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Dr.B.R. Ambedkar on Buddhism


Ambedkar studied Buddhism all his life, he saw Buddhism as a means to end the caste system in India and Hinduism perpetuates caste injustices. He devoted his attention to Buddhism and travelled to Sri Lanka to attend a meeting of the World Fellowship of Buddhists. After his return, Ambedkar announced he was writing a book on Buddhism and when he completes the book, he would formally convert to Buddhism. He twice visited Burma in 1954, the second time to attend the third conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists in Rangoon.  In 1955, he founded the Bharatiya Bauddha Mahasabha or the Buddhist Society of India.

Ambedkar organized a formal public ceremony for himself and his supporters in Nagpur on 14 October 1956. Ambedkar formally converted to Buddhism along with his wife by accepting the Three Refuges and Five Precepts from a Buddhist monk in the traditional manner. He then proceeded to convert some 500,000 of his supporters who were gathered around him. He prescribed the 22 Vows for these converts, after the Three Jewels and Five Precepts. Ambedkar wrote few books on Buddhism “The Buddha and His Dhamma” was published in 1956 and "The Buddha or Karl Marx" on December 2, 1956.

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