(Dhamma Awakening Campaign)
North India - 2009
Dhammachakra Buddhist Centre,
New Delhi- 10067
Dhammachakra Buddhist Centre, Delhi as a precedent to its custom of last few years, in this calendar year has organized Dhammakranti Retreats and Dhammajagruti Abhiyana in every state entailing Northern India.
1. Dhammakari Mahashivir, Delhi
(26 – 31 Jan. 2009)
“There is no any other Ultimate refuge in the life than Three Jewels.”
Venue: Agrawal Dharamasala, Mehroli, New Delhi
A team of Dhammachakra Buddhist Centre has successfully organized a week long residential Dhammakranti Retreat in South Delhi. More than 200 people from Northen states of India like Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Laddhakh and Maharashtra, participated in the Retreat. Some Thai friends including one English sister were also present in the retreat. Bhante Dr. Gyanratna, Prof. Ram Chanra (JNU), Prof. Rajkumar (Delhi Univ.) and Savi Sawarkar (a well known artist) were present during the inauguration of Retreat.
Theme for the Retreat was Three Jewels: Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. Dhammachari Subhuti was leader for the retreat and supported by Maitriveer Nagarjuna, Dhammashalin, Bodhidagar, Vimalsheel, and Gyansagar.
Dhammachari Subhuti delivered talks every morning on the topic of Three Jewels including the Buddhist Vision of Dr. Ambedkar and how the life of Dr. Ambedkar inspired many lives in India and abroad. He emphasized Babasaheb’s practice on Shila (Precepts) and Samadhi (Meditation) to transform society to make the world of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.
It was very inspiring for people to conclude the retreat with Dhammamitra Ordination ceremony on the last day. Eight people from UP, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Delhi were ordained as Dhammamitra by Dh. Subhuti. Dh. Bodhisagar, MaitriveerNagarjuna, Vimalsheel, Gyansagar, Sharddhadhar, Amoghvajra, Shantisheel, and Dhammacharini Shraddhavajri were also present on this occasion.
Thanks: Arvind Labhane, Kaushal, Tarun, Kulvinder, Angchuk, Nisha, Ramkisor, Mai Ram and Vijay.
2. Dhammakranti Retreat : Bharatpur, Rajasthan
(14-15 Feb. 2009)
“Buddhist vision of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar is essential to make a casteless society.”
Venue: New Vikas Public School, Bharatpur.
First time with initiative of Dhammamitras and Dhammasahayakas from Rajasthan, two days residential Dhammakranti Retreat was organized in the lawn of school in Bharatpur, led by Dhammachari Subhuti. Rajasthan is deeply penetrated not only by Caste system but also contaminated with superstition and illiteracy. Illiterate Dalits including other caste-communities are living the life under caste-feudal system.
More than 225 local people hailed from Agra, Delhi, Laddakh, Haryana were present in the retreat of whom 35 % were women. Enthusiastic participation of women was inspiring in a closed Hindu society. Dhammachari Akashbhadra, MaitriveerNagarjuna and Dhammashalin were present in the retreat.
Dh. Subhuti gave talks on Basic Buddhism and Buddhist vision of the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar to transform the society. He taught two type of mediations- Anapansati and Maitribhavana which were very fruitful for participants.
Retreat was concluded by Dhammamitra ordination ceremony. Manoj, a local student of Nagarjuna Training Institute, Nagaloka, Nagpur was ordained as a Dhammamitra.
Thanks: Dhammamitra Lokapal, Bahadur, Rajaram and Dr. Premsingh Ken.
1. Delhi Seminar on Bhavachakra (Wheel of Life)
(4 Jan 2009)
“Ignorance (Avijja) is the root cause of all sufferings.”
Venue: Dhammachakra Buddhist Centre, New Delhi.
A special Seminar for team of Dhammachakra Buddhist Centre, Delhi was organized at the centre. Activist and students from Jawaharlal Nehru University participated in the seminar. A day long workshop on the 12 Nidanas, and syudy of various aspect of Wheel of Life was led by the Subhuti which was followed by intense debate and discussion.
At the end of seminar Subhuti also introduced life of Sangharakshita and his approach to Buddhism and the teachings of Dr. Ambedkar for modern world.
2. Meditation Workshop in Punjab
(10 Jan 2009)
“Ignorance is the source of all sufferings and caste is outcome of ignorance. Meditation is the key to handle difficulties in life including notion of caste in mind to get rid of this enormous caste ignorance.”
Venue: Bodhisatva Ambedkar Public School, Jalandhar, Punjab.
Since long time a team of Dhammamitras and Sahayakas working hard to spread the light of Dhamma in Punjab. Punjab shares a strong bondage and legacy in the movement of Dr. Ambedkar. Many close associates of Dr. Ambedkar including Nanak Chand Rattu, personal Secretary to Babasaheb was hailed from same state. Number of times Subhuti gave Workshops, Seminars and Retreats in Panjab. This year too, a day workshop was organized in the Public school.
Teachers, Staff, Students and other activists were part of this event along with Dhammachari Amoghbhadra. Subhuti nicely connected the last days of Dr. Ambedkar with Nanak Chand Rattu and Rattu’s accounts of Babasaheb’s meditation practice and Buddhist Prayer (Buddha Vandana) in his last days. He explained purpose, need, importance and hindrances about meditation. He also explained how Babasaheb was having a vision of changing and transforming society through mediation and compassionate actions. He mentioned that Meditation is a key to handle difficulties in life and get rid of notion of the caste in mind.
Thanks: Dhammamitra Husanlal, Chanchal, Kulvinder and Staff.
3. Public talk at Chandigarh
(1 Feb. 2009)
“Inter-Caste communication and harmony by practicing sila (precepts) is important to make society based on Liberty and Fraternity. Ambedkarite reform in essence is reform of the Mind.”
Venue: Ambedkar Bhavan, Sector 37, Chandigarh.
Chandigarh is the capital of Punjab and Haryana. The members of SAGAR (Social Action Group for Ambedkarite Reforms) organized a public talk of Subhuti on “Dr. Ambedkar and Social Transformation.”
Approximately 400 people from Punjab, Haryana, UP and Delhi participated in the talk followed by questions and answers. Most of the people from audience comprises of civil servants and administrative officers from both states. It was interesting to see presence of the Sikh officers on the occasion.
Subhuti clearly explained painstaking efforts rendered by Dr. Ambedkar to form the egalitarian society of his vision in democratic India. He emphasized on historic events of Babasaheb’s movement like Babasaheb’s acceptance of Buddhism to revive human values and get rid of the evil caste system. He also inspired people for the inter-caste marriage to break the barrier of castes in society. Subhuti gave confidence to people that the dream of Dr. Ambedkar can be achieved, if we work together with all castes and communities. “What mind can create, mind can undue, hence we should get rid of notion of the caste in mind ” he emphasized.
A monk BuddhaPrakash, Member, Minority Commission (Bihar State), performed a show on Superstition and its Solution. The exhibition on the life of Dr. Ambedkar and activities of the SAGAR were also organized.
Thanks: Dr. Rajashekhar Undru, Anil Kumar, Karamaveer and SAGAR.
4. Public Talk- Jehata village, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
(4 Feb. 2009)
“Jaibhim means Dr. Ambedkar is victorious whose goal was to achieve Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity for everyone in India.”
Venue: Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Statue, Jehata Gram, Lucknow.
More than 60% population of India lives in village. It was an effort taken by Samanvay Seva Sansthan to spread Dhamma campaign to reach out to the villagers. Nearly 3 villages nearby Lucknow were participated in the Public talk. The event was organized in the open ground in-front of Dr Ambedkar’s statue at Jehata gram.
Subhuti sensitized people to get rid of the illiteracy for which training of mind is important to make the life peaceful and happy. He also explained qualities and six benefits of Dhamma and how it is helpful to infuse a new confidence to get rid of sufferings of caste and life in general. Dhamma gives self- respect, happiness, power to control our mind, strength, good relations with others through sila and higher meaning to the life. He appealed to the people to work for spreading the Babasaheb’s vision to every corner of villages in India.
Musical show on Dr Ambedkar, a play by school girls and the Magic show was also organized to awaken people out of superstition.
Thanks : C.L. Gautam, Rajesh Chandra, Mukesh and Samanvaya Sewa Sansthan.
5. Public Talks at Gorakhpur (Near Kushinagar)
(5 Feb. 2009)
“Knowing laws of mind and its higher evolution is the key to happiness.”
Venue: Auditorium, Malvia Engineering College, Gorakhpur
It was the morning talk of Subhuti, organized by the Principal of Malviya Engineering College, Gorakhpur.
More than 1000 engineer students, Professors and staff were present for the talk. It is interesting to note that most of the students, teachers and staff of college present were non-Buddhist and from all strata of Indian society.
Subhuti very straight-forwardly and clearly explored the scientific aspects of the Buddhism. He taught “How does mind work? What are the laws of mind? What is the cause and effect?” He explained the process of evolution of mind is scientific and to attain the enlightenment is fully awakened process.
The talk was followed by many inquisitive questions and thoughtful answers.
Thanks: Principal, Mukesh and staff of Malvia Engineering College.
6. Seminar at Gorakhpur University
(5 Feb. 2009)
“Buddha is exemplary of enlightenment ever in history of mankind and transformation of society.”
Venue: Department of Education, Gorakhpur University.
Dr. Munesh, Head of the Department, organized half day workshop at Gorakhpur University on “Budhha’s Vision of Human Development and Social transformation.”
Students, Teachers, other Research scholars were present in the seminar.
Subhuti, explored seven fold stages of human development- a process of attaining enlightenment. He also explained how enlighten man view the society and thus initiate the process of social transformation by citing the example of Buddha in ancient period. This Dhamma revolution is still relevant in contemporary society not only to India but also for whole world.
Seminar went interestingly followed by debate and further discussion.
Thanks: Dr. Munesh and Department of Education, Gorakhpur University.
7. A Day Dhamma workshop at Kushinagar
(6 Feb. 2009)
“We all need to work together in harmony by practicing the Dhamma to bring back Buddha’s vision in Kushinagar; that was the dream of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.”
Venue: Sri Lanka Buddhist Vihara, Kushinagar.
It was second time; Subhuti led a day workshop in the Kushinagar, a place where Buddha attained parinirvana. With the help of few monks and local Buddhist activists from various Buddhist organizations was this function organized. On this occasion more than 45 people were present on a day long workshop in Srilankan Monastery at Kushinagar.
Though it is the place where Buddha passed away, people hailed from this area are still ignorant of teachings of the Buddha besides the well known event of Buddha’s Parinirvana.
Subhuti on this occasion led a workshop on basic Buddhism and two mediation practices. He talked about the importance of Dhamma life, meditation, importance of the place for people to practice Dhamma and understanding of the Buddhist vision of Dr. Ambedkar for his followers.
Though people were familiar of Buddha, there is a need of the new approach and vision towards Buddhism and Buddhist culture. In Dhamma workshop programme scheduled were pooja, offering, meditaion, talk, group discussion, question-answers session. Subhuti gave an interview to the media people after workshop.
Thanks: Bikkhu Mahendra and Dr. Virendra and Ambedkar Samaj Sudhar Samitee.
8. Public Talk at Gonda, Uttar Pradesh.
(7 Feb. 2009)
“We are hauling on the CARVAN of Babasaheb to reach the beautiful city of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, and Buddha’s Dhamma is the way to achieve it.”
Venue: Dr. Sampurnanad Auditorium, Gandhi Park, Gonda.
MASS (Maulik Adhikar Sangharsh Samiti) is an organization run by SC/ST, OBC, employees for Human Rights which organized a Public talk on ‘Ambedkar and Buddhism.’ This organization is very active to educate and communicate the teachings of the Buddha and vision of Dr. Ambedkar to transform the society. The talk was organized for most of the active members of the organization and local people. More than 350 people comprises of activists, employees, students were present on this occasion.
Subhuti delve over in his speech the humanitarian aspects of Buddhism and Ambedkarism and its need to form the caste-less society in modern world. He also delivered metaphorically to create a nation into beautiful city of the future in the dream of Dr. Ambedkar based on Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. Babasaheb gave the path of Dhamma to achieve this vision. He also explained the tools in Buddha’s Dhamma to achieve the goal of Dr. Ambedkar.
After the talk, organizers and official authority of the organization (MASS) honored few illuminitories which includes Subhuti for his contribution to Buddhism and vision of Dr. Ambedkar in India and abroad, Prof. Angane Lal, a well known Buddhist scholar, Mukesh Kumar.
Thanks: MASS, Gonda.
9. Public Talk at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (8 Feb. 2009)
“Precedent to any Political Revolution, there shall be Social and Cultural Revolution.”
“Buddha’s and Babasaheb’s vision of free society is not only for India but for whole world.”
Venue: Dr. Ambedkar Mahasabha, opp. Assembly hall, Lucknow.
Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh and is also a land where Dalit politics emerged on National level with the efforts of Kanshi Ram and BSP. People of the states are quite aware of the political struggle of Dr. Ambedkar to strengthen downtrodden people of the Indian society. Most of them are hardly aware of the Dhamma Revolution by Dr. Ambedkar.
Subhuti emphasized how caste lies in mind and casteless society is not possible unless we root out the caste from our own mind. Buddhism is the way out for every suffering and emancipation from the misery of the caste-system. Buddhism is the way of emancipation from every sufferings including caste system. He also related the struggle of Gypsies in Hungary with struggle of the oppressed masses in India, Babasaheb’s vision and Dhamma is only way to emancipate from all sufferings. Today Dhamma revolution and Babasaheb’s arduous work is inspiration for modern world.
An exhibition on Buddhist sculpture was also organized on this occasion. Subhuti also inaugurated a website www.apakavivah.com on inter-caste marriage beauro.
Thanks: Rajesh Chandra, Mukesh, and Samanavy Sewa Sansthan.
10. A day Dhamma Workshop at Haryana.
(10 Feb. 2009)
“Maitri is the ‘Whole’ Dhamma and is the foundation of casteless mind and thus society.”
Venue: Dr. Ambedkar Vidyamandir, Malokhera, Palwal.
It is only the kind of semi-monastic set up in Haryana, a state in north India by an active Buddhist Dr. Rahul. He organized a day long Dhamma workshop for the local Buddhist and monk students in the vihara. About 60 people were participated in the workshop.
Subhuti led the workshop on ‘The Meaning of Spiritual Friendship’. He delivered talk on above theme. He also taught two basic meditations. The workshop was followed by the group discussion and debate.
Thanks: Dr. Rahul.
11. Seminar on Buddhist Vision of Dr. Ambedkar in Indian Institute of Dalit Studies (IIDS), Delhi.
“The life of Dr. Ambedkar is an ideal example of Buddhist Life for modern world.”
Venue: Indian Social Institute, Lodhi Road, New Delhi.
Indian Institute of Dalit Studies (IIDS) is one of the leading research institute which delves on issues of dalits and philosophy of Dr. Ambedkar. Many Dalit and non Dalit intellectuals are attached with the Institute and rigorously working on the project related to Ambedkar and Buddhism.
Seminar was held on the topic of ‘Dr. Ambedkar’s Perspective on Buddhism.’ All staff members of the Institute including Director were present on this occasion.
Subhuti divided the Biography of Dr. Ambedkar in four stages and explained how Babasaheb lived Buddhist life for himself and led the same for others. His life was the great message to all of his followers and for nation to bring harmony in all castes and communities.
Prof. Thorat, briefly explained how Babasaheb was the great example of humanity and brought great changes in the complicated Indian society based on castes.
Thanks: Nidhi and IIDS.
12. Public Talk at Alwar (13 Feb. 2009)
“Shila is the basis of spiritual life and foundation of casteless and equal society.”
Venue: Dr. Ambedkar Chatravas (Hostel), Alwar It was second time; a unit of TBMSG, Alwar, Rajsthan had organized a Public Talk for Subhuti. Around 100 people were participated in the event. The event was divided into two sessions: First session was consisting of meditation and pooja and public talk was held in second session.
Practicing Buddhism is the best way to revive Buddhism in India. Mere propagation is of no use unless we practice the Dhamma in our individual life and inspire others for same.
Thanks: Advocate Ashok Verma, Khubraj and Mr.Tyagi.
13. Book Release at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.
(8 March 2009)
“Today India and World is in dire need of Buddha’s Dhamma than ever before.”
Venue: Lawn, Administrative Block, JNU, New Delhi.
It was the last event of our whole tour and closed with the Book release at the lawn near to the Administration Block at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). United Dalit Students’ Forum (UDSF), a student’s body at JNU campus took the efforts to organize this event. Most of the students from the university, scholars and other activists were present on this occasion.
A book titled How to Live Buddhist Life in Modern World, authored by Dh. Subhuti and Kumarjiva (Trans. in Hindi by Rajesh Chanra) was inaugurated by Dr. Vivek Kumar along with Prof. Ram Chandra, JNU.
Subhuti, explained the theme of book and mentioned the importance of living and spreading the Dhamma in modern time. He emphasized more on practice than mere learning Dhamma in intellectual sense. He also explained in detail the four Mantras of Dhammaktanti as follows:
1. Transform Yourself 2. Form the Sangha 3. Spread the Dhamma 4.Compassionate Action
Dr. Vivek Kumar also made some critical comments on the book and supported the theme of the Book. He also appreciated that this is guideline for Buddhist practitioner who really wanted to bring change in the lives of them and others.
Dhammachari Sona, Manjuveer, MaitriveerNagarjuna and Dhammacharini Srimala and a nun Suniti were also present on this occasion.
Thanks: UDSF, JNU.
All members of Dhammachakra Buddhist Centre, New Delhi and Dhammacharies of North India are thankful to Dh. Subhuti, Dhammashalin, and all the friends who gave unflinching support to make Dhammakrati Retreats and Dhamma Awakening Campaign successful. The occasion of such kind of events gives further strength to carry forward the teachings of Sakyamuni Buddha (Dhamma) and Dhammakranti of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar in future. I would like to rejoice merits of all friends and sympathizers who involved in this journey across India and world.