Lama Anagarika Govinda (born Ernst Lothar Hoffman on May 17, 1898; died January 14, 1985) was the founder of the order of the Arya Maitreya Mandala and an expositor of Tibetan Buddhism.
He was born in Waldheim, Germany, the son of a German father and a Bolivian mother. After spending two years in the German army during World War I, he caught tuberculosis and was discharged. He lived on Capri in Italy from 1920 until 1928, where he became interested in Buddhism. He then moved to Sri Lanka and became a Buddhist monk of the Theravada tradition. From 1931 he embraced teachings of Tibetan Buddhism and after founding his order in 1933 he lived for three decades at 'Crank's Ridge', outside Almora in northern India. As a German by birth, Govinda was interned by the British army during World War II. In 1947 he married a Persian speaking photographer Li Gotami and travelled to Tibet. In the 1960s he began travelling around the world to lecture on Buddhism, and settled in the San Francisco Bay area in his twilight years, where he was hosted for a time by Alan Watts.
He died in 1985. His ashes are contained in the Nirvana-Stupa, which was erected in 1997 on the premises of Samten Choeling Monastery (a Tibetan Monastery), in the district of Darjeeling, West-Bengal, India.