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nanda Metteyya

The First British Emissary of Buddhism


by

Elizabeth J. Harris

Buddhist Publication Society Kandy Sri Lanka

The Wheel Publication

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Published in 1998 Copyright 1998 by Elizabeth J. Harris ISB 9!!"#$"%1&9"8 o. $#%*$##BPS +nline Edition ,#%11'he (heel Publi)ation

.igital 'rans)ription Sour)e/ BPS 'rans)ription Pro0e)t 1or 2ree distribution. 'his 3or4 5ay be republished6 re2or5atted6 reprinted and redistributed in any 5ediu5. Ho3e7er6 any su)h republi)ation and redistribution is to be 5ade a7ailable to the publi) on a 2ree and unrestri)ted basis6 and translations and other deri7ati7e 3or4s are to be )learly 5ar4ed as su)h.

Contents
Pre2a)e. 'he 1irst Buddhist 8ission to Britain..............................................................................................9 Chapter 1. :nanda 8etteyya/ ; .edi)ated <i2e...........................................................................................$ 'he Sear)h 2or 'ruth................................................................................................................................! In Sri <an4a...............................................................................................................................................& In Bur5a....................................................................................................................................................8 'he 8ission to England........................................................................................................................1% =ears o2 Crisis.........................................................................................................................................11 Chapter #. 19th Century British ;ttitudes to Buddhis5...........................................................................1$ Chapter 9. :nanda 8etteyya>s Interpretation o2 Buddhis5....................................................................1& ; Su22ering (orld..................................................................................................................................1& 'he Buddha.............................................................................................................................................18 'he Path...................................................................................................................................................#% ibb?na@Inalienable Pea)e.................................................................................................................#9 8orality and 8editation.......................................................................................................................#! Chapter $. Buddhis5 as So)ial Co55ent...................................................................................................#8 Hope through S)ien)e...........................................................................................................................9% ; 8essage 2or 'odayA...........................................................................................................................9# Journals Buoted...............................................................................................................................................9!

Preface
The First Buddhist Mission to Britain
In ;pril 19%8 a s5all Buddhist 5ission arri7ed in <ondon 2ro5 Bur5a6 headed by a tall6 lean6 as)eti) loo4ing 5on4 na5ed :nanda 8etteyya. Cnli4e his )o5panions6 :nanda 8etteyya 3as not Bur5ese but British@the se)ond (esterner6 in 2a)t6 e7er to ta4e the sa22ron robe. Born in <ondon 3ith the na5e ;llan Bennett6 trained as an analyti) )he5ist6 he had been dra3n by an intense spiritual thirst to the tea)hings o2 the Buddha6 and in 19%16 in Bur5a6 he had entered the order o2 Buddhist 5on4s. ;lthough the 5ission did not 2ul2il its intended purpose6 :nanda 8etteyya>s eloDuent 3ritings and sel2less e22orts so3ed the seeds that 3ould gradually bear 2ruit in the gro3th o2 Buddhis5 in the (est. 'he present study6 3ritten 3ith deep sensiti7ity6 eEa5ines the li2e and thought o2 this (estern Buddhist pioneer6 3hose pre5ature death at the age o2 2i2ty depri7ed British Buddhis5 o2 one o2 its 5ost )apable early spo4es5en. 'he author not only dis)usses :nanda 8etteyya>s thought in its o3n histori)al )onteEt but also inDuires into its rele7an)e to us today. Elizabeth J. Harris is Se)retary 2or InterF2aith Gelations 2or 'he 8ethodist Chur)h in <ondon. She holds a do)torate in Buddhist studies 2ro5 the Cni7ersity o2 Helaniya and )oFprodu)ed the re)ent BBC series6 I'he Path o2 the Buddha.J BPS Editor

&ha'ter (
nanda Metteyya: A Dedicated Li e
His 2a)e 3as the 5ost signi2i)ant that I ha7e e7er seen. '3enty years o2 physi)al su22ering had t3isted and s)ored it/ a li2eti5e o2 5editation upon uni7ersal lo7e had i5parted to it an eEpression that 3as un5ista4able. His )olour 3as al5ost dus4y6 and his eyes had the so2t glo3 o2 dar4 a5ber.... ;bo7e all6 at the 5o5ent o2 5eeting and al3ays therea2ter6 I 3as )ons)ious o2 a tender and 2arFshining e5 F anation6 an un7arying psy)hi) sunlight6 that en7ironed his personality.1 Cli22ord BaE6 artist and dra5atist6 3rote these 3ords a2ter 5eeting :nanda 8etteyya in 1918. ; si)4 5an in)apa)itated by asth5a 2or 3ee4s at a ti5e6 he 3as then 3earing the )lothes o2 a lay person and had re7erted to his )i7ilian na5e6 ;llan Bennett. =et6 ten years earlier6 as the Kenerable :nanda 8etteyya6 he had led the 2irst Buddhist 5ission to England 2ro5 Bur5a. 'he Buddhist So)iety o2 Lreat Britain and Ireland had been 2or5ed to prepare the 3ay 2or hi5. Bennett6 in 2a)t6 3as the se)ond British person to ta4e on the robes o2 a Buddhist 5on4 and his in2luen)e on Buddhis5 in BriF tain in the 2irst de)ades o2 the t3entieth )entury 3as deep. E7en 3ithin his o3n li2eti5e ;llan Bennett 3as a )ontro7ersial 2igure. In 189$6 he 0oined the HerF 5eti) +rder o2 the Lolden .a3n6 a so)iety )on)erned 3ith spiritual gro3th through esoteri) 4no3F ledge. He gained a reputation as a 5agi)ian and a 5an o2 5ystery6 3hi)h 3as not )o5pletely sha4en o22 e7en 3hen he e5bra)ed Buddhis5 se7eral years later. In the early years o2 the t3entieth )entury6 he 3as 5u)h praised by (estern Buddhists. =et6 as ti5e passed6 he be)a5e 5ore and 5ore 5arginalF ised as asth5a too4 an e7er deepening grip on his li2e6 leading to dependen)y on drugs. By 191M6 his )ase is des)ribed as a IsadJ one by The Buddhist Review6 published by 'he Buddhist So)iety o2 Lreat Britain and Ireland. In 191&"186 he 5anaged to gi7e a series o2 le)tures and 3hen he died in 19#96 he 3as the a)ting Honorary Se)retary o2 'he Buddhist So)iety. =et6 his 2inal years 3ere 5ar4ed by po7erty. Cli22ord BaE 3rote in the )on)lusion o2 his 1918 arti)le/ ;s a Buddhist6 he 3as an alert and po3er2ul personality/ as ;llan Bennett6 a poor 5an6 d3elling un4no3n in <ondon6 he 3as a si)4 )reature pre5aturely old. ;s he 3as putting on his o7er)oat6 I heard 8eena Lunn saying6 I(hy it>s riddled 3ith 5oths6J and Bennett responding6 I'hey>re su)h pretty little things6J and 8eena )ontinuing6 ISo5e day 3e 5ust get you a ne3 one/ this )oat is too 2ull o2 holes6J and Bennett ans3ering6 shy o2 his pun6 IBut6 you see6 I>5 supposed to be a holy 5an.J # Bennett 3as buried 3ithout a 5e5orial stone in 8orden )e5etery. His li2elong 2riend6 .r. Cassius Pereira6 3rote/ ;nd no3 the 3or4er has6 2or this li2e6 laid aside his burden. +ne 2eels 5ore glad than other3ise6 2or he 3as tiredN his bro4en body )ould no longer 4eep pa)e 3ith his soaring 5ind. 'he 3or4 he began6 that o2 introdu)ing Buddhis5 to the (est6 he pushed 3ith enthusiasti) 7igour in pa5phlet6 0ournal and le)ture6 all 5asterly6 all sti5ulating thought6 all in his o3n ini5itably gra)e2ul style. ;nd the results are not disappointing to those 3ho 4no3.9 ;llan Bennett 3as a holy 5an. His 3ritings re7eal sensiti7ity6 )on7i)tion6 and passionate )on)ern that Buddhis5 should gro3 in the (est. He )o5bined a poeti) i5agination6 a s)ienti2i) 5ind6 and a deep )on)ern 2or 0usti)e and pea)e. He 3as also able to 5a4e the Buddhist path li7e6 not so 5u)h through le)tures as through the 3ritten 3ord. In this study6 I see4 to 5a4e his thought )o5e ali7e. I loo4 at his li2e and pla)e hi5 in histori)al perspe)ti7e. 'hen I probe his 7ie3 o2 the 3orld and his in F terpretation o2 Buddhist do)trine. I sho3 ho3 his thought de7eloped through the trau5a o2 the 1irst (orld (ar6 and 2inally I dis)uss the rele7an)e o2 his 3ritings today.
1Cli22ord #Ibid.6

BaE6 I:nanda 8etteyyaJ in The Middle Way6 Kol. $9/16 8ay 19M86 p.#9. p.#&. 9The Buddhist6 #8th ;pril 19#96 p.M.

+2 )ourse6 it is i5possible to reF)reate the thought o2 :nanda 8etteyya 3ith authenti)ity t3o gen F erations a2ter he died. I rely 5ainly on 3hat he published in England and Bur5a6 a 2e3 personal let F ters6 and the i5pressions o2 his )onte5poraries in Sri <an4a and the (est. 1urther5ore6 no biographF i)al 3riting is ob0e)ti7e. It re2le)ts the biographer>s )hara)ter as 5u)h as it portrays the person 3ritten about. ;llan Bennett6 or :nanda 8etteyya6 3ill elude any atte5pt to pin hi5 do3n. He 3as a 5an o2 his ti5e6 born 3hen the British E5pire 3as at the height o2 its po3er and the 3ish to probe ne3 reli F gious path3ays 3as gripping 5any young 5inds. =et6 I belie7e the 5essage he stro7e to share is still rele7ant. ; probe into his li2e not only un)o7ers 2orgotten history but )an gi7e inspiration to the present.

The Search for Truth


In pie)ing together the biography o2 ;llan Bennett6 I a5 hea7ily indebted to the 3ritings o2 t3o o2 his )losest 2riends/ ;leister Cro3ley and .r. Cassius Pereira ,later Ken. Hassapa 'hera-. $ Bennett>s relaF tionship 3ith Cro3ley 3as not li2elong. It began 3hen Bennett 3as 5ore interested in esoteri) 5ysti F )is5 than Buddhis5 and petered out as Cro3ley san4 deeper and deeper into study o2 the o))ult. 'he 2riendship 3ith Pereira 3as based on a 5ore solid 2oundation6 that o2 )o55it5ent to Buddhis5. 'hey 5et on Bennett>s 2irst 7isit to Sri <an4a in 19%% and the relationship )ontinued 3hen Bennett 3ent to Bur5a. ;le) Gobertson! told 5e that Ken. Hassapa had told hi5 he had had su)h a )lose rapF port 3ith Bennett that the t3o )ould )o55uni)ate by telepathy. Ea)h 4ne3 the other>s thoughts6 e7en at a distan)e. ;llan Bennett 3as born in <ondon on the 8th .e)e5ber 18&#. His 2ather6 a )i7il and ele)tri)al enF gineer6 died 3hen ;llan 3as young. Cassius Pereira )lai5s he 3as adopted by a 8r. 8)Lregor and 4ept this na5e until 8)Lregor died6 a 2a)t repeated to 5e by Ken. Balangoda :nanda 8aitreya. M =et6 it is possible that his 5other 3as still in )onta)t 3ith hi56 sin)e Cro3ley re2ers to hi5 being brought up by his 5other as a stri)t Catholi). & His edu)ation 3as in Bath a2ter 3hi)h he trained as an analyti)F al )he5ist. He 3as e7entually e5ployed by .r. Bernard .yer6 a publi) analyst and )onsulting )he5 F ist o2 international repute 3ho 3as based in <ondon as an o22i)ial analyst to the <ondon Corn 'rade at the ti5e o2 Bennett>s asso)iation 3ith hi5.8 In2or5ation about Bennett>s early years is s4et)hy. (hat is a7ailable suggests that he 3as a sensit F i7e and serious young 5an 3ho be)a5e alienated 2ro5 Christianity both be)ause it see5ed in)o5F patible 3ith s)ien)e and be)ause he )ould not sDuare the )on)ept o2 a Lod o2 lo7e 3ith the su22ering he sa3 and eEperien)ed. 'he asth5a 3hi)h plagued hi5 throughout his li2e see5s to ha7e begun in )hildhood. ;s a young 5an6 it pre7ented hi5 2ro5 holding do3n a per5anent 0ob. 'ogether 3ith his 2a5ily )ir)u5stan)es6 this 5eant that he 3as at ti5es desperately poor. Su22ering6 there2ore6 3as part o2 his li2e 2ro5 an early stage. Cro3ley6 in 2a)t6 3rote o2 hi56 I;llan ne7er 4ne3 0oyN he disdained and distrusted pleasure 2ro5 the 3o5b.J9 I2 Bennett distrusted pleasure6 he )ertainly didn>t distrust the sear)h 2or truth and goodness. 'his see5s to ha7e in2or5ed his li2e 2ro5 youth. ineteenth )entury de7elop5ents in s)ien)e gripped
$.r. Cassius Pereira 3as a pro5inent Sri <an4an Buddhist. 'ogether 3ith Ken. arada6 .r. (.;. de Sil7a6 and He5a Basnaya4e6 in 19#1 he 2ounded the Ser7ants o2 the Buddha6 an organization 3hi)h pro7ided a 2oru5 2or EnglishFspea4ing Buddhists to dis)uss the .ha55a. ;t the age o2 M! he 3as ordained 3ith the 5onasti) na5e Hassapa6 re)ei7ing both no7i)e ordination and higher ordination on the sa5e day. 'hroughout his li2e6 he 3as an in2luential eEponent o2 'hera7ada Buddhis5 in Sri <an4a6 stressing its rationality. His 2ather built 8aitriya Hall ,<auries Goad6 Ba5balapitiya-6 3hi)h 3as na5ed a2ter :nanda 8etteyya. !;le) Gobertson6 a pro5inent eEponent o2 Buddhis56 has been lin4ed 3ith the Ser7ants o2 the Buddha sin)e 19$86 sin)e 19&% as its President. He 3as a )lose asso)iate o2 .r. Cassius Pereira. MKen. Balangoda :nanda 8aitreya 'hera 3as born in 189M and entered the Bhi44hu Sangha in 19116 gaining higher ordination in 191M. .uring his li2e6 he has earned international reno3n as a s)holar and spiritual leader. Still ali7e and in good health at the ti5e this publi)ation goes to press ,1998-6 he 3as one o2 the 2e3 people I 5et during 5y resear)h ha7ing 2irstFhand 5e5ories o2 :nanda 8etteyya>s era. &The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An Autohagiography 6 eds. John Sy5onds O Henneth Lrant ,Penguin ,;r4ana-6 Har5onds3orth6 C.H.6 1989-6 p.18%. 8Henneth Lrant6 The Magical Revival ,1rederi)4 8uller <td.6 <ondon6 19&#-6 p.8#n. 9Confessions6 p.#9$.

hi56 parti)ularly in the areas o2 )he5istry and ele)tri)ity6 and s)ienti2i) 5etaphors per5eate his 3rit F ing. S)ien)e 5eant 2ar 5ore to hi5 than te)hni)al 4no3ledge. He lin4ed it 3ith the sear)h 2or truth about the hu5an being and hu5an )ons)iousness. In his youth parti)ularly6 it 3as intert3ined 3ith his religious Duest. ;2ter re0e)ting Go5an Catholi)is56 he turned 2irst to Hinduis5 and Buddhis5. In 189%6 at the age o2 eighteen6 he read Ed3in ;rnold>s poe56 The Light of Asia. So5e say he be)a5e a Buddhist at this point but this is doubt2ul. 'he poe5 )ertainly had a pro2ound in2luen)e on hi5 but it 3as part o2 a larger eEploration 3hi)h in)luded Hindu literature as 3ell. Both Cassius Pereira and ;leister Cro3ley re2er to hi5 pra)tising yogi) 2or5s o2 breath )ontrol and 5editation at this ti5e6 a pra)tise )loser to Hinduis5 than to Buddhis5. Pereira thought these eEer)ises 5ight ha7e eEa)erF bated his asth5a. Cro3ley re2ers to hi5 eEperien)ing6 at eighteen6 Shi7adarshana6 3hi)h Cro3ley deF s)ribes as an eEtraordinarily high state o2 yogi) attain5ent. IIt is a 5ar7el that ;llan sur7i7ed and 4ept his reason6J Cro3ley re5ar4ed6 but he also )lai5ed that Bennett had told hi5 that he 3anted to get ba)4 to that state.1% In addition6 Bennett 3as also being dra3n both into 'heosophy and spiritualis56 psy)hology and (estern esoteri) 5ysti)is5. Spiritualis5 entered Britain in the 5idFnineteenth )entury6 based on the )on7i)tion that there 3as a spirit 3orld 3hi)h )ould be )onta)ted by )lair7oyants. It be)a5e lin4ed 3ith interest in al)he5y6 5agi)al in7o)ations6 and esoteri) or se)ret 4no3ledge. Helena Bla7ats4y6 one o2 the 2ounders o2 'heosophy6 2or instan)e6 )lai5ed she 3as in )onta)t 3ith 5ahat5as6 5asters in the spirit 3orld. Signi2i)ant 2or Bennett 3as the )reation o2 the Her5eti) +rder o2 the Lolden .a3n in 1889 by (illia5 (ynn (est)ott and Sa5uel <iddell 8a)Lregor 8athers. 11 ;t 2irst its 5e5bers 3ere little 5ore than spiritual philosophers6 interested in su)h things as astrology6 al)he5y6 5ysti F )is56 and the 4abbalah@esoteri) pra)ti)es )onne)ted 3ith Judais5. <ater6 5agi)al rituals 3ere deF 7eloped and pra)tised. Bennett 0oined in 189$. He too4 the na5e Iehi ;our6 Hebre3 2or Ilet there be light6J and rapidly be)a5e an i5portant 5e5ber6 respe)ted 2or his psy)hi) po3ers. ;t this point 5ost o2 the a7ailable in2or5ation about Bennett )o5es to us through the eyes o2 ;leister Cro3ley6 3ho 0oined the +rder in 1898. Cro3ley>s 2irst i5pression o2 hi5 3as that he posF sessed Ia tre5endous spiritual and 5agi)al 2or)e.J 1# He 2inds hi5 li7ing in a tiny tene5ent@Ia 5ean6 gri5 horrorJ19@and says o2 his appearan)e/ ;llan Bennett 3as tall6 but his si)4ness had already produ)ed a stoop. His head6 )ro3ned 3ith a sho)4 o2 3ild6 bla)4 hair6 3as intensely nobleN the bro3s6 both 3ide and lo2ty6 o7erhung indo5itable pier)ing eyes. 'he 2a)e 3ould ha7e been handso5e had it not been 2or the haggardness and pallour due to his al5ost )ontinuous su22ering. .espite his illFhealth6 he 3as a tre5endous 3or4er. His 4no3ledge o2 s)ien)e6 espe)ially ele)triF )ity6 3as 7ast6 a))urate6 and pro2ound. In addition6 he had studied the Hindu and Buddhist s)ripF tures6 not only as a s)holar6 but 3ith the insight that )o5es 2ro5 inborn sy5patheti) understanding. I did not 2ully realise the )olossal stature o2 that sa)red spiritN but I 3as instantly a3are that this 5an )ould tea)h 5e 5ore in a 5onth than anyone else in 2i7e years. 1$ ;n unpublished 5anus)ript by Cro3ley )ited by Henneth Lrant adds 5ore/ (e )alled hi5 the (hite Hnight6 2ro5 ;li)e in the <oo4ing Llass. So lo7able6 so har5less6 so unF pra)ti)alP But he 3as a Hnight6 tooP ;nd (hiteP 'here ne7er 3al4ed a 3hiter 5an on earth. He ne7er did 3al4 on earth6 eitherP ; genius6 a 2la3less genius. But a 5ost terribly 2rustrated genius. 1!

Magical Revival6 p.8!. G.;. Lilbert6 The Golden Dawn: Twilight of the 8agi)ians. ; Con)ise history6 dra3ing on ne3 5aterial 2ro5 pri7ately printed and 5anus)ript sour)es6 o2 the Her5eti) +rder o2 the Lolden .a3n ,'he ;Duarian Press6 (ellingborough6 CH6 1989-N Elli) Ho3e6 The Magicians of the Golden Dawn: A Docu entary !istory of a Magical "r# der ,'he ;Duarian Press6 (ellingborough6 CH6 19&#-N Henneth Lrant6 'he 8agi)al Ge7i7al. 1#Confessions6 p.1&8. 19Ibid.6 p.1&9. 1$Ibid.6 p.181. 1!The Magical Revival6 p.8#.
11See

1%The

Cro3ley also )lai5ed that he 3as 4no3n all o7er <ondon Ias the one 8agi)ian 3ho )ould really do bigFti5e stu226J1M and in t3o pla)es he re)orded an in)ident 3hen Bennett used a 3and to render 5otionless a s)epti) 3ho doubted its po3er.1& By the year 18996 there2ore6 Bennett 3as deeply interested in the religious heritage o2 the East. He 3as appre)iated as a gentle person 3ho 3ould be loathe to har5 anyone. ,Cro3ley 3as later to 3rite that he 3as6 Ithe noblest and the gentlest soul that I ha7e e7er 4no3n.J- 18 He 3as 3idely read and had pra)tised so5e 2or5s o2 5editation6 probably using yogi) 5ethods o2 breath )ontrol and tran)eF indu)e5ent. He 2elt an a22inity to Buddhis5 and had been in2luen)ed parti)ularly by The Light of Asia. He 3as also interested in (estern esoteri) pra)ti)e and 5agi) and had dis)o7ered that he possessed )ertain psy)hi) po3ers. ;sth5a had already 5ade deep inroads into his health. He 3as 4no3ledgeF able about the latest s)ienti2i) dis)o7eries and opti5isti) about s)ien)e>s potential. In 19%%6 Bennett tra7elled to Sri <an4a6 the )ost o2 his passage raised by Cro3ley. 19 It 3as an atF te5pt to sa7e his li2e. His 2riends 2eared he 3ould die unless he 3as sent to a 3ar5er )li5ate. Cro3 F ley also hoped that Bennett 3ould spread (estern esoteri) lore in the East. He did not. Cro3ley>s hopes 3ere ironi)ally t3isted. Bennett turned a3ay 2ro5 the e5phases o2 the +rder o2 the Lolden .a3n6 be)a5e a Buddhist 5on46 and e7entually brought Buddhis5 to the (est6 )on7in)ed that it 3as Buddhis5 alone 3hi)h )ould 5eet the religious )risis there.

)n Sri Lanka
Bennett spent bet3een one and t3o years in Sri <an4a. He learnt P?li6 de7eloped his 5editation pra) F ti)e6 and deli7ered his 2irst ser5on on Buddhist do)trine. ;ll the e7iden)e suggests this period 3as a turning point. His asth5a i5pro7ed. He ga7e up the )y)le o2 drugs he had 2ound so ne)essary in England.#% 8ost o2 all6 he 2ound a 2o)us 2or his religious Duest. Bennett began by spreading his eEploratory net Duite 3ide. ;))ording to Cassius Pereira6 he 3ent to Ha5buruga5u3a and studied P?li 2or siE 5onths under an elder Sinhalese 5on4. By the end o2 siE 5onths6 he )ould )on7erse in it 2luently@ISu)h 3as the brillian)e o2 his intelle)t6J Pereira adds. #1 =et6 he did not restri)t hi5sel2 to Buddhis5. Cro3ley6 3ho 7isited hi56 )lai5ed that he learnt 5u)h about the theory and pra)ti)e o2 yoga 2ro5 the Hon. P. Ga5anathan6 the Soli)itorFLeneral o2 Ceylon6 a 'a5il gentle5an 3ho engaged Bennett as a pri7ate tutor 2or his son. Cro3ley>s des)riptions o2 Ben F nett sho3 a person eEperi5enting 3ith di22erent pra)ti)es. ;))ording to Cro3ley6 2or instan)e6 BenF nett )ould6 3ith a breathing tri)46 release lee)hes 2ro5 his ar56 ha7ing purposely 2ed the5. ## He )ould also enter su)h a deep state o2 tran)eFli4e 5editation through his breathing eEer)ises that his 3hole body )ould be upturned 3ithout hi5 realising it. #9 Pereira )on2ir5s this. He later 3rote that ;llan had taught hi5 5u)h about 5editation at this ti5e. He had thought it 3as all Buddhist in origin but later realised that it also )ontained I5ysti) Christian6 (estern >o))ult6> and Hindu sour)es.J His )on)lusion 3as that Bennett>s 4no3ledge 3as then I7ague6 3onder see4ing6 and really only played about the 2ringe o2 a truly 5ar7ellous a7enue 2or study and pra)ti)e.J #$
p.8!. Confessions6 p.18%N The Magical Revival6 p.8!. 18Confessions6 p.#9$. 19Ibid.6 pp.181"8#. #%In the late 188%s6 the re5edies pres)ribed by do)tors 2or asth5a in)luded )o)aine6 opiu56 and 5orphine. Bennett 3as hea7ily dependent on the5 in Britain. See Confessions6 p.18%N Ja5es ;da56 Asth a and its Radical Treat ent ,Henry Hi5pton6 <ondon6 1919-6 3hi)h ad7ises the use o2 )o)aine and6 3ith restri)tions6 5orphineN ;.C. (ootton6 Chronicles of $har acy ,8a)8illan O Co. <td.6 <ondon6 191%-6 3hi)h a22ir5s the bene2i)ial e22e)ts o2 laudanu56 an opiu5Fbased drug6 in a 7ariety o2 ail5entsN John C. 'horo3good6 Asth a and Chronic Bronchitis ,Bailliere 'indall and CoE6 <ondon6 189$-6 3hi)h re)o55ends arseni)al )igarettes6 )o)aine6 )annabis6 and 5orphine together 3ith less toEi) drugs. #1The Buddhist6 #8th ;pril 19#96 p.M. ##Confessions6 p.#$&. #9Ibid.6 p.#$M. #$.r. Cassius ;. Pereira6 I(hy do I renoun)e the (orldAJ Ceylon Daily %ews &esa' %u (er )*+, ,19$&-6 ,Colo5bo6 Sri <an4a-6 p.M&.
1&See 1MIbid.6

&

So6 3as Bennett 5erely a person 3ho sele)ted 3hat he 3anted 2ro5 a 7ariety o2 sour)esA 'he +rF der o2 the Lolden .a3n )ertainly did this. =et in Sri <an4a another pro)ess 3as at 3or4. Bennett gradually )a5e to see that e)le)ti) eEperi5entation 3ith psy)hi) po3er and the de7elop5ent o2 iddhi 3as a 5undane a))o5plish5ent6 di7or)ed 2ro5 true 3isdo5 or liberation. 'hera7ada Buddhis5 gained the upper hand. ;))ording to Cro3ley/ ;llan had be)o5e 5ore and 5ore )on7in)ed that he ought to ta4e the =ello3 Gobe. 'he pheno5F ena o2 .hyana and Sa5adhi had )eased to eEer)ise their 2irst 2as)ination. It see5ed to hi5 that they 3ere insidious obsta)les to true spiritual progressN that their o))urren)e6 in reality6 bro4e up the )onF trol o2 the 5ind 3hi)h he 3as trying to establish and pre7ented hi5 2ro5 rea)hing the ulti5ate truth 3hi)h he sought. He had the strength o2 5ind to resist the appeal o2 e7en these intense spiritual 0oys. #! In July 19%16 Bennett ga7e his 2irst Buddhist address be2ore the Hope <odge o2 the 'heosophi)al So)iety6 Colo5bo. His sub0e)t 3as the 1our oble 'ruths. 1or the young Cassius Pereira it 3as a turnF ing point 3hi)h dire)ted hi5 to3ards his e7entual renun)iation. #M ;l5ost )ertainly6 Bennett6 by this ti5e6 3as spea4ing 2ro5 the depths o2 his o3n )on7i)tion that renun)iation6 as a )o55itted Buddhist6 3as the only path 2or hi5. .uring his 7isit Cro3ley )on)luded that6 in spite o2 his eEperiF 5entation6 I;llan 3as already at heart a Buddhist. 'he 5ore he studied the 'ripiti4a6 >the three basF 4ets o2 the la3>... the 5ore he 3as attra)ted.J#& Bennett de)ided to be)o5e ordained in Bur5a. Cro3ley>s 3riting suggests that Bennett sa3 Bur5a as a pla)e 3here the Sangha 3as in a purer state than in Sri <an4a. #8 Bennett 3as disillusioned6 2or instan)e6 by su)h pra)ti)es as Ide7il dan)esJ and the Handy Perahera. #9 +ther a))ounts do not 5ention Bennett>s reason 2or lea7ing Sri <an4a but it is )ertain that he le2t realising that the path o2 5agi)6 psy)hi) po3er6 and esoteri) lore 3as inadeDuate. In all his later 3ritings he )onde5ned it. 9% 'he 5essage o2 the 1our oble 'ruths be)a5e upper5ost.

)n Burma
+n 1#th .e)e5ber 19%16 ;llan Bennett 3as ordained a no7i)e at ;4yab in ;ra4an6 Bur5a. 'he na5e he too4 3as the Kenerable :nanda 8aitreya. <ater he )hanged the se)ond na5e to the P?li6 8etteyya. ;t ;4yab6 he )ontinued his Buddhist studies6 supported by Bur5ese lay people. Pereira and Cro3ley 5ention one .r. 8oung 'ha u6 the resident 5edi)al o22i)er6 as one o2 these. 91 SiE 5onths later6 on #1st 8ay 19%#6 he re)ei7ed upasa5pad?6 higher ordination6 under the Kenerable She7e Bya Say?da3. Cro3ley 7isited :nanda 8etteyya in 1ebruary 19%# and it is again interesting to see through his eyes. He re2ers to ;llan6 in robes6 as see5ing to be Io2 giganti) height6 as )o5pared to the di5inuti7e Bur5eseJ but )lai5s6 I'he old gentleness 3as still there.J9# Cn2ortunately6 Cro3ley also re2erred to the return o2 :nanda 8etteyya>s asth5a. He puts it do3n to the )old air o2 the preFda3n al5s rounds and shares a 3ish that Isan)tity 3as not so in)o5patible 3ith sanity.J99 ;s a ne3 5on46 :nanda 8etteyya 3ould not ha7e 3anted to ha7e bro4en any o2 the a))epted pra)ti)es. 'he neEt ti5e Cro3ley 7isited Bur5a6 :nanda 8etteyya 3as in Gangoon. He 3ent there soon a2ter his higher ordination and stayed in a 5onastery about t3o 5iles 2ro5 the )ity. '3o interesting points e5erge 2ro5 Cro3ley>s 3riting/ the suspi)ion o2 the British authorities6 3ho i5agined politi)al

p.#$9. I(hy do I renoun)e the (orldAJ6 p.M&. #&Confessions6 p.#9&. #8Ibid.6 p.#9&. #9Ibid.6 p.#!%. 9%See Buddhis 6 Kol. 1/$6 pp.M&&"M86 3here :nanda 8etteyya 0usti2ies representation at the 2irst International 1reethought Con2eren)e be)ause Buddhis5 is opposed to all supernaturalis5N Buddhis5 ,Kol. 1/1-6 p.#&6 3here Buddhis5 is di7or)ed 2ro5 the esoteri). 91See The Buddhist6 #8th ;pril 19#96 p.MN Confessions6 p.#&1. 9#Confessions6 p.#&%. 99Ibid.6 p.#&1.
#MSee

#!Confessions6

dangers 3hen Europeans Ithought Bur5ese belie2s better than their European eDui7alents6J 9$ and the 2a)t that :nanda 8etteyya>s health 3as still not good be)ause o2 la)4 o2 proper 5edi)al attention and Ihis deter5ination to )arry out the stri)t rules o2 the +rder.J9! =et6 it 3as 2ro5 Gangoon that :nanda 8etteyya began to plan 3hat he had )o5e to see as his li2e>s 5ission@bringing Buddhis5 to the (est. 'he 2irst step 3as the 2or5ing o2 the Buddhas?sana Sa5?ga5a6 an international Buddhist so)iety 3hi)h ai5ed at the global )onso)iation o2 Buddhists. Its 2irst 5eeting 3as on 19th 8ar)h 19%9. Ken. :nanda 8etteyya too4 the role o2 Leneral Se)retary. 'he Honorary Se)retary 3as .r. E.G. Gost6 a (esterner and 5e5ber o2 the Indian 8edi)al Ser7i)e. 9M Buddhis -An .llustrated /uarterly Review 3as laun)hed6 edited by :nanda 8etteyya6 the 2irst 7olu5e appearing in Septe5ber 19%9. 'he siE issues o2 Buddhis 3hi)h 3ere published bet3een 19%9 and 19%8@it soon be)a5e e7ident that it )ould not be a Duarterly re7ie3@gi7e 5u)h in2or5ation about :nanda 8etteyya>s priorities. His 7ision 3as 5issionary and international. 'he ai5s o2 the 0ournal6 as set out in the 2irst issue6 3ere/ 1irstly6 to set be2ore the 3orld the true prin)iples o2 our Geligion6 belie7ing6 as 3e do6 that these need only to be better 4no3n to 5eet 3ith a 3ideFspread a))eptan)e a5ong the peoples o2 the (est6 @an a))eptan)e 3hi)h6 i2 5ani2ested in pra)ti)e6 3ould in our opinion do 5u)h to pro5ote the genF eral happiness/@Se)ondly6 to pro5ote6 as 2ar as lies in our po3er6 those hu5anitarian a)ti7ities reF 2erred to in the latter portion o2 'HE 1;I'H +1 'HE 1C'CGE 9& and6 'hirdly6 to unite by our Journal6 as by a )o55on bond o2 5utual interest and brotherhood6 the 5any ;sso)iations 3ith Buddhist ai5s 3hi)h no3 eEist.98 1ro5 Gangoon6 :nanda 8etteyya 5aintained a net3or4 o2 international )onta)ts and 4ept abreast o2 de7elop5ents in s)ien)e6 Buddhist s)holarship6 and politi)s in Buddhist )ountries. By 19%$6 the 0ournal 3as being sent 2ree to bet3een !%% and M%% libraries in Europe on the )ondition that ea)h )opy be le2t on the Geading Goo5 table until the neEt 3as re)ei7ed. 99 Bur5ese donations 5ade this posF sible. 'he Buddhas?sana Sa5?ga5a gained o22i)ial representati7es in ;ustria6 Bur5a6 Ceylon6 China6 Ler5any6 Italy6 ;5eri)a6 and England. 'he arti)les published 3ere dra3n 2ro5 s)holars 3orld3ide. :nanda 8etteyya>s )o55ents e5bra)ed all his interests6 religious6 s)ienti2i)6 and politi)al. He )ould 3rite about the li2e o2 philosopherFs)ientist Herbert Spen)er6 dis)o7eries )on)erning the origins o2 li2e at the Ca7endish <aboratory in Ca5bridge6$% and resear)h on the dangerous e22e)ts o2 al)ohol.$1 Sin)e Sri <an4a is also 5entioned in e7ery edition o2 Buddhis 6 it is ob7ious that :nanda 8etteyya reF 5ained in )lose )onta)t 3ith the )ountry and he 3ent ba)4 there at one point. Pereira re)ords that he ga7e Ise7eral inspiring addresses 2ro5 the 8aitriya Hall.J$# .uring these years6 t3o 5en 3ho e7entually be)a5e better 4no3n than :nanda 8etteyya 0oined hi5. 'he 2irst 3as J.1. 8)He)hnie. Inspired by :nanda 8etteyya>s arti)le on ibb?na in the 2irst issue o2 Buddhis 6 he 3rote to hi5 in 19%$ to o22er his ser7i)es in business 5anage5ent 2ree. He 3as a))ep F ted. +n)e in Bur5a6 he learnt P?li and too4 on 2ar 5ore than business 5anage5ent as his boo4 reF 7ie3s in the +)tober 19%! issue o2 Buddhis re7eal. By 19%86 he 3as Ken. SQl?)?ra. 'hen6 by the beginF ning o2 19%!6 Ken. yanatilo4a 3as also staying 3ith :nanda 8etteyya. yanatilo4a or ;nton Lueth 3as born in 18&8 in (iesbaden6 Ler5any. He 3as ordained in Bur5a in 19%96 a2ter a period o2 eEF hausting tra7el 3hi)h had in)luded Sri <an4a. :nanda 8etteyya 2a)ilitated his return to Sri <an4a to

p.$M#. p.$M$. 9M1or 2urther in2or5ation about Gost see Christ5as Hu5phreys 0 1i2ty 3ears of Buddhis in 4ngland 5,+678 ,+97: ,'he Buddhist So)iety6 <ondon6 19M8-. 9&R'he 1aith o2 the 1utureJ 5entions arbitration instead o2 3ar2areN eDuality bet3een the seEesN hu5ane treatF 5ent o2 )ri5inals. 98Buddhis : An .llustrated /uarterly Review 6 Kol. 1/16 pp.M9"M$. 99Ibid. Kol. 1/96 p.$&9. $%Ibid. Kol. 1/96 pp.!%922.N Kol. #/16 p.119. $1Ibid.6 Kol. 1/96 p.!1!. $#The Buddhist6 #8th ;pril 19#96 p.M.
9!Ibid.6

9$Ibid.6

learn P?li6$9 a return 3hi)h sealed the 2uture 2or and at his death 3as gi7en a state 2uneral.$$

yanatilo4a. He spent al5ost all his 5on4>s li2e there6

The Mission to En*land


Health )ontinued to elude Ken. :nanda 8etteyya. 'his 3as one reason 3hy the publi)ation o2 Buddhis be)a5e errati). ;pologies 2or delays due to illness appear in al5ost e7ery issue. =et6 his ail F 5ent 3as not serious enough to pre7ent hi5 2ro5 )o55en)ing the 2irst Buddhist 5ission to Britain. :nanda 8etteyya had entered the +rder I)hie2ly 3ith the ob0e)t o2 e7entually 2or5ing a Sangha in the (est.J$! His li2e 3as inspired by the )on7i)tion that the (est had only to understand the 5essage o2 Buddhis5 to e5bra)e it. He 3as )on7in)ed the (est 3as ready. =et6 the 2irst step in this pro)ess 3as not an unDuali2ied su))ess. Ken. :nanda 8etteyya arri7ed in England on #9rd ;pril 19%8 3ith so5e o2 his 5ost 2aith2ul supF porters6 8rs. Hl? +ung6 her son6 and his 3i2e. He re5ained until #nd +)tober o2 the sa5e year6 Ithe ti5e allotted to the 8ission6J a))ording to Christ5as Hu5phreys. $M 'he Buddhist So)iety o2 Lreat BriF tain and Ireland6 2or5ed in preparation 2or the 5ission the pre7ious o7e5ber6 3el)o5ed hi5 eagerly. :nanda 8etteyya hi5sel2 told a Gangoon paper on his return that he 3as highly grati2ied 3ith the 7isit$& but the response o2 so5e o2 his British supporters 3as di22erent. .isappoint5ent )o5es a)ross6 2or instan)e6 in the a))ount later 3ritten by Christ5as Hu5phreys. 'he positi7e6 a))ording to Hu5phreys6 3as this/ He 3as then thirtyFsiE years o2 age6 tall6 sli56 gra)e2ul6 and digni2ied. 'he deepFset eyes and so5e3hat as)eti) 2eatures6 sur5ounted by the sha7en head6 5ade a great i5pression on all 3ho 5et hi56 and all 3ho re5e5ber hi5 spea4 o2 his pleasing 7oi)e and beauti2ul enun)iation. It see5s that his )on7ersation 3as al3ays interestingN and in his lighter 5o5ents he sho3ed a deF light2ul sense o2 hu5our6 3hile his deep )o5prehension o2 the .ha55a6 his 2und o2 analogy 2ro5 )onte5porary s)ien)e6 and po3er and range o2 thought )o5bined to 2or5 a 5ost eE)epF tional personality.$8 Hu5phreys )ontinues to eEplain that by I)orresponden)e and )onstant inter7ie3sJ :nanda 8etteyya )olle)ted around hi5 a body o2 s)holars 3ho supported the 5ission and that he I2or5ally ad5itted into the 2old o2 Buddhis5 all 3ho 3ished to be re)ei7ed.J =et6 the negati7e side o2 the 5isF sion in)luded/ the di22i)ulties supporters 2a)ed in ensuring :nanda 8etteyya )ould 2ollo3 the Kinaya rulesN the un)o5prehending and so5eti5es ribald laughter le7elled at his orange robes in the streetsN the un)haris5ati) nature o2 :nanda 8etteyya>s publi) spea4ing styleN and his 2reDuent illFhealth. :nF anda 8etteyya 3as understandably un3illing to )o5pro5ise 3hen it )a5e to handling 5oney6 eatF ing a2ter noon6 or sleeping in the sa5e house as a 3o5an. 'his 5eant he )ould not 0ourney alone6 his progra55e had to allo3 2or a 5eal be2ore noon6 and the tea5 needed t3o houses. 1or a s5all group o2 supporters6 this 3as perhaps 5ore than they had bargained 2or.$9 ;s 2or his )o55uni)ation s4ills6 in pri7ate )on7ersation6 he 3as probably engaging and i5pressF i7e. Hu5phreys de)lares that Ihe 3as popular 3here7er he 3ent.J !% =et6 in publi) spea4ing6 he see5s to ha7e been sel2Fe22a)ing6 a7oiding eye )onta)t by 4eeping his eyes )ast do3n on a prepared s)ript6
letter 2ro5 Ken. :nanda 8etteyya to .r. Cassius Pereira ,1orest Her5itage6 Handy6 Sri <an4a-. Peiris6 The Western Contri(ution to Buddhis ,8otilal Barnasidass6 .elhi6 19&9-6 p.199. $!The Buddhist Review 6 Kol. 96 191&6 p.18$. $MHu5phreys6 1i2ty 3ears of Buddhis in 4ngland6 p.&. It is unli4ely that :nanda 8etteyya )a5e to England inF tending to stay on per5anently and that 2ailure sent hi5 ba)4 to Bur5a. 8ore probably6 his 7isit 3as intended to begin a pro)ess that 3ould e7entually produ)e an indigenous 5onasti) Sangha in the (est. $&Ibid.6 p.&. $8Ibid.6 p.M. $9See also Sandra Bell6 IBritish Buddhis5 and the egotiation o2 'radition6J paper gi7en at a sy5posiu5 on I'he In7ention and GeFIn7ention o2 'raditionJ held at St. 8ary>s College6 ##"#$ Septe5ber 199$. Bell 3rites6 I'hose 5iddle )lass and upper )lass late Ki)torian <ondoners 3ho )hose to support the a)ti7ities o2 :nanda 8etteyya 3ere6 despite his British origins6 2a)ed 3ith alien 2or5s o2 beha7iour to 3hi)h they had di22i)ulty in adF apting.J !%Christ5as Hu5phreys6 I:nanda 8etteyya6J in The Middle Way 6 Kol. $&6 19&#6 p.199.
$$(illia5 $9Cnpublished

1%

2ro5 3hi)h he de7iated little. Su)h an attitude 3ould ha7e been the nor5 2or a 5on4 in Bur5a6 but 2or those 3ho had enthusiasti)ally hoped 2or a 2lo3ering o2 Buddhis5 in Britain6 his inability to en F gage 3ith his audien)e 3ould ha7e been disappointing6 perhaps e7en e5barrassing. 'he deterioraF tion o2 his health 5ust also ha7e )aused serious )on)ern. 'here )an be no doubt6 ho3e7er6 that the young Buddhist So)iety 3as strengthened by :nanda 8etteyya>s 7isit be)ause it attra)ted enthusiasti) s)holars. It also sealed a 2riendship 3ith Bur5a 3hi)h 3as to pro7e in7aluable in ter5s o2 2inan)ial support in the years ahead. The Buddhist Review6 the organ o2 the ne3lyF2or5ed Buddhist So)iety6 3as able to say in 19%9 that he le2t behind hi5 Igolden opinions and the 2riendship and respe)t o2 all 3ho had the pri7ilege o2 5eeting hi5.J !1

+ears of &risis
Ken. :nanda 8etteyya hoped that he 3ould return to England in t3o and a hal2 years to establish a per5anent Buddhist )o55unity in the (est.!# 'his 3as the neEt step in his 5ission plan. 'he hope died. He re5ained in Bur5a until 191$. .uring 19%96 re)ords sho3 that he 3as still 5entioned 3ith 5u)h respe)t at 'he Buddhist So)iety in Britain. 1or instan)e6 he and his )olleagues 3ere )ongratuF lated 2or pressing su))ess2ully 2or Buddhis5 to be taught in s)hools in Bur5a. !9 'he 1911 5ission 3as anti)ipated. =et6 as ti5e passed6 he 3as 5entioned less and less. Ken. SQl?)?ra>s na5e began to arise 5ore o2ten than his in The Buddhist Review. In 191#6 :nanda 8etteyya appeared in the 8inutes as ha7ing sent 5any )opies o2 his boo46 The Religion of Bur a 6 to the So)iety as a present !$ but 3hen bringing a bhi44hu to England 3as dis)ussed later in the year !! he 3as not 5entioned. It 3as Ken. SQl?)?ra 3ho 3as e7entually )onsidered.!M By 191$6 :nanda 8etteyya>s 5ission 3as re5e5bered 3ith respe)t but he 3as no longer )onsidered a possible 2uture 5issionary. +ne reason 2or this silen)e6 o2 )ourse6 3as his health. ;))ording to Cassius Pereira6 his health began to 2ail rapidly on his return to Bur5a6 3ith gallstone trouble superi5posed on his )hroni) asth5a. IHe 3as operated on t3i)e6J Pereira 3rote6 Iand on the urgent ad7i)e o2 his do)tors6 he re F lu)tantly de)ided to lea7e the +rder 3here he had no3 attained the seniority o2 'hera or Elder.J !& Pereira did not gi7e a date 2or this. In 191# and 19196 'he Buddhist So)iety 3as still re2erring to hi5 as Ken. :nanda 8etteyya6 !8 but it is possible that he had already disrobed by this ti5e. In 191$ do)F tors in Bur5a pressed hi5 to lea7e the )ountry i2 his li2e 3as to be sa7ed. His Bur5ese 2riends6 there F 2ore6 sent hi5 to England 3here he 3as to 5eet up 3ith his sister6 3ho had )o5e 2ro5 ;5eri)a to lead hi5 ba)4 to her ho5e in Cali2ornia. ; passage 2ro5 <i7erpool 3as boo4ed but the ship>s do)tor re2used Bennett per5ission to board be)ause he 2eared the ;5eri)an authorities 3ould deny hi5 a landing per5it on health grounds. His sister tra7elled 3ithout hi5. Bennett6 no3 a lay person6 3as le2t to the 5er)y o2 British 3ellF3ishers. 1ro5 this point on3ards6 ;llan Bennett>s story 3as a sad one. ; 5e5ber o2 the <i7erpool Bran)h o2 'he Buddhist So)iety6 a do)tor6 too4 hi5 in and ga7e hi5 in)essant 5edi)al )are. .uring the 1irst (orld (ar his sister )a5e ba)4 2ro5 ;5eri)a but she stayed 3ith 2riends and )ould not loo4 a2ter her brother. 1or the do)tor>s 2a5ily6 the 2inan)ial and e5otional burden o2 ha7ing a )hroni)ally si)46 pre5aturely old person in the house 3as great. 8rs. Hl? +ung o22ered S1%.%% a year to3ards 5ainF tenan)e but it 3as not enough. ;t this point an anony5ous group o2 3ellF3ishers 3ere 2or)ed to 3rite to The Buddhist Review in 191M appealing 2or 5oney to sa7e Bennett 2ro5 being pla)ed Iin so5e institution supported by publi) )harity.J!9 His asth5a atta)4s 3ere o))urring no3 5ore than on)e a day.

!1The

Buddhist Review6 Kol. 16 19%96 p.9. p.9. !98inute Boo46 .e)e5ber 9rd6 19%9 ,'he Buddhist So)iety6 <ondon-. !$Ibid.6 ;pril $th6 191#. !!Ibid.6 o7e5ber 1st6 191#. !MIbid.6 .e)e5ber #9rd6 191$. !&The Buddhist6 #8th ;pril 19#96 p.M. !8See 8inute Boo46 ;pril 9%th6 191#N 8ar)h 1$th6 1919N .e)e5ber 19th6 1919 ,'he Buddhist So)iety6 <ondon-. !9The Buddhist Review6 Kol. 86 191M6 pp.#1&"19.
!#Ibid.6

11

Help did )o5e6 2ro5 o7erseas as 3ell as Britain. =et6 Bennett>s 2inal years 3ere 2ar 2ro5 )o52ortF able. 'he 1irst (orld (ar6 3hi)h 4illed a generation o2 young people in the tren)hes o2 1ran)e6 had a pro2ound e22e)t on hi56 as it did on 5any sensiti7e (esterners. It dro7e hi5 into deep introspe)tion about the hu5an )ondition6 the sustainability o2 (estern )ulture6 and the )ontribution o2 Buddhis5. 'here 3as also the e7er present a3areness that his health had pre7ented hi5 2ro5 realising his hopes 2or Buddhist outrea)h in Britain. =et6 the 7ery trau5a o2 the 3ar e7entually i5pelled hi5 into 3riting and spea4ing again. In the 3inter o2 191&"186 he 3as persuaded by Cli22ord BaE to gi7e a series o2 paF pers to a pri7ate audien)e in BaE>s studio. 'hese 3ere later published as The Wisdo of the Aryas 6 0ust t3o 5onths be2ore his death. 'hen6 on Kesa4 .ay ,8ay- 19186 Bennett ga7e to 'he Buddhist So)iety 3hat Christ5as Hu5phreys )alled Ia >2ighting spee)h> 3hi)h aroused the listening 5e5bers to 2resh enthusias5.JM% It 5ar4ed a return to a)ti7e 3or4. He opened by re5inding his listeners that it 3as ten years sin)e his 5ission to Britain6 Ithe 2irst Buddhist 8ission 3hi)h 2or o7er ten )enturies had been sent 2orth 2ro5 any Buddhist )ountry.J He reported 3ith sadness that the parent body o2 'he Buddhist So)iety o2 Lreat Britain and Ireland6 the Buddhas?sana Sa5?ga5a6 had )o5pletely bro4en up6 and he re2erred to the 3ar as Ithe opening o2 an era o2 3ellFnigh uni7ersal )ala5ity and 3oe.JM1 He 3ent on to ta)4le the )entral Duestion o2 ho3 the Ipri)eless treasure o2 the <a3J )ould o22er sola)e6 strength6 and )lear 7ision e7en 3hen Iit appears that all our 3orld is ro)4ing about us to its 2all.J 'he 3ider )ontent o2 his tal4 I 3ill deal 3ith later. (hat is i5portant here is that ;llan Bennett returned to a)ti7e 3or4 in Britain. He see5s to ha7e been helped 2inan)ially by 2riends in Britain and Sri <an4a. Cassius Pereira re2ers to Cli22ord BaE and .r. C.;. He3a7itarana as patrons.M# ;))ording to one a))ount6 Bennett 5o7ed to <ondon in 19#%.M9 ;lthough he 3as in)apa)itated 2or 3ee4s at a ti5e6 he too4 o7er the editorship o2 The Buddhist Review 2ro5 ..B. Jayatila4a6 3ho returned to Sri <an4a. He spo4e at 5eetings organised by the Buddhist So)iety and be)a5e a)ti7ely in7ol7ed in the So)iety>s plans. His )on7i)tion that Buddhis5 o22ered hope 2or the (est re5ained unsha4en6 as his 2irst editorial in 19#% 5ade )lear/ 'hese 2a)ts6 3e )onsider6 0usti2y us in our )on)lusion that in the eEtension o2 this great 'ea)hing lies not only the solution o2 the e7erFgro3ing religious proble5s o2 the (estN but e7en6 perhaps6 the only possible deli7eran)e o2 the 3estern )i7ilization 2ro5 that )ondition o2 2unda5ental inF stability 3hi)h no3 so ob7iously and in)reasingly pre7ails.M$ By 19##6 ho3e7er6 ;llan Bennett 3as dying. 'he January 19## edition o2 The Buddhist Review 3as the last that he edited and indeed the last that 3as published. Be2ore his death he 3as reported to ha7e li7ed at 9% E))les Goad6 Clapha5 Jun)tion. His 2inan)ial situation 3as gra7e6 but help )ontinued to )o5e 2ro5 .r. He3a7itarana and probably Cassius Pereira. He died on 9th 8ar)h 19#9. ; Buddhist 2uneral ser7i)e 3as prepared by 1ran)is Payne6 a pro5inent Buddhist and )on7ert 2ro5 the 19%8 5isF sion6 3ho 3as present 3hen he died. .r. He3a7itarana )abled 5oney 2ro5 Sri <an4a to buy a gra7e in 8orden Ce5etery in South <ondon. Hu5phreys 3rote that I2lo3ers and in)ense 3ere pla)ed on the gra7e by 5e5bers o2 the large gathering asse5bled6 and so there passed 2ro5 hu5an sight a 5an 3ho5 history 5ay so5e ti5e honour 2or bringing to England as a li7ing 2aith the 8essage o2 the ;llF Enlightened +ne.JM! o gra7estone has e7er been pla)ed on ;llan Bennett>s gra7e. 'his )ould ha7e been due to suspiF )ions 3hi)h )ontinued to surround his na5e a2ter his death. 1or instan)e6 Bennett ne7er )o5pletely outli7ed his reputation as a 5agi)ian and a 5e5ber o2 the +rder o2 the Lolden .a3n. 'he young Buddhist So)iety 3as 4een to disso)iate itsel2 2ro5 anything esoteri). ;llan Bennett>s in7ol7e5ent as a young 5an 3ith a 5o7e5ent 3hi)h 3as )ontro7ersial and his early 2riendship 3ith ;leister Cro3F ley6 by then a 4no3n o))ultist6 3ould ha7e been )ause enough 2or suspi)ion. It is signi2i)ant that se7F eral arti)les during his li2eti5e too4 pains to stress that he 3as not a 5an o2 I5ysteryJ6 that he had
M%Hu5phreys6 M1The

1i2ty 3ears 6 p.1$. Buddhist Review6 Kol. 96 p.1$1. M#The Buddhist6 #8th ;pril 19#96 p.M. M9Henneth 8ullen6 I:nanda 8etteyya/ Buddhist PioneerJ in The Middle Way6 Kol. M$6 1989. M$The Buddhist Review6 Kol. 1%6 pp.18M"8&. M!Hu5phreys6 1i2ty 3ears6 pp.1M"1&.

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re0e)ted that part o2 his past. IIt is ne)essary to say this6 sin)e so5e atte5pts ha7e been 5ade to sur F round hi5 3ith 5ystery. 'here is no 5ore 5ystery attending the Bhi44hu :nanda 8etteyya than any other person6J an editorial o2 The Buddhist Review stated in 19%9.MM Cli22ord BaE said so5ething si5ilar in 1918/ I;t 2irst glan)e I realised that he ne7er )ould ha7e played at being a 5an o2 5ystery.JM& Ken. :nanda 8etteyya re0e)ted the path o2 I5ysteryJ as a hindran)e to the goal. It 3as not I5ysF teryJ and 5agi) 3hi)h taEed his 5ind but t3o Duite di22erent aspe)ts o2 li2e/ the sear)h 2or truth and the pain 3ithin hu5an eEisten)e. He brought the sensiti7ity o2 the poet and the 5ind o2 the s)ientist to this. =et6 he o))asionally shared a )on7i)tion that there 3as a po3er6 an energy6 3hi)h 5o7ed to good and 3hi)h )ould be used by hu5ans on their 3ay to liberation. 'his )ould 5ista4enly ha7e stru)4 so5e (estern Buddhists as tou)hing the theis5 they had re0e)ted. ;s 2or his 2riendship 3ith ;leister Cro3ley6 it ended as :nanda 8etteyya tra7elled 2urther and 2urther 2ro5 the path Cro3ley )hose. His in2luen)e on Cro3ley 3as great but ulti5ately Cro3ley )hose to re0e)t it. ;nother reason 2or suspi)ion 5ight ha7e been his illness. 'hroughout his li2e6 he 3as reliant on deF penden)yF)reating drugs su)h as )o)aine6 opiu56 and 5orphine6 no doubt 2irst pres)ribed by a do)F tor6 although by the end o2 his li2e so5e o2 the dangers 3ere 4no3n and ne3 re5edies 3ere being tried. 'he )onseDuen)e6 ho3e7er6 )ould ha7e been ti5es o2 hallu)ination6 gi7ing the appearan)e o2 the I5ysteryJ 3ith 3hi)h so5e lin4ed hi5. 'he truth about the un5ar4ed gra7e 5ight ne7er be 4no3n. 8y 2eeling is that it 3as an in0usti)e to a person 3ho6 in his 3riting6 )o55uni)ated the 5es F sage o2 the Buddha 3ith a poeti) sensiti7ity and a s)ienti2i) dire)tness 3hi)h still spea4s to us today.

MMThe

M&Cli22ord

Buddhist Review6 Kol. 16 19%96 p.9. BaE6 I:nanda 8etteyyaJ in The Middle Way6 Kol. $9/16 p.#9.

19

&ha'ter #
!"th Century British Attitudes to Buddhis#
(here )ould Bennett ha7e 2ound in2or5ation about Buddhis5 be2ore tra7elling to Sri <an4aA (hen he 3as born6 in 18&#6 Buddhis5 3as already beginning to tou)h the )ons)iousness o2 the (est. It 3as the year 3hen Gobert Childers6 retired 2ro5 the Ceylon Ci7il Ser7i)e6 published the 2irst part o2 his .i)tionary o2 the P?li <anguage6 a pioneering 3or4 o2 Buddhist do)trine based on his o3n s)holarF ship and dialogue 3ith 5e5bers o2 the 5onasti) Sangha. In the sa5e year6 '.(. Ghys .a7ids re F turned to England 2ro5 Sri <an4a6 e7entually to 2ound the Pali 'eEt So)iety in 1881. 8aE 8Tller 3as li7ing in +E2ord6 editing the 1acred Boo's of the 4ast series. Kiggo 1ausbUll 3as in )onta)t 3ith Ken. Kas4adu7e SubhVti o2 Ceylon about gaining 5anus)ripts 2or his siE 7olu5e edition o2 the J?ta4as. =et6 although Buddhis5 3as entering popular )on7ersation and 3as on the )urri)ulu5 o2 European uni7ersities6 Ionly t3o P?li teEts o2 any size and i5portan)e had appeared in editions a))essible to s)holars in the (estJM8@the .ha55apada and Leorge 'urnour>s translation o2 thirtyFeight o2 the hundred )hapters o2 the Sri <an4an histori)al )hroni)le6 the 8ah?7aWsa. ;t the beginning o2 the nineteenth )entury6 tra7ellers6 5issionaries6 and a 2e3 )i7il ser7ants in Ceylon6 Bur5a6 and India 3ere beginning to 3rite about their en)ounters 3ith Buddhists and to )olF le)t 5anus)ripts. So5e a))ounts 3ere s)holarly6 but in general the in2or5ation 3hi)h rea)hed Europe 3as s4et)hy and ridden 3ith )ontradi)tions and spe)ulations. (hether the Buddha 3as a god6 a 5yth6 a 5an6 or a 5an 3ho had been dei2iedN 3hether Buddhists belie7ed in a Supre5e Being or 3ere atheistsN 3hether the 3orld 2or Buddhists 3as go7erned by la3 or )han)e@these Duestions reF )ei7ed in)onsistent ans3ers6 and the 3hole 3as surrounded 3ith an air o2 irrationality6 5ythology6 and eEoti) distan)e. ;s the de)ades passed6 linguisti) study o2 the Buddhist teEts too4 pre)eden)e o7er oral 5ethods o2 gaining in2or5ation. P?li and Sans4rit s)holars appeared. 8ost signi2i)ant is that interpretations poF larised into the negati7e and the positi7e. It 3as the Christian 5issionaries 3ho pressed the negati7e 7ie3point. Conditioned to see ChrisF tianity as the sole 7ehi)le o2 truth6 they eEpe)ted to 2ind the 2alse in Buddhis5. 'heir atta)4 3as 5anyFpronged@that Buddhis5 3as atheisti) and there2ore pessi5isti)N that it 3as nihilisti) be)ause its goal appeared to be annihilationN that it 3as irrational be)ause the eEtra7agan)e o2 Buddhist )osF 5ology and the do)trine o2 rebirth see5ed to 2lout s)ien)eN that its ethi)s 3ere go7erned by sel2ish F ness be)ause they pro5oted I5eritF5a4ing.J E7en as Bennett 3as reading The Light of Asia 3ith posF iti7e delight6 Christian 5issionaries in Sri <an4a6 2or eEa5ple6 3ere 3riting that Buddhis5 3as a I7ast syste5 o2 negations6JM9 that it 3as I3ithout hope in the 3orld6J&% and that it )onsidered eEisten)e a I)urse.J&1 ;5ong the British 3ho re2used to a))ept the nihilisti) )onstru)tion 3ere (illia5 Hnighton and Sir 1rederi)4 .i)4son in Sri <an4a6 and 1ielding Hall in Bur5a. Hnighton6 planter and 0ournalist6 3rote6 IBuddhis5 is essentially a philosophi)al religion. Its 7irtue is 5editation6 and its per2e)tion an entire 7i)tory o7er the senses and passions.J&# He also insisted that the Sinhala people sa3 ibb?na as so5eF

M8'.(. Ghys .a7ids6 Buddhis : .ts !istory and Literature0 A erican Lectures on the !istory of Religion0 ;irst 1eries0 ,<+*8+= ,L.B. Putna5 O Sons6 <ondon6 189M-6 p.!%. M9Ge7. H.;. <apha5 ,Baptist 8issionary- in J.B. 8yers6 ed.6 Centenary Cele(ration of the Baptist Missionary 1oci# ety ,<+)8> ,Baptist 8issionary So)iety6 <ondon6 1899-6 p.19#. &%Ge7. 'ho5as 8os)rop ,8ethodist 5issionary- in The Ceylon ;riend6 1Mth +)tober 1889. &1John 8urdo)h ,S)ottish 5issionary-6 Buddha and his Religion-Co piled fro the wor's of Gogerly0 !ardy0 ?el# logg0 Titco (0 Davids0 "lden(urg0 Bigandet0 and others ,Christian Kerna)ular Edu)ation So)iety6 SPCH Press6 India6 188&-6 p.9#. &#(illia5 Hnighton6 The !istory of Ceylon ,<ong5an6 Bro3n6 Lreen O <ong5ans6 <ondon6 18$!-6 p.998.

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thing to be desired.&9 Sir 1rederi)4 John .i)4son6 )i7il ser7ant in Sri <an4a bet3een 18!9 and 188!6 3as e7en 5ore positi7e. (riting in 18896 he de)lared that Buddhis5 Ili7es enshrined in the hearts o2 a pious6 si5ple6 and 4indly peopleN it leads the5 through a li2e o2 )harity to a pea)e2ul deathbed su)h as 5ost Christians 5ay en7y. Ha7ing )onDuered desire6 they en0oy a repose 3hi)h )annot be disF turbed.J&$ 1ielding Hall6 another )i7il ser7ant6 had a si5ilar approa)h to .i)4son>s. His boo46 The 1oul of a $eople6 published in 18986 del7es 3ith great sensiti7ity into Buddhist pra)ti)e in Bur5a. ibb?na6 2or instan)e6 is des)ribed as Ithe 5ighty deli7eran)e 2ro5 all sorro3.J&! Ken. :nanda 8etteyya>s 3ritings re7eal an un5ista4able a3areness o2 the nihilisti) interpretation. He atte5pted to o7erturn it in the 7ery 2irst edition o2 Buddhis5. It is unli4ely that he 4ne3 5u)h about Hnighton but Duite possible that he read .i)4son and 1ielding Hall. 'here are )ertainly e)hoes o2 1ielding Hall in his 3riting. &M =et6 it 3as 2ro5 Ed3in ;rnold and probably the 'heosophists that he 2irst absorbed the positi7e. 'heosophy and Buddhis5 are not the sa5e6 but at that ti5e the 'heosophF ists sa3 Buddhis5 as )losest to their o3n belie2s. Ha7ing re0e)ted Christianity as )orrupt and dis)redF ited6 they turned 3ith eE)ite5ent to the East. 'he 5ood )an be gli5psed in a letter sent6 in 18&86 by Colonel +l)ott6 one o2 the 2ounders o2 the 'heosophi)al So)iety6 to Ken. Piyaratana in .odandu7a6 Sri <an4a. He presents hi5sel2 as ignorant in )o5parison to I5y Brothers in the +riental priesthoodJ and )lai5s that Idi7ine 4no3ledgeJ is alone Iin the 4eeping o2 the te5ple and priests and as)eti)s o2 the East.J&& Sin)e 3e 4no3 2ro5 Cro3ley that Bennett 3as in )onta)t 3ith 'heosophists in <ondon6 su)h enF thusias5 )ould 3ell ha7e tou)hed hi56 though a2ter his ordination he spo4e against the5 openly6 parti)ularly about their )on)ept o2 an e7ol7ing soul. +ne o2 the pro2oundest in2luen)es on Bennett6 ho3e7er6 3as undoubtedly Sir Ed3in ;rnold. His biographi)al poe5 about the Buddha6 The Light of Asia6 published in 18&96 did 5ore to en)ourage an understanding o2 Buddhis5 in the (est than perF haps any other pie)e o2 3riting in the latter hal2 o2 the nineteenth )entury. 1or ;llan Bennett6 it 3as a turning point in his li2e and its in2luen)e )an be seen )learly in his 3riting. ;rnold be)a5e the 2irst Honorary 8e5ber o2 the Buddhas?sana Sa5?ga5a and6 3hen he died in 19%$6 Bennett paid a glo3F ing tribute to hi56 )lai5ing that6 although The Light of Asia 3as 3ritten in the tur5oil o2 a busy li2e6 it still breathed Ithe )al5 s3eet at5osphere o2 Buddhis5N e7en as the lotus springs un)onta5inated 2ro5 the 5ire and 3ater into the 2resh6 pure air.J&8 Sin)e ;rnold>s in2luen)e o7er Bennett 3as so great6 it is 3orth loo4ing brie2ly at ho3 The Light of Asia portrays Buddhis5. Its pri5ary 2o)us is the Buddha>s )o5passion and sensiti7ity. 'he narrati7e )o5bines the ro5anti) and the heroi)6 the hu5an and the 5oreFthanFhu5an6 and the 3hole is surF rounding by the urgen)y o2 su22ering. =et 3hile the poe5 des)ribes the hu5an )ondition as IlongF dra3n agonyJ and Ia 5ighty 3hirling 3heel o2 stri2e and stress6J its 5essage is not pessi5isti). ;rnold 3as a5ong the 2irst 3riters in Britain to e5phasise that Buddhis5 spo4e not only o2 su22ering but also o2 a 3ay out o2 su22ering. 'he reality o2 su22ering need not lead to pessi5is56 the poe5 i5F plies6 be)ause the path to liberation has been 2ound. He 3as also a5ong the 2irst to see that the do)F trine o2 noFsoul or anatt@ need not be nihilisti). ;rnold6 in 2a)t6 brought it into the )entre o2 his 3riting but he put his o3n interpretation on it. Su22ering6 the poe5 de)lares6 is present be)ause hu5ans pla)e a I2alse Sel2J in the 5iddle o2 their li2e and )ling to the illusion this 2osters. It is the 2alse sel2 rather than noFsel2 3hi)h ;rnold stressed. ;n i5portant part o2 the Buddhist path6 a))ording to ;rnold6 is to purge Ithe lie and lust o2 sel2J 2ro5 the blood. In other 3ords6 the erF
Hnighton6 ;orest Life in Ceylon ,Hurst O Bla)4ett6 <ondon6 18!$-6 Kol. II6 p.$1$. 1. .i)4son6 ICeylonJ in The 4nglish .llustrated MagaAine ,<ondon-6 +)tober 18896 p.#$. &!H. 1ielding Hall6 The 1oul of a $eople ,8a)8illan O Co. <td.6 <ondon6 19%M-6 p.$&. &M1ielding Hall ter5s ibb?na Ithe Lreat Pea)eJ ,p.$&-6 stresses lo7e and )o5passion as part o2 the path ,p.$8-6 de)lares that Buddhists belie7e I8an>s li2e is not apart 2ro5 other li2e6 but o2 itJ ,p.$8-6 and uses the ter5 I+ne <i2eJ to spea4 o2 the Bur5ese belie2 in nats6 spirits ,pp.#!%22.-. ;ll these e5phases )an be seen in :nanda 8etteyya>s 3ritings. ;nother eEplanation 3ould be that both 3riters dre3 2ro5 a )o55on sour)e6 the Bur5ese people. 1ielding Hall>s sy5patheti) portrayal 5ight also ha7e indu)ed :nanda 8etteyya to go to Bur5a. &&<etters held at the Hu5ara 8aha Kihara6 .odandu3a6 Sri <an4a. ;lso Duoted in :nanda (.B. Luruge6 ;ro the Living ;ountains of Buddhis ,'he 8inistry o2 Cultural ;22airs6 Colo5bo6 198$-6 p.998. &8Buddhis 6 Kol. 1/$6 p.!8$.
&$John &9(illia5

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ror the Buddha identi2ied is the hu5an tenden)y to pla)e the IIJ at the )entre o2 all6 as though it is separate 2ro5 e7erything else. ot surprisingly6 The Light of Asia also presents ibb?na as positi7e. I2 the poe5 had been a (estF ern philosophi)al treatise6 ;rnold 3ould ha7e been a))used o2 in)onsisten)y. ibb?na is tranDuillity and rest. It is the I)hange 3hi)h ne7er )hanges.J It is a state 3hi)h spea4s o2 li2e6 noFli2e6 and oneness 3ith all that eEists. :nanda 8etteyya>s 3ritings sho3 that his heart 5ust ha7e leapt in re)ognition at 5any o2 ;rnold>s e5phases. .ire)t lines o2 )ontinuity )an be seen6 parti)ularly in ;rnold>s stress on the su22erF ing o2 hu5anity and interdependen)e. ;s a s)ientist6 Bennett 3ould also ha7e 3ar5ed to ;rnold>s inF sisten)e in this and other 3ritings that Buddhis5 0oins hands 3ith s)ien)e. 'he 8iddle Path o2 Buddhis56 the poe5 de)lares6 is one I3hose )ourse Bright Geason tra)es.J ; 3ay out o2 su22ering6 a path o2 a)tion and opti5is56 an a22ir5ation o2 interdependen)e6 a )onF de5nation o2 sel2ishness6 a hu5an pattern o2 heroi) renun)iation and )o5passion6 and a positi7e6 bliss2ul goal@this 3as the 5essage 3hi)h The Light of Asia presented. It is no 3onder that 5any6 inF )luding ;llan Bennett6 responded. ;2ter 18&9 e7en Christian 5issionaries 3ere 2or)ed to gi7e )redit to the Buddha>s eEe5plary li2e and the sin)erity o2 his sear)h 2or truth6 e7en i2 they )ould not ad5it to sy5pathy 3ith his do)trine.

1M

&ha'ter ,
nanda Metteyya$s %nter&retation o Buddhis#
In his introdu)tory editorial in the 2irst edition o2 Buddhis56 :nanda 8etteyya na5ed and re0e)ted three I5is)on)eptionsJ/ that Buddhis5 is heathen and idolatrousN that it is )onne)ted 3ith I5ira)leF 5ongering and esoteri)is5JN that it is Ia ba)4boneless6 apatheti)6 pessi5isti) 5anner o2 philosophy.J &9 In other 3ords6 he leapt right into the )onte5porary debate about Buddhis5. 'he 5ani2esto 3hi)h he nailed to the 3all 3as that/ Buddhis5 )annot be idolatrous sin)e it has no )on)ept o2 pla)ating a godN it is rational and has nothing to do 3ith esoteri) truth about the e7olution o2 a soulN its ulti5ate 5esF sage is opti5isti). 'hese e5phases 3ere part o2 the dis)ourse o2 his ti5e and )ontributed to the reF dressing o2 past 5is)on)eptions. =et the pla)e to begin any analysis o2 :nanda 8etteyya>s under F standing is his a3areness o2 su22ering.

- Sufferin* World
Cro3ley )o55ented that ;llan Bennett Ine7er 4ne3 0oy.J 'his is only partially true. 'here is both 0oy and hope in :nanda 8etteyya>s 3riting. It 3ould be 5ore a))urate to say that :nanda 8etteyya6 throughout his li2e6 had a 4een a3areness that happiness did not lie 3here 5ost people tried to lo)ate it. Spea4ing o2 the progression o2 thought in one 3ho atte5pts to loo4 at the 3orld 3ith Ithe )old6 )lear light o2 Geason6J he 3rote/ 1irstly6 he sees <i2e6@the inter5inable 3a7es o2 <i2e>s great +)ean all around hi5N the pulsing6 breathing6 glea5ing 3aters o2 the Sea o2 BeingN and6 at 2irst thought and sight o2 this6 he thin4s/ this <i2e is Joy. He li7es. <i7ing6 he learns. <earning6 he presently )o5es to 4no3@2or <earning is Su22ering6 and Su22ering is <i2e. He sees beneath this so 2airFsee5ing 2a)e o2 ature lies e7ery3here )orruption. Be F hind all this thrilling6 hoping li2e6 reigns .eathN )ertain6 ine7itable6 and by all li2e abhorred.... He loo4s deeper into li2e6 hoping that thus he 5ay 2ind the se)ret o2 happiness.... <earning 5ore6 he sees that this ature is a battleF2ield. He sees ea)h li7ing )reature 2ighting 2or its li2e6 Sel2 against the Cni7erse.... He sees at last ho3 all this li2e is a )heat6 a snare6@so long as you loo4 at it 2ro5 this standpoint o2 the indi7idual. I2 he had had 2aith in Lod6@in so5e great Being 3ho had de7ised the Cni7erse6 he )an no longer hold itN 2or any being6 no3 he )learly sees6 3ho )ould ha7e de7ised a CniF 7erse 3herein 3as all this 3anton 3ar6 this piteous 5ass o2 pain )oter5inous 3ith li2e6 5ust ha7e been a .e5on6 not a Lod.8% In )hildhood and adoles)en)e6 :nanda 8etteyya 5ust ha7e be)o5e a3are o2 su22ering6 not only in his o3n li2e but in the li7es o2 all li7ing beings. 'ogether 3ith his study o2 s)ien)e and .ar3in >s theF ory o2 e7olution6 this 5ade belie2 in Lod i5possible 2or hi5. 'a4ing .ar3in>s 7ie3 that li2e )ontinF ued through the sur7i7al o2 the 2ittest6 :nanda 8etteyya )on)luded it 3as sa)ri2i)e that per7aded eEF isten)e6 not 0oy/ 'he li2e o2 ea)h one o2 us 5eans at this 5o5ent the li7ing6 su22ering6 dying6 o2 other 2or5s o2 li2e beyond all nu5beringN.... ;ll o2 li2e ... a terrible and ruthless stri2e6 a )easeless battle o2 the strong against the 3ea4 and piti2ul.81

6 Kol. 1/16 p.#!. Kol. #/#. pp.189"8$. 81;llan Bennett6 The Religion of Bur a and "ther $apers ,'heosophi)al Publishing House6 India6 19#9-6 pp.1&#" &9.
8%Ibid.6

&9Buddhis

1&

His phrases about this 3ere 7i7id/ I<i2e e7er o22ered up to <i2e on its o3n altarJN 8# nature is Ia slaughterFhouse 3herein no thought o2 pity e7er entersJN 89 I<i2e alone )an 2eed li2e.J 8$ +n a )os5i) s)ale6 it )ould ta4e on horri2i) di5ensions/ Chaos 3ould 3a4en6 shuddering 3ith torture6 into li2e6 to Cos5os 2or a 5o5ent>s see5ingN the un2atho5able depths o2 e5ptyFsee5ing spatial dar4ness 2lash to an instant>s tre5bling li2eN the Kast E5ptiness be 2illed 3ith hurrying stars and galaEies past thin4ing6 glea5 2or a little 3hile and then be lost in gloo5 2ore7erN and through the 3hole o2 it6 li2e hastening through the gates o2 Pain to .eathN a horror o2 li7ing past )on)ei7ing6 2ull o2 the Pain o2 Being6 dar4ened by otF CnderstandingN thrilling 3ith Hope in youth6 and e7er ageing in .espairP o3here stability6 no3here )essation6 no3here an instant>s sla)4ening o2 that 5ad ra)e o2 li2e.8! :nanda 8etteyya>s 7ision o2 su22ering 3as6 o2 )ourse6 an en)ounter 3ith du44ha6 the 1irst oble 'ruth. 1or hi56 it 3as )on2ir5ed by s)ien)e and personal eEperien)e o2 pain. 'hat Buddhis5 loo4ed su22ering in the eye 3as part o2 its attra)tion/ Kery 2ar 2ro5 representing6 3ith the )hildFli4e belie2s o2 our 2ore2athers6 the )reatures o2 this ra7ening tortureFhouse o2 li2e as blessing their )reator 2or their )ontinuing agony6 it loo4s li2e boldly in the 2a)e@as should be2it a 5ind gro3n out o2 )hildhood6@and6 re2using to be blinded against the 2a)ts o2 eEisten)e by spe)ious and spe)ulati7e dog5as6 it pla)es this 7ery su22ering o2 li2e in the 2ore2ront o2 its do)trinal stru)ture.8M 1or Ibid.6 pp.1$#"$9.:nanda 8etteyya6 su22ering 3as the true 2a)e o2 reality. 'ogether 3ith i5perF 5anen)e ,anicca- and nonFsel2 ,anatt@-6 it had to be grasped 3ith )ourage as the 2irst step along the reF ligious path/ I'o dare to loo4 on li2e as it really is/ ;ni))a6 .u44ha6 ;natt?N 'ransient6 and SorF ro3Fladen6 and .e7oid o2 Sel2@that is the 2irst step 3e 5ust ta4e.J8&

The Buddha
:nanda 8etteyya>s hu5an eEisten)e 3as lin4ed to physi)al pain 2ar 5ore than is the )ase 3ith 5ost people. His )lear and un2lin)hing 7ision o2 su22ering is not surprising. Into this6 )a5e the Buddha. 'he realisation o2 ani))a6 du44ha6 anatt? 3ould be intolerable6 a))ording to :nanda 8etteyya6 i2 not 2or the Buddha. It 3ould result in the pessi5isti) nihilis5 that so5e Christian 5issionaries pro0e)ted on to Buddhis5. In :nanda 8etteyya>s 3ritings6 the Buddha arises as a being beyond both hu5ans and gods. ;t a ti5e 3hen 5ost (estern s)holars o2 Buddhis5 3ere stressing the hu5anity o2 the Buddha6 :nanda 8etteyya sa3 in the Buddha a being 3ho had rea)hed su)h a stage o2 per2e)tion that no )o5parison 3ith ordinary hu5anity 3as possible/ XBYut his Buddhahood )onsists not in His hu5anity6 but rather in the 2a)t that6 through li7es o2 in)redible e22ort and enduran)e6 He has attained to a spiritual e7olution 3hi)h renders Hi5 as di22erent 2ro5 a hu5an being as the Sun is di22erent 2ro5 one o2 its ser7ient planetsN 3hi)h 5a4es o2 Hi56 His personality 3hilst it enduresN His tea)hing6 a2ter that personality has passed a3ayN a 2o)al )entre o2 spiritual po3er no less 5ighty in its sphere than that o2 the Sun in the 5aterial real5.88 Sel2Fsa)ri2i)e Duali2ied the Buddha 2or this6 a))ording to :nanda 8etteyya. I2 sa)ri2i)e lay at the heart o2 the 3orld>s agony6 i2 li2e 3as sa)ri2i)ed to li2e )ontinually6 3hat Duali2ied the Buddha to sho3 the path to liberation 2ro5 su22ering 3as uni5aginable sel2Fsa)ri2i)e in innu5erable li7es pre)eding Buddhahood. It 3as sa)ri2i)e Iso great6 so utterly beyond our 4en6 that 3e )an only try to di5ly rep F

8#;llan

Bennett6 The Wisdo of the Aryas ,Hegan Paul6 'ren)h6 'rubner O Co. <td.6 <ondon6 19#9-6 p.9. of Bur a6 p.1!M. 8$Ibid.6 p.1&%. 8!Ibid.6 pp.1$#"$9. 8MWisdo of the Aryas6 p.Ei7. 8&Religion of Bur a6 p.##1. 88Wisdo of the Aryas6 p.111.
89Religion

18

resent it in ter5s o2 hu5an li2e and thought and a)tion.J 89 He i5plied that it 3as only su)h sa)ri2i)e 3hi)h )ould ha7e led to the IultraF)os5i) da3n o2 Ctter (isdo5 in His Heart.J9% (isdo5 and )o5passion6 the t3o pillars o2 Buddhis56 are )learly represented in this pi)ture and6 in Bur5a6 :nanda 8etteyya see5ed to see the5 2lo3ing through the present as though the Buddha 3ere still ali7e6 reF)reated in the intensity o2 de7otion to his 5e5ory. In the 2irst o2 his 191& le)tures6 :nanda 8etteya struggled to put a)ross to his (estern audien)e the depth o2 de7otion he had 2ound in Bur5a. ;s i2 ans3ering the Christian a))usation that Buddhists 3orship a being 3ho has passed a3ay6 he said/ 'here6 into the daily li7es6 the 7ery spee)h and household )usto5s o2 the )o55on 2ol46 this e7erFpresent sunFlight o2 the 'ea)hing penetratedN there6 hearing at a 2iesta the gathered )ro3ds ta4e re2uge in the Buddha6 you )ould all but see the5 turn their 2a)es to bathe the5 in the splendour o2 His 7ery presen)e@till one )ould understand ho36 instead o2 getting angry 3hen they hear the Christian 5issionaries tell the5 they are ta4ing re2uge in a Being 3ho5 their o3n religion tells the5 has passed utterly a3ay6 they al3ays ans3er6 as they do ans3er6 only 3ith a 3ise and a )o5passionate s5ile.91 e7er did :nanda 8etteyya i5ply that the Buddha is a personal Isa7iourJ or a li7ing being to 3ho5 prayers )ould be addressed in the present. =et6 he sa3 the Bur5ese de7otion to the Buddha as 5u)h 5ore than de2eren)e or than4s to a dead tea)her6 as it is o2ten presented to be in rationalised 3or4s on Buddhis5 that see4 to e5phasise its Is)ienti2i)J )hara)ter. In Bur5a6 :nanda 8etteyya )a5e a)ross an at5osphere o2 3orship so intense that 2or hi5 the air see5ed to 7ibrate 3ith a IpalpableJ poten)y6 an Ii55ediateJ presen)e.9# It 3as the presen)e o2 the .ha55a but it 3as also 5ore. 'hrough the 3orship6 it 3as as though :nanda 8etteyya sa3 the person o2 the Buddha reF)reated so that )o5pasF sion and 3isdo5 be)a5e li7ing Dualities strea5ing through the air. So6 he 3rote that the air 3as I7iF tal 3ith the urgeJ o2 the tea)hing6 Iand e7er 3ith that Lreat 1igure o2 'he 'ea)her (ho ;ttained at the sour)e o2 it all.J99 :nanda 8etteyya6 I belie7e6 )ould parallel his o3n eEperien)e 3ith part o2 the Buddha>s story. In The Religion of Bur a he des)ribes6 3ith a 5ost sensiti7e tou)h6 Prin)e Siddhartha>s sear)h 2or the truth@his a3areness o2 su22ering6 his hope 2or a re5edy6 and his eEperi5ents 3ith 5editation/ 'o the 7ery heights o2 Being He attained@to that supre5e6 that ulti5ate o2 )ons)ious Being6 4no3n in India as the Brah5an or the Para5at5anN the utter5ost o2 Sel2hood6 the <ight o2 <i2e 3hereto all this Cni7erse is as it 3ere but a shado3N this li7ing6 breathing6 5ani2old eEisten)e but the 3a7ering dar4ness o2 Its 5ultis)ient <ight. 'o that Supre5est Cos5i) Cons)iousness He 3on6 and yet turned ba)4 to earth in 3hat approa)hed despair. ;s indeed all others 3ho thus had rea)hed that Higher Sel2 o2 all the Cni7erse6 had also seen6 in the light o2 the 3ideFrea)hing understanding that that attain5ent o2 itsel2 in7ol7es6 so He sa3 that e7en here 3as no 1inality6 no Endless Pea)e su)h as He had sought 2or the <iberation o2 ;ll <i2e.9$ Here is the 7oi)e o2 so5eone 3ho has also tou)hed these deep le7els o2 )ons)iousness and has re0e) F ted the5. 'his parti)ular arti)le goes on to 2ollo3 the Bodhisatta>s on3ard 0ourney. 8?ra is des)ribed as Ithe 'e5pter o2 5en>s hearts6 the Spirit o2 (orldliness that li7es in ea)h o2 us.J 'he Bodhisatta>s resolution not to arise 2ro5 his posture under the Bodhi 'ree until he had seen into 'ruth be)o5es I e7er 3ill I arise 2ro5 this pla)e though this 8y 2ra5e shall perish o2 star7ation@not though the blood 3ithin these 7eins shall )ease to 2lo3.J9! In this arti)le :nanda 8etteyya de7otes 2e3 3ords to the Buddha>s tea)hing )areer6 his reason be F ing that it 3as in these earlier years that Ithe 8aster>s Po3er o7er Bur5ese hearts lies hid.J 9M His
89Ibid.6

pp.1M"1&. of Bur a6 p.$9. 91Wisdo of the Aryas6 p.M. 9#Ibid.6 p.&. 99Ibid.6 p.&. 9$Religion of Bur a6 p.98. 9!Ibid.6 p.$!. 9MIbid.6 p.!%.
9%Religion

19

point 3as that a struggling6 stri7ing6 sear)hing 2igure6 3ho tortured hi5sel2 be2ore he rea)hed the 'ruth I)an thrill our li7es to greater noblenessN stirring our li2e>s depths until 3e long@yet ahP ho3 7ainly long@to gro3 a little nearer to His li4eness6 to li7e a little nearer to the li2e He li7ed.J 9& 'han42ulness 2or the Buddha>s a)hie7e5ent and tea)hing6 re)ognition o2 his 5oreFthanFhu5an stature6 a3areness o2 the depth o2 3isdo5 and )o5passion 3hi)h 2lo3ed 2ro5 his person6 inspiration to 2ollo3 the sa5e path6 and identi2i)ation 3ith the eEperien)e 3hi)h 5ade renun)iation and sear)h ine7itable@these )an all be 2ound in :nanda 8etteyya>s appre)iation o2 the Buddha. ;)ts o2 de7oF tion to the Buddha6 in Bur5a6 there2ore6 did not see5 unnatural or irrational to hi5. But the Duestion o2 3hat the Bur5ese people 3ere doing 3hen they sho3ed de7otion did taE hi5. He 3as Duite sure that so5e pra)tised it out o2 dependen)y6 relian)e6 and blind 2aith. 1or hi56 this 3as an i5portant step on the religious path but so5ething a4in to )hildhood6 not the 2inal stage. It )ould lead to hea7 F enly rebirth but not to the ulti5ate goal/ Iit is i5potent to help us to enter and 3al4 upon the (ay o2 Pea)e.J98 +n the other hand6 he insisted there 3as a higher de7otion )onne)ted 3ith Duestioning6 inF 7estigation6 and re)ognition. So6 he insisted that the 5ature Buddhist>s ans3er to the Duestion o2 de F 7otion 3ould be/ ...that it is not 1aith indeed6 so 2ar as 2aith is blind6 unreasoning6 based on no prin)iple or 2a)t in li2e6 but only on our hope and our desire. Gather it is the 5aturer <o7e6 the de7otion that )o5es in the train o2 CnderstandingN the true heart>s adoration that springs 2ro5 3ithin us 3hen 3e ha7e gained a little sel2F5asteryN 3hen6 this delusion o2 the sel2 see5ing no longer all our hope in being6 3e begin to understand the 7alue o2 sel2Fsa)ri2i)e6 3hen 3e attain so5e gli5pse o2 the tre5endous 5eaning o2 the <o7e that has 2or us resulted in the 4no3ledge o2 the <a3 3e ha7e. 99 =et6 in line 3ith the Buddha>s o3n tea)hing in the 8ah?parinibb?na Sutta6 2or :nanda 8etteyya a)F tion or internal de7otion 3as 2ar 5ore i5portant than eEternal de7otion/ 'he true 3orship o2 the Buddhas is not e7en in di7inestFsee5ing outer o22ering or praiseN rightly that one shall be )alled a 2ollo3er o2 'he Buddha6 rightly 3ill he 5erit the na5e o2 Buddhist6 3ho 3al4s the (ay 'he Buddha 2oundN that is6 the (ay that He6 the 8aster o2 Co5passion6 3al4ed 2irst Hi5sel26 t3entyF2i7e )enturies ago in India.1%%

The Path
Ho3 did :nanda 8etteyya interpret the path outlined by the BuddhaA 1or hi56 it 3as 2ar superior to the hopes 3hi)h Go5an Catholi)is56 the +rder o2 the Lolden .a3n or e7en yoga )ould hold out. 'he 4ey 3as si5ple@the rule o2 <a36 the si5ple insight that it 3as not )haos6 )han)e6 )oin)iden)e6 )apriF )iousness6 or )os5i) e7il 3hi)h lay at the root o2 i5per5anen)e and su22ering but <a3/ Ho36 bound in sel2F3rought pain6 in the transition and illusion o2 our li2e6 )an 3e6 in Ignoran)e en5eshed6 hope to 2ind the Pea)e BeyondA Be)ause the pro)esses 3hi)h 3e des)ribe as I<i2eJ6 o))ur in )on2or5ity 3ith the <a3 o2 CauseFE22e)t.1%1 1or :nanda 8etteyya6 hope lay in the 2a)t that I3hatsoe7er pheno5enon arises6 it is in7ariably an e2F 2e)t produ)ed by an ante)edent )ause.J 1%# Su)h an analysis re5o7ed 2ro5 hi5 the need 2or esoteri) 4no3ledge or 2or )onta)ting eEternal po3ers o2 e7il or o2 good6 the urge 3hi)h 2eatured in his early religious sear)h. 'he basis 2or hu5an hope6 :nanda 8etteyya dis)o7ered6 3as as si5ple as it 3as pro2ound. 'he 5o7e5ent 2ro5 anicca0 du''ha0 anatt@ ,i5per5anen)e6 su22ering6 nonFsel2- to religious path and 2ro5 pessi5is5 to opti5is5 lay dire)tly through paBicca#sa upp@da ,dependent originationas sho3n in the 1our oble 'ruths. Su22ering had a )ause and i2 the )ause 3as eli5inated6 su22ering 3ould )ease.

9&Ibid.6 98Ibid.6

p.!1. p.9&%. 99Ibid.6 p.9&8. 1%%Ibid.6 p.9#%. 1%1Ibid.6 p.9!M. 1%#Wisdo of the Aryas6 p.9#.

#%

:nanda 8etteyya>s treat5ent o2 the )ause o2 du''ha6 su22ering6 3as 7aried. So5eti5es he used s)iF en)e. 'a4e the a5oebae6 one o2 the s5allest 4no3n li7ing entities6 he said6 and du44ha )an be seen. 'he a5oebae 5o7es only 3hen irritated6 in other 3ords6 3hen 2eeling a7ersion. (hen still6 it is at pea)e. 1ro5 this6 he )ontinued6 the rea)tions o2 all other ani5al 2or5s ha7e de7eloped. By the ti5e hu5an a7ersion is rea)hed6 a thousand )o5pleE )ra7ings ha7e arisen6 all o2 3hi)h in7ol7e su22ering. Su)h an illustration lo)ates the )ause o2 du44ha in attra)tion and a7ersion and the )ra7ing they gener F ate. =et aviCC@6 ignoran)e o2 the true nature o2 eEisten)e6 3as the )on)ept :nanda 8etteyya used 5ost o2ten to eEplain hu5an su22ering6 and the pi)ture he e7o4ed o2 a 3orld en5eshed in ignoran)e 3as dar4 and be)a5e 5ore horri2i) in the later years o2 his li2e as the 1irst (orld (ar pro7ed his 7ie3 that (estern )i7ilization 3as in )risis. 1ro5 ignoran)e6 he stressed6 2lo3 lo(ha0 dosa0 and oha ,greed6 hatred6 and illusion- and he lin4ed ea)h 3ith one o2 the three attributes o2 eEisten)e. So lobha6 greed6 de2ined as the 3ish to possess 3orldly goods6 springs 2ro5 a denial o2 i5per5anen)e ,ani))a- through the belie2 that the 3orld )onF tains the )hangeless. .osa6 hatred6 arises in a 5ind that has no appre)iation o2 su22ering and there2ore )annot 2eel pity. 8oha )o5es 2ro5 ignoran)e o2 anatt? and the belie2 that there is a sel2 to be seen in e7erything. It 3as ignoran)e o2 anatt? 3hi)h :nanda 8etteyya 3rote about 5ost. <ate Ki)torian )ulture 3as steeped in indi7idualis5. (ithout a 4no3ledge o2 Buddhist ideas6 he 3rote6 it is al5ost i5possible to be)o5e a3are Iho3 5u)h e7ery 5ode o2 eEpression o2 (estern thought in7ol7es the assu5ption o2 the eEisten)e o2 a Sel2.J1%9 Buddhis5 taught hi5 that the dar4ness lay not in noFsel2 but in sel26 that a so)iety steeped in indi7idualis5 3as a so)iety brutalised. So6 de7otion to the Buddha also hinged on/ no less signi2i)ant a thought than that o2 our o3n true pla)e in li2e>s progressionN as )o5pared 3ith the heights o2 sel2lessness 3on by the Holy and the Lreat o2 old. Seeing6 by the )lear logi) o2 the <a36 ho3 sel2 is the )ause o2 all the pain o2 li2e6 seeing ho3 di22i)ult 2or us is ea)h poor 2eeblest a)t o2 sa)ri2i)e o2 sel26 our hearts are 2illed 3ith 3onder and 3ith lo7e at the thought o2 one 3ho )ould gi7e all that 5en hold dear6 not in the sure 4no3ledge o2 su))ess6 but only in the Hope o2 2inding a (ay o2 Pea)e 2or all. 'hat is the sort o2 1aith6 o2 <o7e6 o2 .e7otion6 that )an help us on6 and 3hyA Be)ause it 5eans another )onDuest o7er sel2FhoodN a 2urther a)hie7e5ent o2 the deeper6 7aster6 uni7ersal <o7e.1%$ 'o the person 3ho )lings 3ith e7ery 2ibre o2 his being to the )on)ept o2 sel26 :nanda 8etteyya says/ <i2e6 so 2ar as it is indi7idualised6 ensel2ed6 ensouled is@ e7en as the Geason tea)hes@e7il6 )o F ter5inous 3ith Pain... Li7e up all hope6 all 2aith in Sel2.... .rea5 no 5ore II a5J or II shall beJ but realise6 <i2e su22ersN and only by destru)tion o2 li2e>s )ause in Sel2hood )an that su22ering be relie7ed6 and <i2e pass nearer to the +ther Shore.1%! In other 3ords6 I(here7er in the ;ll o2 )ons)ious li2e there reigns no thought o2 sel26 there lies that Path o2 Pea)eN so hard to 3in6 and yet so nigh to all.J 1%M :nanda 8etteyya did not prea)h 5erely that belie2 in sel2 5ight be lin4ed 3ith pain6 but that it is inseparably lin4ed and is the )ause not only o2 inF di7idual su22ering but o2 3orld3ide6 e7en )os5i)6 su22ering. :nanda 8etteyya>s 3ords about anatt? spea46 I belie7e6 o2 his o3n personal pilgri5age to3ards renun)iation. His youth2ul eEplorations into spirituality 3ere probably lin4ed 3ith a 3ish 2or personF al a)hie7e5ent6 5a4ing his 2irst en)ounter 3ith anatt? di22i)ult6 as these 3ords indi)ate/ Be)ause so 5u)h in all our li7es is 2ounded on and guided by this sad belie26@to hi5 3ho real F ises its utter 2alsity6 there )o5es at 2irst a great and a32ul blan4 in li2e6 a grie2 3ell 4no3n to all 3ho ha7e in any sense attained/ 3herein all good and use2ul ob0e)t in the Cni7erse see5s lost to hi56 2or the Soul 2or 3hi)h his li2e has hereto2ore been li7ed6 has passed a3ay 2or e7er6 and 3ith it all the ar5y o2 his 2or5er hopes and aspirations6 in so 2ar as these 3ere 2ounded on that )on F )eption o2 the Sel2. It is the dar4est hour in all the e7olution o2 a 5an6 this realisation that the Sel2
1%9DMental 1%$Religion

CultureE in Buddhis 6 Kol. #/#6 p.#&9. of Bur a6 p.98%. 1%!IPropagandaJ in Buddhis 6 Kol. #/#6 pp.18M"8&. 1%MReligion of Bur a6 p.$&.

#1

that he has stri7en to per2e)t and 3or4 2or is no 5ore than a delusionN@but it is also the dar4est hour 3hi)h goes be2ore the da3n.1%& :nanda 8etteyya 5ust ha7e eEperien)ed this. ;ll his 3ords about Ithe da3nJ 3hi)h rises 3hen the truth o2 anatt? is realised are per5eated 3ith a Duality o2 brightness 3hi)h spea4s o2 a deep personal eEperien)e o2 liberation through the do)trine. 'he liberation 3as both personal and )o55unal6 both an internal release 2ro5 bondage and the birth o2 ne3 possibilities 2or a 5ore hu5ane so)iety. He be F lie7ed that e7en a gli5pse o2 the truth o2 noFsel2 should lead to greater toleran)e and hu5aneness. He also belie7ed it led to the a3areness that all beings 3ere bound together6 that all li2e 3as +ne. 'he phrase I+ne <i2eJ o))urs 2reDuently in :nanda 8etteyya>s 3ritings. 'he si5ile he 5ost 2reF Duently used 3as that o2 a 3a7e/ 'he Buddhist )on)eption o2 <i2e6 that is to say o2 the Cni7erse6 5ay be su55ed up6 as already stated6 in ter5s o2 the 2or5ula@;ll li2e is +ne. Just as all the 3aters o2 the o)ean are one 3ater6 and one body o2 3ater6 so it is 3ith this uni7ersal tea5ing li2eN and 0ust as6 in the great o)ean6 there is6 and )an be by the 7ery nature o2 it6 no indi7idual body o2 3ater separate 2ro5 the rest6 so in li2e>s o)ean there is@and )an be by the 7ery nature o2 it@ no single separate unit or body o2 li2e6 3hether it be the highest or the lo3est6 5ost subtle or 5ost gross.... Ea)h satta@ea)h li7F ing being that our es)ien)e 5a4es us regard as an indi7idual6 a real and separate entity6 a sel2 or soul or ;t5a@ is in truth only one su)h 3a7e6 3hether a billo3 or a ripple only6 upon the sur2a)e o2 li2e>s o)ean.... Just as the only real 3a7e is no indi7idual 5ass o2 3ater6 but a )o5pleE )ollo)ation o2 hydrauli) 2or)es6 the5sel7es )onstantly in pro)ess o2 5inor 5odi2i)ations@so is the satta no indi7idual unit o2 li2e.1%8 Ed3in ;rnold stressed the interdependen)e o2 all. But :nanda 8etteyya too4 the i5agery 2urther. 1or hi56 all ani5al and plant li2e 3as so 2used together that e7ery a)tion6 5o7e5ent6 or thought a2 F 2e)ted the 3hole. It is as though he sa3 the uni7erse as one organis56 )onstantly being torn apart beF )ause this unity 3as denied through sel2ishness. 'his led hi5 to stress that the usual boundary bet3een 3hat is good 2or sel2 and 3hat is good 2or others 3as 5eaningless. 'here si5ply 3as no Isel2J and Iother.J I2 one 4illed another6 one 4illed onesel2. I2 one stole 2ro5 another6 one stole 2ro5 onesel2. 'o begin 3ith onesel2 3as to bene2it all/ I2 you aspire to lighten the burden o2 the 3orld6 to bring hu5anity a little nearer to the Pea)e it )ra7es/@ start right at ho5e6 and stri7e to 2ree6 to ennoble6 to puri2y yoursel26@ your o3n li2e6 your o3n heart>s aspirations/@ 2or in all the 3orlds there is no greater help to render or grander ser7i)e 2or the sa4e o2 all 5an4ind. ;nd 3hyA Be)ause ea)h 5an is an integral portion o2 huF 5anity6 be)ause ea)h thought o2 lo7e6 ea)h e22ort a2ter purity 5an 5a4es or thin4s is gain to all6 @ be)ause it is but the Illusion blinding us that bids us thin4 6 II a5 one soul6 one 5ind6 one li2e @ and these 5y brothers are 3ithout6 and separate 2ro5 5e.J ;ll li2e is one in 7ery truth6@ the ant6 and 5an6 glory o2 sun and star6 and the 7ast gul2s o2 spa)e are one6 one and no other6 sa7e that the dar4ness o2 our 7ain sel2Fhood hides.1%9 'he )on)ept o2 Ithe +ne <i2eJ does not ha7e any )on)eptual )ounterpart in the original .ha55a. It )ould ha7e been an interpretati7e prin)iple that early (estern Buddhists introdu)ed6 perhaps in rea)F tion against the in)reasing indi7idualis5 in (estern li2e. Sin)e 1ielding Hall also used the ter5 and )lai5ed his data had been gathered orally6 it )ould also ha7e e)hoed 3ords used by the Bur5ese to eEpress their a3areness o2 inter)onne)tedness. 11% (hi)he7er eEplanation is adopted6 it 3as an utterly liberating idea 2or :nanda 8etteyya. 8ost i5portant o2 all 3ithin :nanda 8etteyya>s )on)ept o2 sel2lessness6 ho3e7er6 is the pla)e o2 lo7e and )o5passion. (hen tal4ing to Cli22ord BaE in 1918 about noFsel26 he tou)hed on ibb?na and )ontinued/
<a3 o2 GighteousnessJ in Buddhis 6 Kol. 1/96 pp.9M9"&%. pp.1M!"M&. 1%9I'he 1aith o2 the 1utureJ in Buddhis 6 Kol. 1/16 p.##. 11%See Chapter #6 note 9. 1ielding Hall pla)ed great stress both on the Bur5ese )on7i)tion that ea)h person is responsible 2or hi5sel2 or hersel2 and their a3areness that all o2 nature is ali7e and inter)onne)ted.
1%8Ibid.6 1%&I'he

##

=ou 3ill be 3ondering ho3 the sense o2 sel2hood 5ay be dissol7ed. 'he great dissol7ent is lo7e. 'rue lo7e is a union o2 the per)ei7er 3ith the per)ei7edN and I thin4 you 3ill not deny that the 5ore nearly you )o5e to union 3ith another being6 the less e5phati)ally are you yoursel2. (e )an go 2urther. (e )an say that the person 3ho truly lo7es is at on)e 5ore than he 3as and less/ less hi5sel2 and yet an eEtended being. ;nd so it is that 3hen our see5ing sel7es are Iblo3n outJ... so5ething i55easurable and indes)ribable is released6 as it 3ere6 and6 as it 3ere6 ta4es their pla)e.111 It is this Iso5ething i55easurable and indes)ribableJ 3hi)h :nanda 8etteyya sought )ontinually to de2ine. Co5passion and lo7e 3ere the 3ords he 5ost 2reDuently used6 but it is ob7ious that he used the ter5s in a supraF5undane sense. He 3as )lear that 3here7er there 3as belie2 in the att?6 the sel26 there altruisti) lo7e and )o5passion 3ere tainted be)ause so5e3here there 3ould be hope o2 2uture re3ard 2or sel2. 'he Buddhist )on)ept o2 lo7e 3as di22erent/ 'o realise that 3e oursel7es are but as transitory 3a7es upon the +)ean o2 eEisten)e6@that all the good 3e do6 the lo7e 3e ha7e6 the 3isdo5 that 3e garner and the help 3e gi7e is 3rought but 2or the reaping o2 the Cni7erse6 3rought be)ause Pity is the highest <a3 o2 <i2e6@this is in Buddhis5 a))ounted the true beginning o2 all righteousness6@unsel2ishness that gi7es all6 3hilst 4no3ing yet that it shall ne7er reap the gain.11# 1or :nanda 8etteyya6 the truest response to the )on)ept o2 the +ne <i2e 3as )o5passion. It 3as the highest point in hu5an e7olution. <i2e>s I2inal6 highest6 holiest lessonJ 2or a person 3as Ito li7e no longer 2or hi5sel26 but 2or this piteous6 su22ering <i2e alone.J 119 It 3as the 2ruit o2 deep penetration into the 1irst oble 'ruth@IHe 3ho realises in his heart o2 hearts ho3 terrible is all this Pain o2 li2e )an no 5ore hate.J11$ It led :nanda 8etteyya to a 5issionary )o55it5ent to spread a 5ore hu5ane ethi)/ Cnderstanding ho3 all o2 it is doo5ed to sorro3@3rought o2 the 7ery 3arp and 3oo2 o2 Pain and Su22ering and .espair@let the di7ine e5otion o2 Co5passion that 3a4es in us at the thought o2 it 4ill out all Hatred 2ro5 our hearts and 3ays. Seeing ... ho3 <i2e is +ne ... let us li7e no 5ore 2or sel2>s 2ell phantasy6 but 2or the ;ll ... let us li7e so that the ;ll6 the +ne6 5ay be the nobler and the greater 2or our li2e.11! 'hroughout :nanda 8etteyya>s 3ritings6 )o5passion is presented as the 4ey to li2e>s 5eaning and as the only response to the three attributes o2 eEisten)e. It 3as the highest eEpression o2 the hu5an 5ind and heart and it lay at the heart o2 the goal o2 eEisten)e6 ibb?na.

ibb.na/)nalienable Peace
I2 :nanda 8etteyya e5phasised +ne <i2e6 did he )onsider ibb?na to be so5e 2or5 o2 absorption into this +ne <i2eA Ed3in ;rnold see5s to i5ply this in The Light of Asia6 gi7ing his 3or4 a nonF Buddhist tou)h/ Cnto IGK; ;/ He is one 3ith <i2e6 =et li7es not. He is blest6 )easing to be6 +8 8; I P;.8E6 +8P the .e3drop slips Into the shining seaP :nanda 8etteyya did not 2ollo3 ;rnold here. His 3as not a 7ision o2 integration into I+ne <i2eJ. InF ter)onne)tedness 3as 2a)t already. 'he need 3as to bring all li2e into ibb?na. '3o perspe)ti7es on ibb?na lie in tension throughout his 3or4/ that it is near and attainableN that it is distant and indes F )ribable. ;s a young 5on4 in Bur5a6 it appeared to hi5 to lie 0ust at the other side o2 the IterribleJ truth o2 anicca0 du''ha0 anatt@/
111Cli22ord 11#I'he

BaE6 I:nanda 8etteyyaJ in The Middle Way6 Kol. $9/16 8ay 19M86 pp.#M"#&. <a3 o2 GighteousnessJ in Buddhis 6 Kol. 1/96 p.9M9. 119Wisdo of the Aryas6 pp.M9"&%. 11$Religion of Bur a6 p.1M9. 11!Ibid.6 p.1&&.

#9

; 'ruth so deep that )ould our 5inds but grasp the 3hole o2 it6 then6 3here erst our petty6 2inite 5inds 3ere li5iting and deter5ining the <i2e6 at that sa5e point o2 'i5e and Spa)e and ConF s)iousness 3ere none o2 these@3ere but In2initude6 In2inite Cnderstanding and Co5passion6 ibb?na>s sure6 inalienable Pea)e.11M It 3as so i5portant 2or hi5 that he 3rote on it 2or the 7ery 2irst issue o2 Buddhis56 in 19%9. Pea)e 3as the 3ord he used 5ost 2reDuently to des)ribe it at this ti5e. It 3as a pea)e lin4ed 3ith the death o2 the IIJ )on)ept and the birth o2 )o5passion. IIt gro3s but 2ro5 the ashes o2 the sel2 outburnt6J 11& he graphi)ally 3rote. He 3as al3ays Dui)4 to say that it had nothing to do 3ith eternal li2e 2or a soul. In that 2irst arti)le6 he urged his readers to pla)e the5sel7es Iin the 5ental attitude o2 the BuddhistJ and to 2ree the5sel7es 2ro5 the belie2 that all 5ust re7ol7e around a soul and there2ore that the Duestion I(ho attains ibb?naAJ 3as i5portant.118 =et6 he 3as Duite a3are that the )harge o2 nihilis5 )ould be 2lung at this. His ans3er in 19%9 and later 3as/ 'o say6 again6 that Buddhis5 ai5s at 2inal eEtin)tion is not true@the Loal o2 Buddhis5 is not in the herea2ter6 but here in the li2e 3e li7e@its Loal is a li2e 5ade glorious by sel2F)onDuest and eEalted by boundless lo7e and 3isdo5.119 ;nd the teEts 3itnessed to the reality o2 this/ +ur boo4s are 2illed 3ith su)h des)riptions@2illed 3ith su)h 3ords as these/ the a3eFstri)4en 3ondering arti)ulations o2 those 3ho had attained6 e7en in this li2e6 to the Loal o2 our Geligion6 to the glorious li2e o2 utter Pea)e6 to the in)o5parable se)urity o2 the ibb?na.1#% =et6 2or :nanda 8etteyya6 it 3as also beyond des)ription and hu5an thought6 espe)ially 3hen he loo4ed beyond this li2e. In 19%96 he resorted to rhetori)al Duestions/ IHo3 shall 3e ... 3ith our e7erF )hanging 5inds6 5editate on 'hat 3hi)h is past <i2e and Hno3ledge6 past .eath and Change/@the I55utable6 the Cn)aused6 the Supre5e/@that 3hi)h no thought )an realise6 and no 3ords 5a4e 4no3nAJ1#1 (ith a tou)h o2 euphoria6 he )ould )lai5 that it 3as the opposite o2 all 3e 4no3/ I2 I a5 as4ed6 IIs the ibb?na ;nnihilationA Is it CessationA Is it the End o2 ;llAJ I reply6 thus e7en ha7e 3e learned. It is ;nnihilation@the annihilation o2 the three2old 2atal 2ire o2 Passion6 (rath6 and Ignoran)e. It is ;nnihilation@the annihilation o2 )onditioned being6 o2 all that has bound and 2ettered usN the Cessation o2 the dire delusion o2 li2e that has 7eiled 2ro5 us the splendour o2 the <ight Beyond. It is the End o2 ;ll@the end o2 the long tortuous pilgri5age through 3orlds o2 inter5inable illusionN the End o2 Sorro36 o2 I5per5anen)e6 o2 Sel2Fde)eit. 1ro5 the tor5ent o2 the sad .rea5 o2 <i2e an e7erlasting ;3a4ening6@2ro5 the torture o2 sel2F hood an eternal <iberationN@a Being6 an EEisten)e6 that to na5e <i2e 3ere sa)rilege6 and to na5e .eath a lie/@unna5eable6 unthin4able6 yet e7en in this li2e to be realised and entered into.1## <ater6 in 191&6 his tone 3as less euphori)6 te5pered perhaps by the 3ar6 age6 and illness/ ir7ana stands 2or the Clti5ate6 the Beyond6 and the Loal o2 <i2e@a State so utterly di22erent 2ro5 this )onditioned e7erF)hanging being o2 the Sel2Fdrea5 that 3e 4no3 as to lie not only Duite Beyond all na5ing and des)ribingN but 2ar past e7en 'hought itsel2.1#9 'here is less e5phasis here on its attainability but6 in the sa5e tal46 he added that it lies Inearer to us than our nearest )ons)iousnessN e7en as6 to hi5 3ho rightly understands6 it is dearer than the dearest hope that 3e )an 2ra5e.J1#$ ibb?na 3as beyond 3ords but )loser to us than our breath.

11MIbid.6 11&Ibid.6

p.1&$. p.$8. 118I ibb?naJ in Buddhis 6 Kol. 1/16 p.119. 119I'he 1aith o2 the 1utureJ in Buddhis 6 Kol. 1/16 p.9%. 1#%I ibb?na6J p.1#M. 1#1Ibid.6 p.1#&. 1##Ibid.6 p.199. 1#9Wisdo of the Aryas6 p.1#$. 1#$Ibid.6 p.1#!.

#$

So5e 3ould ter5 su)h a 7ision 5ysti)al. =et :nanda 8etteyya )ould also use ato5i) s)ien)e to atF te5pt an eEplanation. (hat happens at arahatship6 he eEplained to Cli22ord BaE6 )ould be si5ilar to ato5i) disintegration@2or)es 3hi)h had been bound together 3ere separated and trans2or5ed into so5ething )o5pletely di22erent.1#! But e7en here that Iso5ethingJ )ould not adeDuately be des)ribed in 3ords.

Morality and Meditation


Ho3 did :nanda 8etteyya en)ourage people to start on the path leading a3ay 2ro5 ignoran)eA (hat role did he gi7e to a)tion 3ithin the 3orldA (hat role did he gi7e to 5editationA '3o distin)t lines o2 tea)hing )an be seen/ a)t 3ith generosity and it 3ill a22e)t your 5indN 3or4 on your 5ind through 5editation and it 3ill a22e)t both your 5ind and your a)tion. :nanda 8etteyya o2ten began his tea)hing 3ith 5orality to the point 3here he )ould render one teEtual des)ription o2 the path as 5orality6 gi7ing and 5editation , sFla0 d@na0 (h@van@- rather than the 5ore usual gi7ing6 5orality6 and 5editation , d@na0 sFla0 (h@van@-. 8oral li7ing 3as 3here the Buddhist had to start. In The Religion of Bur a 6 using the 2or5ula6 sFla0 d@na0 (h@van@6 :nanda 8etteyya des)ribed sFla as a7oiding e7il and d?na as a 5ore ad7an)ed stage 3here )harity@or altruisti) a)tion ai5ed at alle7iatF ing su22ering@3as pra)tised. He sees both as essential to those starting on the path but he is )lear that the 5oti7ation 2or the5 )ould si5ply be a 3ish to ensure 2uture li7es o2 happiness rather than o2 pain. He does not )onde5n su)h Isel2ishnessJ but )lai5s that the a)tion itsel2 )ould 5odi2y the 5oF ti7ation/ IStarting to gi7e 2or lo7e o2 sel26 o2 sel2 alone6 the 7ery )onta)t 3ith the li7es and needs o2 others 3idens the erst3hile petty li5its o2 5an>s sel2hood.J1#M In other 3ords6 d@na underta4en to bring 5erit to sel2 )ould lead to sel2Fdenying lo7eN a)ting 3ith generosity )ould be a 5ind and heartF)hanging agent. 'he .ha55a )ould tea)h that6 Ili4e a 2la5e o2 2ire6 <o7e 4indles <o7e6 gro3s by the 5ere a)t o2 lo7ing.J1#& :nanda 8etteyya a))epted6 there2ore6 that 5any Buddhists 2ollo3ed the pre)epts and 3ere generF ous purely to gain a better rebirth. His hope 3as that the resulting a)tion 3ould 4indle a spirit o2 lo7 F ing 4indness that did not 2lo3 2ro5 a 3ish 2or re3ards. I2 a)tion )ould be 5indF)hanging6 :nanda 8etteyya insisted that 5editation )ould be a)tionF)hanF ging. 'he t3o eEisted in a diale)ti)al tension. Ge2raining 2ro5 har5ing others and the pra)ti)e o2 a)tF i7e generosity 3ere essential6 but )ulture o2 the 5ind 3as as i5portant as good 3or4s e7en at the be F ginning o2 the Path. SQla and d?na alone )ould not lead to Ithe Holy PathJ o2 3isdo5 and )o5pasF sion. +nly (h@van@ ,5editation- )ould do that. 1#8 +nly 5editation )ould gi7e insight into the ho3 and 3hy o2 the 5ind and heart6 3hi)h )onditioned ho3 the uni7erse 3as seen. 1or6 :nanda 8etteyya )lai5ed6 Iin all our ideas about the eEisten)e o2 the Cni7erse 3e are dealing6 and dealing only6 3ith the 5odi2i)ations o2 our o3n sensuous and 5ental 5odes.J1#9 8editation is presented in :nanda 8etteyya>s 3ritings as the 3ay to3ards 4no3ledge and )o5F passion. 'he 4no3ledge he 5eant 3as not that o2 s)ien)e6 3hi)h at one point he des)ribed as IsideF sho3s6 spe)ialised real5s o2 4no3ledge only )ollaterally )onne)ted 3ith the real ad7an)e5ent6 the true 5aturity.J19% (hat he sought 3as 4no3ledge )onne)ted 3ith insight and understanding6 4no3F ledge 3hi)h )ould )o5pletely alter a person>s nature. 1or he belie7ed Buddhist pra)ti)e )ould enable a person to )hange the )onstitution o2 his being through the po3er o2 the I5ental ele5entJ so that Ihis nature and subseDuent )areerJ191 )ould be altered.

1#!Ibid.6

p.1#9N The Middle Way6 $9/16 p.#8. of Bur a6 p.M!. 1#&Ibid.6 p.MM. 1#8Ibid.6 p.9#&. 1#9I'he <a3 o2 GighteousnessJ in Buddhis 6 Kol. 1/96 p.9!M. 19%Religion of Bur a6 p.9&#. 191I8ental CultureJ in Buddhis 6 Kol. #/#6 p.#8$.
1#MReligion

#!

:nanda 8etteyya>s response to (esterners 3ho branded 5editation as sel2ish and indi7idualisti) 3as lin4ed 3ith this@that 5ental )ulture and the )hanges it brought ulti5ately bene2itted all6 sin)e I2ro5 the Buddhist 7ie3Fpoint6 all re2or5ation6 all atte5pt to help on li2e6 )an best be e22e)ted by 2irst re2or5ing the i55ediate li2eF4ingdo5 o2 the >sel2.>J19# +ne pra)ti)e 3hi)h :nanda 8etteyya re)o55ended as a)tionF)hanging at the beginning o2 the path 3as 5editation on an ob0e)t su)h as the brah5a7ih?ra ,Idi7ine abodesJ- or an attribute o2 eEist F en)e. +ne o2 the 5ost 5o7ing eEpressions o2 this )o5es in his arti)le I'he Gule o2 the Inner HingF do5J 3hen he spea4s o2 the rush o2 po3er 2or a)tion 3hi)h )ould )o5e 3hen 5editating on )o5pasF sion ,'aruG@-/ 'hat thrill o2 pity on)e a3a4ened6 dire)ted as in our passage to the 5ultitudinous beings )aught in the surging 3hirlpool o2 Cra7ing6 Passion6 and Illusion is to be d3elt on6 5agni2ied6 puri2ied in our thoughts6 al3ays 3ith our ideal as its substratu56 3ith the idea that this de2inite )ulti7aF tion o2 an e5otion other3ise only o))asional6 3ill open 2or us the entran)e to the Path@the path that leads to po3er to help relie7e the sorro3 o2 the 3orld.199 Gight I3at)h2ulnessJ or Ire)olle)tednessJ6 the translation he gi7es o2 satipaBBh@na6 is a 2urther pra)ti)e re)o55ended to all6 in)luding beginners. He de2ined it as the obser7ation and )lassi2i)ation o2 thought6 spee)h6 and a)tion6 and Ithe )onstant appli)ation to ea)h and all o2 the5 o2 the .o)trine o2 Sel2lessnessJ 3ith the thought6 I'his is not I6 this is not 8ine6 there is no Sel2 herein.J 19$ ; 5eti)ulous dis)ipline o2 3at)hing the )ons)iousness 3as reDuired. 'his6 :nanda 8etteyya insisted6 )ould lead to higher 2or5s o2 5editation6 to sa5?dhi6 through 3hi)h sudden re7olutionary insight or gnosis 3as possible. :nanda 8etteyya6 o2 )ourse6 )ould spea4 3ith eEperien)e o2 the dangers o2 5editation. He 4ne3 personally the reality and entran)e5ent o2 iddhi6 psy)hi) po3ers. He 4ne3 that they )ould 2eed the sense o2 II6J not banish it. 'hus he 3as ada5ant that 5editation 3rongly pra)tised 3as 3orse than the absen)e o2 5editation/ XBYut6 i2 su)h attain5ent should result in the eEaltation o2 our sel2Fhood6 the 5agni2i)ation o2 our >I6> then 3e ha7e done har5 2ar greater than 5any li7es o2 3orldly ignoran)e )ould result in. ;nd6 on the other hand6 e7ery least a)t6 here in this our 3orld6 3hi)h tends to abnegation o2 sel2 @ea)h deed o2 lo7e and pity and help2ulness 3e do@is another steppingFstone 3e ha7e laid in the shallo3s o2 li2e6 o7er 3hi)h 3e 5ay presently pass to li2e>s 1urther Shore o2 Pea)e. 19! 1or the 3ord sa @dhi6 :nanda 8etteyya )ould 2ind no adeDuate English translation. ICon)entrationJ he rarely used. IE)stasyJ 3as better and he )hose the si5ile o2 a 2la5e. Csually the 5ind is li4e a 2li)4ering 2la5e6 he eEplained6 in )ontinual os)illation bet3een )ons)iousness and un)ons)iousness. In sa5?dhi6 the 2la5e burns steadily and the oneness o2 li2e is seen )learly/ Iit is only in its steadyF burning ardour that the higher 3isdo56 the true understanding o2 the +neness o2 <i2e that 5a4es 2or Pea)e6 )an be 3on.J19M Here6 he see5s to eDuate sa5?dhi 3ith insight6 in this )ase 3ith a nonFdualisti) a3areness o2 our inter)onne)tedness 3ith all that is. :nanda 8etteyya did not 2reDuently 5ention the 0h?nas. But there is one intense des)ription in his 3ritings o2 an eEperien)e 3hi)h he lin4ed 3ith entering the 2irst 0h?na6 although its Duality spea4s 5ore o2 the attain5ent o2 strea5Fentry. 8editation on )o5passion 3as the preparation 2or it and then )a5e a burst o2 liberating )ons)iousness beyond hu5an thought/ ;s 2ro5 the heart o2 a dar4 thunder)loud at night ti5e 3hen nought or but a little o2 earth or hea7en )an be seen6 suddenly the lightning 2lashes6 and 2or an instant the unseen 3orld glea5s 2orth in instantaneous light6 light penetrating e7ery dar4est )orner6 2lushing the )louded s4y 3ith 5o5entary glory@so then6 at that great 5o5ent6 3ill )o5e the realisation o2 all our toil. o 3ords6 no si5iles6 no highest thought o2 ours )an adeDuately )on7ey that 5ighty realisationN
19#Religion 199Ibid.6

of Bur a6 p.#9#. pp.9#9"9%. 19$Ibid.6 p.8&N Wisdo of the Aryas6 p.9$. 19!Religion of Bur a6 pp.$%&"8. 19MIbid.6 p.999.

#M

but then6 at that ti5e6 3e shall 4no3 and seeN 3e shall realise that all our li2e has )hanged o2 a sudden6 and 3hat o2 yore 3e dee5ed Co5passion@3hat o2 old 3e dee5ed the ut5ost attainF 5ent that the 5ind or the li2e o2 5an )an )o5pass@that is ours at lastN 3e ha7e 3on6 a)hie7ed6 and entered into the Path o2 3hi)h 5ere 3ords )an ne7er tell.19& E)stati) 0oy is present here6 the Duality o2 the 2irst and se)ond 0h?nas. 'here is also the presen)e o2 )o5passion. :nanda 8etteyya did not o2ten 5ention upe44h?6 eDuani5ity6 the Duality lin4ed 3ith the third and 2ourth 0h?nas. =et6 there is one interesting de2inition o2 it. In an arti)le )alled I'he Path o2 ;ttain5ent6J he eEplained it as I.is)ri5ination or ;loo2ness 2ro5 the 3orldly li2e.J 198 'he 3ord Idis)ri5inationJ is signi2i)ant here. ;n a)ti7e Duality is brought in6 perhaps in response to those 3ho 3anted to stereotype Buddhis5 as a path o2 apatheti) nonFin7ol7e5ent. Cpe44h?6 as nonFatta)hF 5ent6 is lin4ed 3ith the ability to 0udge ob0e)ti7ely and there2ore a)t 3isely. :nanda 8etteyya6 ho3e7er6 did not see 5o5ents o2 e)stasy as an end in the5sel7es6 though his des)ription o2 the5 re7eals an al5ost sel2F)ontained intensity. 'hey 3ere the ser7ants o2 ethi)al li7ing and the hard dis)ipline o2 5ental )ulture. In one o2 his 5ost signi2i)ant senten)es6 he )lai5s that the heart o2 the Path 3as not through su))essi7e IsubtilisationsJ o2 the 2alse idea o2 sel2hood6 not through the 0h?nas6 Ibut in the 7ery hu5blest6 si5plest6 and 5ost inti5ate o2 all dire)tions that the heart o2 5an )an turn and tra7el in ... so does the portal o2 the Path stand 3ide 2or all o2 us 0ust only 3hen@ though it be but 2or a 5o5ent@3e 2orget our Sel2N and li7e6 aspire6 and 3or4 2or <i2e at large.J 199

19&Ibid.6

pp.999"9$. of the Aryas6 p.1%$. 199Ibid.6 pp.1#!"#M.


198Wisdo

#&

&ha'ter "
Buddhis# as 'ocial Co##ent
(hile ;llan Bennett>s eEperi5entation be2ore he tra7elled to Sri <an4a )entred on 5editation6 breath )ontrol6 drugs6 and esoteri) 4no3ledge6 it 3as )o5bined 3ith a )on)ern 2or so)ial issues su)h as 3ar6 )apital punish5ent6 the sale o2 ar5s6 and i5perial eEploitation. ineteenth )entury (estern 5o7e F 5ents )onne)ted 3ith 'heosophy6 spiritualis56 2reethought6 and esoteri) 4no3ledge 3ere IdissidentJ in that they 3ere a rea)tion against a )ulture 3hi)h stressed the hege5ony o2 ChristianF ity6 the rhetori) o2 E5pire6 and the superiority o2 (estern )i7ilization. 'hey not only 5ounted a reli F gious )hallenge to Christianity but also a so)ial )hallenge to the i5perialisti) )ulture Christianity had spa3ned. Criti)is5 o2 so)iety6 espe)ially the (estern 5odel6 is apparent in 5u)h o2 :nanda 8etteyya>s 3ritings. His 5essage 3as not purely personal. (ithin the (est he sa3 deep disillusionF 5ent 3ith the opti5is5 o2 the past and )lai5ed I3e slo3ly )o5e to understand that all our deepest hopes 5ust be abandoned6 all our oldFti5e thoughts 5ust ta4e on so5e ne3 dire)tion.J1$% :nanda 8etteyya>s started his )ritiDue o2 the (est by )iting 5oral )orruption arising 2ro5 sel2ish )ra7ing and indi7idualisti) )o5petition. In his editorial in the 2irst edition o2 Buddhis56 he painted a 7i7id pi)ture o2 the (est losing religion as past generations 4ne3 it and )onde5ned the result beF )ause o2 the loss o2 5oral bearings/ ;part altogether 2ro5 the 5isery that that )i7ilization has spread in lands beyond its pale6 )an it be )lai5ed that in its internal polity6 that 2or its o3n peoples6 it has brought 3ith it any di5inu F tion o2 the 3orld>s su22ering6 any di5inution o2 its degradation6 its 5isery6 its )ri5eN abo7e all6 has it brought about any general in)rease o2 its nati7e )ontent5ent6 the eEtension o2 any su)h 4no3ledge as pro5otes the spirit o2 5utual help2ulness rather than the )urse o2 )o5petitionA1$1 I oJ6 3as his ans3er. eEt6 he )riti)ised the (est>s 3ar 5a)hine6 tearing ten 5illion 5en a3ay 2ro5 use2ul ser7i)e6 I3aiting but a 3ord to let Hell loose on earthJN then he turned to al)ohol6 I)ro3ded ta7erns6J Io7er2lo3ing gaols6J and Isad asylu5sJ to pro7e that there had been no in)rease in happi F ness in the (est be)ause it had )on)entrated too 5u)h on Ithe 5ultipli)ation o2 5aterial possessions6J ignoring Ithe )ulture o2 the highest 2a)ulties o2 the 5ind.J 1$# In the 2ourth issue o2 Buddhis56 the )onde5nation 3as e7en 5ore pointed. He 3ent through re)ent )enturies in the (est to highlight the barbaris5 present/ that )hildren )ould be hanged 2or stealing anything o7er the 7alue o2 a shillingN that a 5an 4illed by lightning )ould be denied a Christian burial be)ause it 3as thought to be the punish5ent o2 LodN that Si5pson o2 Edinburgh )ould be )onde5ned 2or dis)o7ering )hloroF 2or5 as an anaestheti)N that .ar3in )ould be the sub0e)t o2 bitter in7e)ti7e. He lin4ed su)h things to Ipri5ae7al sa7ageriesJ1$9 2lo3ing 2ro5 the Christian heritage and the 2ero)ity o2 its perse)ution o2 4no3ledge. :nanda 8etteyya there2ore o7erturned the a))epted rhetori) o2 E5pire and i5perial )onDuest@ that the (est 3as the )arrier o2 )i7ilization@and his a)tions 3ere as eEpli)it as his 3ords. 'he 7ery 2a)t that he learnt at the 2eet o2 Sri <an4ans and Bur5ese 3as a 7isible )ontradi)tion o2 su)h 7alues6 an i)on pointing to a di22erent perspe)ti7e. Both his 3ords and a)tions Duestioned the 7ery heart o2 the i5perial 7enture@patriotis5 and nationalis5. In a tal4 gi7en during his 5ission to England6 he lin4ed the5 3ith )ra7ing and the sel2/ I(hether 3e ter5 it 8y .esire or 8y .isli4eN or6 going 2urF ther a2ield6 stri2e 2or Sel2>s Belo7ed or Sel2>s )ountry6 it is the Sel2 3hi)h 5a4es the Belo7ed +ne dear or Country 3orthy o2 de7otion.J1$$ In The Religion of Bur a 6 it 3as to a 5ista4en )linging to )hangeF lessness and Sel2hood that he attributed the5/
1$%Religion 1$1I'he

of Bur a6 p.1!8. 1aith o2 the 1utureJ in Buddhis 6 Kol. 1/16 p.1#. 1$#Ibid.6 p.19. 1$9I'he e3 Ci7ilizationJ in Buddhis 6 Kol. 1/$6 pp.!9!"9M. 1$$The Middle Way6 Kol. #96 o7e5ber 19!$6 p.1#M.

#8

8an builds his pyra5ids6 his shrines to all eternity/ and ere the stones be 2ast )e5ented6 already the in7isible 3or4 o2 dissolution has begun.... ISo long as the sun shall shine upon this land our Eagles shall rule o7er itJ )ried the Go5an generalsN but 3here on earth today endures one 7estige o2 Go5e>s iron 5ightA 'oday6 in littleFaltered 3ords6 our generals boast it6 toF5orro3 ,i2 haply 5en shall gro3 no 3iser in the 5eanti5e than to slay ea)h other li4e the brutes-6 to5orF ro3 the sa5e 3ords 3ill be pro)lai5ed by 5en notFunderstanding o2 a nation yet unborn.1$! It 3as the 7iolen)e )aused by su)h arrogant eEpansionis5 3hi)h appalled hi5 5ost. In another artF i)le his atta)4 3as e7en 5ore spe)i2i)/ It is the (rong Kie3/ II a5 EnglishN glorious English nationality is 5ine6 so it beho7es 5e to 2ight against persons 3ho ha7e another sort o2 Sel2F'heory6 and say/ > o6 but a 'euton I.>J It is that (rong Kie3 3hi)h no3 5a4es ne)essary that the bul4 o2 the resour)es o2 e7ery bran)h o2 the (estF;ryan ra)e is 3asted on ar5a5ents o2 3ar@3asted6 3hen so 5u)h 5ight6 in the present state o2 our 4no3ledge6 be a)hie7ed by 5an6 3ere that great 3ealth to be eEpended in )o5bating6 not only physi)al disease6 but also those 2ar 5ore 2atal 5ental si)4nesses6 to 3hi)h so 5u)h o2 (estern 5isery is due.1$M ;nother 3rong 7ie3 he dete)ted in Ki)torian )ulture 3as the belie2 that there 3as a 0oy and happi F ness in li2e that )ould be gained through possessions. It 3as not so 5u)h the e22e)t on the a)Duisiti7e indi7idual that he )riti)ised as the so)ial ineDuality it nurtured. His 3ords be)a5e a 2rontal atta)4 on (estern )apitalis5/ 'o produ)e that 7ast array o2 things really useless6 thousands and hundreds o2 thousands o2 3oF 5en6 5en6 and e7en little )hildren 5ust li7e sDualid and hopeless li7es6 e7er in 2ear o2 so5e )atastrophe o2 )o55er)e that 5ay depri7e the5 o2 2ood6 3ar5th6 and shelter.1$& <oo4ing at Bur5a in )o5parison6 :nanda 8etteyya sa3 a nation in2initely 5ore )i7ilised and 5ore happy than that o2 Britain/ In Bur5a ,a5ongst the Bur5ese people- there is not6 2or eEa5ple6 a single orphanage in the landN and6 3hat is 5u)h 5ore to the point6 there is not a single Bur5ese )hild in the land that is star7ing. ;s4 any person 3ho has li7ed6 really in )onta)t 3ith this Bur5ese people/ ;5ongst 3hi)h o2 the t3o6 Bur5a>s siE 5illions or <ondon>s siE 5illions6 is there the greater su22eringN 3hi)h as a 3hole has 5ost o2 happinessA 'hat one 3ill tell you that he doubts i2 the 3hole o2 Bur5a )an she3 you as 5u)h sDualor6 as 5u)h star7ation6 as 5u)h do3nright pre7entable huF 5an agony as any one o2 <ondon>s slu5s re7eals.1$8 It is not that he sa3 no 3rong in Bur5a. 1$9 It 3as the arrogan)e o2 the (est in see4ing to )i7ilise those 3ho 3ere 5ore )i7ilised that he atta)4ed. (hen 3ar bro4e out bet3een Gussia and Japan in 19%$6 3hilst deploring the 3ar6 he praised Japan 2or shattering the stereotype the (est had i5posed on it@ o2 an unintelligent6 3ea4 ra)e in)apable o2 standing up 2or itsel2. 1!% He )a5e to the point o2 al5ost 0usF ti2ying Japan>s response be)ause it pun)tured the (est>s )on2iden)eP It 3as outrageous6 he belie7ed6 that the (est should tra5ple on )ultures per5eated by a religion 3hi)h had Idone 5ore to pro5ote the true )i7ilization o2 the 3orld than any o2 the great Geligions 3hi)h 3e 4no3.J 1!1

0o'e throu*h Science


In spite o2 :nanda 8etteyya>s )riti)is5 o2 the (est6 in his early 3ritings he sa3 hope in t3o de7elop F 5ents@s)ien)e and the )o5ing o2 Buddhis5. Illustrations ta4en 2ro5 s)ien)e 2ill his 3ritings and there is an eE)ite5ent about s)ien)e>s potential to destroy relian)e on spe)ulation and Iblind 2aith.J
of Bur a6 pp.199"$%. pp.#1&"18. 1$&Ibid.6 pp.#19. 1$8IPropagandaJ in Buddhis 6 Kol. #/#6 p.19%. 1$9See IIn the Shado3 o2 the Sh3e .agonJ in Buddhis 6 Kol. 1/$6 p.M916 3hen the Itur5oil and )la5ourJ o2 Gangoon is )ontrasted to the Duietness o2 rural areas. 1!%Buddhis 6 Kol. 1/$6 pp.M$922. 1!1I'he 1aith o2 the 1utureJ in Buddhis 6 Kol. 1/16 p.91.
1$MIbid.6 1$!Religion

#9

Be2ore the 1irst (orld (ar6 he )ould )lai5 that the 4no3ledge s)ien)e 2ostered 3ould pa7e the 3ay to Ia grander and 5ore stable )i7ilization than e7er the 3orld has 4no3nN to a uni2i)ation o2 the s)iF en)es and a 3ider )o5prehension o2 the la3s o2 natureN and6 last o2 all6 to a)tual Hno3ledge6@to the true )o5prehension o2 the nature o2 li2e and thought and hen)e o2 the uni7erse in 3hi)h 3e li7e.J 1!# He 3ent on to )lai5 that 5oral progress had resulted 2ro5 the prin)iples o2 s)ien)e and added that Iit is in this 7ery 2a)t o2 the substitution o2 unerring Geason 2or the transitory drea5s o2 the e5otions that the possibility6@nay6 gi7en ti5e enough the absolute )ertainty6@o2 the uni7ersal eEtension o2 this e3 Ci7ilization lies.J1!9 He sa3 Geason leading to an appre)iation o2 'ruth6 3hi)h 3ould hu5anise so)iety and brea4 3ar and ra)e hatreds. (ithin religion6 there 3ould be less intoleran)e 2or Isin6J a greater realisation that Ie7ilFdoing is in truth a disease that in 5any )ases 5ay be )ured6J and an understanding that Itrue Geligion is li7ing a noble li2e6 and not holding this or that 7ie3 about the nature o2 the .eity6 or the origin o2 >sin.>J1!$ He 3as also )on7in)ed that only ti5e 3as needed 2or the se)rets o2 the uni7erse to be re7ealed through s)ien)e. By this6 he not only 5eant truth about the 5aterial 3orld but also truth about the psy)hologi)al and the spiritual. 'o hi56 eEperi5ents into the nature o2 the thought 3a7es e5anating 2ro5 the 5ind 3ere pure s)ien)e. He 3as inspired by the 3or4 into Iaetheri)J 3a7es done by Heinri)h Gudol2 Hertz1!! and 3as )on7in)ed that this 3as rele7ant to the study o2 the 5ind. <ying behind this hope in a 2uture guided by reason 3as an e7olutionary theory. ;lthough :nF anda 8etteyya re0e)ted the 'heosophist>s 7ie3 that ea)h hu5an possessed a soul on an ine7itable up F 3ard e7olutionary )ourse6 he sa3 e7olution 3or4ing 3ithin so)ieties as a 3hole. He pi)tured this as a 5o7e5ent 2ro5 )hildhood to adulthood and des)ribed t3o progressions6 one )onne)ted 3ith )o5F passion and the other 3ith 3isdo5. (ithin the 2irst6 the stage o2 )hildhood 3as 3hen good 3as done 2ro5 2ear o2 punish5ent. ;doles)en)e )a5e 3hen the 5oti7ation )hanged 2ro5 2ear to the sel2ishness 3hi)h sa3 that good deeds 3ould bring happy 2uture li7esN the stage o2 adulthood6 3hen renun)i F ation triu5phed o7er all sel2Finterest and good 3as done out o2 pure )o5passion6 3ith no eEpe)tation o2 re3ard.1!M In the area o2 3isdo56 )hildhood 3as the real5 o2 blind 2aith6 3hen 5usts and 5ust nots are a))epted 3ithout Duestion as the di)tates o2 a hypotheti)al supre5e being. ;doles)en)e 3as the age o2 in7estigation and Duestioning6 and adulthood the age o2 understanding. (hen :nanda 8etteyya loo4ed at the (est 2ro5 Bur5a be2ore his 5ission6 he sa3 the age o2 in F 7estigation. He sa3 reason beginning to triu5ph o7er an ontology based on 2aith. He 3as 3illing to praise the (estern 5ind 2or its Iin)o5parable a)hie7e5entsJ in s)ien)e 1!& and he loo4ed 2or3ard to an age o2 understanding as s)ien)e and Buddhis5 0oined hands. So6 an al5ost es)hatologi)al hope )an be seen at this ti5e. He )an end an arti)le in 19%$ 3ith the 3ords/ Surely that day 3ill )o5e6 though Sorro36 ser7ant o2 es)ien)e6 be tardy in the tea)hing.... Hatred gro3n into <o7e6 and all the dar4ness o2 Ignoran)e illu5ined by the <ight o2 <ights6 3hi)h is the <a3 o2 Ctter5ost Co5passion/@thus shall it be on earth 3hen the Lreat <a3 shall ha7e at last 3or4ed out the .estiny o2 8an/@in that supre5est .ay 3hen <o7e and (isdo5 shall ha7e )onDuered all Hu5anity6 and opened 2or all 2eet to tread the (ay to the Illi5itable Pea)e.1!8 He 3as e7en able to spea4 at this ti5e o2 a IPo3er that 5o7es to righteousness and brings all beings to the greater <ight/ the Po3er o2 (isdo5.J 1!9 His en)ounter 3ith Buddhis5 brought hi5 hope 2or the 2uture o2 hu5an so)iety. 'he 1irst (orld (ar se7erely battered :nanda 8etteyya>s 2aith in s)ien)e as a hu5anising 2a)tor. His belie2 that the (est )ould be rea)hing adoles)en)e by se7ering itsel2 2ro5 the blind 2aith he assoF
e3 Ci7ilizationJ in Buddhis 6 Kol. 1/$6 p.!99. p.!$%. 1!$Ibid.6 p.!$!. 1!!Heinri)h Gudol2 Hertz ,18!&"9$- 3as a Ler5an physi)ist 3ho )on2ir5ed the eEisten)e o2 ele)tro5agneti) 3a7es and sho3ed that they obeyed the sa5e rules as light. 1!MIGight ;spirationJ in Buddhis 6 Kol. #/16 p.9. 1!&Religion of Bur a6 p.#!9. 1!8I'he <a3 o2 GighteousnessJ in Buddhis 6 Kol. 1/96 p.9&M. 1!9Religion of Bur a6 p.##M.
1!9Ibid.6 1!#I'he

9%

)iated 3ith Christianity 3as destroyed and he 3as thro3n ba)4 into an a3areness o2 )ra7ing at the root o2 hu5an eEisten)e. So6 in 19#%6 3hen he too4 o7er the editorship o2 The Buddhist Review6 he 3rote/ 'he 5ar7ellous ad7an)e o2 physi)al s)ien)e during the past )entury has been to a great eEtent una))o5panied by su)h parallel i5pro7e5ent in 5atters o2 5orality and sel2Frestraint as 3as essential to the preser7ation o2 stability.... 1or stability6 it is essential that e7ery ad7an)e in the )onDuest o7er nature should be a))o5panied by an eDual ad7an)e in the )onDuest o7er sel2N@ o7er the spirits o2 greed and passion and a5bition6 3hi)h ha7e brought this late )ala5ity upon our (estern 3orld.1M% It is as though the 3ar 2or)ed :nanda 8etteyya to )o5e ba)4 to the heart o2 the Buddha>s 5essage. Ho3e7er )o5patible reason and s)ienti2i) 5ethod 5ight be 3ith Buddhis56 he sa3 that the t3o are not enough by the5sel7es be)ause they )an be put to the ser7i)e o2 )ra7ing and sel2ishness 0ust as 5u)h as 2or)es o2 unreason. =et6 the 2inal 3ritings o2 :nanda 8etteyya still )ontain tre5endous hope and opti5is5. He stood be2ore the Buddhist So)iety on Kesa4 .ay 19186 3hile the 3ar still raged6 and ad5itted that it apF peared that Iall our 3orld is ro)4ing about us to its 2all6J that 2or)e 3as triu5phing o7er reason6 hate o7er truth and lo7e6 heartless greed o7er )harity. 1M1 He re)ounted the )o55entarial story 3hi)h tells o2 the Sa4yans> 3illingness to be destroyed rather than 2ight and suggested that su)h an a)tion 3ould ha7e been better 2or Britain in the )urrent 3ar. 'here )ould ha7e been no star4er )ontrast 3ith his 3ords in 19%$.1M# =et he eEhorted e7eryone to ha7e 2aith that Ithe LoodJ 3ould )onDuer in the end and to hold 2ast to the )ulti7ation o2 the IHeart>s Hingdo5J 3here truth and )o5passion lay. He )onF )luded/ (hen6 then6 the dar4 )louds o2 the sad 3orld>s drea5ing gather thi)4 around usN 3hen grie2 and pain assail usN 3hen po7erty 2ills our li7es 3ith sDualid )areN 3hen the 7ast agony o2 li2e about us grips our hearts 3ellFnigh to su22o)ationN e7en 3hen death itsel2 dra3s nearN in ea)h and e7ery bitter )ir)u5stan)e o2 li2e 3e )an 2ind sola)e and ne3 inspiration in the <a3 our 8aster le2t.... ;nd so6 re5e5bering6 re5e5bering ho3 that great hope )a5e to usN ho3 He that 3on it 3as no Lod6 but one 0ust li4e oursel7es6 3ho su22ered through li2e a2ter li2e6 yet e7er stro7e to 2ind a (ay that all 5ight 2ollo3 to the <ight Beyond all <i2e.1M9 +n that Kesa4 .ay6 3ith 3ar raging6 :nanda 8etteyya turned people in3ards to the springs o2 their 2aith and hope. ;2ter the 3ar6 he urged Buddhists in Britain to 5o7e out3ards. +ne thing the 3ar had done6 he belie7ed6 3as to sha4e people out o2 apathy. 1e3 houses had been untou)hed by tragedy. 8aterialis5 no longer satis2ied. 'here 3as a Duest 2or 5eaning. 'here2ore6 in 19#%6 he )ould 3rite that Ino period )ould possibly be 5ore propitious to the 2ul2il5ent o2 our ai5s than that upon 3hi)h 3e ha7e enteredJ1M$@the ai5 being building Buddhis5 up in Britain. ; progression )an6 there2ore6 be seen in :nanda 8etteyya>s thought. In his early years as a 5on46 s)ien)e6 reason6 and the .ha55a see5ed to o22er 0oint hope to the 3orld. In his later years6 as his physi)al su22ering in)reased6 it 3as the .ha55a 3hi)h too4 pre)eden)e6 as a li7ing 'ruth. It 3as not s)ienti2i) ad7an)e6 he realised6 that 3ould pa7e the 3ay 2or the a))eptan)e o2 Buddhis5 in the (est but the eEperien)e o2 du44ha6 su22ering6 and the gli5pse o2 an alternati7e to it. So6 e7entually6 it 3as not the s)ienti2i) laboratory 3hi)h :nanda 8etteyya loo4ed to 3hen he 3anted the 3ar5th o2 inspirF ation but the religious li2e o2 Bur5a. In his 191& le)tures6 the )ontrast he depi)ted bet3een the bright F ness and intensity o2 Buddhist 2aith in Bur5a and the greyness o2 3arti5e England 3as ai5ed at the heart rather than the intelle)t6 at eEperien)e rather than rational argu5ent. I'ill I 3ent out to the East6J he de)lared6 II did not 4no3 3hat it 3as to eEperien)e the a3a4ening to the Buddhist light o2

Buddhist Review6 Kol. 1%6 19#%6 pp.18M"8& pp.1$1"$#. 1M#See note #%. I'he e3 Ci7ilizationJ ,in Buddhis 6 Kol. 1/$6 p.!M%-6 also published in 19%$6 7oi)es a si5ilar es)hatologi)al hope. 1M9Ibid.6 pp.1$&"$8. 1M$The Buddhist Review6 Kol. 1%6 19#%6 p.181.
1M1Ibid.6

1M%The

91

day.J1M! In the (est6 he added6 one )annot 2ind religion as su)h Ia 7i7id6 potent6 li7ing 2or)eJ as in the East/1MM 1or you 5ust understand that this is no 5ere )utFandFdried philosophy@as it 5ay see5 to one 3ho reads o2 it out here in boo4s@but a li7ing6 breathing 'ruthN a 5ighty po3er able to s3eep 3ho5soe7er )asts hi5sel2 3holeheartedly into its great strea5s6 2ar and beyond the li2e 3e 4no3 and li7e.1M& Buddhis5 2or :nanda 8etteyya 3as both rational 'ruth and also 2or)e6 energy. It not only ga7e hi5 a 5eaning2ul philosophy o2 li2e but also 2aith in a tea)her6 hope in an ulti5ate purpose 2or the uniF 7erse and 5oti7ating energy6 3hi)h )ould uphold hi5 in the dar4ness o2 3ar. 'he intensity o2 this a3areness so5eti5es 5ade the .ha55a appear to hi5 as a bright6 al5ost tangible6 eEternal 2or)e leading hu5an e22ort on3ards. 'here is a re5ar4able passage 2ro5 his 191& tal4s in 3hi)h the Buddha and the .ha55a are seen as the sour)e and strea5 o2 regenerating and liberating po3er. E)hoing Ed3in ;rnold6 :nanda 8etteyya stressed that there 3as a po3er I3hereby 3e 5ay en2ran F )hise that droplet o2 <i2e>s o)ean 3hi)h 3e ter5 oursel7es6J a po3er 3hi)h 5o7ed to good and 5ani F 2ested itsel2 as sy5pathy and )o5passion. He re2used to na5e it other than as ultraFpersonal6 I5a4 F ing 2or per2e)tion6J but he lo)ated it in the Buddha and the .ha55a and )lai5ed that6 in its highest aspe)t6 it I)onstitutes that 2or)e 3hereby 3e are e7er6 so to spea46 dra3n up3ards out o2 this li2e in 3hi)h 3e li7e6 to3ards the State Beyond@ ir7ana6 the Loal to3ards 3hi)h all <i2e is slo3ly but surely 5o7ing.J1M8 I belie7e this a3areness o2 a positi7e 2or)e 2or good )ould ha7e been the )ause o2 )ensure a5ong so5e British Buddhists 3ho had adopted Buddhis5 purely be)ause it 3as a rational philosophy 2ree o2 su)h things as de7otion and energy generated by )orporate religion. 'he signi2i)ant thing is that6 in the harshness o2 3arti5e <i7erpool and 3ith the pain o2 in)essant illness6 ;llan Bennett re5ained hope2ul and rooted in the .ha55a. He returned to tea)hing. He re5ained true to his 7o)ation as a 5issionary Buddhist. It 3as a re5ar4able a)hie7e5ent. I belie7e it 3as his 3ill6 his understanding6 the energy gi7en to hi5 by the 5e5ory o2 the Buddha>s )o5passion and Bur5a 3hi)h 3ere responsF ible. It 3as all o2 this 3hi)h )ould 5a4e hi5 say in 191& that he )ould see no greater 3or4 on earth Ithan to atte5pt to bring this li7ing po3er6 this glo3ing light into our (estern dar4ness.J1M9

- Messa*e for Today1


Has Ken. :nanda 8etteyya anything to say to us at the end o2 the t3entieth )enturyA He stands at the interse)tion bet3een Ki)torian )ulture6 3ith its heady 5iEture o2 E5pireFbuilding orthodoEy6 s)ienti2F i) dis)o7ery6 politi)al dissent6 and religious Duestioning6 and the loss o2 opti5is5 3hi)h )hara)terised the 2irst Duarter o2 the t3entieth )entury. Part o2 his hope has )ertainly been realised. Buddhis5 is no3 7ery 5u)h part o2 the (est. 'housands there ha7e understood its 5essage and e5bra)ed it. ; 5onasti) Sangha eEists. 'ea)hers 2ro5 Bur5a6 Sri <an4a6 and 5any other )ountries 3ith a Buddhist heritage ha7e uprooted the5sel7es to settle there. 8any o2 the 5is)on)eptions about Buddhis5 3hi)h :nanda 8etteyya tried so hard to )orre)t ha7e been dis)redited. 1e3 no3 belie7e that Buddhis5 is nihilisti) and 5any see it as 5u)h 5ore than a I)utFandFdried philosophy.J =et 5any o2 :nanda 8etteyya>s insights are6 I belie7e6 still a )hallenge both to East and (est. 'hey bear 3itness to a net3or4 o2 )on)erns that are being o7erloo4ed in a global )ulture 3hi)h stresses in F di7idualis56 instant grati2i)ation6 and a)Duisiti7eness. Challenge )o5es both 2ro5 the heart o2 :nF anda 8etteyya>s appre)iation o2 Buddhis5 and 2ro5 the spe)i2i) so)ial issues he isolated. 'o begin 3ith the so)ial6 5any o2 the issues highlighted by :nanda 8etteyya are still o2 )riti)al i5F portan)e today. 1irstly6 he pointed to the ineDualities and sDualor )reated by the rise o2 )apitalis5 in Britain and lo)ated its )ause in greed based on the 5ista4en 7ie3 that 0oy )ould be a per5anent posF session through 5aterial goods. 'oday6 global ineDualities 5ushroo5 2or the sa5e reason 3ith the
1M!Wisdo 1MMIbid.6

of the Aryas6 p.!. p.iE. 1M&Ibid.6 p.&. 1M8Ibid.6 p.119. 1M9Ibid.6 p.8.

9#

ri)h be)o5ing ri)her on the ba)4 o2 the )heap labour o2 the poor. 8ultinational )o5panies lo)ate their a)ti7ities 3here the labour is )heapest in order to produ)e )onsu5er ite5s 2or so)ieties already reF plete. Buality o2 li2e is o22i)ially 5easured by the ability to buy )onsu5er goods and the health o2 naF tions by the a5ount o2 su)h goods produ)ed. 'he guiding ethi) is pro2it and e)ono5i) 7iability rather than hu5an health and 3ellFbeing. Se)ondly6 :nanda 8etteyya 3as repulsed by the eE)esses o2 British i5perialis5 and the internaF tional trade in 3eapons. He 3arned against nationalis5 as a perni)ious eEtension o2 sel2Flo7e based on ignoran)e o2 the truth o2 i5per5anen)e. 'oday6 nationalis5 based on religious and ethni) )lai5s is tearing 5any )ountries apart6 2uelled by the international ar5s trade. :nanda 8etteyya>s )hallenge is that6 in )on2li)t6 Ithe +therJ should not be seen as a separate entity but as )onne)ted 3ith Sel26 3ithin the +ne <i2e o2 the planet. He stressed that har5 done to the +ther is har5 done to Sel2. He pointed to the 2a)t o2 i5per5anen)e and then to the ulti5ately destru)ti7e and pointless Duality o2 3ars 2ought to 5aintain and eEpand spheres o2 po3er and in2luen)e. Patriotis5 3as not glorious@it )ould lead to 3ar and the destru)tion o2 hu5an li2e. In isolating the t3o issues o2 nationalisti) 3ar and e)ono5i) in0usti)e6 :nanda 8etteyya tou)hed the pulse o2 the 3hole o2 the t3entieth )entury in a propheti) 3ay. His indi)t5ents 5ight be 7ery si5ilar today. 'o 5o7e to :nanda 8etteyya>s appre)iation o2 Buddhist do)trine6 he did not e5phasise in his 3ritings the 5ore te)hni)al aspe)ts o2 Buddhis5. So5e o2 the )ategories he uses do not e7en spring 2ro5 the teEtual tradition. I26 2or instan)e6 he had a sound 4no3ledge o2 ;bhidha55a6 so 5u)h e5 F phasised by Bur5ese Buddhists6 he did not )o55uni)ate it in his arti)les and le)tures. His 5ain )on F )ern 3as to des)ribe a path6 a agga6 and to lead others to it. It is a path 3hi)h )hallenges 5any )onF te5porary so)ial and spiritual trends6 parti)ularly those that )lai5 there are no 7alues or belie2s ha7F ing ob0e)ti7e and uni7ersal 7alidity. 'he highest e7olution o2 the hu5an 5ind and heart6 he stressed6 lay in renun)iation@o2 greed6 sel2Fgrati2i)ation6 and any thought o2 re3ard 2or good a)tions. 'his Duestions the 7alidity o2 any 2or5 o2 religious pra)ti)e6 outside Buddhis5 or 3ithin it6 3hi)h trades on )urrent (estern interest in sel2F 2ul2il5ent and a I2eel goodJ 2a)tor. It also 2osters a so)ial )ons)iousness 3hi)h re)ognises the alar5F ing potential o2 the hu5an ra)e to )reate so)ieties 3here ineDuality and 7iolen)e are ende5i)6 rooted in hu5an greed and ItribalJ )o5petition. 'he )onseDuen)e o2 ta4ing seriously :nanda 8etteyya>s stress on renun)iation is to dis)o7er that the only true religious path is one 3hi)h runs )ounter to the do5inant ethos o2 the t3entieth )entury . ;nother aspe)t o2 the path 3as re)ognition o2 inter)onne)tedness. 'his perhaps resonates 5ore 3ith the end o2 the t3entieth )entury than 3ith the beginning. 1or6 as in the nineteenth )entury6 disF sent is present and this dissent is ha7ing an in2luen)e on publi) )ons)iousness. Inter)onne)tedness has al3ays been stressed by 8ahayana Buddhists. o3 it is the )larion )all o2 parts o2 the e)ologi)al 5o7e5ent and leading so)ially engaged Buddhists su)h as 'hi)h hat Hanh are 2inding an eager audien)e 2or it.1&% hat Hanh>s e5phasis on IinterbeingJ as 5oti7ation 2or so)ial in7ol7e5ent e)hoes :nanda 8etteyya and 5a4es hi5 see5 surprisingly )onte5porary. 'hen there are those 3ho hold that the planet is one li7ing organis56 Laia. 'his also see5s to tou)h :nanda 8etteyya>s thought 3ith his stress on the I+ne <i2e.J onFeEploitation o2 the en7iron5ent and nonFeEploitation o2 others or onesel2 3ould ha7e 5ade as 5u)h sense to :nanda 8etteyya as it does to )ountless en7iron5ent F ally )ons)ious people today. :nanda 8etteyya>s e5phasis on )o5passion as the highest 2or)e 3ithin the uni7erse also e)hoes do3n the de)ades 3ith )onsiderable po3er. Co5passion6 he insisted6 3as the other side o2 an appre F )iation o2 du44ha. 'he 7ery 2a)t that :nanda 8etteyya hi5sel2 had to endure so 5u)h physi)al pain 5ade hi5 re5ar4ably sensiti7e to the pain o2 others. 8aybe he 2ound that the only possible 3ay to
hat Hanh6 a Kietna5ese 5on4 no3 li7ing in eEile in Plu5 Killage6 a retreat )entre in 1ran)e6 is the author o2 o7er siEty boo4s. He has o22ered 3hat he )alls I'he 1ourteen Pre)epts o2 the +rder o2 InterbeingJ 3hi)h stress an ethi) o2 nonFhar5ing6 toleran)e6 and respe)t 2or sel2 and others. He sees the5 as a reFphrasing o2 the 1i7e Pre)epts 2or the 5odern 3orld.
1&%'hi)h

99

endure pain 3as to see it as part o2 )os5i) pain6 an insight 3hi)h )ould 3ell ha7e trans2or5ed his personal pain into )o5passion 2or all. 'his un3a7ering e5phasis on the i5portan)e o2 )o5passion should )hallenge us all. :nanda 8etteyya rarely spo4e o2 )harity6 eE)ept as a 7irtue 5ar4ing the beginning o2 the path. 8eritF5a4ing he lin4ed 3ith the real5 o2 )hildhood. But )o5passion6 he belie7ed6 3as a po3er 3hi)h )ould )hange the )ons)iousness and destiny o2 the hu5an ra)e. +2ten he )o5bined it 3ith the idea o2 lo7e6 but it 3as a lo7e stripped o2 possessi7eness or any attribute 3hi)h 3ould )onne)t it 3ith greed6 need6 or a sel2. :nanda 8etteyya stressed the need 2or a personal dis)ipline o2 5indF)ulture. He 3as )on7in)ed that the 2ruit o2 this )ould be both personal liberation and the destru)tion o2 a )hain o2 su22ering stret)hing into the 2uture. He 3as also )on7in)ed that it released a)ti7e )o5passion into the 3orld. 1or :nanda 8etteyya6 5editati7e deta)h5ent and )o5passionate a)tion 3ere not in)o5patible opF posites. 'o the )ontrary6 they 3ere interdependent and inseparable Dualities o2 li2e. 'his is a 5essage that the 3orld still needs to hear.

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2ournals 3uoted4
Buddhis : An .llustrated Review6 edited by Bhi44hu :nanda 8etteyya6 Gangoon. The Buddhist6 published by the 'heosophi)al So)iety6 Colo5bo6 Sri <an4a. The Buddhist Review6 the organ o2 'he Buddhist So)iety o2 Lreat Britain and Ireland. Published by 'he Buddhist So)iety6 <ondon. The Middle Way6 0ournal o2 'he Buddhist So)iety6 <ondon.

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