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|Number of Pages||238 Pages|
Detlef Kantowsky’s Buddhisten in Indien heute (1999) brought to a German audience new material, including many photographs and documents, on six facets of Buddhists life in India today. This English translation by Hans-Georg Tuerstig will bring Kantowsky`s innovative study to an even wider audience. He has examined the literature on the New Buddhists, converts in the wake of Dr B.R. Ambedkar`s conversion to Buddhism in 1956, and also studied the All India Bhikkhu Sangha, the organization of monks chiefly from that conversion. The efforts of the Sangha as documented in their conferences are new material in the literature on the Ambedkar movement.
The Maha Bodhi Society chapter also contains an unusual document, a letter from the founder, Anagarika Dharmapala, and the chapter on Bodh Gaya introduces three maps from very different perspectives. The central meaning of Nagpur to the Ambedkar movement is brought out and the Indian wing of the British Friends of the Western Buddhist Order, the TBMSG, is analysed. The life of S.N. Goenka, who brought Vipassana meditation back to India, and his establishment, Dhammagiri, brings the book to a close.
Dr Kantowsky examines these facets of Buddhists today in a very personal way, including his opinions as well as the useful photographs and documents he has discovered in his journey among them. He has allowed Eleanor Zelliot to add her comments, sometimes contradictory, in a chapter at the end of the volume to which he replies in a Postscript. The result is a stimulating account of a living religion.