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Periodical: The Buddhist Ray

Summary: From Pat Deveney's database:

Buddhist Ray, The.
Devoted to Buddhism in General, and to the Buddhism in Swedenborg in Particular / Devoted to the Lord Buddha’s Doctrine of Enlightenment.
Hail to thee, pearl, hidden in the Lotus / Om Mani Padme Hum
1888—1894 Monthly, bi-monthly
Santa Cruz, CA.
1/1, January 1888-1894. 8-16 pp., fifty cents a year.

Its prospectus in the first issue proclaimed that it would "set forth the teachings imparted by the Mongolian Buddhists to Emanuel Swedenborg, and published by him in his mystic writings." Philangi Dasa, actually Carl Herman Vetterling (1849-1931), was the author of the strange Swedenborg the Buddhist, or, The Higher Swedenborgianism, Its Secrets and Thibetan Origin (Los Angeles: The Buddhistic Swedenborgian Brotherhood, 1887), translated into Japanese in 1893, and of a vast study of Jacob Boehme, The Illuminate of Goerlitx (1923). He was a Swedish immigrant to America, a former minister of the Church of the New Jerusalem (until he resigned in 1881, allegedly for molesting two young women on an excursion boat while drunk), a Theosophist, a practicing homeopathic physician, and an enthusiast:

"As one would expect from his background and the texts available in his time, Philangi Dasa knew more about Swedenborg than about Buddhism, and his ostensible aim, to show that Swedenborg was really a Buddhist, is shadowed by another concern, using Buddhism to reveal the shortcomings of Swedenborgianism." David Loy, "The Dharma of Emanuel Swedenborg: A Buddhist Perspective," Arcana 2/1 (1995), 5-31.

His form of Buddhism, gleaned apparently from books alone, was of the no-doctrine, no-creed sort that appealed easily to the free-religionists of time. "We are extremely happy to say that Buddhism has no creed. His majesty the Devil would long ago have swallowed Buddhism, had it had a creed. He has thus far swallowed all organizations with Creeds, Boards of Control, and Directors, anointed and unanointed; and because of their presence in his belly, he is now noisomely flatulent in the world;—as heard and seen in the pulpit and in the religious press! Dear subscriber;—Buddhism has come West, not to tickle surfeited palates with 'old-church' or 'new-church' hash, but to teach men to think righteously and to act righteously, that they may become spiritual freemen!" Cited by Alois Payer in "Anfange des Buddhismus in den USA," online.

Das was especially critical of Christian missionaries in Buddhist lands ("Bibles, Bottles, Bullets") and had the effrontery to criticize A.J. Davis for supposed errors in his views on Buddhism, drawing a response from J.R. Loomis in the journal itself and from A.E. Giles in the Banner of Light, both explaining that, unlike modern scholars, Davis could directly perceive the original ideas of Buddhism. A.E. Giles, "Buddha and A.J. Davis," Banner of Light 69/24 (August 22, 1891): 5.

The journal drew contributions and letters of appreciation from "Jasper Nemand," Paul Carus, St. George Best, the Revs. Sumangala and Dharmapala, A.R. Webb (on Mohammed), Kakichi Ohara (translations of the Sutra of the Forty-Two Sections and other works), D.J. Subasingha (translation of the Parabawa Sutta), Anna Kingsford, W.E. Coleman (denying that he held Dhrmapala in contempt but regretting that "genuine buddhists" should have been mislead into affiliation with "spurious buddhism"—i.e., Theosophy), and from the enigmatic C. Pfoundes, and regular reprints of articles (including one by H.P. Blavatsky (who, he emphasized, should be called a "Budhist" rather than a "Buddhist") on Buddhism. In its later issues, the

Shin'ichi Yoshinaga has pointed to a curious passage in Vetterling's book and suggested that Philangi Dasa had met P.B. Randolph: "Some years ago I met an American mulatto who called himself a Rosicrucian, though he was not a genuine brother of the Rosy Cross, seeing that he drank alcoholic drinks and 'loved’ women. But he was nevertheless an extraordinary soul; a soul of brilliant spiritual possibilities; a natural mystic. Through his disorderly life he became however a black magician; played with the nature-spirits until they got angry and incited him to self-destruction. Poor soul! He told me once that he believed in, or rather knew of, the existence of seven classes of beings in the world of spirits : first, projected forms of unconscious, passive mediums, and of conscious, active initiates; second, phantasmal projections of heated fancy, results of cerebral fever, of opium, or other narcotics; third, astral bodies of departed souls; fourth, beings from other earths, living, but not at all the less of texture so fine as to defy the natural laws that we are compelled to obey; fifth, damned, spectral harpies, the embodiments of the thoughts of wicked men; sixth, blessed, lovely angels, the embodiments of the thoughts of good men; and, seventh, spiritual beings from other planets." Vetterling immigrated to the United States in 1871 making it possible that he had met Randolph before the latter’s death in 1875. Yale University; Boston Athenaeum; Newberry Library; UC Santa Cruz; Huntington Library; BNF; BL, etc.

Issues:Buddhist Ray V1 N1 Jan 1888
Buddhist Ray V1 N1 Jan 1888 Alt
Buddhist Ray V1 N2 Feb 1888
Buddhist Ray V1 N2 Feb 1888 Alt
Buddhist Ray V1 N3 Mar 1888
Buddhist Ray V1 N3 Mar 1888 Alt
Buddhist Ray V1 N4 Apr 1888
Buddhist Ray V1 N4 Apr 1888 Alt
Buddhist Ray V1 N5 May 1888
Buddhist Ray V1 N5 May 1888 Alt
Buddhist Ray V1 N6 Jun 1888
Buddhist Ray V1 N6 Jun 1888 Alt
Buddhist Ray V1 N7 Jul 1888
Buddhist Ray V1 N7 Jul 1888 Alt
Buddhist Ray V1 N8 Aug 1888
Buddhist Ray V1 N8 Aug 1888 Alt
Buddhist Ray V1 N9 Sep 1888
Buddhist Ray V1 N9 Sep 1888 Alt
Buddhist Ray V1 N10 Oct 1888
Buddhist Ray V1 N10 Oct 1888 Alt
Buddhist Ray V1 N11 Nov 1888
Buddhist Ray V1 N11 Nov 1888 Alt
Buddhist Ray V1 N12 Dec 1888
Buddhist Ray V1 N12 Dec 1888 Alt
Buddhist Ray V2 N1 Jan 1889
Buddhist Ray V2 N2 Feb 1889
Buddhist Ray V2 N3 Mar 1889
Buddhist Ray V2 N4 Apr 1889
Buddhist Ray V2 N5 May 1889
Buddhist Ray V2 N6 Jun 1889
Buddhist Ray V2 N7 Jul 1889
Buddhist Ray V2 N8 Aug 1889
Buddhist Ray V2 N9 Sep 1889
Buddhist Ray V2 N10 Oct 1889
Buddhist Ray V2 N11 Nov 1889
Buddhist Ray V2 N12 Dec 1889
Buddhist Ray V3 N1 Jan 1890
Buddhist Ray V3 N2 Dec 1890
Buddhist Ray V3 N2 Feb 1890
Buddhist Ray V3 N3 Mar 1890
Buddhist Ray V3 N4 Apr 1890
Buddhist Ray V3 N5 May 1890
Buddhist Ray V3 N6 Jun 1890
Buddhist Ray V3 N7 Jul 1890
Buddhist Ray V3 N8 Aug 1890
Buddhist Ray V3 N9 Sep 1890
Buddhist Ray V3 N10 Oct 1890
Buddhist Ray V3 N11 Nov 1890
Buddhist Ray V4 N1-2 Jan Feb 1891 Cover
Buddhist Ray V4 N1-2 Jan-feb 1891
Buddhist Ray V4 N1-2 Jan-feb 1891 Alt
Buddhist Ray V4 N3-4 Mar-apr 1891
Buddhist Ray V4 N3-4 Mar-apr 1891 Alt
Buddhist Ray V4 N5-6 May-jun 1891
Buddhist Ray V4 N5-6 May-jun 1891 Alt
Buddhist Ray V4 N7-8 Jul-aug 1891
Buddhist Ray V4 N7-8 Jul-aug 1891 Alt
Buddhist Ray V4 N9-10 Sep-oct 1891
Buddhist Ray V4 N9-10 Sep-oct 1891 Alt
Buddhist Ray V4 N11-12 Nov-dec 1891
Buddhist Ray V4 N11-22 Nov-dec 1891 Alt
Buddhist Ray V5 N1-2 Jan-feb 1892
Buddhist Ray V5 N1-2 Jan-feb 1892 Alt
Buddhist Ray V5 N3-4 Mar-apr 1892
Buddhist Ray V5 N3-4 Mar-apr 1892 Alt
Buddhist Ray V5 N5-6 May-jun 1892
Buddhist Ray V5 N5-6 May-jun 1892 Alt
Buddhist Ray V5 N7-8 Jul-aug 1892
Buddhist Ray V5 N7-8 Jul-aug 1892 Alt
Buddhist Ray V5 N9-10 Sep-oct 1892
Buddhist Ray V5 N9-10 Sep-oct 1892 Alt
Buddhist Ray V5 N11-12 Nov-dec 1892
Buddhist Ray V5 N11-12 Nov-dec Alt
Buddhist Ray V6 N1-2 Jan-feb 1893
Buddhist Ray V6 N3-4 Mar-apr 1893
Buddhist Ray V6 N5-6 May-jun 1893
Buddhist Ray V6 N7-8 Jul-aug 1893
Buddhist Ray V6 N9-10 Sep-oct 1893
Buddhist Ray V6 N11-12 Nov-dec 1893
Buddhist Ray V7 N1-2 Jan-feb 1894
Buddhist Ray V7 N3-4 Mar-apr 1894
Buddhist Ray V7 N5 May 1894
Buddhist Ray V7 N6 Jun 1894
Buddhist Ray V7 N7-8 Jul-aug 1894
Buddhist Ray V7 N9-10 Sep-oct 1894
Buddhist Ray V7 N11-12 Nov-dec 1894

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