Dr. Ambedkar was a great social reformer in India who converted to Buddhism with hundreds of thousands of his followers, in order to help them escape the crushing oppression of caste.
Given as part of Buddhist Action Month in 2018, in this talk Jnanadhara explores the life and legacy of Dr. Ambedkar, and especially what Buddhists in the West can learn from the peaceful revolution that Dr. Ambedkar instigated in India.
Talk given in the Dublin Buddhist Centre on Friday 15th June 2018.
Jnanasuri talks about being in Nagpur in 1956 when Dr Ambedkar embraced Buddhism along with 400,000 of his followers. At the age of 13 she and her family took part in that momentous event that changed her life, and the lives of all who took part, forever. In Marathi with English translation by Bharati, extracted from a longer interview which took place at the Dr Ambedkar retreat at Adhisthana.
We recently ran a retreat at Adhisthana with a team of Indian Order Members introducing Ambedkar. Vajratara interviewed our fine panel of Indian Sangha - the highlight of which is Jnanasuri recounting her experiences of Ambedkar embracing Buddhism with 400,000 followers in 1956. She was there aged 13! Later in the retreat we recited the Refuges and Precepts after Jnanasuri, who had recited them after Dr Ambedkar himself. It was a very moving moment.
Speaking during a festival day held to celebrate the life of Dr Ambedkar, Subhuti speaks about what significance Dr Ambedkar has outside India.
The main thrust of the talk is a list of three reasons why someone might convert to Buddhism, enumerated by Dr Ambedkar but applied to our situation in the West. Perhaps the most important is Dr Ambedkar’s insights into the need for society to be grounded in Ethics that are ‘sacred and universal,’ obviously he felt the Dhamma was...
A talk by Subhuti on the work of the great Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, who dedicated his life to the welfare of his people. Subhuti’s general theme is ‘absorbing influences’, and no one is a more enduring influence on popular contemporary Buddhism in the East than the subject of this talk. Dr. Ambedkar embraced the Buddha’s Dhamma as an integral part of his efforts to emancipate the Dalit (ex-Untouchable) community from the shackles of caste oppression. His efforts are increasingly celebrated both in...
I recently gave talks at Cardiff, Bristol and Nottingham to celebrate Dr Ambedkar’s 125th Birthday. The talks were quite similar, so I have only uploaded the last one. Do listen for a taste of our Indian Sangha and of the life of Ambedkar. Thank you to my hosts and to all those who came to listen!