Nagaloka News

WORKSHOP ON BASELINE SURVEY

Posted in: Nagaloka News on Monday, February 29th, 2016

The workshop on baseline survey was organised at seminar room in Training Building, Nagaloka from 16th to 20th December, 2015. The workshop was attended by 18 alumni (10 male and 8 female). The overall aim of the workshop was to provide skill in order for ascertaining the socio-economic status of a given area; to develop an investigative attitude among socially engaged alumni; and to provide analytical skills for the information extracted from baseline. Mr. Gauthama Prabhu, Director of Nagarjuna Training Institute, Nagaloka led the workshop.

The workshop began with an introductory address on need of baseline survey and method to conduct baseline survey. During the workshop, participants were divided into groups and sent to various areas namely Indora, Dhammadeep Nagar, Sanjay Gandhi Nagar and Pili Nadhi located in Nagpur city and Rama Nagar, Kamgar Nagar, Kumhare Colony and Ramgarh of Kamptee Tehsil. Alumni visited the Balwadi centre of these areas and gathered basic information about the centre. During the field visits, alumni explored the functioning of Balwadi centre, Maternal and child care, social problems and socio-economic background of selected localities. With the support of Balwadi staffs, alumni conducted home visit and interview some of the community people. After the field visit, each group gave presentation of their findings and shared their field experiences.

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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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7TH ALUMNI MAIN CONFERENCE

Posted in: Nagaloka News on Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

The seventh conference of Nagaloka alumni took place on November 26th up to December 1st, 2015 at the Buddha Surya Vihar, Nagaloka, Nagpur. The conference brought together 116 alumni (37 females and 79 males) from 13 states namely Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharastra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. The theme of the conference was “The Commonality of the Vision of Dr. Ambedkar and Urgyen Sangharakshita”. The event was officially opened by Dhammachari Lokamitra.

The conference began with the observation of Constitution Day as the constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November, 1949. Nagaloka Staffs, Alumni and trainees read out the preamble of constitution both in English and Hindi. Mr. Mangesh Dahiwale gave a speech on genesis and importance of constitution. Dhammachari Vivekratna shared the background of alumni conference. He opined the aim of the alumni conference has been to bring together or bind all the alumni in a harmonious way and form micro sangha where they will share their opinions, views and experiences. This is a platform created to build a strong relationship among the alumni and develop loving-kindness for each other.

Dhammachari Lokamitra conducted three hour session for the five days. During these five days, his session focused on socio-economic background of Dr. Ambedkar and Sangharakhita; commonality of western and eastern Buddhist; their thoughts and characteristics of an individual and groups; purification of mind; and importance of Sangha which he sees as microcosm of new society.

Other activities includes presentations by alumni sharing their social activities and experiences, career guidance session by Mr. Prashant Rokade (IAS) and Mr. Mangesh Dahiwale, presentation by Mr. Gauthama Prabhu on upcoming alumni projects, formation of alumni General Council of 31 members and Central Executive Council which include nine members. Jaidev and his team from Uttar Pradesh entertained the participants with cultural programme.

The event was concluded in the presence of Trustees – Vivekratna and Maitreyanath with vote of thanks.

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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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