terms about Jawaharlal all the way through the article, as some of the passages quoted below will indicate:

‘ . . . The Rashtrapati2 [2. Sanskrit word for President.] looked up as he passed swiftly through the waiting crowds, his hands went up and were joined together in salute and his pale hard face was lit up by a smile. It was a warm personal smile, and the people who saw it responded to it immediately and smiled and cheered in return.

‘The smile passed away and again the face became stern and sad, impassive in the midst of the emotion that it had roused in the multitude. Almost it seemed that the smile and the gesture accompanying it had little reality behind them; they were just tricks of the trade to gain the goodwill of the crowds whose darling he had become. Was it so?

‘Watch him again. There is a great procession, and tens of thousands of persons surround his car and cheer him in an ecstasy of abandonment. He stands on the seat of the car, balancing himself rather well, straight and seemingly tall, like a god, serene and unmoved by the seething multitude. Suddenly there is that smile again, or even a merry laugh, and the tension seems to break and the crowd laughs with him, not knowing what he is laughing at. He is god-like no longer but a human being, claiming kinship and comradeship with the thousands who surround him, and the crowd feels happy and friendly and takes him to its heart. But the smile is gone and the pale stern face is there again . . .

Jawaharlal is a personality which compels interest and attention. But they have a vital significance for us, for he is bound up with the present in India, and probably the future and he has the power in him to do great good to India or great injury ....

‘ . . . From the far north to Cape Comorin he has gone like some triumphant Caesar passing by, leaving a trail of glory and a legend behind him. Is all this for him just a passing fancy which amuses him, or some deep design or the play of some force which he himself does not know? Is it his will to power of which he speaks in his autobiography that is driving him from crowd to crowd and making him whisper to himself: “I drew these tides of men into my hands and wrote my will across the sky in stars”?’

Then came the young writer’s warning:

‘. . . Men like Jawaharlal with all their capacity for great and good work are unsafe in a democracy. He calls himself a democrat and a socialist, and no doubt he does so in all earnestness, but every psychologist knows that the mind is ultimately a slave to the heart and that logic can always be made to fit in with the desires and irrepressible urges of man. A little twist and Jawaharlal might turn into a dictator, sweeping aside the paraphernalia of a slow-moving democracy. He might still use the language and slogans of democracy and socialism, but we all know how fascism has fattened on this language and then cast it away as useless lumber.' (The italics are mine.)

On the other hand, the writer went on to say, ‘Jawaharlal is certainly not fascist either by conviction or by temperament. He is far too much of an aristocrat for the crudity and vulgarity of fascism ...’ Since when has aristocracy been a bar to fascism? In fact, history proves that it has fostered it. But when an editor decides to encourage a young man who fancies he has a flair for writing, it would be pointless to mutilate the script on grounds of historical accuracy. So the Modern Review printed this effusion, obviously without any sub-editing.

Soon the young writer was becoming wobbly. He could not make up his mind about Jawaharlal, and ended by proving that Jawarharlal could not become a fascist but that he would! The passages in the article that followed read:

‘Jawaharlal cannot become a fascist. And yet he has all the makings of a dictator in him -- vast popularity, strong will directed to a well-defined purpose, energy, pride, organisational capacity, ability, hardness, and, with all his love of the crowd, an intolerance of others and certain contempt for the weak and inefficient. His flashes of temper are well known, and even when they are controlled, the curling of the lips betrays him. His overmastering desire to get things done, to sweep away what he dislikes and build anew, will hardly brook for long the slow process of democracy. He may keep the husk but he will see to it that it bends to his will. In normal times he would just be an efficient and successful executive, but in this revolutionary epoch, Caesarism is always at the door, and is it not possible that Jawaharlal might fancy himself as a Caesar?

‘Therein lies danger for Jawaharlal and for India. For it is not through Caesarism that India will attain freedom, and though she may prosper a little under a benevolent and efficient despotism she will remain stunted, and the day of emancipation of her people will be delayed . . .

‘Let us not . . . spoil him by too much adulation and praise. His conceit, if any, is already formidable. It must be checked. We want no Caesars.’

This quite incredible article, which read like a rough shooting script for a Cecil B. De Mille version of an Indian Quo Vadis, was obviously not taken seriously by anyone except the author himself. It certainly made no difference whatsoever to the Indian National Congress, which voted Jawaharlal as President despite all warnings.

Imagine our surprise when some years later it was revealed that the author of this anonymous absurdity was none other than Jawaharlal Nehru himself.

Nehru has never contradicted the attribution of the authorship of the article to him. It has been reproduced again and again, the last known occasion being August 31st, 1951, when the New Delhi weekly Thought reproduced it under the title ‘Jawaharlal NEHRU -- By Jawaharlal Nehru’. Nor is Pandit Nehru careless about contradictions. The meticulous care with which he scrutinises every remark affecting him even remotely, and the frequent occasions on which he sets the whole machinery of the government of India, now at his command, into action to contradict even a single inaccurate or unfavourable comment in the Indian press about his regime, his ministers, his government, his policy or himself, make it certain that the frequent attributions could not possibly have escaped him.

***

Nehru’s sympathetic understanding of communism abroad is in sharp contrast to his government’s treatment of communists at home. The indigenous variety appears to irritate Nehru because it disrupts his regime and challenges his authority. It is healthy but nevertheless difficult to understand how Nehru, who is so extremely careful about the sensitivity of Russian and Chinese Reds, treats their satellites and sympathisers in India with such utter contempt.

Nehru had earlier believed that communism was a very weak force at home, and that the Congress still held sway over the people, as in the days of Mahatma Gandhi. It is true the elections resulted in a country-wide Congress victory, but a close analysis of the votes cast against the Congress revealed that this once great nationalist party had landslided in the people’s estimation. In many cases the people had voted Congress only because the alternative appeared even worse. Even so, it was a communist who polled the largest number of votes at the elections. This unknown little comrade, Ravinarayan Reddi, collected 309,162 votes at Nalagonda, an obscure agrarian constituency in the Telengana district of Hyderabad, while Nehru at Allahabad, a densely populated major city, could only boast of 233,571.

When, in one or two minute areas as for instance in the State of Tripura, in the valley below the troubled northern areas -- the communists actually secured a ‘democratic’ majority, far from allowing them to come to power, Nehru entrusted the administration to the Red-baiter, Captain Nanjappa. This administrative officer governed the district as if he were commanding an infantry company. Democracy was suspended; an emergency had apparently arisen. So that, while Nehru pays lip service to communism abroad, he is by no means tolerant of communism at home. He uses methods to crush it which would make any lover of democracy blush.

While one may have no sympathy for communists, it is difficult to overlook and ignore the slow destruction of the normal processes of democracy. Nor have the democratic methods been discarded only to meet the case of communists. Our governments, both at the centre and in the states, appear to have no scruples whatever about discarding these time-worn processes. As one who has tasted official wrath on more than one occasion, I know what it feels like to be a ‘free’ man in Nehru’s India. Time and again I have been dragged through the law courts on charges which the government have not been able to prove or substantiate. Acquittal follows in due course, but in the meantime one is made to suffer the costs of the long process, for which acquittal in the criminal courts brings no relief. Nehru’s governments believe that the best way to silence their critics is to declare a nerve war on them. On a seasoned ‘accused’ like myself it may have little effect, but for the meek it can be a nerve-shattering process. There is no respect for the liberty of an individual, and less for his self-respect.

These are only minor pin-pricks. It is the gradual liquidation of civil liberty itself with which we should be more concerned. Reports from all parts of India tell of new processes adopted by various administrative authorities to mow down whatever little resistance an individual can offer his government in the exercise of his freedom of thought and expression. Many of these instances have gone to court, and on almost every occasion the High Courts have reacted splendidly, standing four-square between the individual and the mighty power of an ever-growing despotism. The government has countered this by amending the legislation under which they acted, making it inscrutable by the judiciary. This renders the High Court helpless, and deprives the individual of his sole defender.

Nehru could not be unaware of all this; yet he maintains a sphinx-like silence. The Nehru who once sat in a bullock-cart behind Gandhi, humbly joining his hands to greet his people, now allows his minions to ride in a slow but sure moving steamroller, crushing down every head that bobs up against the administration. No wonder the people lament that Nehru’s India is not the land of freedom which the Father of the Nation promised us.

The people of the world believe that the days of lathi charges [baton charge is a British era method for crowd control] and police firings in India are over. When the British did this, Nehru thought it was cowardly. Therefore the great liberator of India would not allow his government to fire on his own people in the hour of their liberation, would not stand by and watch the menials of his police force brutally lathi-charge them, as in days of yore.

The records of the various state governments, however, tell a different tale: In July 1952 The Current published on its front page a five-column photograph. It was an action picture of the police lashing out at the people. The incident occurred at the foot of the Ochterlony monument in Calcutta, the premier city of West Bengal, over which presided the healer of the people, Dr B. C. Roy. The meeting which the police attempted to break up was convened to protest against the food policy of the West Bengal government. The protest meeting was held in defiance of an order banning the calling of public meetings, for the government naturally wanted to avoid scenes of huge crowds protesting, so vehemently and so publicly, on such a vital issue as food. For this defiance of authority, even though the manner of protest was peaceful, the crowds were charged with lathis and dispersed exactly as in the days of the British. The Hindustan Standard, an old and established Congress paper, referring to the events, commented editorially: ‘So faithfully has this government aped its predecessors, that if a Rip Van Winkle had gone to sleep a decade ago, and had suddenly awakened on the fateful Tuesday, he would have noted no difference between 1942 and 1952. Not only police action but also ministerial reaction in 1952 bear a familiar resemblance to those in 1942, and are marked by the same arrogance and the same heartlessness.’ At least some Congressmen were beginning to feel ashamed of their kind.

There was a time when Nehru himself bore the brunt of a lathi charge. He describes one such in his autobiography. It was in Lucknow when the Simon Commission was due to arrive in that city, and the Congress had prepared a great demonstration to protest against it. Nehru describes the large crowds that gathered, swelled by sympathetic onlookers, when suddenly there was seen in the far distance a moving mass:

‘There were two or three long lines of cavalry or mounted police, covering the entire area, galloping down towards us, and striking and riding down the numerous stragglers that dotted the maidan. That charge of galloping horsemen was a fine sight, but for the tragedies that were being enacted on the way, as harmless and very much surprised sightseers went under the horses’ hooves. Behind the charging lines these people lay on the ground, some still unable to move, others writhing in pain, and the whole appearance of that maidan was that of a battle-field. But we did not have much time for gazing on that scene, or for reflections; the horsemen were soon upon us, and their front line clashed almost at a gallop with the massed ranks of our processionists. We held our ground, and, as we appeared to be unyielding, the horses had to pull up at the last moment and reared up on their hind legs with their front hooves quivering in the air over our heads. And then began a beating of us, and battering with lathis and long batons, both by the mounted and the foot police. It was a tremendous hammering, and the clearness of vision that I had had the evening before left me. All I knew was that I had to stay where I was, and must not yield or go back. I felt half blinded with the blows, and sometimes a dull anger seized me and a desire to hit out. I thought how easy it would be to pull down the police officer in front of me from his horse and to mount myself up, but long training and discipline held and I did not raise a hand, except to protect my face from a blow. Besides, I knew well enough that any aggression on our part would result in a ghastly tragedy, the firing and shooting down of large numbers of our men . . . The excitement of action held us; but, as it passed, immediately the question arose: To what end was all this? To what end?’1 [1. Nehru’s Autobiography, p. 179.]

Yes, to what end? The Indians in 1952, reading of the lathi charges in Calcutta and the police firings on students in Hyderabad, are still looking for an answer to Jawaharlal’s question. Nor does Jawaharlal answer the question himself. Speech dries up in him on occasions like these. His respect for constitutional procedure does not allow him to interfere with the action of the state governments. Quelle delicatesse! After all, what else would one expect of a man who in his autobiography1 [1. p. 20.] admits that his attitude to life was a vague kind of Cyrenaicism [The doctrine of Cyrenaics that people should ultimately aim at the pleasure of the present moment, disregarding future pain that could result from it.], partly natural to youth, partly the influence of Oscar Wilde and Walter Pater.

Civil liberty in India is dead in more senses than one. It is not only shot down by authority in the literal sense of the word; it is bound down in heavy chains, as even a cursory glance at our police records will indicate.

The list of those who have been detained without trial in India, often without so much as a charge made against them for as long as six months in some cases, are ugly, black marks on the career of any democrat. Again Nehru maintains that these are the executive actions of various state governments in which he is unable to interfere. It is like the old madame denying responsibility for the morals of her individual girls.

The state governments of India are Nehru’s direct responsibility. At the last elections it was he who supervised every important nomination of the state Congress party, and when the elections were over, it was he who gave his personal attention to the formation of the various state ministries. In the name of democracy, he created oligarchic pockets which he could use to effect in safe-guarding his new despotism, his neo-fascist state which was unfortunately our Republic of India.

Nehru will not admit that India under his regime is gradually becoming a police state. He gets angry if anyone accuses him of adopting the familiar methods of a fascist state. But the record speaks for itself, always the record. The attempts may be amateurish, but the trend is to supersede the rule of law by executive action, the validity of which cannot be challenged in the courts of law. Time and again have the judges of the High Court deprecated these undemocratic acts of the government, but that does not appear to deter the ‘drunken old Omars’, drunk with power. Nehru’s responsibility is that he retains these small-town Caesars in office. Inasmuch as they derive power and authority from Nehru himself, the smear of fascism must necessarily spread to him.

Nehru sees red when he is accused of adopting these shabby methods in the working of an avowed democracy. He gets easily angry nowadays, and even more easily irritable. He litters his wrath all over the country.

Recently he thought nothing of insulting a very high police officer in public, and in the presence of his subordinates, merely because the arrangements made by this officer for Pandit Nehru’s visit did not meet with the Prime Minister’s approval. Nehru frequently insults pressmen, which is unwise; even Secretaries to the government, who are highly paid civil servants, could hardly be content with the treatment they receive from him.

Nehru has become so impulsive these days that he makes up his mind without so much as hearing the other point of view, and, having made up his mind, he goes to town on it, irrespective of the normal canons of justice or fair play. The list of people with whom Nehru is angry is growing daily. The more ground he loses, the more despotic he becomes, as those who have dealt with him over a long period of years say. Only recently one of his colleagues remarked to me: ‘The Prime Minister is always irritated by anyone whose criticism he cannot meet’.

Nehru’s best friends are beginning to show concern over his growing intolerance. They feel that he will break down one day in a sorry spectacle of shattered nerves and frayed temper because of his inability to accept the fact that people have a right to differ from him. Nehru is failing in India; only because of the emotional hold he still has on the people who will not desert him is he able to escape defeat. People suffer his shocking exhibitions, partly out of fear of the power he wields, and partly also because of the affection they have for the man who was once the spark that kindled the flame of resistance in those great and now forgotten days of our struggle.

The people of the world are accustomed to see Pandit Nehru as he appears in their capitals, with a pleasant, friendly grin on his face, stretching out his hand for a warm handshake or joined in the Indian manner of namaskar. They know him as the essence of gentility, a humble little Pandit from India, educated at Harrow and Cambridge. But that is not the Nehru we know. There is very little humility in him now, and even the little he had learned from Mahatma Gandhi is hardly to be evidenced these days. Nehru’s concept of humility is that the Indians should gather to acclaim him as the greatest of them all, and that he should try to dissuade them from such a process of thought. The article which Pandit Nehru wrote on himself in the Modern Review appears to substantiate this view.

There is nothing humble about the way he runs his cabinet; to his ministers he is like a schoolmaster taking his class. Only two of his colleagues, Maulana Azad and Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, exercise any influence over him. Of the rest, two more, Deshmukh and Gopalswamy Ayangar, stand on their dignity, but most of the others who theoretically share joint cabinet responsibility according to the parliamentary convention, find moron-like agreement with their Prime Minister, once he expresses a definite view. A grunt from Nehru produces immediate acceptance of an idea. A dissenting opinion, apologetically expressed and prefaced by: 'I wonder, Mr Prime Minister, whether we should not also consider . . .’ produces a look of disgust on his face, which indicates how utterly stupid the Prime Minister regards such a suggestion to be, and, if occasion arises, Pandit Nehru is not unwilling to say it in so many words. The more ambitious anglers for power, which can only emanate from his authority, now spend their time trying to forecast how he is likely to react on any matter which they may have to discuss with him.

Even so, there is no dearth of worshippers at the Nehru temple. The legend continues.

***

The excitement of attaining freedom blinded us to Nehru’s inconsistencies. When a ring is worn out of sentiment, one does not look for the flaws in the stone.

But sentiment can wear thin when the mood of a people changes from one of romance to realism. I was supported in this belief when, on the occasion of the third birthday of The Current, we offered a prize of one thousand rupees1 [75 pounds.] for the best open letter to Nehru, and we received hundreds of letters from readers who took part in this competition. These letters, read together, gave me a picture of the disillusionment that Nehru had caused.

The winner of the competition was an advocate from Musiri in South India, by name R. Venkatachalam. A picture he sent us of himself, after he was declared the winner, revealed a very young man, attired, to our astonishment, in a Gandhi cap and khaddar clothes.

The young advocate in his open letter said: In the pages of history, your name will be marked not so much for your achievements, but for the vast gulf between your ideals and your practice. Your name will go down as that of a weak-kneed politician who had lofty idealism but not the strength or courage to put it into practice. You will be remembered as one who gave up his faith to make sure the security of his office.

‘Posterity will judge you, not so much by what you did, but by what you failed to do. To those that have heard your preachings and seen your writings, you are a grand paradox, a strange enigma . . .

'. .. For seven long years you have held undisputed, almost despotic sway over the dumb millions of India. You have had your pet planning commission. After Gandhiji and Patel, you have held the sceptre as the sole dictator of your party and government alike. You and your state governments have handled over eight thousand million rupees of public money year by year. You have and you had at all times thousands of crores of locked up money which you can call, if only you have the will. You have the backing of the masses in an abundant measure. To lift the down-trodden even a little, you have equipment and facilities which no leader ever had in any nation . . .

‘You have talked much of what Bharat1 [1. India.] has achieved after independence; partition problems, refugee rehabilitation, Kashmir, consolidation of states, neutral foreign policy and river valley schemes. This, in short, is the list of glorious achievements in which you have taken pride. To be proud is your strength, as well as your weakness. Take your claim; and be proud. There may be shades of criticism, but broadly the nation stands behind you in these.

‘But of what avail can your foreign policy and Kashmir be to the hungry millions? Are you out to protect three hundred million corpses? What have you done to tackle the growing poverty in the lower strata? You cry hoarsely “Produce more”; and you talk of big river valley schemes. What have you done to raise the purchasing power of the masses? Even if our industrial magnates flood the markets with all types of consumer goods, where will the Indian farmer find the money to pay the price? You know the average farmer, who has neither land nor shelter, and who gets work for barely four months a year. You have seen him starve; you have seen him without garment.

‘Your Bharat has three hundred million such farmers. There was a time when you mixed with them, and roused them by your slogans. You sounded the tocsin of the peasants’ struggle, and gave them pledges under your banner. You were, and I am afraid you are still the cherished idol of the hearts of millions of them. You were to them the one and only hope.

‘What a trust! And what a betrayal! In your adversity, their problems were first on your lips. But now while in power, other problems stare you in the face. It was their trust and their vote which put you in power. You have kicked the ladder by which you ascended the heights; and there you cling rather precariously.

‘Surely you know that without an equitable redistribution of wealth, and a rise in the purchasing power at the lower strata, mere increase in capitalist production can do no good. You also know that in various ways the government can use its lawful authority to reduce glaring inequalities, conscription of wealth, capital levy, estates duties, reorientation of the tax system, ceiling on land-holdings, redistribution of surplus land, profit-sharing in industries, pegging of dividends, etc. Seven long years were not enough for you to levy the simple estates duty . . .

‘Dear comrade, in spite of your honesty and integrity, you are impatient and intolerant. A mental depravation has come upon you. You are labouring under a false sense of intellectual monopoly. Sometimes a certain amount of egoism and haughtiness mar your grace. Remember that Bharat has hundreds of Nehrus who have not yet been voted to power . . .’1 [1. The Current, September 24th, 1952.]

The italics are mine. It was a significant observation. It indicated that circumstance more than ability had taken Nehru to the pinnacle of power and sustained him there. Others had not had the same chance...

So it was through the countless letters and the hundreds and thousands of words through which I waded -- the same sorrowful note of disappointment, the same bitterness and disillusionment...

-- Nehru: The Lotus Eater From Kashmir, by D.F. Karaka
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:42 am

Part 3 of 3

In September 1963, Freda's photograph graced the front-page of the Current, accompanying a story which also took up much of the following page. It was a hatchet job. Under his own byline, Karaka asserted that 'an Englishwoman, married to an Indian, is attempting to express a great deal of anxiety to help the Buddhist cause as a screen for her Communist activities'. He insisted that 'Mrs Freda Bedi ... will always, in my opinion, be a Communist first, irrespective of her outwardly embraced Buddhism.' This was an absurd accusation. Freda's days as a communist sympathiser had come to a close almost twenty years earlier.

By 1951, the thorny political issue of offering the people of Kashmir a plebiscite to let them decide whether they wanted to join Pakistan or accede to India hung heavily in the air. Freda was torn. While she believed in the people’s right to choose, she was adamantly against Pakistan’s propaganda, with its call for Islamic separation and the holocaust she feared would irrevocably follow, with Hindus and Sikhs the losers.

“There will be a tough fight when and if a plebiscite takes place. The other side uses low weapons – an appeal to religious fanaticism and hatred, which can always find a response. We fight with clean hands. I am content as a democrat that Kashmir should vote and turn whichever way it wishes, but I know a Pakistan victory would mean massacre and mass migration of Hindus and Sikhs – and I hate to face it. God forbid it should happen,” she said.

For the first time she revealed an anticommunist leaning.
“I feel the British Press – with the exception of our friend Norman Cliff on the News Chronicle – is Pakistan minded, and while I realize that Pakistan and Middle East oil interests are linked, I think it is a great injustice to Kashmir. While a very brutal invasion and a lot of propaganda from the Pakistan side has been trying to make the state communist minded, it has valiantly stuck to his democratic ideas and built up this very war-torn, hungry world.”

BPL was valiantly doing his part in promoting counterpropaganda (a role given to him by Sheikh Abdullah’s administration), churning out publicity and articles both in Delhi and in Kashmir. One day in 1952, things went catastrophically wrong. BPL had a huge argument with his old friend Sheikh Abdullah, who was about to make a speech ratifying the plebiscite.

Kabir said, “My father warned him that India would never accept such a move and that Sheikh Abdullah would be jailed. He was also afraid that a plebiscite would deepen the split already existing in the state and would destroy the work that he, Mummy, and others had been carefully building up over the fragile early years to promote harmony and improve the living conditions of all the people.
Kashmir had a huge Muslim majority, but anti-Pakistan feeling was also very high In Kashmir. That was what my father was working with, especially with his counterpropaganda. His ultimate commitment and hope was that Kashmir would be joined to secular India, with its democratic principles. Sadly the best of friendships ended in a bitter battle.”

The minute his argument with Sheikh Abdullah was over, BPL went home, packed up all his household goods and his family, and within twenty-four hours had moved everyone to Delhi. He could no longer stay in a Kashmir that he felt was heading for trouble, and in the employ of a man whose policies he no longer believed in. His prediction was right. In 1953, Sheikh Abdullah was dismissed as prime minister, arrested on charges of conspiracy against the state, and jailed for eleven years.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie


Her husband had abandoned communism a decade previously.

[1954] As with Freda, Bedi's crisis had a lasting spiritual aspect. He developed a keen interest in the occult, establishing the Occult Circle of India; he became attracted to the mystical Sufi tradition within Islam and -- re-engaging with the religion he was born into -- in Sikh mysticism; he believed he had acquired special powers, and took to hands-on spiritual healing. He dressed in a smock and carried a staff; as his hair became increasingly unkempt, he looked like a latter-day Moses. He chose to be known as Baba, which carried with it an echo of a mystical or spiritual identity. It was a reinvention almost as complete as those that marked out the phases in Freda's life; he had gone from gilded youth, to communist and peasants' rights activist, to political apparatchik, to prophet and visionary. Bedi had largely broken links with the organised left and although he remained active in a Delhi-based Kashmir support group, he moved decisively away from active politics 'I had been under an impulsion to take to spiritual life,' he recalled a decade later. 'I resigned at once from all organisations .... It was like a realization that now [the] time had come to quit all this work and take to a new form of life.' Bedi insisted... that his embrace of a spiritual purpose did not involve any repudiation of his socialist beliefs. 'The statue of Lenin I loved still lies on my mantelpiece, and not a dent on [my] Marxist convictions exists.' But several of his old associates felt uncomfortable with Bedi's new look and message and kept their distance. Ranbir Vohra, who had known the Bedis in Lahore and Srinagar as well as Delhi, recalled that his old friend offered to help him communicate with anyone who had passed on: 'He suggested that I talk to Marx. I declined the generous offer.'

-- The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead


But the accusation of being a concealed communist was deeply wounding especially when the Tibetan refugees regarded communist China as their arch enemy -- the occupiers of their homeland and destroyers of their culture, faith and tradition -- and when India had recently been at war with China.

The idea to write Red Shambhala developed gradually as a natural offshoot of my other projects... By chance, I found out that in a secret laboratory in the 1920s Gleb Bokii -- the chief Bolshevik cryptographer, master of codes, ciphers, electronic surveillance -- and his friend Alexander Barchenko, an occult writer from St. Petersburg, explored Kabala, Sufi wisdom, Kalachakra, shamanism, and other esoteric traditions, simultaneously preparing an expedition to Tibet to search for the legendary Shambhala. A natural question arose: what could the Bolshevik commissar have to do with all this? ...

Meanwhile, I learned that during the same years, on the other side of the ocean in New York City, the Russian emigre painter Nicholas Roerich and his wife, Helena, were planning a venture into Inner Asia, hoping to use the Shambhala prophecy to build a spiritual kingdom in Asia that would provide humankind with a blueprint of an ideal social commonwealth. To promote his spiritual scheme, he toyed with an idea to blend Tibetan Buddhism and Communism. Then I stumbled upon the German-Armenian historian Emanuel Sarkisyanz's Russland and der Messianismus des Orients, which mentioned that the same Shambhala legend was used by Bolshevik fellow travelers in Red Mongolia to anchor Communism among nomads in the early 1920s.


I came across this information when I was working on a paper dealing with the Oirot/Amursana prophecy that sprang up among Altaian nomads of southern Siberia at the turn of the twentieth century. This prophecy, also widespread in neighboring western Mongolia, dealt with the legendary hero some named Oirot and others called Amursana. The resurrected hero was expected to redeem suffering people from alien intrusions and lead them into a golden age of spiritual bliss and prosperity. This legend sounded strikingly similar to the Shambhala prophecy that stirred the minds of Tibetans and the nomads of eastern Mongolia. In my research I also found that the Bolsheviks used the Oirot/Amursana prophecy in the 1920s to anchor themselves in Inner Asia. I began to have a feeling that all the individuals and events mentioned above might have somehow been linked...

Shambhala... was a prophecy that emerged in the world of Tibetan Buddhism between the 900s and 1100s CE, centered on a legend about a pure and happy kingdom located somewhere in the north; the Tibetan word Shambhala means "source of happiness." The legend said that in this mystical land people enjoyed spiritual bliss, security, and prosperity. Having mastered special techniques, they turned themselves into godlike beings and exercised full control over forces of nature. They were blessed with long lives, never argued, and lived in harmony as brothers and sisters. At one point, as the story went, alien intruders would corrupt and undermine the faith of Buddha. That was when Rudra Chakrin (Rudra with a Wheel), the last king of Shambhala, would step in and in a great battle would crush the forces of evil. After this, the true faith, Tibetan Buddhism, would prevail and spread all over the world....

In the course of time, indigenous lamas and later Western spiritual seekers muted the "crusade" notions of the prophecy, and Shambhala became the peaceable kingdom that could be reached through spiritual enlightenment and perfection. The famous founder of Theosophy Helena Blavatsky was the first to introduce this cleansed version of the legend into Western esoteric lore in the 1880s. At the same time, she draped Shambhala in the mantle of evolutionary theory and progress: ideas widely popular among her contemporaries. Blavatsky's Shambhala was the abode of the Great White Brotherhood hidden in the Himalayas. The mahatmas from this brotherhood worked to engineer the so-called sixth race of spiritually enlightened and perfect human beings, who possessed superior knowledge and would eventually take over the world. After 1945, when this kind of talk naturally went out of fashion, the legend was refurbished to fit new spiritual needs. Today in Tibetan Buddhism and spiritual literature, in both the East and the West, Shambhala is presented as an ideal spiritual state seekers should aspire to reach by practicing compassion, meditation, and high spirituality. In this most recent interpretation of the legend, the old "holy war" feature is not simply set aside but recast into an inner war against internal demons that block a seeker's movement toward perfection....


Lama Phuntsok was one of the dozens of lamas we had met, or were going to meet, in our future. It was already starting to get boring; all these amazing, enlightened Tibetan lamas and their cookie-cutter teachings we had access to, for free, because of our circumstances taking care of Trungpa's son. Although I wouldn't admit it, these lamas were all starting to sound the same and quite dull to me. This old lama from Tibet was different, however, being straight from the old country; unskilled in the strategic charms the lamas had learned for western audiences.

Phuntsok, we were told, was the incarnation of every great lama of the past, which was always the case for any new lamas who needed the boost, and this one seemed incoherent and all over the place. But, one thing was for sure, he was teaching us the real Kalachakra prophecy and its inner and secret teachings; how Trungpa's Shambhala legacy was embedded within it. It was not the Camelot Kingdom terma of Trungpa, nor the Shangri-la paradise of Saint Dalai Lama, filled with peace, love, and harmony, that we had come to believe.

This Kalachakra prophecy, the real one, we had never heard about before. Not in this direct and non-evasive way.

The Dalai Lama had finished giving his fourth, U.S. Kalachakra Wheel of Time empowerment in 1991, in New York City, to crowds of unsuspecting thousands, with the usual pitch that it was about bringing peace throughout the world. This Kalachakra prophecy, the real one, straight from this Lama Phuntsok's mouth, straight from Tibet, wasn't talking peace. He was talking about a third world war, the idea of which he seemed to relish, when Tantric Lord Chakravartins, as Rigden Kings, like Trungpa, would come to rule the world.


Lama Phuntsok told us we were the "special" Trungpa students of the "Shambhala Kingdom" and that Trungpa was a lama, who was not just a great bodhisattva, but a great military leader, connected to Gesar of Ling; an emanation of Rigden Kings who would come to rule the earth, in the near future. We were the future army of Shambhala warriors. Nothing new here; the usual teaching by Trungpa and his early students, but told were simply symbolic. We, as his students in this life, and part of his military branch, his kasung, were going to be reborn in the pure land of Shambhala. Yes, that was the same, but then Phuntsok continued: 'when you will come back to fight as Shambhala warriors, some of you as generals, in this great Wheel of Time war between heretics and Shambhala.'

When this war ended, he told us, it would usher in the Age of Maitreya, the Adi-Buddha world of Shambhala and its enlightened society, after this future great apocalyptic war, predicted by these lamas and their ancient prophesies, had destroyed the enemies of their 'dharma.' It was starting to sound like being reborn as kamikaze in a great, epic bloody battle. Not something you would wish for, for any of your next lives, as Lama Phuntsok was describing it. I just flinched, and filed it away.

What remained clear, however, was this great coming war was very real to this old lama from Tibet, and not symbolic at all; not an internal fight, or struggle within us, to tame our own demons -- our egoistic propensities, -- as we had been taught.

It was the first red flag, waving madly before my eyes, about why these lamas are building all their centers and temples, around the world. I realized, that they really believe they will rise up, at the end of this apocalypse they are all predicting; as the new Lord Chakravartins, the Rigden God Kings, ruling over the earth.

Lama Phuntsok, unskilled in donning a 'peaceful' mask for western consumption, had just told us that Tibetan Buddhism is an apocalyptic cult, that believes it will be the world religion in the not too distant future; once it has conquered the other heretic religions. The lamas had been telling us the same thing; but always making sure it was seen as just a metaphor; in a twilight language; about the war inside us, caused by that bug-a-boo: ego. Lama Phuntsok, straight from Tibet, and therefore straight from the thirteenth century, was telling us the truth about his Tibetan Buddhism; this religion of peace.


In a few short years, in Digby, Nova Scotia, at my last graduate Shambhala retreat -- Trungpa's Kalapa Assembly -- I would learn that Trungpa's ambitions to rule the world were as real for him as it was for Lama Phuntsok, transmitting the prophecy of Shambhala before me, now. Clearly, all these lamas believed and wished for the same thing.

-- Enthralled: The Guru Cult of Tibetan Buddhism, by Christine A. Chandler, M.A., C.A.G.S.


Red Shambhala is the first book in English that recounts the story of political and spiritual seekers from the West and the East, who used Tibetan Buddhist prophecies to promote their spiritual, social, and geopolitical agendas and schemes. These were people of different persuasions and backgrounds: lamas (Ja-Lama and Agvan Dorzhiev), a painter-Theosophist (Nicholas Roerich), a Bolshevik secret police cryptographer (Gleb Bokii), an occult writer with leftist leanings (Alexander Barchenko), Bolshevik diplomats and revolutionaries (Georgy Chicherin, Boris Shumatsky) along with their indigenous fellow-travelers (Elbek-Dorji Rinchino, Sergei Borisov, and Choibalsan), and the rightwing fanatic "Bloody White Baron" Roman von Ungern-Sternberg. Despite their different backgrounds and loyalties, they shared the same totalitarian temptation -- the faith in ultimate solutions. They were on the quest for what one of them (Bokii) defined as the search for the source of absolute good and absolute evil. All of them were true believers, idealists who dreamed about engineering a perfect free-of-social-vice society based on collective living and controlled by enlightened spiritual or ideological masters (an emperor, the Bolshevik Party, the Great White Brotherhood, a reincarnated deity) who would guide people on the "correct" path. Healthy skepticism and moderation, rare commodities at that time anyway, never visited the minds of the individuals I profile in this book. In this sense, they were true children of their time -- an age of extremes that gave birth to totalitarian society.

-- Red Shambhala: Magic, Prophecy, and Geopolitics in the Heart of Asia, by Andrei Znamenski


'Freda has dabbled with Communism ever since my student days in Oxford,' Karaka reported. 'She was, in fact, at Oxford at the same time as myself. Later, she married Bedi, a well known Indian Communist. They both came out to India and plunged themselves into the Communist movement.'29The article resorted to innuendo, suggesting that 'the alleged indoctrination of Sheikh Abdulla [sic] was largely to be traced to his very close association with Freda Bedi'. It suggested that some former associates of the Bedis in Kashmir had 'mysteriously disappeared'. Freda was alleged to have been caught up in controversy about Buddhist property and funds before turning, 'with the active encouragement of Shri J. Nehru, the Prime Minister', to the running of the Young Lamas' Home School. The article suggested that Freda was getting money from the Indian government, and using government headed paper to appeal for funds from supporters in America and elsewhere. Karaka suggested that the Tibetan Friendship Group was a 'Communist stunt' and he alleged that 'noted Communists, with the usual "blessings" of Mr. Nehru, are using the excuse of helping Tibetan refugees and Buddhist monks for furthering the cause of Communism in strategic border areas.'

Facing eclectic audiences — atheists and Muslims, hedge-funders and Indian peasants, the American Enterprise Institute and left-wing activists — he makes no attempt to appease. He often informs conservative audiences in America, ‘‘I am Marxist.’’

-- The Last Dalai Lama?: At 80, Tenzin Gyatso is still an international icon, but the future of his office — and of the Tibetan people — has never been more in doubt, by Pankaj Mishra


Aside from the venomous smears, the only evidence of inappropriate conduct that the article pointed to was her use of official notepaper to appeal for funds for her school and other Tibetan relief operations. It cited a letter of complaint, sent by an unnamed Buddhist organisation which clearly was antagonistic to Freda, stating that she had been using the headed paper of the Central Social Welfare Board which bore the Government of India's logo. A civil servant's response was also quoted: 'Mrs Bedi is not authorised to use Government of India stationery for correspondence in connection with the affairs of the "Young Lama's Home" or the "Tibetan Friendship Group". This has now been pointed out to Mrs. Bedi.'

Even if Freda has been using government headed paper to help raise money -- which those who worked with her say is perfectly possible -- it was hardly a major misdemeanour. But detractors were able to use this blemish to damage her reputation. She was, it seems, distraught at this vicious personal attack and took advice about whether to take legal action. She was advised, probably wisely, to do nothing, as any riposte would simply give further life to accusations so insubstantial that they would quickly fade away. 'The accusation was that Freda was a communist in nun's clothing -- not that Freda was a nun at that time,' recalls Cherry Armstrong. 'I remember her being particularly distressed and "beyond belief' when she believed she had identified the culprit. Freda was totally dumbfounded about it.'

Freda was convinced that another western convert to Buddhism, Sangharakshita (earlier Dennis Lingwood), was either behind the slur or was abetting it.30 They had much in common -- including a deep antipathy to each other. Lingwood encountered Theosophy and Buddhism as a teenager in England and was ordained before he was twenty by the Burmese monk U Titthila, who later helped Freda towards Buddhism. During the war, he served in the armed forces in South and South-east Asia and from 1950 spent about fourteen years based in Kalimpong in north-east India, where he was influenced by several leading Tibetan Buddhist teachers. In the small world of Indian Buddhism, the two English converts rubbed shoulders. More than sixty years later, Sangharakshita -- who established a Buddhist community in England -- recalls coming across Freda, then new to Buddhism, living at the Ashoka Vihar Buddhist centre outside Delhi. 'She was tall, thin, and intense and wore Indian dress. She had a very pale complexion, with light fair hair and very pale blue eyes. In other words, she looked very English! I also noticed, especially later on, that she was very much the Memsaheb ... During the time that I knew Freda she knew hardly anything about Buddhism, having never studied it seriously .... She had however developed what I called her "patter" about the Dalai Lama, compassion, and the poor dear little Tulkus. So far as I could see, Freda had no spiritual awareness or Enlightenment. She may, of course, have developed these later.'31 His view of the Young Lamas' Home School is also somewhat jaundiced -- 'some of [the tulkus] developed rather expensive tastes, such as for Rolex watches.'


In 1989 he was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize, he is the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism -– and he, himself is a self-confessed watch lover. The speech is of course by Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. Granted, the ascetic monk is not the first name that comes to mind in connection with luxury watches. But the Dalai Lama has a weakness for mechanical watches and has been happy to disassemble and reassemble them for years. His personal collection consists of over 15 watches, about which, however, little is known....

However, three of his watches can be clearly seen in photos and we are able to identity them. In addition to a Patek Philippe pocket watch, given to him as a young boy from U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the monk also has two Rolex models whose origin is unknown.


His love of mechanical watches began very early: At the age of 6 or 7, the Dalai Lama received his first watch, from none other than the U.S. American President Franklin D. Roosevelt....Eric Wind identified the watch... in a Hodinkee article as a pocket watch with Ref. 658, of which only 15 were made between 1937 and 1950, a truly special gift!... Roosevelt did not hand over the gift personally. Two agents of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor of today’s CIA, offered the watch along with a letter from the president. Brooke Dolan and his colleague Ilia [Ilya Andreyevich] Tolstoy, who was allegedly the grandson of the famous author Leo Tolstoy, strictly followed the protocol: visitors silently handed over their presents and received a so-called 'katha‘, a prayer shawl traditionally handed over. The two had a mission to find out more about the possibility of building a road from India to China, which was strategically important to the United States for supplying China during the war with Japan.

The Dalai Lama’s watch is a complex and rare specimen that displays the moon phases, date, day of the week and months. It aroused his enthusiasm for mechanical watches and watchmaking. A well-known photograph shows him working on watches....

If you are interested in mechanical watches, there is no way around a classic Rolex. The Dalai Lama owns two models that are well-known: A Rolesor Rolex Datejust made of gold and stainless steel with a Jubilee bracelet and a Rolex Day-Date, both presumably gifts. The latter is made of yellow gold and has a blue dial, as seen in some photographs. Some people say that they are a sign of proudness among a monk, but if you look at the meaning of the colours in Tibetan Buddhism, you will see a beautiful picture: blue stands for heaven and spiritual insights, yellow for earth and the experiences of the real world. Thus, the watch purely by chance reflects the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism.

-- The Dalai Lama and his [Rolex] watches, by Manuel Lütgens


At one retreat [Sogyal] Rinpoche blessed a devotee who was wearing a Rolex watch. It is said he told the man: “You have to put this in the offering bowl at the end.”

-- The Bad Buddha: Dark side of celeb guru Sogyal Rinpoche who ‘sexually abused’ the beautiful young women dubbed his ‘Dakinis’, by Oliver Harvey, The Sun, 9/22/18


Situ was already a thirty-something sell out, his generations folly, the first of the Rolex Rinpoches, known for his embrace of the “greed is good” ethos of what has has become thirty years later as today’s one percent.

-- Keeping the Faith in the Age of the Rolex Rinpoches, by Tinfoil Ushnisha


Sangharakshita's recollection is that he and Freda 'got on quite well, even though I did not take her "Buddhism" very seriously' as they were both English and (in his view) of working-class origin. He was not impressed by her husband: 'he struck me as a bit of a humbug ... I was told (not by Freda) that he was then living with one of his cousins.' In his memoirs, he recycled one of the allegations that featured in Current, that an 'Englishwoman married to a well-known Indian communist' was trying to 'wrest' control of Ashoka Vihar outside Delhi from the Cambodian monk who had founded it.32 Decades later, he continues to recount this and other of the items on the Current charge sheet, describing Freda as 'a rather ruthless operator' while in Kashmir. He recalls the furore over the Current article, but says that he had no reason to believe that Freda was using the Lamas' School for a political purpose. Freda never tackled him over her suspicions, but he does not deny a tangential involvement. 'It is possible,' he concedes, 'that certain reservations about the Young Lamas' Home School eventually reached the ears of Current.'

The incident was a reflection of the intense rivalries within the Tibetan movement and its supporters. 'Strong personalities do seem to draw opposition by their very nature,' Cherry Armstrong comments, 'and there is a lot of personal politics amongst the Tibetan groups -- not all light and loveliness as one might like to think.'33
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:44 am

Biographical note of Pyare Lal Bedi XVI
by Alleva Franca
francaalleva.it.
[Translated from Italian]

Bedi faced his own moment of revelation which, uncannily, also involved a breakdown and a dramatic change in his life. It was as if husband and wife were mirroring each other at just the moment their marriage was unravelling. He started taking part in seances -- perhaps, Ranga believes, to try to contact his brother who had recently died. He started writing wildly, sometimes apparently in languages of which he had no knowledge. One day, Ranga returned home to find his father motionless and with his eyes closed. He eventually arose, came out on a terrace and held his hands outstretched 'like a Muslim prayer'. Ranga's recollection is that his father remained as if in a trance for days. He was motionless and without speech. A doctor repeatedly administered injections, which failed to have any obvious effect. 'About eleven o'clock on the third day, he came down the stairs, went into the loo, had a bath, put on his kurta and went to sleep. He woke up that evening and ate something. But for two months, he was exactly the same as mother had been -- no recognition, no eye contact. His eyes looked totally stoned, though he never took drugs,' Ranga says. 'It was so similar to mother's breakdown. And he also came out of it.'

As with Freda, Bedi's crisis had a lasting spiritual aspect. He developed a keen interest in the occult, establishing the Occult Circle of India; he became attracted to the mystical Sufi tradition within Islam and -- re-engaging with the religion he was born into -- in Sikh mysticism; he believed he had acquired special powers, and took to hands-on spiritual healing. He dressed in a smock and carried a staff; as his hair became increasingly unkempt, he looked like a latter-day Moses. He chose to be known as Baba, which carried with it an echo of a mystical or spiritual identity. It was a reinvention almost as complete as those that marked out the phases in Freda's life; he had gone from gilded youth, to communist and peasants' rights activist, to political apparatchik, to prophet and visionary. Bedi had largely broken links with the organised left and although he remained active in a Delhi-based Kashmir support group, he moved decisively away from active politics.9 'I had been under an impulsion to take to spiritual life,' he recalled a decade later. 'I resigned at once from all organisations .... It was like a realization that now [the] time had come to quit all this work and take to a new form of life.'10 Bedi insisted, not altogether convincingly, that his embrace of a spiritual purpose did not involve any repudiation of his socialist beliefs. 'The statue of Lenin I loved still lies on my mantelpiece, and not a dent on [my] Marxist convictions exists.'11 But several of his old associates felt uncomfortable with Bedi's new look and message and kept their distance. Ranbir Vohra, who had known the Bedis in Lahore and Srinagar as well as Delhi, recalled that his old friend offered to help him communicate with anyone who had passed on: 'He suggested that I talk to Marx. I declined the generous offer.'12 Among the constants in his life were the heavy smoking and use of paan masala, and a more occasional appetite for alcohol.

The death of Bedi's brother also provoked another far-reaching change for the family. T.D. Bedi had a mistress, Raj Narindra. Before his death, he asked his younger brother to keep an eye out for her. Bedi saw through that obligation -- and helped Raj complete the building of a house in Jangpura in south Delhi. 'At first this posed only a financial problem,' Kabir commented, 'later it became emotional. As Freda moved closer to the spiritual path, through Buddhism and meditation, Baba's relationship with the mistress grew closer. It was a time of testing.'13 Bedi's increasingly intimate relationship with Raj was an open secret. 'It was clear to me, absolutely, that there was more than just friendship,' Guli recalls. 'He would tell me not to tell mother about my visits to Jangpura Extension with him.' And there were other women in his life. Guli describes her father -- in the demotic language of modern-day America -- as a chick magnet. 'My mother never spoke about it, but he did have a wandering eye.... He was very charming and charismatic and women came to him like moths to a flame,' Gull says. 'It wasn't exclusive; my father was a free spirit. It was his Achilles heel. He just enjoyed women. He loved my mother -- but that was his Achilles heel. She must have suffered with that. She was a woman, after all.' Whether Freda's celibacy encouraged her husband to be less circumspect about his extra-marital liaisons, or whether his affairs made it easier for Freda to adopt this form of renunciation, it's difficult to say. Her husband's affairs certainly weren't the impetus behind Freda's turn to Buddhism, but it may have made her pursuit of a religious life easier. Her husband had disavowed his marriage through his infidelity. It perhaps allowed her to forsake sex without feeling she was being selfish.

-- The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead


"As a student, athlete, politician, mystic, and writer, Baba Pyare Lal Bedi, better known as Baba Bedi XVI, considered the sixteenth descendant of Nanak, who was in the past, one of the best known and active Sikh teachers.

Father of the well-known actor, Kabir Bedi, he spread a Sikh spirituality. Its setting is different from that of the Sikh master Yogi Bhajan who founded in Toronto, in 1968, the 3HO organization, also known as Sikh Dharma. Master of the Occult Circle of India, he is the descendant of the sixteenth generation of Sat Guru Baba Nanak, Founding Master of the Sikh faith, in the 15th century. Born in 1909 in Punjab, Northern India, he graduated from universities Punjab and Oxford; he was a researcher at the University of Berlin with a scholarship named after Alexander Von Humboldt, working with Prof. Werner Sombart and with Prof. Rudolf Otto of the University of Marburg.

As an athlete he won the championship in the hammer throw in the Indian Olympic race and at the English inter-university meeting in Oxford. Returning to India in 1934 he began to participate, as a leftist revolutionary, in the liberation battle of India and passed a few years in concentration camps and in English prisons.

He was head of the Indian delegation and spent some years in the concentration camp in English prisons. He also headed the North Indian delegation to 1st Congress of the Communist Party of India and member of the National Executive Union of Farmers of India. When the Chinese invaded India it formed the Front of Resistance of Revolutionary Veterans.

During this period of political activity he founded and directed "Contemporary India" (India Contemporanea), a quarterly socio-political publication and the "Monday Morning" (Monday morning), a left weekly.

After the Independence of India in 1947, for five years, he lent his service to refugees following the partition between India and Pakistan.

In 1953, after 20 years of political activity, he gave up politics and turned to mystical life. In 1961, to dig deeper into the heart of the occult, he founded the "Institute for Inquiry into the Unknown"(Institute of Investigation into the Unknown).

Main Sources Consulted:...

-- Baba [BPL Bedi]: Holy Commandments of The Saint of Oneness, Hazrat Mahboobi-Ilahi Hazoor Khwaja Nizamuddin Aulia, The Beloved of the Almighty, Institute for Inquiry into the Unknown, New Delhi 1967.

-- El capitán Richard F. Burton, y Edward Rice


Syed Muhammad Nizamuddin Auliya (Urdu: محمد نظام الدّین اولیاء‎‎; sometimes spelled Awliya; 1238 – 3 April 1325), also known as Hazrat Nizamuddin, and Mahbub-e-Ilahi (Urdu: محبوب ء الاھی ‎ lit. "Beloved of God") was a Sunni Muslim scholar, Sufi saint of the Chishti Order, and unarguably one of the most famous Sufis on the Indian Subcontinent. His predecessors were Fariduddin Ganjshakar, Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, and Moinuddin Chishti, who were the masters of the Chishti spiritual chain or silsila in the Indian subcontinent.

Nizamuddin Auliya, like his predecessors, stressed love as a means of realising God. For him his love of God implied a love of humanity. His vision of the world was marked by a highly evolved sense of religious pluralism and kindness. It is claimed by the 14th century historiographer Ziauddin Barani that his influence on the Muslims of Delhi was such that a paradigm shift was effected in their outlook towards worldly matters. People began to be inclined towards mysticism and prayers and remaining aloof from the world.

-- Nizamuddin Auliya, by Wikipedia


In 1963 he added a new dimension to his work by starting the Center for Psychic Art (Center for Psychic Art).

From 1972 onwards, he came to Italy where, after numerous conferences in Rome and Turin, he stopped in Milan, where he founded and lead the Aquarian Philosophy Center, from which he dissociated and opened his School of New Philosophical Thought by developing his philosophy for the Aquarian Age, taking courses to learn Vibration Therapy, and helping the development of human personality through the Psychic expression. His teachings are about meditation, awareness of God, psychophysical well-being, and evolution of personality.

In 1981 he chaired the International Congress on Reincarnation, held in Milan, and began the World Movement to "live according to Ethical Consciousness," as a means for achieve social Peace.

In the Italian years, Baba Bedi XVI published 3 reference books of Aquarian philosophy: "Total Man" (1975), "Man in the Age of Aquarius" (1982), and "Consciousness, eye of the Soul "(1991). Furthermore, in 1981, he founded and directed the Aquarian philosophy magazine “La Resonance".

He revealed truly new positive dynamics to humanity, which can be implemented on all levels, and at every level, as long as one desires it first. He never tired of repeating: “You can't bring the horse to the river and force him to drink, even if he is thirsty; no violation is possible to free will."

His works published jointly with his wife Freda M. Houlston Bedi* are:

• *India analyzed, work in 4 volumes, (1933-1934 London, Victor Gollancz);
• *Gandhi: Mahatma Gandhi, Saint and statesman, with a preface by Prof. Rudolf Otto, London 1934);
• Karl Marx - Letters on India, Lahore, Contemporary India Publication (1936);
• Sheikh Abdullah: his life and ideals, (1949);
• Harvest from the Desert, Sir Ganga Ram Trust Society (1940);
• Muslims in USSR, Lahore, Indian Printing Works (1947);
• Mystic India, (3 vol.), for The Unity Book club of India, New Delhi;
• Hands off West Irian: Indonesia's national demand from Dutch colonialists (1962);
• Prophet of the Full Moon: Guru Baba Nanak, founder master of Sikhism, New Delhi, Chaudhari Publishers, (1966);
• The art of the tetress, Bombay, Pearl books, (1968), translated into Italian by La nuova Via ed. 1972;
• The pilgrim's way, with a preface by the Indian President S. Radhakrishanan, India (1969), Patiala, Punjabi University;
• *Dynamics of the New Age, New Delhi 1970’
• Conscience as Dynamics of the Psychic for Human Well-being, New Delhi, Institute for Inquiry Into the Unknown;
• Mystic & Ecstacy Eros, New Delhi, Institute for Inquiry Into the Unknown;
• The dynamics of the occult, New Delhi, Unity Publishers;
• The total man, Age of Uranus ed. 1977;
• Soul Eye Consciousness, ed. Zanfi, 2008, second edition of Cittadella Instit. Aquarian pedagogy.

Biographical note of the first wife FREDA MARIE HOULSTON BEDI

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Bedi says : "... in the thirties, when he was in Oxford, my partner of studies Freda Houlston, daughter England, had a such dedication to the cause of Liberty for submissive peoples, whom we fell in love with and we got married.

Back in India, inflamed by needs for Freedom, Freda became one of the chosen followers of Mahatma Gandhi for the non-violent movement of Civil Disobedience. Of course the government she sentenced to prison, entering where she was forced to take off even the ring matrimonial!

The turning point during the events occurred in 1959, with the Chinese attack on Tibet. This led to the mass exodus of the Tibetan people and the great Lamas, led by the Sovereign spiritual and temporal personality of the Dalai Lama himself. At that time Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first to be Prime Minister of India after our Independence, famous for his great heart, he took upon himself the responsibility of providing for thousands of spiritual refugees. To carry out this huge project he called my wife, Freda Bedi, to take in hand the organizational commitment to provide for the needs of the Lamas and of the other refugees.

With its characteristic humanitarian idealism it carried out this commitment to the point that one day, returning from a trip, she arrived accompanied by two young Lamas, adopted as sons. These young Lamas belonged to the singular color category which were Lamas highly evolved in the previous birth and which at the time of death had indicated the time and place of their rebirth.

After being discovered, following the indications, they underwent severe tests and they are known as Tulku and after reaching the maturity of the years they acquired the honor of being called Rimpoche. At this point it may be important to remember that one of them was Trungpa Rinpoche, who went to America and became famous for his teachings and likewise for his wonderful books. The other young Lama adopted son it was Akong Rinpoche, who now founded the largest Buddhist monastery in Scotland.

Fully involved in providing for the well-being of Tibetan refugees and adults Lama, Freda decided to become a Buddhist nun and lived this role with that absorption and dedication of the Soul that was given the sacred title of Gelongma: this is the highest step a nun can reach in the Tibetan Hierarchy. Thus, after centuries of Mahayana Buddhism, she, as a woman, had the right to give Initiation for both men and women who wanted to make Buddhism their own. Arrived to this rank he had around him the halo of serenity and wrapped in it he gave quietly goodbye to the Earth while sitting in his contemplation. It was the year 1976.

Source: Baba Bedi XVI, "Australia". But this also told us during some lessons .

Biographical note of the second wife: Antonia Chiappini

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At the time of the meeting with Bedi Antonia he is 25 years old and, from that moment, he dedicates entirely his life, together with him, to creation of a corpus of courses aimed at development of the human personality, of the creativity.

They married in 1977 and in 1979 they founded the New School that Bedi presents like this:

"This New School of Thought Philosophical arose by working hand in hand hand, with my wife Antonia Chiappini Bedi and my gratitude goes to her soul.".

Antonia graduated in psychology, continues the teachings of her husband. integrating them.

Sources: Baba Bedi XVI, "Australia"; Baba Bedi XVI, "The Soul human and the Vibrational Centers for Being and Becoming ". (The human Soul and the Vibrational Centers for Being and Becoming); excerpts from the notebook of Proff. G. Tascini

Pyare Lal Bedi, left the body on the morning of March 31, 1993, in the home of Cristina Aprato in Rivarolo (Turin). He would have turned 84 on April 5. Its sacred ashes are immersed in the river Ganges on January 4, 1998.

INDEX of conferences held by B. Bedi in Italy present in my personal archive

1975

How to avoid negativities
Why the study of reincarnation is important?
Why is 1975 important?

1976

The dynamics of the ego
Food and human system

1978
Essence of Man
How to get to know myself

1979
The character of the new Age: Age Aquarius

1981
The alphabet of vibrational therapy
The Basics of Aquarian Philosophy

1982

The Aquarian concept of Justice
Psychic writing and automatic writing
The study of previous life like therapy and human consciousness
Live according to nature
The specter of identity
New light on the nature of the mind
Pedagogy in the Aquarian Age
The illusion of sociality
Goodbye! supernatural and paranormal
The physiognomy of prejudice
Destiny prophecy and free will
Handicapped sociality and sexuality
The morality of the soul
The dynamics of ethical consciousness

1983

Aquarian Trinity: democratic purpose
The divinity of desire
The roots of holiness
Listening to the inner voice
The invisible source of aspirations
The language of dreams
Human purpose
The alphabet of Being
The dynamics of becoming

1984

The anatomy of frustration
The essence of the doubt
The roots of power
The art of living
Live? Like?
The physiognomy of peace
Peace and human conscience

1985

Nobility of selfishness
Social presumptions
Roots of realization
The illusion of love
The reality of the present
Physiognomy of individuality
Anatomy of Individuality
Purpose of the ideology

1986

The frontiers of ecology
The mirage of sociality
The soul of knowledge
Why?Why?
I do not know
The wisdom of ignorance
Creativity and peace
The real need
To hell with the devil

1987

The spiral of ecstasy
The call of the flame
The identity of the source esoteric
The divinity of the woman
Gorbachev flies to Marx
Purpose of the couple
The purpose of the moth

1988

Spirituality and realpolitik
Linguistic nonsense
Violence yes or no?

1989

Justice in the Aquarian era
I, you, the others
Exist or be?

1990

It was Aquarian and contemporary changes
Cosmos and human consciousness
Mysterious number: 17
The nest of silence: art

1991

Aquarian philosophy
Ethical awareness
Consciousness and holistic feeling
Magic of balance

1992

The birth of the Light

***

I attended Baba Bedi from 1979 to 1992, studying, practicing and developing:

5 basic courses of Vibrational Techniques personality development through the drawing
5 courses of Aquarian Pedagogy
Vibrational anatomy
Distance healing
handicapp
The art of contemplation
The sacred communication technique (mediumship)
The soul of dance, word, music, painting, color
So-called mental illnesses
Esoteric light of sexuality
Birth preparation (my program discussed with him)
Planetary emanations
Precious stones-chakras- the 18 senses
The vibrational network

first in Via Cicco Simonetta in Milan and then in Segrate.

On the technique of personality development through drawing, one of the many elaborated by Bedi that deal with the human living recognizing the roots of psychosomatic and behavioral manifestations, I wrote two texts, one with Cinzia Rffinerngo: The language of Consciousness, ed. Psyche2, Turin 2006 and the other: Breaking chains and StreetLib ebook 2016 but also others handwritten on this technique, before me and you can find them, and browse some pages, in the menu: Publications.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:11 am

Vibration techniques, description and use
by https://nl.greenlife-kyoto.com
[Translated from Dutch]

Vibration techniques lead the individual to eliminate certain emotional and spiritual blockages and to bring them back into balance in their totality. Let's invent it better.

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What are vibrational techniques?

Baba Pyare Lal Bedi, better known as Baba Bedi XVI , father of the more famous Kabir Bedi, was a great Indian mystic born in Punjab, considered the sixteenth descendant of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Baba Nanak. He spread the spiritual movement of the Age of Aquaria, the Aquarian Philosophy, based on the existence of a single divine source and separate from any existing religion, participated in the liberation war of India against the English and, after independence, held a held a prominent position for a few years, and then devoted himself to searching for the Truth and teaching. In 1961, Baba Bedi XVI founded the research institute at the unknown in New Delhi; in 1972 he moved to Italy, where he developed his Aquarian Philosophy, based on the teachings of Vibrational Therapy and the development of human personality through Psychic Expression. The technique or vibration therapy is essentially a holistic methodology that focuses on seeking inner balance, well-being and spiritual growth, taking care of the entire person. He uses different techniques based on two common denominators of light: paranormal sensitivity and intuition.

How do they work?

Vibration techniques are based on the idea that humans are not born to suffer, but to realize themselves. Fears, conditioning, unconscious fears, distrust, complexes of different origins and resistances are obstacles that can stop the natural progress of self-realization, unleash opposing waves, forces that resist growth that generate blocks, discomforts and existential disorders, both on the plane physically, psychologically and emotionally. Vibration techniques are intended to stop or prevent the formation of these blocks. Every part of the physical system is related to a state of mind, an emotion or a life situation, for example: the kidneys with fear, the liver with suppressed anger, the temples with worries, the eyes with the vision of life and the opportunities it offers, the nose to orientation.

The imbalance affects different organs and the conscious part, the conscience of everyone, brings darkness. The more intense the imbalance, the darker the halo. The starting point of the vibration technique is to identify the organs involved in the imbalance and to bring them light thanks to the psychological sensitivity to discover and release all those 'talents' and abilities that make people complete.

Which ailments cure vibrational techniques?

The vibration techniques are methodologies often explained in "courses of spiritual healing", which, thanks to the work of responsible people, have the so-called "activators of Light" to activate the "talents" of each person, eliminating the blockages and darkness, they are eliminated. During these meetings, a method is taught to activate the "psychological sensitivity" of all those who want to speed up the process of their own evolution or who for some reason have not had access to it themselves. The disorders that this type of holistic therapy is going to cure are mainly related to an emotional part, which relates to dissatisfaction with oneself, depression, anxiety and uncertainty, which in turn can cause physical problems of greater or lesser magnitude, of insomnia, panic attacks, high blood pressure.

Who are the vibration techniques for?

Vibration techniques are designed to bring Light of awareness to the suffering person, who wants to free his consciousness from blockages and outflows that have stratified over time. In this way the person returns to activate the communication between his own psychic sensitivity and consciousness, so that the latter is able to develop total perception. I will hear the reality beyond the five physical senses. Once activated, psychic sensitivity stimulates the positive capacity of the person and makes them active through "talents" (painting, sculpture, music, dramatization, writing, singing, dancing and poetry), if he is fully experienced, promotes evolution, the personality development and the full realization of the individual.

The law in Italy and abroad

In Italy and abroad there are many centers of psychophysical well-being that are concerned with the re-awakening of conscience and aimed at balancing and harmonizing the person. The law in Italy defines them as holistic professions, therefore valid at the level of support and knowledge, not the administration of real treatments as can be considered as those at the medical level. There is also a vibrational medication that uses therapeutic diapasone or other instruments, such as stiper's quartz crystal discs, acupressure, sound therapy and vibrational acupuncture, as energetic and emotional rebalancing tools. The SIAF (Italian Family Harmonization Society) is one of the associations that organizes courses for holistic operators.

Associations and reference bodies

In 1981, Baba Bedi XVI organized the second international congress on reincarnation in Milan, started the world movement of "living according to ethical consciousness," and in 1979 set up the Aquarian Philosophy Center with his wife. In 1992 he founded the Institute of Aquarian Pedagogy in Cittadella, in the province of Padua. For more information about the teachings of Baba Bedi, the book by Cristina Aprato "Baba Bedi and the Way of Joy" is recommended.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:18 am

Center of Acquarian [Aquarian] Philosophy
by https://www.centrofilosofiaacquariana.it/
[Translated from Italian]

Vibrational techniques, Growing up with fairy tales, Masaru Emoto Informed water ..

Masaru Emoto (江本 勝, Emoto Masaru, July 22, 1943 – October 17, 2014) was a Japanese author and pseudoscientist who said that human consciousness has an effect on the molecular structure of water. Emoto's conjecture evolved over the years, and his early work revolved around pseudoscientific hypotheses that water could react to positive thoughts and words and that polluted water could be cleaned through prayer and positive visualization.

-- Masaru Emoto, by Wikipedia


"The fundamental purpose of the Center is to bring awareness: suffering exists because man does not know himself, we know a very small part of ourselves, of others and of the world around us."

The vibrational technique offers a methodology for learning to become aware of the relationship existing between emotions, feelings and the quality of life we ​​live, in other words the state of serenity and well-being of the body".

Happy New Year Light, Love, Joy.

March 14, 2020 Saturday: 1st level of Vibrational technique.

March 21, 2020 Saturday: Discover the baby inside you.

March 28, 2020 Saturday: "Getting cured through fairy tales."

February 17, 2020 5.30 pm at the Sporting Club of Milano due Presentation of the book: "Transformation tales for children and adults."

March 25, 2020 Wednesday 8.30 pm Philosophical coffee at the Tibaldi Library Viale Tibaldi, 41 Milan on the theme: "What is the relationship between psychological time and chronological time?" Free participation.

Last places available for the Experiential Philosophical Laboratory Self-care; we will confront our limits to transform them into resources. We will reflect on Epictetus' statements: "To accuse others of one's evils is ignorance, to accuse oneself means to have begun a path of understanding, not to accuse neither oneself nor others is true wisdom".

7/8 March 2020 Saturday and Sunday Experiential Philosophical Laboratory "On the wings of the butterfly - Self-care: Overcoming our limits - Living the ancient wisdom of our soul". at the Sporting Club in Milan due.

Residence Cantone 304
20090 Milan 2 - Segrate (MI)
VAT no. 91526930150

Telephone 02.26419760
e-mail: antonia.chiappini@gmail.com
e-mail: antonia.chiappini@fastwebnet.it

Antonia Bedi Chiappini: graduated in psychology and philosophy.
II level Master in Philosophical Consultancy at the Ca ’Foscari University of Venice.
Graduated counselor at the school of psychophilosophy in Milan.
Teacher in Philosophy for Children Higher education course at the University of Padua.
Certificate of Hado Instructor at Masaru Emoto Tokyo school.
Founder of the Center for Aquarian Philosophy.

At the time of the meeting with Baba Bedi, who later became her husband, Antonia is 25 years old and together they dedicate themselves to the creation of a corpus of courses aimed at the development of human personality, creativity, and Esoteric Research.

Following the disappearance of Baba Bedi, his wife Antonia Chiappini Bedi continues the activity of the Center for Aquarian Philosophy together with a team of collaborators.

The Center of Acquarian Philosophy was born in 1974 as Baba Bedi says:

"This New School of Philosophical Thought arose working for 20 years hand in hand with my wife Antonia Chiappini Bedi and the gratitude of my soul goes to her." (From her latest book "The Eye of Soul Consciousness").

The Acquarian Philosophy center does not attribute any health qualification, but offers people the possibility of expanding their awareness.

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The Philosophy of Courses

The courses created at the Center of Acquarian Philosophy are aimed at bringing dynamics positive to social life for the evolution of human personality and are based on the propagation of the World Movement of Ethical Consciousness, for the Birth of a Social Order, based on dignity and peace.

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Courses: Know Yourself

You are born know yourself. Nothing too much.

I warn you, whoever you are. Oh, you who wish to probe the arcana of nature, if you cannot find what you are looking for within yourself, you will not be able to find it outside. If you ignore the wonders of your home, how do you expect to find other wonders? The treasure of the Gods is hidden in you. Man, know yourself and you will know the universe of the Gods.

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Courses: Vibrational Technique

Courses for the development of Human Personality.

To know all the information on the course program on the development of Human Personality, click on the button below.
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