After several years of wandering around India I ordained as a samanera at Sravasti in 1976 with Venerable Matiwella Sangharatana who had been general secretary of the Mahabodhi Society at Sarnath for many years. Although Ven. Sangharatana had been educated at Shantinekatam by Rabindranath Tagor, was proficient in Sanskrit and could speak fluently in Pali, he was not a scholar by disposition but rather a practical man, a doer. But his most pronounced characteristic was his intense and total dedication to the Triple Gem, a characteristic I hope I inherited from him. Ven. Sangharatana passed away on the 31st December 1983. This is him and me in 1976. Goodness, I was thin in those days! There was chronic food shortages in India in the 70’s and we didn’t have that much to eat. Later I went to Sri Lanka and lived there for nearly ten years. During my early years in Sri Lanka I went through an ‘ascetic’ phase – using no money, eating only what I begged for, living in caves, wearing no sandals, etc. This is me with Kushan Manjusri, son of the famous painter Manjusri. At one time Kushan and I shared a cave and went carika together. Kushan later disrobed and went on to become a renowned painter himself. Later he had problems with depression and died fairly young just a few years back. We met for the last time at the 100 anniversary celebrations of Manjusri's birth. Amongst the people I got to know in Sri Lanka was Mr. Richard Abhayasekera and Venerable Nyanaponika of the Buddhist Publication Society in Kandy. This is me, Ven. Nyanaponika, Ven. Sumana and several other monks at the opening of the new BPS headquarters in 1983 ? Here is me examining a very old palm leaf book at the majestic Lankatilaka Maharaja Vihara in Gampola.