Triratna News

A week of celebration: Ambedkar and the new Indian Buddhism

On Sun, 7 October, 2012 - 09:17
lokabandhu's picture
Next Sunday sees major celebrations across India as up to ten million new Indian Buddhists celebrate the conversion to Buddhism in 1956 of their great leader Dr. Ambedkar. In recognition of his extraordinary contribution to modern Buddhism, we’re devoting the whole of next week’s stories on Triratna News to exploring aspects of his legacy in India - a significant part of which has been carried forwards by the work of the Indian wing of the Triratna Buddhist Community and its UK funding partner the Karuna Trust.

Monday sees Andrea, Karuna’s Communications Officer, looking at how Karuna is helping its funding partners, both Buddhist and non-Buddhist, move beyond caste-based prejudice through its insistence on ‘Mind Change’ as a part of any funding offered. Tuesday celebrates Karuna’s new ‘Dhamma Seed Fund’, set up to make start-up grants to new Buddhist teaching groups across India, however small. Wednesday follows the experience of Vinay as he goes on retreat at Triratna’s Bhaja Retreat Centre in the hills outside Pune, and Thursday introduces readers to NNBY - India’s ‘National Network of Buddhist Youth’, one of the most exciting new developments in the Indian Triratna Buddhist Community. And Friday profiles Amitayus, an Indian Order Member and one of the upcoming younger generation of leaders of Triratna’s social and Dhamma projects in India. Sunday is the actual anniversary of the conversion and we’ll bring news of the various Triratna Buddhist Centres around the world who will be marking it in one way or another.

For more general introductions to Dr. Ambedkar and his work, we recommend Sangharakshita’s Ambedkar and Buddhism and the excellent online collection of Ambedkar’s major writings and speeches available on - especially his rousing ‘Annihilation of Caste’ and classic introduction to Buddhism ‘Buddha & His Dhamma’.

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