Writings by Sangharakshita

New Writings

Sangharakshita’s writings 2015 - 2018 in Kindle, ePub and PDF format

Adhisthana Writings – Twelve pieces composed between August 2015 and March 2016 beginning with a letter to Sangharakshita’s friend, Paramartha, who was suddenly called away to the other side of the world, and continuing in the form of reveries and reminiscences. The subjects to which he turns his mind include his parents, the sūtras, the supernormal, beauty and many others.

Living With Carter – Completed in April 2017. In this piece Sangharakshita tells how he met Carter, a young American hippy, and recalls their life together at the end of the 1960’s.

Some Reflections on the Garava Sutta - In the Garava Sutta the Buddha declares that it is painful to live without honouring and respecting anyone. In this important article Sangharakshita explores the implications for contemporary Buddhists.

The Good Friend, the False Friend, and the Spiritual Friend - In this piece, written in May 2017, Sangharakshita’s starting point is the Upaḍḍha Sutta of the Saṃyutta Nikāya and the Buddha’s oft-quoted words to Ānanda about the place of kalyāṇa mittatā (Skt: kalyāṇa mitratā or spiritual friendship) in the spiritual life. From there he goes on to explore the nature of friendship from a whole number of different points of view.

Four Visits - Written in June 2017, ‘Four Visits’ is a kind of story; a work of the Imagination, the mode of communication here is symbol, image, and archetype.

A Complex Personality: A Note - Among the many thoughts condensed into Sangharakshita's ‘Personal Statement’ of 30 December 2016 was the reflection that 'Triratna sometimes bears the mark not of the Dharma but of my own particular personality. That personality is a complex one’. What Sangharakshita meant by that has been a topic of some discussion and some six months later he added this Note elucidating his meaning.

Hints to a Hypothetical Artist - Completed on 12th August 2017, in this essay Sangharakshita writes about two of his literary heroes who, unusually, were not only great poets but also great artists. At the end of the piece he invites a 'Hypothetical Artist' to illustrate one of his own recent pieces of writing.

Evil in Myth and in Human Experience - Completed in September 2017, in this piece Sangharakshita considers the origins of evil, both natural and moral, the value of confession, (as well as rejoicing in merits), and looks in turn at each of the four Māras of Buddhist tradition.

Blake and the Gates of Paradise - Completed in October 2017, in this piece, taking William Blake for inspiration, Sangharakshita explores how mutual forgiveness would bring us nearer to the realisation of Blake's Jerusalem or, in Buddhist terms, to the creation of a Pure Land on earth.

'News from Nowhere' - and from India - In 'News from Nowhere', William Morris, one of the great Victorians, compares the England of his day with the socialist England of the future, when privilege and inequality would be swept away in the fires of revolution. Taking this as his starting point, Sangharakshita contrasts Morris's conception of revolution with the Dhamma revolution started in India by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

'My Uncle Leonard' and 'A Brace of Uncles' - Written over a couple of evenings in November 2017, here Sangharakshita remembers some of his uncles.

Evil Revisited – and Good - In this piece Sangharakshita returns to the subject of evil which he had addressed in September, this time including references to Blake, Nietzsche and Avalokiteśvara / Kuan Yin.

Green Tārā and the Fourth Lakṣaṇa - Composed during the latter part of December and completed on New Year’s Day 2018, the starting point here is the four sādhanas received from Jamyang Khyentse Rimpoche: Mañjughoṣa, Avalokiteśvara, Vajrapāṇi , and Green Tārā, and their ‘correspondence’ (in the hermetic sense) with the lakṣaṇas, the samādhis, and the vimokṣas leading to a series of reflections on the Path of Beauty in western spiritual tradition and its relevance for Buddhists of today.

The Bodhisattvas are also necessary - written in early 2018, in this piece Sangharakshita commences with a story told to him by one of his teachers, and from there he goes on to reflect on the significance of Bodhisattvas in his life and that of all Buddhists.

Rainbows in the Sky - In this piece completed on 22 January 2018, Sangharakshita recalls rainbows from his childhood days through to his Going Forth in 1947 and most recently as appeared over Adhisthana on his ninetieth birthday. And he affirms the place of Padmasambhava - the Rainbow-bodied one - in the life of the Order from the very beginning, and explains that a remark he made in 2009 about a re-founding of the Order "can only be in the sense of making the original foundation stronger".

A Passage to America - In this piece, written in March 2018, Sangharakshita recalls his first flight to America nearly fifty years ago, on his way to teach a term at Berkeley, with reflections set off by viewing the flight information screen above his window seat.

Disparities - Writing in April 2018, Sangharakshita reflects here on disparities of power in various different relationships - and on how one can use whatever power one possesses either negatively or unskilfully, on the one hand, or positively and skilfully on the other.

Dreams Old and New 1 and 2 - In these two pieces, written April-May 2018, Sangharakshita recalls some of the dream worlds he has inhabited. They include ashrams, churches, woodlands, and outer space. Sometimes the scene seems contemporary; sometimes from Ages of the past.

Science and Poetry - A Note - After reading Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time and Carlo Rovelli’s Reality Is Not What It Seems, in this piece written over three nights towards the end of June 2018, Sangharakshita reflects on the connection between science and poetry, and their common language of insight, intuition, inspiration and imagination.

Buddhism and Islam - Starting in his teenage years by reading three translations of the Koran, Sangharakshita has long taken an interest in the cultural, philosophical and mystical sides of Islam, and in 1982 he led a seminar on Al-Ghazali’s The Duties of Brotherhood in Islam. In this article, written in July 2018, he reflects on this earlier interest, with further thoughts about contact today between Buddhists and Muslims, post ‘9/11’.

Islam and the Buddha - Following on from his previous piece, Buddhism and Islam, Sangharakshita discusses Shah-Kazemi’s Common Ground Between Islam and Buddhism, with special reference to an article of his own published sixty or more years ago, Religion as Revelation and Discovery.

My Muslim Friend - Here Sangharakshita writes for the first time about his friendship with Ramzan Ali whom he came to know towards the end of his years living in India. Both Ramzan’s mother and his ‘guru’ also feature in the story.

Rebirth Revisited - Sparked off by reading Bhikkhu Analayo’s recent publication, Rebirth in Early Buddhism and Current Research (Wisdom Publications 2018), Sangharakshita reflects on the place of rebirth in both the śrāvakayāna and the bodhisattvayāna, these two main forms of Buddhism being based respectively on the ideal of the Arhant and the ideal of Supreme Perfect Buddhahood.

A Word on the Mantrayāna - Writing in October 2018, Sangharakshita considers the significance of the Mantrayāna, also known as the Vajrayāna - through the practice of which it is said that with the help of mantras one may be able to achieve Supreme Perfect Enlightenment within a single human lifetime.

Recent Writings

Looking Back – In which Sangharakshita writes of his search for traces of his Lingwood ancestors in Suffolk, the results of the search, and his personal reflections arising therefrom.

Reveries and Reminiscences – A set of eight sketches in which Sangharakshita combines the describing of various recollections he has not elsewhere set to paper, with associative musings on various themes related to these recollections.

'A Mosaic of Memories' - A series of sketches detailing incidents from Sangharakshita’s childhood that he has not written of elsewhere.

Books by Sangharakshita

Books by Sangharakshita are available from  Windhorse Publications in the UK and Windhorse Books in Australia or from your local Triratna Centre. Selected titles have been published in the following languages: Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Gujerati, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Kanada, Marathi, Modern Greek, Polish, Portugese, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, Swedish, Telegu, Thai, Turkish.

Following is a list of books published by Sangharakshita.


Anagarika Dharmapala: A Biographical Sketch
Great Buddhists of the Twentieth Century

Books on Buddhism

The Eternal Legacy: An Introduction to the Canonical Literature of Buddhism
A Survey of Buddhism: It's Doctrines and Methods Through the Ages
The Ten Pillars of Buddhism
The Three Jewels: The Central Ideals of Buddhism

Edited Seminars and Lectures on Buddhism

The Bodhisattva Ideal
Buddha Mind
The Buddha's Victory
Buddhism for Today - and Tomorrow
Creative Symbols of Tantric Buddhism
The Drama of Cosmic Enlightenment
The Essence of Zen
A Guide to the Buddhist Path
Human Enlightenment
The Inconceivable Emancipation
Know Your Mind
Living with Awareness
Living with Kindness
The Meaning of Conversion in Buddhism
New Currents in Western Buddhism
Ritual and Devotion in Buddhism
The Taste of Freedom
The Yogi's Joy: Songs of Milarepa
Tibetan Buddhism: An Introduction
Transforming Self and World
Vision and Transformation
What Is the Dharma?
What Is the Sangha?
Who Is the Buddha?
Wisdom Beyond Words

Essays and Papers

Alternative Traditions
Crossing the Stream
Going For Refuge
The Priceless Jewel
Aspects of Buddhist Morality
Dialogue between Buddhism and Christianity
The Journey to Il Covento
St Jerome Revisited
Buddhism and Blasphemy
Buddhism, World Peace, and Nuclear War
The Bodhisattva Principle
The Glory of the Literary World
A Note on The Burial of Count Orgaz
Criticism East and West
Dharmapala: The Spiritual Dimension
With Allen Ginsburg In Kalimpong (1962)
Indian Buddhists
Ambedkar and Buddhism

Memoirs, Autobioraphy and letters

Facing Mount Kanchenjunga: An English Buddhist in the Eastern Himalayas
From Genesis to the Diamond Sutra: A Western Buddhist's Encounters with Christianity
In the Sign of the Golden Wheel: Indian Memoirs of an English Buddhist
Moving Against the Stream: The Birth of a New Buddhist Movement
The Rainbow Road: From Tooting Broadway to Kalimpong
The History of My Going for Refuge
Precious Teachers
Travel Letters
Through Buddhist Eyes

Poetry and Art

The Call of the Forest and Other Poems
Complete Poems 1941-1994
Conquering New Worlds: Selected Poems
Hercules and the Birds
In the Realm of the Lotus
The Religion of Art


Forty Three Years Ago: Reflections on My Bhikkhu Ordination
The FWBO and 'Protestant Buddhism': An Affirmation and a Protest
The Meaning of Orthodoxy in Buddhism
Was the Buddha a Bhikkhu? A Rejoinder to a Reply to 'Forty Three Years Ago'.

Reflections and Aphorisms

Peace is a Fire
A Stream of Stars