64 SOCIAL SCIENTIST
ment of foreign aid, the questions of Sarvodaya's effiicacy vis-a-vis the conventional bureaucratic delivery system has not yet been assessed.
If therefore the Sarvodaya movement of Ariyaratne is in its essential function an aid-disbursing agency (one of his early papers reproduced here relates to the need for philanthropy), the question to be raised is, how is it able to mobilise such large amounts of aid? Critics have several times suggested or hinted that such funds come indirectly from doubtful and perhaps insidious foreign agencies. Yet to explain aid mobilisation for Sarvodaya there is no need for recourse to such explanations. Much of the known aid sources of Sarvodaya are from social democratic countries and from organisations that were associated with the changed social thinking that occurred in the Western countries in the late 1960's and the early 1970's. In the 1960's and 1970's social protest movements in the West such as the black struggle, the anti-Vietnam war struggle and the so-called counterculture movement gave rise eventually to a climate of receptiveness to Eastern ideas and a sympathy for Third World countries.
It is similar social currents and concerns in the Western world that the Sri Lanka Sarvodaya movement taps consciously or unconsciously. The fact that Ariyaratne's major writings are eclectic, undigested and contradictory do not matter. This volume of Collected Works is meant for a foreign audience, and clearly suggests that the movement is a packaged social service consciously or unconsciously aimed at the market in the Western world at a time of social consciousness and interest, at least by some strata in the West, on Eastern countries.
The Sarvodaya movement and its leader are phenomena of our time. They are a creation of the Sri Lankan internal socio-economic context and the geo-politics of the external world, the conscious or unconscious packaging of material and non-material products and the response of the social conscience of the Western world. Clearly the movement is for the sociologist a fascinating field of study and requires deep and critical study, a process not yet begun. For readers wondering whether the book would be enlightening in any significant manner let me disabuse them. It will not. If you want Buddhist philosophy go for more serious works available freely. If you want to know real Sarvodaya read the Indian originals. If you want to know about pre-colonial Sri Lankan social life read professional historians.