A joyous celebration of a great man whose efforts changed the world of millions of oppressed people. This festival commemorates the October 1956 conversion to Buddhism of social campaigner Dr B R Ambedkar, as a way to liberation for himself and his followers.
Chandana will lead the day, which will include:
• 12.30: Shared Indian meal: please bring Indian vegetarian food to share, vegan if you can, labelled if possible
• 1.30 pm: Introduction and meditation
• Celebrating Dr Ambedkar: short film
• Talk by Ratnasagara on the personal significance of Dr Ambedkar for him and his family
• Jnanasuri on the conversion: short film
• Talk by Shakyajata: In the Footsteps of Ambedkar – Heroic Young Buddhists in Modern India
• Talk by Arthapriya: Dr Ambedkar’s Vision and Western Individualism: The curse of Narcissus . . . Getting over yourself
• Puja, readings and mantra
Dr Ambedkar’s embracing of Buddhism is celebrated by Buddhists all over India, where millions of Dalits continue to be oppressed by caste prejudice. Triratna Buddhists in India recognise Dr Ambedkar as a huge figure, maybe even a Bodhisattva, but many of us in the West are less clear about his significance.
On the anniversary of Ambedkar’s leading half a million of his people out of caste Hinduism and into Buddhism we learn, through talks and film, why he still remains such a towering figure. We also aim to celebrate with our Sangha friends and have a great afternoon!