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LESSON 3235 Tue 7 Jan 2020
KUSHINARA NIBBANA BHUMI PAGODA -PATH TO ATTAIN PEACE and ETERNAL BLISS AS FINAL GOAL
Buddhist Doctrines - What is Nibbana? - The Roots of Nibbana
— The words of the Buddha —
Dr B.R.Ambedkar thundered “Main Bharat Baudhmay karunga.” (I will make India Buddhist)
- Āṇi Sutta -
ასე რომ, bhikkhus, თქვენ უნდა ისწავლონ შემდეგი სიტყვებით: ‘ჩვენ მოვისმენთ ისეთ დისკურსებს, რომლებიც Tathāgata- ს სიტყვებია, ღრმა, ღრმა მნიშვნელობით, რომელიც მიდის მსოფლიოს მიღმა, (თანმიმდევრულად) დაკავშირებულია სიცარიელესთან, ჩვენ ყურს მოგვცემს ჩვენს გონებას გამოიყენებს ცოდნაზე, ჩვენ განვიხილავთ სწავლების სწავლებას და მიღებას. ‘ აი ასე უნდა გაიაროთ ვარჯიშმა.
- Si Sutta -
Deshalb, Bhikkhus, solltest du so trainieren: „Wir werden auf die Äußerung solcher Reden hören, die Worte des Tathāgata sind, tiefgründig und bedeutungsvoll, über die Welt hinausführend, (konsequent) mit Leere verbunden. Wir werden Gehör schenken, wir Wenn wir unseren Geist auf Wissen richten, betrachten wir diese Lehren als aufgegriffen und gemeistert. ‘ So solltest du dich ausbilden, Bhikkhus.
- Āṇi Sutta -
Ως εκ τούτου, bhikkhus, θα πρέπει να εκπαιδεύσετε έτσι: «Θα ακούσουμε την έκφραση τέτοιων λόγων που είναι λόγια του Tathāgata, βαθιά, βαθιά σε νόημα, οδηγώντας πέρα από τον κόσμο (συνεκτικά) που συνδέονται με το κενό, θα δώσουμε αυτί, εμείς θα εφαρμόσει το μυαλό μας στη γνώση, θα θεωρήσουμε αυτές τις διδασκαλίες ότι πρέπει να αναληφθούν και να κυριαρχήσουν ». Αυτός είναι ο τρόπος, ο bhikkhus, πρέπει να εκπαιδεύσετε τον εαυτό σας.
- Άνι Σούτα -
Se poutèt sa, moun ki va, ou ta dwe fòme konsa: ‘Nou pral koute pawòl la nan diskou sa yo ki se mo nan Tathgata a, pwofon, pwofon nan siyifikasyon, ki mennen pi lwen pase mond lan, (toujou) konekte ak vid, nou pral prete zòrèy, nou. ap aplike lespri nou sou konesans, nou pral konsidere ansèyman sa yo tankou yo dwe pran moute ak metrize. ‘ Men ki jan, ou ta dwe fòme tèt ou.
- i Sutta -
Don haka, bhikkhus, ya kamata ka horar kamar haka: ‘Za mu saurari furcin waɗannan kalaman waɗanda kalmomin Tathāgata ne, mai zurfi, ma’ana mai zurfi, mai jagorar ƙetaren duniya, (a haɗe) wanda ke da alaƙa da lalacewa, za mu lamunta, za mu Zai yi amfani da hankalinmu kan ilimi, za mu yi la’akari da waɗancan koyarwan yadda ya kamata mu ci nasara. Wannan shine yadda, bhikkhus, ya kamata ku horar da kanku.
- Si Sutta -
No laila, e ʻo bhikkhus, e hoʻomaʻamaʻa ʻia ʻoe penei: ‘E hoʻolohe mākou i ka ʻōlelo ʻana o kā lākou mau ʻōlelo i ka ʻōlelo a nā Tathāgata, hohonu, hohonu ana i ke ʻano o ke ao nei, e pili ana i ko mākou manaʻo ma ka ʻike, e noʻonoʻo mākou i kēlā mau aʻo e hāpai ʻia a haku ʻia. ʻO kēia ke ʻano, bhikkhus, e hoʻomaʻamaʻa iā ʻoe iho.
- ʻAii Sutta -
לכן, בהקהות, עליכם להתאמן כך: ‘נקשיב להיגיון של שיחים כאלה שהם מילות הטאתאגטה, עמוקות, עמוקות במשמעות, המובילות מעבר לעולם, (בעקביות) הקשורות לריק, אנו נשאיל אוזן, אנו ישים את דעתנו על הידע, נשקול את התורות הללו כמובילות ושולטות. ‘ כך אתה צריך להתאמן בעצמך.
- S י סוטה -
Yog li ntawd, bhikkhus, koj yuav tsum qhia li no: ‘Peb yuav mloog cov lus tawm ntawm cov lus qhuab qhia zoo li ntawd yog cov lus ntawm Tathāgata, muaj txiaj ntsig, muaj txiaj ntsig hauv lub ntsiab lus, ua rau dhau ntawm lub ntiaj teb, (tsis tu ncua) txuas nrog khoob, peb yuav qev pob ntseg, peb yuav siv peb lub siab rau txoj kev paub, peb yuav xav txog cov lus qhia ntawd kom raug coj thiab ua haujlwm. ‘ Nov yog li cas, bhikkhus, koj yuav tsum cob qhia koj tus kheej.
- Si Sutta -
46) Classical Hungarian-Klasszikus magyar,
Ezért, bhikkhus, így kell edzened: „Meghallgatjuk az ilyen diskurzusok kijelentéseit, amelyek a Tathāgata szavai, mélyek, mélyrehatóak, a világon túlra vezetnek, (következetesen) az ürességhez kapcsolódnak, fülünket kölcsönözünk, szem előtt tartjuk a tudást, akkor ezeket a tanításokat elfogadottnak és elsajátítottnak tekintjük. ” Így kell, bhikkhus, kiképzõd magad.
- Āṇi Sutta -
Þess vegna ættir þú að þjálfa svona: ‘Við munum hlusta á orðatiltæki slíkra orðræða sem eru orð Tathāgata, djúpstæð, djúpstæð í merkingu, leiðandi út fyrir heiminn, (stöðugt) tengd tómleika, við munum ljá eyra, við mun beita huganum um þekkingu, við munum líta á þær kenningar sem þær eru teknar upp og ná góðum tökum á. ‘ Svona ættirðu að þjálfa sjálfan þig.
- Si Sutta -
Yabụ, bhikkhus, ị ga-esi zụọ otua: ‘Anyị ga-ege ntị n’okwu nke ụdị okwu a bụ okwu Tathāgata, nke dị omimi, ma nwee nnukwu echiche, nke na-eduga gafere ụwa, (n’adabereghị na) ịtọgbọrọ chakoo, anyị ga-agba gị ntị, anyị itinye uche anyị n’ihe ọmụma, anyị ga-eleba anya n’ozizi ndị ahụ dị ka ihe kwesịrị elu. Nke a bụ, bhikkhus, unu kwesịrị ịzụ onwe unu.
- Āṇi Sutta -
Oleh karena itu, para bhikkhu, kamu harus berlatih sebagai berikut: ‘Kami akan mendengarkan ucapan dari khotbah-khotbah seperti itu yang merupakan kata-kata dari Tathāgata, mendalam, dalam makna, memimpin di luar dunia, (secara konsisten) terhubung dengan kekosongan, kami akan meminjamkan telinga, kami akan menerapkan pikiran kita pada pengetahuan, kita akan mempertimbangkan ajaran-ajaran itu untuk diangkat dan dikuasai. ‘ Beginilah caranya, para bhikkhu, kamu harus melatih dirimu sendiri.
- Āṇi Sutta -
Dá bhrí sin, ba chóir duit oiliúint a chur ar bhikkhus mar sin: ‘Éistfimid le cainteanna na ndíospóireachtaí sin atá ina bhfocail de chuid na Tathāgata, cuimse, cuimseach ó thaobh brí de, a thabharfaidh le fios go bhfuil an fhollasacht (go comhleanúnach) ceangailte, beimid cuirfidh muid ár n-aigne i bhfeidhm maidir le heolas, déanfaimid machnamh ar na teagascuithe sin a bheidh le glacadh agus máistreacht againn. ‘ Is é seo an chaoi, bikkhus, ba chóir duit féin a oiliúint.
- Suti Sutta -
Pertanto, bhikkhus, dovresti allenarti così: ‘Ascolteremo l’espressione di tali discorsi che sono parole del Tathagata, profonde, profonde nel significato, che conducono oltre il mondo, (coerentemente) connesse con il vuoto, presteremo orecchio, noi applicheremo la nostra mente sulla conoscenza, considereremo quegli insegnamenti come da prendere e padroneggiare. “ Ecco come, bhikkhus, dovresti allenarti.
- Sutta -
したがって、bhikkhus、あなたはこのように訓練する必要があります： ‘私たちは、タタガタ語の言葉であるそのような談話の発言に耳を傾けます。 知識に私たちの心を適用し、私たちはそれらの教えが取り上げられ、習得されると考えます。 これは、あなたが自分で訓練する方法です。
Pramila, bhikkhus, sampeyan kudu nglatih kanthi mangkono: ‘Kita bakal ngrungokake ujaran wacana kasebut yaiku tembung saka Tathāgata, jero, jero makna, ndadékaké ngluwihi jagad iki, (terus-terusan) sing ana gandhengane karo kekosongan, kita bakal ngutarakake kuping, kita bakal ngetrapake pikiran babagan kawruh, kita bakal nimbang piwulang kasebut supaya bisa dijupuk lan dikuasai. ‘ Mangkene, bhikkhus, sampeyan kudu nglatih awakmu dhewe.
- Āṇi Sutta -
Сондықтан, бикхус, сіз осылай жаттығуыңыз керек: ‘Біз татагата сөздері, терең, мағынасы терең, әлемге жететін, босқа байланысты (дәйекті) сөздерді тыңдаймыз, біз құлақ саламыз, біз ақыл-ойымызды білімге қолданамыз, біз сол ілімдерді ескеріп, игеру керек деп санаймыз ». Бикхус, осылай жаттығу керек.
- Сутта -
그러므로 우리는 다음과 같이 훈련해야합니다. ‘우리는 타타 가타의 말, 심오하고 심오하고 의미있는 심오한 세계, (일관되게) 공허와 관련하여 우리는 귀를 빌려 줄 것입니다. 우리의 생각을 지식에 적용 할 것입니다. 이것이 바로, bhikkhus, 당신은 스스로 훈련해야합니다.
— Âṇi Sutta —
Ji ber vê yekê, bhikkhus, divê hûn bi vî rengî perwerde bikin: ‘Em ê guh bidin gotinên vegotinên ku peyvên Tathāgata ne, bi wateyeke kûr û kûr in, ji dervayê dinyayê derdikevin, (bi domdarî) bi vacê ve girêdidin, em ê guh bidin hev, em dê hişê xwe li ser zanebûnê bicîh bîne, em ê li ser wan dersan wekî ku hildibijêrin û biser bikevin. ‘ Bi vî rengî, bhikkhus, divê hûn xwe perwerde bikin.
- Si Sutta -
Ошондуктан монастырларда, сен мен үчүн ушунун баарын окутуу керек: “Биз түзүшүнөн келип, күчтүү, мааниси күчтүү сөздөр, мисалы, баяндамалардын сөзгө кулак салам +, дүйнөгө алып, (дайыма) боштук менен байланышкан, биз кулак карыз берет, биз билимге акылыбыз колдонулат, биз кабыл алынат жана өздөштүрүшү керек болгон катары окууларды карап чыгабыз “. Бул кандай монастырларда силердики, окутуу керек.
- Ани Sutta -
India’s Buddhist symbols
Even before the conversion, Ambedkar had been working to adopt many
Buddhist symbols that are now a part of our day-to-day lives. A majority
of India’s national symbols and images have footprints of Buddhism. Our
national flag has a bright navy blue wheel, known as the Ashoka Chakra,
in the centre. This wheel, which depicts progressiveness, is taken from
the lion capital of Ashoka in Sarnath raised across the country during
the Mauryan empire by king Ashoka, who ruled and spread Buddhism in
Our national emblem, which is also a part of all official documents –
including the Indian currency – is a sculpture of four Asiatic lions
standing back to back on the Ashok chakra. Durbar hall – which hosted
the swearing-in of India’s first government – is one of the most exquisite halls in Rashtrapati Bhavan and has a beautiful Buddha sculpture dating back to the Gupta period.
From these examples, it
would appear as if PRABUDDHA BHARAT has already adopted Buddhist principles by
preserving its rich heritage and culture, which has spread globally.
So when the Murderer of democratic institutions and Master of diluting institutions (Modi) invoked India’s gift of peace-loving Buddha
to the world in his UN General Assembly speech, he faced criticism for
invoking Buddha abroad but supporting
Hindutva back home as he gobbled the Master Key by tampering the filthy
fraud EVMs to win elections. Interestingly, one criticism came from his
supporter and a Hindutva votary for invoking Buddha. Manohar Bhide, whom
Modi calls his guru, lamented Modi’s reference by saying, “Modi was wrong in saying India gave Buddha to the world. Buddha’s message of peace and tolerance is of no use now.”
a brahmin to be more specific a chitpavan brahmin of Rowdy/Rakshasa
Swayam Sevak (RSS), who heads the Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan, is accused of
playing a role in the Bhima Koregaon caste-violence case but was never
arrested. This was allegedly due to the Devendra Fadanavis government in
Maharashtra supporting Bhide and his organisation. Hardly any Bevakoof Jhoothe Psychopaths (BJP)
member as they are remotely controlled by the RSS has opposed Bhide’s statement.
the criticism of Buddha new? In the Nagpur conversion ceremony,
Ambedkar responded to criticism of the Buddha by the FOREIGNERS from
BENE ISRAEL chitpavan brahmins who are intolerant, violent, militant,
number one terrorists of the world, ever shooting, mob lynching,
cunning, crooked, lunatic, mentally retarded towards 99.9% all
aboriginal awakened societies, saying,
“chitpavan brahmins used to say, ‘Hey, you!’ [Bho Gautam] to Bhagvan.. Brahmins
[thus] spoke slightingly of the Buddha…But only one name is proclaimed
throughout the world, and that name is Buddha.”
Buddha as a revolutionary
In Bhide’s criticism, lies an attempt to not just pit Buddhists
against Marathas, but also to limit Buddha to a philosophy of peace and
non-violence. In the guise of targeting his message of peace, the likes
of Bhide actually criticise Buddha’s revolutionary message of the
annihilation of the caste system and unscientific yagnas and rituals.
When Buddha’s message spread outside
Prabuddha Bharat and Asia, chitpavan brahminical forces tried to
appropriate him falsely either as the ninth avatar of Vishnu or by calling Buddhism another branch of Hinduism where Buddha “propagated values like mercy, love, compassion, and affection” (note the absence of social revolution).
Ambedkar was very well aware of these designs. He wrote, “Buddha is generally associated with the doctrine of ahimsa.
That is taken to be the be-all and end-all of his teachings. Hardly
anyone knows that what Buddha taught is something very vast; far beyond ahimsa.”
In his book Buddhist Revolution and Counter-revolution in Ancient India, Dr Ambedkar wrote:
“Buddhism was a revolution. It was as
great a revolution as the French revolution. Though it began as a
religious revolution, it became more than religious revolution. It
became a social and political revolution. To be able to realize how
profound was the character of this revolution, it is necessary to know
the state of the society before the revolution began its course. ..The
aryan community of his time was steeped in the worst kind of debauchery;
social, religious and spiritual.”
Buddha showed the unique path of awakenment with awareness or
self-realisation using noble eight-fold path, it was his revolution
against the social evils and his fight against the Chaturvarnya (varna
system) that says that the chitpavan brahmins are 1st rate athmas
(souls), ksatrias, vysias, shudras as 2nd, 3rd, 4th rate souls and the
aboriginal SC/STs have no soul at all so that all sorts of atrocities
could be committed on them. But the Buddha never believed in any soul.
He said that all are equal that made him a revolutionary. That means we
where Buddhists, we are Buddhists and will continue to be Buddhists.
Buddha’s fierce attack on the
Chaturvarya actually irked the beneficiary of the social system —namely
the chitpavan brahmin class.
On May 20 1951, Ambedkar addressed a conference on the occasion of
Buddha Jayanti organised at Ambedkar Bhawan, Delhi. Photo: Wikepedia/
In his book Buddha and Karl Marx, Ambedkar wrote,
preached against Chaturvarnya. He used some of the most offensive
similes in attacking the theory of Chaturvarnya. The order of
Chaturvarnya had been turned upside down. Shudras and women could become
sannyasis, a status which counter-revolution had denied them. Buddha had condemned the Karma kanda and the Yajnas. He condemned them on the ground of himsa or violence.”
So each time our ISRO scientists seek divine blessings ahead of the launch of Chandrayaan, or our defence minister indulges in unscientific acts like placing a pair of limes under a fighter jet or our HRD minister does what the IIT Bombay students call a “scientific blasphemy” at a convocation ceremony, or a house speaker cites the supremacy of chitpavan brahmin caste, we betray Buddha’s revolutionary teachings.
Encroaching Buddha’s heritage
Despite the popular imagery and symbols, Buddha’s heritage and his
message are under constant attack. Many of his stupas and Vihara have
been either compromised or encroached upon. A case in point is the
Ekvira Devi temple in Maharashtra. None other than Prabodhankar Keshav
Thackeray, Uddhav Thackeray’s grandfather, wrote about how Hindu priests
had encroached on this Buddhist cave in his book Devlancha Dharm Ani Dharmachi Devale.
The world-famous Ajanta caves in Maharashtra dating back to second
century BCE would have met similar fate if it had not been for a Rs 400
crore aid from the Japanese government in 2002 to the Maharashtra government to preserve this historic site of Buddhism.
Ambedkar, through his historic back to
own original home and drafting of the
Constitution, revived Buddhism in Prabuddha bharat. That is one reason
why the chitpavan brahmins or beneficiary stooges, slaves, bootlickers,
chamchas, chelas, own mother’s flesh eaters supporting the chaturvarnya
(caste system) still
detest the Constitution, the very guiding document that promotes a
scientific spirit and a bahujan hitay spirt, by calling it not reflective of ‘Prabuddha Bharat’s culture’.
Despite being home to Buddha and his awakenment with awareness, his birth
anniversary isn’t even a public holiday across the country like Gandhi
Jayanti, Christmas or Republic day – something Ambedkar fought for.
Buddha’s teachings nevertheless have survived all these challenges as
Buddhism has spread to western countries. So instead of opposing
Buddha’s revolutionary ideas of equality and reason, the latest attempt
seems to be to limit him only as a messenger of non-violence and peace.
The anniversary of Ambedkar’s back to own original home is a timely reminder to study
and inculcate Buddha’s revolutionary ideas in these trying times of
diluting Universal Adult franchise with the fraud EVMs, diminishing equality, shrinking fraternity and an almost dead scientific
excerpt from Dr. Ambedkar and Democracy about Ambedkar’s analysis of
the affinities of Buddhism with democracy that led to his conversion.
At times, it seems that Ambedkar looked at democracy as a western
creation that he had learnt from outside and imported. Certainly, he has
read most of the European and American political philosophers of
democracy and drew most of his inspiration from outside for drafting the
Indian Constitution. His intellectual affinities with the Western
developed during his stays in the United States and in England. A good
part of his ideas ensued from them. He also waited from the westerners
an actual support. In 1931, his “Appeal on behalf of the Depressed
Classes Institute”, by which he tried to collect 40,000 pounds sterling,
asked “the Europeans and the Americans” to help a “deprived humanity” —
a part of the human race (Dr. Ambedkar often resorted in his Marathi
writings to the word manuski in English translated as “humanness”). However, he found variants of humanism in the Indian civilization, through Buddhism.
Dr. Ambedkar was a religious person in some ways. He considered that
“Religion is absolutely essential for the development of mankind” and
diverged from the Marxists’ atheism in that respect. But his vision of
religion was overdetermined by social considerations. He rejected
Hinduism because he thought that the caste system was co-substantial to
this religion, whereas equality was inherent in Buddhism:
By 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 Varna-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.
This reading of Buddhism does not only have social implications – it
also has political implications. Considering that the “religion of the
Buddha gives freedom of thought and freedom of self-development to all”,
Ambedkar argues that “the rise of Buddhism in India was as significant
as the French Revolution” – a political even in the first place.
Ambedkar saw deep affinities between Buddhism and the French Revolution.
In an All-India Radio broadcast speech on 3 October 1954 he declared:
Positively, my Social Philosophy, may be said to be enshrined in
three words: Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Let no one, however, say
that I have borrowed my philosophy from the French-Revolution. I have
not. My philosophy has roots in religion and not in political science. I
have derived them from the teachings of my Master, the Buddha. In his
philosophy, liberty and equality had a place. (…) He gave the highest
place to fraternity as the only real safeguard against the denial of
liberty or equality or fraternity which was another name for brotherhood
or humanity, which was again another name for religion.
In that sense, Buddhism is a democratic religion and Ambedkar,
eventually found in this religion the societal values he had tried to
promote via political democracy. Between 1919 and 1949-50 he tried to
instill in the Indian society a more fraternal sense of human relations
by making assemblies places of endosmosis, by arguing in favour of a new
unity between the majority and the minorities within the Constituent
assembly itself. To no avail: fraternity never resulted from these
political arrangements. Hence the last resort device that conversion to
Buddhism, a democratic religion, became in his eyes by the mid-1950s.
This rediscovery of Buddhism had important implications. If the
teaching of the Buddha was democratic, then democracy is not an
invention of the West – as the manner in which Dr. Ambedkar drew his
inspiration from so many European and American scholars and leaders
suggested -, but it’s a product of the Indian history. In his historic
speech of 25 November 1949 where Dr. Ambedkar presented the final draft
of the Indian Constitution to the Assembly which was to pass it on 26
January 1950, he pointed out that by becoming a parliamentary
constituency “again”, India is back to its Buddhist roots:
It is not that India did not know Parliaments or Parliamentary
Procedure. A study of the Buddhist Bhikshu Sanghas discloses that not
only there were Parliaments—for the Sanghas were nothing but
Parliaments—but the Sanghas knew and observed all the rules of
Parliamentary Procedure known to modern times. They had rules regarding
seating arrangements, rules regarding Motions, Resolutions, Quorum,
Whip, Counting of Votes, Voting by Ballot, Censure Motion,
Regularization, Res Judicata, etc. Although these rules of Parliamentary
Procedure were applied by the Buddha to the meetings of the Sanghas, he
must have borrowed them from the rules of the Political Assemblies
functioning in the country in his time.
an “invention of the tradition” (to use the words of Eric Hobsbawm)
shows that even in his interpretation of the historical impact of
Buddhism over India, Dr. Ambedkar remains deeply interested in political
ideas. This is evident from a tangible fact: on 13 October 1956, the
day before he converted to Buddhism in a grand ceremony in Nagpur, he
addressed a press conference in which he announced that he had drafted
the constitution of his new party, the Republican Party of India. (He
called it the Republican Party of India by reference, at the same time,
to Lincoln’s American Republican Party and to the Republics of the
Buddhist era in India). In this charter, it was stated that this party
would “stand for the Parliamentary system of Government as the being the
best form of Government both in the interest of the public and in the
interest of the individual”. This party would also uphold “the secular
character of the State”. These components of Dr. Ambedkar’s ideology of
Republicanism reflect his liberal values, which are even more obvious in
his deep attachment to the rule of law.
Excerpted, with permission, from Dr Ambedkar and Democracy edited by Christophe Jaffrelot and Narender Kumar.
conversation with Sadanand Fulzele about his association with B.R.
Ambedkar, his involvement in the Deekshabhumi, the state of the
Republican Party of India and more.
Note: This article was originally published on May 17, 2017, and is being republished on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti.
It is astonishing that not much is known about the man who was
a prominent figure in Babasaheb Ambedkar’s historical return to the
roots of Buddhism along with nearly half a million people at the
Deekshabhumi ground in Nagpur on October 14, 1956. Interestingly,
Sadanand Fulzele was not an ordinary man, in any sense, during that
period. He was the deputy mayor of Nagpur municipal corporation.
Fulzele was elected on a scheduled caste federation ticket in 1952,
winning by just one vote. Having dedicated his life to Ambedkar’s
mission for life, I asked him to describe his association with Ambedkar
and his involvement in the Deekshabhumi function.
“When I was deputy mayor that time the
states got reorganised. Nagpur got merged in Bombay, that is,
Maharashtra. We people, a deputation of corporation leaders, went to
Delhi to meet Govind Ballabh Pant to demand Nagpur as the capital of
Maharashtra. In Delhi, I stayed with our member of parliament Tahir Ali
Saheb. That time Babasaheb had written about deeksha on October
14 to Mewa Ram Kawade and [Waman Ram] Godbole to come and meet him.
Babasaheb asked them whether arrangements could be made for the deeksha.
They said, yes it will be done as our own person was deputy mayor in
the corporation. They told him that I was in Delhi. Then he asked me to
come over. Then I went to meet Babasaheb along with senior person in All
India Radio at his residence 26 Alipur Road in the evening. We sat
there near the gate. After some time Babasaheb came with the help of
Nanakchand Rattu and sat in front of us on the reclining chair. He said,
Mewa Ram Kawade and Godbole came and we have now fixed on October 14.
Will you arrange the programme. I said yes. And that was the time
Babasaheb put the responsibility of the programme on me.
After returning from there, I, Waman Ram Godbole, Kawade and others
started looking for a suitable place where deeksha ceremony could be
organised and we found this place suitable as there was a big slope and
even if the rains come the water would easily flow out. So, finally the
selection of Deekshabhumi was done. Babasaheb’s programme was also
fixed. Now, the correspondence and other details were to be done and
hence the entire responsibility of the programme fell on my shoulders.’’
It was a huge celebration,
Fulzele recalls. Photographs of the function decorate his drawing room
in Nagpur, each event reverberating his mind. “First Babasaheb took
deeksha through Chandramani ji. He was so overwhelmed that he did not
raise his head. Then Chandramani ji gave him panchsheel. Then
he got up and said now I have become Buddhist. All those who want to
have deeksha should stand up. Then Babasaheb gave them trisharan
and panchsheel, and later gave them 22 bows. The people were there for
two days. Babasaheb spoke for nearly two hours. Later in the night
Babasaheb departed for Chandrapur.’’
“Was there any opposition to the dhammadeeksha,” I asked.
“What would they have done? Many people felt that Babasaheb should
not take dhammadeeksha and newspapers reported such stories, but
Babasaheb responded to all the queries.’’
The Deekshabhumi went on for two days, without any dip in the number of attendees.
Fulzele is not only a witness to Ambedkar’s historical legacy but was
also part of the Republican Party of India (RPI). He believes that if
Ambedkar had lived for a few more years, perhaps the situation would
have been different. Unfortunately, Ambedkar passed away in December
1956, two months after the Deekshabhumi event, and things that should
have happened never did.
Fulzele believes that the fight for power was the real reason why the
RPI disintegrated. “It was for power. In 1957, RPI was established.
Avade Babu wanted to become the secretary. Dadasaheb [B.K. Gaikwad]
wanted B.D. Khobaragade. But Avade Babu did not know it and, hence, the
next year he, B.C. Kamble and others formed a different party.”
Some have alleged that Ambedkar did not want to hold the
dhammadeeksha ceremony because politically, it would have been
detrimental for the party. The charge was levelled by Bhau Lokhande, in a
conversation with this author. “No, it is not true,” said Fulzele,
adding that some people who wanted to contest in the elections suggested
the party not hold the conversion event. But according to Fulzele,
Ambedkar’s decision was “absolutely correct”.
After Ambedkar’s Mahaparinirvan, Fulzele devoted his time and energy
to strengthening the RPI. He served as party president in Nagpur, later
becoming Maharashtra secretary and eventually the all-India secretary.
Today, Ambedkar has become such a powerful figure that even those who
disagree with his beliefs are chanting ‘Jai Bhim’. In fact, many
Ambedkarites have joined the Sangh parivar. “There is nothing in the
party [RPI] today. It is almost finished. [Ramdas] Athawale is there,
but he has also gone with the BJP. Now people do not fear the BJP and
people have started going to BJP,” Fulzele said.
“Is it not wrong,” I asked.
His helplessness and exasperation with the political front was
evident when he said: “What can be done. There is nothing now. Babasaheb
wanted that the RPI to be made up of people from different communities
and not be exclusive to SCs. Unfortunately it did not succeed after
Babasaheb’s passing away.”
In his last days, was Babasaheb in touch with Ram Manohar Lohia, S.M.
Joshi and Atreji? “Yes, Babasaheb had written a letter to S.M. Joshi
and Atre about RPI. But since he was not there, things could not move.”
Fulzele said he is happy that the movement is spreading across the
country, especially UP. He witnessed the huge gathering of nearly 10,000
people, predominantly those belonging to OBC communities, taking
dhammadeeksha on December 25 last year under the spiritual guidance of
Bhadant Nagarjun Surai Sasai. “There were [people from] different
communities and not one particular community,” he said.
Detractors of Ambedkar have There were rumours about Babasaheb was
not from the OBC community. How did the effort to annihilate caste
transformed into political caste arithmetic? “Jaati [caste]
never goes. It is in our mind. Merely laws can’t eradicate it. Unless
there is a change in heart in our mind, jaati can’t go. We will have to
work doubly hard.”
Can the dhammadeeksha remove it? “Yes, with dhamma, jaati would be able to eradicate it,” Fulzele said.
On being asked what
challenges lie ahead, Fulzele said, “People are fighting. Some are
joining others. There are changes. Situations are different. UP has the
powerful Bahujan Samaj Party today.”
But how is that the RPI, which was once a strong political force in
UP, no longer has a cadre or a prominent leader in the state?
“There is an RPI presence in UP. Maruya sahib was MP. When [H.N.]
Bahuguna was chief minister of UP, he gave allurement, power to others
and they joined the Congress. The entire RPI got decimated. This was the
best way of cooption and purchasing leadership through power. Hence,
when Kanshi Ram went with Babasaheb’s elephant [as the BSP party symbol]
then people supported him. Nobody would have gone to Kanshi Ram if not
for our failure,” he said.
Fulzele acknowledged the hard work done by Kanshi Ram, though he
suggested that the BAMSCEF was not initially meant to be a political
party and hence they parted when the BSP was formed. “First and
foremost, Kanshi Ram was a government servant. He worked very hard and
then made BAMSCEF with the help of government servants. Mostly his
friends from Nagpur supported him. BAMSCEF leaders were not happy when
they formed political party. But he got support in UP and Punjab,” said
What about in other states, particularly Maharashtra where the Dalit
Bahujan don’t have their own parties? Is it good to go with communal
“What to do? Athawale’s group is powerful but he is with the BJP.
Prakash Ambedkar has a group but he has no follower. Right now Athawale,
has got the people’s support.”
He said that the Dalits were not accepting those parties
because their own parties have failed them. “Babasaheb wanted an
inclusive party and not an exclusively scheduled castes outfit but his
dream was shattered after his sudden death. The Buddhist movement is
helping socially and culturally but not politically. The cultural
movement will bring more changes than the political
party,” Fulzele said.
One of the things I always wondered about is why many Amdekarites
think Savita Ambedkar, Ambedkar’s wife, was responsible for his death.
This charge has been levelled despite many saying that she devoted her
life to her husband, and later the cause. Fulzele had no straight answer
for me, saying that though he himself does not blame her directly, “The
people of Maharashtra had many misgivings about her, and think that she
gave Babasaheb a slow poison. Once, Athawale tried to bring her to the
dais at a party event, but the people did not accept her.” Fulzele added
that he thinks it’s unfortunate that politicians entered this
particular discussion. For some reason, in the eyes of people, those who
took an extreme position on Savita’s role were seen as more legitimate,
while those wanting to take a more balanced view were seen to be
betraying the cause, he said.
is nearly 90 years old, but continues to dedicate his time and energy
to strengthen the Ambedkarite Buddhist movement. In fact, he hopes to
develop Deekshabhumi as a historical attraction for people interested in
the movement. Fulzele doesn’t write, but one hopes that he would for
there is much to learn from someone so closely associated with the
movement, witnessing its greatest events.
Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a political analyst and human rights activist based in Delhi. He tweets at @freetohumanity
84) Classical Sanskrit छ्लस्सिचल् षन्स्क्रित्
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discourses of Buddha are divided into 84,000, as to separate addresses.
The division includes all that was spoken by Buddha.”I received from
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This wide-ranging sutta, the
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