550 Men and Women Embrace Buddhism in South IndiaOn Mon, 15 February, 2016 - 08:59
On 26th January is Republic Day in India, celebrating the day Dr Ambedkar gave India their constitution, based explicitly on the Buddhist values of liberty, equality and fraternity. On this day this year, 550 men and women from the scheduled castes from Siddhipeth (just outside Hyderabad), Telanghana State, publicly embraced Buddhism and the 22 vows. This was the first public conversion since the formation of the new Telanghana State. It was also the first time a Member of the Triratna Buddhist Order conducted a conversion ceremony rather than a monk. Maitriveer-Nagarjuna conducted the ceremony with the help of Bodhimodini and Buddharuci. He used Sangharakshita’s Three Fold Puja to explain the meaning and significance of the Three Jewels to the joyful crowd. This event was particularly inspiring as it emphasised the positive chioces that we can all take at a time when youths from the marginalised castes are discouraged by recent stories of caste discrimination. To help support these, and other, newly committed Buddhists, please consider donating to the India Dhamma Trust who help fund Dhamma work in India.