Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:27 am

Chinese Empire Reform Association [Baohuang Hui] [Protect the Emperor Society]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 1/12/20



Chinese Empire Reform Association
Leader Kang Youwei
Founded 20 July 1899
Dissolved c.1911
Succeeded by Empire Unity Party / Friends of the Constitution Association
Ideology: Constitutionalism, Monarchism, Politics of China
Political parties

Members of the Chinese Empire Reform Association in Canada in 1903

The Chinese Empire Reform Association (known in Chinese as the "Society to Protect the Emperor" 保救大清皇帝會 or Baohuang Hui 保皇會) was an organization active mostly outside of China that intended to support the Guangxu Emperor in his return to power in the Chinese Empire, which had been taken in a coup by Empress Dowager Cixi. It was formed in Victoria, British Columbia - where its named building still stands - in 1899 by Kang Youwei who had fled China to escape the death penalty. At its peak the association had chapters in 150 cities worldwide.

In 1900, the Chinese Empire Reform Association plotted with domestic correspondents to engineer an armed uprising in China, taking advantage of the chaos of the Eight-Nation Alliance marching on Beijing. The Association's promised funds were delayed, however, with some (such as Liang Qichao) accusing Kang of deliberately withholding funds due to his disagreement with the more radical co-conspirators such as Sun Yat-sen. This resulted in some cells starting action as originally planned while others stayed put, and the conspiracy was discovered by Qing authorities. Tang Caichang, the designated leader of the uprising in Hankou, was executed by the Qing government.

After suing for peace with the foreign powers, the Qing court softened its resistance to constitutional reform, so the Reform Association's platform shifted to co-operating with the push for top-down reform in China. Its main perceived threat changed to the republican revolutionaries led by Sun Yat-sen. In 1906, the Qing government adopted the policy of establishing a constitutional monarchy by 1911. Kang Youwei declared that the Association's goals were accomplished, and in 1907 it changed its Chinese name to the "Empire Constitutionalist Association" (帝国宪政会), which was much closer to the association's English name. In its new incarnation, the Association aligned itself with the Qing court and opposed the republicans. In 1910, the Association reorganised itself into the political party "Empire Unity Party" (帝国统一党), which was the first officially registered political party in China, later renamed the "Friends of the Constitution Association" (宪友会).

After the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 and the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912, some members of Association went on to form new political parties that participated in elections to the republican parliament, while Kang himself agitated for restoration of monarchy, including organising the brief Manchu Restoration of 1917. The bulk of the "Friends of the Constitution Association" became the Democratic Party, which merged into the Progressive Party in 1913.

External links

• Victoria's Chinatown - Chinese Empire Reform Association
• An Association to Save China, the Baohuang Hui 保皇會
• Baohuanghui Scholarship
• Chinese Empire Reform Association
• A Chinese Reformer in Exile: Association of Asian Studies Panel Report, 16 March 2012
• Lawrence M. Kaplan. Homer Lea: American Soldier of Fortune. University Press of Kentucky, 2010. ISBN 978-0813126166.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:35 am

Kang Youwei
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 1/12/20



Kang Youwei
Kang Youwei (c. 1905)
Born: 19 March 1858, Nanhai, Guangdong, Qing Empire
Died: 31 March 1927 (aged 69), Qingdao, Shandong, Republic of China
Education: Jinshi degree in the Imperial Examination
Known for Leader in the Gongche Shangshu movement
Leader in the Hundred Days' Reform
Notable work: Reformation of Meiji Emperor (日本明治變政考), and Reformation of Peter the Great (俄大彼得變政記)
Spouse(s): Zhang Yunzhu
Liang Xujiao
He Zhanli
4th wife
Liao Dingzhen
Zhang Guang
Children: 15 children, including Kang Tongbi
Relatives: Kang Youpu (brother)
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Kang.
Kang Youwei
Traditional Chinese 康有為
Simplified Chinese 康有为

Kang Youwei (Chinese: 康有為; Cantonese: Hōng Yáuh-wàih; 19 March 1858 – 31 March 1927) was a Chinese philosopher and politician. He was also a noted calligrapher and prominent political thinker and reformer of the late Qing dynasty. Through his connections, he became close to the young Guangxu Emperor and fervently encouraged him to promote his friends and consequently soured the relationship between the emperor and his adoptive mother, the powerful Empress Dowager Cixi. His ideas inspired a reformation movement. Although he continued to advocate a constitutional monarchy after the founding of the Republic, Kang's political theory was never put into practice as he was forced to flee China for repeated attempts to assassinate the empress dowager. He was an ardent Chinese nationalist and internationalist.

Early life

Kang was born on 19 March 1858 in Nanhai County, Guangdong province (now the Nanhai District of Foshan City). According to his autobiography, his intellectual gifts were recognized in his childhood by his uncle. As a result, from an early age, he was sent by his family to study the Confucian classics to pass the Chinese civil service exams. However, as a teenager, he was dissatisfied with the scholastic system of his time, especially its emphasis on preparing for the eight-legged exams, which were artificial literary exercises required as part of the examinations.

Studying for exams was an extraordinarily rigorous activity so he engaged in Buddhist meditation as a form of relaxation, an unusual leisurely activity for a Chinese scholar of his time. It was during one of these meditations that he had a mystical vision that became the theme for his intellectual pursuits throughout his life. Believing that it was possible to read every book and "become a sage", he embarked on a quasi-messianic pursuit to save humanity.


Kang called for an end to property and the family in the interest of an idealized future cosmopolitan utopia and cited Confucius as an example of a reformer and not as a reactionary, as many of his contemporaries did. The latter idea was discussed in great detail in his work Kongzi Gaizhi Kao (孔子改制攷), or Study of the Reforms of Confucius. He argued, to bolster his claims that the rediscovered versions of the Confucian classics were forged, as he treated in detail in Xinxue weijing kao (A Study of the 'New Text' Forgeries).

Kang was a strong believer in constitutional monarchy and wanted to remodel the country after Meiji Japan. These ideas angered his colleagues in the scholarly class who regarded him as a heretic.

Kang and his noted student, Liang Qichao, were important participants in a campaign to modernize China now known as the Hundred Days' Reform. The reforms introduced radical change into the stale Chinese government, many of which were already being implemented. By most popular historical accounts, the Empress Dowager ended the reforms and ordered Kang executed by slow slicing. Kang also organized the Protect the Emperor Society, which claimed that the weak emperor was being unduly locked up for his role in the assassination attempt on his adoptive mother/aunt. Kang relied on his principal American military advisor, General Homer Lea to head the military branch of the Protect the Emperor Society. Kang even traveled throughout the Chinese diaspora, supposedly to promote constitutional monarchy but mostly to promote his own self-interest. He competed with the revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen's Revive China Society and Revolutionary Alliance for funds and followers.

He visited India twice, first in 1901–1903 and then again in October 1909
, in part to study India, which he regarded as comparable to China. Although his information about Indian history was derived from English authors, he observed that India's plight as a colonised country was due to the disunity among the different regions of India.[1]

The Xinhai Revolution led to the abdication of the Qing dynasty and the establishment of a Republic under Sun Yat-sen in 1912.

Some advocated that a Han be installed as Emperor, either the descendant of Confucius, who was the Duke Yansheng,[2][3][4][5] which Kang briefly endorsed before dropping the idea and returning to the idea of a Qing monarch,[6] or the Ming dynasty Imperial family descendant, the Marquis of Extended Grace.[7][8]

Kang remained an advocate of constitutional monarchy and launched a failed coup d'état in 1917. General Zhang Xun and his queue-wearing soldiers occupied Beijing, declaring a restoration of Emperor Puyi on July 1.

The incident was a major miscalculation. The nation was highly anti-monarchist. Kang became suspicious of Zhang's insincere constitutionalism and feared he was merely using the restoration to become the power behind the throne.
He abandoned his mission and fled to the American legation.
On July 12, Duan Qirui easily occupied the city.

Kang's reputation serves as an important barometer for the political attitudes of his time. In the span of less than twenty years, he went from being regarded as an iconoclastic radical to an anachronistic pariah. In Jung Chang's biography of the Empress Dowager, he is depicted as a self-serving zealot, who was always seeking personal power above national considerations.

Da Tongshu

Kang's best-known and probably most controversial work is Da Tong shu (大同書). The title of the book derives from the name of a utopian society imagined by Confucius, but it literally means "The Book of Great Unity". The ideas of this book appeared in his lecture notes from 1884. Encouraged by his students, he worked on this book for the next two decades, but it was not until his exile in India that he finished the first draft. The first two chapters of the book were published in Japan in the 1900s, but the book was not published in its entirety until 1935, about seven years after his death.[9]

Kang proposed a utopian future world free of political boundaries and democratically ruled by one central government. In his scheme, the world would be split into rectangular administrative districts, which would be self-governing under a direct democracy but loyal to a central world government. There would also be the dissolution of racial boundaries. Kang outlines an immensely ambitious eugenics program that would eliminate the "brown and black" racial phenotype after a millennia and lead to the emergence of a fair-skinned homogeneous human race whose members would "be the same color, the same appearance, the same size, and the same intelligence".[10]

Tang Poem: Returning Home As An Unrecognized Old Man, Nantoyōsō Collection, Japan

Kang Youwei, circa 1920

His desire to end the traditional Chinese family structure defines him as an early advocate of women's independence in China.[???!!!][11] He reasoned that the institution of the family practiced by society since the beginning of time was a great cause of strife. Kang hoped it would be effectively abolished.

The family would be replaced by state-run institutions, such as womb-teaching institutions, nurseries and schools. Marriage would be replaced by one-year contracts between a woman and a man.[12] Kang considered the contemporary form of marriage, in which a woman was trapped for a lifetime, to be too oppressive. Kang believed in equality between men and women and that there should be no social barrier barring women from doing whatever men can do.

Kang saw capitalism as an inherently evil system. He believed that government should establish socialist institutions to overlook the welfare of each individual. At one point, he even advocated that government should adopt the methods of "communism" although it is debated what Kang meant by this term. He was surely one of the first advocates of Western communism in China.

In this spirit, in addition to establishing government nurseries and schools to replace the institution of the family, he also envisioned government-run retirement homes for the elderly. It is debated whether Kang's socialist ideas were inspired more by Western thought or by traditional Confucian ideals.

IF there were no God, said the eighteenth century Deist, it would be necessary to invent Him. Now this XVIII century god was deus ex machina, the god who helped those who could not help themselves, the god of the lazy and incapable. The nineteenth century decided that there is indeed no such god; and now Man must take in hand all the work that he used to shirk with an idle prayer. He must, in effect, change himself into the political Providence which he formerly conceived as god; and such change is not only possible, but the only sort of change that is real. The mere transfiguration of institutions, as from military and priestly dominance to commercial and scientific dominance, from commercial dominance to proletarian democracy, from slavery to serfdom, from serfdom to capitalism, from monarchy to republicanism, from polytheism to monotheism, from monotheism to atheism, from atheism to pantheistic humanitarianism, from general illiteracy to general literacy, from romance to realism, from realism to mysticism, from metaphysics to physics, are all but changes from Tweedledum to Tweedledee: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose [Google translate: The more things change, the more they stay the same]. But the changes from the crab apple to the pippin, from the wolf and fox to the house dog, from the charger of Henry V to the brewer’s draught horse and the race-horse, are real; for here Man has played the god, subduing Nature to his intention, and ennobling or debasing Life for a set purpose. And what can be done with a wolf can be done with a man....

The cry for the Superman did not begin with Nietzsche, nor will it end with his vogue. But it has always been silenced by the same question: what kind of person is this Superman to be? You ask, not for a super-apple, but for an eatable apple; not for a superhorse, but for a horse of greater draught or velocity. Neither is it of any use to ask for a Superman: you must furnish a specification of the sort of man you want. Unfortunately you do not know what sort of man you want. Some sort of goodlooking philosopher-athlete, with a handsome healthy woman for his mate, perhaps....

For example, we agree that we want superior mind; but we need not fall into the football club folly of counting on this as a product of superior body....If we must choose between a race of athletes and a race of “good” men, let us have the athletes....

No doubt it is easy to demonstrate that property will destroy society unless society destroys it. No doubt, also, property has hitherto held its own and destroyed all the empires. But that was because the superficial objection to it (that it distributes social wealth and the social labor burden in a grotesquely inequitable manner) did not threaten the existence of the race, but only the individual happiness of its units, and finally the maintenance of some irrelevant political form or other, such as a nation, an empire, or the like. Now as happiness never matters to Nature, as she neither recognizes flags and frontiers nor cares a straw whether the economic system adopted by a society is feudal, capitalistic, or collectivist, provided it keeps the race afoot (the hive and the anthill being as acceptable to her as Utopia), the demonstrations of Socialists, though irrefutable, will never make any serious impression on property....

But we have now reached the stage of international organization. Man’s political capacity and magnanimity are clearly beaten by the vastness and complexity of the problems forced on him....

And so, if the Superman is to come, he must be born of Woman by Man’s intentional and well-considered contrivance. Conviction of this will smash everything that opposes it. Even Property and Marriage, which laugh at the laborer’s petty complaint that he is defrauded of “surplus value,” and at the domestic miseries of the slaves of the wedding ring, will themselves be laughed aside as the lightest of trifles if they cross this conception when it becomes a fully realized vital purpose of the race.

That they must cross it becomes obvious the moment we acknowledge the futility of breeding men for special qualities as we breed cocks for game, greyhounds for speed, or sheep for mutton. What is really important in Man is the part of him that we do not yet understand. Of much of it we are not even conscious, just as we are not normally conscious of keeping up our circulation by our heart-pump, though if we neglect it we die. We are therefore driven to the conclusion that when we have carried selection as far as we can by rejecting from the list of eligible parents all persons who are uninteresting, unpromising, or blemished without any set-off, we shall still have to trust to the guidance of fancy (alias Voice of Nature), both in the breeders and the parents, for that superiority in the unconscious self which will be the true characteristic of the Superman....

But pray are we to try to correct our diseased stocks by infecting our healthy stocks with them? Clearly the attraction which disease has for diseased people is beneficial to the race. If two really unhealthy people get married, they will, as likely as not, have a great number of children who will all die before they reach maturity. This is a far more satisfactory arrangement than the tragedy of a union between a healthy and an unhealthy person. Though more costly than sterilization of the unhealthy, it has the enormous advantage that in the event of our notions of health and unhealth being erroneous (which to some extent they most certainly are), the error will be corrected by experience instead of confirmed by evasion.

One fact must be faced resolutely, in spite of the shrieks of the romantic. There is no evidence that the best citizens are the offspring of congenial marriages, or that a conflict of temperament is not a highly important part of what breeders call crossing....But mating such couples must clearly not involve marrying them. But mating such couples must clearly not involve marrying them. In conjugation two complementary persons may supply one another’s deficiencies: in the domestic partnership of marriage they only feel them and suffer from them. Thus the son of a robust, cheerful, eupeptic British country squire, with the tastes and range of his class, and of a clever, imaginative, intellectual, highly civilized Jewess, might be very superior to both his parents; but it is not likely that the Jewess would find the squire an interesting companion, or his habits, his friends, his place and mode of life congenial to her. Therefore marriage, whilst it is made an indispensable condition of mating, will delay the advent of the Superman as effectually as Property, and will be modified by the impulse towards him just as effectually....

At certain moments there may even be a considerable material advance, as when the conquest of political power by the working class produces a better distribution of wealth through the simple action of the selfishness of the new masters; but all this is mere readjustment and reformation: until the heart and mind of the people is changed the very greatest man will no more dare to govern on the assumption that all are as great as he than a drover dare leave his flock to find its way through the streets as he himself would. Until there is an England in which every man is a Cromwell, a France in which every man is a Napoleon, a Rome in which every man is a Cæsar, a Germany in which every man is a Luther plus a Goethe, the world will be no more improved by its heroes than a Brixton villa is improved by the pyramid of Cheops. The production of such nations is the only real change possible to us....

The need for the Superman is, in its most imperative aspect, a political one. We have been driven to Proletarian Democracy by the failure of all the alternative systems; for these depended on the existence of Supermen acting as despots or oligarchs; and not only were these Supermen not always or even often forthcoming at the right moment and in an eligible social position, but when they were forthcoming they could not, except for a short time and by morally suicidal coercive methods, impose superhumanity on those whom they governed; so, by mere force of “human nature,” government by consent of the governed has supplanted the old plan of governing the citizen as a public-schoolboy is governed....

At all events Australia and Canada, which are virtually protected democratic republics, and France and the United States, which are avowedly independent democratic republics, are neither healthy, wealthy, nor wise; and they would be worse instead of better if their popular ministers were not experts in the art of dodging popular enthusiasms and duping popular ignorance....

The only fundamental and possible Socialism is the socialization of the selective breeding of Man: in other terms, of human evolution. We must eliminate the Yahoo, or his vote will wreck the commonwealth....

That may mean that we must establish a State Department of Evolution, with a seat in the Cabinet for its chief, and a revenue to defray the cost of direct State experiments, and provide inducements to private persons to achieve successful results. It may mean a private society or a chartered company for the improvement of human live stock. But for the present it is far more likely to mean a blatant repudiation of such proposals as indecent and immoral, with, nevertheless, a general secret pushing of the human will in the repudiated direction; so that all sorts of institutions and public authorities will under some pretext or other feel their way furtively towards the Superman. Mr. Graham Wallas has already ventured to suggest, as Chairman of the School Management Committee of the London School Board, that the accepted policy of the Sterilization of the Schoolmistress, however administratively convenient, is open to criticism from the national stock-breeding point of view; and this is as good an example as any of the way in which the drift towards the Superman may operate in spite of all our hypocrisies....

Even a joint stock human stud farm (piously disguised as a reformed Foundling Hospital or something of that sort) might well, under proper inspection and regulation, produce better results than our present reliance on promiscuous marriage. It may be objected that when an ordinary contractor produces stores for sale to the Government, and the Government rejects them as not up to the required standard, the condemned goods are either sold for what they will fetch or else scrapped: that is, treated as waste material; whereas if the goods consisted of human beings, all that could be done would be to let them loose or send them to the nearest workhouse. But there is nothing new in private enterprise throwing its human refuse on the cheap labor market and the workhouse; and the refuse of the new industry would presumably be better bred than the staple product of ordinary poverty....

It will have to be handled by statesmen with character enough to tell our democracy and plutocracy that statecraft does not consist in flattering their follies or applying their suburban standards of propriety to the affairs of four continents. The matter must be taken up either by the State or by some organization strong enough to impose respect upon the State....

Let those who think the whole conception of intelligent breeding absurd and scandalous ask themselves why George IV was not allowed to choose his own wife whilst any tinker could marry whom he pleased? Simply because it did not matter a rap politically whom the tinker married, whereas it mattered very much whom the king married. The way in which all considerations of the king’s personal rights, of the claims of the heart, of the sanctity of the marriage oath, and of romantic morality crumpled up before this political need shews how negligible all these apparently irresistible prejudices are when they come into conflict with the demand for quality in our rulers. We learn the same lesson from the case of the soldier, whose marriage, when it is permitted at all, is despotically controlled with a view solely to military efficiency....

On the other hand a sense of the social importance of the tinker’s marriage has been steadily growing. We have made a public matter of his wife’s health in the month after her confinement. We have taken the minds of his children out of his hands and put them into those of our State schoolmaster. We shall presently make their bodily nourishment independent of him. But they are still riff-raff; and to hand the country over to riff-raff is national suicide, since riff-raff can neither govern nor will let anyone else govern except the highest bidder of bread and circuses. There is no public enthusiast alive of twenty years’ practical democratic experience who believes in the political adequacy of the electorate or of the bodies it elects. The overthrow of the aristocrat has created the necessity for the Superman. Englishmen hate Liberty and Equality too much to understand them. But every Englishman loves and desires a pedigree....

A conference on the subject is the next step needed. It will be attended by men and women who, no longer believing that they can live for ever, are seeking for some immortal work into which they can build the best of themselves before their refuse is thrown into that arch dust destructor, the cremation furnace.

-- Man and Superman, by George Bernard Shaw

Lawrence G. Thompsom believes that his socialism was based on traditional Chinese ideals. His work is permeated with the Confucian ideal of ren (仁), or humanity. However, Thompson also noted a reference by Kang to Fourier. Thus, some Chinese scholars believe that Kang's socialist ideals were influenced by Western intellectuals after his exile in 1898.

Notable in Kang's Da Tong Shu were his enthusiasm for and his belief in bettering humanity through technology, unusual for a Confucian scholar during his time. He believed that Western technological progress had a central role in saving humanity. While many scholars of his time continued to maintain the belief that Western technology should be adopted only to defend China against the West, he seemed to whole-heartedly embrace the modern idea that technology is integral for advancing mankind. Before anything of modern scale had been built, he foresaw a global telegraphic and telephone network. He also believed that as a result of technological advances, each individual would only need to work three or four hours per day, a prediction that would be repeated by the most optimistic futurists later in the 20th century.

When the book was first published, it was received with mixed reactions. Kang's support for the Guangxu Emperor was seen as reactionary by many Chinese intellectuals, who believed that Kang's book was an elaborate joke and that he was merely acting as an apologist for the emperor as to how a utopian paradise could have developed if the Qing dynasty had been maintained. Others believe that Kang was a bold and daring protocommunist, who advocated modern Western socialism and communism. Amongst the latter was Mao Zedong, who admired Kang Youwei and his socialist ideals in the Da Tongshu.

Modern Chinese scholars now often take the view that Kang was an important advocate of Chinese socialism. Despite the controversy, Da Tongshu still remains popular. A Beijing publisher included it on the list of 100 most influential books in Chinese history.

Philosophical views

Kang enumerated sources of human suffering in a way similar to that of Buddhism.[13]

The sufferings associated with man's physical life are being implanted in the womb, premature death, loss of a limb, being a barbarian, living outside China, being a slave and being a woman. The sufferings associated with natural disasters are famine resulting from flood or drought, epidemic, conflagration, flood, volcanic eruptions, collapse of buildings, shipwreck and locust plagues. The sufferings associated with the human relationship are being a widow, being orphaned or childless, being ill with no one to provide medical care, suffering poverty and having a low and mean station in life. The sufferings associated with society are corporal punishment and imprisonment, taxation, military conscription, social stratification, oppressive political institutions, the existence of the state and the existence of the family. The human feelings which cause suffering are stupidity, hatred, fatigue, lust, attachment to things and desire. The things that cause suffering because of the esteem in which they are held are wealth, eminent position, longevity, being a ruler and being a spiritual leader. He also imagined a hierarchy of religions, in which Christianity and Islam were the lowest, above them being Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. He predicted that in the future the lower religions would disappear.[14]


Former home of Kang Youwei in Qingdao

Kang died at his home in the city of Qingdao, Shandong in 1927. He was 69.


1. Kang Youwei’s Journey to India: Chinese Discourse on India During the Late Qing and Republican Periods, Liu Xi, CHINA REPORT 48 : 1&2 (2012): 171–185
2. Eiko Woodhouse (2 August 2004). The Chinese Hsinhai Revolution: G. E. Morrison and Anglo-Japanese Relations, 1897-1920. Routledge. pp. 113–. ISBN 978-1-134-35242-5.
3. Jonathan D. Spence (28 October 1982). The Gate of Heavenly Peace: The Chinese and Their Revolution. Penguin Publishing Group. pp. 84–. ISBN 978-1-101-17372-5.
4. Shêng Hu; Danian Liu (1983). The 1911 Revolution: A Retrospective After 70 Years. New World Press. p. 55.
5. The National Review, China. 1913. p. 200.
6. Monumenta Serica. H. Vetch. 1967. p. 67.
7. Percy Horace Braund Kent (1912). The Passing of the Manchus. E. Arnold. pp. 382–.
8. M.A. Aldrich (1 March 2008). The Search for a Vanishing Beijing: A Guide to China's Capital Through the Ages. Hong Kong University Press. pp. 176–. ISBN 978-962-209-777-3.
9. Dmitry E. Martynov,"Edward Bellamy and Kang Youwei's utopian society: Comparative analyses." Journal of Sustainable Development 8.4 (2015): 233.
10. Ban Wang (2017). Chinese Visions of World Order: Tianxia, Culture, and World Politics. Duke UP. pp. 60–. ISBN 9780822372448.
11. "Atria | Kennisinstituut voor Emancipatie en Vrouwengeschiedenis" (PDF).
12. Kang Youwei 2010, Datong Shu, Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, p.310.
13. Dmitry E. Martynov, "Edward Bellamy and Kang Youwei's utopian society: Comparative analyses." Journal of Sustainable Development 8.4 (2015): 233.
14. "The One-World Philosophy of K'ang Yu-Wei" by Shri O. K. Ghosh

Further reading

• M. E. Cameron, The Reform Movement in China, 1898–1912 (1931, repr. 1963); biography ed. and tr. by Lo Jung-pang (1967).
• Chang Hao, Chinese Intellectuals in Crisis. Search for Order and Meaning (1890–1911), Berkeley 1987.
• Chang Hao: "Intellectual change and the reform movement, 1890-1898", in: Twitchett, Denis and Fairbanks, John (ed.): The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 11, Late Ch’ing, 1800–1911, Part 2 (1980). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 274–338, esp. 283-300, 318-338.
• HOWARD, RICHARD C., "K’ang Yu-wei (1858-1927): His Intellectual Background and Early Thought", in A.F. Wright and Denis Twitchett (eds.): Confucian Personalities. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1962, pp. 294–316 and 382-386 (notes).
• HOWARD, RICHARD C.: The early life and thought of K’ang Yu-wei, 1858-1927 (1972). Ph.D. Columbia University.
• HSIAO, KUNG-CHUAN: A Modern China and a New World – K`ang Yu-wei, Reformer and Utopian, 1858-1927 (1975). Seattle and London: University of Washington Press.
• KARL, REBECCA and ZARROW, PETER (ed.): Rethinking the 1898 Reform Period – Political and Cultural Change in Late Qing China (2002). Cambridge/Mass.: Harvard University Press, esp. pp. 24–33.
• K'ang Yu-wei. A Biography and a Symposium, ed. Lo Jung-pang, Tucson 1967 (The Association for Asian Studies: Monographs and Papers, Bd. 23).
• Palmer, Norman D. "MAKERS OF MODERN CHINA: I. The Reformer: Kang Yu-wei" Current History 15#84 (Aug 1, 1948): 88+.
• TENG, SSU-YÜ and FAIRBANK, JOHN K.: China's response to the West – a documentary survey 1839-1923 (1954, 1979). Cambridge/Mass.: Harvard University Press, pp. 147–164 (chapter about Kang Youwei).
• THOMPSON, LAURENCE G.: Ta t´ung shu: the one-world philosophy of K`ang Yu-wei (1958). London: George Allen and Unwin, esp. pp. 37–57.
• ZARROW, PETER: “The rise of Confucian radicalism”, in Zarrow, Peter: China in war and revolution, 1895-1949 (New York: Routledge), 2005, 12-29.

In other languages

• Chi Wen-shun, K'ang Yu-wei (1858–1927) (in Die Söhne des Drachen. Chinas Weg vom Konfuzianismus zum Kommunismus, ed. P. J. Opitz, Mchn. 1974, S. 83–109).
• Franke, W. Die staatspolitischen Reformversuche K'ang Yu-weis u. seiner Schule. Ein Beitrag zur geistigen Auseinandersetzung Chinas mit dem Abendlande (in Mitt. des Seminars für Orientalische Sprachen, Bln. 38, 1935, Nr. 1, S. 1–83). –
• Kuang Bailin, Kang Youwei di zhexue sixiang, Peking 1980.
• G. Sattler-v. Sivers, Die Reformbewegung von 1898 (in Chinas große Wandlung. Revolutionäre Bewegungen im 19. u. 20. Jh., ed. P. J. Opitz, Mchn. 1972, S. 55–81). –
• Tang Zhijun, Kang Youwei yu wuxu bianfa, Peking 1984. – Ders., Wuxu bianfa shi, Peking 1984. –
• Wuxu weixin yundong shi lunji, ed. Hu Shengwu, Changsha 1983.

External links

• Profile
• K'ang Yu-wei on
• On the Ostensible Sources of Mao Zedong's Utopia: Kang Youwei & Saneatsu Mushanokoji

See also

• Gongche Shangshu movement
• Lawrence M. Kaplan. Homer Lea: American Soldier of Fortune. University Press of Kentucky, 2010. ISBN 978-0813126166.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:52 pm

Beijing Legation Quarter
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 1/12/20



Looking north, the British Legation is the large building on the left side of the Imperial Canal. About 1900. Many Chinese lived in the Legation Quarter in addition to the foreign diplomats and businessmen.

Detailed map of the Beijing Legation Quarter in 1912

The Beijing Legation Quarter was the area in Beijing, China where a number of foreign legations were located between 1861 and 1959. In the Chinese language, the area is known as Dong Jiaomin Xiang (simplified Chinese: 东交民巷; traditional Chinese: 東交民巷; pinyin: Dōng Jiāomín Xiàng), which is the name of the hutong (lane or small street) through the area. It is located in the Dongcheng District, immediately to the east of Tiananmen Square. The city of Beijing was commonly called Peking by Europeans and Americans until the 1950s.

A legation was a diplomatic representative office of lower rank than an embassy. Where an embassy was headed by an ambassador, a legation was headed by a minister. Ambassadors outranked ministers and had precedence at official events. Legations were originally the most common form of diplomatic mission, but they fell out of favor after World War II and were upgraded to embassies.

Through the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century, most diplomatic missions were legations. An ambassador was considered the personal representative of his monarch, so only a major power that was a monarchy would send an ambassador and establish an embassy.[1] A republic or a smaller monarchy would only send a minister and establish a legation. Because of diplomatic reciprocity, even a major monarchy would only establish a legation in a republic or a smaller monarchy.[2] For example, in the waning years of the Second French Empire, the North German Confederation had an embassy in Paris, while Bavaria and the United States had legations.[3]

The practice of establishing legations gradually fell from favor as the embassy became the standard form of diplomatic mission. The establishment of the French Third Republic and the continued growth of the United States meant that two of the Great Powers were now republics. The French Republic continued the French Empire's practice of sending and receiving ambassadors.[4] In 1893, the United States followed the French precedent and began sending ambassadors, upgrading its legations to embassies.[2] The last remaining American legations, in Bulgaria and Hungary, were upgraded to embassies in 1966.[5]

The last legations in the world were the Baltic legations,[6][7] which were upgraded to embassies in 1991 after the Baltic states reestablished their independence from the Soviet Union.

-- Legation, by Wikipedia

The Legation Quarter was the location of the 55-day siege of the International Legations, which took place during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. After the Boxer Rebellion, the Legation Quarter was under the jurisdiction of foreign countries with diplomatic legations (later most commonly called "embassies") in the quarter. The foreign residents were exempt from Chinese law. The Legation Quarter attracted a large number of diplomats, soldiers, scholars, artists, tourists, and Sinophiles. World War II effectively ended the special status of the Legation Quarter, and with the Great Leap Forward and other events in communist China most of the European-style buildings of the Legation Quarter were destroyed.

Origins and description

During the Yuan dynasty, the street was known as the Dong Jiangmi Xiang (simplified Chinese: 东江米巷; traditional Chinese: 東江米巷; pinyin: Dōng Jiāngmĭ Xiàng), or "East River-Rice Lane". It was the location of the tax office and customs authorities, because of its proximity to the Grand Canal, 30 kilometres (19 mi) east, by which rice and grains arrived in Beijing from the south. During the Ming dynasty, a number of ministries relocated into the area, including the Ministry of Rites, which was in charge of diplomatic matters. Several hostels were built for tributary missions from Vietnam, Mongolia, Korea and Burma.

Beijing in 1900 was surrounded by high walls broken by many gates (men). The Legation Quarter adjoined the southeast corner of the Imperial city.

Austro-Hungarian marines at Beijing to protect the Legation Quarter, c. 1910

The Chinese government had long denied the European countries and the United States a diplomatic presence in the imperial capital of Beijing. However, the Convention of Peking after China's defeat in the Second Opium War of 1856-60, required the Qing Dynasty government to permit diplomatic representatives to live in Beijing. The area around Dong Jiangmi Xiang was opened for the establishment of foreign legations.[1] The Zongli Yamen was established as a foreign office of the Qing Dynasty to deal with the foreigners.

In 1861, the British legation was established in the residence of Prince Chun, the French legation was established in the residence of Prince An, and the Russian legation was established in the existing Russian quarters of the Orthodox Church. In 1862, the American legation was established in the home of Dr. Samuel Wells Williams, an American who was appointed to head the U.S. legation. Other countries also soon followed suit.[2] By 1900 there were 11 legations in the Legation Quarter: the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, and the United States.[3]

The Legation Quarter was rectangular in shape, approximately 1,300 metres (4,300 ft) east to west and 700 metres (2,300 ft) north to south. The southern boundary was the city wall of Beijing, commonly called the Tartar Wall. The Tartar wall was massive, 13 metres (43 ft) high and 13 metres (43 ft) thick on top.The northern boundary was near the wall around the Imperial City. On the east the Legation Quarter was bordered near the Hata gate, the Chongwenmen in pinyin, and on the west near the Chien or Zhengyang gate, the Qianmen in pinyin.[4] Legation Street, now called Dongjiaomin Xiang (East Foreign Residents Alley), bisected the Legation Quarter from east to west. The Imperial Canal, described as "noxious" ran through the center of the quarter from north to south, exiting the legation quarter through a watergate beneath the Tartar Wall.[5]

In the late 19th century the eleven foreign delegations were scattered among modest Chinese houses and opulent palaces inhabited by Manchu princes. However, in 1860, Peking was "in a wretched state of dilapidation and ruin, and scarcely one of their palatial buildings is not falling into decay."[6] Legation Street in 1900 was still "a straggling unpaved slum of a thoroughfare, along which one occasionally sees a European picking his way between the ruts and puddles with the donkeys and camels."[7] A number of foreign enterprises in addition to the legations had been established in the quarter, including two large stores catering to Europeans, two foreign banks, the Jardine Matheson trading house, the Imperial Maritime Customs offices, managed by an Englishman, Robert Hart, and the Swiss-run Hotel de Pekin.[8]

The Boxer Rebellion

During the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, the Legation Quarter was besieged by Boxers and the Qing army for 55 days. The Siege of the Legations was lifted on August 14 by a multi-national army, the Eight-Nation Alliance, which marched to Beijing from the coast and defeated the Chinese army in a series of battles, including the Battle of Peking. Of the 900 foreign nationals, including 400 soldiers, who took refuge in the Legation Quarter, 55 soldiers and 13 civilians were killed. Beijing was occupied for more than one year by the foreign armies.[9]

Beijing RR station, 1901. The Tartar Wall is on the left side of the station and the Legation Quarter is on the other side of the Wall.

The Boxer Protocol of 1901 officially ended the Boxer Rebellion. China was forced to pay a large indemnity to the foreign powers. Article VII of the Protocol said that "the quarter occupied by the legations shall be considered as one specially reserved for their use and placed under their exclusive control, in which Chinese shall not have the right to reside and which may be made defensible." The Protocol also established the exact boundaries of the Legation Quarter.[10]

Most of the buildings, Chinese and foreign-owned, in the Legation Quarter were damaged or destroyed during the Boxer Rebellion. The area was quickly rebuilt and became more European. In 1902, legations had been rebuilt and expanded, Legation Street had been paved, and the Peking-Mukden Railway from Tianjin had been extended to the Chien (Zhengyang) gate, just across the Tartar Wall from the Legation Quarter.[11] Foreign soldiers patrolled the streets of the Legation Quarter, and Chinese houses and property had been expropriated or purchased. A wall had been constructed around the Legation Quarter and outside the wall a grassy area, a glacis, gave the soldiers a field of visibility to warn them of advancing trouble--and also isolating them from the Chinese.[12]

Legation Street. Yokohama Specie Bank on the left and the Grand Hotel des Wagons-Lits on the right. Probably 1920s or 1930s.

Dongjiaomin Catholic Church, also known as St. Michael's Church

The "golden era"

In the years after the Boxer Rebellion, foreign influence increased in Beijing, a conservative bastion of China. Missionaries, tourists, artists, soldiers, and businessmen came in larger numbers to visit or reside in the Legation Quarter. The "place just crawls" with "globetrotters" said a British diplomat in 1907. The ubiquitous Protestant missionaries, mindful of the anti-missionary and anti-Christian fervor of the Boxers, began to turn away from proselytizing, and more toward education, health, and women's issues in attempting to accelerate a century of very slow progress in achieving their goal of making China into a Christian nation.[13] A few foreign businessmen came to Peking and many foreign enterprises were located in the Legation Quarter, but Peking never became a mercantile center for foreign companies comparable to Shanghai and other Treaty Ports. The foreign population in Beijing was never more than two to three thousand people (not counting foreign soldiers), compared to the 60,000 non-Chinese who lived in Shanghai in 1930. (The American civilians resident in Beijing in 1937 numbered about 700.) Rather the population that Beijing attracted included, in addition to the diplomats working in the Legations and the soldiers guarding them, a sizable number of scholars, artists, and aesthetes, especially in the early 1930s. They were attracted by the ancient Chinese culture preserved in Beijing and leisurely living for very little money.[14]

For the Europeans or Americans visiting or living in the Legation Quarter, it was a familiar environment of paved streets, western architecture, lawns, trees, social clubs, bars and restaurants. Chinese servants of foreigners were allowed to live in the Legation quarter, but others could only enter with temporary passes from guards at every entrance to the Legation Quarter. It was a leisurely life for diplomats, their guards, and other foreigners, who had legions of servants and for whom life consisted of a "perpetual merry-go round of parties....One hardly saw any Chinese guests among the crowd....Riding and horse racing", and a "delightful immorality" prevailed.[15]

However, in the opinion of many, the "latent hatred of the foreigner" by the Chinese was in no way diminished. Relationships between foreigners and Chinese were mostly superficial, with few successful efforts to "bridge the gap which separates white & yellow."[16]

The Legation Guards

The Boxer Protocol gave the legations the right to station soldiers in the Legation Quarter. The United States usually had the largest contingent, consisting of marines after 1905. at the end of World War I in 1918, the U.S. guard contingent consisted of 222 men. The Japanese had 180 men and the British 102. Other countries had smaller numbers of soldiers. Those numbers for the U.S. gradually increased to reach a total of 567 Marines on December 31, 1937, the increase being due to increased political instability in north China. The legation guards had the task of defending the Legation Quarter from a repetition of the Boxer Rebellion, and also securing the roads and railroad from Beijing to Tianjin, the line of escape from China for the foreigners if worse came to worse.[17]

A departing Marine in the late 1920s described the leisurely life of the legation guards. You "get the afternoons off....You don't make your own bed; you don't shine your own shoes; you don't fill your own canteen; you don't shave yourself; the Chink coolies do it for you. You get waited on hand and foot." He added however, that he was leaving because China was not a "white man's country."[18]

World War II

The people of the Legation Quarter suffered a series of political shocks: the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911 to Yuan Shikai, the warlord era from his death in 1916 until 1928 when Chiang Kai Shek and the Republic of China army consolidated its rule over China, and the growing influence of an increasingly aggressive Japan. The capital was moved to Nanjing in 1928 which reduced the political importance of Beijing. Beijing (northern capital) became Beiping (northern peace). The diplomats in Beiping, enjoying the delights of the Legation Quarter, resisted moving their legations to Nanjing, commuting instead between the two cities, a trip that took days of difficult travel.[19]

Japan took over the Chinese province of Manchuria in 1931, engaged in a brief war with Chinese forces near Shanghai in 1932, and steadily encroached on the area around Beijing. World War II in East Asia properly began on July 7, 1937 when Japanese and Chinese soldiers clashed in the Marco Polo Bridge Incident. The Marco Polo Bridge was about 20 kilometres (12 mi) west of the Legation Quarter. More fighting ensued and on August 8, the victorious Japanese army marched into Beijing. Foreigners observed the fighting outside Beijing from the roof of the Peking Hotel. The legations ordered all their citizens to take refuge in the Legation Quarter. A "polyglot assortment" of people showed up of "missionaries, Eurasians, Chinese and Russian wives of Americans" and dozens of White Russians at the American Legation, by then called an Embassy. The refugees soon returned to their homes as the fighting ceased with the Japanese in firm control. The consequence of the Japanese conquest was that foreign residents of the Legation Quarter began to leave China, and the number of legation guards was drawn down.[20] The final departure of American Marines from Beijing and northern China was to be December 10, 1941.[21]

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 8, 1941 (Asian time) foiled the planned evacuation. The 203 American Marine guards remaining in the Legation Quarter, Tianjin, and Chinwangtao surrendered to the Japanese and became prisoners of war for the remainder of World War II.[22] The civilian foreigners remaining in Beijing were relatively undisturbed until February 1943 when they received a letter ordering them to assemble in the (former) American legation to be transported by railroad to Weihsien Civilian Assembly Center, 320 kilometres (200 mi) south of Beijing. The group, ranging in age from six months to 85 years old and including many missionaries, doctors, scholars, and businessmen, were allowed to take only what they could carry and were marched past Chinese crowds assembled to see the humiliation of the foreigners. The foreign population of Beijing was interned in Weihsien until the end of World War II.[23]

The People's Republic

After World War II, some of the internees at Weihsien returned to Beijing and attempted to re-establish pre-war institutions such as the Peking Union Medical College. Peking was occupied by American soldiers in late 1945 and 1946, but there was a steady outflow of foreign residents from Beijing afterwards as the civil war between nationalists and the Chinese communists moved ever closer. On January 23, 1949 the nationalist forces in Beijing surrendered to the communists.[24]

At the time of the victory of the People's Republic of China (1949), a number of foreign legations were still situated in the legation area. The missions of East Germany, Hungary, Burma and the United Kingdom were all located in the Legation Quarter in the 1950s, but after 1959 foreign missions were relocated to Sanlitun outside the old city walls.

However, the area suffered much vandalism during the Cultural Revolution. More damage was inflicted since the 1980s due to Beijing's redevelopment. Several buildings, such as the former HSBC building, were demolished for road expansion. Some buildings are occupied by government institutions. A number of modern high-rise buildings have also been built, dramatically changing the area's appearance. Nevertheless, as Beijing's most significant collection of Western-style buildings, the area is a tourist destination, is protected by municipal artifact preservation orders, and now features several fine dining restaurants and retail shops.

White Russians

An exception to the privileged status of the foreigners in the Legation Quarter were the "White Russians" who flooded into China after World War I and into the early 1920s after their defeat in the Russian Civil War in the Soviet Union. Most of the Russians went to Manchuria and treaty ports such as Shanghai, but a few ended up in Beijing. In 1924, the Chinese government recognized the government of the Soviet Union and the majority of White Russians in China who refused to become Soviet citizens were rendered stateless, thus subject to Chinese law unlike other Europeans, Americans, and Japanese living in China who enjoyed the principles of extraterritoriality. Nor were White Russians born in China eligible to be Chinese citizens.[25]

Although some of the White Russians arrived with their fortunes intact, most were penniless and due to ethnic prejudices and their inability to speak English were unable to find jobs. To support themselves and their families, many of the younger women became prostitutes or taxi dancers. They were popular with both foreign men, there being a shortage of foreign women, and Chinese men. A League of Nations survey in Shanghai in 1935 found that 22% of Russian women between 16 and 45 years of age were engaging in prostitution to some extent.[26] The percentage in Beijing may have been higher than Shanghai as economic opportunities were more limited.

The White Russian women mostly worked in the "Badlands" area adjoining the Legation Quarter on the east, centered on Chuanban Hutong (alley). The American explorer Roy Chapman Andrews said he frequented the "cafes of somewhat dubious reputation" with the explorer Sven Hedin and scientist Davidson Black to "have scrambled eggs and dance with the Russian girls."[27] An Italian diplomat condemned the White Russians: "The prestige of the white face fell precipitously when Chinese could possess a white woman for a dollar or less, and Russian officers in tattered uniforms begged at the doors of Chinese theaters."[28]

See also

• History of Beijing


1. Chia Chen Chu (1944), "Diplomatic Quarter in Peiping," A Dissertation submitted to the University of Ottawa, pp. 5-8
2. Chia Chen Chu, p. 8
3. "How to visit Dong Jiao Min Xiang", ... -min-xiang, accessed 5 Jan 2018
4. Calculated from File:Peking legation quarter.jpg.
5. Thompson, Larry Clinton (2009), William Scott Ament and the Boxer Rebellion, Jefferson, NC: McFarland Publishing Co., pp. 30, 36-38
6. Cranmer-Byng, J. L. (1962), "The Old British Legation at Peking, 1860-1959," Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Branch, pp. 63-64. Downloaded from JSTOR.
7. Thompson, pp. 36-37
8. Preston, Diana (2000), The Boxer Rebellion, New York: Berkley Books, p. 10
9. Thompson, pp. 83-85, 173, 183-184
10. "Settlement of Matters relating to the Boxer Rebellion (Boxer Protocol)",, accessed 12 Jan 2018
11. Thompson, p. 215
12. Boyd, Julia (2012), A Dance with the Dragon, London: I. B. Tauris, p. 39
13. Boyd, pp. 60-67
14. Letcher, pp. 17-20; "Tales of Old China: Census and Population", ... population, accessed 13 Jan 2018; Boyd, p. 181
15. Boyd, pp. Xviii, 65, 125
16. Boyd, p. 67, 107
17. Letcher, pp. 3-4, 20; "The China Marines: Peking",, accessed 19 Jan 2018; Letcher, p, 20
18. Letcher, p. x
19. Boyd, pp. 150-152
20. Boyd, p. 192
23. Gilkey, Langdon (1966), Shangtung Compound, New York: Harper & Row, pp 1-4
24. Boyd, pp. 210-219
25. Shen Yuanfang and Edwards, Penny (2002), "The Harbin Connection: Russians from China", Beyond China, Canberrra: Australian National University, pp. 75-87, ... u-2004.pdf, accessed 14 Jan 2018
26. Ristaino, Marcia Reynders (2001), Port of last resort : the diaspora communities of Shanghai, Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2001, page 94]
27. Andrews, Roy Chapman (1943), Under a Lucky Star, New York: Viking Press, p.164
28. Boyd, 138


• Moser, Michael J., and Yeone Wei-chih Moser. Foreigners within the Gates: The Legations at Peking. Hong Kong, New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

External links

• Map of former Legation Quarter + Legations
• Photographs of former Legation Quarter
• Legation Quarter Website
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Charles Fourier
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 1/12/20



Charles Fourier
Born: François Marie Charles Fourier, 7 April 1772, Besançon, France
Died: 10 October 1837 (aged 65), Paris, France
Era: 19th-century philosophy
Region: Western philosophy
School: Utopian socialism
Main interests: Political philosophy; Economics; Philosophy of desire
Notable ideas: Phalanstère "Attractive work"
Influences: Nicolas-Edme Rétif[1]
Influenced: Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Joseph Déjacque, Karl Marx, Peter Kropotkin, Victor Prosper Considerant, Walter Benjamin, Émile Armand, Paul Goodman, André Breton, Herbert Marcuse, Raoul Vaneigem, Bob Black, Hakim Bey, David Harvey

François Marie Charles Fourier (/ˈfʊrieɪ, -iər/;[2] French: [ʃaʁl fuʁje]; 7 April 1772 – 10 October 1837) was a French philosopher, influential early socialist thinker and one of the founders of utopian socialism. Some of Fourier's social and moral views, held to be radical in his lifetime, have become mainstream thinking in modern society. For instance, Fourier is credited with having originated the word "feminism" in 1837.[3]

Fourier's social views and proposals inspired a whole movement of intentional communities. Among them in the United States were the community of Utopia, Ohio; La Reunion near present-day Dallas, Texas; Lake Zurich, Illinois; the North American Phalanx in Red Bank, New Jersey; Brook Farm in West Roxbury, Massachusetts; the Community Place and Sodus Bay Phalanx in New York State; Silkville, Kansas and several others. Fourier later inspired a diverse array of revolutionary thinkers and writers.


Fourier was born in Besançon, France on 7 April 1772.[4] The son of a small businessman, Fourier was more interested in architecture than in his father's trade.[4] He wanted to become an engineer, but the local military engineering school accepted only sons of noblemen.[4] Fourier later said he was grateful that he did not pursue engineering, because it would have consumed too much of his time and taken away from his true desire to help humanity.[5]

When his father died in 1781, Fourier received two-fifths of his father's estate, valued at more than 200,000 francs.[6] This inheritance enabled Fourier to travel throughout Europe at his leisure. In 1791 he moved from Besançon to Lyon, where he was employed by the merchant M. Bousquet.[7] Fourier's travels also brought him to Paris, where he worked as the head of the Office of Statistics for a few months.[4] From 1791 to 1816 Fourier was employed in Paris, Rouen, Lyon, Marseille, and Bordeaux.[8] As a traveling salesman and correspondence clerk, his research and thought was time-limited: he complained of "serving the knavery of merchants" and the stupefaction of "deceitful and degrading duties." He took up writing, and his first book was published in 1808 but it only sold few copies. Surprisingly, after six years the book fell into the hands of Monsieur Just Muiron who eventually became Fourier's patron. Fourier produced most of his writings between 1816 and 1821. In 1822, he tried to sell his books again but with no success.[9]

Fourier died in Paris in 1837.[7][10]


Fourier declared that concern and cooperation were the secrets of social success. He believed that a society that cooperated would see an immense improvement in their productivity levels. Workers would be recompensed for their labors according to their contribution. Fourier saw such cooperation occurring in communities he called "phalanxes," based upon structures called Phalanstères or "grand hotels". These buildings were four-level apartment complexes where the richest had the uppermost apartments and the poorest had a ground-floor residence. Wealth was determined by one's job; jobs were assigned based on the interests and desires of the individual. There were incentives: jobs people might not enjoy doing would receive higher pay. Fourier considered trade, which he associated with Jews, to be the "source of all evil" and advocated that Jews be forced to perform farm work in the phalansteries.[11] By the end of his life, Fourier advocated the return of Jews to Palestine with the assistance of the Rothschilds.[12] John K. Roth and Richard L. Rubenstein have seen Fourier as motivated by economic and religious antisemitism, rather than the racial antisemitism that would emerge later in the century.[13]

Attack on civilization

Fourier characterized poverty (not inequality) as the principal cause of disorder in society, and he proposed to eradicate it by sufficiently high wages and by a "decent minimum" for those who were not able to work.[14] Fourier used the word civilization in a negative sense and as such "Fourier's contempt for the respectable thinkers and ideologies of his age was so intense that he always used the terms philosopher and civilization in a pejorative sense. In his lexicon civilization was a depraved order, a synonym for perfidy and constraint ... Fourier's attack on civilization had qualities not to be found in the writing of any other social critic of his time."[15]

Work and liberated passions

For Herbert Marcuse "The idea of libidinal work relations in a developed industrial society finds little support in the tradition of thought, and where such support is forthcoming it seems of a dangerous nature. The transformation of labor into pleasure is the central idea in Fourier's giant socialist utopia."[16]:217

Fourier insists that this transformation requires a complete change in the social institutions: distribution of the social product according to need, assignment of functions according to individual faculties and inclinations, constant mutation of functions, short work periods, and so on. But the possibility of "attractive labor" (travail attrayant) derives above all from the release of libidinal forces. Fourier assumes the existence of an attraction industrielle which makes for pleasurable co-operation. It is based on the attraction passionnée in the nature of man, which persists despite the opposition of reason, duty, prejudice. This attraction passionnée tends toward three principal objectives: the creation of "luxury, or the pleasure of the five senses"; the formation of libidinal groups (of friendship and love); and the establishment of a harmonious order, organizing these groups for work in accordance with the development of the individual "passions" (internal and external "play" of faculties).[16]:217

He believed that there were twelve common passions which resulted in 810 types of character, so the ideal phalanx would have exactly 1620 people. One day there would be six million of these, loosely ruled by a world "omniarch", or (later) a World Congress of Phalanxes. He had a concern for the sexually rejected; jilted suitors would be led away by a corps of fairies who would soon cure them of their lovesickness, and visitors could consult the card-index of personality types for suitable partners for casual sex. He also defended homosexuality as a personal preference for some people. Anarchist Hakim Bey describes Fourier's ideas as follows:

In Fourier's system of Harmony all creative activity including industry, craft, agriculture, etc. will arise from liberated passion—this is the famous theory of "attractive labor." Fourier sexualizes work itself—the life of the Phalanstery is a continual orgy of intense feeling, intellection, & activity, a society of lovers & wild enthusiasts.[17]

Women's rights

Fourier was also a supporter of women's rights in a time period when influences like Jean-Jacques Rousseau were prevalent. Fourier believed that all important jobs should be open to women on the basis of skill and aptitude rather than closed on account of gender. He spoke of women as individuals, not as half the human couple. Fourier saw that "traditional" marriage could potentially hurt woman's rights as human beings and thus never married.[18] Writing before the advent of the term 'homosexuality', Fourier held that both men and women have a wide range of sexual needs and preferences which may change throughout their lives, including same-sex sexuality and androgénité. He argued that all sexual expressions should be enjoyed as long as people are not abused, and that "affirming one's difference" can actually enhance social integration.[19]

Fourier's concern was to liberate every human individual, man, woman, and child, in two senses: education and the liberation of human passion.[20]

Children and education

On education, Fourier felt that "civilized" parents and teachers saw children as little idlers.[21] Fourier felt that this way of thinking was wrong. He felt that children as early as age two and three were very industrious. He listed the dominant tastes in all children to include, but not limited to:

1. Rummaging or inclination to handle everything, examine everything, look through everything, to constantly change occupations;
2. Industrial commotion, taste for noisy occupations;
3. Aping or imitative mania.
4. Industrial miniature, a taste for miniature workshops.
5. Progressive attraction of the weak toward the strong.[21]

Fourier was deeply disturbed by the disorder of his time and wanted to stabilize the course of events which surrounded him. Fourier saw his fellow human beings living in a world full of strife, chaos, and disorder.[22]

Fourier is best remembered for his writings on a new world order based on unity of action and harmonious collaboration.[4] He is also known for certain Utopian pronouncements, such as that the seas would lose their salinity and turn to lemonade, and a coincidental view of climate change, that the North Pole would be milder than the Mediterranean in a future phase of Perfect Harmony. [21]

Perspective view of Fourier's Phalanstère


The influence of Fourier's ideas in French politics was carried forward into the 1848 Revolution and the Paris Commune by followers such as Victor Considerant.

• Numerous references to Fourierism appear in Dostoevsky's political novel Demons first published in 1872[23]
• Fourier's ideas also took root in America, with his followers starting phalanxes throughout the country, including one of the most famous, Utopia, Ohio.
• Petr Kropotkin, in the preface to his book The Conquest of Bread, considered Fourier to be the founder of the libertarian branch of socialist thought, as opposed to the authoritarian socialist ideas of Babeuf and Buonarroti.[24]
• In the mid-20th century, Fourier's influence began to rise again among writers reappraising socialist ideas outside the Marxist mainstream. After the Surrealists had broken with the French Communist Party, André Breton returned to Fourier, writing Ode à Charles Fourier in 1947.
• Walter Benjamin considered Fourier crucial enough to devote an entire "konvolut" of his massive, projected book on the Paris arcades, the Passagenwerk, to Fourier's thought and influence. He writes: "To have instituted play as the canon of a labor no longer rooted in exploitation is one of the great merits of Fourier", and notes that "Only in the summery middle of the nineteenth century, only under its sun, can one conceive of Fourier's fantasy materialized."
• Herbert Marcuse in his influential work Eros and Civilization praised Fourier saying that "Fourier comes closer than any other utopian socialist to elucidating the dependence of freedom on non-repressive sublimation."[16]:218
• In 1969, Raoul Vaneigem quoted and adapted Fourier's Avis aux civilisés relativement à la prochaine métamorphose sociale in his text Avis aux civilisés relativement à l'autogestion généralisée.[25]

North American Phalanx building in New Jersey

• Fourier's work has significantly influenced the writings of Gustav Wyneken, Guy Davenport (in his work of fiction Apples and Pears), Peter Lamborn Wilson, and Paul Goodman.
• In Whit Stillman's film Metropolitan, the idealistic Tom Townsend describes himself as a Fourierist, and debates the success of social experiment Brook Farm with another of the characters. Bidding him goodnight, Sally Fowler says, "Good luck with your furrierism." [sic]
• David Harvey, in the appendix to his book Spaces of Hope, offers a personal utopian vision of the future in cities citing Fourier's ideas.
• Libertarian socialist and environmentalist thinker Murray Bookchin wrote that "The Greek ideal of the rounded citizen in a rounded environment — one that reappeared in Charles Fourier’s utopian works — was long cherished by the anarchists and socialists of the last century...The opportunity of the individual to devote his or her productive activity to many different tasks over an attenuated work week (or in Fourier’s ideal society, over a given day) was seen as a vital factor in overcoming the division between manual and intellectual activity, in transcending status differences that this major division of work created, and in enhancing the wealth of experiences that came with a free movement from industry through crafts to food cultivation."[26]
• Nathaniel Hawthorne in Chapter 7 of his novel The Blithedale Romance gently mocks Fourier saying,

"When, as a consequence of human improvement", said I, "the globe shall arrive at its final perfection, the great ocean is to be converted into a particular kind of lemonade, such as was fashionable at Paris in Fourier's time. He calls it limonade a cedre. It is positively a fact! Just imagine the city docks filled, every day, with a flood tide of this delectable beverage!" [27]

• Writers of the post-left anarchy tendency have praised the writings of Fourier. Bob Black in his work The Abolition of Work advocates Fourier's idea of attractive work as a solution to his criticisms of work conditions in contemporary society.[28] Hakim Bey manifested that Fourier "lived at the same time as De Sade & (William) Blake, & deserves to be remembered as their equal or even superior. Those other two apostles of freedom & desire had no political disciples, but in the middle of the 19th century literally hundreds of communes (phalansteries) were founded on fourierist principles".[17]

Fourier's works

• Fourier, Charles. Théorie des quatre mouvements et des destinées générales .(Theory of the four movements and the general destinies), appeared anonymously in Lyon in 1808.
• Fourier, Charles. Le Nouveau Monde amoureux. Written 1816–18, not published widely until 1967.
• Fourier, Ch. Œuvres complètes de Ch. Fourier. 6 tomes. Paris: Librairie Sociétaire, 1841-1848.
• Fourier, Charles. La Fausse Industrie Morcelée, Répugnante, Mensongère, et L'Antidote, L'Industrie Naturelle, Combinée, Attrayante, Vérdique, donnant quadruple produit (False Industry, Fragmented, Repugnant, Lying and the Antidote, Natural Industry, Combined, Attractive, True, giving four times the product, Paris: Bossange. 1835.
• Fourier, Charles. Oeuvres complètes de Charles Fourier. 12 vols. Paris: Anthropos, 1966–1968.
• Jones, Gareth Stedman, and Ian Patterson, eds. Fourier: The Theory of the Four Movements. Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996.
• Fourier, Charles. Design for Utopia: Selected Writings. Studies in the Libertarian and Utopian Tradition. New York: Schocken, 1971. ISBN 0-8052-0303-6
• Poster, Mark, ed. Harmonian Man: Selected Writings of Charles Fourier. Garden City: Doubleday. 1971.
• Beecher, Jonathan and Richard Bienvenu, eds. The Utopian Vision of Charles Fourier: Selected Texts on Work, Love, and Passionate Attraction. Boston: Beacon Press, 1971.

See also

• Biography portal
• Alphadelphia Association
• Alphonse Toussenel, a disciple of Fourier
• American Union of Associationists
• Brook Farm
• List of Fourierist Associations in the United States
• Society of the Friends of Truth


1. Suratteau, Jean-René. "Restif (de la Bretonne) Nicolas Edme". In Albert Soboul (ed.). Dictionnaire historique de la Révolution française (2nd ed.). Paris: PUF, 1989; Quadrige, 2005. pp. 897–898.
2. "Fourier". Unabridged. Random House.
3. Goldstein 1982, p. 92.
4. Serenyi 1967, p. 278.
5. Pellarin 1846, p. 14.
6. Pellarin 1846, p. 7.
7. Pellarin 1846, p. 235.
8. Pellarin 1846, pp. 235–236.
9. Wilson, Pip (2006). Faces in the Street. ISBN 9781430300212.
10. Pellarin 1846, p. 213.
11. Roberts, Richard H. (1995). Religion and the Transformations of Capitalism: Comparative Approaches. Routledge. p. 90.
12. Rubenstein, Richard L., and John K. Roth. Approaches to Auschwitz: The Legacy of the Holocaust. London: SCM, 1987, p.71
13. Rubenstein, Richard L., and John K. Roth. Approaches to Auschwitz: The Legacy of the Holocaust. London: SCM, 1987, p.71
14. Cunliffe 2001, p. 461.
15. Beecher, Johnathan (1986). Charles Fourier: The Visionary and His World. University of California Press. pp. 195–196.
16. Marcuse, Herbert (1955). Eros and Civilization. Boston: Beacon Press.
17. Bey, Hakim (1991). "The Lemonade Ocean & Modern Times". Retrieved January 16, 2017.
18. Denslow 1880, p. 172.
19. Fourier, Charles (1967). Le Nouveau Monde amoureux. Paris: Éditions Anthropos. pp. 389, 391, 429, 458, 459, 462, and 463. written 1816–18, not published widely until 1967.
20. Goldstein 1982, p. 98.
21. Charles Fourier, 1772-1837 -- Selections from his Writings Retrieved November 25, 2007.
22. Serenyi 1967, p. 279.
23. Postoutenko, Kirill (2009). "The Influence of Anxiety: Figures of Absolute Evil in French Socialists and Dostoevsky". Retrieved 22 August 2016.
24. Kropotkin, Peter (1906). The Conquest of Bread. New York and London: Putnam.
25. Fourier, Charles. "Notice to the Civilized Concerning Generalized Self-Management".
26. Bookchin, Murray (1990). "The Meaning of Confederalism".
27. Hawthorne, p. 166.
28. Black, Bob (1985). "The Abolition of Work". The secret of turning work into play, as Charles Fourier demonstrated, is to arrange useful activities to take advantage of whatever it is that various people at various times in fact enjoy doing. To make it possible for some people to do the things they could enjoy it will be enough just to eradicate the irrationalities and distortions which afflict these activities when they are reduced to work.

Further reading

On Fourier and his works

• Beecher, Jonathan (1986). Charles Fourier: the visionary and his world. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-05600-0.
• Burleigh, Michael (2005). Earthly powers : the clash of religion and politics in Europe from the French Revolution to the Great War. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-058093-3.
• Calvino, Italo (1986). The Uses of Literature. San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company. ISBN 0-15-693250-4. pp. 213–255
• Cunliffe, J (2001). "The Enigmatic Legacy of Charles Fourier: Joseph Charlier and Basic Income", History of Political Economy, vol.33, No. 3.
• Denslow, V (1880). Modern Thinkers Principally Upon Social Science: What They Think, and Why, Chicago, 1880
• Goldstein, L (1982). "Early Feminist Themes in French Utopian Socialism: The St.-Simonians and Fourier", Journal of the History of Ideas, vol.43, No. 1.
• Hawthorne, Nathaniel (1899). The Blythedale Romance. London: Service and Paton. p. 59
• Pellarin, C (1846). The Life of Charles Fourier, New York, 1846.Google Books Retrieved November 25, 2007
• « Portrait : Charles Fourier (1772-1837) ». La nouvelle lettre, n°1070 (12 mars 2011): 8.
• Serenyi, P (1967). "Le Corbusier, Fourier, and the Monastery of Ema", The Art Bulletin, vol.49, No. 4.
On Fourierism and his posthumous influence[edit]
• Barthes, Roland Sade Fourier Loyola. Paris: Seuil, 1971.
• Bey, Hakim (1991). "The Lemonade Ocean & Modern Times". Retrieved January 16, 2017.
• Brock, William H. Phalanx on a Hill: Responses to Fourierism in the Transcendentalist Circle. Diss., Loyola U Chicago, 1996.
• Buber, Martin (1996). Paths in Utopia. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press. ISBN 0-8156-0421-1.
• Davis, Philip G. (1998). Goddess unmasked : the rise of neopagan feminist spirituality. Dallas, Tex.: Spence Pub. ISBN 0-9653208-9-8.
• Desroche, Henri. La Société festive. Du fouriérisme écrit au fouriérismes pratiqués. Paris: Seuil, 1975.
• Engels, Frederick. Anti-Dühring. 25:1-309. Marx, Karl, and Frederick Engels. Karl Marx, Frederick Engels: Collected Works [MECW]. 46 vols. to date. Moscow: Progress, 1975.
• Guarneri, Carl J. (1991). The utopian alternative : Fourierism in nineteenth-century America. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-2467-4.
• Heider, Ulrike (1994). Anarchism : left, right, and green. San Francisco: City Lights Books. ISBN 0-87286-289-5.
• Kolakowski, Leszek (1978). Main Currents of Marxism: The Founders. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-824547-5.
• Jameson, Fredric. "Fourier; or; Ontology and Utopia" at Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions. London & New York: Verso. 2005.

External links

• Works by or about Charles Fourier at Internet Archive
• Works by Charles Fourier at Open Library
• "Charles Fourier Prefigures Our Total Refusal" by Don LaCoss
• Selections from the Works of Fourier a 1901 collection
• Charles Fourier Archive at
• Charles Fourier at Find a Grave
• Texts on Wikisource:
o "Fourierism" . Collier's New Encyclopedia. 1921.
o "Fourier, François Charles Marie". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.
o "Fourier, François Marie Charles". New International Encyclopedia. 1905.
o "Fourierism". New International Encyclopedia. 1905.
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Nyanatiloka [Anton Walther Florus Gueth]
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Nyanatiloka Mahathera
Title Mahathera (Great Elder)
Born: Anton Walther Florus Gueth, 10 February 1878, Wiesbaden, Germany
Died: 28 May 1957 (aged 79), Colombo, Sri Lanka
Religion: Buddhist
Nationality: Germany
School: Theravada
Lineage: Amarapura Nikaya
Occupation monk; teacher; translator; scholar
Senior posting
Based in Island Hermitage
Students: Nyanaponika Thera, Silacara, Lama Anagarika Govinda, Paul Debes, Nyanamoli, Nyanavira, Nyanavimala

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

Early life and education

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

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

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

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

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

(Universal Theosophical Society)


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


I. Whitsunday, May 22d, Evening Session.

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

II. Whitmonday, May 23d, General Meeting:

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

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

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

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

Development of the Federation

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

Activities of the Local Societies

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

Activities of the Lecturers

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

Activities of the Executive Committee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

III. Public Meetings (Lectures).

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

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

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

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

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

Early years as a Buddhist monk

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

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

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

Silacara, Dhammanusari, and Nyanatiloka, Burma, 1907

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

Fritz Stange

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

Ida Stange

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

-- Fritz Stange, by

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

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

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

-- Aṅguttara Nikāya, by Wikipedia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plans for a Theravada Buddhist monastery in Europe

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

Italy, Tunisia, Lausanne

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

Founding of the Island Hermitage

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


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

World War I

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


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

Return to Sri Lanka and Island Hermitage

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

World War II

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

Last Years, 1946–1957

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

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

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

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


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


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


English titles by Nyanatiloka:

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

Autobiography and biography

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

Nyanatiloka also translated important Theravadin Pali texts into German including:

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

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

See also

• Buddhism in Germany


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


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

External links

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

Buddhist Tract Society stationery.

Early life

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

Burmese career

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

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

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

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

Other Asian projects and travels


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


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


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

Other locations

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

Trial and disappearance

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

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

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

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

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

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

Influence and assessment

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

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

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

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

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

See also

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


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


Books and book chapters

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

Conference papers

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

Journal articles

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

Video presentations

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

External links

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

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

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



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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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

External links

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

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

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



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

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

Early life and family

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

Career in Diplomacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Proposed New Constitution

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

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


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

Further reading

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

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

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



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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Fragile Palm Leaves

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

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

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

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

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


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

External links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-- Three Years in Tibet, by Shramana Ekai Kawaguchi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

External links

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