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Other talks from Triratna Buddhist Order

Tracking a Rainbow Path - Reflections On the 75th Anniversary of Sangharakshita’s Going Forth

by Padmavajra (2022)

"I decided to go forth from the world as a homeless wanderer as the Buddha and his disciples had done. With me was my friend Satyapriya, whom I had met in Singapore. On the morning of 18 August 1947, therefore, we changed our civilian clothes for the traditional saffron of the ascetic and set out on foot for the plains. In the words of The Rainbow Road: ‘As we left Kausali it was raining, but as in the course of our descent we emerged from the clouds into the bright sunshine below, we saw arching the road, at intervals of a few dozen yards, not only a single but double and triple rainbows."

This is how Urgyen Sangharakshita describes his Going Forth in one of his final Adhisthana writings, ‘Rainbows in the Sky’. And to mark the 75th anniversary of this day and its significance for the Triratna Buddhist Order and Community worldwide, Padmavajra delivers a wonderful keynote talk to an assembled audience of friends in the Order.

In typically beautiful and uncompromising style, Padmavajra brings forth the poetry and formative significance of the act of Going Forth–in his teacher's life and in his own; revealing the connections between the mythic and the personal as he reflects on this foundational event for our lineage of practice in Triratna.

Drawing on his own memories of training with Sangharakshita–and of his later years working in the slums of India with a new generation of Buddhists escaping the scourge of the Hindu caste system–Padmavajra enjoins us to renew our own efforts, and in doing so to honour the place of Going Forth in our Buddhist community.

Talk given at Wymondham, England, August 2022

This talk is part of the series Going Forth, Going Beyond: 2022 UK & Ireland Order Convention.