A Buddhist students' manual. by Christmas Humphreys

By Christmas Humphreys

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J . F. M ’K e c h n ie In the first issue was an article on Nibbana, written by Ananda Metteya, the Editor, which caught the attention in England of one J. F. M'Kechnie. " I t seemed to me couched in a fine style of English and moderate, rational, clear and convincing in its argument. 'It hit me where I Jived,' to use an expressive Americanism". J. F. M’Kechnie was then a young man who had been brought up in Scotland by a Scots uncle and aunt, the latter being of evangelical tendencies. But the Christian Herald failed to satisfy this independent mind, and when, having sampled various brands of Christianity, from the Plymouth Brethren to the Society of Friends, and having ranged through the whole field of comparative religion he chanced to read a copy of Buddhism, he was mentally ripe to answer an appeal for a sub-editor from England.

This was the only occasion during the fifteen months of its existence as a Buddhist Shrine that any words were uttered in this room, and over four hundred and fifty names are to be found in the Visitors’ Book. Consecrated to sucli congenial silence, the atmosphere of the room, with its blue carpet, old-gold curtains and but little other furniture, afforded unique conditions in a vast and noisy city for that quiet, introspective thought which the West will sooner or later find essential for its sanity.

The answer came from a remarkable old lady, Mrs. M. M. Hla Oung, then Hon. Treasurer of the Society, who with her son, Mr. Ba Hla Oung, decided to accompany the Mission to England. T h e M is s io n L a nd s These plans were sent ahead, and Dr. Rost, as the London agent of the Rangoon Society, took two small houses at Bames to house the Mission, the second being necessary in order th at the Bhikkhu could keep his stringent and, from the Western point of view, embarrassing Sangha Rules. All being ready, a deputation of members of the London Society, A n a n d a M k t t r y a .

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