REVIVAL OF BUDDHISM IN INDIA
The month of October in India is the month of Revival of Buddhism. Throughout this month and particularly on 14th of October thousands of majority native Indians called SC/STs keep taking refugee in the Triple Gem. This process has been going on since 1956 for last 50 years and still continues.
Today most of the educated SC/STs praise Dr.B.R. Ambedkar- The symbol of
SC/ST movement for his embracing of Buddhism and on the other hand they
themselves feel that it is time to rid themselves of internal caste divisions and organize themselves strongly under one umbrella. For which one of the most
effective ways they find is to convert with one voice and one choice to Buddhism.
First of all one may ask why Dr.B.R. Ambedkar the architect of Indian constitution himself left Hinduism? To which Ambedkar himself says:
"I thought for long that we could rid the Hindu society of its evils and get
the depressed classes incorporated into it on terms of equality. That motive
inspired the Mahad Chaudar Tank satyagraha and the Nasik temple entry
satyagraha. With that object in mind we burned the Manu smriti and performed
mass thread ceremonies. Experience has taught me better. I stand today
absolutely convinced that for the depressed classes there can be no equality
among the Hindus because on inequality rest the foundations of Hinduism. We
no longer want to be part of the Hindu society." (Source material on Dr.
Babasaheb Ambedkar and the movement of untouchables vol-1 Bombay, Govt. of maharastra, 1982, page 250)
The modern SC/STs have found that most of the Hindu leaders are hypocrites who profess to fight casteism while in reality practice its rules. Similarly the Bhraminical bureaucrats who claim to have democratic ideas wishing to raise the backward castes but who really crave nothing better than an oligarchy for themselves. The unity of SC/STs especially political consolidation proves to be very difficult to achieve because some of the lower castes are often not against caste system but in the system and try to rise within it which, earlier Ambedkar himself had sincerely tried and failed and finally along with five hundred thousand of his followers he embraced Buddhism on 14th october, 1956 at Nagpur.
Since the teachings of Buddha are based on the central fact of life that is
suffering, the cause for suffering, the cessation of suffering and the path
leading to cessation of suffering. Here for Indian SC/STs there is
suffering, the cause for their suffering is casteism, the cessation of
suffering is abandoning this castiest religion, the path leading to
cessation of suffering is taking refugee in Buddhism. So now the people of India
with the common sense think why not they take refugee in this Indian
religion when the people all over the world are taking. Buddhism is the only
Indian religion which as become the world religion and is considered to be
the only religion with rational outlook and scientific temper inviting
people to come and see and not to come and believe. The main object of
Buddhism is to emancipate the suffering humanity. So people who have become
refuge less and hope less in the casteist system in India take refugee in cast
less system which is of course Buddhism as recommended by the Dr.B.R. Ambedkar- The greatest Buddhist leader of India. He himself has said that Buddhism is an all-comprehensive Religion and is the best of all.
Once Ambedkar said: "Question is being asked why I am inclined towards Buddhism. The direct answer to this question is that I regard the Buddha's Dhamma to be the best. No religion can be compared to it. If a modern man who knows science must have a religion, the only religion he can have is the Religion of the Buddha. This conviction has grown in me after thirty-five years of close study of all religions. The Buddha's Religion is the only religion which a society awakened by science could accept, and without which it would perish.
For the modern world Buddhism is the only religion which it must have to
Throughout his life he was questioned on related issues to which he answered in very effective manner. Some of the questions and his answers are compiled here as follows:
SOME QUESTIONS & DR. AMBEDKAR'S ANSWERS
(Q-stands for question and A-stands for Ambedkar's answer)
Q: Why had our country lost her freedom time and again? Why have we been
subjected to foreign domination so often?
A: It is because this country as a whole never stood against the enemy. It was always a small section of the society and whoever overpowered it became the victor. This is mainly due to the pernicious caste system of the Hindus.
Second world war was fought in Europe during the period from 1939-45. The
soldiers who were killed in the battles were immediately replaced by the
fresh recruits. Nobody ever paused to say that the credit for winning the
war should go to a particular community or section of the society. Whereas
in our country in the past if all the Kshatriyas were done away with the
battle then there could be no mobilization or recruitment according to the
"chaturvarna" since according to this abominable law, Kshatriyas and
Kshatriyas alone were entitled to fight. This is what has been enslaved many
times. Had the right to bear arms not been denied to us this country would
never have lost her freedom nor could any invader have succeeded in
This religion and this social order have ruined us. But this is not going to
stop here. This would ruin the Hindus themselves and ultimately India.
Q; Should you continue to be Hindu?
A: Why should remain bound to a religion which does not even treat you
as a human being? Why do you remain in a religion which prohibits you from
entering its temples? Why do you remain in a religion which prohibits you
from entering temples? Why do you remain under that religion which prohibits
you from drawing water from public wells? Why do you remain in that religion
which bars you from decent occupations and jobs? Why do you remain in the
religion which insults you at every step? The religion which teaches man to
behave with man in an inhuman manner is not religion but infamy. The
religion which does not recognize a human being as a human being is a curse.
The religion in which the touch of animals is permitted but the touch of a
human being pollutes is not a religion but the mockery of a religion. The
religion which precludes some classes from education forbids them to
accumulate wealth and to bear arms, is not a religion but tyranny. The
religion which compels the ignorant to remain ignorant and the poor to
remain poor does not deserve to be called a religion.
Q: Is conversion necessary?
A: I should like to impress this thing on your minds very clearly that
religion is for man and not man for religion. I would like to ask you all
what is the sense in living in a society which is devoid of humanity, which
does not respect you, protect you, humiliates you, and never misses and
opportunity to hurt you. Any person with an iota of self respect and decency
will not like to remain in this satanic religion. Only those who live to be
slaves can remain in this religion.
In view of the facts that the Hindu religion which forced our forefathers
to lead a life of degradation and heaped all sorts of indignities on them,
kept them poor and ignorant, why should you remain within the fold of such a
diabolical creed? If, like your forefathers, you too, continue to accept a
degraded and lowly position, and humiliation, you will continue to he hated.
Nobody will respect you and nobody will help you. It is for these reasons
that the question of conversion has become important for us. To change this
degraded and disgraceful existence into golden life, conversion is
Q: Can education destroy caste?
A: The answer is 'yes' as well as 'no' If education is given as it is today
education can have no effect on caste. It will remain as it will be. The
glaring example of it is the Brahmin caste. Cent percent of it is educated;
majority of it is highly educated. Yet not one Brahmin has shown himself to
be against caste. In fact an educated person belonging to the higher caste
is more interested, after his education, to retain the caste system than was when he was not educated. For education gives him an additional interest in the retention of the caste system, namely by opening additional opportunity of getting a bigger job. From this point of view, education is not helpful as means to dissolve caste. So far is the negative side of education.
But education may be solvent if it is applied to the lower strata of the
Indian society. It would raise their spirit of rebellion. In their present
state of ignorance, they are the support of the caste system. Once their
eyes are opened they will be ready to fight the caste system.
The fault of the present policy is that though education being given on a
larger scale it is not given to the right strata of Indian society. If you
give education to those strata of Indian society which has a vested interest
in maintaining the caste system for the advantages it gives them, the caste
system will be strengthened. On the other hand, if you give education to
the lower strata of Indian society which is interested in blowing up the
caste system, the caste system will be blown up. All the moment the
indiscriminate help given to education by the Indian Government and American
Foundations is going to strengthen the caste system. To make rich richer
and poor poorer is not the way to abolish poverty. The same is true of
using education as a means to end the caste system. To give education to
those who want to keep up the caste system is not to improve the prospects
of democracy in India, but to put democracy in India in greater jeopardy.
–TALK FOR VOICE OF AMERICA ON PROSPECTS OF DEMOCRACY IN INDIA - 20th May 1956 by DR. B. R. AMBEDKAR
Q: In India some people remark that Buddhism has become the religion of
untouchables and thereby makes others reluctant to come to this religion.
A: Brahmins in his time did not spare even Lord Buddha. In kasibhradwaja
sutta they addressed him as Vasala- an outcaste. In spite of all the
vilifications and the abuses showered on this religion, Buddhism has spread
throughout the world. It is the only Indian religion to become world
According to history even when Christianity made its way into Europe the
situation in and around Rome was appalling. People did not get enough food
to fill their bellies. The people who extended a sympathetic response to the
call of Christianity when it entered into Europe were not those who were
convinced of its spirituality but those miserable poor and oppressed people
for whom porridge, distributed free of cost, served as a meal. The poor and
the oppressed became converts to Christianity.
Thus Mr. Gibbon, the renowned historian and author of the rise and fall of
the Roman Empire scornfully branded Christianity as a religion of the poor
and the beggars. Mr. Gibbon is not alive today. He would have been shocked
to see the whole of Europe engulfed by Christianity.
Q: Why should one convert to Buddhism alone and not to any other religion?
A: For such high principles are not to be found in any other religion. There
is a world of difference between this religion and other religions of the
world. Main principles of Buddhism form no part of theistic religions.
According to other religions God created the world, this earth and
thereafter he created heaven, air, moon and other planets. That means he has
created also the stone in the bladder. God has done all that was required to
be done and now there remains nothing for us to do. All that we are required
to do is, just to sing the praises of Almighty God. This does not appeal to
rational man today.
According to Christianity, there will be a day of judgment and everything
will depend on the judgment that day. One can be sent to heaven or hell on
Buddhism denies the existence of God and Soul. The real basis of Buddhism is
rational way to eradicate suffering. 'There is' Buddha said, "Suffering in
the world-suffering wide spread". 90 percent of the people are afflicted
with suffering or misery of some kind or the other. The main object of
Buddhism is to emancipate the suffering humanity.
The first point, which marks off Buddha from the rest, is his
self-abnegation. JESUS insists that he is the Son of God. MOHAMMED went a
step further. He claimed that he was the messenger of God on earth and
insisted that he was the last messenger. KRISHNA went a step beyond both
Jesus and Mohammed. He claimed that he was "Parameshwar" - the God of Gods. BUDDHA never arrogated to himself any such status. He was born a son of man and was content to remain a common man and preached his gospel as a common man. Jesus, Mohammed and Krishna claimed for themselves a role of
MOKSHADATA. Buddha was satisfied with playing the role of MARGADATA.
Brothers and Sisters, I have said whatever there was to be said. This is the
best religion in the world and there can be absolutely no doubt about it.
With the education, intelligence, knowledge and experience that I have, it
is not difficult for me to oppose or fight against any evil. But there is a
mountain-colossal mountain of caste hierarchy; Brahmins, Kshatriyas,
Vaishyas sitting on our heads. The question before us is, how to topple it
down and blast it. It is for this reason that I wanted to acquaint you fully
with the religion of Buddha. I owe it as a duty, too. - Dr.B.R,Ambedkar
So we see that finally Dr.B.R.Ambedkar on 14th October 1956 along with 5 lakh people went to the refuge of Buddha ,Dhamma and Sangha. Committed as he was to rationality and empiricism, he was attracted by Buddhism's rational out look tuned with morality further strengthened by scientific temper rather than blind belief. It's teaching of equality and solidarity, its emphasis on transforming both self and world through self effort with self confidence. Thus with this understanding he was able to accomplish "diksha (conversion on 14th oct. 1956)and shiksha,(instructio
Thus Dr. B.R. Ambedkar went to these three refugee of Buddha, Dhamma
and Sangha because
In BUDDHA he found a True Teacher of Spirituality,
In DHAMMA the true teachings of equality
In SANGHA the true friends of humanity.
Buddhism does not actively look for converts, but it is thoroughly welcoming
to those who do want to convert. The segmented morality endemic to Hinduism
is Oppressive to those who suffer under it, while enabling beneficiaries to
sleep well and feel morally upright in their houses while pain, hunger and powerlessness cries loudly right outside their homes. The data speaks this truth. Long verbal arguments are a waste of time in this denial.
Dr.Ambedkar' s wish before death was to make the whole of India
a Buddhist country. Thus SC/STs feel that the only and best way to express gratitude to this great leader is to embrace Buddhism and full fill his death wish on this dhamma deksha day of 14th october every year in India. Thereby bringing equality, liberty, and fraternity in India and welfare to the whole of humanity.
Dr. Ambedkar once said "Our ancestors had no means to fight this slavery and
therefore they could not revolt. They were compelled to live in Hindu
religion. Nobody can force this type of slavery upon the present generation.
We have all sorts of freedom. If the present generation does not avail of
such freedom and free itself from the clutches of Hinduism they are sure to
be dubbed as cowardly, mean and slavish people devoid of self-respect" .
Thus what the Indian SC/STs have to say is as follows:
This day of fourteen October,
Is the day for Indian Buddhists to remember.
Taking Buddha as spiritual Teacher,
Noble Dhamma as spiritual Mother;
Noble Sangha as spiritual Elder;
The natives went again to Triple refuge forever.
All this was due to efforts of Babasaheb Ambedker,
Who unfortunately passed away on sixth December.
This movement created scientific temper,
And rescued people from castist viper.
Present generation should work like sniper,
Eliminating from within the immoral character;
Giving reins to moral leader.
Never should you ever surrender,
Nor just be watching like a bystander;
But strive hard and be a defender.
Lead a life like that of a brave commander,
Express your gratitude on this day to Bodhisattva Ambedker.
MAY ALL BEINGS BE HAPPY & LIBERATED.
From: Siddhartha Kumar <mailsiddhartha.
To: zestcaste <zestcaste@yahoogrou
Sent: Wed, 28 April, 2010 11:13:20 PM
Subject: [ZESTCaste] Modi on target again for his remarks on Ambedkar
Modi on target again for his remarks on Ambedkar
Published on April 28, 2010 by admin
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