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On this day 60 years ago – 14th October 1956 - the great Indian social reformer Dr BR Ambedkar converted to Buddhism.
Sangharakshita worked with Dr Ambedkar’s followers for many years. So to mark this very significant anniversary, The Buddhist Centre Online launches today a new multimedia space “Dr Ambedkar and Sangharakshita: Bringing Buddhism back to India”.
The ceremony, in Nagpur, central India, was attended by hundreds of thousands of his fellow people, escaping life at the bottom of India’s caste system. Reciting the refuges and precepts after him, they started a bloodless revolution which continues today. This week Nagpur has seen celebrations of this great event.
Follow coverage over on our Features space
First, the International Buddhist Youth Convention met 6th-11th October at Triratna’s Bor Dharan retreat centre.
Next came a conference with leading Buddhist speakers from many traditions, east and west, 11th-14th October: “Social Engagement and Liberation”. Held at Triratna’s Nagaloka centre it was organised by the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) and Nagaloka, in partnership with Deer Park Institute and the Karuna Trust.
The two events were timed to overlap by one day so that both meetings could share in marking the conversion anniversary on Tuesday 11th October at the Dhiksha Bhumi (conversion ground) in Nagpur.
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It’s no accident that this week sees the appearance of the first part of Sangharakshita’s Complete Works to be published, including his Dr Ambedkar and the Buddhist Revival, 1.
Read about the book and watch a video