Dharmapala, Anagarika

Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933) is best known for the important role he played in restoring Bodh Gaya, the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment, which had badly deteriorated after centuries of neglect. In order to raise funds for this project, Dharmapala founded the Bodh-Gaya Maha Bodhi Society in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and edited the society’s journal. It was after reading the Maha Bodhi Journal that Reverend J.H. Barrows invited Dharmapala to represent the Buddhists of South Asia at the 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago. Shortly after attending the Parliament, Dharmapala conducted the first Three Refuges ceremony and the first Vesak celebration to be held in America.