Nagaloka is located in Nagpur, where Dr. Ambedkar converted to Buddhism in October, 1956, along with 500,000 followers, thus bringing Buddhism back emphatically to the land of its birth. Nagaloka is a major centre for the Revival of Buddhism in India today. The beautiful Walking Buddha at the centre of the campus is visited by many thousands of people every year. The heart of Nagaloka is the Nagarjuna Institute, which provides training and conference facilities for Buddhists and social activists from India and around the world.
Our vision is of Prabuddha Bharat – Enlightened India – a society imbued with the ethical principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, free of all forms of injustice and exploitation, in which people have the means to overcome suffering, live empowered and fulfilling lives, and contribute to a humane and harmonious society.
Taking our inspiration from the Buddha, Ashoka, Dr. Ambedkar and other great like-minded individuals, the purpose of the Nagarjuna Institute is to:
- Promote practices that enable individuals to overcome personal suffering, transform their mental states, live empowered and fulfilled lives, and develop a spirit of compassion and social engagement;
- Promote the vision of Prabuddha Bharat, inspired by Dr. Ambedkar, a society that is based on the ethical values underpinning liberty, equality and fraternity – a society that is free of all forms of oppression and injustice;
- Develop an all-India network of activists devoted to these ideals from among the Nagarjuna Institute alumni;
- Build connections with others throughout the world who share these values.
NAGARJUNA TRAINING INSTITUTE
Dr. Ambedkar has inspired millions of young people to understand how Buddhism can help them transform their individual and social lives. Unfortunately there is little effective teaching available in India. The Nagarjuna Institute was started to respond to this need. It conducts two residential courses, an eight month introductory Dhammasekhiya course, and a three year BA degree in Buddhism and Dr. Ambedkar Studies as part of Nagpur University. Both teach basic Dhamma, meditation, puja (chanting), and social action.
Most of the students come from Dalit or other socially disadvantaged backgrounds of unimaginable deprivation. The training has a profound impact on their lives. Most feel transformed after few months of Dhamma practice, developing confidence, the ability to cultivate skillful mental states, and the realization they can do something with their lives, both for themselves and for society. After their training many share what they have learnt of the Dhamma in their villages and towns. Some engage in social projects. Others pursue graduate studies.
Nagaloka has become a place of interaction between Indian Buddhists inspired by Dr. Ambedkar, Buddhists from traditional eastern backgrounds and western Buddhists. It has played a significant role in helping Buddhists from outside India appreciate the significance of Dr. Ambedkar’s conversion, and his approach to Buddhism, and is known throughout the world as a centre for “engaged Buddhism”.
The fifteen-acre campus includes seven residential halls, a classroom and library building, kitchen facilities, two meditation halls and administrative offices. The architecture of the buildings is based on the design of the Buddhist meeting halls that were found in India two thousand years ago. A slightly larger than life-size bronze statue of Dr. Ambedkar has attracted visitors and pilgrims for years, and a magnificent 36’ statue of a Walking Buddha at the center of the Nagaloka campus has become a symbol of the return of Buddhism to India.
HISTORY OF NAGALOKA
Nagaloka was created through the combined efforts of Indian Buddhists and their supporters in Taiwan, China, Korea, Europe and the United States. As such it is an international institution based on the values of compassion and social engagement and is an example of how the traditional Buddhist value of dana/ generosity is being practiced meaningfully in the modern world.