Shakyamuni Buddha, painting by Aloka at the Nottingham Buddhist Centre
Shakyamuni Buddha, painting by Aloka at the Nottingham Buddhist Centre

Sangharakshita

Sangharakshita

Sangharakshita is the founder of the FWBO (Friends of the Western Buddhist Order). He has written over 30 books on Buddhism, as well as autobiographies, essays, and books of poetry.

Born Dennis Lingwood in South London in 1925, largely self-educated, he was very interested in the cultures and philosophies of the East and at the age of sixteen realised that he was a Buddhist.

The Second World War took him to India, where he stayed on to become the Buddhist monk Sangharakshita ('protected by the spiritual community'). Sangharakshita

Sangharakshita spent twenty-five years in India studying with teachers from each of the three major Buddhist schools during which time he founded a non-sectarian Buddhist centre. He was closely involved in India's "Dharma Revolution" of the fifties. This peaceful revolution, begun by Dr. Ambedkar, consisted of hundreds of thousands of former "untouchable" Hindus embracing Buddhism.

This revolution continues today with thousands of ex-untouchables finding self-respect and support through the compassionate teachings of Buddhism. On returning to England in the sixties, Sangharakshita founded the FWBO and the WBO. His aim was to help Buddhism take firm root in the West.

His energy and wisdom is testified to by the many thousands of lives that have been transformed by Buddhism, made available through the centres of the FWBO. He still inspires the FWBO, although he is no longer involved in its day-to-day activities.

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