Lama Anagarika Govinda was born Ernst Lothar Hoffman in Waldheim, Germany (old kingdom of Saxony) in 1898, the son of a German father and a Bolivian mother. He was the founder of the Buddhist Order Arya Maitreya Mandala. As a young man living in Italy, he became interested in Buddhism and meditation during the 1920s. In 1928 he moved to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) where he studied Buddhism, mastered the language of Pali, and took his Buddhist vows. In 1931 Govinda met his Tibetan guru, Tomo Geshe Rinpoche, by whom he was initiated into the Gelug-pa sect. He spent the next thirty years in northern India, while finding time to make several trips to Tibet during the early 1930s and again in 1948-49. In 1960 he began his worldwide travels, speaking on Buddhism to audiences in Europe, North America, Japan, South Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Philippines. Lama Govinda spent his final days in the San Francisco area and passed away in 1985.