Lama Anagarika Govinda founded the Order of the Arya Maitreya Mandala on October 14th, 1933. The quarterly Buddhist India reported 80 years ago: “In order to promote the knowledge, coming advent and spiritual initiation of the Anagata Buddha or the Coming World Teacher Bodhisattwa Arya Maitreya amidst Buddhist people and masses [...] the Order of Arya Maitreya was inaugurated in a public meeting of the Darjeeling Buddhists of all subcommunities held on [...] the 14th October last held under the Chairmanship of the Anagarika Brahmachari Govinda, President, All-India Buddhist Literary Conference and Secretary, International Buddhist Union [...] Dr. Rabindra Nath Tagore, the poet of India sent in his messages whishing success and sympathising with the movement. 14 Members both of the laity and the clergy or
the Sangha joined [...].“
The Brochure illustrates in German language the guiding themes of the Order of the Arya Maitreya Mandala. It is written by the Upacarya Volker Zotz. Contents of the booklet: (1.) the myth of Maitreya and the ideal of the Bodhisattva, (2.) the example of the founder Lama Anagarika Govinda (3.) the philosophy, ethics, and meditation of Buddhism, (4.) Tantra as a a way of life in the practice of the Siddha, (5.) the order as a Mandala and Kula (family). More information available in German language www.arya-maitreya-mandala.at
A Festschrift in German language is published to honor Armin Gottmann’s 70th birthday, entitled Schnittstellen. Buddhistische Begegnungen mit Schamanismus und westlicher Kultur, with contributions by scholars of various disciplines in the Humanities. Among the authors are the Dutch psychologist Robert Janssen, the Austrian anthropologists Veronica Futterknecht, Heinz Pusitz and Birgit Zotz, the Japanese scholar in comparative literature Yukio Kotani, the German indologist Renate Huf, the Austrian scholar of English studies Karl Neumann, and the philosopher Volker Zotz who served as the volume's editor. The book is devoted to correlations of Buddhism with Shamanism and Western culture.
Additionally the Festschrift provides information on Armin Gottmann’s life and work. The neurologist and Jungian psychotherapist had been a student of Lama Anagarika Govinda from his early years. During his youth Armin Gottmann was living in India where he became also a disciple of Swami Kuvalayānanda (1883-1966) and Acarya Buddharakkhita. Lama Govinda appointed Armin Gottmann in 1976 as his future Dharma Inheritor. Since 1999 he serves as the Acarya, the spiritual leader of the Arya Maitreya Mandala, and is responsible to carry on Lama Govinda’s lifework.
Volker Zotz and Armin Gottmann
after the ceremony of ordination on May 11, 2013
The Acarya of the Arya Maitreya Mandala, Armin Gottmann, appointed Volker Zotz as Upacarya (“Vice-Acarya”) of the Order during a ceremony of ordination on May 11, 2013. Volker Zotz became a student of the Order’s founder in 1972 and was chosen as Nayaka Sthavira (“guiding elder”) of the Arya Maitreya Mandala by Lama Govinda in 1983.
The governing board of the Order consists of the Acarya, the Upacarya and the Vajracarya. The supreme head of the Order is the Acarya who is assisted by the Upacarya in leading the Arya Maitreya Mandala. The Vajracarya, Renate Huf, has special duties in keeping alive the traditions of tantric sadhana meditation as transmitted by Lama Govinda to his Order.
Robert Janssen, Paula de Wijs and Jan de Breet
(Photo: Joop Ha Hoek, Boeddhistisch Dagblad)
Robert Janssen and Jan de Breet have received the honour of knighthood in the chivalry Order of Orange-Nassau. The King or Queen of the Netherlands in recognition of extraordinary merits for society bestows this Order, which was founded in 1892 by the Queen regent Emma. Her Majesty Queen Beatrix appreciated the achievements of Robert Janssen and Jan de Breet in translating more than 5000 pages from Pali and Sanskrit into Dutch. Their joint translation work encompasses Dīgha-Nikāya, Khuddaka-Nikāya, Majjhima-Nikāya, Saṃyutta-Nikāya and the Buddhacarita of Aśvaghoṣa.
Robert Hubertus Conrardus Janssen has been professor in clinical psychology and personality theory at Vrije Universiteit (Free University) in Amsterdam until his retirement in 1986. He studied Pāli and Sanskrit with Prof. Tilmann Vetter at Leiden University. Robert Janssen was a personal disciple of Lama Anagarika Govinda who appointed him member of the supreme council of the Arya Maitreya Mandala. Johannes Adrianus de Breet studied Indology at Leiden University. He translated German and English language books on Buddhism into Dutch before starting the great translation project with Robert Janssen in 1997. The vice president of the Buddhist Union of the Netherlands, Paula de Wijs, accompanied Robert Janssen and Jan de Breet to the ceremony on April 26th 2013.
Some of the leading members of the Arya Maitreya Mandala from the German-speaking countries and functionaries of the Lama Govinda Foundation held a meeting in Pforzheim, Germany, from march 31st to April 3rd 2012. The program, under the guidance of the Acarya Dr. Armin Gottmann, offered meditation, talks on the practice of Sadhana according to Lama Anagarika Govinda, group discussions and interviews. After three days of extensive meditation and Sadhana practice there were talks about the future activities of the order in the German-speaking area.
|Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
A film inspired by Lama Anagarika Govinda’s expeditions to Tibet is now playing in Mumbai. It was produced 2011 by one of India’s great cultural institutions, the “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya”. It is based on the classical book The Way of the White Clouds, by Lama Govinda. Angana Jhaveri, the film's director, visualizes some of the book's most important ideas. She skillfully combines Lama Govinda’s touching words of wisdom and colourful scenes filmed in Tibetan monasteries in Northern India.
The starting point is Lama Govinda’s vision 1947 in the Red Temple of Tsaparang, when the „spirit of beauty“ appears out of a flower flanking Tārā’s throne: “Where there is beauty, even for a flashing moment, there some immortal chord is touched in us.” The film’s title Spirit of beauty is a reference to Lama Govinda’s conviction, that “art in its highest attainments becomes religion. Art is the measure for the living quality of a religion.”
The production in both Hindi and English versions was supported by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, as part of an educational film series. Actually Angana Jhaveri’s film is played continuously throughout the day at the Tibet section of the “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya”, the former „Prince of Wales Museum“ in Mumbai, Tuesday to Sunday,10:15a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Arya Maitreya Mandala worldwide commemorates one of the order’s great pioneers in Europe: Ernö Hetényi (1912-1999) would have celebrated his 100th birthday on 13th February 2012. Dr. Hetényi was an eminent Hungarian author, expert in Tibetan Studies and Buddhologist. Among his numerous books are Kőrösi Csoma Sándor dokumentáció and Tibeti tanítók titkos tanításai.
Hetényi has been initiated into the Arya Maitreya Mandala in March 1953. Lama Anagarika Govinda on account of his extraordinary abilities, appointed him as the leader of the Eastern European Branch of the order. In 1956 Dr. Hetényi founded the Alexander Csoma des Körös Institute for Buddhology, the order’s first academic institution in Europe. He has been very successful in strengthening the order’s ties with Buddhist communities and institutions in Mongolia and countries of the former Soviet Union.
Communist authorities in Hungary did not provide support for spiritual activities, and many compromises had to be negotiated. In spite of great difficulties Ernö Hetényi accomplished an extraordinary work by facing challenges without fear or hesitation. He never lost his convictions about what is important, nor his vision of the future of his order. His legacy will be a great source of inspiration for generations to come in the Arya Maitrea Mandala.
"Haus der Stille"
The Acarya, Dr. Armin Gottmann, will hold a course in German language on Meditation and Yoga at the Buddhist Center “Haus der Stille” near Hamburg in Germany from 15 to 18 March 2012. The course will combine Mantra-Meditation and daily lessons in Hatha-Yoga. Registration should be made directly with the “Haus der Stille” (www.hausderstille.org).
On invitation of the Austrian Branch of the Arya Maitreya Mandala the Acarya Dr. Armin Gottmann gave a lecture at the Buddhist Center Vienna on 11 November 2011. In his lecture the Acarya stressed the significance of Lama Govinda’s fresh approach to Buddhism for the West. It was very stimulating session and attentive listeners asked many questions about Lama Govinda and his contributions to modern spirituality.
Robert Janssen, Armin Gottmann, Volker Zotz
A small conference on the philosophical and spiritual heritage of Lama Anagarika Govinda was held from 15 to 17 June in the Netherlands. The Acarya of the Order of the Arya Maitreya Mandala, Dr. Armin Gottmann, met with Prof. Dr. Robert Janssen and Prof. Dr. Volker Zotz at Maitreya Institute in Amsterdam. Robert Janssen, the host of the meeting, is a clinical psychologist and indologist, who was appointed by Lama Anagarika Govinda as the leader of Arya Maitreya Mandala for the Netherlands. The three disciples discussed the most distinctive characteristics of Lama Govinda’s philosophy and meditative practices. On this occasion they also shared personal memories of their times with Lama Govinda who passed away a quarter of a century ago.
AMM's 80th anniversary - Der Kreis 270 (October 2013)
Brochure "Leitmotive des Arya Maitreya Mandala" released (August 2013)
A Book in Honor of Armin Gottmann (May 2013)
New Upacarya appointed (May 2013)
Arya Maitreya Mandala
The order of the Arya Maitreya Mandala follows the writings and oral teachings of its founder Lama Anagarika Govinda (1898-1985). Lama Govinda, a renowned scholar, writer, mystic, painter and poet, became widely known for his books The Way of the White Clouds and Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism.
The foundation of the order was inspired by Lama Govinda’s Tibetan teacher Lama Ngawang Kalsang, also known as Tomo Geshe Rinpoche I, who interpreted the coming Buddha Maitreya as a model for a spiritual life today, which is focused on the needs of the future. In accordance with this heritage the Order works out the core of Buddhist philosophy, ethics and meditation for contemporary people. The teaching of meditation is individual and has to suit the personal situation and the particular progress of the practitioner.
Beside its spiritual tasks the order engages in a variety of projects like researches, publications and organizing lectures and seminars on Buddhist culture, philosophy and meditation. As the current Dalai Lama puts it on the occasion of Lama Govinda’s 75th birthday in 1973: “The order of Arya Maitreya Mandala, founded by Anagarika Govinda, has done much to create and further interest in the culture and religion of Tibet among the people of the west.”
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