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It is therefore clear that the Anagarika came as a Buddhist Thcosophist appealing to Buddhist Theosophists, and it was therefore appropriate that his first appearance on English soil should be under the auspices of the Lodge. Not since Ananda Metteya's arrival in April, 1908, had a Buddhist missionary landed on English soil, and the date of this meeting, September 27th, is justly memorable. Besides the three Buddhist societies, members of the United Lodge of Thensophists and the Blavatsky Association were present, and the Press arrived in force.

An official opening ceremony was held in the room in the following July, some thirty-four persons somehow seating themselves in the room, mostly on the floor. The brief ceremony was arranged by some of the Sinhalese Members who, robed in their national costume, performed the traditional rites before a gold-lacquered image of the Buddha, which a son-in-law of Lady Blomfield had rescued from a field near Rangoon, where with many others it had been cast away. 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.

To quote his own w ords: "Certainly the Mission was a unique opportunity. So strange a figure as a Buddhist monk in a yellow robe, tall, graceful and dignified, and with features on which commanding intellect was written ; such an one, if gifted with the burning lips of Chrysostom or Knox, might well have stirred cultured London to its depths. But Nature, when enriching him with so many gifts, man of science, thinker, writer, not to mention the originality, daring and leadership which could conceive such an enterprise, had fatally omitted the essential gift of eloquence".

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A Buddhist students' manual. by Christmas Humphreys


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