The course provides a complete introduction to Buddhist teachings and practices, including meditation, Puja, and morality. The teaching is grounded in the basic teachings of the Nikayas/Agamas, but with an emphasis on the Bodhisattva ideal as exemplified by Dr. Ambedkar. Through the course students will learn how to conduct basic Buddhist ceremonies and teach basic Dhamma.
Students study the major writings and thought of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on Buddhism and the social history of India. This includes his analysis of caste discrimination and his vision for creating a caste-free society based on liberty, equality and fraternity.
The course also provides a survey of the social situation in India. This includes information on the Indian Constitution, fundamental human rights, the Indian legal system, basic principles of social work, and discrimination based on gender and caste. Students learn how to establish a small social project and how to work in natural calamities and other situations in which Scheduled Castes and others suffer discrimination
Students at the Nagarjuna Training Institute live together in comfortable residence halls and follow a daily schedule of meditation, classes, study and work. There are special classes for cultural training, visits to social projects in the Nagpur area, and recreational activities. Students often have the opportunity to meet with Buddhist visitors and teachers from Europe, Asia and the United States.
Students who want to continue their studies beyond the First Year program may apply to participate in advanced studies at Nagaloka. They have the opportunity to work more closely with faculty on Dhamma and Ambedkar studies. Second-year and advanced students frequently participate as members of a working community that helps in the operation of Nagaloka.
For students who are interested in pursuing ordination as a Dharmachari or Dharmacharini in the Triratna Buddhist Sangha, residence at Nagaloka provides an opportunity to participate in Dhamma study groups and retreats.