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October this year saw the first North Indian National Youth Convention (of NNBY). 375 young people came to a retreat in Syna, UP. Many of them were from areas without many Buddhists and were experiencing Triratna for the first time. They were not necessarily from Buddhist families - there were some Muslims and some who had heard of Dr Ambedkar, but were new to Buddhism. It was an immensely positive and inspiring event. For some it was life changing - for example some talked of the importance of having a vision of a positive future without having to rely on the grace of God. Others, particularly young women, talked of a new inspired confidence that enabled them to face the severely challenging circumstances they face. North India is a harsh society to live in, especially for women who face daily oppression, even violence. With the rise of right wing Hindu nationalism, particularly in that area, new hope is needed.
Maitriveer Nagarjuna gave a series of talks on key Buddhist concepts: view (ditthi), actions and consequences, (karma and vipaka), cleansing the mind of the poisons (klesas) and the power of Bodhicitta. The talks are in Hindi. Dhammacharini Shraddhavajri and the NNBY North India Team both organised and gave friendship and encouragement to support the young people discovering a different way of living their life.