Anagarika Dharmapala

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Birthday
17, 1864
Birthplace
Sri Lanka
Death Date
Apr 29, 1933 (68)
Birth Sign
Virgo
Birthday
17, 1864
Birthplace
Sri Lanka
Death Date
Apr 29, 1933 (68)

About

Both a Buddhist religious leader and a writer, Dharmapala helped create the peaceful Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism movement; revived Buddhism in India; and taught the principles of the faith throughout the Asian, European, and North American continents.

Before Fame

After attending several elite, English-language schools in his native Sri Lanka, he made a pilgrimage to India's Mahabodhi Temple and subsequently founded the Maha Bodhi Society with the aim of reinstating Buddhist principles and practices in India.

Trivia

His Buddhist ideology and teachings, which are modernist in character and reconcile science and religion, were influenced by Protestant and enlightenment ideals. His religious writings include The World's Debt to Buddha (1893), The Constructive Optimism of Buddhism (1915), and Message of the Buddha (1925).

Family Life

The child of wealthy merchants Mallika Dharmagunawardhana and Don Carolis Hewavitharana, he spent his youth in Colombo, Ceylon (modern-day Sri Lanka). Born Don David Hewavitharane, he grew up with brothers named Charles (later a physician and Indian Independence movement leader) and Edmund (who became a prominent businessman).

Associated With

While attending Chicago's World Parliament of Religions, he became acquainted with another popular Buddhist figure, Swami Vivekananda.