June 20, 2015 · 8:54 am
Giant Bamiyan Buddhas of Afghanistan have been rebuilt with light 14 years after being destroyed. The two statues, built in the sixth century, were 115 and 174 feet tall and were destroyed by Taliban in 2001.
On Sunday, artists animated the Buddhas with 3D light projection technology, filling the empty cavities where the Buddhas once stood. The Atlantic reports that the $120,000 projector used for the installation was donated by a Chinese couple, Janson Yu and Liyan Hu. Yu and Hu were saddened by the destruction of the statues in 2001. Wanting to pay tribute, they requested permission from UNESCO and the Afghan government to do the project. 150 local people came out to see the unveiling of the holographic statues on Sunday, observing and playing music through the night.
Source – LionsRoar
June 19, 2015 · 9:11 pm
A set of two stamps was issued by Pakistan Post on 21 July 1999 to pay homage to Buddha and its masterpiece “Fasting Buddha” statue (Lahore Museum)
June 10, 2015 · 3:53 am
Dr Ambedkar’s had announced at the Yeola conference in 1935, that he will not die a Hindu. The threat to leave Hinduism and to convert to another religion instigated a lot of activity on behalf of the Hindu Mahasabha, Christianity, Sikhism and also Buddhism to draw Dr. Ambedkar over to these respective religions. The Nizam of Hyderabad had reserved Rs.5 crores if untouchables become Muslims, Bishop J. W. Prikel and East Stanley Jones met Dr. Ambedkar several times and persuaded him to accept Christianity. Dr. Ambedkar said to Jones that if Christians had eradicated untouchability, I would have certainly moved in the direction of accepting Christianity.
Rev Loknath who was the founder of Loknath Buddhist Mission came to Dr. Ambedkar’s residence at Dadar on June 10, 1936. Clad in the robe of a priest and carrying a bowl and an umbrella, he interviewed Dr. Ambedkar and tried to persuade him to embrace Buddhism. After his talk with Dr. Ambedkar, the monk, in an interview to the Press, said that the leader of the Depressed Classes seemed to be impressed with the Buddhistic faith and promised to consider the question carefully, but had not given any definite reply.
Rev Lokanath was an American of Italian descent with the name of Salvatore. Lokanath’s pamphlet dedicated to the Depressed Classes of India ‘Buddhism Will Make You Free’ was published from his Harijan Publishing Society in Panadura, Ceylon.
Dr. Ambedkar converted to Buddhism on 14 October 1956. But his attachment to Buddha and Buddhism was visible much before. Even before the Yeola Conference, he had named his house in Dadar Mumbai as ‘Rajgriha’ (capital of King Bimbisara a lay disciple). In 1946, he started a College in Mumbai (then Bombay) named it after ‘Siddharth’. Another building for the college was named ‘Buddha Bhavan’. He was impressed by “Essence of Buddhism” written by P.S. Narasu of Madras and got it reprinted at his own expense. In Aurangabad, a college started by him was named ‘Milind College’. In 1948, his elaborate article “Buddha and the Future of Religion”, containing an analysis of Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam was published as an article in the journal of Maha Bodhi Society of Calcutta, affirmed his faith in Buddhism. Even today it remains an excellent exposition of Buddhism and is a challenge or invitation to Buddhist nations.
Rev Loknath viewed that had Dr. Ambedkar adopted Buddhism earlier, partition of Burma (separation of Burma from India under the Government of Burma Act 1935) could not have taken place in 1936
Reference – Loknath’s letter to Dr. Ambedkar in 1936
May 31, 2015 · 4:37 am
Out of the many founders of Religion, there are four whose religions have not only moved the world in the past, but are still having a sway over the vast masses of people. They are Buddha, Jesus, Mahommed and Krishna. A comparison of the personalities of these four and the poses they assumed in propagating their religions reveals certain points of contrast between the Buddha on the one hand and the rest on the other, which are not without significance.
The first point which mark off Buddha from the rest is his self -abnegation. All throughout the Bible, Jesus insist that he is the Son of God and that those who wish to enter the kingdom of God will fail, if they do not recognise him as the Son of God. Mohammed went a step further. Like Jesus he also claimed that he was the messenger of God on earth. But he further insisted that he was the last messenger. On that footing he declared that those who wanted salvation must not only accept that he was a messenger of God, but also accept that he was the last messenger. Krishna went a step beyond both Jesus and Mohammed. He refused to be satisfied with merely being the Son of the God or being the messenger of God; he was not content even with being the last messenger of God. He was not even satisfied with calling himself a God. He claimed that he was ‘Parameswhar‘ or as his followers describe him ”Devadhideva,” God of Gods. Buddha never arrogated to himself any such status. He was born as a son of man and was content to remain a common man and preached his gospel as a common man. He never claimed any supernatural origin or supernatural powers nor did he perform miracles to prove his supernatural powers. The Buddha made a clear distinction between a Margadata and a Mokshadata. Jesus, Mahommed and Krishna claimed for themselves the Mokshadata. The Buddha was satisfied with playing the role of a Margadata.
What Buddha Said
There is also another distinction between the four religious teachers. Both Jesus and Mohammed claimed that what they taught was the word of God and as a word of God what they taught was infallible and beyond question. Krishna was according to his own assumption a God of Gods and therefore what he taught being a word God, uttered by God, they were original and final and the question of infallibility did not even arise. The Buddha claimed no such infallibility for what he taught. In the Mahaparinibbana Sutta He told Ananda that His religion was based on reason and experience and that his followers should not accept his teaching as correct and binding merely because they emanated from Him. Being based on reason and experience they were free to modify or even to abandon any of his teachings if it was found that at a given time and in given circumstances they do not apply. He wished, His religion not to be encumbered with the dead wood of the past. He wanted that it should remain evergreen and serviceable at all times. That is why He gave liberty to his followers to chip and chop as the necessities of the case required. No other religious teacher has shown such courage. They were afraid of permitting repair. As the liberty to repair may be used to demolish the structure they had reared Buddha had no such fear. He was sure of his foundation. He knew that even the most violent iconoclast will not be able to destroy the core of His religion.
Such is the unique position of Buddha. What about his religion? How does it compare with those founded by his rivals?
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Filed under Buddha, Buddhism, Dr B R Ambedkar
Tagged as Ambedkarite, Bhagvat Geeta, Buddha, Buddha and Future of His Religion, Buddha and His Dhamma, buddhism, Buddhism In India, Buddhist Indian, Dhamma Sangha, Dr Ambedkar and Buddhism
May 5, 2015 · 3:56 am
This article was first posted at Round Table India and is written by Bala J.
We may say that great minds think alike when two scholars who lived in two different times and places reach a similar conclusion on the same problem. The traditionally educated nineteenth century Tamil scholar, Pandit Iyothee Thass as well as the twentieth century western educated intellectual from Maharashtra, Babasaheb Ambedkar, embraced Buddhism to show that it was the only way to annihilate the caste system. Both of them identified that the caste system had originated with the fall of Buddhism; therefore, believed the revival of Buddhism could perhaps liberate the people from the evil system of caste.
Pandit Iyothee Thass (1845-1914)* was born in a Dalit family in Royapettah in Chennai. He was a Siddha practitioner and a well-versed Tamil scholar having scholarly expertise in the traditional knowledge on astrology and palm-leaf manuscript reading. In 1870, Iyothee Thass founded Adhvaidhananda Sabha (considered to be the first institution-building activity in his life), in Uthagamandalam, where he was brought up. In 1891, he established an organization called the Dravida Mahajana Sabha, and on 1st December 1891, he organised the First Conference on behalf of the Sabha at Ooty in Nilgiris district. In that conference, ten resolutions were passed including the one on enacting a criminal law to punish those who humiliated untouchables by calling them Pariahs, creating separate schools and providing scholarships for matriculation education for untouchable children; providing employment for educated untouchables, and representation for untouchables in District Boards and Municipal Boards (Tamilan, 14 October 1908).
The resolutions were sent to the Indian National Congress and the Mohammedans’ Association on 21st December 1891. In 1896, Reverend John Ratnam and Iyothee Thass jointly started a journal called Dravida Pandian. Another interesting piece of information is that, in 1882, Reverend John Ratnam and Iyothee Thass established a movement under the name of Dravida Kazhagam, (G. Aloysius, Nationalism without a Nation in India, Oxford, 2000); but this fact has been concealed so that no one now remembers Iyothee Thass as the pioneer of the Dravidian movement or anti-Brahmin movement.
Returning to Buddhism
Pandit Iyothee Thass
Pandit Iyothee Thass exhorted Dalits to embrace Buddhism for annihilating the system of caste. With this objective he constructed an alternative history with the help of Tamil literature and folk traditions of Tamil. He demonstrated that the untouchables were the native Buddhists and untouchability was imposed upon them because they opposed the orthodox practices exemplified by the Hindu Brahmins. He asserted that Buddhism was the first anti-Brahmin movement in Indian history. So he called on the Dalits to return to their original religion, Buddhism.
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Filed under Buddha, Buddhism, Dalit History, Dr B R Ambedkar, Iyothee Thass, Today in Dalit History, Today in History
Tagged as buddhism, Buddhist Scholar, Dalit Scholars, dalits, Dalits in South India, Famous Dalits, Iyothee Thass, Today in Dalit HIistory, Today In History, untouchables
May 4, 2015 · 5:47 pm
Everyone knows that last year during election campaigns Modi had said Taxila was part of Bihar. But in reality, Taxila, which is in Pakistan, is nowhere near Bihar! Next in the election campaign Modi had said, Buddha was born in Bihar, but in reality Buddha was born in Lumbini, Kapilavastu, which is in Nepal.
Now, today on Buddha Purnima speech, Modi said following –
Seems like he is reading books published by terrorist organisations like RSS. How can one accept all this? All this is utter lie and no one with right mind can accept this. Modi is trying to erase true history and is trying to propagate fake ideas. In reality, Buddha died a natural death, all this is lie what Modi is preaching. Check out what Dr. Ambedkar had written about the end of Buddha in The Buddha and His Dhamma. Modi has definitely hurt the sentiments of Buddhist community in India again and again.
Further, in the same speech today, Modi said that Buddha described women empowerment as – in next birth all women will be men! In reality, there is no such reference that Buddha said all this. Buddha never believed in rebirth, then how can Modi say and quote some book, written by some RSS person that in next birth women will be men? It is really shameful. Next, according to Modi, Buddha said – in next birth lower caste people will be born as higher caste people! What a shame again, there is no such thing Buddha ever said, Buddha and Buddhism doesn’t believe in caste, it is only in Hinduism. In other words, what Modi is saying that if we are reborn, we will still have caste system and caste discrimination!! Buddha was against any kind of discrimination, how we can accept what Modi is saying? This is degrading the great personality of Buddha, who stood against all kinds of discrimination.
Apart from the all this, Modi mentioned in his speech that wherever he has gone (abroad), he makes sure that he goes to Buddha temples there. But in reality it must be remembered that the main reason for all this is that in western or any other developed country, if India has any good image, it is because of Buddha, not because of any other fake God. People in those countries feel safe in the hands of Buddha but it’s shameful that India doesn’t value it’s great personalities. Leave aside giving importance to Buddha, people like Modi malign Buddha.
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Filed under Buddha, Buddhism, Caste Discrimination, Dr B R Ambedkar, Today in Dalit History
Tagged as Appropriation of Buddha, Buddha, Buddha and His Dhamma, Buddha died when someone hit a nail, Buddhism In India, Dr Ambedkar, Dr Ambedkar Books, Modi degrading Buddha Buddhism, Modi on Lord Buddha, Modi Taxila was in Bihar
May 4, 2015 · 2:41 pm
On the eve (Sunday, 3rd May, 2015) of Buddha Purnima Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Behan Mayawati paid tribute to Lord Buddha and said Lord Buddha worked for the casteless society and his teachings are still valid.
Behan Mayawati paid tribute to Lord Buddha on Buddha Purnima
It must be remembered here that it was not the first instance that Behan Mayawati has remembered Lord Buddha. She has been working continuously on the ideas of Lord Buddha and has played a vital role in the establishment of Gautam Buddha Nagar, Noida. During Behan Mayawati’s government, she made many memorials and educational institutes on the name of Lord Buddha. such as Gautam Buddha University.
Behan Mayawati with Buddhist Monks
Apart from that no-one can forget Behan Mayawati’s role in the creation of Dalit-bahujans history eg. Dr. Ambedkar Park at Lucknow. If we want to make India Buddha-may, we need BSP in power, so I request everyone to support BSP and it’s activities. Only when we will have power and we will have our own government we can do anything for our icons and our ideals.
Filed under Behan Mayawati, BSP, Buddha, Buddhism, Dr B R Ambedkar
Tagged as Bahujan Samaj Party and Buddhism in Uttar Pradesh, Behan Mayawati, Behan Mayawati paid tribute to Lord Buddha, Buddha Purnima Buddha Jayanti, Buddhism and Mayawati, Buddhists in Uttar Pradesh, Dalits of Uttar Pradesh, Dr Ambedkar Park, Gautam Buddha Nagar, lord buddha