Buddhist Audio Books

Beating the Drum
Maha Bodhi Editorials
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 9781291109221
Read by Subhadra

Here are 71 editorials written by Sangharakshita for the Maha Bodhi, the Maha Bodhi Society’s monthly journal, during the years 1954 – 64. Beating the Drum contains an introduction, giving valuable background, but it is not included in this recording, only the actual editorials. Sangharakshita lived in India at that time, and he returned to England in 1964. He founded the FWBO, now renamed Triratna, a few years later in London. The editorials bespeak an intensity of vision, a devotion to the Buddha and His Teaching, and a deep-felt concern about people, animals, organisations and nations that together inhabit this planet. During this 10 year period, Buddhism in India made a quantum leap with the mass conversions to Buddhism carried out in 1956 at Nagpur.

An Extract from: Beating the Drum
March-April 1962

The Future of Buddhism

As with many other things which have centuries of history behind them, we are often more concerned with the glorious past of Buddhism than with its future. Is this altogether correct? Lessons are, no doubt, to be learned from the events of bygone days, but does this mean that we should be forever trying to go forward while looking backward?

Consideration of the future of Buddhism is all the more necessary today because there are so many who are doing their best to ensure that it will have no future at all. In more than one part of the world Buddhism is menaced by militant materialism and dogmatic spiritualism, unscrupulous, fanatical and highly organised. The stark fact must now be faced is that if Mara is allowed to carry on his nefarious work unchecked Buddhism may soon cease to be a world religion.

At the same time, it cannot be denied that, in principle, Buddhism has a better chance of survival than any other faith, being more consonant with the modern spirit of free investigation and independent enquiry. It is, in fact, the only teaching which does no violence to the scientific conscience of contemporary humanity. In this sense it has not only a future but a bright one.

The danger lies in the Buddhist community, or any part of it, thinking that Buddhism, having existed for so many centuries, will automatically go on existing without much effort on the part of individual Buddhists or Buddhist organisations. Fortunately or unfortunately, this is no longer the case. The Buddhist way of life is now facing a tremendous challenge. The future of Buddhism will be determined by how that challenge is met.

From now onwards there must be 3 lines of vigorous concerted actions. (1) At home, i.e., in the Buddhist countries of Asia, the Dharma must be consolidated. (2) Ground which has been lost, as in India, China and Tibet, must be regained. (3) In the non-Buddhist regions of the globe, especially in Europe, Africa, and the Americas, systematically organised Dharmaduta activities must be launched without delay.

The future of Buddhism depends on every Buddhist.


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