Sangharakshita Memorial Space

An impromptu 'Indexer's Obituary'

On Sun, 4 November, 2018 - 12:59
Satyalila's picture

I’ve been working on the index for Volume 13 of Bhante’s Complete Works for the last few weeks and finished it on Friday morning, having worked late into the night before.  It has felt like its own kind of vigil for Bhante to be doing this.  A great privilege to tend his ‘Dharma body’, or one physical manifestation of it, at least.  I’m not a professional indexer but a (supported) amateur - tho’ as Vidyadevi kindly reminded me, the etymology of amateur is all to do with love.

Sangharakshita’s Complete Works Volume 13 is called ‘East and West’ and brings together an extraordinary combination of his writings about both - Tibetan Buddhism and Creative Symbols of  the Tantric Buddhism rub shoulders with The FWBO and Protestant Buddhism and From Genesis to the Diamond Sutra.  The Essence of Zen is tucked in there too, along with an abundance of notes which root Bhante’s many passing references to suttas, sutras, western literature, art and the Bible in their original source material.  (Something which has not been done in this way before the Complete Works.  Just saying…)

Anyway.  Because there is much that is autobiographical in From Genesis to the Diamond Sutra, it necessitated an index entry on Sangharakshita, and various sub-entries on key topics.  On Friday morning I realised that this provided an interesting kind-of obituary of Bhante.  More in the manner of a mandala than a linear narrative of his life, of course.  And it’s not comprehensive, because there are different emphases in different volumes of the Complete Works. (Which is why we need to gather and publish them all..)  And yet.  Looking through the list of sub-entries I’d chosen, and discussing it with Vidyadevi, I felt it conveyed something worth sharing about ‘the depth of Bhante’s breadth’.  Typing this the image of him ‘bestriding’ east and west ‘like a colossus’ comes to mind.

I’ve attached a screenshot of the work-in-progress, but I’ll also post below the main content so it’s more legible - I included the entry before on Sangha because it’s so much part of Sangharakshita and adjacent in the index, tho’ there were no particular sub-headings to add about it (this time):

sangha  43; see also spiritual community
   early  195
      split in  44, 692n
   jewel  166
   in Mahāyāna  196–7
   on Refuge Tree  78
   and spiritual evolution  515
   and spiritual friendship  619
   in Tantra  197; see also ḍākinī, as esoteric sangha refuge
   in Tantric meditation  93
   Tibetan monastic  10
   and art  xviii, 443, 529, 587–8, 602, 631–2, 639, 650, 750
   and bodhisattva ideal  587, 750
   and books  528–9, 532–4, 549, 598, 610, 624
   and Christianity  406, 441, 525, 527, 529, 534, 665
      God  535, 565, 567, 645
      Jesus  567, 570, 575, 641
      saints  624, 627–8, 631–4
   and Diamond Sūtra and Sūtra of Wei Lang  323–4, 534, 611, 685n
   and ethics  411, 606–8
   and experiment  379
   family of  525, 525–7, 532
      parents  525–7, 549, 582, 606–7
   godparents  526
   and heaven, ‘of spirit’  528–9
   and homosexuality  610–12
   imagination of  529–30, 582–3
   and meditation  324
   memoirs  627–8, 700n, 749, 752
   Padmasambhava, receives initiation of  499
   and poetry  240, 427–8, 529, 534, 543, 582, 587, 589–90, 633, 639, 669, 720n, 752
   and supernatural beings  529, 585–8, 591, 597–8, 602–3
   teachers  408, 470
      Dhardo Rimpoche  41, 48, 262, 470, 587, 687n, 719n, 720n
      Dudjom Rimpoche  26, 673n, 684n
      Jagdish Kashyap  272, 627–8
      Jamyang Khyentse Rimpoche  108, 678n
      Kachu Rimpoche  24–6, 177, 499, 673n, 685n
      Yogi Chen  xiv, 94, 324–5, 350, 694n
   as translator  xiii, 633–4
   Urgyen and other titles  498–9
Śaṅkara  557, 569
Śāntarakṣita  9–11
San Zang  336

I’m now about to start on Volume 22, which contains In the Sign of the Golden Wheel and Precious Teachers.  This will come out next spring, along with Volume 13 (‘East and West’), Volume 4 (The Bodhisattva Ideal and Endlessly Fascinating Cry seminar) and Volume 2 (‘Three Jewels I’, which brings together all Bhante’s main writings about the centrality of Going for Refuge).

love to all beings


PS  We need to raise more funds to enable us to carry on and finish the Complete Works project - a project which Bhante himself initiated when he asked for it ‘for his 90th birthday present’ three years ago.  There’s more information about the project here and you can make a donation to the project in Bhante’s memory here.

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dharmavajri's picture

Thank you dear Satyalila for this timely outline of part the Index, a glimpse into Bhante’s huge legacy. And with great appreciation and good wishes to all involved in this precious project. Love, Dharmavajri