The Diksha Day, October 14, is the day Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the messiah of dalits and the under-privileged, embraced Buddhism by renouncing Hinduism which he considered a religion of graded inequality. Several lakhs of his followers followed him and embraced Buddhism as they were tired and tormented of the social tyranny of the Hindu society. The aim and purpose of Dr. Ambedkar was not only to save the dalit communities of the unjust social order but also to transform the entire Indian society to a just and egalitarian order conforming to the cardinal principles of Buddhism – Equality, Liberty and Fraternity which also was the soul of the Indian constitution.
The Diksha Day was celebrated at the Ambedkar Bhawan at
Nakodar Road in Jalandhar
by the Ambedkar Bhawan Trust in co-operation with Ambedkar Mission Society. The
chief speaker at the function was a renowned Bhikshu, Dr. Rahul Bodhi of
Sarvodya Buddh Vihar, Mumbai. It was a well attended function. The audience,
comprising of mostly the Neo-Buddhists, listened to Dr. Rahul Bodhi with rapt
attention and reverence. The high-light of the function was inauguration of a
big Statue of Lord Buddha in the Bhawan complex. The white marvel statue will
adorn Ambedkar Bhawan as an invaluable asset emanating the message of peace and
compassion. In the evening the Diksha Day was observed at the Buddh Vihar at
Sidharath Nagar at Bootan Mandi
in Jalandhar. This Buddh Vihar is run by my
fellow BootanMandians and Hum-Umar friends, inter alia, Hussan Lal Baudh, Ram
Lal Das, Darshan Boddhi and others who have embraced Buddhism formally like
good and staunch followers of Babasaheb Ambedkar.
|Newly installed Buddha Statue at Ambedkar Bhawan|
|Diksha Day at Buddha Vihar at Sidharath Nagar|
It is a pity that unfortunately Dr. Ambedkar died almost immediately on December 6, 1956 after embracing Buddhism on October 14. He wanted to make Buddhism the religion of India, in its pristine glory, with a difference. The 22 vows he listed and adopted in this regard would have made the desired difference as the “Navyana” or the Neo-Buddhism - The religion of rationality and compassion.