15 Facts About Anagarika Dharmapala


Anagarika Dharmapala was born on 17 September 1864 in Matara, Ceylon to Don Carolis Hewavitharana of Hiththetiya, Matara and Mallika Dharmagunawardhana, who were among the richest merchants of Ceylon at the time.

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Anagarika Dharmapala attended Christian College, Kotte; St Benedict's College, Kotahena; S Thomas' College, Mutwal and the Colombo Academy .

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Anagarika Dharmapala felt that the observance of all the vinaya rules would get in the way of his work, especially as he flew around the world.

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Anagarika Dharmapala eventually broke with Olcott and the Theosophists because of Olcott's stance on universal religion.

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Young Anagarika Dharmapala helped Colonel Olcott in his work, particularly by acting as his translator.

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Anagarika Dharmapala became quite close to Madame Blavatsky, who advised him to study Pali and to work for the good of humanity – which is what he did.

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In 1891 Anagarika Dharmapala was on a pilgrimage to the recently restored Mahabodhi Temple, where Siddhartha Gautama – the Buddha – attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, India.

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Anagarika Dharmapala did not hesitate to lay the chief blame for the decline of Buddhism in India at the door of Muslim fanaticism.

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In 1893 Anagarika Dharmapala was invited to attend the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago as a representative of "Southern Buddhism" – which was the term applied at that time to the Theravada.

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Anagarika Dharmapala is an excellent example of a Buddhist modernist, and perhaps the paradigmatic example of Protestant Buddhism.

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Anagarika Dharmapala was particularly concerned with presenting Buddhism as consistent with science, especially the theory of evolution.

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At this early stage of his career, Anagarika Dharmapala was concerned with making Buddhism palatable to his Western audience.

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Anagarika Dharmapala must be understood in the context of British colonization of Ceylon and the presence of Christian missionaries there.

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Anagarika Dharmapala illustrated the first three points in a public speech:.

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Anagarika Dharmapala has been blamed for laying the groundwork for subsequent Sinhalese Buddhists nationalists to create an ethnocentric state and for hostility to be directed against minorities unwilling to accept such a state.

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