Telling the story of India's Dhamma Revolution in Europe
On Wed, 2 July, 2014 - 00:02
Amalavajra writes from the India Dhamma Trust, which raises money for the ordination training of Indian Buddhists:
“Amrutdeep, a senior Indian Order member and Public Preceptor, recently completed a successful tour of six Triratna Centres in the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Germany. Coinciding with Buddhist Action Month, his visit fitted the Month’s overarching social action theme very well.
Visiting the sanghas at Metta Vihara, Arnhem, Amsterdam, Paris, Ghent and Essen, he told the story of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, leader of the “Dhamma Revolution” among the new Buddhists of India, formerly considered Untouchable. (Indian Buddhists use the Pali spelling, Dhamma, instead of the Sanskrit Dharma.)
Amrutdeep also talked of present-day heroes: Siladarshi, a former Mumbai gangster and now an Order member; also Alka, who, 15 years ago, was an illiterate and destitute mother of three. Today, through her contact with the Dharma and Triratna, she has a Masters’ degree, co-runs a Karuna/Bahujan Hitay girls’ hostel in Latur and is training for ordination. (Such hostels enable poor children who live too far away from a school to get an education whilst being well cared for.)
Members of these six European sanghas generously gave Euros 3,200 (GBP 2,557/USD 4,382) to Amrutdeep and the Indian Dhamma Trust for his team’s work training new Order members. This is enough to support a new member for the women’s team, helping hundreds like Alka to train in the Dhamma each year.”
Watch this 8-minute, moving Clear Vision video about the wider social benefit of women’s ordination in India.
1. Please be courteous at all times. If you’re engaged in any kind of discussion, be as prepared to listen as you are to express yourself. Remember that there’s always a real person behind a computer/device screen, and they are likely quite different from you.
2. Think twice before posting anything that’s likely to give offence or be inflammatory. That doesn’t promote good conversation. If you’re upset at something you see here, perhaps let a little time pass before responding. Bear in mind this isn’t a space to vent our views, it’s about exploring respectfully with others what it means to be a Buddhist within our community and in the modern world generally.
3. We may remove posts or comments that are considered off-topic.
4. Everyone has off-moments, and we’ll always try to be in friendly dialogue with you if a problem arises with one of your contributions. But we reserve the right to remove posts and comments (or even suspend user accounts) when we feel these guidelines are not observed.
Whatever you contribute, we very much encourage you to think about it in the light of the Buddhist ethical precepts around ‘Right Speech’. These encourage communication that is: truthful, kindly and gracious, helpful and harmonious.
We try to keep things light when it comes to moderation of posts and comments within this shared space. And we ask the community itself to lead with this. If you have seen something that concerns you, please feel free to contact us. However, we do ask that you bear in mind the following guidelines, which will help preserve a harmonious atmosphere throughout the site:
Remember there is always a person behind the post or comment you’re objecting to. They may just be having a bad day… If you’re upset, perhaps let a little time pass before responding to them or us.
Try contacting the person first in a spirit of open, courteous engagement to see if hearing their perspective changes your own view of things, or if hearing yours changes theirs.
Take care to make sure what you are asking us to look at is actually against the spirit of the group or the site itself, rather than simply a difference of view or of personal taste. If in doubt, ask a friend and/or the administrator of the group.
The most important things about this is the first bit: we ask the community to lead with this. That means you! Thanks for helping us promote good conversations on The Buddhist Centre Online.