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The Buddhist and Theosophical Movements

The Buddhist and Theosophical Movements
Item Code: IDG878
Author: C.V. Agarwal
Publisher: Maha Bodhi Society of India
Language: English
Edition: 2001
Pages: 104 {6 Illustrations in B/W}
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.7" X 5.7"

Dr. C.V. Agarwal has gathered in this book interesting and useful information on the great work done by Colonel H.S. Olcott to help the Buddhist cause. He has emphasized that the true Buddhist and the real Theosophist are not concerned with labels, but with the welfare of humanity, for which the Lord Buddha himself toiled. To those who are dedicated to the supreme aim of freeing the human mind from its tragic ignorance and travail, superficial differences cease to be of importance.

The book relates in detail how Buddhists and Theosophists laboured in friendship to raise Buddhist ideals and teachings to a rightful place of dignity at a time when they were looked down upon under colonial rule. In the future too, the author urges, the common task of spiritual emancipation can be carried on in friendship and co-operation.

May this book, prepared with much zeal by Dr. Agarwal help to enlighten people about the past and bring about a greater sense of understanding among the servants of humanity.

Radha Burnier
International President
The Theosophical Society


It is not written significance that 1991 was the Centenary year for both the Maha Bodhi Society in India and the Indian Section of the Theosophical Society. The history of the Buddhist revival in the present era dates back to the Panadura debates of 1873 and the International Theosophical Society was founded in 1875. The early history of these two great movements is intimately linked. Later, in their adolescence, they manifested their distinctive characteristics though the goal for the good, for the gain, and for the welfare of all remained unchanged.

The centenary celebrations provided an opportunity for the exchange of views and close collaboration once again. It all started with Dr. Agarwal, General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in India, being the first principal speaker at our celebrations at Sarnath in November, 1991, followed by his visit to Sri Lanka at our invitation, and more recently Venerable L. Ariyawansa Mahathero, President of the Maha Bodhi Society of India, being the Chief Guest at the 117th Foundation Day celebration of the Theosophical Society held on 17 November, 1992 at Varanasi.

This book written at our suggestion, is a result of the coming together of the two sister organizations, and is aimed at giving information in an interesting story-like style about their collaborative work, especially in the early days. It is hoped that it will help to refresh our memories of the early ties and make them brighter and stronger in the days to come, and also that the organization will work together to dispel the darkness of ignorance and show the path to Enlightenment.

May the blessings of the Triratna rest on all,

Dr. M. Wipulasara Mahathero
Maha Bodhi Society of India

1 January 2536 B.E.


Foreword: Radha Burnier
Introduction: Ven M. Wipulasara Mahathero
Introduction to the Second Edition: Rewatha Thero
The Buddhist and Theosophical Movements

Introductory-Panadura Debate-Colonel Olcott and Mademe Blavatsky arrive in Sri Lanka-Winning Rights for Buddhists-Buddhists Education-Funds for Buddhist Education-Debates and Tours-Forging Unity-Religious Agitation Spread-Dharmapala joins T.S.-Organized Propaganda-Buddhist Catechism-national Holidays and other Rights in Sri Lanka-Newspapers Started-Buddhist Flag-The Burmese Respond-The Land of the Rising Sun-The Northern and the Southern Schools join Hands-South East Asia-Buddhism in the West-The Bodhya Gaya Temple-Founding of the Maha Bodhi Society-At the World parliament of Religious-Differences in Approach Arise-Common Work for the Scheduled Castes-Colonel Olcott Retires; Other Theosophists Come Foreword-Continued Interest of Theosophists-Recent Contacts between the Buddhists and the Theosophists-the Common Purpose-Fundamental Buddhistic Beliefs-12 Principles of Buddhism-References.

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