Ambedkarites

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Ambedkarites

Post by DNS »

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.

So I provided him with the Sutta references from the Pali Canon and asked him if he did not believe in re-birth, then what did he believe in? What does happen after death, in his view? He never responded.

Do all Abedkarites believe like this? Does anyone know what their core beliefs are about the Four Noble Truths, rebirth, etc.?

I consider myself a "Modern Theravadin" but in talking with this individual, I probably sounded like a "Classical Theravadin" to him.
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Re: Ambedkarites

Post by bodom »

Never heard of them. I cant find anything online either about there beliefs. The only thing i could find on them was this website: http://ambedkartimes.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:namaste:
This is our foundation: to have sati, recollection, and sampajañña, self-awareness, whether standing, walking, sitting, or reclining. Whatever arises, just leave it be, don’t cling to it. Whether it’s like or dislike, happiness or suffering, doubt or certainty... Don’t try to label everything, just know it. See that all the things that arise in the mind are simply sensations. They are transient. They arise, exist and cease. That’s all there is to them, they have no self or being, they are neither ‘us’ nor ‘them’. None of them are worthy of clinging to.

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Re: Ambedkarites

Post by Individual »

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.

So I provided him with the Sutta references from the Pali Canon and asked him if he did not believe in re-birth, then what did he believe in? What does happen after death, in his view? He never responded.

Do all Abedkarites believe like this? Does anyone know what their core beliefs are about the Four Noble Truths, rebirth, etc.?

I consider myself a "Modern Theravadin" but in talking with this individual, I probably sounded like a "Classical Theravadin" to him.
Why does it matter to you?

With metta :heart:,
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Re: Ambedkarites

Post by Prasadachitta »

There is not really a Uniform set of beliefs among the former untouchable Buddhists. I have met quite a few within FWBO circles as the FWBO has a large presence within that community. Sangharakshita was an important figure in conveying an understanding of Buddhism to Dr Ambedkar before he converted to Buddhism along with tens of thousands of other ex untouchables. Those I have met seem to have no problem with the idea of rebirth.


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Re: Ambedkarites

Post by bodom »

Gabe what is up with the avatar? WTH is that? Thats just scary man.

:namaste:
This is our foundation: to have sati, recollection, and sampajañña, self-awareness, whether standing, walking, sitting, or reclining. Whatever arises, just leave it be, don’t cling to it. Whether it’s like or dislike, happiness or suffering, doubt or certainty... Don’t try to label everything, just know it. See that all the things that arise in the mind are simply sensations. They are transient. They arise, exist and cease. That’s all there is to them, they have no self or being, they are neither ‘us’ nor ‘them’. None of them are worthy of clinging to.

- Ajahn Chah
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Re: Ambedkarites

Post by DNS »

Individual wrote: Why does it matter to you?
Individual
To get educated on the matter, silly.

:popcorn:
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Re: Ambedkarites

Post by Prasadachitta »

bodom_bad_boy wrote:Gabe what is up with the avatar? WTH is that? Thats just scary man.

:namaste:
I will change it. To tell the truth its starting to disturb me as well.

Gabe
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: Ambedkarites

Post by zavk »

Hi TheDhamma and all,

My two cents: I would conjecture that the 'Ambedkarites' have a politically-invested reason to question the notion of rebirth, insofar as the untouchables are a group of people who have for thousands of years been oppressed by a caste system that justifies one's position in society with a certain reductionistic understanding of karma and rebirth (i.e. it is one's bad karma that one is born into a lower caste; it is one's lot in life so one best 'get on with it'.....)

I'm not pointing this out to suggest that their arguments or beliefs about the dhamma (whatever they are) should be accepted willy-nilly. But it does suggest to me that, as Gabriel pointed out, when we talk of the Ambedkarites we are really talking about a huge and diverse group of people who have been living under difficult conditions for a long time. I spoke to someone from India recently who told me how groups of Ambekarites who proudly declare themselves Buddhist would often behave in very un-Buddhist ways. To me, this is less a willful misrepresentation of Buddhism and more a manifestation of deep, enduring sociopolitical frustration. I don't want to generalise to say that all Ambedkarites are 'un-Buddhist' or that the Ambedkar movement is 'wrong'. But again, what this suggests me is that the Ambedkar movement is dealing with deeply-sedimented sociopolitical problems, problems which have been around for a long time and which the Buddha attempted to address too.

So to come back to your question, having no real firsthand knowledge, I don't know if all Ambedkarites reject the notion of rebirth. Or for the matter, I don't know if we can speak of the Ambedkarites as a unified group of people. And I certainly don't think we can talk about them without also considering broader social, cultural and political issues. In my opinion, a modern day Buddhism should be prepared to address these issues.
:namaste:

zavk
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Re: Ambedkarites

Post by cooran »

Hello all,

You may be interested in this article from buddhist channel:
New chair person for Sri Lanka - India Buddhist Association
Daily Mirror, Jan 22, 2009
Colombo, Sri Lanka -- Ven. Athuraliye Ratana Thera has been elected the Chairperson of the Indo-Sri Lanka Buddhist Friendship Association. This election took place following a series of Buddhist ceremonies that took place from January 10 to 11, in Nandedi, Maharashtra.
The series of events was held for the twenty-second time, to mark the mass conversion to Buddhism that took place on the day of Vesak in 1956 to coincide with the 2500th Buddha Jayanthi.

One hundred thousand people from the Dalit (Untouchable) community embraced Buddhism, led by the main architect of the Indian Constitution, Bhimrao Ramji (Babasahib) Ambedkar.

This year's celebration saw the attendance of over two hundred thousand Buddhist pilgrims. Ven. Muddalakkuliye Ratanajothi Thera, Ven. Kimbulapitiye Saddhananda Thera and Bikkhuni Kusuma were among the Sri Lankan delegation.India has seen a Buddhist revival in the past decade, when every year thousands of Dalits embrace Buddhism.
http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 77,0,0,1,0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And here is some information about the great man, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar:,
http://www.ambedkar.org/Babasaheb/Babasaheb.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Ambedkarites

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

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.
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Re: Ambedkarites

Post by DNS »

Hi Bhante,

Okay thanks for that information. Do you know what they believe in or accept in regard to cosmology, life after death, etc., since they seem to reject rebirth?
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Re: Ambedkarites

Post by Cittasanto »

I don't know they answers here, but they have ties with the FWBO (or at least did at one point not 100% sure of the current situation) so if you look through the FWBO web site or do a joint search for both at the same time you may find the answers you are looking for
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

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But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
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Re: Ambedkarites

Post by Ceisiwr »

All i know about them is that they dont accept kamma and rebirth because they dont believe that people with disabilities etc are born that way because of past kamma
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Why Dr. Ambedkar renounced Hinduism?

Post by amit niranjane »

Dr. Ambedkar's role as a prominent constitution maker of India is quite well known. However, his views on religion, particularly his reasons for renouncing Hinduism, the religion of his birth, are not as widely known. Ambedkar who was born in an "untouchable" family carried on a relentless battle against untouchability throughout his adult life. In the last part of his life, he renounced Hinduism and became a Buddhist. What were his reasons for doing so?
A detailed answer to this question can be obtained by studying his The Buddha and His Dhamma, Annihilation of Caste, Philosophy of Hinduism, Riddles in Hinduism etc. Nonetheless, some of his articles, speeches and interviews before and after his conversion to Buddhism throw some light on this question.http://buddha4world.blogspot.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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THE BUDDHA AND HIS DHAMMA by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar

Post by amit niranjane »

BOOK ONE: SIDDHARTH GAUTAMA — HOW A BODHISATTA BECAME THE BUDDHA

*Part I — From Birth to Parivraja*
*Part II — Renunciation for Ever*
*Part III — In Search of New Light*
*Part IV — Enlightenment and the Vision of a New Way* Medicine Buddha - Healer Statue Tibetan Buddhism Antique Bronze Finish with Hand-painted Color Accents Standard
*Part V — The Buddha and His Predecessors*
*Part VI — The Buddha and His Contemporaries*
*Part VII — Comparison and Contrast*

Read more » http://buddha4world.blogspot.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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