Facing Mount Kanchenjunga
In 1950 Kalimpong was a lively trading town in the intrigue-ridden corner of the world where India runs into Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkhim, and Tibet.
Like a magnet, it attracted a bewildering array of guests and settlers: ex-colonial military types, missionaries strait-laced, saintly, and doubt-ridden, princes in exile, pioneer Buddhologists, incarnate lamas from the Land of Snows….and Sangharakshita, the young English monk who was trying to establish a Buddhist movement for the local youngsters.
In this delightful volume of memoirs, glowing with affection and humour, Sangharakshita shares the incidents, encounters, and insights of his early years in Kalimpong. These include a brush with the Bombay film industry - and several more with the Buddhist 'establishment', a tour with the relics of the Buddha's chief disciples, a meeting with the 'Untouchables' saviour, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the discovery of a spiritual kinship with Lama Anagarika Govinda, and much, much more.
Behind the events we witness the transformation of a rather eccentric young man - as he must surely have appeared to his fellow expatriates - into a unique and confident individual, completely at home in his adopted world and increasingly effective as an interpreter of Buddhism for a new age.
'…He makes his points with all the finesse and resonance of a novelist. His deft prose should invite comparison with E.M. Forster.' (Times Literary Supplement)
1. On My Own in Kalimpong
2. A New Gate Opens
3. Stepping Stones
4. The Spirit of the Hills
5. Widening Circles
6. Acceptance and Rejection
7. Burma Raja and the Devas
8. Repairing the Damage
9. Traditions and Individual Talents
10. Preparing to Receive the Sacred Relics
11. Pretexts and Processions
12. 'The Hermitage'
13. Kindred Spirits
14. Contrasts in Kathmandu
15. A Big Setback
16. The Near and the Far
17. The Enemy of the Church
18. Discovering Dharmapala
19. A Re-enshrinement and a Reunion
20. Discussions in Bombay and a Reunion
21. A Fresh Beginning
22. New Arrivals in Kalimpong…and Dhardo Rimpoche