He then moved to Sri Lanka and became a Buddhist monk of the Theravada tradition. He was quite critical of Tibetan Buddhism, which he considered invaded by demons. In 1931 he went to a conference in Darjeeling to convert Tibetans to a more pure form of Buddhism. In nearby Sikkim he met the Tibetan teacher Tomo Geshe Rimpoche (1866–1936), who completely turned around Govinda's opinions. From then on he embraced the Tibetan form of Buddhism. After founding his order in 1933, for three decades he lived a secluded life at 'Crank's Ridge', outside Almora in northern India. From here he undertook travels through the remotest areas of Tibet, making large numbers of paintings, drawings and photographs. These travels he described in his book The Way of the White Clouds. In 1947 he married a Persian speaking photographer Li Gotami (original name Ratti Petit).
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 Mill Valley, California.
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