Like us, the Buddha lived in a world where politics had a profound influence on all aspects of life. So what was the Buddha’s attitude to politics?


A little to the south-east of the entrance of the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya are three stupas made out of carved stones held together by iron clamps. The form of these stupas and the decorations on them indicate that … Read the rest

After the Buddha himself, the most revered and universally popular figure in Buddhism is Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. Since his appearance in about the first century BCE this beloved bodhisattva has been worshipped with almost unparalleled fervor by the … Read the rest

When, in about 1455, Gutenberg printed his Bible it was hailed as a major technological and cultural achievement and for centuries after was considered to be one of the pivotal moments in human history. Before the invention of printing all … Read the rest

When the British took over Ceylon and Burma they used at first robust but gradually more subtle means to weaken the traditional religions; Hinduism but more so Buddhism, believing that the Anglicization of the subject peoples would make them more … Read the rest

The British major had ridden for days from Allahabad while on his way to Nagpur and had arrived in the small village of Bharhut just before sunset. That evening while resting in a villager’s house he noticed some carved stones … Read the rest

After the Buddha preached his first sermon at Isipatana he gave this commission to his audience; “Wander forth for the good of the many, for the welfare of the many, out of compassion for the world. Let no two of … Read the rest

As word of the Buddha’s passing spread delegations from the various states in north India converged on Kusinara hoping to get the ashes that remained after the Buddha’s cremation. The Sakyans wanted them because, as their representative said; “The Tathagata … Read the rest

A survey conducted last year found that the Pope is the most recognizable religious figure in the world. The second most recognizable is the Dalai Lama. The Pope’s high profile is understandable given that he is the head of 1.2 … Read the rest

King Asoka is widely acknowledged to be one of the most unusual, not to say one of the greatest, monarchs of all time. And it was Buddhism that made him so. He is also the first Indian king for which … Read the rest