nine decades: a life in objects

Urgyen Sangharakshita turned 90 on August 26th 2015. His birthday wish was that his legacy of written Dharma be secure and continue to reach people all over the world. To mark the successful campaign to raise the funds required for his Complete Works here is a brand new series of 9 interviews with Sangharakshita – one for each decade of his life.

In these very personal conversations with Saddhanandi, Bhante chooses objects from each period and reflects on his long experience of trying to bring the Buddha’s Dharma to the world having first come across it in London in the 1940s.

listen to the first decade

First Decade: 1925-1935

Listen to the whole interview. Or to excerpts below.

Object 1: Chinese silk blue jacket

Decorated with the emblem of the lotus and the carp (a symbol of long life) – when Sangharakshita’s father and mother separate, his mother takes it with her and later uses some of the silk thread to sew a blouse for herself before giving it to her son.

Object 2: Volume of Children’s Encyclopedia

With a picture of Amida Buddha, given to Sangharakshita in 60 unbound parts when he was 8 – for more see early chapters in The Rainbow Road.


Object 3: Postcard of Mitcham Road, Tooting

Where Sangharakshita lived with his family until their house was bombed during the Blitz in World War II.