Sunday, February 2, 2020

The first Western Buddhist monk was Irish, 1/5/16; Dhr. Seven, Pat Macpherson, Ellie Askew (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

MOVIE: The Dharma Bum
The first Westerner to be ordained as a Buddhist monk also became a hero in Asia for his radical anti-imperialist campaigning. He was an Irishman [not the Englishman Allan Bennet, aka Ven. Ananda Metteya, who usually gets the credit].

Yet, we’ve never heard of him. John Daly met filmmaker Ian Lawton, who is going to rectify that.

Irishman Lawrence Carroll (,or Laurence Carroll, Laurence O'Rourke, William Colvin), aka Venerable U Dhammaloka, led a colorful life in every sense.

Buddhism in Burma (Burma Dhamma)
A 19th century Dubliner born with wanderlust in his bones became an alcoholic hobo and spiritual free-thinker, who travelled the world by steam ship and cattle car, only to transform into U Dhammaloka — the world’s first Westerner to don the saffron robes of a fully ordained Theravada Buddhist monk.
A hero to millions for his outspoken political stance against the yoke of European colonialism across Asia during the late 1800s, Carroll’s extraordinary life story is all the more remarkable for being virtually unknown until relatively recently.

Born around 1850, he spent much of his youth in a transitory existence as a “tramp, shepherd, truckman, and tally clerk” across Europe and the USA, visiting California, before signing on as a stevedore on a steamer bound for China. More

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