Dharmachari Maitreyanath is a Trustee and Managing Director of Nagaloka. He came from a Buddhist family and as a youth he worked for the Buddhist Society of India (founded by Dr. Ambedkar). He was deeply inspired by Dr. Ambedkar’s thought, and in 1980 he came into contact with the Triratna Buddhist Community in Pune and decided to devote his life to Buddhist social and Dhamma work. He worked as a hostel warden and then got involved in medical aid projects, gradually taking on responsibility for the development of hostel and medical projects in India. In 1995 he helped start Nagaloka. According to Maitreyanath, “I have a deep longing for the dream of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar of making India a casteless society. When I talk to alumni who have graduated from our program I have confidence that we are on the right path. This training is a real necessity, and it is very important for the Buddhist world.”
Dharmachari Lokamitra is the Chairman of Nagaloka. Originally from England, he was ordained in 1974 by his teacher, Sangharakshita. Since 1978 he has been living in India and helping to initiate and guide Buddhist activities as part of the Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha, Sahayaka Gana (TBMSG), which now has over thirty Buddhist teaching centres in India. He also works on social projects with Bahujan Hitay, a charity that has established over twenty hostels and many health and education community centres in the slums. In recent years he has started the Jambudvipa Trust, which supports victims of natural calamities (e.g. the Gujarat earthquake and the Tsunami) and advocates on behalf of Scheduled Caste people who are discriminated against in relief and rehabilitation work. He also initiated the Manuski Project which supports individuals and organizations who are trying to overcome caste divisions, advocate for human rights, and develop leadership among women. For the last twenty years Lokamitra has been visiting Taiwan and other Southeast and East Asian countries to raise funds and lecture on the situation facing Indian Buddhist followers of Dr. Ambedkar.
Dharmachari Vivekratna is a Trustee of Nagaloka and the Director of Training. He is a mechanical engineer who worked for the Department of Telecom for many years. Starting in 1965 he was a regular visitor at the Deekshabhoomi in Nagpur – the place where Dr. Ambedkar and four hundred thousand people converted to Buddhism in 1956. He listened to many lectures by political leaders and Bhikkus, and he developed a great interest in the thought of Dr. Ambedkar. In the 1970’s he got to know Dharmacharis from the Triratna Buddhist Order, and in 1988 he was ordained by Ven. Urgyen Sangharakshita. Dh. Vivekratna says, “My vision is to train people to spread the message of a CASTELESS INDIA through practice of Buddhist teachings. I strongly believe in transformation of Indian society through the human values of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity that are embedded in the Buddha’s teachings.” Vivekratna took early retirement and now works on a voluntary basis to administer and teach at Nagaloka.
Padmavir is a teacher and coordinator for the training activities at NTI. He comes from a small village in Maharashtra and did post graduate work in commerce and Pali language at Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathawada University in Aurangabad. He has passed the National Eligibility Test (NET) exam to be qualified as a Lecturer in Pali Language. He was ordained in 1991 and left his government service job to start Buddhist centers in Hastinapur, Agra and Modhinagar in Uttar Pradesh. He also worked as a warden in hostels for young children at Hastinapur and Hyderabad. He taught at Nagaloka from 2000 to 2009, and returned to resume his teaching role in 2011.
Dharmachari Nagamitra is the Public Relations manager for Nagaloka. Originally from Kamptee, he has lived in Nagpur for the past twenty-five years and has been involved in many aspects of administration at Nagaloka. He does outreach work, communicating with visitors and meeting with supporters and donors. Nagamitra declares that, “I am involved in Dhamma and social work because I have seen how the Dhamma can change people’s lives. Nagaloka is a place where we are creating Dr. Babasaheb’s dream of a casteless society.”
Dharmachari Manidhamma has an M.A. in Dr Ambedkar Thought and teaches at Nagrajuna Training Institute, Nagpur when he is not travelling. He is Principal at NTI where an undergraduate course B.A. in Buddhist Studies affiliated to University of Nagpur have been offered. In 2012 he incorporated Golden Light Foundation Private Limited a company to redefine Buddhist Right Livelihood Business and to generate funds to support Dhamma activities of Nagarjuna Training Institute, Nagpur.