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03/27/21
22 -28-3-2021 LESSON 3634 Buddha-Sasana-Refuge in the Sangha 2021 DHAMMAPADA FESTIVAL
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 22 -28-3-2021 LESSON 3634 Buddha-Sasana-Refuge in the Sangha 2021 DHAMMAPADA FESTIVAL

The Birth Anniversary of Most Venerable Dr. Acharya Buddharakkhita (Abhidhaja Aggamaha Saddhammajotika)

Namo Buddhaya Dear Dhamma Friends,
🌷

We,
the President, monks, and members of the Mahabodhi Organizations
cordially invite you with family and friends to participate in the

DHAMMAPADA FESTIVAL

The Birth Anniversary of Most Ven. Acharya Buddharakkhita.

The Founder President of Maha Bodhi Society, Bengaluru, and its sister organizations.

Yearlong Cntenary Celebration
from Full Moon Day of March, 2021 to Full Moon Day of March, 2022

We
will be launching a yearlong Centenary Birthday celebration of our
beloved teacher late Bada Bhanteji with various Dhamma programs in
2021-2022.

We invite you to the program on 26th, 27th, and 28th March 2021, this weekend.

Enclosed please find the invitation to the program.

For more details contact- Call/Whatsapp 9731635108, info@mahabodhi.info
❤️
www.buddharakkhita.com

With metta and gratitudeTeam Mahabodhi, Bengaluru
https://mahabodhi.info/the-founder/


THE FOUNDER




Late Venerable Dr. Acharya Buddharakkhita,
founded the Maha Bodhi Society in Bangalore in 1956


Venerable
Acharya Buddharakkhita, founder-President of Maha Bodhi Society,
Bangalore and its sister organizations was born in the eastern state of
Manipur in India. He was born on March 12, 1922, Phalguna Purnima day,
in Imphal.

He was a bright student graduated from the Institute
of Engineering Technology, Calcutta (Kolkata) in Automobile Engineering.
He joined Government of India Defense Ordinance. The job took him to
Malaysia, Singapore and various other places during the Second World
War. He saw the destruction of life and property and misery that the war
brought in the lives of people, which led him to turn towards
spirituality. He resigned his job and left his home in search of truth
and freedom. For some years he traveled through the length and breadth
of India and studied Indian religions in various institutions.



In 1949 he
took ordination as a Buddhist monk under the most Venerable Chandamani
Mahathera, Abbot of Maha Parinibbana Vihara, Kushinara, U.P. He then
studied Vinaya, Sutta, Abhidhamma and Pali in Sri Lanka and Burma and
practiced meditation under the most eminent master like Mahasi Sayadaw.
He was a member of the editorial board of the Chattha Sangayana – the
Sixth Buddhist Synod held in Rangoon, which brought out a complete
edition of the Pali canon. ​

He taught Buddhology at the Nalanda
Pali Postgraduate Institute, Bihar. In order to spread the teachings of
the Buddha in his own quite way he resigned the job. A great offering
came his way in 1956, when a piece of land was donated to him by Maha
Upasika Mrs. Bianca Moonasinghe, a niece of Ven. Anagarika Dhammapala.
This land was earlier granted by Shri Nalvadi Krishnaraj Wodeyar, the
Maharaja of Mysore way back in 1939-40, for the purpose of building a
Buddhist center in Bangalore.

 

Thus the Maha Bodhi Society,
Bangalore was founded in 1956. Since then he has been active in
conducting weekly discourses on Buddhism, writing articles and books,
creating awareness among the people of Karnataka and India about
Buddhism. He extended his activities to other countries of the world to
disseminate the noble teachings of the Buddha.

His compassion
prompted him to undertake many projects to alleviate suffering of
people, like building medical centers, monastic institutes, residential
schools in different parts of India for the displaced and poor children.

From
his early days he was running Mahabodhi Sangharama – a bhikkhu training
center. Many eminent monks got trained under him. In 2001 seeing the
urgent need of training good monks in India, he started MAHABODHI
MONASTIC INSTITUTE, BANGALORE, on the auspicious day of 2545th Buddha
Jayanti Celebrations. Today the institute has the strength of 350 monks
from different parts of India who are getting monastic training in
Bengaluru and other campuses.

FOLLOWING ARE THE DETAILS OF OUR FOUNDER:

  • Name:

    Venerable Dr. Acharya Buddharakkhita

  • Monastery:

    Maha Bodhi Society, 14, Kalidasa Road, Gandhinagar, Bengaluru – 560009, India

  • Date of Birth

    Holi Phalguna Purnima 1922 (12-03-1922)

  • Date of Place

    Imphal, Manipur, India

  • Parents’ Name

    Father – Late Sri Vishnupada Bandopadhyaya
    Mother - Late Smt. Sailavaladevi Bandopadhyaya

  • Life of Renunciation

    Undertook formal renunciation life on 15-8-1947

  • ORDINATION AS Buddhist monk (12-05-1949)

    Ordination as Buddhist Monk took place
    on the Vesakha full moon day of 1949 (12-05-1949) at Kushinagar under
    the Most Venerable Chandamani Mahathera. Went to Sri Lanka for studies
    and got higher Bhikkhu ordination at Sri Maha Vihara, Nureliya, Sri
    Lanka in Udarata Amarapura Nikaya.

  • BUDDHIST STUDIES IN CEYLON, 1948-51, Teachers:

    1- Venerable Nyanatiloka Maha Thera (Pali and Sutta Acharya),
    2- Venerable Widurupola Piyatissa Maha Nayaka thera (Vinaya Acharya)
    3- Venerable Rerukane Chandavimala Maha Nayaka thera (Abhiddhamma and Vinaya Acharya)

  • BUDDHIST STUDIES IN BUR MA, 1951-54, Teachers:

    1- Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw (Vipassana meditation Acharya)
    2- Venerable U.Narada, Mula Patthana Sayadaw (Abhidhamma Psychology, Patthana)
    3- Venerable U Sobhita  Yamaka Sayadaw, Visuddharama, Mandalay, (Abhidhamma Acharya)

  • 1952-54

    Joined the Chatthasangayana Editorial Board of the Union Buddha Sasana Council as Pativisodhaka, assistant editor

  • 1954-56, Lectures:

    Taught Abhidhamma at Nalanda Post
    Graduate Institute at Nalanda, Bihar. He also helped in editing the Nava
    Nalanda Tipitaka project. He taught at World University California
    since 1980 to 1998. He taught at Fo Kuang Shan University in Taiwan in
    1992 for a semester. He has been giving regular talks at Maha Bodhi
    Society, Bangalore every Sunday since 1956. He also taught at Cambridge
    and Oxford universities, in Japan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Burma.

  • Titles

    1- Conferred “ACHARYA” title by Udarata Amarapura Nikaya, Sri Lanka in 1951.

    2-
    Ven. Acharya Buddharakkhita is like a shining pole star in the Dhamma
    horizon, having contributed in abundance in the spiritual field.
    Recognizing his lifetime dedicated service to the Buddha Sasana the
    Government of Myanmar has conferred on him the highest title of the
    country “Abhidhaja Aggamaha Saddhamma Jotika” and honored him. Several
    titles and honors have come to him which he says are nothing but humble
    flowers at the lotus feet of the Buddha.

    3- On the special date of
    11-11-11, full moon day, the Tumkur University honored him with Doctor
    of Literature for his contributions to Buddhist literature and lifetime
    selfless service.

    4- On 13-5-2012 the Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Bangkok, Thailand, honoured him with Doctor of Pali Language.


LIST OF ACTIVITIES STARTED AND BLESSED BY THE VEN. ACHARYA BUDDHARAKKHITA

Venerable
Acharya Buddharakkhita has been a dynamic Buddhist missionary. He
started two kinds of activities motivated by wisdom and compassion –
Spiritual Practice and Human welfare.

Maha Bodhi Society, Bengaluru was Founded

Founded Maha Bodhi Society, Bengaluru, India.
Established the Holy Bodhi tree and shrine. This Bodhi tree is a sapling of the original Holy Maha Bodhi Tree at Bodhagaya.

Founded Mahabodhi Maitri Mandala

Founded Mahabodhi
Maitri Mandala as sister organization, devoted to humanitarian service
in the field of medical and educational work. Under this organization
services to the poor students by giving them free education, hostel
facilities are conducted. Many camps for leprosy patients, eye donation
for blind people, cancer patients services were conducted. Medical
centers, limbs donations, hospitals and being run.

Started monthly magazine SWAYAM SAHAYA

Started monthly
magazine SWAYAM SAHAYA which carried articles on application of Dhamma
in daily life situations and social welfare with spiritual basis.

Started the Sakalavara, Anekal program

Founded a model
rural Hospital at Sakalavara, Anekal taluk for training medical personal
for rural service. Meditation was also taught in this hospital as a
therapeutic technique.

Started Mahabodhi Residential School

Started Mahabodhi Residential School for boys at Bengaluru.

Built the Mahabodhi Burns and Casualty Centre

Built the Mahabodhi
Burns and Casualty Centre at the Victoria Government Hospital,
Bengaluru and Burns wards at various district hospitals, such as Mysore,
Hassan, Mandya, Tumkur etc.

The Buddha Vachana Trust started

The Buddha Vachana Trust, a publishing section of the Maha Bodhi Society was established.

Established Tipitaka Printing Press

Established Tipitaka Printing Press and training school for printing technology.

Mahabodhi Maitri Medical Mission

Mahabodhi Maitri Medical Mission, which run holistic medical center.

Established Mahabodhi Artificial Limb Centre

Established Mahabodhi Artificial Limb Centre

Established Arogya Foundation (India)

Established Arogya
Foundation (India) and Arogya Hospital medical center dedicated to total
health with multidisciplinary, holistic approach.

Established Sevakshetra building

Established Sevakshetra building.

Started monthly Buddhist magazine DHAMMA

Started monthly Buddhist magazine DHAMMA

Established the Institute of Pali Studies and Buddhalogy in Mysore

Established the Institute of Pali Studies and Buddhalogy in Mysore

Visited USA and taught Buddhism and Buddhist meditation

Visited USA and
taught Buddhism and Buddhist meditation in various educational
institutions. Established a Meditation Centre at Big Bear, California,
USA.

Established the Mahabodhi Vishva Maitri Stupa

Established the
Mahabodhi Vishva Maitri Stupa. This is the first stupa built in India
after the lapse of about 800 years during which Buddhism declined.

Initiated TIPITAKA GRANTHAMALA PROJECT

Initiated TIPITAKA GRANTHAMALA PROJECT – to publish the entire Tipitaka in Kannada language.

Taught at Fo Kuan Shan University in Taiwan

Taught at Fo Kuan Shan University in Taiwan

Built Mahabodhi Loka Shanti Buddha Vihara

Built Mahabodhi Loka Shanti Buddha Vihara, Bengaluru – It is a replica of Mahabodhi temple in Buddhagaya

Mahabodhi Community Centre

Mahabodhi Community Centre- A hall used for community services and functions.

Deutsch Buddhistische Humanitaere Verienigung (DBHV), Germany

Deutsch
Buddhistische Humanitaere Verienigung (DBHV), Germany – an organization
which runs regular meditation and dhamma study programs and supports the
activities of the MBS

Mahabodhi School, and Mahabodhi Carla Students Home Mysore

Mahabodhi School,
and Mahabodhi Carla Students Home Mysore – A new building was built to
run a modern school based on moral education.

Established Mahabodhi Monastic Institute, Bengaluru

Established
Mahabodhi Monastic Institute, Bengaluru – the monastic center with
facilities for intensive dhamma studies and practice. At present it has
120 monks under training in Bengaluru and 200 in other centers of MMI.

Mahabodhi Metta Foundation, Switzerland

Blessed the Mahabodhi Metta Foundation, Switzerland which supports the spiritual and social welfare activities of MBS.

Mahabodhi Nalanda Hostel for Monks at Bengaluru

Mahabodhi Nalanda Hostel for Monks at Bengaluru – To accommodate 150 monks a beautiful hostel building was built.

Maha Bodhi Society Branch in Arunachal

Maha Bodhi Society Branch in Arunachal Pradesh Mahabodhi School and Mahabodhi Hostel, Diyun.

Association Mahabodhi Karuna, France

Association Mahabodhi Karuna, France – It was started to conduct meditation programs and to support educational activities.

Mahabodhi Buddhist Center, Lindenfels, Germany

Mahabodhi Buddhist
Center, Lindenfels, Germany was started to conduct dhamma study and
meditation teaching. Regular programs are conducted in this center

Mahabodhi Mettaloka Youth Center, Mysore

Mahabodhi Mettaloka
Youth Center, Mysore – A hostel for boys who have completed high
school. At present there are 30 boys staying in this hostel and another
20 in different colleges.

Mahabodhi Karuna Belgium

Mahabodhi Karuna Belgium – was started to conduct dhamma teaching programs and to support educational activities of Mahabodhi.

Mahabodhi Metta Charitable Fund, USA

Mahabodhi Metta Charitable Fund, USA – to support the humanitarian activities of Mahabodhi

Mahabodhi Academy for Pali & Buddhist Studies

Mahabodhi Academy
for Pali & Buddhist Studies (Correspondence Course), which conducted
two year Diploma in Buddhist Studies course. The Government of India
granted funds for this Academy building in memory of 2550 year of Lord
Buddha’s Mahaparinibbana.

Mahabodhi Rita Girls Home, Diyun

Mahabodhi Rita
Girls Home, Diyun, Arunachal Pradesh – A new hostel for girls was
started. At present 175 poor girls live in this hostel who are provided
with all the needs free of cost by Mahabodhi.

Survey of Buddhist Communities in India

Survey of Buddhist Communities in India – To understand the situation of the Buddhist community in India.

Mahabodhi Maitri Mandala, Tawang Branch

Mahabodhi Maitri
Mandala, Tawang Branch was started. The center runs an old age home,
girl’s hostel, Boys hostel, Monastery, Stupa, social service activities

Establishment of Deomali Branch, Arunachal Branch

Establishment of Deomali Branch, Arunachal Branch

Mahabodhi Dhammaduta Vihara, Meditation Center

Mahabodhi Dhammaduta Vihara –a Center for Moral and Spiritual Education, Alur, Bengaluru construction started

Establishment of Bhagavan Buddha University of Pali and Theravada Buddhism

Establishment of Bhagavan Buddha University of Pali and Theravada Buddhism

Establishment of Satipatthana Bhavana Kutir

Establishment of Satipatthana Bhavana Kutir for running meditation retreats for monks.

Establishment of Mahabodhi Karuna Medical Center

Establishment of Mahabodhi Karuna Medical Center

Passed away peacefully at the age of 92

Passed away peacefully at the age of 92 leaving a legacy of Dhamma for his monastic and lay followers.


BUDDHA DASA- A humbles servant at the lotus feet of Lord Buddha







Refuge in the Sangha
The Sangha of the Blessed One’s disciples is practicing the good way,practicing the straight way, practicing the true way, practicing theproper way; that is, the four pairs of persons, the eight types ofindividuals – this Sangha of the Blessed One’s disciples is worthy ofgifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of reverentialsalutation, the unsurpassed field of merit for the world.33
Living, breathing role models are found in every religious tradition, but inBuddhism these become primary objects of veneration and trust. This makesperfect sense since living breathing persons have the most immediate influenceon our lives and are most likely to have brought us to Refuge in the TripleGem in the first place. Unfortunately sometimes we accord this privilegenaïvely to ruffians and scoundrels rather than to admirable friends. For theBuddha, the Noble Sangha is most worthy.
The phrase in the verse above, “the four pairs of persons, the eight types ofindividuals,” refers to the four stages of Awakening, beginning with StreamEntry, and subdividing each of these by “path” and “fruit.” These are theattainments that define the “Noble Sangha” or “Noble Ones.” Since thebenchmark goal of Buddhism is set at the singular attainment of Awakening,its role models have to be quite exceptional in their attainment of full or partial Awakening.
The subsequent lines refer to the practice of giving alms and veneration tomonks and nuns, the Monastic Sangha. The idea is that the Sangha brings greatbenefit to the world but that their attainment and presence are enabled by thosewho sustain them and thereby share in bringing benefit to the world, oftencompared to sowing a fertile field. The generosity of alms is thereby theprimary means of expressing veneration to the Third Gem. Both practices,veneration itself and generosity as specific expressions, are important elementsin cultivating wholesome mental factors for the actor, which is what meritreally is.
I’ve written a bit about the relationship of the Noble and Monastic Sanghas, thesoil and the roots, in the last chapter, and will examine this in even more detailin the next chapter. Suffice it to say here that there is quite typically anambiguity between the two. Recall that the former are individuals of greatattainment, the Noble Ones, and the latter the members of the monastic order,who individually may or may not be so noble. Generally when we extol thevirtues of the Sangha, as in the contemplation above we speak of the NobleOnes, yet the most common formula for first taking Refuge in the earlydiscourses usually in the Buddha’s presence, explicitly refers to the MonasticSangha. This gets confusing but the confusion seems to be deliberate, and isapt. If we think of the Monastic Sangha as a school that trains people tobecome Noble Ones we realize that offering alms to the Monastic Sangha is anecessary function for ensuring that there are Noble Ones in the world in anygreat number. Therefore it is support of the Monastic Sangha that ensures thatthe Noble Sangha will thrive. Analogously, it is support of higher educationthat ensures that scholarship will thrive.
Moreover, the monks and nuns play an important ritual role as objects ofveneration for it is they who are readily recognized as a Sangha through their(especially now, atrociously) distinctive attire. As such the Monastic Sanghanot only substantially includes the Noble Sangha, but nuns and monkscollectively or individually symbolize it, even if it is often in the way a pieceof plaster sitting on an altar might symbolize the Buddha. Monks and nuns areparticularly opportune ritual objects since they live and breathe, accept almsand actually eat them, and have a good shot at spiritual attainment, all unlikeBuddha statues.
In fact, the Vinaya requires that monks and nuns not offer teachings if theiraudience is disrespectful of them.34 It helps if the practice of giving alms is
thought of as the practice of giving not to a particular Noble One or aparticular nun or monk, but to the Sangha as a whole, undifferentiated, onbehalf of which a particular nun or monk receives the alms. Accordingly theBuddha said,
“..an offering made to the Sangha is incalculable, immeasurable. AndI say that in no way is a gift to a person individually ever morefruitful than an offering made to the Sangha.”35
Although the Buddha included himself in the Sangha it is remarkable that the“person individually” referred to was specifically himself in the context of thediscourse, the most Noble One of the Noble Ones. For the Buddha the Refugein the Sangha was huge.
Buddhism without Refuge?
The tyke born of a devout Buddhist family is likely to live his life centered inthe Sasana; he lives in the roots and leaves, not initially in the stem. The littleseedling will be brought into the presence of Buddha altars, and of monks,nuns and Noble Ones, and will have been taught the forms of veneration. Hewill have learned to recite the Refuges. He will have begun to absorb a fewDharmic aphorisms and will have learned to recite five Precepts. Withgrowing conviction, he will become increasingly involved in the communitylife, developing merit in taking care of the temple and the needs of themonastics, in chanting with gusto. He will someday become aware of the stemand may consider broadening his world to include the Path upward, perhaps toordain. A full encounter with samvega would likely bring him to that bolddecision quickly. Regardless, he will be inclined to support generously theaspirations of those who do make that choice, for he will understand thecivilizing force of the Noble Ones.
Living in a devout Buddhist community seems in itself capable of inducingremarkable results. I see this in many Asian Buddhists I’ve known. I also see itamong the devout of other religious traditions with similar forms of religiousexpression, which one way or another seem to produce some people of someattainment, even without a Noble Eightfold Path or anything resembling it. Ithas a remarkable capacity for generating confidence, zest and many
wholesome mental factors in its adherents, and can produce centered, selfless,composed, kind and insightful people. One can thrive in the grass on the basisof the practice of veneration alone.
The Path Without Sasana
A totally different profile would be someone who has not grown up with afoundation in the Buddha-Sasana, a common profile in the West. He might bereluctant to commit to the Refuges or Precepts, has not lived in a Buddhistcommunity, knows nothing about Noble Ones, does not know what functionnuns and monks could possibly serve or why they don’t go out to get jobs. Hemight have begun by reading about Buddhism, inspired perhaps by a vaguesense that Buddhism is a good thing, maybe having seen the Dalai Lama onTV or inspired by Buddhism’s reputation as “peaceful,” or by readingSiddhartha by Hermann Hesse.
In any case he has been moved to take up Buddhist practice, particularlymeditation, much as he had been moved to take up working out in a gym theyear before. Just as the gym membership had made his body stronger, he hopesthat joining a “sangha” will make his mind stronger. He likes the idea ofAwakening and might even expect to awaken if he meditates ardently for acouple of years, but has no perspective beyond improving this one short life.
This chap lives in the world of the stem. Without deep veneration norinvolvement in a Buddhist community he is nourished only by theexperience of practice itself. He has no sense of where this nourishment comes from nor responsibility for preserving it for future generations. He isunaware of the Sasana, the living flower. Accordingly he gazes down upon thegrass with disdain, little comprehending the roots and soil and the spiritualgrowth that is happening down there. I know this profile well: It used to bemine. His practice is likely to be precarious for a time, but he might eventuallygain some strength if he manages to grow deep roots. He is spiritual but notreligious. The astute reader will notice the absence of the blossom ofAwakening in this illustration. Full Awakening is individually such a rareaccomplishment under the best conditions, it is hardly conceivable that it isever attained without the nourishment provided by the Triple Gem.
Khandro Rinpoche: Refuge in the Sangha
Dharma Time
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Khandro Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist teacher from the Mindrolling lineage, having received traditional Tibetan meditation training as well as a Western education. Her teachers include many of the 20th century’s great masters such as her father, Mindrolling Trichen Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, the Sixteenth Karmapa and Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.
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Khandro Rinpoche: Refuge in the Sangha
Khandro
Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist teacher from the Mindrolling lineage,
having received traditional Tibetan meditation training as well as a
Western edu…



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Dr
Sathyavani Muthu,ed the DMK’s protests against Kula Kalvi Thittam in
1954 and got arrested for the same. She gained popularity both within
and outside the party in the 1950s and she was made propaganda secretary
in 1958. (A Raja currently holds this position). In 1957, she
successfully contested state elections for the first time as an
independent candidate from Perambur constituency. While meeting with
international leaders like Pope Paul and Queen Elizabeth, she brought up
issues of caste and patriarchy.
As
a part of M Karunanidhi’s cabinet in 1974, she worked towards
establishing a law college named after Ambedkar, following up on a
long-standing demand of the SC/ST community. The government mockingly
cited lack of funds and asked the SC/STs to raise half the amount. This
did not deter Dr Muthu, and she proceeded to do just that. Her speech at
an SC/ST association meeting against the Family Planning Scheme got her
removed from the cabinet. It is said that her phone and water
connection, security was withdrawn immediately after the controversial
speech where she claimed the government scheme were targetting the poor
and marginalised.
DMK has been frequently accused of being non-committed to their own
vocal anti-caste cause. The party has been dominated by upper-caste
non-Brahmins. Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M. Karunanidhi was
the President of the party during Dr Muthu’s time. According to retired
Professor of Tamil at Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tho
Paramasivan, “Karunanidhi is wholly responsible for caste issues in this
state.” Dr Muthu quit the DMK citing prejudicial behaviour by M
Karunanidhi and went on to form her own party in 1974.
She
left averring that the DMK had not been serious in supporting the cause
of the SC/STs, and in particular, claimed that Karunanidhi had been
prejudiced against SC/STs. Even within the DMK, there had been
discrimination against SC/ST members of the party despite its avowed
opposition to caste. Government officials had shown themselves to be
persistently obstructive in the implementation of SC/ST welfare
measures. Commenting on Sathyavani Muthu’s revolt, a 1974 Times of India
report opined that Muthu’s exit would not cost the DMK much as the
SC/ST community was never a significant factor for the party.
We’ll
form a new party, sit on the opposition benches, and fight for the
rights of the scheduled castes. We will not let them be exploited and
humiliated endlessly.”
Dr
Muthu did not depart alone; she took with her several other DMK
legislators and promptly set up a new party, the Thazhthapattor Munnetra
Kazhagam or Progressive Federation of the Oppressed. “The time has
come,” she declared, “to form a new party to fight for the rights of the
SC/STs. After Dr Ambedkhar, nobody has taken up the cudgels in real
earnest. …. We’ll form a new party, sit on the opposition benches, and
fight for the rights of the scheduled castes. We will not let them be
exploited and humiliated endlessly.”
When
the Kizhvenmani massacre took place in December of 1968, she rushed to
the village to support the victims. She arranged for the village to be
adopted by the government and built houses and a school.
After
almost 6 decades in politics, Dr Sathyavani Muthu stayed true to her
Self-Respect principles despite the movement taking several forms and
was called the Determined Self Respect Warrior by Periyar. For all her
commendable work, there is little to no information available about her
within mainstream media circles, especially beyond Tamil Nadu.
Sathyavani Muthu Nagar is a residential neighbourhood named after her in
Chennai.
To
learn more about her, she penned her struggles in a book titled My
Agitation which was first released in 1982 by The Justice Press in
Madras. Bhavani Ilavenil also wrote about the struggles of Sathyavani
Muthu and released a book in 2018. The book is titled “Thaltapatta
Makkaluku Kalingnar M. Karunanidhi Seydha Dhroham – Sathyavani Muthu
Varalar” (How Karunanidhi betrayed SC/STs – Dr.Sathyavani Muthu’s
Struggles).
The
recent remarks of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP RS Bharathi that
SC/STs got appointed to High Courts only due to the alms (picchai) given
by his party. This was in the context of A Varadarajan getting
appointed a High Court judge in 1974, when the DMK was in power in Tamil
Nadu which is not true. Supreme Court Justice had written to the post
because he was well versed with the Constitution fathered by Dr B R
Ambedkar, unlike Bharati who thinks that DMK wrote the Constitution as
he became a lawyer with the help of DMK and not after studying the
Constitution.
SC/ST
Scholars are of the view that prior to their community getting
categorised as scheduled castes intellectuals from the group debated and
discussed with the British in equal terms.
In
1891, Pandit Iyothee Thass founded the “Dravida Mahajana Sabha”, much
before Periyar started using the word ‘Dravidian’. Also, Thass and
Reverend John Rathinam, founder of “Dravida Kazhagam” started a magazine
called “Dravida Pandian.”
Pallikonda
Krishnasamy, a Scheduled Caste leader contested an election in 1940,
under the “rising sun” symbol. The symbol was acquired by the DMK,
officially, in 1958. However in 1957, DMK patron M Karunanidhi,
contested under the very same symbol and entered the assembly for the
first ever time from Kulithalai constituency.
Pointing
to the sequence of events, Stalin Rajangam, a researcher based in
Madurai, said that it is the SC/STs who have to claim that the DMK got a
lease of life because of the SC/STs. He said, “If we consider history
and the background, it is the SC/STs who should be making such remarks
against the DMK and not vice versa.”
According
to him, understanding the difference between SC/ST politics and
Dravidian politics is important to interpret such unfounded remarks.
“SC/ST
politics is played at the national level, whereas Dravidian politics is
limited just to Tamil Nadu. When issues concerning reservations arise,
the SC/STs from Tamil Nadu too get included. So DMK’s statement on
SC/STs becoming judges is logically wrong. SC/STs are not their prime
concern, if they get along well with them and Bharathi’s remark has only
reflected that” he said.
It
was because of MC Raja, a Scheduled Caste icon’s effort, the government
authorised the use of the words ‘Adi Dravidar’ in official records.
Later, Dravidian parties normalised the usage, even in private
conversations added the research scholar.
Right from 1916, when the Justice Party was born, fight against Brahmanism was the prime agenda of the Dravidian movements.
Case of Justice Varadarajan
Debunking
the theory that it was DMK which spearheaded the social justice
movement, Gowthama Sanna alleged that the DMK hijacked the right won by
the SC/STs.
“Before
reservations were introduced, the then Madras Presidency passed an
order providing caste-based reservation in government jobs and colleges.
In 1951, a Brahmin named Champakam Dorairajan filed a case against it
in the Madras High Court and the Court struck down the GO. The Supreme
Court too upheld the High Court’s judgement. Thereafter SC/STs began to
protest. The then Union Law Minister Ambedkar criticised the Madras High
Court Judge Rajamannar for striking down the reservation order. As that
was the first instance of a sitting law minister publicly criticising a
sitting judge, it provoked a debate in Parliament which led to the
first amendment in our Constitution. That amendment protected socially
weaker sections from social injustice. That move clearly showed that it
was Ambedkar who ensured the incorporation of SC/ST rights in the
Constitution. Periyar fought for the rights of backward classes and not
for that of SC/STs”
This being a fact, the DMK’s claim of appointing Varadarajan as a High Court judge is untrue.
Tracing
the appointment of A Varadharajan to the High Court, he said that
Varadarajan became an advocate in 1944 ahead of the DMK’s birth in 1949.
In 1967, when the DMK assumed office for the first time, he was already
a district judge and by 1973 he was made an additional judge in the
Madras High Court
Since
he was the senior-most coupled with the fact that the High Court didn’t
have a Scheduled Caste judge, he was tipped to become a permanent
judge, added and alleged that the DMK government sat on the
recommendation of the Chief Justice appointing Varadarajan as a
permanent judge. After a delay of six months, Karunanidhi, the then
chief minister had no choice but to forward the recommendation that
resulted in Varadarajan’s appointment. Six years later, he was promoted
to the Supreme Court. “
This
being the case, it is surprising to hear that the DMK played a role or
gave alms (Pichai) to a Scheduled Caste judge to move up the hierarchy?”









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