Lama Anagarika Govinda (born Ernst Lothar Hoffmann, May 17, 1898–January 14, 1985) in Waldheim, Germany, was the founder of the order of the Arya Maitreya Mandala and an expositor of Tibetan Buddhism, Abhidharma, and Buddhist meditation as well as other aspects of Buddhism. He was also a painter and poet. After having made a comparative study of the major religions, he became a convinced Buddhist at the age of 18. He lived and studied in Capri and Sri Lanka as a celibate homeless layman (Anagarika) and was instrumental in founding the International Buddhist Union (IBU) in 1929. On a visit to Tibet, he embraced Tibetan Buddhism. He spent time in India and was interned there by the British during World War II. He toured the world for decades teaching, becoming friends with numerous prominent teachers. For health reasons he finally settled in the San Francisco Bay area, where he and his wife were taken care of by Alan Watts and Suzuki Roshi's San Francisco Zen Centre. In San Francisco he established a branch of his order, called Home of Dhyan. He remained mentally agile despite suffering from several strokes from 1975 onwards. During an evening discussion on 14.1.1985, he suddenly felt a sharp pain in his neck that traveled downwards. He lay down on his right side and died laughing.


"Let us not already think of enlightenment, let us first of all think of our peace of mind, our peace of heart, of our loving attitude towards others. These simple foundations. If people start with the idea of Enlightenment they should first start with the first steps before they aim at the very summit."

"We should be receptive like a vessel like a vessel which receives the divine power of the universe which is also in us you see."

"You will automatically go from stage to stage. You will get, without knowing it, higher and higher or deeper and deeper however you may call it."

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