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U.S. establishes ‘virtual consulate’ in Bangalore

 Staff Reporter

is an attempt to reach out beyond the Consulate General

It will give news about forthcoming events and services available

The website also hopes to promote trade links with India

Bangalore: The United States may have ruled out setting up a
consulate in Bangalore but hopes that a new website, designed
specifically for Bangalore’s residents, will establish a “virtual
presence” here.

The U.S. Consulate General (Chennai) and American Corner, Bharatiya
Vidya Bhavan, on Wednesday launched a website,, which will act as a “virtual consulate” for

The launch coincided with the fifth anniversary of the American
Corner which was set up to “serve as a window to life and culture in
the U.S.” and offers up-to-date information about cultural,
educational, political, economic and social trends in the U.S.

The Bangalore “virtual consulate” is the first its kind in India and
will give news about forthcoming events and services available at


For those looking for US citizen services, are applying for visas,
planning on doing business in the US, or want to explore education
options, the website points you in the right direction, said Michael
Pelletier, Consul for Public Affairs, US Consulate General, Chennai.

The choice of Bangalore as the first Indian city to launch the
virtual consulate was an “obvious” one, he said. The virtual consulate
is an attempt to reach out beyond the Consulate General and make
American programmes widely available, added Mr. Pelletier.

The website also hopes to promote trade links with India and specifically with Bangalore.

The trade relations are already robust and the private sector
partnerships between the two countries “have outpaced what the
governments have achieved” in this regard, he said.

Babasaheb’s Dhamma
Deeksha speech on 15th October 1956


My all Buddhist fellows
and invitees present:


Perhaps it
is difficult for the thinkers to understand the significance of the place of
conversion (Deeksha) ceremony which was performed yesterday and today
morning. In their and in my opinion as well the ceremony which was held
yesterday should have been held today and today’s yesterday. It is essential to
know, why we have shouldered this responsibility, what was its necessity and
what will be the result of it. By understanding this, the foundation of our
mission will become strong. This process of understanding should have occurred
earlier. But few
things remain so uncertain
that, those happen
automatically. About this ceremony the things to be
happend, happened.    But in spite of exchange of days, nothing
is harmed.

Many people
asked a question, why had you chosen Nagpur
the place for this ceremony? Why this ceremony was not per­formed at some other
place? A few people say that since the large platoon of R.S.S. (Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh) is in Nagpur
and just to embarass them this ceremony is being held in this city. This is not
true at all. For this reason this ceremony is not being held at Nagpur. Our mission is so
stupendous that every minute of life is inadequate. I do not have time to
ill-omen others by scratching my nose.

The reason
for choosing this place is different.
who have studied the Buddhist history will come to know that the people who
propagated Buddhism in India
were the Nag people. Nag people were the fierce enemy of the Aryans. Many
Fierceful battles took place between the Aryans and the Non-Aryans. Many
examples are available in the Puranas about where the Aryans burnt
the Nagas. The sage Agasti could save only one Naga. We are the descendants of
him. The Naga people who tolerated the oppression needed some great man to
uplift them and they found that great man in Lord Gautam Buddha. The Nagas
propagated the teachings of Lord Buddha throughout India. Such are we Nagas. The major
habitation of the Naga people was in and around Nagpur. Therefore this city is called ‘
Nag-pur ‘ means the city of Nagas.
There is a Nagarjun Hill about 27 miles from this place. The river flowing
nearby is Nag river. Obviously this river got this name because of the people
living here. The river which flows through the habitation of the Naga people is
the Nag river. This is the main reason to select this place-Nagpur. There is no
question of irritating anybody nor the intention. The reason of the R. S. S.
even did not touch my mind. Nobody should interpret in that way.

could perhaps be for other reasons. I have already explained that this place
has not been choosen for antagonism. I have been criticised by many people and
newspapers for the initiation of this mission. The criticisms of some is harsh.
In their opinion I am misleading my poor Untouchables. They are misguiding some
of our people by telling that those who are Untouchables today will remain
Untouchables and the rights they have got, they will lose it. They advise
illiterate people among us to follow the traditional path. This might be
influencing some of the young and elder among us. If, by that the doubts have
been arisen in the minds of people, it is our duty to clear those doubts and
the clearing of those doubts will strenghthen the foundation of our movement.

In the past
we had a movement for not to eat meat.. The touchables thought it as if a
thunderbolt of lightening for them. Isn’t this a strange practice that they
should drink the milk of living buffalo and we should carry its carcass on our
shoulder after its death. We ask them why don’t you allow us to carry your dead
mother ? They should give us their dead mother as they give us their dead
buffalo. Some-one some-time wrote in the ‘ Kesari ‘ through correspondence that
in certain villages 50 cattle died every year, Rs. 500 could be earned from
their hides, horns, hoovers, meat, bones and tails; and leaving aside the matter
of meat of dead animals, these people would be deprived of that profit, such
propaganda was made through ‘Kesari ‘. Really speaking what was the necessity
of replying to such propaganda. Our people felt that what our Saheb (leader) is
doing if he is not replying such propaganda?

Once I had
been to Sangamner for meeting. The arrangement for the dinner was made. That
time a reporter from ‘ Kesari ‘ sent me a chit and asked, “You are
advising your people not to carry dead animals. How poor they are ! Their women
do not have sari and blouse to wear, they do not have food, they do not have
fields, when their conditions are so miserable, you tell them to give up an
income of Rs. 500 per year from hides, hooves, meat, is it not a loss of your
people? “

I asked,
“where shall I reply you? Shall I reply here in corridor or in meeting? It
is better to answer before the people. “I asked the person,” Is it
the only thing or you want to ask anymore? “He said, “This much to
say and answer this only “. I asked that person, “How many children
you have and how many people you are? “He said, “I have five children
and my brother has five to seven children “. I said, “It means your
family is large. Hence, you and your relatives should carry all the dead
animals of that village and earn an income of Rs. 500. You must take this
benefit. In addition to this I make an arrange­ment to give you Rs. 500
annually. What will happen to my people, whether they will get food, clothes or
not, I will see it myself. Then, why are you giving up this benefit? Why don’t
you do this? If we do it, it is beneficial, and if you do it, isn’t beneficial
to you?   Carry the dead animals. “

Brahmin-boy came to me yesterday and said, “you have been given reserved
seats in the Parliament and the Assemblies, why are you giving them up? “I
said, “You become Mahar and fill up those seats in the Parliament and the
Assemblies. The vacancies in the services are filled up. So many Brahmins and
others apply for the posts. Why don’t you Brahmin people fill up these reserved
seats by becoming Mahar as you do in services?”

My question
to them is why do you weep for our loss? In reality self-respect is dearer to
human being and not material gain. A woman with virtues and character knows how
much beneficial is immoral behaviour. In our Bombay there is a locality of prostitutes.
Those women wake up at 8 O’clock and place an order for the breakfast in nearby
hotel, (Dr. Ambedkar imitated this in changed voice) “O Suleman, get a
plate of mince (Kheema) and bread.” Suleman brings alongwith tea, cake
etc. But, my Downtrodden sisters do not get even simple Chutni-Bhakar (mixture
of chilli and salt and bread), but they live with dignity and character.

We are
fighting for honour and self-respect. We are getting ready to take the human
being towards the perfection, for that we are ready for any sacrifice. These
newspaper people (indicating them) got on my nerves for the past forty years.
How severely they have maligned me till date! I ask them to ponder over at
least now, leave this childishness and be prudent.

Even after
conversion to the Buddhism, I am confident, I will get the political rights.
(Shouts in the name of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar with thunderous claps). I cannot
tell what will hap­pen after my death. For this movement we have to struggle
more. What will happen on having embraced the Buddhism if at all there are
difficulties, how could those be avoided. For that, what arguments and efforts
are to be made, I have thoroughly thought over this. My bag[1] is with full of solutions. What are
those I know fully well. These rights I have obtained for my people. One who
obtained these rights, will surely regain them. It I who have obtained these
rights and facilities, and I am confident that I will again obtain them.
Therefore, now at least you should continue to have faith in me. That there is
no truth in the adverse propaganda.

I am
surprised at one thing. Everywhere there is debate on large scale. But no one
has asked me a question as to why I embraced the Buddhism. Why I embraced only
this religion and not any other. This is the basic and important question in
the any movement of a conversion. While converting it should be put to the test
:Which religion and why it should be embraced. Through a resolution at Yeole in
1935, we started the movement of renouncing the Hindu religion. Long back I had
vowed, ” Though I am born as a Hindu I will not die as a Hindu ” and
I proved it yesterday. I am overjoyed, I am exalted. I feel I have been
liberated from the hell. I do not want blind followers. Those who wish to
embrace Buddhism, they should accept it with comprehension. Their conscious
should accept that religion.

Religion is
absolutely essential for the development of mankind. I know that one sect came
into existence after reading Karl Marx. According to them religion is futile.
They do not have importance of religion. In the morning they get breakfast
containing bread, cream, butter, chicken leg etc. full meal, sound sleep, to
see movies; and that is all. That is their philosophy. I am not of that
opinion. My father was poor; I could not get such kind of luxuries. Nobody has
ever lived a life as hard as mine. Therefore, I have a realisation that how
hard a man’s life can be in the absence of luxuries. I know that economic eleva­
tion movement is necessary. I am not against that movement.
Man must progress financially.

But I make
an important distinction in this matter. There is a difference between buffalo,
bull and man. Buffalo
and bull need fodder every day. Man also needs food. But the difference in
between the two is that buffalo and bull have no mind; man has body and mind
too. Therefore, both should be pondered over. The mind should be developed. The
mind should be cultured. It should be made cultured. I do not want to have any
sort of relationship with such country or people who say that there is no
relation between man and cultured mind except the food. As to keep relationship
with people man should have sound body in the same way while making the body
healthy, the mind should also be cultured. Otherwise, it cannot be said that
mankind has been progressed.

Why man’s
body or mind is
ill? The reasons
are, either his body is diseased or his mind has no enthusiasm. If there is no
enthusiasm in mind there is no progress. Why is not this enthusiasm there? The
first reason is that man has been kept in such a way that he does not get any
opportunity or he has no hope to rise. That time, how will he remain
enthusiastic? He re­mains diseased. The man who gets the fruit of his deeds can
get enthusiasm. Otherwise a teacher in a school started saying, ” Hey, who
is this ? He is a Mahar. And will this wretched Mahar get through in first
class? For what he wants first class ? Be in third class only—to get in first
class is Brahmin’s claim. Under these circumstances, what enthusiasm the boy
will get? How can he progress? The root of creating enthusiasm is in mind,
whose body and mind also are healthy, who is courageous, who has confidence in
surmounting all adversities, in him only enthusiasm is generated and he only
excels. Such a strange philosophy has been incorporated in the Hindu religion
which can never promote enthusiasm. Circumstances making man unenthusiastic
have been maintained for thousands of years, then at the most such people will
be produced who would fill their stomach by clerical jobs. What else will
happen? To protect these clerks, a big clerk is needed.

The reason
behind man’s enthusiasm is mind. You know the owners of mills. They appoint
managers for their mills and get the works done in the mills through their
managers. Mill own­ers are involved in some or the other bad habits, their
minds have not been developed culturally. We started a movement to infuse
enthusiasm in our minds, then the education would be started. I began my
education by wearing a loin-cloth. I could not get even water to drink in the
school. I spent many days without water in the school. The same situation was
maintained even in the Elphinston College in Bombay.
If such is the situation, what else conditions will be
created.    Only clerks will be produced.

Linlithgow was the Viceroy when I was in the Executive Council of Delhi. I said to him,
” In addition to the normal expenditure, you spend Rs. Three lac on the Aligarh University for the education of the
Muslims. In the same way you give Rs. Three lac to the Banaras Hindu
University. But we are
neither Hindus nor Muslims. If you think of doing something for us, then
thousand times more than them should be done. Do at least as much for us as
Muslims. ” Then Lord Linlithgow said, ” Whatever you have to say give
me in writing. ” Accordingly I prepared a memorandum. That manuscript is
still with me. Europeans were very sympathetic. They accepted my proposal. The
problem was on which item the money had to spend. They thought that, our girls
are not educated, they should be provided with education. Boarding be started
for them, and the money should be spent on that. If our girls are provided
education and made educated, where, at home, is the material to cook various
types of dishes? What is the end result of their education ? The Government
spent the money on other heads and withheld the amount for education.
Therefore, one day I went to Lord Linlithgow and regarding the expenditure on
education I said, ” If you do not get angry, I would like to ask 
you  a question.  I am alone equal to fifty graduates, Aren’t I? He
had to accept it. Again I asked him, ” What is the reason of it?” He
said, “We do not know the reason.” I said, “My learning is so
great that I could sit on the pinnacle of the palace. I want such men. Because,
from there, one can make overall surveillance. If our people are to be
protected, then such sharp eyed men should be created. What can a mere clerk
do? At the very moment Lord Linlithgow was convinced by my words and sixteen
men were sent to England
for higher education. Just as some earthen pots are half-baked and some are
baked, of those sixteen some are half-baked and some are baked-this is
different matter! Later on C. Rajgopalachari can­celled this scheme of higher

In this
country, such situation prevails that will make us unenthusiastic for thousands
of years to come. Till this situation exists, there cannot be enthusiasm for
our progress. In this regard we cannot do anything by remaining in this
religion. There is Chaturvrana in Manusmruti. Chaturvrana system
is very harmful for the progress of mankind. It has been mentioned in the Manusmruti
that Shudras should do only menial service. Why do they need
education? The Brahmin should take education, Kshatriya should
take up arms, Vaishya should do business and Shudra should serve.
Who will unfold this system? Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya have
some gain, but what about Shudras? Will there be any enthusiasm in other
castes except these three varnas? This Chaturvarna System is not
haphazardly; this is not a custom; this is the religion.

There is no
equality in the Hindu religion. Once I had been to Mr. Gandhi, he said, “I
believe in Chaturvarna” ! I said, “Mahatmas like you believe
in Chaturvarna! But what is this Chaturvarna and how is this?
(Dr. Ambedkar expressed this by showing his hand fingers one upon another as
well as keeping palm in flat position.) This Chaturvarna is whether up
or flat? from where the Chaturvarna begins and where does it end ?
Gandhiji did not answer this question and what answer can he give? Those who
ruined us, also be perished by
religion. I do not accuse this Hindu religion
unnecessarily. Nobody will
prosper by the Hindu religion. That religion itself is a ruinous religion.

Why did our
country go under the rule of foreigners? Till 1945 Europe
witnessed the wars. In whatever number soldiers were killed that number was
filled by new recruitment. That time nobody could say that we had won the war.
Everything is altogether different of our country. If Kshatriyas are
killed, we are doomed. Had we right to possess the arms, this country would not
have gone in servitude. No one could have been able to conquer this country.

remaining in the Hindu religion nobody can prosper in any way. Because of the
stratification in Hindu religion, it is fact that higher varnas and
castes are benefitted. But, what about the others? The moment Brahmin woman
delivers a child, her eyes are focussed towards a post of High Court Judge
where it is lying vacant. On the contrary, when our sweeper woman delivers a
child, her eyes are focussed on a post of sweeper where it is lying vacant. The
Vama-System of Hindu religion is responsible for such a strange social
structure. What improvement can take place from this? Prosperity can be
achieved only in the Buddhist religion.

In the
Buddhist religion 75% Bhikkhus were Brahmins. 25% were the Shudras and
others. But the Lord Buddha said, “O, Bhikkhus, you have come from
different countries and castes. Rivers flow separately when they flow in their
provinces, but they lose their identity when they meet the sea. They become one
and the same. The Buddhist Sangh is like an ocean. In this Sangh all
are equal. “After they merge into the ocean, it is not possible to
identify the water of Ganga or Mahanadi.
Similarly when we join Buddha Sangh, we lose our caste and become equal.
There is only one Great Man who preached such equality, and that Great Man is
Lord Buddha. (Thunderous applause).

Some people
say, “Why did you take so much time to get converted ? What were you doing
all these days? This is the question of importance. Convincing a religion is
not an easy task. That is not the mission of a single person. Any person
thinking of religion will come to know this. No man in the world shoulder as
much responsibility as do I. If I get a Song life, I will fulfill my planned
work. (Shouts of ‘ long live Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’) “.

Some people
will say what will happen if Mahar becomes Buddhist. I tell them they should
not say so. It will be dangerous for them. Higher and wealthy class will not
feel the necessity of religion. The officers among them have bungalows to live
in, servants to serve them, they have money, wealth and respect, the men of
such sort need not think of religion or to be worried about it.

Religion is
necessary for the poor. Religion is necessary for the Depressed people. The
poor man survives on hope. The root of life lies in hope. What will happen to
the life if the hope is lost? Religion makes hopeful, and gives a message to
the depressed and the poor – do not be afraid, life will be hopeful, it will
be! Therefore, the poor and the depressed mankind clings to the religion.

When the
Christian religion entered Europe, the condition of Rome and neighbouring countries was very
distressful. People could not get enough food. That time hotchpotch (Khichadi)
was distributed among the poor people. Who become the followers of the Christ?
Poor and Depressed people. The poor and lower class people of the Europe become Christian.  Gibbon had said that
Christianity is the religion of the beggars. Gibbon is not alive to give the
answer to how Christian religion became the religion of all in Europe,
otherwise he would have had to answer this.

Some people
will say that this Buddhism is the religion of Maharas and Mangas. The Brahmin
people used to call Lord Guatam as ‘Bho Guatam’ means ‘Are Gautam’. In this way
the Brahmins used to tease the Lord Buddha. They have to see how many idols of
Rama, Krishna and Shankara will be sold out in
the foreign countries. if they are put to sell. On the contrary, if the idols
of Lord Buddha are kept for sale, not a single idol will be left out (Loud
clapping). That is too much in India,
go and show something outside, the name known to the world is of the Lord
Buddha. Then how the propagation of this religion will be prevented!

We will
follow our path, you follow yours. We have found a new path. This is the day of
hope. This is the path of elevation and progress. This is not the new path.
This path has not been borrowed from any where. This path is from here, it is
purely Indian. The Buddhist religion servived here for 2000 years in India. Truly
speaking, we feel regretted why we did not embrace the Buddhism earlier. The
principles preached by the Lord Buddha are immortal. But the Lord Buddha did
not make such claim. There is a provision for change with the change of
time.    Such generosity is not found in any religion.

The main
reason of destruction of the Buddhist religion is the invasions of Muslims.
Muslims destroyed the idols of the Lord Buddha in their invasions. This was the
first attack on the Buddhist religion. Because of the fear of their invasions,
the Buddhist Bhikkhus fled. Some went to Tibet,
some went to China
and some went elsewhere. To defend the religion laity is essential. There was a
Greek King in the North-West Frontier. His name was Milinda. This King always
used to debate. He delighted in debates. He used to tell the Hindus, one who is
a debator should come forward and debate. He had made many unanswerable.

Once, he thought to debate with the
Buddhist people and he asked to fetch any Buddhist debator. So the Buddhist
people requested Nagsena that he should represent the Buddhists in that debate.
Nagsena was learned. Earlier he was Brahmin. What debate took place between
Nagsena and Milinda is known to the world through a book. The name of that book
is ‘Milinda Panha’. Milinda asked a question, ‘Why does the religion decline?’
Nagsena answered and gave three reasons for it.

The first reason is that a
particular religion itself is immature. The basic principles of that religion
have no depth. It becomes a temporal religion and such religion survives only
for short period.

The second reason is that, if there
are no learned preachers in that religion, then the religion declines. Learned
persons should preach the philosophy of the religion. If the preachers of the
religion are not prepared to hold debate with the opponents, then the religion

And the third reason is that, the
religion and the religious principles are only for learned persons. For common
people there are temples and shrines. They go there and worship super­natural

While embracing
Buddhism we should keep in mind these reasons. No one can say that the
principles of Buddhism are temporal. Today, the whole world respects all the
Principles of Buddhism even after 2500 years. There are 2000 Buddhist Institu­tions
in America.
At the expense of 3 Lac rupees, a Buddhist temple has been built in England. In Germany also,
there are 3 to 4 thousand Buddhist Institutions. Buddha’s principles are
immortal. Nevertheless the Buddha has not claimed that this is the religion of
God. The Buddha said that his father was a common man; his mother was a common
woman. If you feel, accept this religion. If this religion appeals to your
reason, then accept it. Such generosity has not been allowed in any other

What is the
original foundation of Buddhism? There is tre­mendous difference between the
Buddha’s religion and other religions. It is not possible to have changes in
other religions because those religions relate man with God. Other religions
preach that God has created the Nature. God has created all-sky, air, moon, sun
etc. God has left nothing for us to do, so we must worship God. According to
the Christian religion, after death, there is a Day of Judgement, and all
depends on that Judgement. There is no place for God and Soul in the Buddha
religion. Lord Buddha said there is sorrow

all over the world, 90% people are suffering from sorrow. To emancipate those depressed and poor
people from sorrow is the
principal task of the Buddha’s religion. What else did Karl Marx tell different
from Lord Buddha’s saying? Lord Buddha did not tell anything in a zigzag way.

Brothers, I
have told you whatever, I wanted to say. In all respects this religion is
perfect. It has no stigma at all. The principles of Hinduism are such from
which enthusiasm cannot be created. From thousands of years till the other day
not a single graduate or a learned man was produced from our society. I do not
hesitate to say, there was a woman who used to sweep my school; she was
Maratha. She did not touch me. My mother used to tell me to call elder person
as Mama (uncle). I used to call the postman as Mama (Loud
laughter). In my childhood I felt thirsty in the school. I told so to my
teacher. The teacher called the peon for my protection and told him to take me
to the tap. We went to the tap. The peon opened the tap and I drank the water.
Usually at school I did not get water to drink. Later I was offered some
service as District Judge. But I did not get stick with that sort of job. I had
a problem - who would carry out the mission of my brothers, so I did not get
stick in that bondage.

As an
individual, nothing in this country is impossible for me (clapping).
How the arranged declivity of Vaishya,
and Brahmin on your head will be tumbled down and
destroyed, is the real question.
Hence, it is my duty to give you in all
respects the knowledge of this religion. By writing books, I will remove all
your doubts and suspicions and will try to lead you to a stage of full
knowledge. At least at present, you should have faith in me.

However, your responsibility is
great too. Your behaviour should be such that other people will honour and
respect you. Do not think that this religion means we have got stuck with a
corpse around our neck. As far as the Buddhism is concerned, the land of India is of no account. We must resolve
to follow Buddhist religion in the finest way. It should not happen that the
Mahar people brought the Buddhism to disgrace, so we must have firm determination.
If we accomplish this, then we will thrive ourselves, our nation, and not only
that but the whole world also. Because the Buddhist religion only will be the
saviour of the world. Unless there is justice, there will be no peace in the

This new
path is full of responsibilities. The young should keep in mind that we had
made some resolutions and expressed some desires. They should not become
selfish idlers. We should decide that, at least, we should give 20th part of
our income for this purpose. I want to take all of you with me. Initially
Tathagat gave Deeksha to few individuals and directed them: “Spread this
religion”. After that Yasha and his forty friends embraced the Buddhism. Yasha
belonged to rich family. Lord Buddha said to them, what is this religion like?
The religion is “Bahujan hitay bahujan sukhay, Lokanucampay, Dhamma adi
Kalyanam, Madhya Kalyanama,
Paryavasan Kalayanam.” Tathagata decided
the path of preaching His religion according to the conditions of that time.
Now we must have to make the mechanism. After this ceremony each one should
give deeksha to each one.
proclaim that every Buddhist person has the right to give Deeksha.


Thus, Dr.
Babasaheb Ambedkar concluded his speech under thunderous applause from the
Buddhists and. invitees.



Ideals and Goals in Buddhist

“Anyone with faith, leading to truthfulness, training without end,
patience and self-sacrifice, will gain supreme wealth for themselves because
they avoid sorrow in lives to come”


Threefold Goals in Buddhist Economics

Having studied the economic practices applicable to happiness in this
lifetime and the next, in this chapter we shall look at the goals of
such practice — because without such goals clearly in mind, it is unlikely
that anyone will have the patience to put the forgoing principles into

Buddhist microeconomics are
designed to work on three levels (these determine the true value of any
economic activity): 

  1. the
    purely materialist level (material comfort & economic
  2. the
    material/spiritual level (mental wellbeing)  
  3. the
    purely spiritual level (inner freedom)  

deal with each level in turn:

The Purely Materialist level

Practice on the purely materialist level corresponds to the first question from
the Sutta (see Box
2) concerning happiness in the present lifetime. When one’s only
aim in life is to find immediate material convenience for oneself, so that we
can avoid hardship, the Buddha’s teaching can be summarized by the acronym
‘U-A-Ka-Sa’, namely:



u.t.thaanasampadaa or diligent acquisition



aarakkhasampadaa or conservation



kalyaa.namittata or having good friends



samajiivita or living within one’s means


aim on this level, which we must not lose sight of is standing on our own two
feet instead of being a burden on society — achieving by scrupulous means a
moderate degree of material comfort and economic security for oneself and one’s
family. The most important guiding principle in accumulating wealth for oneself
is to avoid the bad karma of taking advantage of others.

The Material/Spiritual level

Practice on the material/spiritual level corresponds to the second question
from the Sutta (see Box
2) concerning happiness in lifetimes to come. The Buddha’s
teaching on this level can be summarized by the acronym ‘Sa-Sii-Caa-Pa’,



saddhaa or faith



siila or self-discipline



caaga or self-sacrifice



pa~n~naa or wisdom


The aim on this level, which
we must not lose sight of are:

BOX 4: Aa.lavaka Sutta

The aims in Buddhist economics are derived from the Aa.lavaka Sutta.
This Sutta consists of the answers given by the Buddha to thirteen questions
of asked by a man-eating ogre [yakkha] called Aa.lavaka.

  1. What
    possession is the supreme pride of all men?
    : The Buddha replied that faith
    [saddha] is the possession which brings men supreme pride. The
    Buddha started with faith because (as mentioned earlier in the context
    of happiness in lives to come
    ) it is the initial brightness in the
    mind which will give us sufficient continuous illumination on a subject
    of Dhamma to allow us to practice it until we can understand it through
    our reasoning.
  2. What
    practice brings man supreme happiness?
    : The Buddha replied that the
    practice of virtue [???] can bring us real happiness. Our modern
    neglect of virtue and good character are relatively recent, being
    traceable back to the work of Kant who was the first to ‘invent’ happiness
    as distinct from virtue.
  3. Which
    is the taste supreme amongst all other tastes?
    : The Buddha answered that
    sincerety [sacca] is king amongst the flavours — and this will
    be all too apparent to anyone who has been deceived or who has been
    victim to back-stabbing or ingratitude.
  4. What
    do the wise praise as making one’s life supreme? :
    The Buddha answered that it is
    ‘wise living’ that is praised by the wise as supreme (the value of
    wisdom being as mentioned earlier in the context of happiness in lives to
  5. How
    can a person get to the other side

    (literally ‘to cross the pool’)? : The Buddha answered that people can
    get to the other side through faith. In the Buddha’s meaning the pool or
    ‘the ocean’ means the ‘cycle of existence’ [samsara]. He answered
    that faith [saddha] will be the quality to get one there, because
    faith in the authenticity of the Buddha’s enlightenment gives the
    perseverence to struggle against the defilements in order to enter upon
    Nirvana in the same way that the Buddha did.
  6. How
    can a person cross the ocean?

    : The Buddha replied that it is non-recklessness that will help us cross
    the ocean.
  7. How
    can one go beyond suffering?

    : The Buddha replied that suffering should be overcome by striving.
  8. How
    can one become pure?
    The Buddha replied that one can become pure by one’s wisdom.
  9. How
    can one avail oneself of wealth?

    The Buddha answered that those who choose a suitable job, are skilled at
    what they do and who are diligent rather than lazy, will manage to amass
    wealth for themselves.
  10. How
    can one avail oneself of honour?

    The Buddha said that honour accrues to those who are honest. Even
    politicians who want to make their way to the top should never take the
    ‘easy way out’ of going back on their electoral promises. All it takes is
    for politicians to do as they promise and every one of their words will
    take on a built-in power to accomplish. By this simple policy, within a
    very short time, any such politician will soon be able to become the
    praise of the nation.
  11. How
    can one avail oneself of friends?

    The Buddha answered that the bonds of friendship can be secured by one’s
    generosity. If all we can think about is getting the most for ourselves,
    without sharing anything with others, no-one will want to be our friend
    . However, if you are the sort of person who rushes to make a present of
    whatever you receive, you will soon be surrounded by friends.
  12. How
    can one develop wisdom?

    The Buddha replied that one can attain wisdom by having faith in the
    virtues that led the arahants to attain Nirvana, by avoiding
    recklessness, being thorough and listening carefully to teachings. In
    brief, if you want to attain wisdom, you need to start by listening
    carefully to teachings — however, even before you listen to a teaching,
    you need to start having a heart of faith. Any person who thus accepts
    the teaching of the arahants (i.e. is endowed with faith) with the
    intention of entering upon Nirvana, cannot be considered reckless. If
    such a person listens thoroughly to those teachings, they will avail themselves
    of wisdom. The whole process must start with faith. Without faith, one
    doesn’t even take the first step in the right direction. There is no
    wisdom without faith as its precursor. However, once one has faith, the
    other virtues like non-recklessness, thoroughness and good listening
    will bring forth wisdom.
  13. How
    can one avoid sorrow when leaving this world for the next?
    Apparently the ogre was also
    afraid of falling into hell because the next question he was to ask the
    Buddha was how one can avoid sorrow when leaving this world for the
    next. The ogre would like to earn a place in heaven for himself, but had
    not yet found the right path. The Buddha taught that if one is to avoid
    sorrow in the worlds to comeone must have:  
    • truthfulness
    • training
      oneself without end [dama]  
    • patience
    • self-sacrifice

For our purposes in the analysis of Buddhist economics, the most
important answers are those to questions 1, 5 and 13.


BOX 5: Some background on ogres

In Buddhist cosmology, ogres [yakkha] come in several

  • Half-angelic

    the first category of ogres are half-man, half-angel and therefore
    belong to the lowest rung of the fortunate realms [sugati-bhuumi].
    Some can float in the air and keep the Precepts, meditating in earnest.
    Some are possessed of mental powers, but only partially — sometimes
    being visible to the human eye, sometimes invisible. They are
    half-material, half-ethereal, but are still considered part of the
    ‘fortunate realms’.
  • Fallen-angel
    category of ogres are a little malevolent — liking to eat live human or
    animal flesh — therefore their precepts are not intact, but they may
    nonetheless have mental powers.
  • Physical-bodied

    the third category of ogres are not even able to float in the air. They
    have a material body like a human, but are able to change their
    appearance. They eat the same sort of food as humans, but some are
    ferocious while others keep the Precepts.  

Aa.lavaka belonged to the category of ‘fallen-angel’ ogres. He
could float in the air because at the time when he was still a human, he had
performed a mixture of meritorious and demeritorious deeds. Through the power
of the merit, he gained the ability ot float in the air at will, along with
various other miraculous powers — however the powers would work only within
the boundaries of his own territory.


The Purely Spiritual level

The purely spiritual level is not dealt with in the Sutta. His
questions covered only the lower two levels. The question remains of what sort
of economics one needs if one wants to reach beyond the heaven realms to
Nirvana and a complete end of all defilements. In the answers of the Buddha, He
has already used the word ‘ariya‘ or ‘transcendental’ several times –
especially in the last virtue of the second set of practices for happiness in
lives to come — where wisdom. The aim on this level, which we must not lose
sight of is to bring oneself to an end of defilements.


The Economical Mandala of

In the present day, educationalists and theoreticians alike need to produce
graphics to help them to plan the economy for the years ahead. However, charts
and graphics are not something that are an innovation for our generation –
because ever since ancient times, Thai Buddhists have had a way of modelling
economics as follows:

They would summarized the
practices on the level of a purely material goal in the form of a mandala
to make it look a little more sacred. In the old days, when monks went to give
a house an inaugural blessing, they used to mark such a diagram above the door.
Sometimes the monk would not write the abbreviations in Thai, but in the Khom
language of the old scriptures. In the beginning everyone would know the
meaning of the abbreviations on the door lintel. Later generations changed the
Khom characters to Thai characters for ease of comprehension. 

They added a second layer of
economic abbreviations around the original in order to denote practice on the
level of a material/spiritual goal as follows:

Usually the invited monk
would write the mandala in flour mixed with water — but unfortunately
in most cases, the monk would just write the mandala and return to the
temple without explaining its meaning. Thus the owner of the house in later
generations had no idea of the Buddhist economic principles encapsulated
therein. They didn’t know the meaning and assumed that the mandala was
sacred in itself — so once the monk had returned, they felt relieved that they
had already done their duty as a good Buddhist and went back to playing poker
in the assumption that they would soon be rich.

This mandala so far
gives only practices for economic aims on the material and material/spiritual
levels. If you want to go all the way and have an economic aim that will take
you to Nirvana, you need to add the Noble Eightfold Path to each of the eight
corners of the mandala as illustrated in the diagram below:

. . where the abbreviations have the following meanings:



Sammaa Di.t.thii or Right View



Sammaa Sa.nkappa or Right Intention



Sammaa Vaacaa or Right Speech



Sammaa Kammanta or Right Action



Sammaa Aajiiva or Right Livelihood



Sammaa Vayaamaa or Right Effort



Sammaa Sati or Right Mindfulness



Sammaa Samaadhi or Right Concentration


the people of old found the mandala so important, but feared that it
would be lost, they made mandalas of it on cloth — making the famous ‘yantra
cloths found throughout Thailand. Later finding that even the ‘yantra
cloths were not very long-lasting, they engraved the pattern on plates of gold,
silver or other metals. Later, with the wish to be able to take the teaching around
with them, they made miniatures in on small metal rolls and made necklaces out
of them.

These were skilful means of
ancient Thai Buddhists who tried to integrate Buddhist teachings into everyday
life on every level — especially so as not to get carried away with madness
for material wealth, and in order to focus instead on cultivating spiritual
values. Practising one’s livelihood, according to the principles of Buddhism
would immediately grasp that, one’s duty as a Buddhist was to avoid one’s livelihood
being the reason for accumulating demerit in one’s life. With such principles
in mind, even though it might be a great temptation to make a quick profit from
unscrupulous practices, if one knew that it involved the Wrong Livelihood
prohibited by the Buddha, one would rather sacrifice one’s life than to do it.

In conclusion, you can say
that Buddhist economics teaches us to interact economically in life without
abandoning one’s Dhamma principles.

is lost nothing is lost


Bacopa monnieri

Bacopa monnieri

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Bacopa
Species: B. monnieri
Binomial name
Bacopa monnieri
L. Pennell[1]

Bacopa monniera
Bramia monnieri (L.) Pennell
Gratiola monnieria L.
Herpestes monnieria (L.) Kunth
Herpestis fauriei H.Lev.
Herpestis monniera
Herpestris monnieria
Lysimachia monnieri L.
Moniera euneifolia

Brahmi herb at Talktora Gardens

Bacopa monnieri (Coastal Waterhyssop, Brahmi, Thyme-leafed gratiola, Water
) is a perennial,
creeping herb whose habitat includes wetlands and muddy
shores. Brahmi is also the name given to Centella asiatica by some botanists,[2][3] while others consider that to be a
mistake that arose during the 16th century, when brahmi was confused
with mandukaparni, a name for C. asiatica.[4]


The leaves
of this plant are succulent and relatively thick. Leaves are oblanceolate and
are arranged oppositely on the stem. The flowers are small and white, with four or five petals. Its
ability to grow in water makes it a popular aquarium plant. It can even grow in slightly brackish conditions. Propagation is often
achieved through cuttings.


It commonly
grows in marshy areas throughout India,
Nepal, Sri Lanka, China,
Taiwan, and Vietnam, and is also found in Florida and other southern states of the USA
where it can be grown in damp conditions by the pond or bog garden.



This plant
has a number of uses in Ayurveda. It is a
traditional treatment for epilepsy and asthma.[5] It has antioxidant properties, reducing oxidation of
fats in the bloodstream.[5] Studies in humans show that an extract
of the plant has antianxiety effects.[5]

It is
listed as a nootropic, a drug that enhances cognitive
ability. In India, this plant has also been used
traditionally to consecrate newborn babies in the belief that it will open the
gateway of intelligence. Laboratory studies on rats indicate that extracts of
the plant improve memory capacity and motor learning ability.[5] Recent studies suggest bacopa may
improve intellectual activity.[6][7][8] The sulfhydryl and polyphenol components of Bacopa monniera
extract have also been shown to impact the oxidative stress cascade by
scavenging reactive oxygen species, inhibiting lipoxygenase activity and
reducing divalent metals.[9] This mechanism of action may explain
the effect of Bacopa monniera extract in reducing beta-amyloid deposits
in mice with Alzheimer’s disease.[9]


standardized Bacopa monniera preparation was evaluated for safety and
tolerability in 23 healthy adult volunteers.[10] Participants took 300 mg of the
extract daily for 15 days, followed by 450 mg/daily for the subsequent 15
days. No adverse effects were observed in biochemical, electrocardiographic,
hematological or clinical parameters in the post-treatment vs. the
pre-treatment period. There were some reports of mild gastrointestinal symptoms
that resolved spontaneously.


It is used
in Vietnamese cuisine,
where it is called rau đắng. It is used in cháo cá, a variety of rice congee made with fish and nấm tràm

International naming

Health is lost something is lost




            The sadest
thing in life is when a person has no hope

for the future. Without hope, there is no future. People
live on

hope. People have kids to make provisions for old age; they

raise and educate them hoping that they will be successful.

Strengthening family ties and living in harmony with

neighbours implies hope that we can all live together better

the future; planting trees and flowers and storing grain in the

event of famine also exhibit a sense of boundless hope. The

Chinese are concerned about continuing the family line over

generations in hopes of extending life of the people. Even

today’s organ transplants are a hope to life.

Precepts (Character, morality
self-discipline) is lost everything is lost



The Bull Called Delightful
[All Deserve Respect]

Once upon a time, in the country of Gandhara
in northern India,
there was a city called Takkasila. In that city the Enlightenment Being was
born as a certain calf. Since he was well bred for strength, he was bought by a
high class rich man. He became very fond of the gentle animal, and called him
‘Delightful’. He took good care of him and fed him only the best.

When Delightful grew up into a big fine strong
bull, he thought, “I was brought up by this generous man. He gave me such
good food and constant care, even though sometimes there were difficulties. Now
I am a big grown-up bull and there is no other bull who can pull as heavy a
load as I can. Therefore, I would like to use my strength to give something in
return to my master.”

So he said to the man, “Sir, please find
some wealthy merchant who is proud of having many strong bulls. Challenge him
by saying that your bull can pull one- hundred heavily loaded bullock

Following his advice, the high class rich man
went to such a merchant and struck up a conversation. After a while, he brought
up the idea of who had the strongest bull in the city.

The merchant said, “Many have bulls, but
no one has any as strong as mine.” The rich man said, “Sir, I have a
bull who can pull one hundred heavily loaded bullock carts.” “No,
friend, how can there be such a bull? That is unbelievable!” said the
merchant. The other replied, “I do have such a bull, and I am willing to
make a bet.”

The merchant said, “I will bet a thousand
gold coins that your bull cannot pull a hundred loaded bullock carts.” So
the bet was made and they agreed on a date and time for the challenge.

The merchant attached together one-hundred big
bullock carts. He filled them with sand and gravel to make them very heavy.

The high class rich man fed the finest rice to
the bull called Delightful. He bathed him and decorated him and hung a
beautiful garland of flowers around his neck.

Then he harnessed him to the first cart and
climbed up onto it. Being so high class, he could not resist the urge to make
himself seem very important. So he cracked a whip in the air, and yelled at the
faithful bull, “Pull, you dumb animal! I command you to pull, you big

The bull called Delightful thought, “This
challenge was my idea. I have never done anything bad to my master, and yet he
insults me with such hard and harsh words!” So he remained in his place
and refused to pull the carts.

The merchant laughed and demanded his winnings
from the bet. The high class rich man had to pay him the one thousand gold
coins. He returned home and sat down, saddened by his lost bet, and embarrassed
by the blow to his pride.

The bull called Delightful grazed peacefully
on his way home. When he arrived, he saw his master sadly lying on his side. He
asked, “Sir, why are you lying there like that? Are you sleeping? You look
sad.” The man said, I lost a thousand gold coins because of you. With such
a loss, how could I sleep?”

The bull replied. “Sir, you called me
‘dummy’. You even cracked a whip in the air over my head. In all my life, did I
ever break anything, step on anything, make a mess in the wrong place, or
behave like a ‘dummy’ in any way?” He answered, “No, my pet.”

The bull called Delightful said, “Then
sir, why did you call me ‘dumb animal’, and insult me even in the presence of
others? The fault is yours. I have done nothing wrong. But since I feel sorry
for you, go again to the merchant and make the same bet for two thousand gold
coins. And remember to use only the respectful words I deserve so well.”

Then the high class rich man went back to the
merchant and made the bet for two-thousand gold coins. The merchant thought it would
be easy money. Again he set up the one hundred heavily loaded bullock carts.
Again the rich man fed and bathed the bull, and hung a garland of flowers
around his neck.

When all was ready, the rich man touched
Delightful’s forehead with a lotus blossom, having given up the whip. Thinking
of him as fondly as if he were his own child, he said, “My son, please do
me the honour of pulling these one hundred bullock carts.”

Lo and behold, the wonderful bull pulled with
all his might and dragged the heavy carts, until the last one stood in the
place of the first.

The merchant, with his mouth hanging open in
disbelief, had to pay the two thousand gold coins. The onlookers were so
impressed that they honoured the bull called Delightful with gifts. But even
more important to the high class rich man than his winnings, was his valuable
lesson in humility and respect.

The moral is: Harsh words
bring no reward. Respectful words bring honor to all.



Exercise 1

into English

Akkhīhi oloketvā lokaṁ passanti manussā ñāna

akkhīhi oloketvā Dhammaṁ passanti ñāṇino;

Buddha akkhīhi oloketvā Nibbāṇañca sabbaṁ atitaṁ

paccupannaṁ anāgataṁ passanti Tathāgatā.


Having looked through the eyes, human beings see

the world; having visualized through the eyes of

insight the wise ones comprehend the truth; having

envisioned through the eyes of an Awakened One,

the Truth-Bearers penetrate into the Summum

Bonum as well as into everything concerning the

Past, the present and the future.


Āma, mayaṁ acciṁ gahetvā nānā hāne puna puna

sīghasīghaṁ gacchimha vāri
pivituṁ. Kasm

  viharitvā tathā katu
ṁ vaṭṭati.



Yes, after holding firebrand flame, we quickly went

To many
places, again and again to drink water. Why?

lived in a forest in darkness, it is to be done in

that way.


Pakkhino Sidddhattassa uyyānato upari sīghayāyino

ahesuṁ. Devatto ekaṁ pakkhiṁ māresi; so

Bodhisattassa satthi

‘pakkhiṁ dadāhi’ti, kujjhitvā Bodhisatta

Siddhatthaṁ vadi; Bodhisatto pana pakkhiṁ

hānetuṁ adatvā, sayameva pakkhiārakkhi.


The birds were quickly moving above the garden of

Siddhattha; Devadatta hit one bird; having fallen, it

      Dropped on the thigh of the

      Having become angry, saying: “Give me the

Devadatta shouted at Siddhattha the Would-be-

Buddha. The Would-be-Buddha, howevere, without

allowing the bird to be killed, himself protected the bird.


Dadhismā sappiṁ labhati, evaṁ Buddha-

ṇaṁ. kathaṁ?

Dhamme yeva Cattāri Ariyasaccāni honti, na

Yattha Ariyasaccāni honti, tattheva



One gets ghee from curd, likewise the Ultimate Bliss

from the
Teaching of the Buddha. How? Only in the

of the Buddha the Four Noble Truths are

found not
elsewhere. Wherever there are the Noble

only there is Nibbāna.


Mā rodatha, mā socathā’ti kasmā Buddho abhāsi?

Yasmā loko
anicco dukkho anattā, tasmā na kiñci pi

attano attano iti kathetvā

attāpi attano natthi, kasmā tena rodatha?


Why did the Buddha say: “Don’t grieve?”

Because the
world is impermanent, unsatisfactory

unsubstantial; therefore nothing is one’s own.

saying: “My own, my own”, human beings

Grieve and
cry; oneself is not one’s own. Why then

You cry?

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