(46-49) BUDDHISM IN MODERN INDIA ASSERTION OF IDENTITY AND AUTHORITY FOR DALITS (3).pdf (271.6 kB)
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journal contribution
posted on 22.07.2020, 08:52 authored by Dr. Preeti OzaDr. Preeti Oza
In the Lotus Sutra (the first Sutra introduced into China and Vietnam from India), the Buddha is described as the most respected and loved creature who walked on two feet. This was precisely the reason why Dalits in India have started the Navayana Buddhism or the Neo- Buddhist movement which is a very socially and politically engaged form of Buddhism. For Dalits, whose material circumstances were very different from the mainstream upper castes, the motivation always remained: to learn about suffering and to reach its end, in each person‘s life and in society. Many of them have turned to Dhamma in response to the Buddha‘s central message about suffering and the end of suffering. Previously lower-caste Hindus, the Indian Buddhists in Nagpur converted under the political influence of Babasaheb Ambedkar, the author of India‘s constitution, to denounce caste oppression. They became Buddhist for political and spiritual reasons, and today, the implications of their actions continue to unfold in many ways. Their belief in the four seals of Buddhism – All compounded things are impermanent, All emotions are the pain, All things have no inherent existence and Nirvana is beyond concepts, have made them renounce the atrocities and injustice of Hindu savarnas which were carried on since last many centuries

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