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Ashoka Vijaya Dashami 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.