Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Brian Bocking;
4th SSEASR Conference, Thimphu, Kingdom of Bhutan
U Dhammaloka The Irish Pongyi (ca.1856-1914) in India, Nepal - and Tibet?
Thimphu, Bhutan
Invited Lectures (Conference)
Optional Fields

This paper builds on new research findings published by Alicia Turner, Laurence Cox and Brian Bocking in the recent special issue (11:2, 2010) of the journal Contemporary Buddhism on the 'forgotten' pioneer Irish Buddhist monk U Dhammaloka.  Born ?Laurence Carroll in Dublin in the 1850s, Dhammaloka worked his way around the world, becoming a novice monk in Burma sometime after 1880 and receiving full ordination in Rangoon/Yangon in 1900, more than a year after H Gordon Douglas (Asoka) who had died in April 1900, and a year before Allan Bennett (Ananda Metteyya). Douglas and Bennett are the two British converts generally believed until now to be the `first' European Buddhist monks. In his time, Dhammaloka was famous as a `Buddhist revivalist' who between 1900 and 1914 travelled extensively throughout colonial South/East Asia, including to the (as then-named) countries of Ceylon, Burma, Malaya, Siam, India, Nepal, Singapore, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia. There is credible evidence for Dhammaloka's visits to India and Nepal, but what captured the public interest as far away as USA and Ireland was the story of Dhammaloka's visit to the young 13th Dalai Lama in Lhasa `before Younghusband'. In this paper,  I will examine the narratives of Dhammaloka's Indian Himalayan adventures and explore the religious and socio-political context of Dhammaloka's claims to regal patronage in Lhasa and Nepal.