Sangharakshita’s arrival in India in 1944 marked the beginning of a period of prodigious literary and intellectual output. This was the base from which he would begin his life’s work for the future of Buddhism.
The essays gathered here, first published in journals such as Stepping Stones, The Maha Bodhi and The Middle Way, were written between 1944 and 1964. Ranging from The Unity of Buddhism, written in London at the age of only 18, to the panoramic A Bird’s Eye View of Indian Buddhism, published on his return from India, all that distinguishes Sangharakshita’s thought as teacher, synthesizer and translator is already evident here. We see the unity underlying all Buddhist schools, the inspiring ideal of the Bodhisattva, and the certainty that the Dharma is urgently needed in the modern world.
This volume contains the previously published collections Crossing the Stream and Early Writings, plus other articles long since out of print. In the groundbreaking Ordination and Initiation in the Three Yanas (1959), Sangharakshita first comes close to recognizing Going for Refuge as the unifying factor in all of Buddhism. In Krishna’s Flute (1944), the mind of the philosopher combines with the poet, and in A Visit to a Tibetan Monastery (1946), Sangharakshita the insightful traveller appears, seen later in his memoirs and travel letters.All the essays are fully annotated, and those previously published in Early Writings come with a detailed commentary and extensive introduction by Kalyanaprabha. A foreword by Nagabodhi introduces the collection. The insights and ideas expressed in these brief passages are as illuminating, as stimulating and as indispensable as anything Sangharakshita was ever to produce.