Dr. Ambedkar: Supreme Champion of Human Rights

By | Nov 8, 2018 | Views: 38,366
“I believe in the religion of liberty, equality and fraternity.”- Babasaheb Ambedkar

“I believe in the religion of liberty, equality and fraternity.”
– Babasaheb Ambedkar

(By Tsem Rinpoche and Pastor Shin Tan)

October 14, 1956 was a historic day for India. On this day, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, a social reformer and the chief architect of India’s Constitution, renounced Hinduism and converted to Buddhism along with around 400,000 of his followers in Nagpur. This event was historic not only because of the sheer number of converts but, more importantly, it was a milestone in asserting human rights, one that symbolises liberty from oppression to gain a new life with self-respect and equality.

“I do not accept a religion in which one class alone has a right to gain knowledge; another has only a right to use arms; the third one, to trade; and the fourth, only to serve. Everyone needs knowledge. Everybody needs arms. Everyone wants money. The religion which forgets this, and with a view to educate a few persons keeps the rest in the dark, is not a religion but a strategy to keep the people in mental slavery. A religion which permits some to bear the arms and prohibits the rest, is not a religion but a plan to keep the latter in perpetual slavery. A religion which opens the path of acquiring property for some, and compels others to depend on these few even for the daily necessities of life, is not a religion, but an utter selfishness.”

~ Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

(Source: Society and the Individual, speech delivered by Dr. Ambedkar to the Bombay Presidency Mahar Conference; May 31, 1936, Bombay)

Dr. Ambedkar is a hero and icon for the Dalits of India who were once called ‘Untouchables.’ He fought to eradicate the discrimination and inequality that he knew all too well because he, too, was an Untouchable by birth. He was a leader of the Dalits and the Law Minister of the Government of India from 1947 to 1951.

Mahatma Gandhi’s fight for freedom involved uniting India to rise against an external enemy – the colonial British regime that ravaged the country – but Dr. Ambedkar’s struggle was a far more challenging one as he was fighting against his own people. He was fighting the oppression and inequality that has been deeply entrenched for thousands of years as part of his society’s religious and cultural dogma.

Dr. Ambedkar playing multiple roles as an economist, a jurist, politician and social reformer in later life was a mirror of his younger days, when he studied abroad and conducted multidisciplinary studies and research all at the same time. Despite only spending a few years abroad, he achieved unparalleled academic excellence with five degrees from some of the most prestigious institutions of education of his time. His scholarly works, such as Administration and Finance of the East India Company and The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India made a significant contribution to the studies in public finance, while The Problem of the Rupee was a seminal work which led to the creation of The Reserve Bank of India. When it was published, the demand for this book was so great that within a year or two, the book went out of print. During his career as a politician, Dr. Ambedkar was a driving force behind many reforms. He was the first legislator to introduce the bill to abolish serfs of agricultural tenants. In 1937, he introduced a bill to abolish the Khoti system of land tenure under which the poor suffered from tremendous economic exploitation. He was also credited for a bill in the State Assembly to stop malpractices by money lenders that was hurting the poor.

Mahatma Gandhi even called Dr. Ambedkar “the greatest challenge to Hinduism” due to his revolutionary ideas to abolish the caste system. However, Dr. Ambedkar’s struggle to empower the Dalit and the downtrodden was not just based on his concern for his own people, but for the larger picture of economic growth and development as a whole. He opined that the mobility of labour and capital were reduced due to the caste system, and was enthusiastic about driving reforms.

Mahatma Gandhi and Babasaheb Ambedkar, founding fathers of India and visionaries

Mahatma Gandhi (left) and Babasaheb Ambedkar (right), founding fathers of India and visionaries

In States and Minorities, his memorandum submitted to the British Government in 1947, he stated that it is “an obligation on the State to plan the economic life of the people on lines which would lead to the highest point of productivity without closing every avenue to private enterprise and also provide for the equitable distribution of wealth“. Dr. Ambedkar’s attack on the caste system was not to only challenge the hegemony of the upper castes but for the general welfare of all, and for all to benefit from economic development.

A messiah for the downtrodden, he was a crusader for social, economic and political justice. A great knowledge seeker and thinker, his intellect and insight can be seen throughout his speeches and works. In 2014, Dr. Ambedkar was declared the most intelligent student by his alma mater, Columbia University. He was also the only Indian to have been featured in the list of the University’s top 100 students. In 2017, it was reported that Ambedkar Jayanti, an annual festival observed on April 14 to commemorate the birthday and life of Dr. Ambedkar, was being celebrated across North America as more and more people are beginning to discover the life and works of this brilliant man’s struggle against social discrimination.

The philosophy and works of Dr. Ambedkar are becoming more popular in universities, especially those that have South Asian studies, with extensive research done by reputable academics such as Professor Christopher Queen of Harvard University, Professor Andres Lamas of the University of Pennsylvania, Professor Kevin Brown of Indiana University, Professor David Blundell of the University of California and so on.

Click to enlarge

 

Childhood and Early Life

Bhimrao (Bhim) Ramji Ambedkar, later more commonly known as Babasaheb Ambedkar, was born on April 14, 1891, in Mhow, Central India. ‘Babasaheb’ is a Marathi word. ‘Baba’ means father and ‘Saheb’ is used reverently to mean ‘sir’. Dr. Ambedkar is affectionately called ‘Babasaheb’ by his followers as he is viewed as a fatherly figure who guided and fought for the rights of the minority and lower castes, especially the Dalit.

He was the 14th child of Subedar Major Ramji Maloji Sakpal (1848-1913) and his wife Bhimabai Sakpal. Although his surname was Sakpal, his father registered his surname in school as Ambadawekar, in honour of their native village Ambadawe in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra State, India.

Dr. Ambedkar's parents, Subedar Major Ramji Maloji Sakpal and Bhimabai Sakpal

Dr. Ambedkar’s parents, Subedar Major Ramji Maloji Sakpal and Bhimabai Sakpal

Dr. Ambedkar belonged to the Mahar caste, one of the Untouchables (now referred to as Dalit), among the lowest stratum of Hindu society. There are four varna, meaning classes or castes in Hinduism. These are:

  1. the priestly caste called Brahmins,
  2. the rulers, administrators or warriors who belong to the Kshatriya class,
  3. the Vaishyas who are artisans, merchants, tradesmen and farmers, and finally
  4. the labourers called Shudras

The Untouchables are outside of the four classes and considered even lower than the Shudras. Unlike the other children of his caste, Dr. Ambedkar was given the opportunity to attend school because his father was in the British Indian Army. However, he faced extreme discrimination because of his caste.

Dr. Ambedkar, known as Bhim at this time, and the other Dalit children were not allowed to sit with other Hindu children in the classroom that belonged to one of the four traditional castes. Instead, they had to sit in a corner on a gunny sack cloth so as not to pollute the school ground. He had to bring the gunny cloth home after school ended and bring it back the next day because the servant employed to clean the school would not touch the gunny cloth used by an Untouchable. As Dalits could not come into contact with members of the higher castes, they were also not allowed to touch the same water or the vessel that contained it for fear of contamination. They were not allowed to use public tanks or wells. Thus, the Dalit students were forced to go without water in school unless the school peon poured it from a height for them. Washermen refused to wash their clothes and barbers would not cut or shave their hair.

A Mahar Man winding thread (from The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, 1916).

A Mahar Man winding thread (from The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, 1916).

Later on, his father Subedar Ramji retired from the army and his mother passed away. Subedar Ramji sought employment elsewhere. One time, when Subedar Ramji was working as a cashier in a place called Koregaon, he sent a letter to Bhim and his brother to spend the summer vacation with him.

Bhim and his brother, together with two of his sisters’ sons were very excited, especially because they had not seen a railway train. After they alighted at the Masur Railway Station, they asked around but no bullock-cart driver was willing to take them and suffer being polluted, despite the willingness of Bhim and his brother to pay double the amount of fare. With the help of the station-master, a cart-driver finally agreed on the terms that the kids drive the cart, while he walked on foot along the journey so as to not be polluted.

On another occasion, while in Satara, Bhim was very thirsty and decided to draw some water from a well to quench his unbearable thirst. Some people noticed Bhim and they gathered to beat him up. Incidents like these continued to haunt Bhim for a major part of his life, and was one of the driving forces behind his fight for the rights of the Dalits.

However, there was one particular kind person – Bhim’s Brahmin teacher, Krishna Keshav Ambedkar. He was quite fond of young Bhim and he changed the child’s surname from ‘Ambadawekar’ to his own surname ‘Ambedkar’ in the school records, and would often give a share of his food to young Bhim.

 

Education and Activism

Later on, his family moved to Bombay (now known as Mumbai). Bhim became the first Dalit to receive higher education when he enrolled at the Elphinstone High School in Bombay.

At school, Bhim wanted to enrol in classes to learn Sanskrit, an ancient language of India which is used in liturgies belonging to the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religions. The word ‘Sanskrit’ itself is interpreted as ‘refined’ and ‘sanctified’. Bhim again faced humiliation and insult when his request was refused by the teacher, as imparting knowledge of Sanskrit to students of the lower castes in those days was unacceptable.

On one occasion, Bhim was asked to write on the blackboard in class. Some students protested and said that their lunch boxes behind the blackboard would be defiled. The commotion ended when the mathematics teacher, a Brahmin named Joshi told those students that Bhim would be allowed to write on the blackboard and they were free to remove their lunch boxes.

Bhim used to visit Charni Road Garden to study. The Headmaster of Wilson High School, a Brahmin scholar and social reformer, Krishnaji Arjun Keluskar (1860-1934) visited the garden often, and he met with and had talks with Bhim regularly.

Krishnaji Arjun Keluskar was instrumental in Dr. Ambedkar's education and also the person who gifted him a book on the life of Gautama Buddha.

Krishnaji Arjun Keluskar was instrumental in Dr. Ambedkar’s education and also the person who gifted him a book on the life of Gautama Buddha.

In 1906, adhering to the custom of the time, an arrangement was made for Bhim, who was around 15, to marry Ramabai Vanandkar. Ramabai’s support was a significant factor in helping Bhim to pursue his higher education and his true potential throughout their marriage that lasted around three decades, until her death.

In 1907, Bhim passed his matriculation exam, again being the first in the Mahar community to do so. He was congratulated in a public ceremony organised by his community, where Keluskar and another well-known social reformer, S.K. Bole, attended the meeting. Keluskar presented Ambedkar a book on the Buddha written by Keluskar himself, Bhagwan Gautam Buddhache Charitra (Life of the Blessed Gautama the Buddha). This book is said to have planted the seed for Bhim’s future conversion to Buddhism. Keluskar also played an important role in getting Bhim’s scholarship for his higher studies, as it was through Keluskar’s mediation that Bhim was awarded a scholarship from the Maharaja Syajirao Gaekwad of Baroda.

In 1908, Bhim was admitted to Elphinstone College and graduated with a Bachelor degree in Economics and Political Science in 1912. His oldest son, Yashwant, was born in December 1912. As soon as he started working with the Baroda state government after his graduation, he received a telegram and had to return to Bombay to see his ill father. He arrived home just in time for his last farewell. His father passed away in February 1913.

Elphinstone High School in Bombay (Mumbai)

Elphinstone High School in Bombay (Mumbai)

Bhim was then awarded a Baroda State scholarship for post-graduate studies at Columbia University in New York City which amounted to £11.50 British pounds per month for three years. He studied and worked under various influential academics, such as Professor Edwin Robert Anderson Seligman (1861-1939), an American economist famous for his pioneering work involving taxation and public finance; and Professor John Dewey (1859-1952), a leading American philosopher and educator, a leading proponent of the philosophical movement known as Pragmatism, and a pioneer in Functional Psychology.

He completed his M.A. in June 1915 with a thesis titled Ancient Indian Commerce. Although he majored in Economics, his studies included subjects ranging from Sociology and History to Philosophy and Anthropology. He went on to complete another thesis for a separate M.A. titled National Dividend of India — A Historic and Analytical Study.

The various degrees of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

The various degrees of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

On May 9, 1916, he presented his paper at an Anthropology seminar organised by Professor Alexander Goldenweiser (1880-1940). This paper, titled Castes in India: Their Mechanism Genesis and Development was later published in the Indian Antiquary in 1917. He was awarded a Ph.D. degree by Columbia University on this topic in the same year.

In the paper, he unravelled the origin and the structure of the caste system as a characteristic institution in India and mentioned that “the superposition of endogamy on exogamy was the road that led to the creation of caste“. Endogamy is the practice of marrying within a specific group or caste while exogamy is the practice of marrying outside a group or caste. It is said that the first caste or Varna to enclose itself around endogamy was the Brahmins. Later on, the lower castes also arose through the same process of enclosing, imitating the Brahmins.

The 18-page paper contained “a pure, detached academic study of the nature of the caste system in India,” which had no mention of personal experience and was considered a critical piece that “lucidly argued scholarship on the existing anthropological and sociological literature on caste“.

In 1916, after he completed his studies at Columbia University, he left to London and enrolled himself at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He wanted to study more about the history of Indian finance and currency. His interests took him to study courses in Geography, Political Ideas, and Social Evolution and Social Theory while doing his research. On top of that, he also enrolled at Gray’s Inn to study for the bar.

“I find he has already taken his doctor’s degree and has only come here to finish a research. I had forgotten this. I am sorry we cannot identify him with the School but there are no more worlds here for him to conquer.”

~ Professor Herbert Foxwell

(Source: Ambedkar at LSE)

In 1917, Dr. Ambedkar returned to India as the period of his scholarship had ended. LSE gave him leave of absence of up to four years for him to continue his studies and research at a later time. When Dr. Ambedkar arrived in India, he went straight to Baroda as he had received a scholarship from the State of Baroda and was obliged to work for them. He was appointed as a probationer in the Accountant General’s Office for the State of Baroda by the Maharaja.

Dr. Ambedkar eventually had to quit as he could not find long-term accommodation after being kicked out from an inn that belonged to a Parsi. He lived there under a false Parsi name as none of the Hindu hotels would provide accommodation for a Dalit. Parsis are members of the Zoroastrian community who migrated to India from Persia to escape the Arab Invasion of 636-651 CE. Though the Zoroastrian community maintained their traditional customs, some also practised the prevalent Hindu social norms such as the caste system.

“My five years of staying in Europe and America had completely wiped out of my mind any consciousness that I was an untouchable, and that an untouchable wherever he went in India was a problem to himself and to others. But when I came out of the station, my mind was considerably disturbed by a question, “Where to go? Who will take me?” I felt deeply agitated. Hindu hotels, called Vishis, I knew there were. They would not take me. The only way of seeking accommodation therein was by impersonation. But I was not prepared for it, because I could well anticipate the dire consequences which were sure to follow if my identity was discovered–as it was sure to be.

I had friends in Baroda who had come to America for study. “Would they welcome me if I went?” I could not assure myself. They may feel embarrassed at admitting an untouchable into their household.”

~ Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

(Source: Waiting for a Visa, by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar)

Dr. Ambedkar then tried his luck as a private tutor and a private consultant but both attempts failed because no one wanted to be the client of a Dalit. He was finally employed by the Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai as a Professor of Political Economy where he continued to suffer discrimination. Other teachers there even refused to share a drinking jug with him. He founded a weekly journal, Mooknayak, with the help of the Maharaja of Kolhapur to champion the cause against discrimination.

He was also invited to give evidence to the Southborough Franchise Committee that was appointed to prepare the 1919 Government of India Act on the position and representation of the “Untouchable” communities.

Mooknayak, the weekly journal founded by Babasaheb Ambedkar

Mooknayak, the weekly journal founded by Babasaheb Ambedkar

In 1921, Dr. Ambedkar returned to the London School of Economics and completed his thesis on The Problem of the Rupee, and was awarded a D.Sc. in Economics. He was also called to the British bar as a barrister when he completed his legal studies. One of his most significant achievements after returning to India in April 1923 was establishing the Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha, or Depressed Classes Welfare Association, in order to improve the welfare of the underprivileged classes and provide education for them. In 1927, he was awarded a Ph.D. in Economics by Columbia University. His thesis, The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India, was later published as a book.

Dr. Ambedkar's bust at the LSE Library, London

Dr. Ambedkar’s bust at the LSE Library, London

 

The Revolt of the Untouchables

There were two stages of the movement of the Untouchables against the injustice of the Hindu social order. The initial stage comprised of petitions and protests. The later stage comprised of open revolt, such as in the form of direct action. The later stage came about upon the realisation that the petitions and protests were not working and that despite the rights accorded to the Untouchables by law, opposition from the Hindu society at large meant they were not able to exercise their rights.

While he was a member of the Bombay Legislative Council, Ambedkar started the Satyagraha (passive resisters) movement, as well as two fortnightly Samata (Equality) and Janata (People) movements. He organised numerous non-violent campaigns to fight for the rights of the Dalits to enter Hindu temples and to draw water from public tanks.

“We are not going to the Chavadar Tank to merely drink its water. We are going to the Tank to assert that we too are human beings like others. It must be clear that this meeting has been called to set up the norm of equality.”

~ Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

(Source: B.R. Ambedkar in 1927, at Mahad)

The Satyagraha at Mahad came about during the Conference for the Depressed Classes that took place from March 19 to 20, 1927. Over 2,500 delegates, workers and leaders from almost all the districts of Maharashtra and Gujarat congregated to discuss about the civil rights of the Dalits. Various matters, such as the prohibition of untouchability, as well as free and compulsory primary education were discussed at the Conference.

“On the first day of the Conference, I delivered my presidential address, in which I exhorted them to fight for their rights, give up their dirty and vicious habits and rise to full manhood. Thereafter high caste Hindus who were present and, who held out that they were the friends of the Untouchables, addressed the gathering and told the Untouchables to be bold and exercise the right that is given to them by law.”

~ Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

(Source: Essays on Untouchables and Untouchability (Chapter 2, titled The Revolt of the Untouchables).)

When the subject committee met at night on the first day of the Conference, an issue raised was that it was extremely difficult for Untouchables to get water to drink in Mahad. On the second day of the Conference, after the resolutions were moved and passed by the Conference, two caste Hindu spokesmen were called upon to support the resolutions. It was then that Anantrao Chitre proposed that all delegates present at the Conference go to the Chawdar (Chavadar) tank and exercise the Untouchables’ legal rights to take water from the tank. The Chawdar tank was the only public tank from which an outsider could get water. However, the Untouchables were not allowed to take water from this tank although they were supposed to be able to according to law. The Untouchables had to go to the well located in the part of Mahad which was for Untouchables only, a location quite far from the centre of town. In fact, for the Conference, the Reception Committee had to spend a huge amount of money to employ caste Hindus to dole out sufficient amounts of water to provide for the Untouchables attending the Conference.

In 1923, with the resolution proposed by S.K. Bole, the Bombay Legislative Council issued the Bole Resolution which recommended that “the Untouchable Classes be allowed to use all public watering places, wells and dharmashalas which are built and maintained out of public funds or administered by bodies appointed by Government or created by statute, as well as public schools, courts, offices and dispensaries.” However, this only applied on paper which is why Anantrao Chitre made the proposal to proceed to the Chawdar tank.

Famous social worker Rao Bahadur SK Bole shares a light moment with Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, who made him sit on his lap, with Dr. Maisaheb Ambedkar (Mrs. Ambedkar)

Famous social worker Rao Bahadur SK Bole shares a light moment with Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, who made him sit on his lap, with Dr. Maisaheb Ambedkar (Mrs. Ambedkar).

Delegates were electrified by this call-to-arms and so 2,500 Untouchables, led by Dr. Ambedkar, marched through the main streets, heading towards the Chawdar tank. When they arrived there, Dr. Ambedkar was the first to take water from the tank and drank it, followed by the rest. It was the first time that the Untouchables had drunk the water from the tank, defying Hindu social norms and starting a revolution based on equal rights that would spread like wildfire.

Later, rumours spread amongst the Hindu castes that the Untouchables planned to enter the Veereshwar Temple as part of their peaceful protest. To prevent this from happening, caste Hindus gathered bamboo sticks and met at street corners. They proceeded towards the conference venue. Fortunately however, many delegates had left town. Still, the mob attacked the delegates that remained and, in addition to this, sent messages to their henchmen to punish conference delegates in their various locations. A purification ritual was organised the next day by caste Hindus to undo the ‘contamination’ caused when the Untouchables drunk the water from Chawdar tank.

The Untouchables then organised a second Conference and this time, they were prepared to face the worst. The caste Hindu group responded by applying to the District Magistrate to stop the Untouchables from entering the tank. As the District Magistrate was sympathetic towards the Untouchables, he rejected the application on the notion that as Chawdar tank was public, he could not use legal means to stop the Untouchables from entering and taking water from the tank.

Bronze sculpture depicting the Mahad Satyagraha by B.R. Ambedkar

Bronze sculpture depicting the ‘Mahad Satyagraha’ by B.R. Ambedkar. Dr. Ambedkar marched followed by 2,500 of his caste members through the main streets, heading towards the Chawdar water tank. When they arrived Dr. Ambedkar was the first to drink water from it, followed by the rest. It was the first time the Untouchables had drunk the water defying Hindu Social norms and prejudice. This started a revolution based on equal rights that would spread like wildfire. This bronze piece is a powerful symbol of human equality Dr. Ambedkar sought for tens of millions of people in India. Dr. Ambedkar dared, by drinking the water, defied the mainstream caste system that kept the untouchables in poverty and ignorance for thousands of years.

The caste Hindu representatives then went to court to assert their exclusive right to access the Chawdar tank. On December 12, 1927, nine caste Hindus from different castes filed a suit in the Court of Sub-Judge of Mahad against Ambedkar and four others representing the Untouchables. Further, they applied for a temporary injunction to prevent the Untouchables (defendants) from entering the tank or taking water from it until a decision was made by the court.

The second Conference was scheduled from December 25 to 27 of the same year. The District Magistrate who favoured the Untouchables attended the conference to personally explain that as the temporary injunction was issued, if the Untouchables or delegates of the conference entered the tank and drank water from it, it would defy the order of the Court.

After considering what the District Magistrate said, the Conference concluded with the decision to not draw water from the tank. Ambedkar assured the people that this postponement did not mean they had given up the struggle and so the group then went around the tank instead and returned to the Conference. In the evening Ambedkar spoke about the Manusmriti text as “the Bible of slavery to the Shudras, the Hindu women and the Untouchables”. This ancient text has governed the life of the Hindu community for 1,500 years and propagated unjust treatment towards the Dalits as well as women across castes. It was then that Sahastrabudhey, a Brahman associate of Ambedkar proposed that they burn the Manusmriti. This was when a copy of Manusmriti was brought and burnt in front of the Conference. The Hindu society at large was shocked at such an act.

The Conference later received good news regarding the lawsuit. As the caste Hindu representatives were not able to prove their exclusive right of access to the tank on the grounds of the custom being immemorial, the Untouchables won the case. This was another milestone in the Dalit movement.

The Satyagraha had a significant impact on the Dalit movement as they provided “direct education and the alteration of the social customs and the behaviour of the village-dwelling Mahars who had come to the Conference”. In 1930, Dr. Ambedkar led another Satyagraha – the Kalaram Temple movement. This time, around 15,000 people gathered in a procession, determined to enter the Kalaram Temple for the first time. Despite the gates being closed by Brahmin authorities, the objective was to have the right to enter a temple, not so much the actual entry itself.

Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Mahad Satyagraha, the protest march to claim public water, was a significant event for India’s Dalit movement

Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Mahad Satyagraha, the protest march to claim public water (Chawdar water tank), was a significant event for India’s Dalit movement

Women’s Rights

Although Dr. Ambedkar was known to champion for the Dalits, he also asserted women’s rights. Women were also marginalised in the ancient law book, the Manusmriti, which shows great prejudice and also advises to subjugate women:

अस्वतंत्रा: स्त्रियःकार्योःपुरुषैःस्वैर्द्दिवानिशम्।

[Day and night women must be kept in dependence by the males (of) their (families) and if they attach them to enjoyments they must be kept under control.]

बाल्ये पितुर्वशे तिष्ठेत्पाणिग्राहस्य यौवने।

[In childhood a female must be subject to her father, in youth in her husband, when (her) lord is dead to her sons: a woman must never be independent]

बालया वा युवत्या वा वृद्धया वाऽपि योषिता।

[By a girl, by a young woman or even by an aged one, nothing must be done independently, even in her own house]

नास्ति स्त्रीणां क्रिया मन्त्रैरिति धर्मे व्यवस्थितिः।

[Women have no right to study Vedas. That is why their rituals are performed without Veda mantras. Women have no knowledge of religion because they have no right to know the Vedas. The uttering of Veda mantra is useful for removing sin. As women cannot utter the Veda mantra they are as unclean as untruth is.]

In Dr. Ambedkar’s works, Women and Counter Revolution and The Riddle of Women, he described the way in which the Manusmirti portrayed and treated women. The attitude of Hindu culture was influenced heavily by this text. He pointed out that the laws of Manu dictated the status of women and that such attitudes were “perpetuated and maintained through Hindu personal laws based on Shastras, caste and endogamy“.

In some of Dr. Ambedkar’s books, such as The Riddles of Hinduism, The Buddha and Karl Marx and Revolution and Counter Revolution in Ancient India, Dr. Ambedkar again highlighted the issues of women in India and also suggested strategies for emancipation from oppression. Dr. Ambedkar cites examples of women like Vishakha, Amrapali of Vaishali, Gautami, Rani Mallika and the Queen of Prasenjith as evidence that the Buddha treated women as equal to men.

Dr. Ambedkar was instrumental in fighting for the rights of women and gender equality

Dr. Ambedkar was instrumental in fighting for the rights of women and gender equality

In his memorandum to the Southborough Commission, Dr. Ambedkar demanded voting rights for the Untouchables as well as for women. During the Mahad Satyagraha in 1927, Dr. Ambedkar stressed the importance of their participation in the struggle for depressed women, and encouraged them to participate in the fight against the tyranny of the caste system and gender discrimination.

In the same year, on July 18, 1927, at a meeting of about 3,000 women, Dr. Ambedkar said that he “measure(s) the progress of community by the degree of progress which women had achieved. Let every girl who marries stand by her husband, claim to be her husband’s friend and equal, and refuse to be his slave. I am sure if you follow this advice, you will bring honour and glory to yourselves.” At another conference at Nagpur, where about 25,000 women participated in the event, he advised women “to be progressive and told them to abolish traditionalism, ritualism and customary habits which were detrimental to their progress”.

Among many of Dr. Ambedkar’s other contributions were the introduction of the Maternity Benefit Bill and protecting the rights of women working in coal mines. He was also a proponent of provisions related to the welfare of women. The Hindu Code Bill ended the various marriage systems in India at that time and legalised only monogamous marriages. It also covered women’s right to property, order of succession to the property, as well as maintenance, marriage, divorce adoption, minority and guardianship.

 

Round Table Conferences

Three Round Table Conferences to discuss constitutional reform in India were conducted by the British Government with political leaders from British India and delegates from the princely states from 1930-1932. This was recommended by the All-India Muslim League leader, Muhammad Ali Jinnah to Viceroy Lord Irwin and Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald and the report submitted by the Simon Commission in May 1930. Ambedkar was a member of the Bombay Provincial Committee of the Simon Commission, the Indian Statutory Committee in 1928 and the First Round Table Conference in London. Ambedkar was the British-Indian Representative of the Depressed Classes.

British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald to the right of Mahatma Gandhi at the Second Round Table Conference in London, October 1931. Fourth from the left in the foreground and wearing glasses is Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Representative of the Depressed Classes.

British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald to the right of Mahatma Gandhi at the Second Round Table Conference in London, October 1931. Fourth from the left in the foreground and wearing glasses is Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Representative of the “Depressed Classes”.

During the Second Round Table Conference organised by the British, Gandhi claimed that the Untouchables were Hindus and should not be treated as a minority group, and that Muslims or other minorities did not need to have separate electorates or special safeguards. Ambedkar, who brought along a 22-page memorandum, opposed Gandhi by insisting on the necessity of separate electorates for the Depressed Classes and other minorities. The British Government was convinced, and the British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald introduced the “Communal Award” on August 16, 1932, which granted separate electorates in India for the various castes and minorities, such as the Forward Castes, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Indian Christians, Anglo-Indians, Europeans, Depressed Classes (now known as the Scheduled Caste) and so on.

 

Poona Pact of 1932

On September 20, 1932, Gandhi, who was in Yarawada Jail, embarked on a hunger strike in response to this, as he viewed separate electorates as one of the tools to divide and rule India. Ambedkar is said to have called Gandhi’s fast a political stunt and commented that,

“I however trust the Mahatma will not drive me to the necessity of making a choice between his life and the rights of my people. For I can never consent to deliver my people bound hand and foot to the Caste Hindus for generations to come.”

(Source: Ambedkar, Gandhi and Patel: The Making of India’s Electoral System by Raja Sekhar Vundru)

This resulted in Ambedkar receiving death threats and being condemned as a traitor due to a mass upsurge to save the life of Gandhi.

Gandhi’s purpose was “intended to sting the Hindu conscience into right religious action“. He was of the opinion that the lives of the Untouchables “are so intimately mixed with those of the caste Hindus in whose midst and for whom they live, that it is impossible to separate them.”

This was resolved through the Poona Pact, also known as the Gandhi-Ambedkar Pact that was signed September 24, 1932 with the agreement that there would be a unified electorate but the Depressed Classes would receive an increased number of reserved seats.

An agreement between Babasaheb Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi was finally signed on September 24, 1932, ending Mahatma Gandhi's fast.

An agreement between Babasaheb Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi was finally signed on September 24, 1932, ending Mahatma Gandhi’s fast.

Gandhi’s fast did make a difference. The Untouchables were granted access to public wells and temples all over the country as a gesture of embracing the Untouchables, with the Hindu Leaders’ Conference resolving that “amongst Hindus, no one shall be regarded as an untouchable by reason of his birth and those who have been so regarded hitherto will have the same rights as the other Hindus in regard to the use of public wells, public roads and other public institutions.” This led to the founding of the All-India Anti-Untouchability League, which later became the Harijan Sevak Sangh, in order to eliminate untouchability.

The object of the [Harijan Sevak] Sangh shall be the eradication by truthful and non-violent means of untouchability in Hindu Society with all its incidental evils and disabilities, suffered by the so-called untouchables hereinafter described as Harijans in all walks of life and to secure for them absolute equality of status with the rest of the Hindus.

(Source: The Constitution of Harjian Sevak Sangh)

Gandhi started to use the term ‘Harijans’, which means “children of God”, to replace the derogatory term ‘Untouchable’. However, it was later viewed as a patronising term, although it was not Gandhi’s intention for it to be patronising. Gandhi then went on a nine-month long tour, travelling 12,000 miles in 1933-1934 for this effort. Some of Gandhi’s colleagues in the Indian National Congress began to express their worry that Gandhi focused too much on religious issues to the “detriment of political activity”. Gandhi realised that he had to get the attention of caste Hindus in order to eradicate the practice of Untouchability. He believed the segregation was not healthy for Hinduism, and it was a deviated form of practice in Hinduism.

Gandhi also started an English language weekly called The Harijan in February 1933 as part of his campaign to create awareness of the sin of continuing the practice of Untouchability. Gandhi requested Ambedkar to prepare a message for the first issue of The Harijan but Ambedkar refused. Ambedkar replied with the statement:

“The outcaste is a by-product of the caste system. There will be outcastes as long as there are castes. Nothing can emancipate the outcaste except the destruction of the caste system. Nothing can help to save Hindus and ensure their survival in the coming struggle except the purging of the Hindu faith of this odious and vicious dogma.”

(Source: Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Dr. Ambedkar and caste, Harijan, February 11, 1933)

Despite the landmark agreement between the two leaders, the situation did not improve as Ambedkar continued to be hated and the Dalits continued to be excluded from Hindu temples. Losing hope and realising that things would not change in Hindu society, Dr. Ambedkar shocked Indian society when he declared at the 1935 Depressed Classes Conference that he did not intend to die a Hindu.

Dr. Ambedkar was appointed the Principal of the Government Law College from 1935 to 1937. He founded the Independent Labour Party and was elected to the Bombay Legislative Assembly. He founded the Scheduled Castes Federation in 1942 when he was appointed as a Labour member in the Viceroy’s Council. Dr. Ambedkar also established the People’s Education Society Mumbai that later founded the Siddhartha College of Commerce. He was also elected to the Constituent Assembly from Mumbai and became the first Law Minister of India and the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution of India.

Babasaheb Ambedkar being sworn in as independent India’s first Law Minister by President Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru looks on May 8, 1950

May 8, 1950: Babasaheb Ambedkar (standing, right) being sworn in as independent India’s first Law Minister by President Dr. Rajendra Prasad (standing, centre). Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru (seated, left) looks on.

Dr. Ambedkar wanted to free India from any sort of inequality, especially for the Dalits, as well as promote women’s rights. He oversaw the establishment of the Finance Commission of India, and his ideas laid the foundation for India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India. In April 1948, Dr. Ambedkar married Dr. Sharada Kabir (later commonly known as Dr. Maisaheb Ambedkar), a Chitpavan Brahmin from Maharashtra who later adopted the name Savita Ambedkar. She would be his second wife since Dr. Ambedkar had previously been married, having had an arranged marriage when he was 15 years old. His first wife, Ramabai, was only nine years old when they wed and she passed away in 1935 after a long illness. Dr. Ambedkar’s marriage to Dr. Sharada was something remarkable because even today, honour killings or shame killings still occur in cases of inter-caste marriages. As many as 356 cases of honour killings were reported in India between 2014 and 2016. Hence Dr. Ambedkar and Dr. Sharada’s marriage was an act of courage given the cultural norms at the time, an example that fits what Dr. Ambedkar said in the context of a discussion on inter-caste marriages, that “Political tyranny is nothing compared to social tyranny and a reformer, who defies society, is a much more courageous man than a politician who defies government.

Dr. Ambedkar married Dr. Sharada Kabir at his residence, Hardings Avenue, New Delhi on 15th April, 1948. Prior to the marriage she was the doctor attending to Dr. Ambedkar during his illness in Bombay.

Dr. Ambedkar married Dr. Sharada Kabir at his residence, Hardings Avenue, New Delhi on April 15, 1948. Prior to the marriage, she was the doctor attending to Dr. Ambedkar during his illness in Bombay.

In inter-caste marriages, the caste of the woman follows that of the man she marries. If an upper-caste woman marries a lower-caste man, her status is reduced and this is viewed as bringing shame on the girl’s family. Hence, the family and community sometimes resolve to remove the source of shame by killing the bride. This serves as a warning to lower-caste men not to touch upper-caste women, which in turn promotes the endogamy that Ambedkar spoke so fiercely against.

“Fusion of blood can alone create the feeling of being kith and kin and unless this feeling of kinship, of being kindred, becomes paramount the separatist feeling – the feeling of being aliens- created by caste will not vanish.”

~ Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

(Source: Annihilation of Caste: With a Reply to Mahatma Gandhi by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar)

When Dr. Ambedkar resigned from the Cabinet in September 1951, one of the five reasons he cited was the lack of adequate support from Nehru for the Hindu Code Bill that sought to unify the Hindu community. Although he was defeated in the 1952 Bombay (North Central) constituency election, he was appointed to the Upper House of the Parliament where he remained a member until his death.

In his later years, he did much to revive Buddhism in India when he converted to the religion so that he could free himself and subsequently many others from the perils of caste differences and unfairness.

Dr. Ambedkar discussing regarding Hindu Code Bill at New Delhi during 1955. Seen behind him is Mr. Sohan Lal Shashtri.

Dr. Ambedkar (seated, upper right corner) discussing the Hindu Code Bill in New Delhi (1955).

 

Contemplating Buddhism

Ambedkar wrote a 6,500-word article called The Buddha and the Future of His Religion, which was published in the April-May 1950 issue of The Maha Bodhi. The official mouthpiece for the Maha Bodhi Society founded by Anagarika Dharmapala in 1892, The Maha Bodhi was the leading English-language Buddhist magazine of that time for English-speaking Buddhists around the world.

The Maha Bodhi, the leading English-language Buddhist magazine which Ambedkar’s article was published in.

The Maha Bodhi, the leading English-language Buddhist magazine in which Ambedkar’s article was published. Click here to download The Buddha and the Future of His Religion, page 117-118 and page 199-206, published in the April-May 1950 issue of The Maha Bodhi

The article consisted of five sections. Ambedkar began by explaining what distinguished the Buddha from the founders of three other major religions – Jesus, Muhammad, and Krishna. This was followed by a comparison between Buddhism and Hinduism. Ambedkar declared his faith in the revival of Buddhism in India in the third section, and shared how Buddhism stands compared to other non-Hindu religions in the fourth section. In the last section, he presented the three steps that needed to be taken if the propagation of Buddhism was to be realised.

Ambedkar said that the Buddha “preached his gospel as a common man,” meaning that he did not thunder God-like pronouncements into the ears of a reluctant humanity, but rather as a simple communication by a man to his fellow men – by a man who was an Enlightened One to men who were not as yet enlightened.

Buddha did not claim to be of supernatural origin. He did not try to prove his supernatural powers with his miracles, or claim supernatural sanction or divine authority for his teaching. All he claimed was that what he taught was a reasonable teaching, and that it was possible for a sincere and open-minded person to experience the truth for himself in this very existence.

"The Buddha made a clear distinction between Margadata "Giver of the Way" and Mokshadata "Giver of Salvation". Jesus, Muhammad, and Krishna claimed for themselves the role of Mokshadata. The Buddha was satisfied with playing the role of Margadata." - From <em>Buddha and Future of His Religion</em> by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in <em>The Maha Bodhi</em> (April-May 1950).

“The Buddha made a clear distinction between Margadata “Giver of the Way” and Mokshadata “Giver of Salvation”. Jesus, Muhammad, and Krishna claimed for themselves the role of Mokshadata. The Buddha was satisfied with playing the role of Margadata.” – From Buddha and Future of His Religion by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in The Maha Bodhi (April-May 1950).

Ambedkar took a passage of the Mahaparinibbana Sutta to heart. The Buddha, on the eve of his departure from the world, told his faithful attendant, “When I am gone, Ananda, let the Order, if it should so wish, abolish all the lesser and minor precepts.” In the book Ambedkar and Buddhism, as written by Sangharakshita, Ambedkar said that the Buddha “wished his religion not to be encumbered with the dead wood of the past. He wanted it to remain evergreen and serviceable at all times. That is why he gave liberty to his followers to chip and chop as the necessities of the case required.

“In the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, [the Buddha] told Ananda that his religion was based on reason and experience and that his followers should not accept his teaching as correct and binding merely because it emanated from him. Being based on reason and experience, they were free to modify or even abandon any of his teachings if it was found that, at a given time and in given circumstances, they did not apply.”

(Source: Buddha and Future of His Religion by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, The Maha Bodhi (April-May, 1950).)

Ambedkar believed that this showed the courage of Buddha’s faith in his teachings and the nature of Buddhism as a religion based not on authority but on reason and experience.

“They were afraid of permitting repair. For they felt that the liberty to repair may be used to demolish the structure they had reared. The Buddha had no such fear. He was sure that even the most violent iconoclast will not be able to destroy the core of his religion.”

“The religion of the Buddha is morality. It is embedded in religion. Buddhist religion is nothing if not morality. It is true that, in Buddhism, there is no God. In place of God, there is morality. What God is to other religions, morality is to Buddhism.”

(Source: Buddha and Future of His Religion by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, The Maha Bodhi (April-May, 1950).)

By that, it is taken to mean that in Buddhism, morality (in the broad sense of ethics) has taken the place of ‘God’ and that actions are regarded as either wholesome or unwholesome, or skilful or unskillful, as they are termed in Buddhism.

In comparing Buddhism to Hinduism, Ambedkar said that “the official gospel of Hinduism is inequality”, which proclaimed that neither a Shudra (the fourth and lowest of the traditional social classes of India) nor a woman could become a teacher of religion, nor could they take Sannyasa (or initiation) into the ascetic life and reach God. Buddha, on the other hand, admitted Shudras and women into the ordained Sangha.

Ambedkar mentioned three requirements which he thought religion must fulfill:

  1. It must be in accord with science.
  2. It must recognise the fundamental tenets of liberty, equality, and fraternity.
  3. It must not sanctify and ennoble poverty.

Ambedkar concluded that if the new world were to have a religion, it would be Buddhism as Buddhism fulfills all three requirements. He also emphasised that Buddha taught social freedom, economic freedom, and political freedom as part of his religion.

“He taught equality; equality not between man and man only, but between man and woman.”

(Source: Buddha and Future of His Religion by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, The Maha Bodhi (April-May, 1950).)

Ambedkar declared that Buddha’s teachings embraced many aspects of social life and that his doctrines were concerned with giving salvation to man in his life on earth, and not merely promising him heaven in the afterlife.

To ensure that Buddhism is not “encumbered with the dead wood of the past”, Ambedkar further mentioned three steps that he deemed necessary:

  1. To produce a Buddhist Bible.
  2. To make changes in the organisation, aims and objects of the Bhikshu Sangha.
  3. To set up a world Buddhist Mission.

Ambedkar mentioned that other religions have an advantage in that they have a gospel that followers can carry with them and read wherever they are. He also stated that the Indian Dhammapada was not able to fulfil the function of such a gospel.

Dr. Ambedkar completed the writing of his Buddhist Bible and called it “The Buddha and His Dhamma”. It was first published in November 1957, almost a year after Dr. Ambedkar’s death in December 1956. This book is included in scriptures used by Navayana or ‘New Vehicle’ Buddhists that follow Dr. Ambedkar’s interpretation of Lord Buddha’s teachings.

The first World Fellowship of Buddhist Conference at Sri Lanka in 1950. Dr. Ambedkar and Mrs. Ambedkar with the delegates and observers from all over the world are seen in the photograph.

The first World Fellowship of Buddhists Conference at Sri Lanka in 1950. Dr. Ambedkar and Mrs. Ambedkar with the delegates and observers from all over the world are seen in the photograph. They are in the front row; Dr. Ambedkar can be seen with a walking stick and his wife is seated to his left.

At the inaugural meeting of the World Fellowship of Buddhists in Ceylon (today known as Sri Lanka), Ambedkar observed Buddhist ceremonies and rituals and discovered how Buddhism was a living religion in Ceylon. He also visited Burma twice in 1954, and returned to India with funds and resources from the two Buddhist countries to help him spread Buddhism in India. Among the resources he was given was an image of the Buddha from Burma that was later installed in a newly-constructed temple at Dehu Road near Poona. Ambedkar’s journey of discovery continued six years after the appearance of his article before he finally decided that Buddhism was the way forward for his people.

As we read Buddha more and more, we realise the relevance of Buddhism in today’s India. Dr. Ambedkar was the best interpreter of Buddha and his thoughts. - Meerasabihalli Shivanna From The Hindu, February 2018

“As we read Buddha more and more, we realise the relevance of Buddhism in today’s India. Dr. Ambedkar was the best interpreter of Buddha and his thoughts.”
– Meerasabihalli Shivanna
From The Hindu, February 2018

 

The Buddha and His Dhamma

At Dehu Road on December 25, 1955, Ambedkar told the public that he was writing a book explaining the tenets of Buddhism in simple language for the benefit of the common man. It might take him a year to complete the work but when it was finished, he would embrace Buddhism.

“There is one urgent matter which I want you to attend to and that is the publication of my book “The Buddha and His Dhamma” … I am in a great hurry and I want the book to be published by September the latest.”

(Source: A message to S.S. Rege, the Librarian of Siddharth College, Bombay)

Less than three weeks after this message, on May 24, he publicly announced that he would embrace Buddhism in October 1956, one month after his book was expected to be published.

This work, which was to be Dr. Ambedkar’s magnum opus, is divided into eight volumes. The last four volumes, Book V to Book VIII, are only half the length of the first four volumes. The first edition of this work, published in 1957, contains 599 pages and covers 5,013 verses. Most of the contents were extracts and adaptations of Buddhist literature from both canonical and non-canonical sources. The remainder came from Ambedkar’s own explanations. The canonical extracts were mostly from the Sutta Pitaka and the Vinaya Pitaka of the Theravada Pali Tipitaka or ‘Three Collections’ while the non-canonical extracts came mostly from Ashvaghosha’s Buddhacarita or Life of the Buddha, as well as the MilindapanhaQuestions of King Milinda”, and also a Chinese translation of a prayer to Amitabha.

The publication of this work fulfilled Dr. Ambedkar’s mission to produce a Buddhist Bible. He wanted such a work to unify Buddhists and for practitioners to have a single book that contains the essence of Buddha’s teachings. Practitioners would be able to refer to this one book compiled from canonical sources, similar to other religious traditions that rely on a single book, even if they have many other commentarial teachings. He wanted to spread Buddhism and therefore deemed such a work necessary to fulfil this aim. In this work, Dr. Ambedkar interweaved the Buddha’s teachings with the Buddha’s life story which was intended to be an inspiration for the Dalit community. He did this because many Dalits would need explanations of the Buddha’s teachings in a manner which they could understand since many were not highly educated. Dr. Ambedkar’s approach to Buddhism was also a social and ethical one, rather than philosophical.

'The Buddha and His Dhamma', a treatise on Buddha's life and Buddhism, was the last work of Babasahed Ambedkar.

The Buddha and His Dhamma, a treatise on Buddha’s life and Buddhism, was the last work of Babasaheb Ambedkar. – Click here to download PDF

 

Book I – “Siddarth Gautam – How a Bodhisatta became the Buddha”

Book I is entitled Siddarth Gautam – How a Bodhisatta became the Buddha and it was inspired by an apparently autobiographical passage in the Suttanipata, an ancient text belonging to the fifth division of the Sutta Pitaka. Combined with the antedated version of the conflict between the Shakyas (Buddha’s paternal ancestry) and the Koliyas (Buddha’s maternal ancestry), as well as episodes from Ashvaghosha’s Buddhacarita, Ambedkar painted Buddha’s decision to leave home as a form of protest against the Shakya clan’s decision to go to war with the Koliya clan, which was a “crisis in the life of Siddharth.

 

Book II – “Campaign of Conversion”

Book II, entitled Campaign of Conversion, explains the preaching of the First Sermon and the conversion of the five Parivrajakas or wandering ascetics, as well as the conversion of ‘the High and the Holy,’ of the Buddha’s own relations, of ‘the Low and the Lowly,’ of women, and of ‘the Fallen and the Criminals.’

Before describing the Buddha’s ‘First Sermon’ and the conversion of the five Parivrajakas, Ambedkar explained the two types of conversion – the conversion to the Order of Bhikshus and a householder’s conversion as an Upasaka or lay follower. There is no difference in the way of life of the bhikshus and the upasaka except on four points. By strongly emphasising the exception of the four points, Ambedkar highlighted the solidarity and unity of the Buddhist spiritual community.

 

Book III – “What the Buddha Taught”

Book III, entitled What the Buddha Taught, is based on philosophical discussions. In his explanation, Ambedkar classified the Dhamma into three categories: Dhamma, Not-Dhamma (Adhamma), and Saddhamma (the philosophy of Dhamma).

Dhamma is about maintaining the purity of body, speech and mind, reaching perfection in this life, living in Nirvana or living free from greed, hatred, and delusion, giving up craving, believing that all compound things are impermanent, and believing that the law of karma is the instrument of the moral order.

Not-Dhamma is the belief in the supernatural as the cause of events, the belief that the world was created by God, the belief that Dhamma is based on union with Brahman, the belief that sacrifices – including animal sacrifices – are a part of religion, the belief that speculations regarding the origin of the self and the universe are a part of religion, the belief that the reading of books is Dhamma, and belief in the infallibility of sacred books like the Vedas.

Saddhamma is to cleanse the mind of its impurities and to make the world a kingdom of righteousness. For that to happen, Dhamma must promote Prajna or insight. Studying or learning must be open to all so that everyone can learn and discover insight into the teachings.

Ambedkar said that Dhamma is Saddhamma only when it teaches that Prajna must be accompanied by Sila or right action, as well as by Karuna or compassion for the poor and helpless, and by Maitri or love for all living beings. Ambedkar establishes the real nature of the Buddha’s teaching by replacing the traditional triad of Sila, Samadhi, and Prajna by his own triad of Sila, Prajna, and Karuna-Maitri. In an unconventional way, he was able to present the Buddha’s teachings and highlight the social implications of those teachings.

 

Book IV – “Religion and Dhamma”, “The Buddhist Way of Life and His Sermons”

Parts I and II of Book IV, entitled Religion and Dhamma, are philosophical discussions. Parts III and IV of Book IV, entitled The Buddhist Way of Life and His Sermons, are ethical and psychological discussions, which consist almost entirely of verses from the Pali Dhammapada. These are arranged under such headings as ‘On Craving and Lust,’ ‘On Anger and Enmity,’ ‘On Man, Mind and Impurities,’ ‘On Self and Self-Conquest,’ ‘On Wisdom, Justice and Good Company,’ and ‘On Thoughtfulness and Mindfulness.’ The sermons are organised in accordance with the target audience or subject matter, such as sermons for householders, sermons on righteousness and sermons on Nirvana.

 

Book V – Book VIII – “The Sangha”, “He and His Contemporaries”, “The Wanderer’s Last Testament”, “The Man who was Siddharth Gautama”

Book V is The Sangha, Book VI is He and His Contemporaries, Book VII is The Wanderer’s Last Testament and Book VIII is The Man who was Siddharth Gautama. The last four books were only about half the volume of the first four books, which could indicate that Ambedkar wanted to quickly complete his goal as he was unsure whether he would live long enough to proceed as he had originally planned. These four books contain excerpts from the Buddhist scriptures as well as his own Explanatory Additions.

The last book, The Man who was Siddharth Gautama, is about the Buddha and Ambedkar. The Buddha was described as compassionate and tolerant of the intolerant. He had a sense of equality and never claimed any special privileges for himself. Nine ‘scientists and thinkers’ that mentioned the greatness of the Buddha were quoted in the Epilogue. Prayers such as A Vow to Spread His Dhamma and A Prayer for His Return to His Native Land, as well as a prayer to Amitabha, the Buddha of Infinite Light, were included. These prayers show Ambedkar’s wish to be reborn in India to spread Buddhadharma, just like Vasubandhu’s wish to be reborn in the Western Pure Land and to continue his work.

 

Making History

On October 13, 1956, on the eve of Vijaya Dasami, or ‘Victory Tenth’, Ambedkar held a press conference in Nagpur to clarify a few issues before the historic mass conversion event. He mentioned that his Buddhism would be a sort of neo-Buddhism or Navayana, based on the same principles that make up the common foundation of Hinayana, Mahayana and other forms of Buddhism.

Even the poorest of the Dalits attempted to travel to Nagpur via various means of transportation. Many of them set off on foot, marching in groups and carrying banners such as ‘Baba Saheb gives the call: Embrace Buddhism one and all!’ and ‘Move the heavens, move the earth! Turn to Buddhism and have a new birth!’ In all, 400,000 men, women and children poured into Nagpur clad in white shirts and white saris that was prescribed for the event.

Dr. Ambedkar addressing the gathering on Buddhism, at Diksha Bhoomi Nagpur on 15th October, 1956

Dr. Ambedkar addressing the crowd at Diksha Bhumi, Nagpur, on October 15, 1956. This was the day after Ambedkar converted to Buddhism together with the mass conversion of over 400,000 people.

At 9.15 a.m., on October 14, 1956, Ambedkar took his seat on the stage between his wife and U Chandramani, the oldest and most senior bhikshu in India at Diksha Bhumi, or the Initiation Ground. A bhikshu, or bhikkhu in the Pali language, is a fully ordained Buddhist monk. Devapriya Valisinha, the Sinhalese (Sri Lankan) General Secretary of the Maha Bodhi Society, Venerable Sangharatana and three other Sinhalese bhikshus belonging to the Society were also on stage.

The Maha Bodhi Society was founded by the Sri Lankan Buddhist leader, revivalist and writer Anagarika Dharmapala and the English poet and journalist Sir Edwin Arnold in 1891. Since the decline of Buddhism in India, though many remnants of Buddhist culture still existed, many Indians did not consider themselves to be Buddhist. The Maha Bodhi Society sought to renew interest in Buddhism in its homeland. They helped not only to establish various Buddhist associations in India but also aided Ambedkar in laying the foundations for Buddhism to spread amongst the Dalit movement in India. The society’s presence during Ambedkar’s conversion bears witness to the revival of the religion in India.

Ambedkar and his wife folded their hands in front of U Chandramani and recited the refuge verse Buddham saranam gacchami, Dhammam saranam gacchami, Sangham saranam gacchami” three times after U Chandramani. The couple also took the Five Precepts as part of the ceremony.

A photo of the stage at Diksha Bhumi, Nagpur

Dr. Ambedkar addressing the gathering of 400,000 on the first day of the historic mass conversion to Buddhism on October 14, 1956 at Diksha Bhumi, Nagpur

A section of the audience during the conversion

400,000 Dalit men, women, and children attended the historic mass conversion ceremony held by Dr. Ambedkar on October 14, 1956

Dalit women during conversion to Buddhism At Diksha Bhumi, Nagpur

A section reserved especially for Dalit women at the historic mass conversion ceremony to Buddhism on October 14, 1956

Dr. Ambedkar delivering speech during the ceremony

Dr. Ambedkar delivering a speech to the crowd of 400,000 gathered to convert to Buddhism on October 14, 1956

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar (2nd from right side) accepting Dhamma Deeksha - Buddhism from Mahasthavir Chandramani along with Wali Sinha, Rewaramji Kawade and wife Dr. Maisaheb Ambedkar (1st from right side)

Dr. Ambedkar (second from the right) accepting Dhamma Deeksha (Buddhist refuge) from the senior Sinhalese bhikshu, U Chandramani, along with Wali Sinha, Rewaramji Kawade and wife Dr. Maisaheb Ambedkar (first from the right). This picture captures the very moment when Dr. Ambedkar recited the verses of refuge and officially became a Buddhist. Right after this moment 400,000 people followed his lead and became Buddhists during the mass conversion ceremony.

Ambedkar also recited the 22 vows, which he had written specially for the occasion, which included pledges such as not to believe in the gods and goddesses of Hinduism or to worship them, not to regard the Buddha as an incarnation of Vishnu, not to perform the traditional Hindu rites for the dead, not to employ Brahmins to conduct religious ceremonies, to believe in and seek to establish the equality of men, to follow the path shown by the Buddha, and to observe the Buddhist precepts. Ambedkar then turned to the audience of 400,000 sitting below him and asked those who wished to join him to stand up. Ambedkar repeated the Refuge verses, the Five Precepts as well as the 22 vows. And just like that, 400,000 people became Buddhists in front of Ambedkar. The next day, Ambedkar held another conversion ceremony at the Initiation Ground for a crowd of 100,000, some of whom had arrived too late for the ceremony the previous day. Within two days, half a million people in India had become Buddhists because of Ambedkar.

 

VIDEO: Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar embracing Buddhism with the Dalits

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AmbedkarConversion.mp4

 

The Conversion Continues

Ambedkar passed away on December 6, 1956 and his body was cremated in Bombay, his headquarters for the greater part of his career. Half a million people participated in the two-mile-long funeral procession from Rajagriha, Ambedkar’s residence, to the local burning Ghat. The procession took four hours and was the largest procession that the city had ever seen.

Babasaheb Ambedkar passed away in his sleep on December 6, 1956 at his residence at Delhi.

Babasaheb Ambedkar passed away in his sleep on December 6, 1956 at his residence Rajagriha in Delhi.

Some in the crowd wished to follow Ambedkar’s footsteps, so an impromptu conversion ceremony was held at the local burning Ghat where a bhikshu administered the refuge ceremony to 100,000 people on the spot.

One week later, a conversion ceremony was held at Delhi, where a portion of the ashes was delivered, and where 30,000 people were initiated into Buddhism. The same ashes from Delhi were then divided and a portion was sent to Agra. A similar conversion ceremony took place there with 200,000 people initiated into Buddhism. The mass conversion movement that began in Nagpur six weeks earlier had continued despite Ambedkar’s passing. Aside from the three locations mentioned above, conversions were also held in more than 20 towns and cities between December 7, 1956 and February 10, 1957. By the time it ended, there were four million Dalit Buddhists.

Beautiful shrines of Dalit Buddhists with images of Lord Buddha and Dr. Ambedkar

Beautiful shrines of Dalit Buddhists with images of Lord Buddha and Dr. Ambedkar

Beautiful shrines of Dalit Buddhists with images of Lord Buddha and Dr. Ambedkar

Beautiful shrines of Dalit Buddhists with images of Lord Buddha and Dr. Ambedkar

Beautiful shrines of Dalit Buddhists with images of Lord Buddha and Dr. Ambedkar

Beautiful shrines of Dalit Buddhists with images of Lord Buddha and Dr. Ambedkar

Ambedkar Day celebrated across Triratna Buddhist Community in India

Ambedkar Day celebrated across Triratna Buddhist Community in India

A popular poster of Dr. Ambedkar in wide circulation

A popular poster of Dr. Ambedkar in wide circulation

Caption

Even today, Dr. Ambedkar’s courage continues to be a source of inspiration. Framed images of Dr. Ambedkar can be found alongside images of the Buddha available for sale in many places in India. Practitioners still look for his picture to be put on their shrines or simply out of respect and reverence for his work.

 

His Legacy Continues

Ambedkar continues to inspire the Dalits, Indians and many worldwide from all walks of life with his noble example, his cause, his words and his writings, which culminated in the epic work The Buddha and His Dhamma that was completed almost at the end of his life. Ambedkar was voted “The Greatest Indian” in a 2012 poll organised by History TV18 and CNN IBN. With more than 20 million votes cast, Ambedkar’s win proves that he left a lasting legacy that makes him significantly relevant in this day and age.

Dr. Ambedkar was also celebrated by The Parliament of India on November 26-28, 2015 when a Special Sittings To Commemorate 125th Birth Anniversary Celebration of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar was organised in recognition of his great contribution and effort in nation-building and drafting the constitution. In 2018, the United Nations (UN) organised the third celebration of Ambedkar Jayanti at the UN, remembering Dr. Ambedkar’s legacy of fighting inequality and inspiring inclusion around the world.

A bust of Dr. Ambedkar installed in Hungary

A bust of Dr. Ambedkar installed in Hungary

Another sign of reverence to his great thoughts and works is the presence of Dr. Ambedkar statues and busts across India and around the world, such as that in Brandeis University in Massachusetts, USA in 2017 and one in Hungary in 2016.

Waltham Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Dr. Ambedkar’s bust at Brandeis University, Massachusetts, USA

Ambedkar Memorial Park, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Dr. Ambedkar’s statue in the Ambedkar Stupa, Ambedkar Memorial Park, Lucknow, India

B.R. Ambedkar statue at Ambedkar Park, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Dr. Ambedkar’s statue at the Ambedkar Park, Lucknow, India

Statues installed at the birthplace of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, India

Statues of Dr. Ambedkar and Dr. Savita Ambedkar (Dr. Sharada Kabir) at Bhim Janm Bhoomi (Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Birth Place Memorial) in Mhow, India

Bust of Ambedkar at Ambedkar Museum in Pune, Maharashtra, India

Bust of Dr. Ambedkar at Ambedkar Museum in Pune, Maharashtra, India

Dr. Ambedkar's statue in New Delhi, India

Statue of Dr. Ambedkar near the Indian Parliament, New Delhi, India

Dr BR Ambedkar's statue in Lucknow, India

Dr. Ambedkar’s statue in Lucknow, India

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Maharashtra, India

Dr. Ambedkar’s statue at the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Maharashtra, India

BR Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi, India

Dr. Ambedkar’s statue at the B R Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi, India

Sillhod city, Maharashtra, India

Dr. Ambedkar’s statue at Sillhod city, Maharashtra, India

Sulanli village, Maharashtra, India

Dr. Ambedkar’s statue at Sulanli village, Maharashtra, India

Dr. Ambedkar's statue in York University, Canada

Dr. Ambedkar’s statue at York University, Canada

Dr. Ambedkar's statue at Bhim Birthplace Memorial (Bhim Janma Bhoom) in Mhow, India

Dr. Ambedkar’s statue at Bhim Birthplace Memorial (Bhim Janma Bhoom) in Mhow, India

A 350-foot or 110-metre-tall statue of Dr. Ambedkar, known as the Statue of Equality or as the Grand Memorial of Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, will be built in the Indian city of Mumbai as part of the 12.5 acres memorial dedicated to Dr. Ambedkar. The Ambedkar Memorial is currently being constructed at India United Mills, Mumbai and is expected to be ready in 2020 with features such as a 25,000-foot2 stupa surrounded by a pond and a 39,622-foot2 interactive museum displaying several aspects of Ambedkar’s life.

 

Grand Memorial of Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar

General Information

Conceptual plan for Grand Memorial of Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, at India United Mill No. 6, Mumbai.

Conceptual plan for the Grand Memorial of Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, at India United Mills No. 6, Mumbai.

In 2013, the State Government of Maharashtra in India appointed the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority as the governing body for the development of a beautiful Grand Memorial of Bharatratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. The project was officially announced a year earlier on August 18, 2012 by the then Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh.

As of writing, construction of the impressive 12.5-acre memorial park has begun with the foundation stones already having been laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2015. It is located on land formerly known as India United Mill No. 6 in the Dadar suburb of Mumbai but is now owned by the Maharastra State Government. Historically, Dadar was Mumbai’s first planned suburb and is therefore not only a well populated locale but also has prominent railway and bus services with both local and national connectivity. India United Mill No. 6 is a prime location and faces the sea. This makes it the perfect site for such an incredibly meaningful memorial to Dr. Ambedkar’s legacy of equality and social justice. It will inspire younger generations to be compassionate towards others and at the same time pay homage to Dr. Ambedkar, one of the greatest humans in history.

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the site he stated that Dr. Ambedkar was a ‘Vishwa Manav’ or a man of the world, and compared him to the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who was a Baptist minister and the most vocal activist during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Dr. Ambedkar was described as the voice of the downtrodden and a guardian of human values. Emphasising the need for education Dr. Ambedkar led the Indian nation into an era of social inclusion rather than division.

The entire memorial is dedicated to the life and works of Dr. Ambedkar, who was posthumously awarded the Bharatratna in 1990. The Bharatratna is India’s highest civilian award. It was granted to Dr. Ambedkar for his legacy of fighting for equality in India and his significant contributions to writing India’s Constitution. Therefore, he is lovingly referred to as one of India’s founding fathers and also the father of the Indian Constitution. Current estimates of the cost of construction stand at Indian Rs. 7,090,000,000 which is roughly around USD 97,500,000.

According to the chief architects for the project, Shashi Prabhu & Associates, “The entire memorial site is conceived as an oasis of calm featuring various gardened spaces that reflect the spirit and persona of the great leader [Dr. Ambedkar]”. As the location of the memorial is by the sea front, the architects’ plans include a beautiful promenade where visitors can spend their evenings taking leisurely walks or simply sit and enjoy the view of the sea. According to planners, construction has been arranged in such a manner that none of the site’s existing 200 trees will be felled, in order to have minimal impact on the environment. Construction of the memorial is planned to be completed by April 14, 2020.

The site will also be linked to Chaitya Bhoomi, an existing memorial to Dr. Ambedkar, in nearby Dadar Chowpathy. This memorial marks the site of Dr. Ambedkar’s cremation and is built in the shape of a Buddhist Chaitya or Stupa. The site houses Dr. Ambedkar’s relics, a bust of Ambedkar and a statue of Buddha Shakyamuni. It is a place of reverence and pilgrimage for Buddhists all over the world. Huge tributes are held there for Dr. Ambedkar on the anniversary of his death, December 6, every year.

 

Go to Attractions >>

Back to Tabs

Statue of Equality

The central attraction at the memorial will be a colossal bronze 250-foot statue of Dr. Ambedkar, including a 100-foot high pedestal. It has been aptly named the ‘Statue of Equality’ in honour of Dr. Ambedkar’s fight against social injustice within Indian society. No company in India has the expertise to design and build the statue so help is being sought from China for its construction.

Dr. Ambedkar was born into the Dalit community, who are subject to the practice of untouchability. According to ancient Indian religious and cultural norms, Dalits fall outside of the accepted four-tier caste system and are therefore outcaste from society, relegated to performing the most menial and degrading work and are even treated worse than animals. Dr. Ambedkar championed the cause for equal rights for Dalits during the birth of the modern Indian nation at the end of British Colonial rule. He was instrumental in the formation of the Indian Constitution and spread the message of equality as highlighted in the Buddhist religion, a faith that he adopted. However, Dr. Ambedkar did not only fight for the rights of Dalits, he fought for all those who were oppressed including women.

The statue is the brainchild of India’s Social Justice Minister, Rajkumar Badole and in 2015, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed a Bhoomi Puja at the site where the statue will be erected. A Bhoomi Puja is a land blessing, used to entreat Bhoomi, the Goddess of the Earth to allow structures to be built upon the site and to remove obstacles for construction. The prayers also appease any supernatural beings in the area and promote a peaceful spiritual environment.

Pedestal

The circular 100-foot high pedestal beneath the statue will house visitor and exhibition halls. There will also be a 39,622 square foot museum dedicated to the life of Dr. Ambedkar. The museum, known as the Gallery of Struggle will be interactive, display several key aspects of Dr. Ambedkar’s life and include holograms of the Dalit icon. The pedestal will also feature a cyclorama theatre, designed to give viewers standing in the middle of the hall a 360 degree view of the projected images.

Library and Research Centre

A 50,000 square foot library will be located in a building simulating the appearance of a lotus floating on water. It will include a research centre for the furtherance of social issues, and also house lecture and conference halls as well as an auditorium with a seating capacity of 1,000.

Stupa

A proposed addition to the site includes the building of a Stupa. This building is planned at 140 feet tall with a circumference of 360 feet. It will have a ribbed ceiling which means it will resemble ancient Buddhist Chaityas or Stupas. An eight-tier bronze canopy is planned to cover the stupa and will take the shape of an Ashoka Chakra, an ancient wheel with eight spokes. This will represent the Noble Eight-Fold Path, one of Lord Buddha’s most fundamental teachings. There will also be a lotus pond at the foot of the dome.

Vipassana Hall

Another proposed addition to the memorial includes a Vipassana Meditation Hall with seating capacity for 13,000 people. Vipassana meditation, also known as insight meditation is a technique common to all forms of Buddhism. Through its use, practitioners strive to understand the true nature of reality into order to overcome and transcend suffering. It is a technique that Dr. Ambedkar promoted after his conversion to Buddhism.

Plaza

An open air plaza will include facilities for sound and light shows similar to those that are popular at other attractions all over the world.

Parikrama Path

The memorial will include a parikrama or circumambulation path around the statue and will be connected to Chaitya Bhoomi, the existing nearby memorial to Dr. Ambedkar. The tradition of circumambulation has been important within Buddhist culture since the faith began. It represents a practitioner’s faith and reverence towards the object being circumambulated. In the case of Dr. Ambedkar’s statue, it is symbolic of the respect given to him for his tireless work towards social justice and his spreading the messages of love, kindness and compassion embodied in his Buddhist faith.

Visitor Facilities

The memorial includes a 450-car park space in the basement of the statue structure and a large dedicated bus parking bay for larger groups. Other facilities will include souvenir shops, waiting rooms, a canteen and public toilets.

 

Go to Gallery and Videos >>

Back to Tabs

A virtual contruction model for the Grand Memorial of Bharatratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar

A construction model for the Grand Memorial of Bharatratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar

Grand Memorial of Bharatratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar

A virtual model for the Grand Memorial of Bharatratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi at the Bhoomi Puja of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial, at Indu Mills Compound, Mumbai on October 11, 2015. The Governor of Maharashtra, Shri C. Vidyasagar Rao, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis, the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, Shri Nitin Gadkari, the Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, Shri Vijay Sampla and other dignitaries are also seen.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi at the Bhoomi Puja of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial, at Indu Mills Compound, Mumbai on October 11, 2015.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Bhoomi Puja of the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial on October 11, 2015. Other dignitaries can also be seen, such as the Governor of Maharashtra, Shri C. Vidyasagar Rao; the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis; the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, Shri Nitin Gadkari; and the Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, Shri Vijay Sampla.

 

VIDEO: Short Walkthrough of the Grand Memorial of Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar


Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AmbedkarMemorialWalkthrough.mp4

 

VIDEO: Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis talking about the Grand Memorial of Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar


Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AmbedkarMemorial2020.mp4

 

VIDEO: Concept Video of the Grand Memorial of Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar


Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AmbedkarStatueMemorial.mp4

Back to Tabs

 

VIDEO: Dr. B.R. Ambedkar voted “The Greatest Indian” in 2012

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/GreatestIndian.mp4

 

VIDEO: Dr. Ambedkar and His Democratic Movement: A Documentary (1990)

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AmbedkarDocumentary.mp4

 

VIDEO: Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar movie in English (2000)

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AmbedkarFullMovie.mp4

 

VIDEO: Short video featuring Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AmbedkarShortVideo.mp4

 

What Other People Said About Dr. Ambedkar

" Ambedkar is my Father in Economics. His contribution in the field of economics is marvelous and will be remembered forever." - Amartya Sen, Indian economist and philosopher

“Ambedkar is my Father in Economics. His contribution in the field of economics is marvellous and will be remembered forever.”
– Amartya Sen, Indian economist and philosopher

"Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar was a symbol of revolt against all oppressive features of the Hindu Society." - Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, freedom fighter, the first Prime Minister of India

“Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar was a symbol of revolt against all oppressive features of the Hindu Society.”
– Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, freedom fighter, the first Prime Minister of India

"Son of a poor mother like me hails from a very backward section of society and could become the prime minister due to Babasaheb Ambedkar." - Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian politician, the current Prime Minister of India

“Son of a poor mother like me hails from a very backward section of society and could become the prime minister due to Babasaheb Ambedkar.”
– Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian politician, the current Prime Minister of India

“The great and revered Human Rights champion.” - President Obama

“The great and revered Human Rights champion.”
– President Obama

 

List of Books & Writings by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

Selected Works by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar for Download

The Buddha and His Dhamma (click to download PDF)

Selected Works of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (click to download PDF)

Writings and Speeches Vol. 1 (click to download PDF)

Writings and Speeches Vol. 2 (click to download PDF)

Writings and Speeches Vol. 3 (click to download PDF)

Writings and Speeches Vol. 4 (click to download PDF)

Writings and Speeches Vol. 5 (click to download PDF)

Writings and Speeches Vol. 6 (click to download PDF)

Writings and Speeches Vol. 7 (click to download PDF)

Writings and Speeches Vol. 8 (click to download PDF)

Writings and Speeches Vol. 9 (click to download PDF)

Writings and Speeches Vol. 10 (click to download PDF)

Writings and Speeches Vol. 11 (click to download PDF)

Writings and Speeches Vol. 12 (click to download PDF)

Writings and Speeches Vol. 13 (click to download PDF)

Writings and Speeches Vol. 14 part 1 (click to download PDF)

Writings and Speeches Vol. 14 part 2 (click to download PDF)

Writings and Speeches Vol. 15 (click to download PDF)

Writings and Speeches Vol. 16 (click to download PDF)

Writings and Speeches Vol. 17 part 1 (click to download PDF)

Writings and Speeches Vol. 17 part 2 (click to download PDF)

The Buddha and the Future of His Religion by Dr. Ambedkar, page 117-118 and page 199-206, published in the April-May 1950 issue of The Maha Bodhi (click to download PDF)

Babasaheb Ambedkar Amar Chitra Katha comic (click to download PDF)

The Buddha-Carita, or Life of Buddha (click to download PDF)

Asvaghosa’s Gold: Translations of Buddhacarita and Saudarananda (click to download PDF)

The texts above were sourced from legitimate book-hosting services offering these texts for free download. They are made available here for purely educational, non-commercial purposes.

Other Books Written by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
001

Castes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development (1916)

  • Published: 1916
  • Publisher: Bheem Patrika Publications; Jullundur

002

The Problem of the Rupee: Its Origin and Its Solution (1923)

  • Published: 1923
  • Publisher: P.S. King & Son, London

003

The Annihilation of Caste (1936)

  • Published: 1936
  • Publisher: B.R. Kadrekar, Bombay

004

Federation Versus Freedom (1939)

  • Published: 1939
  • Publisher: R.K. Tatnis, Bombay

005

Thoughts on Pakistan (1941)

  • Published: 1941
  • Publisher: Thacker & Co, Bombay

006

Ranade, Gandhi and Jinnah (1943)

  • Published: 1943
  • Publisher: Thacker & Co, Bombay

007

Mr. Gandhi and the Emancipation of the Untouchables (1943)

  • Published: 1943
  • Publisher: Bheem Patrika Publications, Bombay

008

What Congress and Gandhi have done to the Untouchables (1946)

  • Published: 1946
  • Publisher: [Publisher no identified], Bombay

009

Pakistan or The Partition of India (1946)

  • Published: 1946
  • Publisher: Thacker & Co, Bombay

010

States and Minorities (1947)

  • Published: 1947
  • Publisher: C. Murphy for Thacker, Bombay

011

Who Were the Shudras? (1949)

  • Published: 1949
  • Publisher: Thacker & Co, Bombay

012

Maharashtra as a Linguistic Province (1948)

  • Published: 1948
  • Publisher: Thacker & Co, Bombay

013

The Untouchables (1948)

  • Published: 1948
  • Publisher: Amrit Book Co, New Delhi

014

Buddha or Karl Marx (Year unknown)

  • Published: (Year unknown)
  • Publisher: Scewastamb, New Delhi

 

Addendum – Caste System

The caste system in India has a long history that traces back to the Vedic period (1500-1000 BCE). The caste system forms a rigid hierarchical grouping and it has influenced many aspects of Hindu life. It is said that historical texts provide references to this. From the Purusasukta section of the Rig Veda, an ancient Hindu scripture, there are four main categories or varna (colours) called the Chaturvarna.

These colours or classes are based on the myth that different groups of people were created from the different parts of the Hindu creator god, Brahma. The Brahmans, more commonly known as the Brahmins, arose from his mouth, while the Kshatriyas arose from his shoulders, the Vaishyas from his thighs and the Shudras from his feet.

Brahma and the origin of the four castes or Chaturvarna

Brahma and the origin of the four castes or Chaturvarna

The major castes in India:

  • The Brahmins – This is the highest-ranking caste. They are traditionally scriptural knowledge-keepers, intellectuals, priests and legislators.
  • The Kshatriyas – Next in rank but not socially inferior. They are the rulers (kings) and warriors.
  • The Vaishyas – the merchants or traders.
  • The Shudras – traditionally servants and labourers.

The three classes of Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas are considered the upper classes or castes, called the Savarnas. The male members of these three classes are entitled to pass through initiation rites during childhood and hence they are also called “twice-born” or dvija. Hindus belonging to these four castes are commonly known as “caste Hindus”.

The Bhagavad Gita, another text from 200 BCE-200 CE, stresses the importance of caste. Manusmriti, from the same era and viewed as an authoritative text on Hindu law, “acknowledges and justifies the caste system as the basis of order and regularity of society“, defining the rights and duties of each of the varnas. In the Mahabharata, the most famous Hindu epic, the Vedic Brahmin Bhrigu said that different skin colours were assigned to the different castes, showing the predominant quality of virtue of their nature. The Brahmins are white, Kshatriyas are red, Vaishyas are yellow and the Shudras are black. Other texts also assign these different skin colours to the different castes.

The Ph.D dissertation Pigmentocracy in India by Komar Dhillon highlights that skin colour is intrinsic to racism in Indian society. In his dissertation, he writes,

“Benefits for those on the lighter end of the skin colour spectrum are recognized and leveraged in accordance with the systemic logic of being naturally superior. Conversely, often those on the darker end of the spectrum are perceived as inferior (by others as well as themselves), thus perpetuating the superiority of whiteness.”

Then, there is a group that does not appear in the older texts of the Vedas, who are known as avarna or without varna. This group is known to be the “Untouchables”, with no physical link to the supreme creator, and are viewed to be lower than the lowest of the four-caste group, the Shudras. The Untouchables are known as the ‘fifth caste’, or Panchama in the Upanishads and Buddhist texts, said to be descendants of contact between Shudra men and Brahmin women.

Untouchables used to take on occupations that no other caste group would do, such as scavenging animal carcasses, handling of leather or a dead cow, killing pests, removing human waste, work on the cremation ground and so on. The Untouchables now go by the term ‘Dalit’, which means “broken but resilient”. They were also previously called ‘Harijan’, a term coined by Mahatma Gandhi that means “Children of God”. Officially, this group of people are also called ‘Scheduled Castes’, an official term created in 1935 for governmental and administrative purposes, based on a list or schedule that was created for castes that qualified for special representation or governmental benefits. The term is recognised in the Constitution of India. The former term used during the period of British rule in India was the ‘Depressed Classes’. The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order of 1950 lists 1,108 castes across 29 states in its First Schedule.

The whole basis of being Untouchables is based on the concept of purity and defilement. In the Manusmriti, life events such as birth, death and menstruation are viewed as sources of impurity. For example, the defilement of death involves not only the immediate family of the dead person, but also extends to remote relatives, as well as the family of the teachers of the dead person and so on. This defilement can be removed through purification rituals. However, for the Untouchables, their defilement is considered hereditary and permanent and, according to Dr. Ambedkar, “has no parallel in the history of the world.

“The Hindus who touch them (Untouchables) and become polluted thereby can become pure by undergoing purificatory ceremonies. But there is nothing which can make the Untouchables pure. They are born impure, they are impure while they live, they die the death of the impure, and they give birth to children who are born with the stigma of Untouchability affixed to them. It is the case of permanent, hereditary stain which nothing can cleanse.”

(Source: The Untouchables (Vol. 1) by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar)

In Dr. Ambedkar’s book The Untouchables (Vol. 1), he listed the names of the 429 communities or groups who suffer under this social ostracisation and injustice. Unfouchables are segregated from society, including at school, villages and places of worship. In some places, they are not allowed on temple grounds and are refused entry at temples. They are refused basic facilities like water and roads simply due to their caste. Contact with an Untouchable is said to pollute a member of the other castes. Traditional prescriptions to overcome this pollution includes washing and cleaning themselves immediately or undergoing lengthy purification rituals. In the past, it has been said that if even the shadow of an Untouchable touched a Brahmin, the Brahmin would be polluted. Hence, Untouchables had to lie on the ground face-down, at a distance, if a Brahmin were to pass by.

Article 15 and 17 of the Indian Constitution, as well as the Untouchability (Offenses) Act of 1955 made the practice of untouchability illegal and punishable by law in India, and the government has since implemented programmes to ensure the welfare of those who are officially called the “Scheduled Castes and Tribes”. However, atrocities and prejudice are still commonplace up until today. It was reported in the news that as recently as 2016 alone, 47,338 cases of crime against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes members were registered across India. Nevertheless, Dr. Ambedkar’s great work and towering influence has brought about many changes.

In 1997, India welcomed its first Dalit President, K.R. Narayanan. In his address to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the golden jubilee of Indian independence, Prime Minister I.K. Gujral congratulated the nation, saying that “When Gandhiji dreamt of India’s future, he had said that the country will attain the real freedom only on the day when a Dalit would become the President of this country.” In the words of K.R. Narayanan himself,

If Mahatma Gandhi gave to the nationalist movement a mass dimension and a moral purpose and Jawaharlal Nehru an economic and socialist dimension, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar gave it a profound social content and a challenging social-democratic goal.

His whole life was a ceaseless struggle for the attainment of this social objective, the scope of which was not confined to the Scheduled Castes but encompassed the urges and aspirations of the vast millions of the underprivileged in our country. Future generations in India, which, I hope, will be free from the curse of the caste system and the refined as well as crude remnants of untouchability, will be grateful to Dr. Ambedkar for having launched a movement of social revolution, the success of which is indispensable for cleansing Indian society, for unifying the Indian nation and for building a genuine and enduring democratic system in our country.

(Source: Dr. B.R. Ambedkar by K.R. Narayanan)

 

Content of “The Buddha and His Dhamma”

Click here to download the PDF version of the book.

 

INTRODUCTION and PROLOGUE

Total pages: 3

 

BOOK I: SIDDHARTH GAUTAMA—HOW A BODHISATTA BECAME THE BUDDHA?

Total pages: 53

 

Part I: From Birth to Parivraja

  1. His Kula
  2. His Ancestry
  3. His Birth
  4. Visit by Asita
  5. Death of Mahamaya
  6. Childhood and Education
  7. Early Traits
  8. Marriage
  9. Father’s Plans to Save His Son
  10. The Failure of the Women to Win the Prince
  11. The Prime Minister’s Admonition to the Prince
  12. The Prince’s Reply to the Prime Minister
  13. Initiation into the Sakya Sangh
  14. Conflict with the Sangh
  15. Offer of Exile
  16. Parivraja–the Way Out
  17. Parting Words
  18. Leaving His Home
  19. The Prince and the Servant
  20. The Return of Channa
  21. The Family in Mourning

 

Part II: Renunciation for Ever

  1. From Kapilavatsu to Rajagraha
  2. King Bimbisara and his Advice
  3. Gautama Answers Bimbisara
  4. Reply by Gautama (concluded)
  5. News of Peace
  6. The Problem in a New Perspective

 

Part III: In Search of New Light

  1. Halt at Brighu’s Ashram
  2. Study of Sankhya
  3. Training in Samadhi Marga
  4. Trial of Asceticism
  5. Abandonment of Asceticism

 

Part IV: Enlightenment and the Vision of a New Way

  1. Meditation for New Light
  2. Enlightenment
  3. The Discovery of a New Dhamma
  4. Gautama who was a Bodhisatta, After Sammabodhi Becomes a Buddha

 

Part V: The Buddha and His Predecessors

  1. The Buddha and the Vedic Rishis
  2. Kapila— The Philosopher
  3. The Bramhanas
  4. The Upanishads and Their Teachings

 

Part VI: The Buddha and His Contemporaries

  1. His Contemporaries
  2. His Attitude to His Contemporaries

 

Part VII: Comparison and Contrast

  1. What HE Rejected
  2. What HE Modified
  3. What HE Accepted

 

Go to BOOK II

Back to Tabs

 

BOOK II: CAMPAIGN OF CONVERSION

Total pages: 51

 

Part I: Buddha and His Vishad Yoga

  1. To Preach or Not to Preach
  2. Proclamation of Good News by Brahma Sahampati
  3. Two Types of Conversion

 

Part II: The Conversion of the Parivrajakas

  1. Arrival at Sarnath
  2. The Buddha’s First Sermon
  3. The Buddha’s First Sermon—(contd.) The Path of Purity
  4. The Buddha’s First Sermon (cont’d)—Ashtanga Marga or the Path of Righteousness
  5. The Buddha’s First Sermon (cont’d)—The Path of Virtue
  6. The Buddha’s First Sermon (concluded)
  7. The Response of the Parivrajakas

 

Part III: Conversion of the High and the Holy

  1. Conversion of Yashas
  2. Conversion of the Kassyapas
  3. Conversion of Sariputta and Moggallana
  4. Conversion of King Bimbisara
  5. Conversion of Anathapindika
  6. Conversion of King Pasenjit
  7. Conversion of Jeevaka
  8. The Conversion of Ratthapala

 

Part IV: Call from Home

  1. Suddhodana and the Last Look
  2. Meeting Yeshodhara and Rahula
  3. Reception by the Sakyas
  4. Last attempt to make Him a Householder
  5. The Buddha’s Answer
  6. The Minister’s Reply
  7. The Buddha’s Determination

 

Part V: Campaign for Conversion Resumed

  1. Conversion of Rustic Brahmins
  2. Conversion of the Brahmins of Uttaravati

 

Part VI: Conversion of the Low and the Lowly

  1. Conversion of Upali, the Barber
  2. Conversion of Sunita, the Sweeper
  3. Conversion of Sopaka and Suppiya, the Untouchables
  4. Conversion of Sumangala and other Low Castes
  5. Conversion of Supprabuddha, the Leper

 

Part VII: Conversion of Women

  1. Conversion of Mahaprajapati Gautami, Yeshodhara, and her Companions
  2. Conversion of Prakrati, a Chandalika

 

Part VIII: Conversion of the Fallen and the Criminals

  1. Conversion of a Vagabond
  2. Conversion of Angulimala, the Robber
  3. Conversion of Other Criminals
  4. Risk of Conversion

 

Go to BOOK III

Back to Tabs

 

BOOK III: WHAT THE BUDDHA TAUGHT

Total pages: 51

 

Part I: His Place in His Dhamma

  1. The Buddha claimed no place for Himself in His own Dhamma
  2. The Buddha did not promise to give Salvation. He said He was Marga Data (Way Finder) and not Moksha Data (Giver of Salvation)
  3. The Buddha did not Claim any Divinity for himself or for his Dhamma. It was discovered by man for man. It was not a Revelation

 

Part II: Different Views of the Buddha’s Dhamma

  1. What others have understood Him to have Taught
  2. The Buddha’s Own Classification

 

Part III: What is Dhamma

  1. To Maintain Purity of Life is Dhamma
  2. To Reach Perfection in Life is Dhamma
  3. To Live in Nibbana is Dhamma
  4. To Give up Craving is Dhamma
  5. To believe that all compound things are impermanent is Dhamma
  6. To believe that Karma is the instrument of Moral Order is Dhamma

 

Part IV: What is not Dhamma

  1. Belief in the Supernatural is Not Dhamma
  2. Belief in Ishwara (God) is Not Essentially Part of Dhamma
  3. Dhamma Based on Union with Brahma is a False Dhamma
  4. Belief in Soul is Not Dhamma
  5. Belief in Sacrifices is Not Dhamma
  6. Belief Based on Speculation is Not Dhamma
  7. Reading Books of Dhamma is Not Dhamma
  8. Belief in the infallibility of Books of Dhamma is Not Dhamma

 

PART V: WHAT IS SADDHAMMA

SECTION ONE–THE FUNCTIONS OF SADDHAMMA

  1. To Cleanse the Mind of its Impurities
  2. To Make the World a Kingdom of Righteousness

SECTION TWO–DHAMMA TO BE SADDHAMMA MUST PROMOTE PRADNYA

  1. Dhamma is Saddhamma when it Makes Learning Open to All
  2. Dhamma is Saddhamma when it Teaches that Mere Learning is Not Enough: it may Lead to Pedantry
  3. Dhamma is Saddhamma when it Teaches that what is Needed is Pradnya

SECTION THREE–DHAMMA TO BE SADDHAMMA MUST PROMOTE MAITRI

  1. Dhamma is Saddhamma only when it Teaches that Mere Pradnya is Not Enough: it must be accompanied by Sila
  2. Dhamma is Saddhamma only when it Teaches that besides Pradnya and Sila what is Necessary is Karuna
  3. Dhamma is Saddhamma only when it Teaches that More than Karuna what is Necessary is Maitri

SECTION FOUR–DHAMMA TO BE SADDHAMMA MUST PULL DOWN ALL SOCIAL BARRIERS

  1. Dhamma to be Saddhamma must break down barriers between Man and Man
  2. Dhamma to be Saddhamma must Teach that Worth and not Birth is the Measure of Man
  3. Dhamma to be Saddhamma must Promote Equality between Man and Man

 

Go to BOOK IV

Back to Tabs

 

BOOK IV: RELIGION AND DHAMMA

Total pages: 53

 

Part I: Religion and Dhamma

  1. What is Religion?
  2. How Dhamma Differs From Religion
  3. Part 1: The Purpose of Religion and the Purpose of Dhamma
  4. Part 2: The other differences between Religion and Dhamma are brought out in the discussion between the Blessed One and Potthapada
  5. Morality and Religion
  6. Dhamma and Morality
  7. Mere Morality is not Enough: it must be Sacred and Universal

 

Part 2: How Similarities in Terminology Conceal Fundamental Difference

SECTION ONE–REBIRTH

  1. Preliminary
  2. Rebirth of What?
  3. Rebirth of Whom?

SECTION TWO–KARMA

  1. Is the Buddhist Doctrine of Karma the same as the Brahminic Doctrine?
  2. Did the Buddha believe in Past Karma having effect on Future Life?
  3. Did the Buddha believe in Past Karma having effect on Future Life? —concluded

SECTION THREE–AHIMSA

  1. The different ways in which it was interpreted and followed
  2. True Meaning of Ahimsa

SECTION FOUR–TRANSMIGRATION

  1. Migration of soul from one body to another (Transmigration)
  2. Causes of Misunderstanding

 

Part III: The Buddhist Way of Life

  1. On Good, Evil, and Sin
  2. On Craving and Lust
  3. On Hurt and Ill-will
  4. On Anger and Enmity
  5. On Man, Mind, and Impurities
  6. On Self and Self-Conquest
  7. On Wisdom, Justice, and Good Company
  8. On Thoughtfulness and Mindfulness
  9. On Vigilance, Earnestness, and Boldness
  10. On Sorrow and Happiness; On Charity and Kindness
  11. On Hypocrisy
  12. On Following the Right Way
  13. Mix not True Dhamma with False Dhamma

 

Part IV: His Sermons

SECTION ONE–SERMONS FOR HOUSEHOLDERS

  1. The Happy Householder
  2. [A] Daughter may be better than a Son
  3. Husband and Wife

SECTION TWO–SERMONS ON THE NEED FOR MAINTAINING CHARACTER

  1. What Constitutes the Downfall of Man
  2. The Wicked Man
  3. The Best Man
  4. The Enlightened Man
  5. Man—Just and Good
  6. Need for Doing Good Deeds
  7. Need for Making Good Resolutions

SECTION THREE–SERMONS ON RIGHTEOUSNESS

  1. What is Righteousness
  2. Need for Righteousness
  3. Righteousness and the Claims of the World
  4. How to Reach Perfection in Righteous Conduct
  5. One Need Not Wait for a Companion to Tread on the Path of Righteousness

SECTION FOUR–SERMONS ON NIBBANA

  1. What is Nibbana?
  2. The Roots of Nibbana

SECTION FIVE–SERMONS ON DHAMMA

  1. Why Right Views Rank First
  2. Why Bother About Life After Death?
  3. Prayers and Invocations to God are a Futility
  4. It is Not What You Eat that Makes You Holy
  5. Not Food But Evil Actions That Matter
  6. Not Enough Is Outward Washing
  7. What is Holy Life?

SECTION SIX–SERMONS ON SOCIO-POLITICAL QUESTIONS

  1. Do Not Depend on the Favour of Princes
  2. If the King is Righteous, his Subjects will be Righteous
  3. It is the Social System on which Depends Political and Military Strength
  4. War is Wrong
  5. The Duty of the Victor Who Has Won Peace

 

Go to BOOK V

Back to Tabs

 

BOOK V: THE SANGH

Total pages: 27

 

Part I: The Sangh

  1. The Sangh and its Organisation
  2. Admission to the Sangh
  3. The Bhikkhu and His Vows
  4. The Bhikkhu and Ecclesiastical Offences
  5. The Bhikkhu and Restraints
  6. The Bhikkhu and Good Conduct Rules
  7. The Bhikkhu and the Trial of Offences
  8. The Bhikkhu and Confession

 

Part II: भ The Bhikkhu: the Buddha’s Conception of Him

  1. Buddha’s Conception of What a Bhikkhu Should Be
  2. The Bhikkhu and the Ascetic
  3. The Bhikkhu and the Brahmin
  4. The Bhikkhu and the Upasaka

 

Part III: The Duties of the Bhikkhu

  1. The Bhikkhu’s Duty to Convert
  2. Conversion Not to be by Miracles
  3. Conversion Not to be by Force
  4. A Bhikkhu Must Fight to Spread Virtue (Dhamma)

 

Part IV: The Bhikkhu and the Laity

  1. The Bond of Alms
  2. Mutual Influence
  3. Dhamma of the Bhikkhu and the Dhamma of the Upasaka

 

Part V: Vinaya for the Laity

  1. Vinaya for the Wealthy
  2. Vinaya for the Householder
  3. Vinaya for Children
  4. Vinaya for Pupils
  5. Vinaya for Husband and Wife
  6. Vinaya for Master and Servant
  7. Conclusions
  8. Vinaya for Girls

 

Go to BOOK VI

Back to Tabs

 

BOOK VI: HE AND HIS CONTEMPORARIES

Total pages: 30

 

Part I: His Benefactors

  1. Gift from King Bimbisara
  2. Gift from Anathapindika
  3. Gift from Jeevaka
  4. Gift from Ambrapali
  5. Munificence of Vishakha

 

Part II: His Enemies

  1. Charge of Conversion by Glamour
  2. Charge of Being a Parasite!
  3. Charge of Breaking Happy Households
  4. Jains and a False Charge of Murder
  5. Jains and a False Charge of Immorality
  6. Devadatta, a Cousin and an Enemy
  7. Brahmins and the Buddha

 

Part III: Critics of His Doctrines

  1. Critics of Open Admission to the Sangh
  2. Critics of the Rule of Vows
  3. Critics of the Doctrine of Ahimsa
  4. Charge of Preaching Virtue and Creating Gloom
    1. Dukkha as the Cause of Gloom
    2. Impermanence as the Cause of Gloom
    3. Is Buddhism Pessimistic?
  5. Critics of the Theory of Soul and Rebirth
  6. Charge of Being an Annihilationist

 

Part IV: Friends and Admirers

  1. Devotion of Dhananjanani, a Brahmani
  2. The Abiding Faith of Visakha
  3. The Devotion of Mallika
  4. The Ardent Wish of a Pregnant Mothe
  5. Keniya’s Welcome
  6. Pasendi In Praise of the Master

 

Go to BOOK VII

Back to Tabs

 

BOOK VII: THE WANDERER’S LAST JOURNEY

Total pages: 17

 

Part I: The Meeting of those Near and Dear

  1. The Centres of His Preachings
  2. The Places He Visited
  3. Last Meeting between Mother and Son, and between Wife and Husband
  4. Last Meeting between Father and Son
  5. Last Meeting between the Buddha and Sariputta

 

Part II: Leaving Vesali

  1. Farewell to Vesali
  2. Halt at Pava
  3. Arrival at Kushinara

 

Part III: His End

  1. The Appointment of a Successor
  2. The Last Convert
  3. Last Words
  4. Ananda in Grief
  5. The Lament of the Mallas and the Joy of a Bhikkhu
  6. The Last Rites
  7. Quarrel Over Ashes
  8. Loyalty to the Buddha

 

Go to BOOK VIII and EPILOGUE

Back to Tabs

 

BOOK VIII: THE MAN WHO WAS SIDDHARTHA GAUTAMA

Total pages: 14

 

Part I: His Personality

  1. His Personal Appearance
  2. The Testimony of Eye-witnesses
  3. His Capacity to Lead

 

Part II: His Humanity

  1. His Compassion—The Maha Karunik
  2. Healing of the Stricken: A Consummate Healer of Sorrow
    1. Consoling Visakha
    2. Comforting Kisa Gautami
  3. His Concern for the Sick
  4. His Tolerance of the Intolerant
  5. His Sense of Equality and Equal Treatment

 

Part III: His Likes and Dislikes

  1. His Dislike of Poverty
  2. His Dislike of the Acquisitive Instinct
  3. His Joy at the Beautiful
  4. His Love for the Lovely

 

EPILOGUE

Total pages: 3

  1. Tributes to the Buddha’s Greatness
  2. A Vow to Spread His Dhamma
  3. A Prayer for His Return to His Native Land

Back to Tabs

Go to top


Sources:

  • Pal S., ‘B R Ambedkar: 10 Facts You Probably Don’t Know About The Father Of The Indian Constitution’, 2018
    https://www.thebetterindia.com/95923/bhimrao-ambedkar-father-indian-constitution-little-known-facts-life/,(accessed 21 October 2018).
  • ‘B. R. Ambedkar’ (En.wikipedia.org), 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._R._Ambedkar,(accessed 21 October 2018.
  • Encyclopedia of Race and Racism. Vol. 1, ‘Dalit’, Detroit, Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. p385-389.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, ‘Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar | Biography, Books, & Facts’, 2018, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Bhimrao-Ramji-Ambedkar, (accessed 21 October 2018).
  • Pritchett, Frances, ‘What Path to Salvation? by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’, 2004, http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00ambedkar/txt_ambedkar_salvation.html, (accessed 18 Oct. 2018).
  • Pritchett, Frances, ‘ A timeline of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s life’, 2005 http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00ambedkar/timeline/index.html, (accessed 20 Oct. 2018).
  • Ambedkar, Dr. B.R., ‘State and Minorities: What are their Rights and How to secure them in the Constitution of Free India’, New Delhi, Siddharth Books, 2008, p. 42.
  • LSE History, ‘No More Worlds Here for Him to Conquer’ – Dr B R Ambedkar at LSE, 2016, http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsehistory/2016/01/29/no-more-worlds-here-for-him-to-conquer-br-ambedkar-at-lse/, (accessed 20 Oct. 2018).
  • Ambedkar, B.R., ‘Waiting for a visa’, Bombay, Siddharth Publications, 1990.
  • Ambedkar B.R. and Moon V, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches (Education Department, Government of Maharashtra for Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Source Material Publication Committee 1982)
  • Ambedkar B.R., “Annihilation of Caste: With a Reply to Mahatma Gandhi, And, Castes in India : Their Mechanism, Genesis, and Development”, Jalandhar, Bheem Patrika Publications, 1968.
  • Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal, ‘Dr. Ambedkar & Caste’, 2016 http://www.mkgandhi.org/journalist/ambedkar.htm, (accessed 18 October 2018)
  • Vundru R., ‘Ambedkar, Gandhi And Patel’, New Delhi, Bloomsbury India, 2018.
  • Kapur S., ‘Gandhi, Ambedkar, And The Eradication Of Untouchability | Articles : On And By Gandhi’ (Mkgandhi.org), 2016, https://www.mkgandhi.org/articles/Gandhi-Ambedkar-and-eradication-of-Untouchability.html, (accessed 18 October 2018)
  • Finot L., ‘Mahaparinibbana-Sutta and Cullavagga’ The Indian Historical Quarterly, no 8:2, 1932, http://buddhism.lib.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-ENG/lou.htm, (accessed 18 October 2018)
  • Paswan, P.J.S. ‘Encyclopaedia Of Dalits In India (Human Rights: Role Of Police And Judiciary)’ Vol. 13th, New Delhi, Kalpaz Publications, 2002.
  • Mahaparinibbana-sutta and Cullavagga, The Indian Historical Quarterly 8:2, 1932.06 Ambedkar and Buddhism By Sangharakshita
  • Mohod, U., ‘Ambedkar’s Long Neglected Thoughts on Land Reforms and Agriculture’, 2015, http://roundtableindia.co.in/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8090:long-neglected-ambedkar-s-philosophy-on-land-reform-and-agricultural-development&catid=119:feature&Itemid=132, (accessed 20 Oct. 2018).
  • Darapuri S.R., ‘B. R. AMBEDKAR by K.R.Narayanan’, 2011, http://dalitliberation.blogspot.com/2011/08/b-r-ambedkar-by-krnarayanan.html, (accessed 18 October 2018)
  • Ambedkar B.R., ‘Selected Work Of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’, 2009, https://drambedkarbooks.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/selected-work-of-dr-b-r-ambedkar.pdf (accessed 18 October 2018)
  • https://mmrda.maharashtra.gov.in/indu-mill (accessed 08 November 2018)
  • https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-dr-ambedkar-s-statue-of-equality-in-mumbai-to-be-taller-than-statue-of-liberty-in-us-2244094 (accessed 08 November 2018)
  • https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/ambedkar-memorial-on-12-acre-indu-mill-land-project-to-cost-state-rs-425-crore/ (accessed 08 November 2018)
  • https://www.ndtv.com/mumbai-news/indu-mill-land-transferred-to-maharashtra-government-for-ambedkar-memorial-1673391 (accessed 08 November 2018)
  • https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/ambedkar-memorial-in-mumbai-to-be-built-in-3-years-fadnavis-1193099-2018-03-19 (accessed 08 November 2018)
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaitya_Bhoomi (accessed 08 November 2018)
  • https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/ambedkar-memorial-by-2020-devendra-fadnavis-118041400110_1.html (accessed 08 November 2018)
  • https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/pm-narendra-modi-lays-foundation-stone-of-ambedkar-memorial-in-mumbai-1230859 (accessed 08 November 2018)
  • https://www.ndtv.com/video/news/new-financial-order/pm-modi-compares-dr-ambedkar-to-martin-luther-king-mandela-408691 (accessed 08 November 2018)

 

For more interesting information:

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Please support us so that we can continue to bring you more Dharma:

If you are in the United States, please note that your offerings and contributions are tax deductible. ~ the tsemrinpoche.com blog team

Pastor Shin Tan
Follow her

About Pastor Shin Tan

Pastor Shin's journey in Kechara started with her being a volunteer of Kechara Media & Publications in 2006, realising that there is a more spiritual and fulfilling way of living after she watched a series of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's teachings on DVDs.

Today, as a Sangha-to-be and a Pastor of Kechara, Pastor Shin continues her pursue of spirituality through writing for tsemrinpoche.com, as well as promoting the lineage and Buddhadharma through Pastoral duties and online work in the thriving Kechara community.
Pastor Shin Tan
Follow her

16 Responses to Dr. Ambedkar: Supreme Champion of Human Rights

DISCLAIMER IN RELATION TO COMMENTS OR POSTS GIVEN BY THIRD PARTIES BELOW

Kindly note that the comments or posts given by third parties in the comment section below do not represent the views of the owner and/or host of this Blog, save for responses specifically given by the owner and/or host. All other comments or posts or any other opinions, discussions or views given below under the comment section do not represent our views and should not be regarded as such. We reserve the right to remove any comments/views which we may find offensive but due to the volume of such comments, the non removal and/or non detection of any such comments/views does not mean that we condone the same.

We do hope that the participants of any comments, posts, opinions, discussions or views below will act responsibly and do not engage nor make any statements which are defamatory in nature or which may incite and contempt or ridicule of any party, individual or their beliefs or to contravene any laws.

  1. Drolma on Nov 23, 2018 at 3:11 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing Dr. Ambedkar’s story with us. Dr. Ambedkar’s life is truly inspiring. He was born in the lowest caste in the Hindu system but he did not accept his destiny and worked very hard to get what his community deserved. He was very persistent and consistent.

    Throughout Dr. Ambedkar’s life, he had suffered a lot for being the untouchable in Indian society. He was looked down on and bullied, many opportunities were taken away from him. However, he was not defeated by the humiliation others gave him. Instead, it became the driving force for his reform movement. He understood everyone deserves the same rights, no one is higher than another.

    Dr. Ambedkar could have stayed in England or the USA after getting so many qualifications. He could be free from the caste system in India if he stayed in overseas, but he did not. He was very selfless, he didn’t want the untouchable community to be segregated and looked down on. Therefore, he started his work to fight for the equal rights for the underprivileged community in India.

    He was very determined in helping the untouchable and he believed to change is to start with a change of mindset. He knew Buddhism was the right teaching to achieve that, so he spent his later part of his life to writing books about Buddhism for his community. What he has left behind continues to benefit many. This is what we called a legacy.

  2. Wai Meng Wan on Nov 18, 2018 at 11:06 am

    As a Buddhist the journey led me to find out what happened in the land of the birth of Buddhism India. I was somewhat dismayed that Buddhism was no longer a force to be reckoned, and in fact shadow of its former self. Then I discovered there was a spark of Buddhism initiated by Dr Ambedkar, what I pleasantly discovered in this article was that Dr Ambedkar also fought for the rights of women.

    What Dr Ambedkar did for the women, kind of parallels with what the Buddha also did for women’s status. The Buddha allowed women to be ordained within the Sangha also. So it is very heartwarming to read a bit more about the Life of Dr Ambedkar, may he inspire others to fight for justice, rights and freedom for all. This also in way gives us more fuel to carry on the fight for Dorje Shugden practices, and to pursue equality for all.

    .

  3. freon on Nov 14, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    From this article, Dr. Ambedkar was a person born to the lowest cast in India. Normally, people who born in this lowest cast will not have opportunity to study don’t say to hold any position in India. But, Dr. Ambedkar has done it. He not only studies up to Ph.d level, he himself was a profession and he has written many books. When he was a successful person, he can actually choose to leave India and stay in the country he study, instead, he choose to go back to India, to the place where he will face many difficulties and many people will look down on him.

    He chooses a very hard, difficult situation to benefit people. From freeing his own Dalit, fight for woman’s right to revive Buddhism in India, the road his chosen never been easy, in fact it bring life threatening to him. I am really inspired by Dr. Ambedkar on this, because many times, when I talk about benefits sentient beings, am I truly benefit people by going all the way for the sentient beings? Dr. Ambedkar goes all the way to fight for the rights to free the suffering.

    Half a millions India has chances to get close to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha because of Dr. Ambedkar, to me is amazing. To even nurture one person to get into dharma is quite hard, but, he can do it where half a millions of Indian become Buddhist.

    Dr. Ambedkar, have show us, 1 person can do so many things if we determine to go all the way to want to benefits peoples.

    This is a very detail and good write up, from Dr. Ambedkar childhood to the books he wrote, very detail article.

    Thank you Pastor Shin for this good article.

  4. Meghna on Nov 11, 2018 at 11:45 pm

    Amazing, amazing article! So deeply informative, and also engaging. Super as Ambedkar is literally one of the people I respect most 🙂

    BR Ambedkar was a soul well ahead of his times. His ideas, his values, his very ideals pure. All his actions – social, political and others were always for others, for society – and the core reasons and aspirations incompletely incorruptible. Super happy so many ebooks have been provided for free – ALL his books are must reads.

    The way he writes, the way he thinks in multifaceted – he approaches the ‘issues’ with a broad range of methods and solutions. Best of all its NOT biased, not even a little bit.

    I’ve read most of his works – he honestly tries to understand the origin, the causality and the reasons for the existence of the problems [social evils, etc] inherently. He makes you think and judge for yourself. “The Riddle of Hinduism” is a very important book too in which he tries to understand the so called ‘stigma’ of Untouchability via the ancient texts and the prevalence of the caste system and its origins.

    The “Annihilation of caste” is probably the most well known; its the printed version of the speech he was “stopped” from giving. [hence he had it printed] I think the versions nowadays also have the conversations between Gandhi and Ambedkar too.

    Really great article!

  5. Stella Cheang on Nov 11, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    This is an informative and educational article; it provides a clear perspective on the treatment towards the Untouchable, the caste system in India and Dr Ambedkar’s antithesis movement that led him to Buddhism.

    What stood out was “The Buddha made a clear distinction between Margadata “Giver of the Way” and Mokshadata “Giver of Salvation”. Jesus, Muhammad, and Krishna claimed for themselves the role of Mokshadata. The Buddha was satisfied with playing the role of Margadata.” – From Buddha and Future of His Religion by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in The Maha Bodhi (April-May 1950).

    In the role of giver of the “way”, there is only compassionate and love as anyone and everyone can take the “way” to use it and apply it as they see fit; whereas in the role of the granter of salvation, there is an I; one needs to provide/perform something for the “I” in exchange for salvation.

    What impressed me was the intelligence and charisma of Dr. Ambedkar. He wrote the gospel of Buddhism – The Buddha And The Dharma – consisting 8 volumes (5,013 verses) in a years time, where 4 of the volumes include his own commentaries and interpretations to make it easy for the understanding of his followers. And in a month after the scheduled publication date of the book, on 14 Oct of 1956, Dr. Ambedkar took to convert himself from Hinduism to Buddhism and influenced 400,000 from the Untouchable caste to follow suit. The conversion continued the next day and even after his death.

    What went beyond impressive was the victory of Dr. Ambedkar; he won against an ancient system of faith that had worked for one of the greatest civilisation of mankind for thousands of years, despite inequality. With this victory, he gave the chance of life to the people who were uneducated, despised and shunned, he gave opportunity to women who were deemed as lowly and incapable. And the overall effect is the improvement of the overall society/community thus sustaining the survival of the race.

    Thank you, Rinpoche and Pastor Shin, for this extraordinary topic! I have learnt a lot from reading it. It also triggered questions in my mind. For e.g. could the caste system be an extension of the 6 realms in the human dimension? 🙂

  6. Tsa Tsa Ong on Nov 9, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    This is truly an inspiring article on Dr. Ambedkar. He was a remarkable and courageous man who has changed the lives of many. It’s difficult not to be moved by his life story. Dr Ambedkar’s selfless works to lift the poor, minorities, helpless and women from injustice and inequality against all odds and the social norms that was ingrained for thousands of years are nothing but extraordinary! No words can express how grateful and appreciative I am for his contributions to humanity. For someone who was born with so many limitations and disadvantages, he has proven that a strong and determined mind is all we need to bring about change for ourselves and others. He has shown us that working for others ultimately benefits our future generations and ourselves. May his life story continued to inspire many to benefit others. Thank you very much Rinpoche and Pastor Shin for this wonderful story 🙏👍😘

  7. Sofi on Nov 9, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Dear Rinpoche and everyone, I had wondered about his raised hand and what it symbolizes. I found this and wish to share with everyone of this.
    —————————————————————————————————————–
    Ambedkar Will Teach the Nation from His Statues
    Rajesh Komath (komathrajesh@gmail.com) teaches at the Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam.

    The pointed finger of Ambedkar statues symbolically conveys the meaning of lecturing, or teaching the nation about democracy and fraternity.The politics of proliferating Dalit iconography is one of seeking visibility and asserting one’s right to access public spaces.However, clashes routinely erupt over such iconography given the upper castes’ fear of their threatened hegemony.

    Link : https://www.epw.in/journal/2017/25-26/web-exclusives/ambedkar-will-teach-nation-his-statues.html

  8. Sofi on Nov 9, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    Dr. Ambedkar is such an amazing man and his brilliance is not only excelling in his studies but also in the foresight to understand the need for elimination of the caste system for the good of his nation, India. These are the points that had stood out to me and made me think deeper into my own situation:

    1. India is a country where Buddha gained enlightenment and taught, where many other enlightened Masters, great scholars and great personages like Gandhi, Nehru, Mother Theresa and many more. Yet the caste is so deeply rooted that until today it is still not eradicated. It may be to the advantage of the higher caste people to keep it implemented but it is really the Dalits themselves that locked themselves into the position by their own mentality. It shows that if we don’t change the way we think, we will never be able to step out of our own mental prison that locks us in suffering.

    2. Dr. Ambedkar (Bhim), born a Dalit, had suffered so much discrimination from young. However, he had been fortunate that he had Brahmin teachers who helped him along his academic path especially with scholarships to higher education. His Brahmin teacher, Krishna Keshav Ambedkar gave Bhim his own surname of Ambedkar, while the Headmaster of Wilson High School, scholar, and social reformer, Krishnaji Arjun Keluskar met Bhim often in the garden to talk to Bhim and gave him, his written book titled “Bhagwan Gautam” which planted the seeds towards Bhim converting to Buddhism later in life. Even as the lowest of low, Bhim had never allowed himself that excuse to fail but instead had propelled himself to excel in all his studies. Very impressive achievements for one in his life position as a Dalit but he had never surrendered to living as one. From his experiences, he realized that education/knowledge is the factor that will bring the Dalits out of that oppression. This teaches me that no matter what bad position we may be in, we need not surrender to it but instead to open our minds to other avenues through learning or attaining more knowledge.

    3. Dr. Ambedkar is highly intelligent and very forward thinking in his aim to not only to help his people, the Dalit (the Untouchables) but also the women who are oppressed without any rights. He understood that the existence of the caste system inhibits the optimization of human resources and economic growth. He uses his intellectual and influences to help his people, the Untouchables and downtrodden by establishing Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha (welfare association) to improve the underprivileged’s welfare and provide education for them. Dr. Ambedkar, first by legal means, than by revolutionary actions for the rights of the Untouchables to be exercised. With over 2,500 supporters, Dr. Ambidkar leads the way to and drank from the Chavadar Tank with others following. A historical moment where Dalits exercised their rights to drink from public water tanks. Dalit was not permitted by the society according to laws set by the caste system. Then he burnt the Manusmriti which governs the lives of the Hindu community since 1,500 years ago through the caste system. He also led his supporters to the Kalaram Temple which was prohibited for the Untouchables and women. His many contributions included the Hindu Code Bill, which benefitted women in having their rights. This I learned that thought is only limited by our own selfishness and in caring for others, we expand our minds to encompass more.

    4. Dr. Ambedkar dared to take on and oppose Gandhi, winning the rights for separate electorates for the Depressed Classes and minorities. At Gandhi hunger strike, Dr. Ambedkar was willing to put himself in danger for his beliefs. Although the Poona Pact was not as Dr. Ambedkar’s wish, the Untouchables were granted access to public wells and temples all over India. This shows of Dr. Ambedkar’s courage of going against the popular (Gandhi) to stand by his belief and convictions for the best of interest of the people he is helping.

    5. Dr’s Ambedkar’s second marriage to Dr. Sharada of the Brahmin caste had defied the law which at that time as something dangerous. Dr. Sharada was very brave to marry in the Untouchables and losing her status as a Brahmin and the potential danger of being killed to prevent shame to her family. Dr. Sharada had always stood by her husband’s side in his fight against the caste system. This is what a relationship should be where one lifts the other to a greater height.

    6. Dr. Ambedkar in all his effort and influence realized that he was not able to change the Hindu society of the caste system, he declared that he will not die a Hindu. In exploring and embracing Buddhism, he realized that although one is born into the system, one does not necessarily need to remain in that state and as such embracing Buddhism, he has provided change and given hope to his people. He saw Buddha’s teachings (Dharma) teaches equality. with compassion/love and method of gaining freedom in our own practice rather than the promise of salvation dependent on another. He leads over 600,000 to convert into Buddhism and even at his funeral, more converted to Buddhism. Such an amazing man that his love for his people could move so many to believe and trust in him. He also wrote a “Bible” in Buddhism for portability and uniting force of Buddhists. This teaches me that with true motivation to benefit others, there will always be a way to help them and in such kindness, we will never be alone.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Shin, for this amazing article of a great man that the world is still celebrating his great works.

  9. Pastor Adeline on Nov 9, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Dr Ambedkar’s selfless works to lift the poor, minorities, helpless and women from injustice and inequality against all odds and the social norms that was ingrained for thousands of years are nothing but extraordinary! No words can express how grateful and appreciative I am for his contributions to humanity. For someone who was born with so many limitations and disadvantages, he has proven that a strong and determined mind is all we need to bring about change for ourselves and others. He has shown us that working for others ultimately benefits our future generations and ourselves.

    1. Dr Ambedkar has demonstrated to us that standing by the truth and working persistently brings far greater benefits that override the hardships he endured throughout the process. There is nothing to fear when it comes to doing good even when our lives may be at risk. A life is worth living when it is used to work towards relieving others from manmade pain ultimately.

    2. Dr Ambedkar truly practices the teachings of Buddha on impermanence. Impermanence has allowed change for the better in the Dalit community and the rest of the minorities living in India. Clearly, there are possibilities for things to change, always and eventually. Change can happen. We are capable to drive it because that’s the truth of all things on earth. Nothing can remain unchanged, even the greatest Grand Canyon in northwestern Arizona!

    3. Dr Ambedkar is a true leader because he focused on working tirelessly without asking for anything in return while keeping the people’s benefits at the heart of his endeavours. Personal gains, the stability of a wrongly built system, power, political benefits and etc. did not stop him from breaking the unjust, unfair, unreasonable wall that does not serve mankind. Never allow ourselves to get distracted from any good and noble work. If we don’t do it, no one else will. If we wish to change for the better, we have to focus and hold the benefits for others dearly with full conviction.

    4. Dr Ambedkar was seen as a traitor and was the most hated man in India. With constant life threats and protests to stop his movement, he completed two M.A. and one PhD within 3 years. It would take at least 11 years for any normal person to have such achievement. Time management paired with perseverance resulted in great achievements. As time is never on our side, using our time for meaningful things is only logical. Our fame, status, work, etc. do not matter. ‘I’ is just one individual, while others are the 7.53 billion on earth. Being hated for works that benefit them will surely worth the while.

    5. Dr Ambedkar’s adoption of Buddhism as the ultimate solution to the issue of discrimination and injustice was a wise move as the Buddha’s teachings are logical, promote equality, and ever-contemporary and applicable to everyone. It is a precious opportunity to have met with such teachings that have been proven effective for over 2600 years. Using the precious Buddhadharma as the guide for our actions create harmony, care and equality within the environment and society we live in. Knowing the dharma intellectually is good but it is necessary and important to put them into practice. For the Buddhadharma to remain and continue to benefit, we ourselves must be a good representation of it, and Dr Ambedkar has proven it to be so by performing virtuous actions before he declared himself officially as a Buddhist. The greatest benefit of all was the mind liberation of the 4 million minorities, the poor and helpless, and women of India who followed his footstep in adopting a religion that frees them from the caste system.

  10. JOY KAM on Nov 9, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Wow… India really can produce philosophers and thinkers that can literally change the world. Dr. Ambedkar is like an attained being. Perhaps he is a Bodhisattva, who knows. He is truly brave and heroic to be the voice for India’s minorities. His daringness to challenge Hinduism’s caste system shows you that he is not someone who will just stand aside and watch injustice happen in front of him. Yes, of course, he himself had first-hand experience of this being born into an untouchable family line. But what I see is not an untouchable but more of an extraordinary being. Someone who is like a Bodhisattva, and like a beautiful peacock, whereby the poison they take can only make them more beautiful. Hence, the more discrimination Dr. Ambedkar experience, the more driven and determined he is to change that situation and release all those who are suffering under the cruel mental slavery of those in power. With that, he fought peacefully to liberate all the untouchables including the women who were considered inferior and see as mere objects to be controlled by the males.

    His goal was simple, to abolish the caste system from Hinduism and the greatest part is that amongst all religion, he found Buddhism to be the only religion that encourages equality for all being. So it wasn’t just about being able to drink from the public water wells, it was about equality.

    The five points that will enhance my life after reading this blog post are:

    1) Courage in doing something that is right instead of giving in on fear
    Dr. Ambedkar did not allow fear to stop him from voicing out the truth and the injustice of the caste system in Hinduism and to fight for equality for all Indians. He is courageous because his fight could easily get him killed, but that did not matter, he fought on to eradicate the discrimination and inequality. He reminds me so much about the Dorje Shugden ban and Rinpoche’s courage in voicing out about this injustice, even though it would cost more hatred and put
    one’s life at risk.

    2) To be selflessness and to include others. To focus out more instead of just one’s own problems

    When Dr. Ambedkar was fighting for equality for the Dalits, it was not just for the Dalits, he fought for the equality for everyone who was put down, he fought for all women who were ostracised due to an ancient law book called the Manusmriti, which taught great prejudice and subjugated women. Fighting for the untouchable was already bad enough, but he did not stop there and instead he became a champion for women’s right. This shows his compassionate nature.

    3) To choose the road less travelled or rather the path that is more difficult because it is more beneficial.
    Dr. Ambedkar could have easily stayed back in America after earning all the esteemed degrees and could have had a comfortable life but he chose to return to his homeland. And when he returned to his homeland, he had forgotten how horribly bad the discrimination against his kind was until he was reminded of it when he was being kicked out from an inn because he was an untouchable. But that did not deter him and made him run even though I can imagine how insecure and horribly depressed with the discrimination had to experience. Instead, he stayed back and even though his struggle was even more challenging than what Ghandi’s mission for an independent India, because here he was an untouchable fighting against his own people, fighting against the oppression and inequality that has been deeply rooted for thousands of years in his culture and society.

    4) He is a thinker. He is not afraid to learn, to investigate and certainly not afraid to challenge the system, even if it is an ancient tradition like Hinduism because he believes that everyone deserves to be treated equally instead of following a dogma that suppresses people based on the colour of their skin. This is inspiring because it shows that he does not just go along with whatever the norm of the society and blindly follows, instead he investigates, he explores other subjects, expands his mind and this is how he encountered Buddhism. He obviously studied the sutra and discovered that Buddhism sat well with him. Buddhism encourages equality, encourages compassion for all beings, and it is logical.

    A statement he made about the difference between Buddhism and Hinduism really stood out and this dawned on to me that yes indeed many religions and their Gods have the tendency to be quite egotistical. Most of them seem to claim that they are the way and to follow them, and not to challenge them because they are the way to our salvation and to heaven, and in this way, they have control over us. On the other hand, the Buddha says we are all the same and that he can show us the way for us to do it ourselves and become just like Buddha. This is total opposite from the dogma preached in many other religions, especially Hiduism.
    “The Buddha made a clear distinction between Margadata “Giver of the Way” and Mokshadata “Giver of Salvation”. Jesus, Muhammad, and Krishna claimed for themselves the role of Mokshadata. The Buddha was satisfied with playing the role of Margadata.” – From Buddha and Future of His Religion by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in The Maha Bodhi (April-May 1950).

    If Dr. Ambedkar was not a seeker of knowledge, he would not have ventured out beyond the norm of society, which I now know that this is how religions like Hinduism control and enslave people – they do not allow the lower caste people to get knowledge to expand their mind. So how fortunate we are to be born in a culture and to come across Buddhism that not only allows but nurture us to always expand our mind. We should never be afraid to learn and to be lazy and lax, but to always challenged ourselves to learn new things and increase our knowledge, for knowledge is power over many delusions and wrong concepts.

    5) Last but not least is his strength.
    Dr. Ambedkar is a true hero for everyone to look up to. Despite all the hardships and challenges Dr. Ambedkar had to go through and face since he was young, he never gives up. Being an untouchable, he had to endure so much abuse and discrimination since he was young, e.g. how he had to bring his gunny cloth to sit on in school and he was not allowed to drink from the same water or touch the vessel where other students drink. And instead of turning out to hate the world, he rises above it all and became one of India’s greatest. He worked hard and he was determined to be the best that he can be and this kind of strength, his determination is amazing, especially for a child. No ordinary child would be able to endure so much abuse without being mentally and emotionally scarred. This was not a boy from a rich, wealthy, educated family, this was a boy from the lowest of the low and he made it, and look what he grew up to be. This makes me realise that whatever hardships I went through, which is nothing compared to his, yet he can come out to be so great, so inspiring, shows us the greatness of our human strength and capability if we nurture and focus our energy correctly on the right things. Perhaps being poor and being born into the untouchable caste was a blessing in disguise. Perhaps he is no ordinary boy, but one thing’s for sure, he gives us hope, hope that no matter how bad things may be, it is up to us to make a change. It is up to us, so we either get sucked into the negative experiences or rise above it all and encourage others to do so as well.

    Thank you Rinpoche for encouraging us to read such inspiring articles to increase our knowledge and expand our narrow mind.

  11. Pastor Shin Tan on Nov 9, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Learning about Dr. Ambedkar life and works left me in awe, that one person can do so much despite his disadvantaged background, and the revolution that he brought about, which has long-lasting impact in the lives of so many.

    1. Dr. Ambedkar’s intelligence and intellect is unparallel and he chose to serve the society for the greater good of humanity
    In the words of Dr. Ambedkar himself, “a great man is different from an eminent one in that he is ready to be the servant of the society.” If the “most intelligent student” of Columbia University, and one who’s voted “The Greatest Indian” chose to live his life and advised others to serve the society, this is a confirmation for me that this is the right direction in life to lead a genuine, purposeful life.

    2. His courage to go against the establishment/social norm with tenacity and focus to his cause
    Ambedkar endured grave discrimination since young to get to where he was. After he established himself, he fought tirelessly for the rest of his life for the underprivileged. He never gave up his radical idea to eradicate the caste system, despite endangering his life, being labelled a traitor when he has done so much for his beloved country and countrymen. In fact, his conversion towards the ends of his life was not so much for his own benefit, but for others, especially his fellow Dalits to gain freedom from oppression. Towards the end of his life, he was focused on getting his book, “The Buddha and His Dhamma” out despite being ill, finishing the manuscript just three days before he passed away. It is important for me to adopt this no-holds-barred attitude that leads to achieving my goals.

    3. Think big and make the most out of one’s short time on earth
    The phrase may be an old cliché, but Dr. Ambedkar really has proven that it is possible to do a lot in one’s short time here. To get multiple degrees through different researches in different academic disciplines at the same time is astonishing for a start. According to his biographer, Dr. Ambedkar lived a frugal, penurious life, suffering from hunger, poverty and loneliness to gain extraordinary educational qualifications during his years abroad, studying day and night at the libraries .

    His struggles was not merely fighting for the rights of his people, the Dalits, but was to create a new social order. To achieve that, he did many things, from drafting a democratic constitution with rights that safeguards the underprivileged, fighting for separate electorates for the depressed classes, working to remove poverty by introducing reforms through laws, creating education opportunities, empowering women, inspiring and influencing others by his publications, speeches and writings, and more. Dr. Ambedkar is an inspiring figure to look up to and it is good for me to remind myself on how this amazing man spent his 24 hours a day to achieve results that matter.

    4. His conversion to Buddhism took decades and it was for the Dalits
    The mass conversion of 4 million Dalits was due to the Dalit’s unswerving faith in a benevolent leader. Although he declared that he wouldn’t die a Hindu earlier, it took him around 20 years before he finally adopted Buddhism, taking his time to study teachings of different religions/faiths, and analysing its implications for the Dalit people. It was not something he took lightly, as he had planned and later produced a comprehensive ‘bible’ for the Dalits. To spend so much time in one’s life, especially towards the end of one’s life for the benefit of others is amazing. Not only was he concerned about helping or improving the situation for the Dalits, he was thinking about liberating them, physically, mentally, and ultimately in a spiritual sense, he laid their path to liberation from samsara and all suffering. Dr. Ambedkar was not merely helping, he was rescuing and liberating the Dalits. This got me thinking that the limit I put on myself in helping others is just something that I set up myself, arising from selfishness.

    5. His thoughts, insights, and wisdom
    I am amazed at the quotes by Dr. Ambedkar that show much wisdom, thoughts, and consideration. Amongst his famous quotes,
    – “Be Educated, Be Organised and Be Agitated”
    – “If you believe in living a respectable life, you believe in self-help which is the best help”
    – “The greatest thing the Buddha has done is to tell the world that the world cannot be reformed except by the reformation of the mind of man and the mind of the world”
    Throughout his life, he practised what he preached, and hence is a great role model. It’s not surprising that many academics are now studying his thoughts, philosophy and works. I’ll definitely look up more of his writings and learn more.

  12. Yee Yin on Nov 9, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Shin for sharing the story of Dr. Ambedkar with us. I have heard of Gandhi but never Dr. Ambedkar. His story is very inspiring.

    The 5 points that I learned from the article that will enhance my life are:

    1. I must study well and gain knowledge. With the knowledge I will be able to analyse with logical mind and not just accept something blindly.
    Religions are often used as a tool to control people. Before human was very educated, there were many things we were not able to explain. That was how the idea of creator appeared and that he controls everything. Fear was instilled in people that if we don’t follow what the god says, he would punish us. People just accepted this idea blindly, no one dared to challenge it. The caste system was also created on this basis, using god to create fear in people so they can be controlled. As a result, some people are oppressed and treated unfairly, like how Dr. Ambedkar was treated badly throughout his life.

    2. No one should decide how much I am worth. I have the opportunity and I have to work hard to get the result to prove my ‘value’.
    Dr. Ambedkar was born an ‘untouchable’. Even though he was bright and intelligent, but due to the caste he belonged to, he was constantly being bullied and many opportunities were taken away from him. But he did not become depressed, his experience made him realised how unfair the whole system was to the Dalit. Unlike normal people, Dr. Ambedkar did not just accept the Dalit label he was given to, he fought for the right for his group of people. He also saw how women were being suppressed, and this was another less privileged group he has helped to fight for their right.

    3. Who we mix with will influence our thoughts and minds. So, it is better I mix with people with positive attitude and values.
    When Dr. Ambedkar was young, he always went to visit Krishnaji Arjun Keluskar, the scholar and social reformer. Krishnaji must have influenced Dr. Ambedkar greatly that Dr. Ambedkar became a reformer himself. Dr. Ambedkar grew up with someone with a great view and that also trained him to see things from a broader and bigger picture, to think differently from others.

    4. By helping others, we are also liberated. I must not be afraid of hard work because at the end of the day, I will receive the benefit too.
    Dr. Ambedkar was a very courageous man. At that time, nobody dared to challenge a custom that was practiced since thousand years ago but Dr. Ambedkar was not afraid to voice out for the outcaste, even though he received threats from people, he didn’t back off. He continued to fight for the less privileged. He wanted everyone to be treated equally, no one should be exploited. As a result of his hard work, he helped to reform the Indian constitution to protect the rights of the Dalits.

    5. Buddhism is the solution to improve our lives by changing our mindset. I must put Dharma in practice to improve my life or my the situation I am in.
    Dr. Ambedkar was a very intelligent man. He embraced Buddhism after having studied Buddhism for many years. For a logical and intelligent man like Dr. Ambedkar to embrace Buddhism, it must mean Buddhism is not a superstitious kind of religion. Equality was a very important value for Dr. Ambedkar, he found that in Buddhism. He knew in order to change the life of the Dalits, he had to also change their mindset, they have to be freed from the old mindset of being an untouchable in the caste system. Since most of the Dalits were not so educated and there are so many Buddhist scriptures, Dr. Ambedkar decided to produce a Buddhist bible that was very practical and relevant to daily life, people can read it anytime they wanted to. This would make it very easy for people to apply the teachings and change their lives for the better. When he and half a million of Dalits converted into Buddhism, he was making a very strong statement to the country that they would not stay quiet and be suppressed, no one should be denied of their basic rights. The Dalits may still be labeled as the untouchable even though they are not Hindu anymore but as long as they have the right mindset like Dr. Ambedkar, their lives will improve. Because of Dr. Ambedkar, India had her first Dalit President K.R. Narayanan. Dr. Ambedkar has made a huge impact on the social structure of India and given the younger generations more opportunities.

    There are always obstacles in our lives or in the things that we do. We can choose to give up and stay in the comfort zone or we can think of a bigger picture and overcome the obstacles. The hardship that we are going through is for us to grow.

  13. Chris on Nov 9, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    Thank you, Rinpoche for sharing on this incredible man and his noble deeds. His story is very inspiring and he will definitely inspire more activist around the world to fight for their rights. Even now in India, many had benefited from his works and even the current Prime Minister of India, Modi is able to be elected despite his low caste. Due to his perseverance in his work, many had benefited even on a spiritual level.

    This is the five points in the article that will enchance my life:

    1. Dr Ambedkar is a winner. He is born into a caste that is the lowest of all. Technically speaking, those who are in the caste will not be able to succeed due to the environment, lack of support and on top of that, they are discriminated and segregated. The amount of effort that Dr Ambedkar has to put in must be more than a normal person from a higher caste. Even with his situation, he emerged stronger than ever and fight for those who are experiencing the same situation. The obstacles I am facing now is tiny compared to his. I should think big and focus out so that I will not be someone that always lose.

    2. Dr Ambedkar is able to endure all the hardships face to face without fear. When he went to New York to study, he did not experience any discrimination because America is the land of freedom. No one discriminates anyone there because the society there had evolved and they understand human equality. Dr Ambedkar can easily stay in America and start a new chapter of his life there. He can choose not to endure all the hardships that are unnecessary if he stays in New York. However, he came back to India and started his fight for human equality. He is not a man that is afraid of hardships. He embraces them instead, for his people. I should adopt his attitude and not try to avoid problems because running away is not a solution.

    3. Dr Ambedkar is selfless and caring towards the people around him after all the suffering that he had gone through. Many people would had been someone that is selfish, closed up, and bitter. In fact, Dr Ambedkar is even more inspired to help the people that had experience or still experiencing the suffering. His action is just like a Bodhisattva already. I should learn from him and to express more care to the people around me. It is just what Rinpoche had posted on Facebook recently. ” Never use pain as an excuse to give more pain.”

    4. Dr Ambedkar is a brave man that does what he thinks is right. He is not afraid to speak up on the things he does not agree on. His fight for the equality of depressed caste is very outspoken and bold. He leads 2,500 Dalits to the public water tank to drink the water from the tank. This is to show that they have the freedom to exercise their rights without the fear of being persecuted anymore. He is showing the whole nation that he is not afraid to do what is right. I need to adopt his courage to do what is right and not let my life pass without any meaning just like what Dr Maya Angelou said: “Just Do Right.”

    5. Dr Ambedkar is a man that not afraid to stand for what he believed in. When Mahatma Gandhi went on a fast because he disagrees with Dr Ambedkar’s proposal of separate electorate. Everyone is being critical with their comments saying he is a traitor when he did not agree to change his mind. He stands firm and even sent a message out saying that he will not give up the rights of his people even if Mahatma Gandhi will lose his life. His is willing to endure the people’s critical comments on him to make sure his people will get the rights that they deserve. I need to learn from him to never be afraid when we are fighting for something that we know it is right no matter what the consequences are.

    Thank you.

  14. Samfoonheei on Nov 9, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Inspiring article of a great man…Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement and campaigned against social discrimination towards the untouchables He also supported the rights of women and labour in India. A great leader who has dedicated his life to eradicating social inequality in India. Wow…….he renounced Hinduism and converted to Buddhism along with around 400,000 of his followers in Nagpur. Dr. Ambedkar belonged to the Mahar caste, through all the hardship , he was so determined and courage to fight for the rights , discrimination for the benefits of others. His struggled for the larger picture of economic growth and development of his country. He was well known for his speeches, writings, cause and works which was paid off. So much so Mahatma Gandhi even called Dr. Ambedkar “the greatest challenge to Hinduism”. He wrote a number of books on Buddhism before his passing . In memory of a great man after his passing, Dr. Ambedkar statues and busts were installed across India and around the world. Interesting read of a GREAT man who has inspired many .
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Shin Tan for this sharing.

  15. Valentina Suhendra on Nov 9, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Dear Rinpoche

    Thank you for this inspiring article on Dr. Ambedkar. He was a remarkable and courageous man who has changed the lives of many. It’s difficult not to be moved by his life story. May his life story continued to inspire many to benefit others.

    The followings are five points from the article that would enhance my life:

    1. Dr. Ambedkar was a very selfless man. Instead of becoming angry with the discrimination that he faced, Dr. Ambedkar’s unpleasant experience motivated him to benefit others.

    How this help to enhance my life: Whatever obstacles that I am facing is nothing compared to what Dr. Ambedkar’s experience. His beautiful motivation inspired me to improve on how I react to certain experiences.

    2. Dr. Ambedkar was very courageous in declaring the caste system within the Hindu religion that has survived thousands of years as wrong.

    How this help to enhance my life: His fearlessness in speaking up his mind on things that matter is an inspiration for me.

    3. Given Dr. Ambedkar’s academic qualifications, he could easily build a comfortable life for himself and his family overseas. However, Dr. Ambedkar chose to return to India, faced the discrimination and work for the benefit of Dalit people.

    How this help to enhance my life: Dr. Ambedkar’s choice to choose struggle over comfort is an inspiration for me in making future life choices.

    4. Dr. Ambedkar’s behavior and conduct were in accordance with what he preached. Dr. Ambedkar used himself as an example regardless of the danger he was facing:
    – Dr. Ambedkar was the first person who drank the water from the Chawdar water tank
    – Dr. Ambedkar married a lady from Brahmin caste

    How this help to enhance my life: His fearlessness in doing what he thought as correct is an inspiration for me.

    5. Because Dr. Ambedkar spent a substantial part of his life for the Dalit’s people’s welfare, toward the end of his life, Dr. Ambedkar managed to get 500,000 people to embrace the Buddhist faith. Even after his demise, Dr. Ambedkar continued to inspire many millions of people to embrace the Buddhist faith.

    How this help to enhance my life: Dr. Ambedkar’s sincerity and the trust he won from his people showed me that his sincerity won people’s heart. It motivates me to do sincere work for others.

  16. Choong on Nov 9, 2018 at 5:40 am

    Being born a Dalit and having been discriminated against all his young(er) life until he went to the United States to pursue post-graduate education and was given a taste of “freedom” and a “free market”, Dr Ambedkar naturally gyrated towards and embraced philosophical, spiritual and economic tenets which spoke to him about the truth of equality, freedom to pursue and universality. He became an expert at this and received the commensurate praise and acknowledgement.

    His pure thinking showed up in his work and pursuits in later life which saw him challenging the caste system, embracing the Dharma and eventually taking refuge in the three jewels together with hundreds of thousands of Indian citizens. His has left a big mark on the Indian sub-continent to say the least.

    Today, and with regards to the Tibetan Buddhist traditions in particular, Buddhism (surprisingly to some) gyrates more in countries like China who embrace the same philosophical and economic tenets which Dr Ambedkar did as compared with the Indian sub-continent for example. Even the Dalai Lama gyrates with Karl Marx’s socio-economic theories for example, something which is very much taboo in the capitalist West.

    Hence, it is not a great surprise that the Buddhist masters have created opportunity to shift into this space, that of the socialist countries, who have since abandoned Communism and who are struggling to pursue the same philosophical and economic tenets which Dr Ambedkar wholly embraced and where the Dharma will be very readily accepted at this time.

    It is uncanny to me how the Buddhist masters have created the causes to be at the right place, at the right time. It shows their masterly skill, no doubt.

Leave a Reply

Maximum file size: 15MB each
Allowed file types: jpg, jpeg, gif, png

 

Maximum file size: 50MB
Allowed file type: mp4
Maximum file size: 15MB each
Allowed file types: pdf, docx

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blog Chat

BLOG CHAT

Dear blog friends,

I’ve created this section for all of you to share your opinions, thoughts and feelings about whatever interests you.

Everyone has a different perspective, so this section is for you.

Tsem Rinpoche


SCHEDULED CHAT SESSIONS / 中文聊天室时间表

THURSDAY
10 - 11PM (GMT +8)
5 - 6AM (PST)
(除了每个月的第一个星期五)
SATURDAY
11AM - 12PM (GMT +8)
FRIDAY 7 - 8PM (PST)

UPCOMING TOPICS FOR NOVEMBER / 十一月份讨论主题

Please come and join in the chat for a fun time and support. See you all there.


Blog Chat Etiquette

These are some simple guidelines to make the blog chat room a positive, enjoyable and enlightening experience for everyone. Please note that as this is a chat room, we chat! Do not flood the chat room, or post without interacting with others.

EXPAND
Be friendly

Remember that these are real people you are chatting with. They may have different opinions to you and come from different cultures. Treat them as you would face to face, and respect their opinions, and they will treat you the same.

Be Patient

Give the room a chance to answer you. Patience is a virtue. And if after awhile, people don't respond, perhaps they don't know the answer or they did not see your question. Do ask again or address someone directly. Do not be offended if people do not or are unable to respond to you.

Be Relevant

This is the blog of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. Please respect this space. We request that all participants here are respectful of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche and his organisation, Kechara.

Be polite

Avoid the use of language or attitudes which may be offensive to others. If someone is disrespectful to you, ignore them instead of arguing with them.

Please be advised that anyone who contravenes these guidelines may be banned from the chatroom. Banning is at the complete discretion of the administrator of this blog. Should anyone wish to make an appeal or complaint about the behaviour of someone in the chatroom, please copy paste the relevant chat in an email to us at care@kechara.com and state the date and time of the respective conversation.

Please let this be a conducive space for discussions, both light and profound.

KECHARA FOREST RETREAT PROGRESS UPDATES

Here is the latest news and pictorial updates, as it happens, of our upcoming forest retreat project.

The Kechara Forest Retreat is a unique holistic retreat centre focused on the total wellness of body, mind and spirit. This is a place where families and individuals will find peace, nourishment and inspiration in a natural forest environment. At Kechara Forest Retreat, we are committed to give back to society through instilling the next generation with universal positive values such as kindness and compassion.

For more information, please read here (english), here (chinese), or the official site: retreat.kechara.com.

Noticeboard

Name: Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Sofi
    Friday, Nov 15. 2019 08:32 PM
    Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen

    Tsongkhapa praised Drakpa Gyeltsen for his strict mastery of the monastic codes. He is known for his writing on the Vinaya as well as on the Sarvadurgatiparisodhana tantra. Most of his known compositions are currently unaccounted for.

    Learn more of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen’s past incarnation and his promise made: http://bit.ly/DuldzinDrakpaGyeltsen
  • Sofi
    Friday, Nov 15. 2019 08:13 PM
    Murder in Drepung Monastery: Depa Norbu

    As with any story of success, there always comes with it tales of jealousy and envy. In Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen’s life story, this is represented in the form of Depa Norbu. It was at Depa Norbu’s hand and under his orders that Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen was murdered. While the run-up to the actual murder differs according to varying traditions, the end result is always the same — a hugely popular lama of high repute, erudite scholarship and unstained reputation was found dead with a khata (ritual silk scarf) stuffed down his throat.

    Learn of the treachery in Tibetan government that is still being practiced today: http://bit.ly/DepaNorbu
  • S.Prathap
    Friday, Nov 15. 2019 05:27 PM
    Everyone who visits these places can receive blessings, positive imprints, find an opportunity for introspection, and be inspired by their own potential to gain higher states of mind.

    To date Potala Palace,Jokhang Monastery and Norbuglinka Palace was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Thank you for sharing this informative article which will definitely made things easier for those travelling there.

    Read more : https://bit.ly/374e5Ex
  • Yee Yin
    Friday, Nov 15. 2019 04:25 PM
    I rejoice to see the 11th Panchen Lama has started to teach, fulfilling his duty as a high lama. The Panchen Lama reincarnation lineage is as important as the Dalai Lama reincarnation lineage. The previous Panchen Lama was highly respected by Tibetans and Chinese, he was a very high lama. The current incarnation has learned from a very qualified teacher and thus he is also very qualified to teach.

    I have seen a video of him speaking in Chinese, he speaks very well and he is also very charismatic. He is still young, I am sure he can do a lot in preserving and spreading Tibetan Buddhism.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/historic-first-kalachakra-initiation-by-the-11th-panchen-lama.html
  • nicholas
    Friday, Nov 15. 2019 04:03 PM
    In 1987, the China Disabled People’s Performing Arts Troupe was formed. They are a professional performing arts troupe made up of 106 performers with hearing and/or visual impairments or physical disabilities. For the next 20 years, the 106 performers worked hard to turn professional in 2000. By 2004, they gave up their government allowance, began supporting themselves… and started raising money for charities! So beautiful no matter what angle you look at it from.

    Aged between 14-19, they slowly-but-steadily learned the art of dancing through sign language with other trainers. To make up for the lack of one or more of their senses, they put in more time, effort and have immense determination. Determination is the key for all success for anyone.

    For any one dance that they perform, they can spend up to one year practicing it for an average of 6-10 hours a day! Each move that they make is practiced about 100 times!!

    They have acquired international recognition and have performed in highly-recognised venues such as Scala in Milan, Carnegie Hall in New York, The Kennedy Center (for Bill Clinton), the Opera House in Sydney and “The Egg” in Beijing. They have performed in more than 60 countries (10 times in the USA alone), been invited to perform at events such as the closing ceremony of the Paralympics in Athens (2004) and Miss World 2004 pageant… and was designated as “UNESCO Art for Peace” by the Director-General of UNESCO!

    Watch the video on their amazing performance at http://bit.ly/2kwvIsU
  • nicholas
    Friday, Nov 15. 2019 03:58 PM
    Daibutsu (or 大佛/大仏) means ‘Great Buddha’ or ‘giant Buddha’ in Japanese. It can also be used informally to refer to a big Buddha statue. One such statue is in Kamakura, Japan. The Daibutsu is a statue of Amitabha Buddha and is called The Great Buddha of Kamakura.

    The statue dates back to 1252 AD, and is of Amitabha Buddha in sitting position. The statue is approximately 13.35 meters tall, weighing approximately 93 tons and is made from bronze. It is hollow and visitors can enter to view the interior.

    According to the temple records, the current statue was preceded by another wooden Daibutsu. A court lady named Inadano-Tsubone, who was an attendant of Shogun Yorimoto, had raised funds together with a priest named Joko. When they collected enough funds, they started the construction work in 1238. That statue took 5 years of construction, but was destroyed after a storm hit the area in 1248. The hall that covered the statue was also destroyed.

    They constructed it again, but this time they collected more funds and made a bronze statue. They then constructed a hall to shelter the statue… but it was yet again destroyed in 1335 during a large storm. The hall reconstructed once again, but a typhoon in 1368 brought it down. The 4th (and final) reconstruction of the hall stood for 127 years, until a tsunami hit Japan and destroyed it. However, the bronze statue remained intact and it has been left under the open air since.

    Read more at http://bit.ly/2k4bbvL
  • nicholas
    Friday, Nov 15. 2019 03:53 PM
    The serene and majestic Mount Fanjing (or Fanjing Shan 梵凈山), its peaks towering above the cloud banks, is steeped in Buddhist lore and tradition. ‘Fanjing’ (梵凈) means ‘Buddhist tranquillity’. In another explanation, the mountain received its name “Fanjing”, as an abbreviation of Fantianjingtu, a Buddhist term which means “Brahma’s Pure Land”. Mount Fanjing is also called Yuejing (Moon Mirror) Mountain because the temple at its peak can be seen reflected on the surrounding smooth rock on a clear moonlit night.

    Mount Fanjing is part of the Wuling Range in south-western China’s Guizhou Province. Its highest point stands 2,572 meters above sea level and the misty summit is the highest of the entire range. For centuries, both the mountain and the surrounding jungles have been a sanctuary for Buddhist masters seeking solitude in nature. Numerous Buddhist temples are spread across the peaks and slopes, most dedicated to Maitreya and Buddha Shakyamuni. Maitreya, or The Next Buddha, is the patron Bodhisattva of Mount Fanjing.

    Read more about Fanjing Mountain at http://bit.ly/2Qhdnhb
  • nicholas
    Friday, Nov 15. 2019 03:44 PM
    In an area of some 120 square kilometres, not far from the picturesque Mount Huangshan, and located in Qingyang County, Anhui Province in China, is a haven that is nestled between the Yangtze River and the Yellow Mountain. Here, in a verdant landscape of pine trees and walls of tall swaying bamboo, lined with streams, waterfalls, hidden caves and rocky configurations, 99 peaks rise up from the soil and protrude through the clouds. The tallest peak is called Shiwang Peak (Peak of Ten Kings) that sits at an elevation of 1,342 metres above sea level. This summit is well known, as are eight of the nearby peaks – Tiantai Peak, Tianwang Peak, Lianhua Peak, Duxiu Peak, Luohan Peak, Wulao Peak, Fuhu Peak and Furong Peak.

    Together, the peaks are known as Jiu Hua Shan (Mount Jiu Hua) or the Nine Glorious/Heavenly Mountains and are considered to be the abode of the Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, known as Dizangwang Pusa in Chinese.

    Jiu Hua Shan is one of the four holiest sites of Chinese Buddhism. The other three are Mount Wutai in Shanxi province, Mount Emei in Sichuan and Mount Putuo in Zhejiang.

    Read more about Jiu Hua Shan at http://bit.ly/2CNeo8x
  • nicholas
    Friday, Nov 15. 2019 03:36 PM
    Pu Tuo Shan, also known as Mount Putuo is located on an island southeast of Shanghai, in the Zhoushan prefecture of Zhejiang province in China. Pu Tuo Shan is believed to be the bodhimanda (place of awakening) of Avalokitesvara, more familiarly known as Guan Yin in China. Due to this believe, Pu Tuo Shan gained its place as one of the five holy mountains in Buddhism and flocks of pilgrims visit this place all year round to get blessings.



    During the Tang Dynasty, Pu Tuo Shan became the center of Chinese Buddhism solely for Guan Yin, while the silk road was being constructed and developed. Ever since then, Pu Tuo Shan has been the main destination for all Guan Yin worshipers. Guan Yin (or Chenrezig, or Avaloketishvara), resides as the patron Bodhisattva on Mount Putuo.

    Pu Tuo Shan consists of many temples and monastic institutes, besides being a place of study for the holy Dharma, it is also a place where many people visit for geological, marine and forestry studies.

    Learn more about Buddhist Practice in Putuo Shan at http://bit.ly/32Jp0jq
  • sarassitham
    Friday, Nov 15. 2019 03:18 PM
    Being together as a family builds family unity, creates wonderful memories for children and is a great way to relieve stress and instill family values. Nice to know about Kechara’s land is rich to to grow organic vegetables that is free of pesticides and chemicals. As we know that organic foods are much more healthier than non organic for many reason. It is pricey but rich in nutrients, minerals and vitamins.

    Though organic foods have become more and more popular recently, parents need to start making the correct choices for their children on a daily basis. Thanks for the sharing, had a good view of the fresh and healthy greenery vegetables. Felt very happy for the son who had a great time to work together with his father.
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Nov 15. 2019 01:49 PM
    Despite of all those hardships, Rinpoche had gone through, with Rinpoche having a strong imprint, courage and determination Rinpoche was where today. Rinpoche had to work at Fotomat, for a living to support himself , got robbed , meeting customers and so forth. Rinpoche yet remained happy as Rinpoche could carry on as usual doing long sadhana of Vajra Yogini and Heruka and many mantras.
    Back at his studio apt of Fenmore Apts, Rinpoche could do sadhana and prostrations in the room while his friends will be singing. Not everyone could concentrate with the noise but Rinpoche could. That’s incredible in such a situation.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing Rinpoche’s encounter happening before during and after Rinpoche met HH Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. Its an encouragement , inspiration for us .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/tsem-rinpoche-in-an-american-tantric-dress.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Nov 15. 2019 01:46 PM
    Rinpoche was indeed a man of multi task ,from a friend, teacher, planner, writer to a coordinator to name a few. Rinpoche down to earth doing all for everyone,benefiting them more than himself. Wow …Rinpoche for seen in all the constructions of Kechara Forest Retreat . Truly amazing, the planning of the hall and those statues as well . Rinpoche would always involved whatever he could for the benefits of all from A to Z. Rinpoche has such wisdom, compassion, love, care and true connection with all of us.. It’s the connection and humanity of a teacher and that is something really beautiful to see.
    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for sharing this with us.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/growing-up-with-rinpoche-its-all-in-the-details
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Nov 15. 2019 01:44 PM
    Sentient beings come to this present life from their previous lives and take rebirth. Positive karma are created and their imprints remain on the consciousness. H.E. Tsem Rinpoche has always wanted to be a monk, since young. He had a very strong imprints from a previous existence , that Rinpoche enjoyed drawing images of Buddha and keen to read Buddhist books. Rinpoche will somehow go and looked for Buddhist Temple to practice Dharma teachings without his foster parent knowledge. Rinpoche could be a movie star but Rinpoche chose to be a monk where Rinpoche would benefit to all sentient beings. Well, Rinpoche had since kept his vows until the last day . Rinpoche did say before that the happiest days of his life was at the monastery serving his teachers.
    Thank you Pastor David for sharing this short post.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/tales-with-my-lama-on-being-a-monk
  • Sofi
    Friday, Nov 15. 2019 10:19 AM
    The Guangxi Community in Bentong

    Bentong is one of the few towns in Malaysia which has a majority of Guangxi Chinese within the Chinese community. Based on the information I gathered from the Bentong Guangxi Association, it is estimated that around 75% of the Chinese population in Bentong can safely trace their ancestry back to Guangxi Province, China. Notably, about 90% of the Chinese population in the Perting Chinese New Village are Guangxi Chinese.

    Find out more of Bentong’s community: http://bit.ly/BentongGuangXi
  • Sofi
    Friday, Nov 15. 2019 10:04 AM
    The Sacred Vajrayogini of Ratsag Monastery

    Ratsag is a contraction of Ra Lotsawa’s clan name and the Tibetan expression tsagsutsu, which means “success.” This indicates that Ratsag Monastery was the last of the set of 108 monasteries that Ra Lotsawa pledged to build. His connection to Ra Bende Yonten Gyalpo of the inscription, aside from sharing the same family name, remains unknown. Nevertheless, the occupants of the monastery and the local people all continue to regard Ratsag Monastery as being founded by Ra Lotsawa.

    Read more of this monastery’s interesting history: http://bit.ly/RatsagMonastery

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Messages from Rinpoche

Scroll down within the box to view more messages from Rinpoche. Click on the images to enlarge. Click on 'older messages' to view archived messages. Use 'prev' and 'next' links to navigate between pages

Use this URL to link to this section directly: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/#messages-from-rinpoche

Previous Live Videos

MORE VIDEOS

Shugdenpas Speaking Up Across The Globe

From Europe Shugden Association:


MORE VIDEOS

From Tibetan Public Talk:


MORE VIDEOS

CREDITS

Concept: Tsem Rinpoche
Technical: Lew Kwan Leng, Justin Ripley, Yong Swee Keong
Design: Justin Ripley, Cynthia Lee
Content: Tsem Rinpoche, Justin Ripley, Pastor Shin Tan, Sarah Yap
Admin: Pastor Loh Seng Piow, Beng Kooi

I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

Tsem Rinpoche

Total views today
1,281
Total views up to date
19,065,301

Stay Updated

What Am I Writing Now

@tsemrinpoche on Instagram

Facebook Fans Youtube Views Blog Views
Animal Care Fund
  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
4 months ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
4 months ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
4 months ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
4 months ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
4 months ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
4 months ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
5 months ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
5 months ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
5 months ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
5 months ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
5 months ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
5 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
5 months ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
5 months ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
5 months ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
6 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
6 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
6 months ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
6 months ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
6 months ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
6 months ago
This is pretty amazing! First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
6 months ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
6 months ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
6 months ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
6 months ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
6 months ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
6 months ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
6 months ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
6 months ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
6 months ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
6 months ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
6 months ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
6 months ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
6 months ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
6 months ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
6 months ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
6 months ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
6 months ago
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
6 months ago
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
7 months ago
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
7 months ago
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
7 months ago
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden\'s grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
7 months ago
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden's grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
7 months ago
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
7 months ago
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
7 months ago
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche 

www.tsemrinpoche.com
7 months ago
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Always be kind to animals-They deserve to live just like us.
    4 months ago
    Always be kind to animals-They deserve to live just like us.
    Whales and dolphins playing with each other in the Pacific sea. Nature is truly incredible!
  • Bodha stupa July 2019-
    4 months ago
    Bodha stupa July 2019-
    Rainy period
  • Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
    5 months ago
    Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
  • Your Next Meal!
    5 months ago
    Your Next Meal!
    Yummy? Tasty? Behind the scenes of the meat on your plates. Meat is a killing industry.
  • This is Daw
    5 months ago
    This is Daw
    This is what they do to get meat on tables, and to produce belts and jackets. Think twice before your next purchase.
  • Don’t Take My Mummy Away!
    5 months ago
    Don’t Take My Mummy Away!
    Look at the poor baby chasing after the mother. Why do we do that to them? It's time to seriously think about our choices in life and how they affect others. Be kind. Don't break up families.
  • They do this every day!
    5 months ago
    They do this every day!
    This is how they are being treated every day of their lives. Please do something to stop the brutality. Listen to their cries for help!
  • What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?
    5 months ago
    What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?
    The largest undercover dairy investigation of all time. See what they found out at Fair Oaks Farm.
  • She’s going to spend her whole life here without being able to move correctly. Like a machine. They are the slaves of the people and are viewed as a product. It’s immoral. Billions of terrestrial animals die annually. Billions. You can’t even imagine it. And all that because people don’t want to give up meat, even though there are so many alternatives. ~ Gabriel Azimov
    5 months ago
    She’s going to spend her whole life here without being able to move correctly. Like a machine. They are the slaves of the people and are viewed as a product. It’s immoral. Billions of terrestrial animals die annually. Billions. You can’t even imagine it. And all that because people don’t want to give up meat, even though there are so many alternatives. ~ Gabriel Azimov
  • Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
    7 months ago
    Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
    7 months ago
    This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
  • Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
    7 months ago
    Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    7 months ago
    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    7 months ago
    Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
  • These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
    7 months ago
    These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
    7 months ago
    Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
    7 months ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
  • Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
    8 months ago
    Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
  • Beautiful
    8 months ago
    Beautiful
    Beautiful sacred Severed Head Vajra Yogini from Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
  • My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
    8 months ago
    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
    8 months ago
    Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
    9 months ago
    Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    10 months ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    Tsem Rinpoche's dog Oser girl enjoying her snack in her play pen.
  • Cute!
    10 months ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    10 months ago
    Uncle Wong
    We were told by Uncle Wong he is very faithful toward Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden has extended help to him on several occasions and now Uncle Wong comes daily to make incense offerings to Dorje Shugden. He is grateful towards the help he was given.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
    10 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    10 months ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    11 months ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    11 months ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Chirping birds and other forest animals create a joyful melody at the Vajrayogini stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Malaysia).
  • His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    11 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    Trijang Rinpoche never gave up his devotion to Dorje Shugden no matter how much Tibetan government in exile pressured him to give up. He stayed loyal inspiring so many of us.
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    2 yearss ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    2 yearss ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    2 yearss ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    2 yearss ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    2 yearss ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    2 yearss ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    2 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    2 yearss ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    2 yearss ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    2 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    2 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    2 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    2 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

Scroll down and click on "View All Questions" to view archived questions.

View All Questions

CHAT PICTURES

Owen Liew offered incense to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas on behalf of KISG. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
3 days ago
Owen Liew offered incense to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas on behalf of KISG. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Steve from Ipoh offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas prior to our weekly Dorje Shugden puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
3 days ago
Steve from Ipoh offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas prior to our weekly Dorje Shugden puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
KISG has completed our weekly Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
3 days ago
KISG has completed our weekly Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Throwback - Parent and children stayed together to do breathing meditation ~ 2018 Pilgrimage cum Camp, Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice, KSDS
4 days ago
Throwback - Parent and children stayed together to do breathing meditation ~ 2018 Pilgrimage cum Camp, Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice, KSDS
Throwback - KSDS parent and student visited Kechara Forest Retreat ~ Wesak Day for virtuous deeds and have fun together. Alice, KSDS
4 days ago
Throwback - KSDS parent and student visited Kechara Forest Retreat ~ Wesak Day for virtuous deeds and have fun together. Alice, KSDS
Wonderful to see these 2 siblings learn dharma together and pray to Manjushri before the class start. Alice, KSDS
4 days ago
Wonderful to see these 2 siblings learn dharma together and pray to Manjushri before the class start. Alice, KSDS
The youngest in the class of only 3 years ago learned how to do full lotus pose for breathing meditation session. Alice, KSDS
4 days ago
The youngest in the class of only 3 years ago learned how to do full lotus pose for breathing meditation session. Alice, KSDS
The youngest group of KSDS are very helpful in arranging the seats before the class. Alice, KSDS
4 days ago
The youngest group of KSDS are very helpful in arranging the seats before the class. Alice, KSDS
Kechara Ipoh Study Group carried out Mother Tara's prayer recitations on Sunday morning. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group carried out Mother Tara's prayer recitations on Sunday morning. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Throwback- Group work activities during camp. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Throwback- Group work activities during camp. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- Ice breaking session. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Throwback- Ice breaking session. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback - Decorating Kechara Oasis, artwork dedication from Sunday class kids. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Throwback - Decorating Kechara Oasis, artwork dedication from Sunday class kids. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- Chinese New Year activity during dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Throwback- Chinese New Year activity during dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- WOAH Camp 2017 , Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Throwback- WOAH Camp 2017 , Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback - KSDS camp in KFR, Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Throwback - KSDS camp in KFR, Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Grace led the teenage class on a blog chat article. Lin Mun KSDS
3 weeks ago
Teacher Grace led the teenage class on a blog chat article. Lin Mun KSDS
Students and teachers were so excited with the performance hat. Lin Mun KSDS
3 weeks ago
Students and teachers were so excited with the performance hat. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Asyley and teacher Alice shared the biography of HE Tsem Tulku Rinpoche to student. Lin Mun KSDS
3 weeks ago
Teacher Asyley and teacher Alice shared the biography of HE Tsem Tulku Rinpoche to student. Lin Mun KSDS
Class age 10-12 is lead by teacher Jayce. Lin Mun KSDS
3 weeks ago
Class age 10-12 is lead by teacher Jayce. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Kien is teacher for class age 7-9 years old. Lin Mun KSDS
3 weeks ago
Teacher Kien is teacher for class age 7-9 years old. Lin Mun KSDS
Glad to have Chef Anis and Iswan for joining us last night for the food distribution :) ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 weeks ago
Glad to have Chef Anis and Iswan for joining us last night for the food distribution :) ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
The generous support from sponsors and volunteers have made it possible for us to continue with this contribution to those less fortunate. Thanks to Add Hope Malaysia and students from First City University College! #Kechara #foodbank #hungerknowsnobarriers #volunteer ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 weeks ago
The generous support from sponsors and volunteers have made it possible for us to continue with this contribution to those less fortunate. Thanks to Add Hope Malaysia and students from First City University College! #Kechara #foodbank #hungerknowsnobarriers #volunteer ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you very much to Rasa Sayang AEON Club team for assisting us with surplus food collection and also distribution last Saturday. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 weeks ago
Thank you very much to Rasa Sayang AEON Club team for assisting us with surplus food collection and also distribution last Saturday. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to James and Jien Howe for conducting the safety briefing to the new volunteers last night. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 weeks ago
Thankful to James and Jien Howe for conducting the safety briefing to the new volunteers last night. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Special thanks to Calvin who came as early as 12.30 p.m. He helped us to spring-clean the chapel before today's events; Bird Liberation and Dorje Shugden puja @ KPSG, Jacinta
4 weeks ago
Special thanks to Calvin who came as early as 12.30 p.m. He helped us to spring-clean the chapel before today's events; Bird Liberation and Dorje Shugden puja @ KPSG, Jacinta
The Promise
  These books will change your life
  Tsem Rinpoche's Long Life Prayer by H.H. Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche
  Support Blog Team
Lamps For Life
  Robe Offerings
  Vajrayogini Stupa Fund
  White Tara Mantra Bank Project
  Rinpoche's Medical Fund
  Dana Offerings
  Soup Kitchen Project
 
Zong Rinpoche

Archives

YOUR FEEDBACK

Live Visitors Counter
Page Views By Country
United States 4,212,032
Malaysia 4,099,189
India 1,667,269
Nepal 786,232
Singapore 752,400
United Kingdom 666,682
Canada 578,929
Bhutan 557,241
Australia 448,209
Philippines 345,870
Indonesia 338,427
Germany 273,549
France 265,852
Brazil 186,939
Taiwan 175,906
Vietnam 175,159
Thailand 171,533
Italy 134,314
Mongolia 131,035
Spain 127,561
Portugal 126,726
Turkey 114,968
Netherlands 113,955
United Arab Emirates 98,451
Russia 93,287
Romania 87,374
Hong Kong 85,028
Sri Lanka 83,802
South Africa 77,274
Mexico 76,096
Myanmar (Burma) 72,509
New Zealand 69,728
Switzerland 65,764
Japan 64,163
South Korea 59,289
Cambodia 59,273
Bangladesh 53,867
Pakistan 52,993
China 46,548
Total Pageviews: 19,065,308

Login

Dorje Shugden
Click to watch my talk about Dorje Shugden....