Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:46 am

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1. Christian, Tomuschat (1995). The United Nations at Age Fifty: A Legal Perspective. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 77. ISBN 9789041101457.
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78. "Health Organisation Correspondence 1926–1938". National Library of Medicine.
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80. "Permanent Court of International Justice". University of Indiana. Archived from the original on 27 August 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
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83. Frowein & Rüdiger 2000, p. 167.
84. "Origins and history". International Labour Organization. Archived from the original on 27 April 2008. Retrieved 25 April 2008.
85. Northedge 1986, p. 182.
86. Baumslag 2005, p. 8.
87. Grandjean 2018.
88. Northedge 1986, pp. 186–187.
89. Northedge 1986, pp. 187–189.
90. McAllister 1999, pp. 76–77.
91. Northedge 1986, pp. 185–86.
92. British Cabinet Paper 161(35) on the "Italo-Ethiopian Dispute" and exhibiting a "Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on British interests in Ethiopia" dated 18 June 1935 and submitted to Cabinet by Sir John Maffey
93. Northedge 1986, p. 166.
94. The Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 25. Americana Corporation. 1976. p. 24.
95. "Nansen International Office for Refugees". Nobel Media. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
96. Northedge 1986, p. 77.
97. Scott 1973, p. 59.
98. Torpey 2000, p. 129.
99. de Haan, Francisca (25 February 2010). "A Brief Survey of Women's Rights". UN Chronicle. United Nations. Archivedfrom the original on 16 October 2011. Retrieved 15 September2011.
100. "Chronology of the League of Nations" (PDF). United Nations Office at Geneva. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
101. "National Membership of the League of Nations". University of Indiana. Archived from the original on 9 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
102. Tripp 2002, p. 75.
103. Scott 1973, pp. 312, 398.
104. Magliveras 1999, p. 31.
105. Northedge 1986, pp. 192–193.
106. Myers, Denys P (July 1921). "The Mandate System of the League of Nations". Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 96: 74–77. doi:10.1177/000271622109600116.
107. Northedge 1986, p. 193.
108. Northedge 1986, p. 198.
109. Northedge 1986, p. 195.
110. League of Nations (1924). "The Covenant of the League of Nations:Article 22". The Avalon Project at Yale Law School. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 20 April2009.
111. Northedge 1986, pp. 194–195.
112. Northedge 1986, p. 216.
113. "The United Nations and Decolonization". United Nations. Archived from the original on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
114. Northedge 1986, pp. 73–75.
115. Northedge 1986, pp. 70–72.
116. Henig 1973, p. 170..
117. Scott 1973, p. 60.
118. Northedge 1986, pp. 77–78.
119. Scott 1973, pp. 82–83.
120. Osmanczyk & Mango 2002, p. 2568.
121. Northedge 1986, p. 88.
122. Scott 1973, pp. 83.
123. Northedge 1986, pp. 103–105.
124. Scott 1973, p. 86.
125. Scott 1973, p. 87.
126. Northedge 1986, p. 110.
127. Northedge 1986, p. 107.
128. Çaǧaptay, Soner (2006). Islam, secularism, and nationalism in modern Turkey. Taylor & Francis. pp. 117–121. ISBN 978-0-415-38458-2.
129. Scott 1973, p. 133.
130. Northedge 1986, pp. 107–108.
131. Scott 1973, pp. 131–135.
132. Northedge 1986, p. 78.
133. Scott 1973, p. 61.
134. Scott 1973, p. 62.
135. Scott 1973, p. 63.
136. Northedge 1986, pp. 78–79.
137. Bell 2007, p. 29.
138. Crampton 1996, p. 93.
139. Osmanczyk & Mango 2002, p. 1314.
140. Scott 1973, p. 249.
141. Bethell 1991, pp. 414–415.
142. Scott 1973, p. 250.
143. Scott 1973, p. 251.
144. Hudson, Manley, ed. (1934). The verdict of the League. World Peace Foundation. pp. 1–13.
145. Northedge 1986, pp. 72–73.
146. Churchill 1986, p. 98.
147. "The United Nations in the Heart of Europe". United Nations. Archived from the original on 10 November 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
148. Northedge 1986, p. 112.
149. Scott 1973, pp. 126–127.
150. Miers 2003, pp. 140–141.
151. Miers 2003, p. 188.
152. Du Bois, W.E. Burghardt (July 1933). "Liberia, the League and the United States". Foreign Affairs. 11 (4): 682–95. doi:10.2307/20030546. JSTOR 20030546.
153. Sara Rector Smith, The Manchurian crisis, 1931–1932: a tragedy in international relations (1970.
154. Iriye 1987, p. 8.
155. Nish 1977, pp. 176–178.
156. Scott 1973, p. 208.
157. Northedge 1986, p. 139.
158. Northedge 1986, pp. 156–161.
159. Charles Loch Mowat, Britain between the Wars 1918–1940(1955) p. 420.
160. Scott 1973, pp. 242–243.
161. Levy 2001, pp. 21–22.
162. Bethell 1991, p. 495.
163. Scott 1973, p. 248.
164. Scheina 2003, p. 103.
165. Northedge 1986, pp. 222–225.
166. Hill & Garvey 1995, p. 629.
167. Northedge 1986, p. 221.
168. Baer 1976, p. 245.
169. Events Leading Up to World War II. Library of Congress. 1944. p. 97.
170. Baer 1976, p. 71.
171. Baer 1976, p. 298.
172. Baer 1976, pp. 121–155.
173. Haile Selassie I. "Appeal to The League of Nations:June 1936, Geneva, Switzerland". Black King. Archived from the originalon 25 March 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2008.
174. Baer 1976, p. 303.
175. Baer 1976, p. 77.
176. Lannon 2002, pp. 25–29.
177. Northedge 1986, pp. 264–265, 269–270.
178. Northedge 1986, p. 270.
179. van Slyke, Lyman, ed. (1967). The China White Paper. Stanford University Press. p. 10.
180. "Japanese Attack on China 1937". Mount Holyoke University. Archived from the original on 31 August 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
181. League of Nations (1924). "The Covenant of the League of Nations:Article 8". The Avalon Project at Yale Law School. Archived from the original on 15 April 2016. Retrieved 17 May2006.
182. Northedge 1986, pp. 113, 123.
183. Northedge 1986, p. 114.
184. Henig 1973, p. 173.
185. A.C. Temperley, The Whispering Gallery Of Europe (1938),online
186. Goldblat 2002, p. 24.
187. Harries, Meirion and Susie (1991). Soldiers of the Sun: The Rise and Fall of the Imperial Japanese Army. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-394-56935-2.
188. Northedge 1986, pp. 47, 133.
189. Northedge 1986, p. 273.
190. Northedge 1986, pp. 276–278.
191. Gorodetsky 1994, p. 26.
192. Raffo 1974, p. 1.
193. Birn, Donald S (1981). The League of Nations Union. Clarendon Press. pp. 226–227. ISBN 978-0-19-822650-5.
194. Northedge 1986, pp. 279–282, 288–292.
195. Knock 1995, p. 263.
196. Henig 1973, p. 175.
197. Henig 1973, p. 176.
198. McDonough 1997, p. 62.
199. McDonough 1997, p. 69.
200. Northedge 1986, p. 253.
201. Northedge 1986, p. 254.
202. Northedge 1986, pp. 253–254.
203. McDonough 1997, p. 74.
204. Ditrych, Ondrej. 'International Terrorism' as Conspiracy: Debating Terrorism in the League of Nations. Historical Social Research Vol. 38, 1 (2013).
205. Quoted in Jerald A. Combs, 'American diplomatic history: two centuries of changing interpretations (1983) p 158.
206. McDonough 1997, pp. 54–5.
207. Northedge 1986, pp. 238–240.
208. Northedge 1986, pp. 134–135.
209. Barnett 1972, p. 245.
210. League of Nations archives, United Nations Office in Geneva. Network visualization and analysis published in Grandjean, Martin (2014). "La connaissance est un réseau". Les Cahiers du Numérique. 10 (3): 37–54. doi:10.3166/lcn.10.3.37-54. Archived from the original on 27 June 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
211. Scott 1973, p. 399.
212. Northedge 1986, pp. 278–280.
213. League of Nations Chronology Archived 30 December 2004 at the Wayback Machine Philip J. Strollo
214. Scott 1973, p. 404.
215. "League of Nations Ends, Gives Way to New U.N.", Syracuse Herald-American, 20 April 1946, p. 12
216. Denys P. Myers (1948). "Liquidation of League of Nations Functions". The American Journal of International Law. 42 (2): 320–354. doi:10.2307/2193676. JSTOR 2193676.
217. Pedersen, Susan (October 2007). "Back to the League of Nations". The American Historical Review. American Historical Review. 112 (4): 1091–1117. doi:10.1086/ahr.112.4.1091. JSTOR 40008445.
218. Kennedy 1987.
219. Northedge 1986, pp. 278–281.

Further reading


• Brierly, J. L. and P. A. Reynolds. "The League of Nations" The New Cambridge Modern History, Vol. XII, The Shifting Balance of World Forces(2nd ed. 1968) Chapter IX, .
• Henig, Ruth B, ed. (1973). The League of Nations. Oliver and Boyd. ISBN 978-0-05-002592-5.
• Northedge, F.S (1986). The League of Nations: Its Life and Times, 1920–1946. Holmes & Meier. ISBN 978-0-7185-1316-0.
• Raffo, P (1974). The League of Nations. The Historical Association.
• Scott, George (1973). The Rise and Fall of the League of Nations. Hutchinson & Co LTD. ISBN 978-0-09-117040-0.
• Walters, F. P. A History of the League of Nations (2 vol. 1952) online


• Pedersen, Susan "Back to the League of Nations." American Historical Review 112.4 (2007): 1091–1117. in JSTOR
• Aufricht, Hans "Guide to League of Nations Publications" (1951).
• Juntke, Fritz; Sveistrup, Hans: "Das deutsche Schrifttum über den Völkerbund" (1927).

League topics

• Akami, T. "Imperial polities, intercolonialism and shaping of global governing norms: public health expert networks in Asia and the League of Nations Health Organization, 1908–37," Journal of Global History 12#1 (2017): 4–25.
• Barros, James. The Corfu incident of 1923: Mussolini and the League of Nations (Princeton UP, 2015).
• Bendiner, Elmer. A Time of Angels: The Tragi-comic History of the League of Nations (1975).
• Borowy, Iris. Coming to terms with world health: the League of Nations Health Organisation 1921–1946 (Peter Lang, 2009).
• Burkman, Thomas W. Japan and the League of Nations: Empire and world order, 1914–1938 (U of Hawaii Press, 2008).
• Clavin, Patricia. Securing the world economy: the reinvention of the League of Nations, 1920–1946 (Oxford UP, 2013).
• Caravantes, Peggy (2004). Waging Peace: The story of Jane Addams (1st ed.). Greensboro, North Carolina: Morgan Reynolds. ISBN 978-1-931798-40-2.
• Cooper, John Milton. Breaking the Heart of the World: Woodrow Wilson and the Fight for the League of Nations (2001) 454pp excerpt and text search
• Ditrych, Ondrej. "“International terrorism” in the League of Nations and the contemporary terrorism dispositif." Critical Studies on Terrorism 6#2 (2013): 225–240.
• Dykmann, Klaas. "How International was the Secretariat of the League of Nations?." International History Review 37#4 (2015): 721–744.
• Egerton, George W (1978). Great Britain and the Creation of the League of Nations: Strategy, Politics, and International Organization, 1914–1919. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0-807-81320-1.
• Gill, George (1996). The League of Nations from 1929 to 1946. Avery Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-89529-637-5.
• Ginneken, Anique H.M. van. Historical Dictionary of the League of Nations (2006) excerpt and text search
• Grandjean, Martin (2018). Les réseaux de la coopération intellectuelle. La Société des Nations comme actrice des échanges scientifiques et culturels dans l'entre-deux-guerres [The Networks of Intellectual Cooperation. The League of Nations as an Actor of the Scientific and Cultural Exchanges in the Inter-War Period] (in French). Lausanne: Université de Lausanne.
• Götz, Norbert (2005). "On the Origins of 'Parliamentary Diplomacy'". Cooperation and Conflict. 40 (3): 263–279. doi:10.1177/0010836705055066.
• Jenne, Erin K. Nested Security: Lessons in Conflict Management from the League of Nations and the European Union (Cornell UP, 2015).
• Kuehl, Warren F; Dunn, Lynne K (1997). Keeping the Covenant: American Internationalists and the League of Nations, 1920–1939.
• League of Nations (1935). Essential Facts about the League of Nations. Geneva.
• Lloyd, Lorna. "“(O) n the side of justice and peace”: Canada on the League of Nations Council 1927–1930." Diplomacy & Statecraft 24#2 (2013): 171–191.
• McCarthy, Helen. The British People and the League of Nations: Democracy, citizenship and internationalism, c. 1918–45 (Oxford UP, 2011). online review
• Malin, James C (1930). The United States after the World War. pp. 5–82.
• Marbeau, Michel (2001). La Société des Nations (in French). Presses Universitaires de France. ISBN 978-2-13-051635-4.
• Ostrower, Gary (1995). The League of Nations from 1919 to 1929 (Partners for Peace. Avery Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0895296368.
• Shine, Cormac (2018). "Papal Diplomacy by Proxy? Catholic Internationalism at the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation". The Journal of Ecclesiastical History. 69 (4): 785–805. doi:10.1017/S0022046917002731.
• Swart, William J. "The League of Nations and the Irish Question." Sociological Quarterly 36.3 (1995): 465–481.
• Walters, Francis P. (1952). A History of the League of Nations. Oxford University Press.
• Yearwood, Peter J. Guarantee of Peace: The League of Nations in British Policy 1914–1925 (Oxford UP, 2009).

Specialized topics

• Archer, Clive (2001). International Organizations. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-24690-3.
• Baer, George W (1976). Test Case: Italy, Ethiopia, and the League of Nations. Hoover Institution Press. ISBN 978-0-8179-6591-4.
• Bell, P.M.H (2007). The Origins of the Second World War in Europe. Pearson Education Limited. ISBN 978-1-4058-4028-6.
• Bouchet-Saulnier, Françoise; Brav, Laura; Olivier, Clementine (2007). The Practical Guide to Humanitarian Law. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-7425-5496-2.
• Burkman, Thomas W (1995). "Japan and the League of Nations: an Asian power encounters the European Club". World Affairs. 158 (1): 45–57.
• Everard, Myriam; de Haan, Francisca (2016). Rosa Manus (1881-1942): The International Life and Legacy of a Jewish Dutch Feminist. Leiden, The Netherlands: BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-33318-5.
• Gorodetsky, Gabriel (1994). Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917–1991: A Retrospective. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7146-4506-3.
• Iriye, Akira (1987). The Origins of the Second World War in Asia and the Pacific. Longman Group UK Limited. ISBN 978-0-582-49349-0.
• Jacobs, Aletta Henriette (1996). Feinberg, Harriet; Wright, Annie (translator), eds. Memories: My Life as an International Leader in Health, Suffrage, and Peace. New York, New York: Feminist Press at City of New York. ISBN 978-1-55861-138-2.
• Kennedy, David (April 1987). "The Move to Institutions" (PDF). Cardozo Law Review. 8 (5): 841–988. Retrieved 17 May 2008.
• Knock, Thomas J (1995). To End All Wars: Woodrow Wilson and the Quest for a New World Order. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-00150-0.
• Levinovitz, Agneta Wallin; Ringertz, Nils (2001). The Nobel Prize: The First 100 Years. World Scientific. ISBN 978-981-02-4665-5.
• Magliveras, Konstantinos D (1999). Exclusion from Participation in International Organisations: The Law and Practice behind Member States' Expulsion and Suspension of Membership. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. ISBN 978-90-411-1239-2.
• Nish, Ian (1977). Japanese foreign policy 1869–1942:Kasumigaseki to Miyakezaka. Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 978-0-415-27375-6.
• Osmanczyk, Edmund Jan; Mango, Anthony (2002). Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-415-93924-9.
• Temperley, A.C. The Whispering Gallery Of Europe (1938), highly influential account of League esp disarmament conference of 1932-34. online
• Wiltsher, Anne (1985). Most Dangerous Women: Feminist peace campaigners of the Great War (1st ed.). London, England: Pandora Press. ISBN 978-0-86358-010-9.

External links

• The League of Nations., Boston: Old Colony Trust Company, 1919. A collection of charters, speeches, etc. on the topic.
• League of Nations Photo archive,
• League of Nations chronology
• League of Nations timeline,
• History of the League of Nations, University of Oxford-led project
• Wilson's Final Address in Support of the League of Nations Speech made 25 September 1919
• History (1919–1946) from the United Nations Office at Geneva
• League of Nations Archives from the United Nations Office at Geneva
• Table of Assemblies Dates of each annual assembly, links to list of members of each country's delegation
• LONSEA – League of Nations Search Engine, Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", Universität Heidelberg
• Clippings about League of Nations in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:49 pm

Ven. Sayadaw U Thittila (1896-1997)
by Dhamma Web
Accessed: 4/1/19



Born in 1896 in Pyawbwe, Myanmar.

Studied the scriptures at the age of seven to eight. Ordained a novice at the age of 15 and already well-versed with the primer to Abhidhamma studies, the Abhidhammatthasangaha, also the Mahasatipatthana Sutta and Kaccayana's Pali Grammar, and received his higher ordination in 1916.

Selected, from among five thousand candidates, as the Pathamakyaw Scholar of all Burma (1918), one of the four successful graduates from one hundred and fifty entrants for the highest of all monastic examinations, the Panyattisasanahita (1923). His success accorded him an appointment to co-head a monastery at a relatively young age. Went to India to study English and Sanskrit and had contributed much to the revival of Buddhism in South India (1933). Left for England and further his study of the English language at the London Polytechnic (1938-39). During this time forth he started to teach Abhidhamma to the West.

Accepted an invitation from the Association for Asian Studies at the University of Michigan, U.S.A., to lecture in America (1959), and delivered over a total of one hundred and sixty lectures at various universities and arranged meetings in six months.
His later teaching engagement for two years in England allowed him the opportunity to translate into English from the Pali, for the very first time that it had ever been done, the second of the seven books of the Abhidhamma Pitaka, Vibhanga. It was published by the Pali Text Society in 1969 under the title of The Book of Analysis.

Served as the Spiritual Adviser to the central council of the Sangha Mahanayaka of Burma (1966-82); trustees of the Shwedagon Pagoda, Sule Pagoda, Kaba Aye Pagoda among others, examiner for the well known Abhidhamma Propagation Society in Rangoon, and had since traveled to more than 25 countries to lecture.

Venerable U Ṭhittila [Excerpt from Honour Thy Fathers: A Tribute to the Venerable Kapilavaddho ... And brief History of the Development of Theravāda Buddhism in the UK, by Terry Shine

Venerable U Ṭhittila

Source: Extract from “Essential Themes of Buddhist Lectures” by U Ṭhittila

Wisdom is the power of seeing things as they truly are, and how to act rightly when the problems of life come before us. The seeds of wisdom lie latent in us, and when our hearts are soft and warm with love they grow into their powers.

When a man has stilled the raging torrents of greed. hatred and ignorance, he becomes conscientious, full of sympathy, and he is anxious for the welfare of all living beings. Thus he abstains from stealing, and is upright and honest in all his dealings; he abstains from sexual misconduct and is pure, chaste; he abstains from tale bearing. What he has heard in one place he does not repeat in another so as to cause dissension, he unites those who are divided and encourages those who are united. He abstains from harsh language speaking such words as are gentle, soothing to the ear and which go to the heart. He abstains from vain talk, speaking what is useful at the right time and according to the facts. It is when his mind is pure and his heart is soft by being equipped with this morality and mental development that the sublime seed, wisdom, grows. Knowledge of the properties of the magnetic needle enable the mariner to see the right direction in mid-ocean on the darkest night when no stars are visible. In just the same way wisdom enables a man to see things as they truly are, and to perceive the right way to real peace and happiness, Nibbāna.


Venerable Kapilavaddho and the English Sangha Trust

We pay tribute to a man who founded the English Sangha Trust and who, after an absence of ten years, returned to lead it from the dolorous state into which it had fallen. He had in the course of his lifetime several different names, as will appear but it is fitting to head this tribute with the name and designation that he twice bore with wisdom, courage and dignity. There will be many, to whom the earlier parts of the almost incredible saga of this man are unknown, and it is with such people in mind that the story is told at some length.

William August Purfurst was born at Hanwell, Middlesex, on 2nd June 1906. As the name indicates, his father was of German origin, and he was an only child. His father died when he was quite small, and he was brought up under the care of his mother, to whom he remained devotedly attached until her death in 1957. Young William soon showed himself to be a man of many and brilliant gifts. There is no doubt that he could have made a career for himself either in business or in the academic world. He had a remarkable gift for acquiring a wide variety of experiences and — what is more — profiting from them. At the age of 20 he was living in Bristol as manager of a branch of an internationally know typewriter firm, but the world of business could not satisfy him. He started studying such things as psychology and philosophy, eagerly seeking to find answers to life’s riddle. But his compulsively inquiring mind was not so easily satisfied with the “solutions” proffered by the books he read. Perhaps already at this time he began to suspect that the scholars and philosophers of the West had no monopoly of wisdom. In any case, he felt that the only place for him to pursue his studies further was London. After two years, he gave up his Bristol job and set out for the capital where he had been born, on foot: an action, which was symbolic of his future career. From then on, he stood on his own two feet, and if necessary walked on them to wherever he felt he had to go.

An expert photographer, he soon got himself a job in Fleet Street. He returned each night from the day’s work to his private studies, his private questing. He was ever trying to find out the nature of things, the reason for man’s existence, and was not going to be fobbed off with any easy answers. But as happens, the deeper he probed the further off the solution to his questions appeared. At the same time, the first of his teachers appeared on the scene. This man, perceiving qualities that resided in the young Purfurst, took him under his wing, giving him an intensive course in the philosophy of the East. Starting with the Vedas and the Upanishads, Yoga and Vedanta — all as a preliminary to the real kernel of the course, which was Buddhism. Discipline under his teacher was strict — he had to work each evening at his studies, and also undertake a regime of strict physical training. He stuck it out, mastered the philosophical course and at the same time gained considerable control over his own body and emotions. All this had been undertaken in his spare time, in the evenings after his journalistic work.

When his friend and mentor died, he continued on his own, extending his studies into other fields such as anatomy and chemistry. As a result of these studies, he was able to develop a new colour printing process which in one form or another, is still in use today. This was his life until the outbreak of war in 1939, when he became an official war photographer. However as a man of action, he found life dull in the early days of the war. Nothing seemed to happen, so he trained as a fireman. By the time his training was completed, the picture had changed. The blitz had begun. As an officer of the National Fire Service in London he soon found all the “action” he could ask for, and more.

He had some hair-raising experiences amid burning, crashing buildings, while bombs rained down and the ack-ack guns opened up, amid burst mains and sewers. Crawling among precarious ruins, digging out the living and the dead, going without sleep, food, drink, or even his precious cigarettes, and of course constantly risking his own life for the sake of others. In his case, though he distinguished himself by his fearlessness, such a life was after all not so very exceptional. He was a Londoner born and bred. Although they had not yet met, there was another man in London doing very similar things, whom one would scarcely have expected to meet in such a situation. This was a Burmese bhikkhu, the Venerable U Ṭhittila, who had come to work in London at scholarly pursuits when war overtook him. He was equal to the occasion and, boldly doffing the robe, he joined the ambulance service and worked in blitzed London under similar conditions to William Purfurst. This experience gave Venerable U Ṭhittila a unique insight into the British character. And it probably also did much to forge the bond of friendship, which eventually grew between the two men.

As D-Day approached, William Purfurst’s wartime activities changed in character. He became a civilian photographer attached to the Royal Air Force, his job being to take pictures of army parachutists who were dropped on enemy territory. In order to equip himself for this task, he himself volunteered for a parachute course took the full training and did a number of drops. He then went as a photographer on a number of missions until the war in Europe finally ended.

Towards the end of the war he also got married, and having left the service he became a WEA (Workers Educational Association) lecturer in philosophy, in which capacity he travelled a great deal up and down the country. It was about this time that he met Venerable U Thittila, whose pupil he promptly became. The bhikkhu who had been supported by the Buddhist Society resumed the robe somewhat informally (he had to be re-ordained, later, in Burma) and gave many lectures and classes at the Society’s old premises in Great Russell Street, where William Purfurst was also active as a speaker.

Purfurst’s activities were by no means confined to London. There were eleven people in Manchester who had been studying the Buddha Dhamma under him, for nearly a year. They had formed themselves into a group called the Phoenix Society; and each weekend he travelled from London to conduct an exhaustive program of theory and practice. Others came and the group grew, within months it became the Buddhist Society of Manchester. It was the first active society outside London. Almost at the same time the teacher had taken his own first steps towards becoming a Buddhist monk. The urge to proceed along the Buddhist path is the only way open to a man of his temperament, namely the total devotion to and immersion in the Dhamma implied by the bhikkhu life. It was so strong that eventually an understanding wife gave him the freedom to answer this call. It was indeed she who urged this step on him. Thus they parted, and shortly before Wesak in 1952 William Purfurst adopted the status of a homeless one, an anagārika. Following this he took the Pabbajjā or novice ordination to become Sāmaṇera Dhammānanda, which he did under the Venerable U Thittila on Wesak 1952. Venerable U Thittila remained his mentor until himself returning to Burma to take up a university post in Rangoon.

Now the name of William Purfurst disappears, and instead there is the Sāmaṇera Dhammananda working for the Buddhist Society, lecturing and conducting classes, travelling up and down the country in his three cotton robes, inspiring and founding Buddhist Societies at Oxford and Cambridge. During this time the Buddhist Summer School, later taken over by the Buddhist Society, was founded, and continues to this day as an increasingly popular annual event. The sheer physical hardship of his existence at this time should not be under-rated. At one time, in fact, he even “went missing” for a fortnight, virtually starving and sleeping on park benches in his scanty attire, till he almost succumbed to exhaustion and fever. But this was merely typical of the man. He conducted experiments on his own body and mind in much the same spirit as the late Prof. J. B. S. Haldiane had done in the name of science. Nor was he unmindful of the six years of austerity and self-torment, endured by Gautama in the days of his Noble Quest (Ariyapariyesanā, cf. Middle Length Sayings, No. 26), which preceded his enlightenment. Even his sternest critics and it is only truthful to admit that he had many at times, were bound to concede that he had the sheer guts to do many things that most of them would never have attempted.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:51 pm

Tour of Ven. Sayadaw U Thittila, Aggamahapandita, to Western Europe
Accessed: 4/1/19

Aggamahāpandiṭa, meaning "foremost great and wise one," is derived from the following Pali terms: Agga, from Aggasāvaka (အဂ္ဂသာဝက), which was conferred by the Buddha to his foremost disciples, Sariputta and Mahamoggallana.



In 1953, shortly after arriving in Delhi, Nehru sent Freda to Burma as the Indian representative of a UNESCO mission. For the first time in her life Freda found herself in a rich and exclusively Buddhist country. The impact was immediate and galvanic. Surrounded by hundreds of pagodas and thousands of monks roaming the streets in saffron robes, she instantly felt she had come home.

“When I set foot on that soil, the Golden Temple, the monks with their begging bowls, suddenly it was déjà vu. Without understanding anything much about Buddhism, I knew. This is The Way, this is what I have been looking for. I saw the whole thing,” she said. Freda was forty-two years old. Her long, diligent quest to find her true spiritual path was finally over. It had taken thirty-eight years, since her first days of sitting in her local church in Derby before school trying to meditate. Curiously, in spite of her remarkable effort and conscientiousness in searching and trying out the world’s great religious traditions, she had enver come across Buddhism before, even though the Buddha had been born, taught, and attained enlightenment in India. His message had thrived there for over seven hundred years, until the Mughals invaded in the thirteenth century. They had swept in from the Middle East, destroying the renowned Nalanda University, hailed as the greatest center of learning in Asia, and setting fire to the largest Buddhist library in the ancient world, which allegedly burned for three months. Thousands of Buddhist monks and scholars fled into obscurity in the Himalayan kingdoms, from where Buddhism spread to the Far East and Southeast Asia. From then on, the Buddha was incorporated into the pantheon of Hindu gods and was regarded as a mythological figure.

Burma now boasted some of the most accomplished Buddhist meditation masters on the planet. Freda wasted no time seeking them out. As usual she went straight to the top.

Sayadaw U Thittila Aggamahapandita was vice president of the World Fellowship of Buddhists and spoke excellent English. He agreed to teach Freda personally for eight weeks. The regime was tough and exceptionally rigorous, demanding she be aware of each detail involved in every activity – walking, eating, brushing teeth, putting on shoes, blinking. Every breath was accompanied by awareness. And then awareness itself was watched by awareness….

“I remember Sayadaw U Pandita telling me, ‘If you get a realization, or a flash, it may not be sitting on your meditation cushion in front of an image of the Buddha. It will probably be somewhere you least expect it.”

That’s precisely what happened. Freda had what she called her enlightenment experience “while I was walking with the Commission through the streets of Kyaukme, in northern Burma. Suddenly I saw the flow of things, the meaning and the connection. It was the first real flash of understanding. I can’t explain exactly what it was because it was beyond words. But it opened so many gates and showed me things I’d been trying to find for a very long time,” she explained. She revealed to a few close friends that her Damascene experience had lasted for hours and was accompanied by great bliss.

A window had been opened, a transcendental window giving a glimpse into another reality. The afterschock was dramatic. “We got a phone call back in Delhi that Mummy had collapsed and we had to bring her home from Burma immediately,” says Ranga. “Of course we had no money, so we went around to Nehru and Indira’s house and they provided the plane fare to fetch her home and an ambulance to meet her at the airport.” Continuing her tour was now out of the question.

“When she arrived, it was shocking. Mummy didn’t recognize anyone. For weeks she stayed in her bed, getting up just to go to the bathroom. That’s as far as she would go. She wouldn’t talk or register anything in the outside world. She’d eat the food put in front of her like an automaton. If you looked at her, it was like looking into a stone wall. She never saw you. It was as though she were catatonic. It was terrifying for all of us – except Papa. He didn’t seem concerned at all. He said it was all happening as it should and that it would work out all right. He was correct. After about six weeks she began to show signs of improvement. Her face became more expressive and she began to interact with us. But it took about three months before she was back to normal.”

Gradually she resumed her work and tried to get back to her old life, but she had irrevocably changed. After Burma she was going in a different direction, and nothing was going to be the same. The first to feel the impact was BPL. Their marriage of twenty years had been founded on love, intellectual compatibility, and their shared vision of an independent India. That last job had been completed. Freda knew with certainty that that phase of her life was over. Her heart and her path now belonged to the Buddha.

She calmly sat her husband down and announced, “I’ve been searching all my life, but it’s the Buddhist monks who have been able to show me what it is that I have been looking for. I am a Buddhist from now on – and I have taken a personal vow of a brahmacharya,” she said, referring to the vow of celibacy said to induce spiritual purity and enhance one’s capacity for divine happiness.

BPL took the news remarkably well....

Another reason that BPL took Freda’s news with such equanimity was that his inner life was running along parallel lines. For some time he had been following his own spiritual quest and was undergoing his own enlightenment experience. It bore all the hallmarks of his originality. “He would sit still for hours without moving. He would babble in voices we didn’t understand. He’d go up onto the roof and stand for hours with his arms outstretched toward a shrine of a Sufi saint,” said Kabir. “We called the doctor, but Papa just smiled at him. ‘What I’m going through is beyond you,’ he told him. The doctor nevertheless insisted on examining him. ‘You won’t find a pulse,’ said Papa. He was right. The astonished doctor left.

“Father started going on walks, discovering the graves of Sufi saints in the area, telling us where they were, both marked and unmarked. He started to do automatic writing. Word got out and people started coming to the house with their problems. Papa would listen, then begin writing, and eventually hand them sheets of paper with answers to their troubles on them. In time he became quite a healer and was known as Baba Bedi, the name given to a holy man.”

Having lost touch with its glorious heritage of classical scholarship, the Muslim world today is divided in squabbles between two opposing camps, who despite their respective deviations, are both attempting to usurp the right to represent orthodox Islam. The Wahhabis and Salafis are the product of a British strategy to undermine Islamic tradition and create fundamentalism. While the Sufis are their most vocal and articulate critics, rightly pointing out their corruptions, they themselves are part of a similar conspiracy, again with close ties to Western intelligence and the occult.

The New Age movement, following the teachings of a leading disciple of H. P. Blavatsky, believes that the coming of the Age of Aquarius will herald the beginning of world peace and one-world government, headed by the Maitreya, who is said to be awaited also by Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims, though he is known by these believers respectively as Christ, Messiah, the fifth Buddha, Krishna or Imam Mahdi. The New Age’s expectation of the Mahdi awaited by the Muslims has been nurtured through its relationship with Sufism.

Essentially, the pretext of the occult is that in the future the world will be united in peace by eliminating all sectarianism, when the world will be brought together under a single belief system. The basis of that belief will be the occult tradition, which it is claimed has been the underlying source of all exoteric religions. As such, since at least the middle of the eighteenth century, occultists have marketed Sufism as being the origin of Freemasonry.

According to Idries Shah, the twelfth century Qadiriyya Sufi order was the origin of the Rosicrucians, the most important occult movement after the Renaissance, who later evolved into the Freemasons. As detailed in Black Terror White Soldiers, the Rosicrucians were responsible for orchestrating the advent of Sabbatai Zevi, who took the Jewish world by storm in 1666 when he declared himself their expected messiah. However, Zevi disappointed the vast majority of his followers when he subsequently converted to Islam. Nevertheless, an important segment followed him into Islam as well, and to this day consist of a powerful community of secret Jews known as Dönmeh.

The Dönmeh of Turkey maintained associations with a number of Sufi orders, like Whirling Dervishes founded by Jalal ad-Din Rumi, and the Bektashis. Strongly heretical, the Bektashi venerated Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed, repudiated many of the legal rulings of Islam, and combined Kabbalistic ideas with elements of ancient Central Asian shamanism.

Through the influence of Bektashi Sufism, the Dönmeh developed the belief of Pan-Turkism, later adopted by the Young Turks, a Dönmeh and Masonic organization responsible for overthrowing the Ottoman Caliphate in 1908. Pan-Turkism begins with Alexander Csoma de Körös (1784 – 1842), the first in the West to mention mysterious Buddhist realm known as Shambhala, which he regarded as the origin of the Turkish people, and which he situated in the Altai mountains and Xinjiang.

Csoma de Körös’s mention of Shambhala became the basis of the mystical speculations offered by H. P. Blavatsky, which she regarded as the homeland of the Aryan race. Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society, and came to be regarded as an oracle of Freemasonry and the godmother of the occult. Blavatsky became largely responsible for initiating the popularity of Buddhism as a font of the Ancient Wisdom. However, contrary to popular perceptions, Tibetan Buddhism is a strange amalgam of Buddhist ideas, along with Hindu Tantra and Central Asian shamanism, it was for this reason that Blavatsky regarded it as the true preservation of the traditions of magic.

-- The Sufi Conspiracy, by David Livingstone

By the late 1950s and early 1960s, the first of the hippies and the Beat Generation were arriving in India, and many found their way to BPL’s door. “Then the house got full of really strange people. Papa always made it quite clear to all of them, however, that he was not a saint, nor was he going to behave like one. ‘I’ll smoke my cigarettes and drink my whiskey as normal – and not be bound by anyone,’ Papa said. Gradually he stopped writing automatic messages and started speaking words that he begun coming through him. At first his voice and way of talking were strange, but then the style evolved and he talked like himself,” said Kabir.....

The next event to send shock waves through the family was when Freda, for reasons of her own, sent Guli to boarding school miles away in North India. her daughter was just five years old. It seemed not only cruel but a terrible dereliction of maternal duty, and out of character with her essentially kind, caring nature. In addition, she performed the deed in what appeared a particularly brutal way.

Guli, now a tall, sociable woman who has dedicated her life to teaching children with special needs, lives in Nashua, New Hampshire, outside Boston, Massachusetts. She recalls every detail of the traumatic event. "When Mummy told me her idea, I told her outright, 'I am not going to boarding school!' We children were all strong characters, who had been taught to speak up. She arranged everything extremely well. We often went touring, and this year Mummy took me to visit an old family friend, Auntie Mera (who had adopted thirteen children) in Naina Tal, in the foothills of Uttar Pradesh. When we got there, she asked if I wanted to see All Saints School, which was nearby and run by Christian nuns. I said yes. I remember the oak tree in the garden, which was huge, and I got very animated and chatty with the nuns. I turned around to tell Mummy something and she was gone. I was absolutely devastated. I cried for three days. The nuns, British Anglican missionaries, were so kind. They really cared for me."

Guli grew to love her school. "It turned out to be the best experience. I studied the scriptures and I know everything about the bible. I loved the hymns and the feeling of the chapel, not that I ever felt the need to become a Christian. There was never any talk about conversion!"....

Whenever she could, she traveled to Burma to continue her meditation training under his strict, watchful eye. Sometimes she took Kabir, her "special child" with her, encouraging him to shave his head and don Buddhist robes as a child monk. Secretly she hoped that one day he would be ordained. That destiny was not to be his, however.

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

At 3.25 p.m on 12th April 1958, the Buddhist organisations of Western Europe had the privilege of welcoming Ven. Sayadaw U Thittila and Ven. Pannadipa who had travelled together from Rangoon as representatives of the Union of Burma Buddha Sasana Council. They were met at London Airport by members of the Ven. Sayadaw's particular organisation, the Buddha Study Association of which he is President, and escorted to the London Buddhist Vihara, 10 Ovington Gardens, S.W.3, where Ven. Pandit Saddhatissa Mahathera is in charge.

Ven. Sayadaw U Thittila, being already well-known over a period of many years in England and on the continent of Europe, had a full programms awaiting him concerning both his work amongst the Burmese residents and the specific organisations depending on his lectures, advice and instructions for the work to be undertaken during the coming year. On 13th April, H.E. the Burmese Ambassador and his wife invited the Ven. Sayadaw and Ven. Pannadipa to lunch, after which the Ven. Bhikkhus chanted the Metta Sutta and the Ven. Sayadaw discoursed on Metta, while at each week-end during their stay they were entertained by personnel of the Burmese Embassy and of the Burmese Section of the B.B.C. Gatherings I were always celebrated by the chanting of the Metta Sutta and by short talks. Frequently the Ven. Bhikkhus have been entertained to lunch by Daw Mya Sein, the proprietress of the Burma Restaurant, and the Ven. Sayadaw has been taking to his various appointments in the cars of Mr. I and Mrs. R. Iggleden and Mr. G. Cruikshank.

In the period preceding the Wesak Festival, Ven. U Thittila spoke in Burmese on the Burmese Section of the B.B.C. at 4.30 p.m. on 24th April; his subject was "Wesak". On the 20th, 23rd and 30th April, respectively, he lectured at the Vihara to the Buddha Study Association on "What is Happiness?", "The Laws of Cause and Effect", and "Rebirth". For the Abhidhamma Study Group he held classes on the Patthana on 22nd and 29th April. At the opening ceremony of the Wesak celebrations at the Vihara when, in the presence of H.E. Mr. Gunasena de Soysa, High Commissioner for Ceylon, Ven. Saddhatissa invited H.E. U Aung Soe, the Burmese Ambassador in London. to hoist the Buddhist flag over the building, Ven. U Thittila, heading a list of distinguished speakers, discoursed on the significance of Wesak and all that the terms "Buddha" and "Buddhism" imply. At 2.30 on 3rd May, on the "East Asia Calling" Section of the B.B.C., he gave a talk on "Buddhism" and subsequently answered a number of questions.

Renewing his contact with the University of Oxford Buddhist Society, at 8.15 p.m. on 5th May, the Ven. Sayadaw spoke to the group on "Meditation" returning on 12th May to conduct a discussion relating thereto. At 7.30 p.m. on 8th May, he addressed the World Congress of Faiths 23 Norfolk Square, W.2, and at 7 p.m. on the following evening the Theosophical Society, Tavistock Square, W.C.2; his subjects were, respectively, "The Practical Aspect of Buddhism" and "Buddhist Psychology". On Sunday, 11th May at 5.30, he spoke at the Vihara Sunday Meeting on "Causes of Unhappiness", and on the 13th, 20th and 27th continued his lecture to the Abhidhamma Group on the Patthana. For the Buddha Study Association he spoke on the 14th on "The Origin of Life" and on the 21st on the Paticca Samuppada. Both series of lectures were timed for 7.30 p.m. Finally, at 6.30 p.m. on 28th May he addressed the London Buddhist Society, 58 Eccleston Square, S.W.1, on "Buddhism in Burma."

Having intended to visit France, Germany and Holland, the Ven. Sayadaw expected to leave England on Saturday, 31st May, but since he was obliged, by circumstances beyond his control, to curtail his continental tour, he proceeded to Holland on Tuesday, 10th June. In the interval he has spent more time in reviewing the overall position of his organisations in England and centres of activity which have recently arisen on the Continent.

This review has confirmed the necessity of greater continuity in the direction and personal management if the Buddhist organisations which have been the Ven. Sayadaw's particular care are to expand as healthy organisations should. Many years of work have sown the seeds of success in the expansion of Buddhist teachings, but these cannot mature unless a Burmese centre should be established in Western Europe-and the centre would be in London where the Sayadaw and the assistant Bhikkhus could live and from which they could work. Three points are outstanding regarding the review:

1. that a considerable change of outlook has occurred during the last few months and that in the present state of flux of thought there is exceptional opportunity to attract followers to the Buddhist Teachings,

2. that there are some students who have already made sufficient progress in their studies of Buddhism to be of value to the movement as a whole if they could continue them for another few years,

3. that the demand for headquarters is not for palatial buildings but for a settled genuine place of work.

The last of the three points is, of course, that most generally appreciated by Buddhists in England, for they have raised a certain sum of money amongst themselves and are disappointed that the Burmese authorities have shown no sign of giving substantial help. Moreover, enquiries have been received from continental cities which previously showed no interest in Buddhism, yet without a headquarters it is impossible even to deal with the letters. The British Buddhists, and particularly the members of the Buddha Study Association, while expressing their heartfelt gratitude for the visit of the Ven. Sayadaw U Thittila, do also make an earnest appeal for substantial help from the Burmese authorities, whereby, he may continue to teach them the Dhamma and help them to spread it to others.

A.A.G. Bennett

Edit. Repr. in Europe and the Americas of the Maha Bodhi Society of India.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:30 pm

Maha Bodhi Society
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/1/19



Maha: Sinhalese maha large, great, from Sanskrit mahat.

-- Maha, by Merriam Webster

Bodhi: Early 19th century bodhi was translated as "intelligence". The term "enlighten" was first being used in 1835, in an English translation of a French article, while the first recorded use of the term 'enlightenment' is credited ... to the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (February, 1836). In 1857 The Times used the term "the Enlightened" for the Buddha in a short article, which was reprinted the following year by Max Müller.[17]

-- Enlightenment in Buddhism, by Wikipedia

Total Information Awareness (TIA) was a mass surveillance program of the United States Information Awareness Office that began during the 2003 fiscal year. It operated under this title from February until May 2003, before being renamed as the Terrorism Information Awareness.

-- Total Information Awareness, by Wikipedia

In the summer of 1952... Tibet was more inaccessible than ever...One notable exception was the unique window provided by the princely state of Sikkim...

Beginning in 1947 and continuing for the next three years, its royals scrambled to salvage some form of autonomy that would safeguard their exalted status...

The job of negotiating with the Indians went to the prince's son and heir apparent, Palden Thondup...

The result was a December treaty whereby the protectorate of Sikkim was free to manage domestic matters but allowed India to regulate its foreign affairs, defense, and trade...

Though prohibited from making independent foreign policy, they believed that it was still within their right to retain a degree of international personality. This held obvious appeal for the United States, which appreciated Sikkim's unique perspective on Himalayan events, on account of its royals being related by blood and marriage to the elite in neighboring Bhutan and Tibet...In the spring of 1951, the U.S. consulate in Calcutta gingerly tested the waters. The Chinese had already invaded Kham, and Larry Dalley, a young CIA officer who had arrived in the city the previous fall under cover of vice consul, was eager to collect good intelligence on events across the border. He knew that two members of Sikkim's royal family frequented Calcutta and would be good sources of information.

The first, Pema Tseudeun, was the older sister of the crown prince. Popularly known by the name Kukula, she was the stunning, urbane archetype of a Himalayan princess. Her contact with American officials actually dated back to 1942, when she had been in Lhasa as the teenage wife of a Tibetan nobleman. OSS officers Tolstoy and Dolan had just arrived in the Tibetan capital that December and were preparing to present a gift from President Franklin Roosevelt to the young Dalai Lama. The gift was in a plain box, and the two Americans were scrambling to find suitable wrapping. "I came forward," she recalls, "and donated the bright red ribbon in my hair." [During his stay in Lhasa, OSS officer Dolan befriended Kukula's sister-in-law and fathered her child.]

For the next eight years, Kukula had it good. Married into the powerful Phunkang family (her father-in-law was a cabinet official), she now had considerable holdings in Lhasa. After the Chinese invasion of Kham, however, all was in jeopardy. Leaving many of her possessions back in Tibet, she fled to the safety of Sikkim. There she became a close adviser to the crown prince, accompanying her brother to New Delhi that December to finalize their state's treaty with India.

The second royal in Calcutta, Pema Choki, was Kukula's younger sister. Better known as Princess Kula, she was every bit as beautiful and sophisticated as her sibling. Kula was also married to a Tibetan of high status; her father-in-Iaw, Yutok Dzaza, had been a ranking official at the trade mission in Kalimpong. Both Kukula and Kula were regulars on the Indian diplomatic circuit. "They came to many of the consulate's social functions," remembers Nicholas Thacher, "and were known for their ability to perform all of the latest dance numbers."

Not all of that contact, CIA officer Dalley determined, was social. After arranging for a meeting with Princess Kukula at his apartment, he asked her if she thought the Tibetans might need anything during their current crisis. Kukula suggested that they could use ammunition and said that she would bring a sample of what they needed to their next meeting. True to her word, the princess appeared at Dalley's apartment bearing a round for a British Lee-Enfield rifle. She also mentioned that waves of Tibetan traders came to India almost quarterly to get treatment for venereal disease (a scourge in Tibet) and to pick up food shipments for import. Particularly popular at the time were tins of New Zealand fruits packed in heavy syrup.

Based on this information, Dalley devised a plan to substitute bullets for the fruit. He went as far as pouching Kukula's bullet and a sample tin label to CIA headquarters -- all to no avail. "They laughed at the scheme," he recalls.

Later that spring, the U.S. consulate in Calcutta again turned to the Sikkimese royals for help. At the time, the Dalai Lama was holed up in the border town of Yatung, and CIA officer Robert Linn was brainstorming ways of facilitating indirect contact with the monarch. Two of those he asked to assist in passing notes were Kukula and Kula. Although the Tibetan leader ultimately elected not to go into exile, it was not for want of trying on the part of the princesses.

One year later, Sikkim's royals once more proved their willingness to help. In June 1952, Kukula approached the consulate with an oral message from the Dalai Lama. She had just returned from a visit to her in-laws in Lhasa, and although she had not personally seen the Dalai Lama, she had been given information from Kula's father-in-Iaw, Yutok Dzaza, who had been in Lhasa at the same time, circulating among senior government circles. [Back in September 1951, Yutok Dzaza, a former official at the Tibetan trade office in Kalimpong, had been brought down to the consulate in Calcutta and shown Ambassador Henderson's last-ditch appeal to the Dalai Lama written on U.S. embassy letterhead. Yutok took notes from the letter and then went to Lhasa, where he met several senior government officials. He also met with one of the Dalai Lama's older brothers, Lobsang Samten. It was the information gathered from these sources that he passed to Princess Kukula.] Kukula quoted the Dalai Lama as saying that when the time was propitious for liberation, he hoped the United States would give material aid and moral support. Kukula also passed observations about food shortages in Lhasa and about the desperate conditions of the vast majority of Chinese troops in that city.

To maintain the flow of such useful information, the consulate continued its discreet courtship of the Sikkimese sisters. Part of the task fell to Gary Soulen, the ranking Foreign Service officer in Calcutta. In September 1952, Soulen obtained Indian approval to visit Sikkim for a nature trek. Venturing as far as the Natu pass on the Tibetan frontier, Princess Kukula accompanied him on the trip and imparted more anecdotes about the situation in Lhasa.

CIA officials, too, were looking to make inroads. Kenneth Millian, who replaced Larry Dalley in October 1952 under cover as vice consul, counted the Sikkimese as one of his primary targets. By that time, however, the Indians were doing everything in their power to obstruct contact. On one of the rare occasions when he got permission to visit the Sikkimese capital of Gangtok, for example, New Delhi leaked a false report to the press that the American vice president -- not vice consul -- was scheduled to make an appearance. As a result, entire villages turned out expecting to see Richard Nixon. "Discreet contact," lamented Millian, "became all but impossible."

Occasional trysts with the Sikkimese were conducted by another CIA officer in Calcutta, John Turner. Born of American parents in India, Turner spent his formative years attending school in Darjeeling. He then went to college in the United States, followed by a stint in the army and induction into the agency in 1948. For his first overseas CIA assignment, he was chosen in May 1952 to succeed Robert Linn as the senior CIA officer in Calcutta. Given his cultural background and fluency in Hindi, Turner was well suited for the job...

The Sikkimese, Turner found, needed no prompting to maintain contact "They offered us tidbits of intelligence to try and influence U.S. policy," he concluded....

[T]he prince would pass Turner relevant information about Tibet. One such meeting took place in the spring of 1954 immediately after the crown prince's return from a trip to Lhasa. While in the Tibetan capital, the prince had spoken with the Dalai lama, whom he found unhappy but resigned to his fate. Even more revealing, the Chinese had feted their Sikkimese guest by showing off their new Damshung airfield north of Lhasa and had motored him along a fresh stretch of road leading into Kham. Turner found the debriefing so informative that he recorded the entire session and sent a voluminous report back to Washington...

As this was taking place, the Dalai Lama faced mounting challenges on the political front. While in Beijing during 1955, he had been informed by Mao that a Preparatory Committee for the Autonomous Region of Tibet (PCART) would be formed to codify Tibet's status under the seventeen-point agreement. The committee was inaugurated in Lhasa during April 1956, with the Dalai Lama as chairman; the majority of PCART members, however, were either directly or indirectly named by the PRC. In this way, Beijing effectively bypassed both Tibet's cabinet and the National Assembly.

Between Beijing's PCART ploy and news filtering into the capital of Chinese brutality in the east, the Dalai Lama was fast reaching his breaking point by mid-1956. Just shy of his twenty-first birthday, he had already entertained thoughts of withdrawing from all secular life. It was at this critical juncture that his earlier foreign guest, the crown prince of Sikkim, made a return visit to Lhasa.

The crown prince was on more than a courtesy call…

Disturbed by Beijing's lack of restraint, Nehru suddenly developed some backbone. By coincidence, the 2,500-year anniversary of the birth of Buddha was to be celebrated during the fourth lunar month of 1957. Special events to mark that date, known as the Buddha Jayanti, were scheduled across India beginning in late 1956. If the Dalai Lama could be enticed to travel to India for the occasion, New Delhi felt that this would symbolically underscore its interest in the well-being of Tibet and its leader. Because he already had good rapport with the Dalai Lama, and because he was president of the Indian Maha Bodhi Society (an organization that represented Buddhists across the Indian subcontinent), the crown prince was tasked by Nehru to deliver the invitation.

Upon receiving his Sikkimese guest and hearing the news, the Dalai Lama was ecstatic. For a Tibetan, a pilgrimage to India -- especially one that coincided with the Buddha Jayanti -- had all the connotations of a visit to the holy sites of Rome or Mecca. But more important, it would allow him to air his concerns directly to Nehru and perhaps offset Chinese influence. Perhaps, too, he could finally make good on his earlier contemplation of exile. Some of his minders, in fact, were convinced that the latter could be arranged, despite the fact that no nation, India included, had given any solid guarantee of asylum. [In his memoirs, the Dalai Lama does not mention his desire to seek exile during the crown prince's 1956 visit to Lhasa.]

Having delivered the invitation, the crown prince returned to India and on 28 June made his way to the U.S. consulate in Calcutta. Speaking directly with the senior diplomat, Consul General Robert Reams, he noted the apparent desire of the Dalai lama to leave his country. The crown prince also relayed stories reaching Lhasa about horrific fighting taking place in eastern Tibet, offering Washington hearsay evidence that anti-Chinese resistance had escalated into armed rebellion. Noting the apparent lack of weapons among the insurgents, the prince astutely suggested channeling arms from East Pakistan (presumably via Sikkim) to Tibet. And in a more fanciful departure, he wondered aloud if the United States could "exfiltrate" Tibetans from Burma and Thailand -- ostensibly while on religious pilgrimages -- and give them artillery and antiaircraft training.

-- The CIA's Secret War in Tibet, by Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison

[O]n the 19th of July, I took passage on an English steamer, the Lightning, which, after calling at Penang, brought me to Calcutta on the 25th of the month. Placing myself under the care of the Mahābodhi Society of Calcutta, I spent several days in that city, in the course of which I learned from Mr. [Charu] Chandra Bose, a Secretary of the Society, that I could not do better for my purpose than to go to Darjeeling, and make myself a pupil of Rai Bahadur Sarat Chandra Das, who, as I was told, had some time before spent several months in Tibet, and was then compiling a Tibetan-English dictionary at his country house in Darjeeling. Mr. Chandra Bose was good enough to write a letter of introduction to the scholar at Darjeeling in my favor, and, with it and also with kind parting wishes of my countrymen in the city and others, I left Calcutta on August 2nd, by rail.


About a fortnight after my arrival in Malba I received a letter from Rai Sarat Chandra Das, through a trader of Tukje, with whom I had become acquainted while in Tsarang, and to whom I had entrusted a letter to my friend at Darjeeling, as well as others to my folks at home, on the occasion of his going down to Calcutta on business. Along with his letter Sarat Chandra Das sent me a number of the Mahabodhi Society’s journal, which contained an account of an unsuccessful attempt by a Buddhist of my nationality to enter Tibet, and a well-meant note of his in pencil to the effect that I must not lose my life by exposing myself to too much danger. So far so good; but next something which was not so good happened. The Tukje man, my whilom messenger, had apparently formed an opinion of his own about my personality, and set the quiet village of Malba astir with rumors about myself. Chandra Das was an official of the English Government, with a salary of 600 rupees a month, and, as such, a very rare personage among Bengālīs; and it was with this person that I corresponded; ergo, the Chinese Lama (myself) must be a British agent in disguise, with some secret mission to execute. So went the rumor, and the public opinion of Malba had almost come to the conclusion that it was undesirable to permit such a suspicious stranger in the village, when Adam Naring, who by that time had come home, sought to speak to me in secret, with indescribable fear written on his face. Poor honest soul! What he said to me, when by ourselves, was of course to the effect that if there were any truth in the rumor, he and his folks would be visited with what punishment heaven only knew. I had expected this for some time past, and had made up my mind how to act as soon as Naring approached me on the subject. I turned round and, looking him squarely in the face, said: “If you promise me, under oath, that you will not divulge for three full years to come what I may tell you, I will let you into my secret; but if you do not care to do so, we can only let the rumor take care of itself, and wait for the Nepāl Government to take any steps it may deem fit to take.” I knew Adam Naring was a man of conscience, who could be trusted with a secret: he signified his willingness to take an oath, and I placed before him a copy of the sacred Scripture and obtained from him the needed promise.

Producing next my passport, given me by the Foreign Office in Japan, which had on it an English as well as other translations of the Japanese text, I showed it to my host, who understood just enough English to follow out the spelling of some words in that language, and explained to him the real object of my journey into Tibet. I did more. I said to him that now that he possessed my secret, he was welcome to make of it what use he liked; but that I believed him to be a true and devoted Buddhist, and that it behoved him well to assist me in my enterprise by keeping silence, for by so acting he would be promoting the cause of his own religion.

-- Three Years in Tibet, by Shramana Ekai Kawaguchi

In Calcutta, then not only the political but the intellectual metropolis of India, he stayed at the house of a Bengali Theosophist, Babu Neel Comal Mookerjee, who became a lifelong friend of the Anagarika and a loyal supporter of his mission. Together they visited various places of interest in the city, including the Indian Museum and the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengalwhere, to his great delight, Dharmapala made the acquaintance of Sarat Chandra Das, famous for his travels in Tibet, and for his knowledge of the language and religious literature of that country. He also won the friendship of Narendra Nath Sen, the editor of the Indian Mirror, a Theosophist whose eloquent pen was for many years ready to plead for the revival of Buddhism in India.


The World’s Parliament of Religions which was held in Chicago in 1893 was one of the most important and characteristic events of the late nineteenth century. Fifty years earlier the influence of Christian dogma and popular ignorance even of the existence of the great oriental religions would have rendered such a gathering an impossibility. As it was, the organizers of the Parliament were accused by a missionary in China of “coquetting with false religions” and “plannings treason against Christ”. Fifty years later, political unrest and widespread indifference to religion would either have made the venture abortive or reduced it to little more than an anthropological curiosity. In the closing decade of the last century, however, the time was ripe for the presentation of the diverse religions of the world from a common platform not by scholars but by men who actually followed them, and when the special Committee appointed for the purpose by the President of the Columbian Exposition circulated their plans the idea of a World’s Parliament of Religions met with general acceptance. The Chairman of the Committee, Dr. J. R. Barrows, who had received copies of the Maha Bodhi Journal, entered into correspondence with Dharmapala, and in the end invited him to Chicago as the representative of the Southern Buddhist Church. With his usual modesty, Dharmapala doubted his ability to expound the Dharma before such a distinguished gathering, but his friends were insistent that he should go, one of them declaring that far more important than any amount of scholarship was the living conviction of the truth of the Buddha’s Word. Such a conviction was the breath of Dharmapala’s life. After much consideration he decided to accept the invitation, reflecting that it would enable him to visit Japan and China in the interests of the Society without putting any additional strain on its resources. Only Col. Olcott was against the trip, roundly declaring that with so much work to be done in India it was a waste of time. However, Dharmapala was by this time accustomed to deciding things for himself, and in the end the Colonel’s opposition collapsed and he promised to write to Mrs. Besant, who was also attending the Parliament, asking her to keep an eye on his young colleague.

After entrusting the Journal to Sarat Chandra Das, Dharmapala left Calcutta at the beginning of July, and on the evening of the day of his arrival in Colombo was presented with a purse by the Ceylon Theosophical Society.


In May 1892 the Society launched its monthly Journal, in which was recorded, besides the activities of the Society, all that was being done for the propagation of the religion, together with a detailed account of the Buddhist literature in Europe and Asia. The publication of the Journal was conducted first from 20/1, Gangadhar Babu Lane, Bowbazar, — which house had been secured by the Burmans for residence of Burmese pilgrims, — and then from 2, Creek Row. The Journal was edited by Mr. Dharmapala, and during his absence, when he went to America, it was managed by Sarat Chandra Das and Charu Chandra Bose. Among the Society's active sympathizers were Neel Comal Mookerjee and his son Nirod Nath Mookerjee, at whose house Mr. Dharmapala often stayed for long periods, and Narendra Nath Sen, all of whom were always ready to extend to him a helping hand.


Anagarika Dharmapala freely acknowledged the help obtained by him from his Bengali friends and well-wishers in the organisation of the Maha Bodhi Society. He mentioned particularly the following persons: Narendra Nath Sen, Neel Comal Mookerjee, Neerod Nath Mookerjee, Rai Bahadur Sarat Chandra Das, Ras Biliary Mookerjee of Uttarpara, Jadu Nath Mazumdar of Jessore, Maharaja Sir Jatindra Mohan Tagore, Ananda Mohan Roy of Bhowanipore, Nanda Kisor Lall as Hony. Legal Adviser, Durga Sankar Bhattacharya and Hari Das Chatterji of Gaya, Babu Saligram Singh, Prof. Satis Chandra Vidyabhusana, Mahamahopadhyaya Neelmoni Mookerji and Babu Paranieswar Lall (see Dec. 1901 and Jan. 1902).  


In 1917 passed away Rai Bahadur Sarat Chandra Das, who was associated closely with the Maha Bodhi Society in various matters, and who had rendered valuable services to the Society.

-- Maha Bodhi Society of India: Diamond Jubilee Souvenir, 1891-1951, by Devapriya Valisinha, Maha Bodhi Society


In accordance with the scheme already set forth for the revival of the study of Pali Literature, the Maha-Bodhi Society has decided to open a Literary Section, the object of which will be (i) to transliterate the Pali Buddhist works into Devanagari and the other vernaculars of the country, together with their translations, (ii) to bring out popular editions of important Buddhist texts, with copious notes and explanations so that they may be read and understood by the people of this country and also (iii) to open a class for the study of Pali Literature (which will be converted into a regular Institution afterwards) at 2, Creek Row, where regular instructions will be given to the students who are willing to join. Pali is one of the classical languages of India, whose history can be traced so far back as six hundred years B.C. While every attempt has been made to revive and spread the Sanskrit language both by the people and the Government, we have, up to the present, neglected Pali, which has been the spoken language of India from remote antiquity and which for centuries together flourished in the whole of Upper India as the principal dialect which the people wrote and spoke. The subject was studied and cultivated in the ancient Universities of Nalanda, Takkhasila, Udanta-pu-ri and Vikramsila, and patronised at the Courts of the different Kingdoms.

Though we have done nothing as yet to revive and bring to light this important literature which is contained in the Pali language, thanks to the exertions of the noble band of Orientalists, the subject has been fully appreciated and is being studied in the Universities of England, France, Germany, Russia and America. Pali literature has been almost a sealed literature to us. Our knowledge of the History of India is not at all complete without the knowledge of Pali. For brilliant records of the achievements of kings and princes, the interesting history of the manners and customs of the people, and a faithful account of the internal Government, are all to be met in this ancient literature. The language is important alike to the student of comparative religion, historian and philologist. Its study will at once reveal the glory of ancient Indian wisdom. The Society has undertaken the publication in Devanagari of Kaccayana’s Pali Grammar by Pandit Satish Chandra Vidhyabhushan, M. A., and Dhammapada and Suttanipata by Babu Charu Chandra Bose.

The University of Calcutta recognises Pali as one of the second languages in the Entrance, First Arts, B. A . and M. A. Examinations ....

Those who may be willing to take up this important subject of study in any of their University Examinations are at once requested to communicate with the undersigned. Instructions will be given to lay students as well as to University Examination candidates. For the convenience of the latter the class will be held daily, (Sundays excepted) from 5 to 6 P. M. The tuition fee will be Rs. 2 per mensem for the students of the College Classes and Re. 1 for the students of the School Department. Competent Pali scholars will be in charge of the classes and the whole work will be supervised by a Committee.

To carry out the foregoing objects, viz., undertaking the translation of important Pali works and bringing out popular editions of rare Buddhist books, and also establishing an institution where every facility may be given for the study of this classical language, would require at least two thousand rupees annually. The work will be purely of an unsectarian character. The chief aim of the Maha-Bodhi Literary Section is to give the educated public an opportunity to come in contact with this splendid literature which is an inexhaustible mine of knowledge and an immortal legacy handed down to us by the Sages of old. We ask for the help and co-operation of all who are interested in this work both in this country and in foreign lands. Donations for the furtherance of the cause w ill be gratefully received, and acknowledged in the Maha-Bodhi Journal. All communications on the subject should be addressed to the undersigned.

Honorary Secretary,
Maha-Bodhi Literary Section.

-- Supplement to the Theosophist, September 1901.

Sarat Chandra Das was a distinguished student of Sanskrit and Tibetan (and a British intelligence agent) who made two trips to the Tashilunpo monastery and returned with hundreds of Buddhist manuscripts. Das founded the Buddhist Text Society in Calcutta with Dharmapala, and when he engaged 2 Creek Row, it served as headquarters for the Maha Bodhi Society, the Theosophical Society, and the Buddhist Text Society (Diary, June 30, 1904). Other Bengali scholars -- Charu Chandra Bose and Satis Chandra Vidyabhushan -- shared an interest in Buddhism and became members of the Maha Bodhi Society. Leaving Calcutta for his trip to the Parliament of Religions, Dharmapala left the place "in the hands of Sarat babu and Charu babu" (Diary, February 14, 1893).

-- Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World, by Steven Kemper

The Maha Bodhi Society is a South Asian Buddhist society founded by the Sri Lankan Buddhist leader Anagarika Dharmapala and the British journalist and poet Sir Edwin Arnold. The organization's self-stated initial efforts were for the resuscitation of Buddhism in India, and restoring the ancient Buddhist shrines at Bodh Gaya, Sarnath and Kushinara.[1][2][3]

Although some Indians had remained culturally Buddhist for centuries after the decline of Buddhist philosophy, they did not self-identify as "Buddhist". The Maha Bodhi Society renewed interest in Buddhism, and spawned the Ladakh Buddhist Association, All Assam Buddhist Association, and Himalayan Buddhist Society, as well as laying the grounds for the Dalit Buddhist movement.[4]

Headquarters, Maha Bodhi Society of India, Kolkata. October 2014.

Interior of the Dharmarajika Chetiya Vihara of the Mahabodhi Society, officially opened 26th Nov 1920.


In 1891, while on pilgrimage to the recently restored Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya, the location where Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) attained enlightenment, Anagarika Dharmapala had experienced a shock to find the temple in the hands of a Saivite priest, the Buddha image transformed into a Hindu icon and Buddhists barred from worship as a result of which he began an agitation movement.[5] Prior to that, in 1885 Sir Edwin Arnold visited the site and published several articles drawing the attention of the Buddhists to the deplorable conditions of Buddhagaya.[1][2][3] The Buddhist renaissance inaugurated by Anagarika Dharmapala through his Mahabodhi Movement has also been described as "conservative" for it considered Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent responsible for the decay of Buddhism in India, in the then current mood of Hindu-Buddhist brotherhood.[6]

Lawrence Dundas, Lord Ronaldshay and Governor of Bengal (1917-22) presents the Buddha relic which had been discovered 1892 in Battiporolu to Ashutosh Mukherjee, then Vice Chancellor of Calucatta University, acting Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court and President of the Mahabodhi Society, Calcutta to be enshrined in the newly opened Dharmarajika Chetiya Vihara on College Square. Morning of 26th Nov. 1920 on the steps of Government House, Calcutta.

The Mahabodhi Society at Colombo was founded in 1891 but its offices were moved to Calcutta the following year. One of its primary aims was the restoration of the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya, the chief of the four ancient Holy sites to Buddhist control.[7][8] To accomplish this Dharmapala initiated a lawsuit against the Brahmin priests who had held control of the site for centuries.[7][8] After a protracted struggle this was successful with the partial restoration of the site to the management of the Maha Bodhi Society in 1949.[7][8]

Maha Bodhi Society branches have been established in several countries, most significantly in India and Sri Lanka. A United States branch was founded by Dr. Paul Carus in Chicago.[9] There is also a Maha Bodhi Society of Bangalore, founded by Acharya Buddharakkhita in 1956, which is not a part of or tied to the Maha Bodhi Society of India or Sri Lanka.[citation needed]

The Mahabodhi Temple

The temple as it appeared in the 1780s

After the defeat of the Palas by the Hindu Sena dynasty, Buddhism's position again began to erode and was soon followed by the conquest of Magadha by General Ikhtiar Uddin Muhammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khilji.[10] During this period, the Mahabodhi Temple fell into disrepair and was largely abandoned. During the 16th century, a Hindu monastery was established near Bodh Gaya. Over the following centuries, the monastery's abbot or mahant became the area's primary landholder and claimed ownership of the Mahabodhi Temple grounds.

In the 1880s, the-then British government of India began to restore Mahabodhi Temple under the direction of Sir Alexander Cunningham. In 1885, Sir Edwin Arnold visited the site and published several articles drawing the attention of the Buddhists to the deplorable conditions of Buddhagaya.[1] He was guided in this undertaking by Ven.Weligama Sri Sumangala[2][3] In 1891, Anagarika Dharmapala started a campaign to return control of the temple to Buddhists, over the objections of the mahant. The campaign was partially successful in 1949, when control passed from the Hindu mahant to the state government of Bihar, which established a temple management committee. The committee has nine members, a majority of whom, including the chairman, must by law be Hindus. Mahabodhi's first head monk under the management committee was Anagarika Munindra, a Bengali man who had been an active member of the Maha Bodhi Society.

Mulagandha Kuty Vihara in Sarnath

MahaBodhi Mulagandhakuti Buddhist Temple at Sarnath

Mulagandha Kuty Vihara in Sarnath is a fitting reminder of Sarnath's past glory. It is also the crowning and most glorious achievement of Anagarika Dharmapala's lifelong dedication. The construction of the Mulagandha Kuty Vihara was taken up by Anagarika Dharmapala in 1926 towards the end of his pious life. When he decided to construct a temple at Sarnath and after making the architectural plans, it was the generous Hawaiian Lady, Mary Foster who gave the first financial assistance came from his parents, brother and well-wishers. He personally supervised the constructional works. The 200 feet high magnificent temple was opened to public in 1931. Later a reputed Japanese artist Mr. Kosteu Nosu and his assistant undertook the task to decorate the temple walls with fresco paintings known famously as the Mural paintings of Mulagandha Kuty Vihara, depicting the life Events of Sakyamuni Buddha. On the opening day of the Vihara, the Buddha's relics donated to Anagarika Dharmapala by Govt. of India under the British Raj was enshrined in the temple. The Vihara, an attractive place of Buddhist worship was visited by numerous Indian and foreign dignataries and millions of pilgrims and tourists over the past decades. At the Mulagandha Kuty Vihara annual function in November, the most attractive items among the programs is the exposition of the Buddha's sacred relic. People from different countries and from the homeland visit the Vihara to homage to the sacred relic considering it as a rare and an opportune moment in their lifetime.

The night view of Sarnath's Mulagandha Kuty Vihara


The Maha Bodhi Society has a robust tradition of publications, spanning from Pali translations into modern Indian vernacular languages (such as Hindi) to scholarly texts and new editions of Pali works typeset in Devanagari to appeal to a Hindi-educated Indian audience. They have also published books and pamphlets in local/regional languages and dialects, sometimes in partnership with other presses.


Ven. P Seewalee Thero, the current General Secretary of the Maha Bodhi Society of India at an event in Sarnath.

Most Venerable P Seewalee Thero is serving as the 12th and current General Secretary of the Maha Bodhi Society of India since 2016 and the Joint Secretaries are Venerable Kahatagollawe Medhankara Thero and Ven.Rathmalwa Sumithananda Thero.

At a meeting in September 2008, the Maha Bodhi Society passed a rule that only persons born into Buddhist families will be eligible to serve as president or as one of the vice-presidents of the Society. The outgoing president, B. K. Modi, was a Hindu; he assumed the position of patron. At the same meeting, the 14th Dalai Lama was given the new title of chief patron.[11]

See also

• Buddhism in India


1. Maha Bodhi Society
2. Arnold, Edwin (1906). India Revisited, London: K. Paul, Trench, Trübner
3. Dipak K. Barua (1981). “Buddha Gaya Temple: its history”, Buddha Gaya: Buddha Gaya Temple Management Committee
4. D.C. Ahir. Buddhism in Modern India. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications, 1991. p. 17.
5. Sean O'Reilly, James O'Reilly, Pilgrimage: Adventures of the Spirit, Travelers' Tales, 2000,ISBN 1-885211-56-2 pg 81-82
6. A Close View of Encounter between British Burma and British Bengal
7. Arnold Wright, Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon: its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources, "Angarika Dharmapala", Asian Educational Services, 1999, ISBN 81-206-1335-X pg.119
8. C. J. Bleeker, G. Widengren, Historia Religionum, Volume 2 Religions of the Present: Handbook for the History of Religions, Brill Academic Publishers, 1971, ISBN 90-04-02598-7 pg. 453
9. Linda Learman, ed. (2005). Buddhist Missionaries in the Era of Globalizationa. University of Hawai'i Press. p. 33. ISBN 0-8248-2810-0. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
10. The Maha-Bodhi By Maha Bodhi Society, Calcutta (page 205).
11. Sengupta, Ratnottama (September 28, 2008).Now, Hindus can't head Mahabodhi Society Times of India

External links

• Mahabodhi Society
• Mahabodhi Society, Bangalore
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:47 pm

Gunapala Piyasena Malalasekera
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/1/19



Gunapala Piyasena Malalasekera
Born 8 November 1899
Malamulla, Panadura
Died 23 April 1973 (aged 73)
Nationality Sri Lankan
Alma mater St. John's College Panadura, University of London
Occupation Academic, diplomat

Gunapala Piyasena Malalasekera, OBE, JP (8 November 1899 – 23 April 1973) was a Sri Lankan academic, scholar and diplomat best known for his Malalasekara English-Sinhala Dictionary.[1] He was the Ceylon's first Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Ceylon's High Commissioner to Canada, the United Kingdom and Ceylon's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. He was the Professor Emeritus in Pali and Dean of the Faculty of Oriental Studies.[2][3]

Early life and education

Born on 9 November 1899 at Malamulla, Panadura as George Pieris Malalasekera, his father was a well-known Ayurvedic (native medicine) physician, Ayur. Dr. M. S. Pieris Malalasekera.

Malalasekera was educated at St. John's College Panadura, (now the St. John's College National School). It was a leading school in the English medium in Panadura under the head master Cyril Jansz, a reputed educationist of the colonial era. After receiving his education in that school from 1907–17, he joined the Ceylon Medical College, Colombo to qualify as a doctor with a Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery (LMS).

The death of his father cut short his medical studies. Circumstances compelled him to give up his hopes of becoming a medical doctor. By following a correspondence course from England, he gained a BA from the University of London External System, 1919 with a first division. His subjects were English, Latin, Greek and French. He was the youngest candidate to obtain the Bachelor of Arts degree in the British Empire in that year with a first class.

In 1923, he proceeded to join the University of London and obtained the two post-graduate degrees of a MA, PhD and a concurrently in 1925, in oriental languages majoring in Pali from the London School of Oriental Studies. Malalasekera would later gain a DLitt in 1938, his thesis was 'Pali Literature in Sri Lanka'.

Teaching career

Malalasekara Theatre of Nalanda College Colombo

Coming under the influence of Buddhist renaissance of Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala, he changed his foreign names of George and Pieris to those of Gunapala Piyasena and henceforth came to be known as G. P. (Gunapala Piyasena) Malalasekera. After gaining his BA he took to teaching at Ananda College, Colombo as an assistant teacher, then under the principal P. de S. Kularatne. Both of them were the architects of the Sinhala national costume. In quick succession Malalasekera rose up the ranks to be the Vice Principal and acting Principal of Ananda College. Thereafter he left for London for his graduate studies. On his return to the motherland in 1926, he was appointed Principal of newly formed Nalanda College Colombo.. The student assembly hall of Nalanda College Colombo is named Malalasekara Theatre in memory of him.

Academic career

Shortly afterwards in 1927, he succeeded Ven. Suriyagoda as lecturer in the then University College, Colombo to lecture in English on Sinhala, Pali and Sanskrit for the University of London degree examinations. When the University of Ceylon was founded in 1942, he became the Professor of Pali and Head of the Department of Pali. Later he would serve as Dean of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Ceylon. His research was on Buddhism and Buddhist Civilization was extensive and he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopaedia of Buddhism. His contribution by way of research papers and publications to the Pali Text Society of London under the patronage of scholars like Rhys David and Miss I. B. Horner. From 1927 twice he was elected the Joint Secretary of the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress. Thrice he was the Vice-President and functioned as its President from 1939–1957.

During his tenure of office, he saw to it that the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress constructed a new building for its headquarters at Bullers Road (now Bauddhaloka Mawatha). He took a delight in the activities of the Viharamahadevi Girls' Home, Biyagama and was responsible for the establishment of boys' homes at Panadura and Ja-Ela. During his presidency of the Buddhist Congress for 25 years, he addressed 20 of its annual sessions. His 'magnum opus' or great work is the famous 'Gunapala Sinhala-English Dictionary'. Of equal importance is the Pali dictionary – Sinhala-English. An ardent member of the Royal Asiatic Society of Ceylon. He represented Ceylon at several parleys abroad notably, Conference on Living Religions (1924 – London), Conference on World Religious (1936 – London), Association of Occidental (Western) and Oriental Philosophers (Hawaii – 1949), Association of Indian Philosophers – India, meeting of the Pakistani Philosophers (1953 – Karachi), and the Seminar on Religions for Peace, (San Francisco, USA, 1965). So numerous were the essays, write-ups, literary contributions he made and radio talks delivered over Buddhist, religious and cultural matters and Social service assignments. He was the founder president of the World Fellowship of Buddhists inaugurated within the hallowed precincts of the Temple of the Tooth, Kandy in 1950 at the suggestion of the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress.

He was president of the World Fellowship of Buddhists from 1950 to 1958 as well as the Ceylon Arts Society;

Diplomatic career

Malalasekera was appointed the first Ambassador for Ceylon to the USSR in 1957 by Prime Minister S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike when he established diplomatic relations with socialist countries such as Russia, China, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia. In 1959, he was appointed concurrently first Ambassador for Ceylon to Czechoslovakia, Poland and Romania.[4]

Subsequently, he functioned as the Ceylon High Commissioner in Canada and was Ceylon UN Permanent Representative in New York. There he served as chairman, Security Council Member, Fact Finding Mission to Saigon and also in the Committee on Information from North Non-self Governing Territories. Finally, he was the Ceylon's High Commissioner in the UK from 1963 to 1967.

In 1967, he returned to the island to accept the post of chairman of the National Higher Education Commission which responsible post he held till 1971. He died on 23 April 1973.

Family life

He married Margaret Russel in 1927, she was a concert pianist he met while he was a student at the London School of Oriental Studies. The marriage lasted only three years and produced a daughter Chitra who excelled in classical music (piano). He thereafter married Lyle, they had three sons and two daughters. His sons were Indrajith, Arjun and Vijaya. Vijaya studied law at the University of Cambridge and was called to the English Bar as Barrister-at-Law. His second daughter became a science graduate.


• Officer of the Order of the British Empire (Civil Division) (1949)[5]
• Justice of the Peace
• Membre d'Honneur of École française d'Extrême-Orient
• Commander of the Royal Order of Monisaraphon
• Buddha Sasana Vepulla Hitadhara from the Supreme Council of Buddhist Monks, Burma

See also

• Sri Lankan Non Career Diplomats


1. Wijenayaka, Walter. "Remembering Professor G. P. Malalasekera – outstanding personality", "The Island (Sri Lanka)", Sri Lanka, 24 April 2011. Retrieved on 16 January 2018.
2. Outstanding Buddhist Leader.
3. Professor G. P. Malalasekera – outstanding personality.
4. unesco
5. London Gazette

External links

• Dictionary of Pali Names by G. P. Malalasekera
• Books by Professor G. P. Malalasekera
• Biography of Gunapala Piyasena Malalasekera
• Local symbol of global Buddhism
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:07 am

Archives of the World Congress of Faiths
Accessed: 4/1/19



Archive Collection

For more information, email the repository Advice on accessing these materials. Cite this description Bookmark:

This material is held at University of Southampton Special Collections
Reference GB 738 MS 222
Dates of Creation 1924-1992
Name of Creator The World Congress of Faiths
Language of Material English.
Physical Description 35 boxes

Scope and Content

Papers for annual general meetings, 1945-82; minutes of the executive committee, 1934-92, including minutes of the executive committee of the predecessor of the World Congress of Faiths, the World Fellowship of Faiths, chaired by Sir Francis Younghusband

Sir Francis Younghusband's proposal for an International Congress of World Faiths, 1935

World Congress of Faiths Trust Association: memorandum and articles of association, 1943 and 1955-88; council minute book, 1955 62 (1 vol.)

Correspondence, membership and financial papers, 1935 92; alphabetical sequence, including correspondence with the Association of World Federalists, 1976-85; the Church Education Movement, 1987-9; Human Rights Society, 1978; the Inter-Faith Association, 1980-7; the Inter-Faith Network, Great Britain, 1985-91; Mount Abu summit on global co-operation for a better world, 1989; the Standing Conference on Inter-faith Dialogue in Education, 1975-85; the Temple of Understanding, 1974-92; the United Nations Association, 1975-89; the Vatican, 1975-9; and the World Conference of Religion for Peace, 1974 89

Records of branches: Brent, 1974 5; Cambridge, minute book, 1948 60; Canterbury, 1977; West Germany, 1968 75; Pakistan, 1971 4

Newscuttings, 1924, 1953 74 (4 vols.)

Administrative / Biographical History

The World Congress of Faiths was founded in 1936 by Sir Francis Younghusband (1863-1942). He served with the First Dragoon Guards, transferring in 1890 to the Indian Political Department. He was subsequently British commissioner to Tibet, 1902-4, and British representative to Kashmir, 1906-9; he was President of the Royal Geographical Society, 1919. One of the mainsprings of the World Congress of Faith were the spiritual experiences of Sir Francis, but it also had roots in the Religions of Empire conference held in London in 1924 and in the second World's Parliament of Religions, held in Chicago in 1933. The aim of the World Congress of Faiths is to promote fellowship between followers of all faiths; to revitalise man's spiritual being through religion and to encourage study of religions whilst allowing members to follow their own tradition. It publishes INTERFAITH NEWS and WORLD FAITH INSIGHT. (M.Braybrooke A WIDER VISION: THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD CONGRESS OF FAITHS, 1936-1996 (Oxford, 1996).

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation


Compiled by Gwennyth Anderson

Other Finding Aids



Christianity and other religions
GlobalizationReligious aspects

Personal Names

Younghusband Sir Francis 1863-1942 founder of the World Congress of Faiths

Corporate Names

World Congress of Faiths, formerly World Fellowship of Faiths
World Congress of Faiths Trust Association
Association of World Federalists
Church Education Movement
Human Rights Society
Inter-Faith Association
Inter-Faith Network Great Britain
Mount Abu summit
Standing Conference on Inter-faith Dialogue in Education
International Congress of World Faiths
Temple of Understanding
United Nations Association

World Conference of Religion for Peace

Geographical Names

Cambridge (England)
Canterbury (England)
Brent (London, England)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:11 am

World Congress of Faiths
by ICERM: International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation
Publish date: 12:38 pm, July 2, 2018



Younghusband stressed that the primary aim of the initiative was to promote fellowship between faiths: there was no intention of formulating a new religion through convergence, nor of seeking the lowest common denominator, nor of appraising the value of existing religions and discussing respective merits and defects. Through discussion and reflection, and by coming closer to each other, members of different religions would deepen their own spiritual communion and the concept of God was strengthened.

The organisation has its roots in the Parliament of World Religions, first held in Chicago in 1893 and the Religions of Empire Conference, held in London in 1924. Inspired by these movements and his own spiritual experiences, explorer Sir Francis Younghusband, once described as ‘the last great imperial adventurer’, organised two international conferences in London, and after the second of these, in the shadow of a looming World War, WCF became established as an independent body.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:14 am

New Chair in Tibetan Buddhist Studies: The endowed chair is the largest gift to study Tibetan Buddhism that has been awarded in North America.
New Chair in Tibetan Buddhist Studies Established at University of Michigan
by College of Literature, Science & the Arts, University of Michigan
June 27, 2018



From Tavistock to Rand

In 1967, the head of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in London was a man named Dr. Fred Emery, an expert on the 'hypnotic effects' of television. Dr. Emery was particularly struck by what he observed of crowd behavior at rock concerts, which were a relatively new phenomenon at that time. Emery referred to the audiences as 'swarming adolescents.' He was convinced that this behavior could effectively be refined and used to bring down hostile or uncooperative governments. Emery wrote an article about this for the Tavistock Institute's journal, Human Relations, which he confidently titled, "The Next Thirty Years: Concepts, Methods and Anticipations." The article detailed ways in which to safely channel or directly manipulate what he termed 'rebellious hysteria.' This is precisely what the RAND studies later observed, and manufactured, as 'swarming.' [19]

Following World War I, the British Military had created the Tavistock Institute to serve as its psychological warfare arm. The Institute received its name from the Duke of Bedford, Marquis of Tavistock, who donated a building to the Institute in 1921 to study the effect of shell-shock on British soldiers who had survived World War I. Its purpose was not to help the traumatized soldiers, however, but instead to establish the 'breaking point' of men under stress. The program was under the direction of the British Army Bureau of Psychological Warfare. For a time Sigmund Freud worked with Tavistock on psychoanalystical methods applied to individuals and large groups.

After World War II, the Rockefeller Foundation moved in to finance the Tavistock Institute and, in effect, to co-opt its programs for the United States and its emerging psychological warfare activities. [20] The Rockefeller Foundation provided an infusion of funds for the financially strapped Tavistock, newly reorganized as the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations. Its Rockefeller agenda was to undertake "under conditions of peace, the kind of social psychiatry that had developed in the army under conditions of war." [21]

That was a fateful turn.

Tavistock immediately began work in the United States, sending its leading researcher, the German-born psychologist, Kurt Lewin, to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1945 to establish the Research Center for Group Dynamics. Lewin was interested in the scientific study of the processes that influence individuals in group situations, and is widely credited as the founder of 'social psychology.' After Lewin's death, the Center moved to the University of Michigan in 1948 where it became the Institute for Social Research. [22]

Tavistock's work over the next two decades was to co-opt legitimate psychological insights into social groups and social dynamics in order to refine techniques for social manipulation.

Then, Fred Emery's 1967 insights about 'swarming' crowds seemed validated by massive student uprisings in Paris during May 1968. Thousands of 'swarming adolescents' grew into a movement of millions, destabilizing the French government and eventually toppling President Charles de Gaulle. [23] That spontaneous outpouring was closely studied by Tavistock and by various US intelligence agencies for methods, patterns, and tactics that would be developed and implemented over the ensuing three and a half decades by the US intelligence community.



20. Bill Cooke, Foundations of Soft Management: Rockefeller, Barnard, and the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, Lancaster University Management School, accessed in ... =clnk&cd=6

Cooke notes, 'While Tavistock histories have been previously written, this is the first to draw on archival material which sets out the early relations between the Rockefeller and TIHR founder ATM "Tommy" Wilson in the 1930s, and shows how the Tavistock's development into a centre of social and organizational science was supported by the Rockefeller's medical research program up until the 1950s. It also situates the rise of the Tavistock in a nexus of transatlantic inter-personal relationships on the one hand, and changing UK, US, and world politics on the other.'

21. Eric Trist and Hugh Murray, The Social Engagement of Social Science -- A Tavistock Anthology: The Foundation and Development of the Tavistock Institute to 1989, quoted in ... 0Institute.

22. University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, Research Center for Group Dynamics, History, in

23. A curious tiny group named Situationist International played an inordinately large role behind the student uprisings in May 1968 leading some researchers to posit that it was backed or steered by US intelligence. Even the powerful French Communist trade union, CGT, attempted to quell the student unrest to no avail. De Gaulle was considered a 'friend' of the Soviet Union for his opposition to US-run NATO.

-- Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy In The New World Order, by F. William Engdahl

Accepted an invitation from the Association for Asian Studies at the University of Michigan, U.S.A., to lecture in America (1959), and delivered over a total of one hundred and sixty lectures at various universities and arranged meetings in six months. His later teaching engagement for two years in England allowed him the opportunity to translate into English from the Pali, for the very first time that it had ever been done, the second of the seven books of the Abhidhamma Pitaka, Vibhanga. It was published by the Pali Text Society in 1969 under the title of The Book of Analysis.

-- Ven. Sayadaw U Thittila (1896-1997), by Dhamma Web

Later in Delhi, she became editor of the magazine "Social Welfare" of the Ministry of Welfare. She briefly served as a member of the United Nations Social Services Planning Commission to Burma, during which she was first exposed to Buddhism, which quickly became the defining aspect of her life. In Rangoon she learned vipassana from Mahasi Sayadaw, and Sayadaw U Titthila.[6][7]




7. Andrew Rawlinson, op. cit. "In 1952 she went to Rangoon and practised vipassana with Mahasi Sayadaw (Friedman, 276), one of the first Westerners to do so. She also practised with Sayadaw U Titthila (Snelling, 321). "

-- Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

After Independence, she edited Social Welfare, a magazine of the Ministry of Welfare; and was also appointed as the social worker of the United Nations Social Services, assigned to Burma. And much later, she was nominated as the advisor on Tibetan Refugees to the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

In 1952, while working for the United Nations, Freda went to Rangoon; and, there she was drawn to Buddhism, learnt Vipassana meditation with Mahasi Sayadaw and Sayadaw U Titthila. Freda was one of the first Westerners to be initiated into Vipasana.

-- MN Roy: brief outline of life-events and thoughts – Part 15: Western Women in leftist and national movements, by sreenivasarao's blogs

(ANN ARBOR, JUNE 27, 2018)—The University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts has received a gift of $2.5 million to establish the Khyentse Gendun Chopel Professorship of Tibetan Buddhist Studies, which will further enhance one of the largest Buddhist studies programs in North America. The gift is largest dedicated to the study of Tibetan Buddhism in North America.

Tibetan Buddhism, a tradition of Buddhism practiced in Tibet, Nepal, India, Mongolia, and other regions in China, today counts millions of followers around the world.

The professorship is made possible through the generosity of the donors of Khyentse Foundation, which provides support for institutions and individuals engaged in all traditions of Buddhist study and practice. Michigan is only the second Khyentse chair in North America. The first was established at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2006.

“As citizens of a world that is ever shifting, changing and even precarious, we must all seek and contemplate sources of strength and sanity. For centuries, Buddhist study and practice have proved to bring stability and harmony to both individuals and society,” said Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, founder of Khyentse Foundation. “So in this day and age, it is more crucial than ever that such wisdom be preserved and kept alive in important institutions of learning like the University of Michigan.”

The Khyentse Gendun Chopel Professorship will reside in LSA’s Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. It is named after the Tibetan poet, philosopher, and painter Gendun Chopel (1903-1951), regarded by many as the leading Tibetan thinker of the twentieth century.

In fall 2019, the department will conduct an international search to fill the newly created professorship with a faculty member who will teach courses and conduct research to advance knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism.
This research will be shared with students and scholars of Buddhism around the globe, enriching knowledge and understanding of an ancient religion whose teachings continue to inspire the modern world.

"Michigan has a long and distinguished tradition of excellence in the field of Buddhist studies," said Donald Lopez, chair of Asian languages and cultures and the Arthur E. Link Distinguished Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies. "This historic gift will allow us to expand both our undergraduate and our graduate programs in new directions. We are deeply grateful to Khyentse Foundation."


CONTACT: Tamra Talmadge-Anderson
University of Michigan
CONTACT: Sarah Anne Wilkinson
Khyentse Foundation

About Khyentse Foundation

Khyentse Foundation is an international 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2001 by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. The foundation supports all traditions of Buddhist study and practice, with beneficiaries in 30 countries over the past 17 years. Projects funded include a chair of Buddhist studies at the University of California at Berkeley, a lectureship at the University of Sydney, the digitization of the entire Tibetan Buddhist scriptural canon, endowments for traditional monastic colleges in Asia, a worldwide scholarship program, and numerous other innovative initiatives. Learn more about Khyentse Foundation at
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:17 am

World Fellowship of Buddhists
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/1/19



The World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) is an international Buddhist organization. Initiated by Gunapala Piyasena Malalasekera, it was founded in 1950[1] in Colombo, Ceylon by representatives from 27 nations.[2] Although Theravada Buddhists are most influential in the organization, (its headquarters are in Thailand and all of its presidents have been from Sri Lanka or southeast Asia), members of all Buddhist schools are active in the WFB. It now has regional centers in 35 countries, including India, the United States, Australia, and several nations of Africa and Europe, in addition to traditional Buddhist countries.[3]

The aims and objectives of the World Fellowship of Buddhists are:[2]

1. To promote among the members strict observance and practice of the teachings of the Buddha

2. To secure unity, solidarity, and brotherhood amongst Buddhists

3. To propagate the sublime doctrine of the Buddha

4. To organize and carry on activities in the field of social, educational, cultural and other humanitarian services

5. To work for happiness, harmony and peace on earth and to collaborate with other organizations working for the same ends.

The current president is Phan Wannamethee of Thailand serving since 1999, while Venerable Hsing Yun of the Republic of China serves as honorary president.

See also

• Buddhist councils
• Buddhist Society of India
• Index of Buddhism-related articles
• World Buddhist Sangha Council
• International Buddhist Confederation
• Secular Buddhism


1. Olson, Carl (2009). The A to Z of Buddhism. Scarecrow Press. pp. 241–242. ISBN 9780810870734.
2. "About WFBHQ". World Fellowship of Buddhists. Archived from the original on May 5, 2015. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
3. Melton, J. Gordon; Baumann, Martin (2010). Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices [6 volumes]: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices. ABC-CLIO. p. 3132. ISBN 9781598842043.

External links

• World Fellowship of Buddhists homepage
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:20 am

Mehtab Kaur of Patiala
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/1/19



The abrupt dislocation from their lakeside home, with its backdrop of snowcapped mountains, to the teeming, hot, dusty, dirty cityscape of Delhi was a rude shock. The Bedis were broke, homeless, and without work. Furthermore, Freda had four-year-old Guli and six-year-old Kabir to look after. Ranga was already in Delhi, a BA student in History and Economics at St. Stephen’s College.

In desperation, the Bedis initially fell back on their tried-and-tested practice of camping instead of buying or renting. On the outskirts of the bustling capital was a walled area of about five acres belonging to a friend of Freda’s, the White Maharani of Patiala (in the Punjab). Part of the land was taken up by the Ashoka Vihara Center, a community of monks, but the rest was open ground, some of it containing ruins. It was much to their liking.

The Bedi tents had style. They were large with mesh windows to stop the mosquitoes, and beautiful Kashmiri rugs on the floor (on loan from the Maharani). Their neighbors were a motley collection of eccentric, colorful characters. For Guli and Kabir it was a magic playground. They cooked pigeon over communal fires, and made friends with all the stray dogs.

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

Freda's involvement with Buddhism introduced her to several rich and influential Punjabi women who shared her interest. Goodie Oberoi had married into the family that ran one of India's leading chains of luxury hotels. The Maharani of Patiala was part of a Sikh royal family which retained its political influence after the dissolution of the princely states. In 1957, Freda travelled to Britain at the maharani's request -- her first visit for a decade -- to accompany her two daughters to their new boarding school. She took the opportunity to visit her mother and brother in Derby and see old friends. Freda saw no inconsistency in championing the interests of poor village women and accepting the patronage of the moneyed elite.

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

Mehtab Kaur
Maharani of Patiala 2nd wife of Yadavindra Singh
Tenure 1938 – 1947
Predecessor Bakhtawar Kaur
Successor Royalty abolished
Born Mohinder Kaur
14 September 1922
Ludhiana, Punjab Province, British Raj
Died 24 July 2017 (aged 94)
Patiala, Punjab, India
Maharaja Yadavindra Singh
(m. 1938; died 1974)
Heminder Kaur (daughter)
Rupinder Kaur (daughter)
Amarinder Singh (son)
Malvinder Singh (son)
Father Sardar Harchand Singh Jaijee
Member of Parliament
In office
Preceded by Sardar Hukam Singh
Succeeded by Sat Pal Kapur
Constituency Patiala
Personal details
Political party Indian National Congress
Residence New Motibagh Palace, Patiala

Mehtab Kaur (née Mohinder Kaur; 14 September 1922 – 24 July 2017), was the second wife of the ninth and the last Maharaja of Patiala Yadavindra Singh (1914–1974). She was the mother of Amarinder Singh, the current Chief Minister of Punjab. Had it not been for the erstwhile Indian princely families being stripped of their titles in 1971, upon the death of her husband she would have been considered Rajmata (queen mother), and in popular usage is commonly referred to as such.

Early years

She was born in Ludhiana, undivided Punjab as Mohinder Kaur, the daughter of Sardar Harchand Singh Jaijee, a nobleman of Patiala State and a member of the Patiala Riyasat Prajya Mandal (Patiala State Peoples' Forum, an affiliate of the Indian National Congress party). In August 1938, at age 16, she was married to the Maharaja of Patiala Yadavindra Singh, the ruling Maharaja of Patiala. She was the Maharaja's second wife. As the senior Maharani was also named Mohinder Kaur, and was present in the palace to receive her co-wife, the younger Mohinder Kaur received the new name Mehtab Kaur.

As Maharani

Residence of Maharani Mehtab Kaur, New Moti Bagh Palace, Patiala.

Yadvinder Singh had succeeded his father as the Maharaja of Patiala, only a few months prior to his wedding. His first marriage had been (and remained) childless. However, barely 10 months after her wedding, Mehtab Kaur became a mother with the birth of a daughter, Heminder Kaur, future wife of the diplomat and politician Natwar Singh. The following year saw the birth of another daughter, Rupinder Kaur, followed in March 1942 by her first son Amarinder Singh. He was followed in 1944 by a second son, Malvinder Singh.

India gained its independence in 1947. On 15 July 1948, the princely state of Patiala was merged with the Indian union and the ruling power of the Maharaja was ended. Patiala was merged with certain other princely states to form PEPSU (Patiala and East Punjab States' Union), a state within the union of India. Yadvinder Singh was named Rajpramukh or ceremonial Governor of this new state. The royal family of Patiala worked diligently to adjust to the new realities of their situation, and Maharani Mehtab Kaur (the name by which she was now known) made important contributions in the transition.

India received its independence at the price of being partitioned, and the province of Punjab bore the brunt of that brutal upheaval. Patiala, as a major town located near the newly defined border between India and Pakistan, received tens of thousands of Hindu and Sikh refugees who had been compelled to leave their homes in the territories that became Pakistan. The royal family of Patiala organised numerous camps and relief projects in aid of these refugees. In particular, the two Maharanis supervised relief kitchens and medical provisions for them.

Political career

At the time when his state was merged into the Patiala and East Punjab States Union, the Maharaja had been given the position of Rajpramukh (ceremonial governor) of PEPSU for life. However, in 1956, PEPSU disappeared from the map following a further reorganization of internal borders in India, and the Maharaja was summarily deprived of the responsibilities (and perks) of office.

After 1956, the Maharaja was given various diplomatic assignments, including heading Indian delegations to the UN general assembly (1956), UNESCO (1957–58) and UNFAO (1959 onwards). He also served as ambassador to Italy (1965–66) and the Netherlands (1971–1974). These relatively minor assignments were a far cry from the assurances that the royals of India had received when they signed away their kingdoms, and from the absolute ruling powers to which the Maharaja had been accustomed. Further, the ruling Congress party was championing a sharp turn left-wards in its policies, and its utterances with regard to the erstwhile princes were radical and alarming. Since Patiala was by far the largest of the princely states in Punjab, the government had deemed it expedient to keep the Maharaja beholden (and away from politics) by giving him minor diplomatic assignments which required his presence abroad. The Maharaja was however anxious to gain some political leverage and influence in the ruling dispensation, but as a titular Maharaja, it was not possible for him to enter party politics himself. Meanwhile, Mehtab Kaur's father and family had risen in the ranks of the Congress party, building on the Riyasat Praja Mandal background. For these reasons, and at her husband's behest, Mehtab Kaur entered party politics in 1964.

Mehtab Kaur served as a member of Rajya Sabha, the indirectly elected upper house of the Indian Parliament, from 1964 to 1967 as a Congress party member. In 1967, she was elected to the 4th Lok Sabha (1967–71),[1] the directly elected lower house of Parliament, from the Patiala constituency. In 1971, the Congress party and its government executed some of their radical plans by individually 'de-recognizing' each and every one of the over 500 Maharajas who existed at that time in India. The privy purse (pension) and other benefits which had been guaranteed to them by solemn covenant in 1947-48, when they signed away their kingdoms, were summarily withdrawn as well. In keeping with Indira Gandhi's anti-royal political stance, Mehtab Kaur was marginalized and was not given a party nomination to contest the general elections of 1971. Instead, the Maharaja was appointed ambassador to the Netherlands that year, and the family again moved abroad.

Later life

In 1974, the former Maharaja died at the Hague while still serving as India's ambassador to the Netherlands. The family returned to India, and the two dowager ex-Maharanis took up residence in their family home, the Moti Bagh Palace in Patiala. Due to the demise of her husband, Mehtab Kaur gave up wearing jewelry, silk or bright colored clothing, and dressed exclusive in two colors, namely white and Indigo blue, which are the colors of renunciation and piety in Sikh tradition. She had forayed into politics only because her husband had desired it, and as a pious widow, she now intended to withdraw from public life and spend her days in prayer and religious observances. All her children were married and settled by this time, and she had seven grandchildren upon whom she doted. However, in 1977, outraged by the excesses of the Emergency, in particular the forced sterilization by vasectomy of healthy men, she joined the Janata Party and was named one of its general secretaries. That party won the general elections held shortly thereafter, and in 1978, Mehtab Kaur was made a member of the Rajya Sabha. She served a full 6-year term (1978–84) in the upper house and then withdrew from public life.

In her retirement, Mehtab Kaur maintained the charitable traditions of her family and remained assiduous in matters of tradition and religious observance. She often granted audience to ladies from Patiala State until advanced age and ill-health prevented exertion. Her piety, austerity and charity made her a cultural icon in Patiala. In later life, she resided in New Moti Bagh Palace, Patiala, before her death on 24 July 2017.[2]


1. Tribune of India It’s development vs Panth in Patiala
2. "Rajmata Mohinder Kaur no more". The Tribune. 25 July 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
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