Tag Archives: Hinduism

How Brahmins killed Buddhism in India?


We do not find the word “Hindu” in any ancient Hindu (Aryan) literature. Even then the Hindu Nazis propagate the falsehood that 85% of the Indians are the Hindus and India is a Hindu nation.

When a lie is repeated 99 times, it becomes truth at the 100th time. But the history of India says the Hindus have no history. They have only manipulated the history to suit their sinister designs.

Whenever the question is asked who are the Hindus, the familiar reply is the Hindus are none other than the Aryans. If asked what is the evidence to claim that they are Aryans, then they will produce their Rigveda to prove that they are Aryans.

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FALSE CLAIM ON RIGVEDA

But what is the evidence to prove that the Rigveda is anterior to Buddhism? Do they have any archeological evidences of Aryans? Do they have any literary evidence that Sanskrit is anterior to Buddhism? Do they have any writings of any foreigners anterior to Buddhism? The answer to these questions is in the negative. Then what is the basis for calling the Rigveda the oldest document in the world?

A noted Hindu historian, Dr. Majumdar, says:

“Seventy-five percent culture (contents) of the Hindu culture belongs to Dravidian culture.” (Hindu samaj Ke Pathbrastak Tulsi Das.P.205)

The Brahminical Social Order (BSO) comprises the Brahmins, the Kshatriyas, the Vaishyas and the Sudras. This is Chaturvarna. According to Brahminical literature, all the Kshatriyas were exterminated by the Brahmin leader, Parasuram. The Brahmin sacred text, the Gita, says the Vaishyas, Sudras and women belong to papyoni (Gita 9/32). That means the Vaishyas, Sudras and women (including Brahmin women) also automatically become non-Hindus. Continue reading

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Caste and Hinduism – By Gail Omvedt


M V Nadkarni’s recent article “Is Caste System Intrinsic to Hinduism?: Demolishing a Myth”, (EPW, November 8, 2003) comes as a follow-up to his earlier article “Ethics and Relevance of Conversions: A Critical Assessment of Religious and Social Dimensions in a Gandhian Perspective”(Januay 18). Both articles show the fundamental stamp of Hindutva ideology, primary of which is shoddy methodology, selective quotation (for example, his references to my work are to a 10-year old book and selectively at that), and illogic.

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The illogic in the ‘Caste System’ article begins with a basic, unexamined premise: that there is some entity called ‘Hinduism’, a religion which has lasted 4,000 years and which comprehends ‘classical’ as well as ‘medieval’ and ‘modern’ forms. This is the most historically unjustified premise, since the term ‘Hindu’ to refer to a religious belief was never used until the establishment of Muslim regimes (and then only in some parts of India; for instance, Tukaram – who Nadkarni takes as one of the ‘Hindu’ bhakti
sants, never in all his 4,700 abhangs used this word) and it never came into generalised use throughout India until the 19th century. This has been documented by numerous scholars and I will not cite them here. The illogic is that Nadkarni assumes, and documents, changes in the caste as a socio-historical structure (which I think is correct) but does not question the supposedly unchanging character of an essential ‘Hinduism’. (Incidentally, Nadkarni is silent on whether Buddhism, Jainism and the shramanic traditions should be considered as part of ‘Hinduism’).

Other mistakes pale before this basic point, but I will take up a few issues.

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For those who are celebrating Diwali


आओ मिलकर दीवाली मनाए
फिर से शुद्र, अछुत बन जाए
फिर से भंगी चमार हो जाए
फिर से जानवर से बदतर हो जाए
आओ फिर से दीवाला निकलवाए
पैसो मे फिर आग लगाए
आओ मिलकर दीवाली मनाए
पैसे हमारे घरो मे है नही
फिर भी लक्ष्मी की पूजा करवाए
भूल गये हम मांं बाप को
भूखे प्यासे या ज़िंदे भी है
देवताओ को हम भोग लगाए
आओ मिलकर दीवाली मनाए
अधिकार दिए बाबा साहेब ने
सम्मान दिलाया बाबा साहेब ने
शिक्षा दिलवाई बाबा साहेब ने
ज़िंदगी दी बाबा साहेब ने
पर इस सब से हमे क्या मतलब
हम तो इंसान नही जानवर है
आओ बाबा साहेब को भूल जाए
आओ मिलकर दीवाली मनाए.

दीवाली ख्तम हो गया, चलो अब सब दलित झाड़ू उठा लो. तुम तब तक ही हिंदू हो जब तक ब्राह्मण खुश रहे. दीवाली हो गयी, तुम ने दान दे दिया, चलो अब झाड़ू उठा लो.

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Japan-born Buddhist monk battling the caste dragon


The room goes silent, and when I look up from my recording equipment, an otherworldly figure has entered the room. Its eyes sit deep in their sockets underneath a wrinkled forehead. A strong jaw completes the image of a figure imbued with an iron will. Its clean-shaven head drops in a bow, its thin, stone-like lips open and an old man’s coarse voice emerges from somewhere deep inside: “Konnichi wa.

The man standing in front of me, holding a staff and wearing a simple robe, is Surai Sasai, a Japanese Buddhist monk on a lifelong quest for justice in India. In a few moments he will address a large audience about his mission in the South Asian nation, where he has spent most of his adult life. I hear the murmur from the audience waiting in the adjacent lecture hall. The meeting, on a fine June day, is hosted by the famous Shingon sect of esoteric Buddhism, at the sect’s headquarters on Mount Koya in Wakayama Prefecture. Sasai sits down, and I feel a pang of insecurity. Can I ask a man like this anything, without the risk of offending him?

“He’s got the kind of face I’d never seen before,” says Mitabi Kobayashi, 43, in an interview some days later. Kobayashi is a filmmaker who has been following Sasai for the past 10 years. “I first saw it in a magazine in 1997,” he continues. “Thinking it must be a photograph from sometime just before the war, maybe a little later, I was stunned when I learned the picture was only 8 years old. When I learned later about his life’s mission, I knew I had to do a documentary on him.”


In a Kobayashi film from 2009, we see Sasai on stage back in India, speaking to hundreds of Indians in orange robes, preparing them for a mass conversion to Buddhism.

“You are about to make some severe vows!” he shouts, holding a microphone. “From now there will be no drinking, no sleeping with women!” The mass of shaved, dark-skinned men in orange seems undeterred and listen calmly.

Sasai’s quest in India has many elements of the classic “Hero’s Journey” monomyth: There is the search for the boon (justice and equality), the battle with the dragon (the caste system), the great sacrifice (giving up a comfortable life in Japan) and the sharing of the treasure with the community. Sasai is building his community among the Dalits, a people who have endured unrelenting discrimination for having been born into India’s “untouchable” caste. He claims to have converted 2 million Dalits, giving them a new chance in life. This has made him famous in Indian Buddhist circles.

“The Shudra [low-caste] people were not treated as human beings, and conversion was their way out,” says Rakesh Sade, an Indian Buddhist and admirer who has come to listen to Sasai. “Religion should be for human beings, not the other way around. If it does not give us the right to live as humans, it is better to leave. Not even our children got decent treatment. They couldn’t sit in the classroom with the other pupils, but had to stay outside.”

The ill treatment of children is but one of endless examples of routine discrimination against the Dalits. To them, Sasai is a hero.


Born in 1935 in the village of Sugao in present-day Niimi, Okayama Prefecture, Sasai had difficulty settling into an ordinary lifestyle.

“Sasai likes to tell a story from the first days after the war,” says Kobayashi. “He was still a child, but he just couldn’t come to terms with what he saw as the ultimate stupidity and waste of the war effort. To make a point, he scribbled ‘Serves you right!’ on the walls of houses in his village, and he was rewarded with a good beating by the villagers.”

After high school, Sasai started to work as a salesman, selling medicine. “He was what we’d call a furiitā (part-timer) in Japan today,” says Kobayashi.

I ask Sasai how he views his life: “It was an existence of struggling in the mud, of inflicting wounds on myself again and again,” he replies in his weathered voice. “Today I can only say I am grateful for how life turned out.”

It is a gracious reply to a polite question. But Sasai was not born a saint, and perhaps that is what gives him his humanity. In fact, he has all the hallmarks of a maverick.

I see this side to him in a film clip from an earlier visit, when he gets hold of a wooden training sword and starts swinging wildly, in all directions, until he falls over, ending up a kimono-clad heap of laughter on the ground. Or, when we join him in prayer outside the lecture hall, and he all of a sudden starts some sort of cheer-leading, slogan-shouting thing, and all the Indians in hats gathered around him raise their fists in the air and shout back in unison — what exactly, I have no idea, but it sounds like a war cry. Or, when one of his disciples gets too excited and Sasai lashes out at him, in front of us all, “You need to learn how to use Buddha’s language properly!” addressing the poor man as omae, a rather rude form of “you” in Japanese.


Sasai has hundreds of thousands of disciples in India, where he started his missionary work in 1967. But that success did not come easily.

“India is not an easy land to live in, in one sense,” he says. “There are simple things you have to put up with, such as the food: chapati, day in and day out — chapati and dal (a stew of lentils or peas, etc.). But that is a small sacrifice. Most of all I have suffered because of my naivete. Men like me get taken advantage of, sometimes even by people they trust. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been fooled.”

Still, there is no bitterness in his voice as he continues: “But who can blame these people? They think completely differently about these things. They even laugh when they themselves are fooled.”

If Sasai has felt betrayed, there is also room in his heart for sympathy.

“This is a people that cannot live without religion,” he says. “Good religion or bad, they must have it! India is the land of religion. And I think one reason may be that they were not isolated in an island nation like us Japanese, but were exposed to all kinds of influences on a dynamic continent. That’s probably why they listen to and respect us monks, and I love that.”

But in spite of this openness, there are also conservative forces at play in India, and the odds against Buddhism breaking the caste system seem formidable. If the original teachings of Buddhism are really more about political reform than religion, as some argue, serious conflict may be brewing.

The Buddha himself is said to have been opposed to the caste system, and there is good evidence that in the third century, Emperor Ashoka followed in his footsteps. Ashoka, regarded as one of the greatest of India’s rulers, united the country under Buddhist edicts.

“Ashoka was anti-Brahmin and anti-Hindu,” according to Richard Gombrich, emeritus professor of Sanskrit at the University of Oxford, referring to the traditional caste of clerics and teachers. “This is why Indian school books never mention his opposition to the caste system and to blood sacrifices. They are, quite correctly, considered to be antithetical to Hinduism. So the Brahmins, very cleverly, totally forgot him and totally buried him.”

Will they also bury Sasai? In fact, they have already tried. In India, it appears his political clout is a double-edged sword.

“In Nagpur, everyone knows Sasai for his religious leadership. But he is also known in the rest of India for his influence on powerful politicians,” says Kobayashi. “Hindu opposition is a constant. There has been harassment of aspiring Buddhist converts, and even assassination attempts on Sasai himself.”


Although the Dalits have historically suffered terrible discrimination, some have managed to escaped their predicament. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, popularly known as Babasaheb, was one of them. An influential social reformer, he became independent India’s first justice minister, helped draft its first constitution and sought to eradicate the injustices of the caste system. Shortly before his death in 1956 he converted to Buddhism and initiated a mass conversion of Dalits to unshackle them from what he saw as Hindu discrimination. This re-energized Buddhism in India after centuries on the brink of extinction.

The year after Ambedkar’s mass conversion, Sasai, struggling to find direction, met a Buddhist priest in Yamanashi Prefecture and decided to enter the monkhood. Eventually he was sent to study in Thailand, where further challenges presented themselves — in the form of two women he became infatuated with. Ashamed of his failure, Sasai decided he could not return home, and instead traveled to India in 1967 to seek the right path.

The trip did not go well, and a year later Sasai was ready to give up on India. But then, one night, a man appeared to him in a dream, introducing himself to Sasai as Nagarjuna, an ancient Buddhist philosopher. The man gave him directions to find the Steel Stupa, a sacred site in Buddhism, which seemed to point to the vicinity of the central Indian city of Nagpur.

On arrival in Nagpur, Sasai met a man who had organized Ambedkar’s mass conversion ceremony in the city in 1956. Shown a photo of Ambedkar, Sasai became convinced that it was the Dalit intellectual who appeared in the dream in disguise. But somehow, the image of Nagarjuna would not leave him.


If you walk through the immense burial grounds on Mount Koya past centuries-old crumbling graves slumbering in the shade of huge, ancient cedar trees, you will end up at a memorial hall called Oku-no-in, one of Japan’s most intensely spiritual places. There, entombed in the basement, is the mummified body of Kukai, the founder of the Shingon sect. Followers believe he has been in a state of unconscious deep hibernation since 835, waiting for the arrival of the next Buddha.

Kukai journeyed to China to bring home a scripture that is at the very core of esoteric Shingon Buddhism — the Mahavairocana Sutra. The sutra had traveled all the way from India, where, according to Shingon teachings, it was received by Nagarjuna several centuries earlier in the Steel Stupa. Kukai, it turns out, was the last in a lineage of eight masters of the sutra across the world.

And now, Sasai is here at Mount Koya to talk about the sutra’s place of origin — the Steel Stupa — which he claims he has found at the Mansell ruins, 14 km outside Nagpur. However, Sasai’s claims have had a mixed reception among Japanese scholars so far.

“They don’t seem to be too interested,” says Kobayashi. “Some came to investigate, but the research results often conflict with their own, so Sasai is stepping on their turf.”

Japan-born monk Surai Sasai leads a prayer ceremony at the headquarters of the Shingon Buddhist sect on Mount Koya, Wakayama Prefecture, on June 14. The portraits depict Buddha and Dalit social reformer Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. | CHRISTINA SJOGREN

Japan-born monk Surai Sasai leads a prayer ceremony at the headquarters of the Shingon Buddhist sect on Mount Koya, Wakayama Prefecture, on June 14. The portraits depict Buddha and Dalit social reformer Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. | CHRISTINA SJOGREN


In spite of his success as a religious leader in India, there has been surprisingly little interest in Japan in Sasai’s approach to Buddhism. But why is this?

One scene in Kobayashi’s film about Sasai’s 2009 visit to Japan is quite revealing. In the documentary, there is a Buddhist meeting, and the monks are gathered to dine, filling the room with cigarette smoke, drinking generously from beer bottles. Apparently unable to accept this behavior, Sasai is eating alone in an adjacent room.

Attitudes toward wealth are another source of contention.

“I feel Buddhism in Japan is basically dead,” says Sono Kumar, an Indian Buddhist who took part in the June event at Mount Koya. “As a monk, you should not marry, have sexual relations or crave for money. Here they wear a robe to the temple and jeans at home. I feel they use their religion for business. I ask people about this but they never have any good answers.”

What does money mean to Sasai? During his 2009 visit, Kobayashi’s camera gives us a glimpse of a man both happy to see the progress of his homeland and alienated by it.

“In Japan, you need money to live,” he says, looking out at the landscape whizzing by outside through the shinkansen window. “But in India, it’s not all that important. After all, you can basically lay down and sleep wherever you like.”

At this point, I thought I could trace a hint of sadness in his stony face.

The Indians I spoke to stressed that education is central to the task of making people appreciate the deeper values of Buddhism. Sasai agrees.

“It is extremely hard to get people among the older generations to open up to new thinking,” he says. “A grandmother or grandfather may convert on paper, but it will take three generations before you can talk about ‘Buddhists’ in the true meaning of the word. The young are freed from the Hindu view of the world. They haven’t studied the Hindu scriptures. So you must be patient and wait for real change.”

Educated Indians have been coming to Buddhism in significant numbers recently, but many apparently prefer “lighter” forms of it, and use it chiefly as a means of stress relief. Sasai is confident, however, that his grass-roots movement will make a difference:

“India’s history is about to change,” he enthuses. “Buddhism is truly coming back in earnest. It’s nothing less than a revolution! And it’s all thanks to one man — Ambedkar.

“I am just a clown, someone who dragged himself out of the p—- and crap and was lucky enough to find meaning in India. But consider Ambedkar’s contributions to the constitution, to equality, to bringing back into the limelight the worldview of the Buddha. Finally, many of the underprivileged in India can live a decent life.

“And it may take another 100 years or more before it happens, but one day India will wake up and and once again find itself a Buddhist nation.”

Source – Japantimes

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31st July (1940) in Dalit History – Death anniversary of Shaheed-i-Azam Sardar Udham Singh


31st July (1940) in Dalit History – Death anniversary of Shaheed-i-Azam Sardar Udham Singh

Why don’t governments give importance to Saheed Udham Singh? Is it because he was Dalit? Why does government give so much importance to Bhagat Singh and his colleagues, is it because he was Jat Sikh, who consider themselves as par with upper castes and better than other Sikhs? Rajguru was from Maharashtra and belonged with Deshastha Brahmin community. Sukhdev Thapar was Khatri Sikh again they consider themselves nothing less than kshatriyas! Saheed Udham Singh suffered so much in life but has been ignored by governments.

Check also – Video traces Shaheed Udham Singh’s life

31st July

Check also –  26th December (1899) in Dalit History – Birth Anniversary of Saheed Udham Singh

Udham Singh (26 December 1899 – 31 July 1940) was an Indian revolutionary and a brave hearted man best known for assassinating Michael O’Dwyer on 13 March 1940 in what has been described as an avenging of the Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre.Singh is a prominent figure of the Indian independence struggle. He is sometimes referred to as Shaheed-i-Azam Sardar Udham Singh.

Udham Singh (second from the left) being taken from 10 Caxton Hall after the assassination of Michael O'Dwyer

Udham Singh (second from the left) being taken from 10 Caxton Hall after the assassination of Michael O’Dwyer

On 13 March 1940, Michael O’Dwyer was scheduled to speak at a joint meeting of the East India Association and the Central Asian Society (now Royal Society for Asian Affairs) at Caxton Hall. Singh concealed his revolver in a book, entered the hall, and stood against the wall. As the meeting concluded, Singh shot O’Dwyer twice as he moved towards the speaking platform, killing him immediately.

On 1 April 1940, Singh was formally charged with the murder of Michael O’Dwyer. While awaiting trial in Brixton Prison, Singh went on a 42-day hunger strike and had to be forcibly fed.

When asked about his motivation, Singh explained:

I did it because I had a grudge against him. He deserved it. He was the real culprit. He wanted to crush the spirit of my people, so I have crushed him. For full 21 years, I have been trying to wreak vengeance. I am happy that I have done the job. I am not scared of death. I am dying for my country. I have seen my people starving in India under the British rule. I have protested against this, it was my duty. What a greater honour could be bestowed on me than death for the sake of my motherland?

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Did you know?

Shaheed-i-Azam Sardar Udham Singh had changed his name to Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, symbolizing the equality of all faith and of the three major religions of India: Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism.

Udham Singh

 

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Udham-Singh

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Some Questions to Hindus


Dr Sunil Yadav’s questions which will make everyone speechless!

These questions are worth giving your thoughts:

  1. Why are all the Hindu gods and goddesses born only in India? And why the people outside India don’t know any of them?

  2. Why do all the Hindu gods and goddesses ride carriers which are Indian animals? Why not some animals found only in a few countries such as Kangaroos, Giraffe and so on?

  3. Why did all the gods and goddesses born only in royal families? Why none of them was born in poor families or in lower castes?

  4. The mythological stories mention details of daily activity of the gods and goddesses as to when did Parvati bathe with sandal dust? when did she make LADDUs for Ganesha, how did Ganesha relish the LADDUs and so on. But as soon as the SCRIPT of the scriptures ends, so do the narratives of the activities of the gods and goddesses. Did all the gods die after that? Where are they now and what are they doing?

  5. The scriptures tell us stories of gods and goddesses frequently visiting the earth. They would sometimes give boons to somebody and sometimes kill a sinner. But what has gone wrong now, that they no longer visit the earth?

  6. In the mythology, whenever a evil spreads all around, god would take birth in a king’s family and grow there for about 30-35 years and then kill the evildoer. When god himself has to kill the evil, why does he wait for 30-35 years? Why doesn’t he rather instantly kill them like he killed his own devotees in Uttar Khand?

  7. If Hindu religion is such an ancient one, why isn’t there much propaganda for it all over the world? Why the other religions like Islam and Christianity have so much acceptability? How could they win more followers than Hindu religion, if it’s ancient? Why were the Hindu gods and goddesses unable to stop them?

  8. If polygamy is inappropriate as per Hinduism, then why did Dasharath, the father of Rama, marry three women?

  9. If Shiva was able to chop off his son Ganesha’s head, what sort of a god does it make him, that he was unable to patch the same head back in place? Why should an innocent elephant be killed and it’s head be placed on Ganesha’s body? How did an elephant’s head fit on a human body?

  10. If non veg food is prohibited by Hinduism, why did Rama go out to hunt the golden deer? Isn’t it wrong to kill a deer?

  11. If Rama is god, how come he didn’t know that the nectar pot is hidden in Ravana’s tummy? If Ravana’s insider didn’t divulge the secret to Rama, he would have never won the war against Ravana! Is this how you expect god to be?

  12. You believe Krishna is god too. But how does it befit god to peep at bathing Gopikas? If a common man does such things in this era, don’t we call him a loose charactered man? How can you call Krishna a god?

  13. Why are the perpetrators of rape so high among Hindus?

  14. Why do Hindus worship Shiva’s penis? Why other parts are not worth worshipping?

  15. Hindu temples of Khujaraho’s walls are adorned with erotic sculptures. Why is such place called a holy temple? Is sex considered as a holy activity worth worshipping?

I have a lot more questions to ask but let me first get answers to these!

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19th July (1954) in Dalit History – Dr. Ambedkar’s blue print for spreading the Buddhism in India


19th July 1954 in Dalit History: Dr. Ambedkar made a proposal for a campaign for spreading the Buddhism in India at Buddhist Sasana Council of Burma (present Myanmar)

In his July trip to Burma in 1954, Dr. Ambedkar made a proposal for sponsoring a campaign for Buddhist conversion in India. Speaking to the Buddhist Sasana Council of Burma, he argued that the ground wa fertile in India and presented a memorandum to the Council.

The memorandum is as follows:

MEMORANDUM I

Record of my talk to the Buddhist Sasana council of Burma

An enlarged version

1.      To spread Buddhism outside Burma be one of the aims of the Sasana Council then India is the first country they should make the centre of their effort. No other country; will yield so much as India will.

2.      The reason is obvious. India is a birth-place of Buddhism. It flourished in India from 543 B.C to 1400 A.D i.e. for nearly 2000 years. Although the Buddhist Religion has vanished the name of the Buddha is still held in great veneration and the memory of His Religion is still green. In India Buddhism may be withered plant. But no one can say that it is dead at the roots. He is regarded by the Hindus as an Avtar of Vishnu. In India we don’t have to restore veneration for a new prophet or (X) has to do for his Gods among the Jews. All that we have to do is to bring back his religion. Such easy condition for a   (X) sffort cannot be found in any other country. In them there are well and long established religions and Buddhism would be regarded as an intruder without a passport. So far as India is concerned the Buddha needs no passport nor does he require any visa.

3.      Thirdly there are sections among the Hindus who are eager to leave Hinduism and go over to Buddhism. Such are the Untouchables and the Backward Classes. They are against Hinduism because its doctrine of Chaturvarna which is best described as the doctrine of graded inequality. In the present stage of their intellectual awakening these classes are up in arms against Hinduism. Now is the time to take advantage of their discontent. They prefer Buddhism to Christianity on three grounds.

(i)  Buddhism is not a religion which is alien to Indians

(ii) The essential doctrine of Buddhism is social equality which they want;

(iii)  Buddhism is a national religion in which there can be no room for superstition.

4.      There should be hesitation in launching the movement on the ground that the majority of the people entering Buddhism in its early stages will be coming from lower classes. The Sasana council must not make the mistake which the Christian missionaries in India made. The Christian Missionaries began by attempting to convert the Brahmins. Their strategy was that if the Brahmans could be converted first the conversion of the rest of the Hindus would not be difficult. For they argued that is the Brahmins could be converted first they could go to the non-Brahmins and then “When the Brahmins have accepted Christianity why don’t you. They are the heads of your religion”. This strategy of the missionaries proved fatal to the spread of Christianity in India. The Brahmins did not become Christians. Why should they? They had all the advantages under Hinduism. The Christian missionaries in India realized their mistake and turned their attention to the Untouchables after wasting hundreds of years in their effort to convert the Brahmins. By the time they turned to the Untouchables the spirit of nationalism had grown up and every thing alien including Christianity was regarded as inimical to the country. The result was that the Christian missionaries could convert very few untouchables. The Christian population in India is surprisingly small not- with standing the missionary effort extending over 400 years. They might have converted the whole of Untouchables and the backward classes if they had begun with them first.

5.      Attention may be drawn to the entry of Christianity in Rome. For it is very instructive. From the pages of Gibbon’s decline and fall of the Roman Empire it is clear that Christianity entered first among the lower classes or as Gibbon says among the poor and despised section of the roman population. The higher classes came in later on. Gibbon ridicules Christianity as a religion of the poor and the down-trodden. In holding his view Gibbon was thoroughly mistaken. He failed to realize that it is the poor who need religion,. For religion, if it is a right religion, gives hope of betterment to the poor who having nothing else need as a soothing action. The rich have every thing. They need not live on hope. They live on their possessions. Secondly Gibbon failed to realise that religion if it is of the right type ennobles people and elevates them. People do not degrade religion.

6.      I will now turn to the preliminary steps, which has to be taken for the revival of Buddhism in India.   I mention below those that occur to me:

(i) The preparation of a Buddhist Gospel which could be a constant companion of the convert. The must of a small gospel containing the teachings of the Buddha is a great handicap in the propagation of Buddhism. The common man cannot be expected to read the 73 volumes of the Pali Canon. Christianity has a great advantage over Buddhism in having the message of Christ contained in a small booklet, The Bible. This handicap in the way of the propagation of Buddhism must be removed. In regard to the preparation of Buddha’ Gospel care must be taken to emphasize the social and moral teachings of The Buddha. I have to emphasize the point because I find that in most Buddhist countries what is emphasized, is meditation, contemplation and the Abidhamma. This way of presenting Buddhism to Indians   would be fatal to our cause;

(ii) The introduction of a ceremony like Baptism in Christianity for the laity. There is really no ceremony of conversion i.e. for becoming a lay disciple of the Buddha. Whatever ceremony of conversion there is, is far becoming a Bhikku, for entering into the sangha. Among the Christians there are two ceremonies; for baptism showing acceptance of Christianity; and 2. For ordination i.e becoming a priest.  In Buddhism there is no ceremony like baptism. This is the main reason why people after becoming Buddhist slip out of Buddhism. We must now introduce a ceremony like the Christian baptism which every lay person must undergo before he can be called a ‘Buddhist’. Merely uttering the panch shila is not enough. Many other points must be added to make person feel that he is ceasing to be a Hindu and becoming a new man;

(iii)  The appointment of a number of lay preachers who could go about and preach the Buddha’s Gospel among the people and look after the new convert and see how far they are following the Buddha Dhamma. The lay preachers must be paid. They may be married persons.

(iv) The establishment of a Buddhist Religions seminary where persons who wish to become preachers could be taught Buddhism and also comparative study of the other Religions

(v) The introduction of congregational worship in the Vihara every Sunday followed by a Sermon;

7.      In addition to these preliminary steps it is necessary to do some other things which require to be done in a big way as aids to our propagation campaign. In this connection I make the following proposals;

(i) Building of big Temples and Viharas in the four important towns; 1. Madras; 2.Bombay; 3. Calcutta and 4. Delhi

(ii) Establishment of high Schools and Colleges in the following towns 1. Madras; 2. Nagpur; 3. Calcutta and 4. Delhi

(iii) Inviting essays on Buddhist topics and giving prizes to the first three sufficient in value so as to attract people to make their best efforts to study Buddhist literature. The essays should be open to all Hindus; Muslims and Christians; to men as well as to women. This is the best way of making people interested in the study of Buddhism.

8.      Temples should be so big as to create the impression that some thing big is really happening. High schools and colleges are necessary adjuncts. They are intended to create Buddhist atmosphere among younger men. Besides they will not only pave their way but bring a surplus which could be used for other missionary work. It should be remembered that most of the Christian missions find funds for financing their activities from the surplus revenue which is yielded by the schools and colleges they run.

9.      I have set out above what preliminary steps must be taken. I feel I must also set out what precautions must be taken in launching the movement for the revival of Buddhism in India if Buddhism is not to disappear again.

10.  Buddhism has not disappeared from India because its doctrines were found or proved to be false. The reasons for disappearance of Buddhism from India are different. Buddhism was in the first place overpowered and suppressed by the Brahmins. It is now sufficiently known that the last Maurya emperor, decandent of emperor Ashoka, was murdered by his Brahmin commander-in-chief, by name Pushya Mitra who usurped the throne and established Brahmanism as the State Religion. This led to the suppression of Buddhism in India which is one of the cause of its decline. While the rise of Brahmins brought about the suppression of Buddhism in India, the invasion of Islam brought about its complete destruction, by the violence it practiced in destroying Viharas and killing Bihkkus.

11.  The danger to Buddhism from Islam no longer exists. But the danger from Brahmins exists. It will be its toughest opponent. A Brahmin will remain a Brahmin no matter what colour he or what party he joins. That is because Brahmins want to maintain the system of graded social inequality. For it is this graded inequality, which has raised the Brahmins above all and to be on the top of every body. Buddhism believes in equality. Buddhism strikes at the very root of their prestige and power. That is why the Brahmins hate it. It is quite possible that if the Brahmins are allowed to lead the movement of revival of Buddhism they may use their power to sabotage it or misdirect it. The precautions to exclude them from position of power at least in the early stages of our movement is therefore very necessary.

12.  All these proposals raise question of finance. This question, it must be frankly said, cannot be solved by India. The only people who could help are the Buddhists in India, who in the early stages must (are) very few. The burden must, therefore, be borne by the Buddhist countries outside India which I feel they can easily do by diverting their Dana to this purpose.

Sd/-

B.R.Ambedkar.

Civil Lines,

26 Alipore Road

Delhi, the 19th July, 1954.

But the Burmese were not willing to sponsor this, and Dr. Ambedkar was ready to undertake it on his own. He thus began writing a book intended as a simple, eloquent and rationalistic Buddhist gospel – The Buddha and His Dhamma.

19th July

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They Fear “You”


They fear you because you’re young, strong, learning self respect,

They fear you because you are educating yourselves – getting inspiration from Dr Ambedkar,

They fear you because of your rich history,

They fear you because you renounced religion of discrimination,

They fear you because you’re the future,

They fear you because they are losing power – gained through killing us,

They fear you because you are the generation that will be free,

Free from discrimination, freedom from all the miseries of life – a far-away dream,

They fear you because the potential you’ve to heal the past and be real,

How powerful you must be that they fear you so much,

They fear you so much that they kill you every-day, trying to curb few.

They fear you because of your resentment, retribution,

Let’s make their nights sleepless, Educate – Unite – Struggle

Let them hate you as long as they fear you,

We fear them but we don’t forget, we’re still children, we’re young,

Every day we grow older, every day we grow stronger,

And we don’t forget…

–          A poem for young “Dalit”  minds

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