Our Lineage

________First Generation begins

1852 _The Lotus Sutra was translated by Eugene Burnof, beginning the translation of Buddhism to the West.

1873 _News of The Great Debate at Panadura, Sri Lanka, reaches Colonel Henry Steel Olcott.

1875 _Madame Helena Blavatsky, Colonel Olcott and others found the Theosophical Society.

1879 _Sir Edwin Arnold’s The Light of Asia was published.

1880 _Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott travel to Sri Lanka and become the first-generation of Western Buddhists by Going for Refuge to the Three Jewels and undertaking the five ethical precepts.

1881 _Thomas William Rhys-Davis founds the Pali Text Society.

1893 _Chicago hosts the World’s Parliament of Religions, attended by Anagarika Dharmapala and Swami Vivekananda, respectively representing “Southern Buddhism” and “India”. Anagarika Dharmapala conducts the first Buddhist conversion ceremony on American soil, leading C.T. Strauss in Going for Refuge to the Three Jewels and undertaking the five ethical precepts

________Second Generation begins

1902 _Charles Henry Allan Bennett, a member of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, becomes the first British Buddhist monk and receives the name Ananda Metteya, becoming a second-generation Western Buddhist.

1903 _Anton Gueth meets Ananda Metteya in Sri Lanka and travels to Burma to become the first continental European Buddhist monk, receiving the name Nyanatiloka Thera and becoming a second-generation Western Buddhist.

________Third Generation begins

1905 _R.J. Jackson and J.R. Pain (both second-generation Buddhists) preach in Regents Park, London, with Ananda Metteya and others. They founded the Buddhist Society of England, attended by Travers Christmas Humphreys, who becomes a third-generation disciple.

1924 _Christmas Humphreys founds the London Buddhist Society as an offshoot of a Theosophical lodge.

1928 _Ernst Lothar Hoffmann moves to Sri Lanka and trains under Nyanatiloka Thera, becoming a third-generation Western Buddhist, before eventually taking on the name Anagarika Govinda.

________Fourth Generation begins

1944 _Burmese monk U Thittila presides over the London Buddhist Society when Dennis Phillip Edward Lingwood attends and becomes a fourth-generation Western Buddhist by Going for Refuge to the Three Jewels and undertaking the five ethical precepts.

1949 _Dennis Lingwood receives monastic ordination in India by the Burmese monk U Chandramani and is given the name Sangharakshita.

1951 _Lama Anagarika Govinda becomes spiritual friends with Sangharakshita.

Lama Govinda and Urgyen Sangharakshita
Lama Govinda, the senior most third-generation Western Buddhist, talking with Sangharakshita

1956 _Sangharakshita guides his spiritual friend Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar in Going for Refuge to the Three Jewels and undertaking the five ethical precepts from his preceptor, Venerable U Chandramani.

1957 _Kyabje Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche gives Sangharakshita his first Vajrayana initiation. Seven months later, Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro Rinpoche gives Sangharakshita four more Vajrayana initiations.

1959 _Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, gives Sangharakshita eight Vajrayana initations.

1962 _Manly Palmer Hall publishes, The Western Paradise of Amitabha, explaining the Rite of Buddhahood. And Kachu Rinpoche, a Tibetan spiritual friend and teacher of Sangharakshita introduces him to Padmasambhava and gives him the name “Urgyen.”

1966 _Urgyen Sangharakshita’s conversations with his Chinese spiritual friend and teacher Yogi Chen are published as Buddhist Meditation: Systematic and Practical.

Yogi Chen
Yogi Chen dictating his magnum opus, Buddhist Meditation: Systematic and Practical, to Urgyen Sangharakshita

________Fifth Generation begins

1967 _Urgyen Sangharakshita permanently returns to England and begins a new form of Western Buddhism.

1978 _Urgyen Sangharakshita condenses Yogi Chen’s teachings into A System of Meditation for modern Buddhists, the basis of Pacific Buddha’s meditation instruction.

________Sixth Generation begins

1990’s _Disciples from the Baby Boomer generation begin training Gen X Buddhist disciples in the emerging distinct emphases of Western Buddhism.

________Seventh Generation begins

2010’s _Disciples from the Gen X generation begin training Millennial Buddhist disciples in the condensed distinct emphases of Western Buddhism.