Revival of Buddhism In India - From Untouchables to Buddhists
Published on Sep 17, 2015
Synopsis From Untouchable to Buddhist - The Revival of Buddhism I India and its Implications for the development of Buddhism in the World. Buddhism died out in India over 700 years ago. On 14th October 1956 500,000 Dalits (so-called Untouchables) converted to Buddhism inspired by their great leader Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. Since then millions of Dalits have followed them into Buddhism. Dr. Ambedkar's approach to Buddhism and the new Buddhist movement he inspired have implications for Buddhists throughout the world. In this presentation I shall be looking at the following: A. The background - Dr. Ambedkar and Untouchablity B. The reasons that led Dr. Ambedkar to Buddhism as a solution to the question of Untouchability. C. The teachings of the Buddha that he emphasised. D. The situation regarding Buddhism and Dalits in India today.. E. Buddhism had such a momentous impact on Asia in the past. In the last part of the presentation I shall look at the implications of this new Buddhist movement for the wider Buddhist community, especially, but not exclusively in Asia, emphasising its democratic and egalitarian nature, its humanistic approach, and the promise of a cultural renaissance.
About the Speaker Born in London 1947, he was ordained into the Western Buddhist Order (WBO) in 1974 by Sangharakshita, a trusted associate of Dr. Ambedkar. He is a well known figure in the Buddhist world. In 1977, he visited India as an Anagarika to learn Yoga and visit holy Buddhist sites. He was deeply affected by Deekshabhoomi sight in 1977 where he saw impact of conversion movement launched by Babasaheb Ambedkar. Since then, he is living in India and his life and mission is dedicated to movement of Babasaheb Ambedkar. He was instrumental in initiating activities of TBMSG in India. Lokamitra is the President of Nagarjuna Training Institute (NTI) dedicated to train students from all over India in "Buddhism and Social Work".
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