Nagaloka News

CELEBRATION OF BAHUJAN HITAYA BAHUJAN SUKHAYA, 2015

Posted in: Nagaloka News on Monday, January 4th, 2016

Thousands of people from Nagpur and nearby districts visited Nagaloka to celebrate Bahujan Hitaya Bahujan Sukhaya Day, otherwise known as Sangha Day, on 25th November, 2015 in honour of the Buddha Sangha, the Buddhist spiritual community. Dhammachari Lokamitra presided over the ceremony. The three distinguished academicians, Professor Savi Sawarkar (University of Delhi), Professor Aloysius (Pondicherry University) and Dhammachari Maitrivir Nagarjuna (English and Foreign Language University, Hyderabad) were invited to speak on this occasion with Dhammachari Maitreyanath as Master of Ceremonies.

Professor Aloysius gave a talk on “Breaking down Barriers of Inequality”. He opined that the world is suffering from pain and the main cause of pain or suffering is discrimination because of religion, language, caste, creed etc. This discrimination is spreading and growing in the Indian society. The only way to change this is to make Dhamma as universal based on knowledge, loving kindness and purity of action. Professor Sawarkar’s talk was on “Dhamma as Empowerment” in which he stated that Dhamma is a platform of reconstruction. He emphasised on the transformation of mind through art and culture, and the importance of art in Dhamma revolution. Dhammachari Maitrivir Nagarjuna explained the significance of Sangha Day (the day of fraternity). He initiated his speech by explaining Dhamma as governance based on the value of equality, liberty and fraternity and social transformation through Sangha.

Dhammachari Lokamitra speech was focused on Dr. Ambedkar’s ideal society based on liberty, equality and fraternity. Recounting the mass conversion of Buddhism by Dr. Ambedkar in Nagpur, Lokamitra stated that Babasaheb’s expression of Dhamma in these three words – liberty, equality, and fraternity is the essence of Dhamma Revolution and constituted a new turning of the Wheel of the Dhamma,or Dhammachakra pravartan. He said that the key to freedom of mind is cultivation of awareness. Further, he added the essence of sangha, the essence of democracy and equivalent of fraternity is maîtri. He concluded with the key point on keeping the wheel of Dhamma revolving and never let it get stuck.

On this special day, Nagaloka also offered lunch to nearly 1000 visitors. Later in afternoon, nearly 250 Dhammamitras gathered to reaffirm their commitment to Buddhist practices and traditions. The ceremony was led by Dhammachari Vivekratna and supported by Dhammacharini Jayakirti.

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INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT AND LIBERATION

Posted in: Nagaloka News on Monday, December 21st, 2015

11th-14th October, 2016
Nagaloka, Nagpur, India

Nagaloka and the International Network of Engaged Buddhists, in partnership with Deer Park and the Karuna Trust, UK, are organising a conference to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s momentous conversion to Buddhism.

Born a so-called Untouchable in 1891, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar dedicated his life to bringing about a society in which there was no scope for discrimination of any kind, a society permeated by the values of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. These values, he said, he had learnt not from the French Revolution but from his Master, the Buddha. His life of ceaseless struggle culminated in his conversion to Buddhism along with 500,000 others, in October 1956, on the anniversary of King Ashoka’s conversion. He initiated a peaceful Dhamma revolution, the wheels of which are turning faster and faster every day. Even though he died just a few weeks after his conversion in 1956, millions have followed and are following him into Buddhism, paving the way for a caste free true democracy in India.

His importance in Indian political and social life can be gauged from the fact that all political parties have co-opted him, and are investing enormous energy into celebrating his 125th birth anniversary, which also falls in 2016. Let us hope that the more they look at him, the more they will begin to appreciate the significance of his conversion to Buddhism and its social implications.

During the conference we will be asking Buddhists from traditional and western backgrounds to look at and engage with aspects of the Dhamma central to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s approach – Dhamma as empowerment, Breaking down barriers between people through the Dhamma, and the implications of Dhamma for governance. In this way we hope to help them appreciate the relevance of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s approach to the Dhamma for the wider Buddhist world, so that he becomes a source of inspiration and guidance for all , and not just for Indian Buddhists.

“Dr. Ambedkar ….the greatest non-violent revolutionary of the (20th) Century.” Urgyen Sangharakshita

For detail information do contact at this email: 60liberation@gmail.com

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Participation in the 3rd Chongsheng International Buddhist Forum, 2015

Posted in: Nagaloka News on Thursday, December 17th, 2015

The Buddhism Association of Yunnan Province and Dali Chongsheng Temple, China organised the 3rd Chongsheng International Buddhist Forum from 28th to 30th October, 2015 at the Chongsheng Temple, Dali, China. The theme of the conference was “Humanistic Buddhism”. The aim of the forum was to bring together Buddhist leaders, eminent scholars, and concerned government officials from South Asia and South East Asia to promote friendship, harmony, peace and develop Buddhist culture. Over one hundred delegates attended and participated in conference, from Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Laos, Bangladesh, China, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Russia, Cambodia and Vietnam, Australia and other places. The conference was officially opened by Venerable Chong Hua, the president of Chongsheng Temple, Dali.

Dhammachari Lokamitra, Mr. Mangesh Dahiwale, Mr. Gauthama Prabhu and Ven. Sugatavamso representing Nagaloka made their presence and presented their respective papers in the conference. Dhammachari Lokamitra talk was on the similarities between the approaches of Urgyen Sangharakshita and Dr. Ambedkar. Mr. Mangesh Dahiwale compared the approaches of Ven.Taixu and Ambedkar in spreading Buddhism. Mr. Gauthama Prabhu’s presentation was on the journey of Buddhists in south India: revolution and counter-revolution forces between Buddhism and Brahminism. He also stressed on the relation of Indian and Chinese Buddhists during the ancient period. Ven. Sugatavamso related his life story of growing up as untouchable, the impact of Buddhism in his life, and on how Nagaloka shaped his life and the lives of many other young people in India.

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CELEBRATION OF VIJAYA DASHAMI , 2015

Posted in: Nagaloka News on Saturday, November 7th, 2015

Nagaloka hosted a grand celebration of Ashoka Vijaya Dashami, celebrated by millions of followers of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, on 22nd October, 2015. Thousands of people paid their tributes during this occasion at Nagaloka. Dhammachari Maitriyanath introduced the programme looking at the significance of Dr.Ambedkar’s conversion to Buddhism as a step towards the creation of Prabuddha Bharat. He explained the history of Nagarjuna Training Institute, its functions, activities, and the achievements.

A Dhamma Diksha Ceremony was held for 47 people from Karnataka, U.P., and Gujarat led by Dhammachari Vivekaratna. Mangesh Dahiwale introduced and inaugurated the Ambedkar School of Governance, which will hold its first course at Nagaloka in November. He also introduced Theodore Mayer, who is developing a new MA programme in Socially Engaged Buddhism, an initiative of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists. The students will spend four or five weeks of the MA programme at Nagaloka, learning about Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and his conversion to Buddhism.

Dhamamcahari Amoghasiddhi introduced Dhammachari Lokamitra who gave the main talk. In this he showed that although Urgyen Sangharakshita and Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar came to Buddhism in very different ways, they both developed a common approach. Urgyen Sangharakshita was interested in Buddhism as a method of personal development but realised that to transform oneself, one has to work as hard to transform the world. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar wanted to create an ideal society, but he realised that its foundation was the transformation of individual attitudes. Both saw the Sangha as instrumental in this, representing a microcosm of the ideal society. Lokamitra concluded by looking at what we could expect from the Sangha in terms of the principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. These, he said, corresponded to three aspects of Babasaheb’s approach – Dhamma as empowerment, breaking down barriers between people, and governance.

To conclude the ceremony, Dhammachari Virdhamma, the Vice President of Nagaloka, opined the achievement of the day by bringing out the important events and the larger impact it has on the Indian society. He further expressed his great appreciation and admiration for work of Nagarjuna Training Institute and Ambedkarite movement. Dhammachari Ritayush was Master of Ceremonies.
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SELF DEFENCE TRAINING

Posted in: Nagaloka News on Friday, September 25th, 2015

Three days self defence training was organised for Dhammasekhiya girl’s students from 17th to 19th September, 2015 in association with the Prabodhini Mahila Foundation at Nagaloka. Dhammacharini Abhayadana along with her two staffs conducted the training for 48 participants. The aim of the training program was to train female students to defend themselves, and to boost confidence. They were introduced to mental, physical and verbal techniques of self defence which includes use of physical forces, ability to get proper mindset for execution of physical self defence and to prevent or end an attempt assault. Other form of self defence such as avoidance was explained during the training. Issues related with women welfare such as sexuality, domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment were also discussed.

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MEDITATION RETREAT

Posted in: Nagaloka News on Thursday, August 27th, 2015

A meditation retreat for the Dhammasekhiya course trainees was organised from 21st until 28th July, 2015 at Buddha Surya Vihar, Nagaloka. The retreat was led by Dhammachari Vivekratna. Along with Dhammasekhiya trainees, students from the graduation and skill development programmes also participated. 74 boys and 70 girls benefitted from the retreat.

On these eight days, participants were introduced to the basic meditation practices, the Anapanasatti and the Metta Bhavna (cultivation of Universal loving kindness), walking meditation, and taught how to work with hindrances in meditation, as well as to keep a meditation diary. For two days participants observed complete silence. Dhammachari Vivekratna held some question and answer sessions and on the last day students were divided in groups in which they shared their experiences.

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Workshop on the Vision of Nagaloka

Posted in: Nagaloka News on Thursday, August 27th, 2015

A three day workshop on the vision of Nagaloka was organised for the 22 members of staff from 19th until 21st of August, 2015. Led by Dhammachari Lokamitra, this was the first of a series of workshops he intends to conduct on the vision and governance of Nagaloka, helping members of staff relate to the vision of a new society, or Prabuddha Bharat (Enlightened India) and the implications for governance or the way we work together at Nagaloka.

Each day started with a lecture, followed by small group discussions, and concluded with short presentations and open discussions. We started by asking why each of us was involved with Nagaloka, and clearly the desire to contribute to a better society was a major factor for all participants. That better society, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar called Prabuddha Bharat, and at its heart are the values of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. But Babasaheb emphasised these were to him not mere political values but ethical and spiritual values, in that he learnt them from the Buddha.

In the workshop we explored and tried to understand what is meant by:
1. Prabuddha Bharat
2. Liberty, Equality and Fraternity as Buddhist values.
3. How we move from vision to actuality, what are the implications for the way we work together.

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RETREAT ON KALAMA SUTTA

Posted in: Nagaloka News on Saturday, August 15th, 2015

In order to nurture spiritual life, deepen meditation practice, cultivate mindfulness and learn more about Buddhism, various activities are organised every year in Nagaloka.
This year, second alumni retreat was organised from 20th to 25th July, 2015 at Sambodhi, Nagaloka. The theme of the retreat was Kalama Sutta and was led by Dhammachari Manidhamma. 34 alumni including 23 male and 11 female from nine different states of India participated in the event. Every day sessions include meditation, lectures, group discussions, presentations, and silence observation. Dhammachari Manidhamma began the event with a talk on ‘Introduction of Sutta and Importance of Sutta in present situation”. For group discussion, total participants were divided into three different groups led by Dhammachari Manidhamma, Dhammachari Nagdeep and Sushant.

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INAUGURATION PROGRAM OF DHAMMASEKHIYA COURSE, 2015-16

Posted in: Nagaloka News on Monday, July 13th, 2015

DSC_0884 Nagarjuna Institute welcomed nearly 113 new trainees to the Nagaloka at its inauguration ceremony on 5th July, 2015, in the presence of nearly 250 people. The programme was officiated by Dhammachari Maitreyanath. The Chief Guests were Mr. Rajkumar Badole, Minister of Social Justice and Special Assistance, and Dr. Surjeet Singh of the Department of Buddhist Studies, Wardha University, Nagpur.

Dr. Surjeet Singh highlighted the importance of education in an individual’s life. He said that unlike formal education, Nagarjuna Institute imparts an education that nurtures an individual to become a good human being. Shri Rajkumar Badole expressed his delight at being part of the inauguration and talked about the life of Buddha, asking new trainees to follow the path of loving and kindness.

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Mr. Gauthama Prabhu, Director of Nagarjuna Institute shared the vision of Prabhudha Bharat, the contribution of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and his historic conversion, the contribution of Urgyen Sangharakshita in the formation of Triratna and Lokamitra’s leadership in the development of the vision of Prabuddha Bharat and the establishment of Nagaloka. Dhammachari Padmavir provided an outline of the course, the number of trainees being trained so far and the status of those alumni who are pursuing higher education in some of prestigious institutes in the country as well as outside. Dhammachari Vivekratana addressed the participants in detail about the life changing experiences of alumni. He also talked about the importance of bonding with friends from different states. Dhammachari Maitreyanath briefed about the principles of Buddhism and appealed to all guests to support Nagaloka activities and informed them about the different ways they could help.

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ONE DAY RETREAT PROGRAM

Posted in: Nagaloka News on Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Dhammachari Pragyaratna and Mr. Sushant Patra visited Kosmanda village located in Champa district of Chattisgarh on June 6th and 7th, 2015 to encourage the local alumni in their the Dhamma practice and activities.
The first day of field visit was dedicated to getting to know status of alumni and discussed about the following day program schedule. Seven alumni from the nearby areas organised a one day retreat. Around 40 people participated in the programme which includes alumni, alumni relatives, youth, local leaders and community people. Dhammachari Pragyaratna delivered speech on Dr. Ambedkar life and his work against caste discrimination, non-violence and Dhamma. Mr. Sushant explained importance of Dhamma in day to day life, and contribution of Nagarjuna Institution in social transformation. The team also meet some youth and their families. They brief them on the progress of alumni contributions, Dhammasekiya course, graduation programme in Nagarjuna Institute and also bring to his/her notice about the benefits of training in Nagaloka. These interactions with the youth and community people are critical in garnering support from society. During this, the team also met the four alumni families. It was amazing to see that these alumni and their families are strongly following the path of Dhamma.
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