TheDhamma wrote:The Ambedkarites are those Buddhists (usually from the Dalit - untouchable caste of India) who follow the teachings of Dr. Ambedkar and converted to Buddhism. I received an e-mail from an Ambedkarite asking me for "proof" that the Buddha taught re-birth and in the 31 planes of existence. He claimed that the Buddha never made any such teachings.
The term “Dalit” means “Oppressed” — not “untouchable,” which was a term use by the Hindus, not by the Dalits. The belief among Abhedkarites that the Buddha did not teach rebirth derives from Dr Ambedkar's book — The Buddha and His Dhamma
For many Ambedkarites, that is the only book regarded as a reliable source of the Dhamma, as they maintain that Buddhism was corrupted by the Brahmins in ancient times. If you read that book, and learn about Dr Amedkar's early life, you will understand why they believe what they do.
The Buddhist texts also mentions “Outcastes” as in the Vasala Sutta
, for example.
I stayed for a year as the resident monk at Southall Buddha Vihāra,
and tried my level best to teach the true Dhamma, but it was not acceptable to Dr Ambedkar's followers.
One can draw parallels with western-educated atheists who become interested in Buddhism because it has no God, and then adopt its teachings, except for those teachings about heaven, hell, literal rebirth, etc.