Allan Bennett in Colonial Ceylon

The Life of Allan Bennett, Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya - (Volume 1 of Allan Bennett, Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya: Biography and Collected Writings) - Elizabeth J. Harris

Elizabeth J. Harris [+-]
University of Birmingham
Elizabeth Harris is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow within the Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion, University of Birmingham, UK. Before this, she was an Associate Professor at Liverpool Hope University. She specializes in Buddhist Studies and inter-faith studies, and has published widely in both disciplines. Her publications include: What Buddhists Believe (Oneworld, 1998): Theravada Buddhism and the British Encounter: Religious, missionary and colonial experience in nineteenth century Sri Lanka (Routledge, 2006): Buddhism for a Violent World: A Christian Reflection (Epworth, 2010/now published by SCM).
John L. Crow [+-]
Florida State University
John L. Crow holds a Ph.D. in American religious history from Florida State University, where he is an instructional design faculty member assisting other faculty in course design and use of education technology.

Description

Chapter Two examines Bennett’s brief but important time in Ceylon, when he explored both Buddhism and Śaivism, opting in the end for Buddhism. Bennett arrived at the beginning of 1900 and almost immediately travelled from Colombo to the south of the island to study Pali and Buddhism at a vihāra (Buddhist monastery/temple) in Kamburugamuwa. After about six months, he returned to Colombo, where he then studied yogic practices under a Hindu politician and Śaivite teacher, who was becoming internationally known, Ponnambalam Ramanathan (1851-1930). In July 1901, he delivered a lecture on Buddhism at a Theosophical Society lodge in Colombo. Shortly afterwards, he travelled to other parts of the island with Aleister Crowley, and then to colonial Burma for ordination as a Buddhist monk. This chapter demonstrates that Bennett’s path towards ordination passed through Hindu yoga, meditation and ritual.

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Citation

Harris, Elizabeth; Crow, John. Allan Bennett in Colonial Ceylon. The Life of Allan Bennett, Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya - (Volume 1 of Allan Bennett, Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya: Biography and Collected Writings). Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Mar 2025. ISBN 9781781797983. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=36333. Date accessed: 25 Jun 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.36333. Mar 2025

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