Giant Triratna retreat in South India draws to a close
On Thu, 29 December, 2011 - 18:41
One of Triratna’s largest retreats has recently drawn to a close, in Gulbarga, in the south India state of Karnataka. Manimaran, who was there, sends us this report, saying -
“Dear Brothers and Sisters in Dhamma, I just came back after attending the PRABUDDHABHARATRETREAT in December 2011 at the wonderful Siddhartha Buddha Vihar, at Gulbarga in Karnataka State, South India. More than 600 men and women participated in the retreat from all different states in india, most of them from unprivileged villages and communities. We all meditated together three times in a day, practicing Anapanasati and Mettabhavana, and every day the programme ended with the Saptang Puja (Sevenfold Puja).
“The retreat was led by Dhammachari Lokamitra, who gave talks every day - about Babasaheb Ambedkar’s vision of the Buddha-Dhamma, about his decision to go for refuge to the Ratnas (Three Jewels, ie the Buddha Dhamma Sangha), about the 22 vows he gave to his followers, and about the practising of the Precepts (sila), and finally about the Paramitas or Perfections which help us to develop the qualities of the Bodhisattva.
“In the evening we mainly expressed about the creation of Prabuddhabharat, the dream of Dr. Ambedkar. This was explained by our brother Mangesh, from Triratna’s Manuski project. Followed his introduction, many of our friends shared their experience of spreading Dhamma and social activities - each person’s experience was a real inspiration”. Manimaran
Mangesh goes on to describe the meaning of Prabuddhabharat and its significance in Dr. Ambedkar’s thought, saying - “Bodhisattva Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar started the Dhamma Revolution in 1956 when he converted to Buddhism with millions of his followers. All his life he had struggled for an equal society one based on the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity. He saw the fulfilment of India’s aspiration as a truly democratic country in the teachings of the Buddha. Prabuddha Bharat is the word we use for his vision of a casteless and classless society - a new society based on justice, liberty, equality and fraternity.
The Prabuddha Bharat retreat offers an opportunity to understand the significance of the Dhamma for individuals and societies. The reformation of the mind of man and the mind of the world is the goal of the Buddha Dhamma. This reformation is possible through our practice of Sila, Samadhi and Prajna - Ethics, Meditation, and Wisdom. To transform our own lives and society, we must follow the Buddha Dhamma. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar has given us this highest liberating path. Now it is our duty to walk on it.
Triratna Bauddha Mahasangha has been actively supporting the Dhamma Revolution through regular retreats, training and Dhamma classes. Its network is now established in 22 states across India, thereby breaking many caste and language barriers”.