In the Sign of the Golden Wheel
Full of curious episodes that could only happen in India – like the miracle of the talking calf, rumours of black magic in personal conflicts, and lamas with ‘supernormal powers’ – this engaging volume of memoirs recounts the unique experiences of an English Buddhist monk working in the mid-1950s to revive Buddhism in the land of its birth.
Sangharakshita’s lyrical descriptions evoke the kaleidoscope of the Indian landscape in delightful detail. With candour he relates his grittier encounters with royalty and religion, poverty and politics, corruption and ignorance.
His quest takes him all over the country – from his hermitage in Kalimpong in the Himalayas to collaboration with a film star in Bombay and the involvement in the spectacular festivals to celebrate 2,500 years of Buddhism.
The story reaches a moving and dramatic climax as he addresses thirty mass meetings in four days to console and encourage the hundreds of thousands of ex-Untouchables – who have just converted to Buddhism – following the sudden death of their hero, Dr Ambedkar.
Brimming with life and colour, the book is a notable addition to the canon of literature as we follow the spiritual adventures of an unorthodox and extraordinary Englishman.
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This book is by Sangharakshita. You might also be interested in The Complete Works of Sangharakshita, available in hardback, paperback and/or eBook volumes.