Nagaloka News

Conference on: Transcending Negative Emotions: To Create Happiness and Well-Being in our Lives. Kuala Lumpur. 2nd – 4th November 2012

Posted in: Nagaloka News on Friday, January 18th, 2013

Lokamitra was invited to make a presentation at this conference, which he did on:  A New Life through the Dhamma for India’s Most Oppressed, using his experience in TBMSG (TBM) and especially Nagaloka. The paper was very well received and Lokamitra met a number of old friends he had not met for many years.

The Indian Studies Centre of Chulalongkorn University on 9th November.

Lokamitra went on to Bangkok to give a lecture on Dr. Ambedkar, Buddhism and Social Change under the auspices of the Indian Studies Centre, Chulalongkorn University. As is so often the case, Lokamitra discovered that his audience had almost no knowledge of the enormous social disadvantages, discrimination and even violence faced by those who used to be called Untouchables in the Hindu Caste system, nor the extent, the fact that they make up one sixth of the Indian population, over 200,000,000. And likewise most are ignorant of Dr. Ambedkar (despite the central role he played in recent Indian history) and the significance of his conversion to Buddhism.

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Prabuddha Bharat Conference: The Social Relevance of Buddhism,25th and 26th October, 2012

Posted in: Nagaloka News on Friday, January 18th, 2013

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar wanted to reconstruct society and create conditions for the development of a true democracy. The foundations of democracy are liberty, equality and fraternity, which to him were primarily ethical attitudes: in order to be effective in the political sphere, they had to be cultivated and practiced in the individual and social spheres.

In this conference, through talks and discussion, we explored the implications of liberty, equality and fraternity, as Buddhist ethical attitudes, from the following perspectives:

1.      Creating Democracy.

Babasaheb was convinced that Buddhism could make a significant contribution to the establishment of democracy in India. In this section we explored the contributions that Buddhism and Buddhists, especially those inspired by Babasaheb, can make in this respect.

2.      Individual Empowerment.

How does Buddhist practice strengthen us as individuals, not in a selfish sense, but enabling us to contribute more effectively to the creation of a better world? This is the principle behind the Paramitas, the practice of a Bodhisattva, which was emphasised by Babasaheb  in the 22 Vows and the Buddha and His Dhamma.

3.      Social Reconstruction.

Many people are contributing to the implementation of  Babasaheb’s great vision for society, but to what extent are they able to reconstruct their own work and immediate social lives in accordance with that vision? While many sincerely want to “walk the talk”, there are many difficulties and confusions in the way. In this section we explored the basic Buddhist principles of social reconstruction in the light of our own experience of work.

Lokamitra gave the key note talk. Other speakers included:  Mangesh Dahiwale (who organised the conference), Professor Aloysius. Dhammachari Maitriveer Nagarjuna (Prof Santosh Raut), Ven. Vinayarakkhita, Ven Sangharatna Mankhe, Gautama Prabhu, Abhaya, Dhammachari Maitreyanath, and Vidyabushan Raut. About 150 people attended from different parts of India.

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Ashok Vijaya Dashmi 24th October:

Posted in: Nagaloka News on Friday, January 18th, 2013

As a result of Master Nan’s death, Wen Kwei, the sculptor of the Walking Buddha, was not able to attend our Ashok Vijaya Dashmi programme in Nagaloka, this year as he had planned. This was  great disappointment to us all but we understood and hope he will be able to come in 2013.

The guests who did come were:

1.      Christopher Benninger, the architect for Nagaloka. is one of the leading architects in India, with many huge, prestigious  projects, numerous awards, and 40 architects working under him. We were delighted to be able to felicitate him and publicly express our appreciation of the beautiful campus he has designed for us.  In his talk he said that of all his work, he felt most for the work at Nagaloka, as it was concerned with the real development, the evolution of the individual and society

2.      Prof Aloysius, a south Indian who has done a lot of research on Jyothedas, the main figure in stimulating interest among South Indian Dalits in Buddhism at the end of the nineteenth century, asserting that they were returning to their old religion.  Aloysius is a highly respected intellectual and social activist. Once a Christian priest, he is now more of a Buddhist and it is hoped he can involve himself with the Nagarjuna Institute and students.

3.      Dhammachari Tejadarshan has just returned from Cambridge in UK, where he was working with Windhorse Trading for 15 years. Among his projects in India he wants to develop the Golden Light Foundation, a charitable company developed to help sustain Nagaloka.

During the programme we held the foundation stone ceremony for the new residential training building that has been made possible by Master Nan and his disciples, and inaugurated the Golden Light Foundation. We also inaugurated Nagarjuna College, as we now have permission from the Government of Maharashtra and Nagpur University to run a degree course on Buddhism, Dr. Ambedkar Studies and Pal. This academic year is our first year.

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Death of Master Nan Huai Chin

Posted in: Nagaloka News on Friday, January 18th, 2013

We were very sad to hear of the death of Master Nan Huai Chin on 29th September. Master Nan was 95 years old and had led a remarkable life of meditation and study, developing a deep and thorough knowledge in Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism as well in Chinese medicine, and becoming one of the foremost spiritual teachers in China, making a considerable contribution to the revival of Buddhism there. .  His books on Buddhist practice are extremely popular in China.

He had made a very great contribution to the Walking Buddha and also to the development of the campus and residential facilities. Lokamitra was very grateful to be able to meet him twice at his center near Shanghai. At those meetings, Master Nan was very keen to hear about the revival of Buddhism in India, and gave his advice and very strong encouragement blessing for the work Nagaloka was doing in training young people in basic Buddhism. Lokamitra led a special puja to rejoice in his great merits with the staff and students at Nagaloka on 5th October.

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