Saturday, 27 August 2011

Life of the Buddha

Birth and Early Life

Gautama was born in northern India about 2500 years ago. The exact place of his birth is understood to be the Lumbini garden, which nowadays lies just inside the border of the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal.
Gautama’s father, Suddhodana, was the ruler of the tiny kingdom of the Sakyas. Naturally, he was delighted to have an heir who could follow him on to the throne. Naturally he was not very pleased when a wise man predicted, upon seeing the new arrival, that if he did not become a great world ruler he would become a great religious teacher.
King Suddhodana knew that it would be experience of the hard, painful things of life that would turn Gautama's mind in the direction of religion, so he did everything in his power to keep them out of the young prince's life. Gautama was thus brought up in a sealed world of security and luxury. He lived in beautiful palaces, wore clothes of the most splendid materials, ate only the finest foods, and was generally entertained and waited upon in the best style.


 Many saints have come and gone over the millenniums, preached and perished like Gandhi, but only Reinforcing existing Establishment and decaying Indian Social System, Class Structure and Exploitations, all in the name of reasonable responsible exploitations, tolerable work load, with a human face and good sweet smile!  But at times came the real great ones, who broke many barriers of evil practices injustices, and opened the paths to liberation and justice, for the ultimate liberty of the suffering downtrodden more

Dalit Buddhist movement



[edit] Origins

Buddhism was once dominant through much of India, it had however begun to decline by the 12th century (see Decline of Buddhism in India). The Buddhist revival began in India in 1891, when the Sri Lankan Buddhist leader Anagarika Dharmapala founded the Maha Bodhi Society[3] The Maha Bodhi Society mainly attracted upper-caste people.,[4] most of whom did not identify themselves specifically as Buddhists, seeing no significant difference between Buddhism and Hinduism.

[edit] South India

In 1890, Pandit C. Ayodhya Dasa (1845–1914), better known as Iyothee Thass, founded the Sakya Buddhist Society (also known as the Indian Buddhist Association). The first president of the Indian Buddhist Association was the German born American Paul Carus, the author of The Gospel of Buddha (1894).
Thass, a Tamil Siddha physician, was the pioneer of the Tamil Dalit movement. He argued that Tamil Dalits were originally Buddhists. He led a delegation of prominent Dalits to Henry Steel Olcott and asked for his help in the reestablishment of "Tamil Buddhism." Olcott helped Thass to visit Sri Lanka, where he received diksha from Bhikkhu Sumangala Nayake. After returning to India, Thass established the Sakya Buddhist Society in Madras with branches in many places including Karnataka.[5] Thass established a weekly magazine called Oru Paisa Tamizhan ("One Paisa Tamilian") in Chennai in 1907, which served as a newsletter linking all the new branches of the Sakya Buddhist Society. The magazine discussed traditions and practices of Tamil Buddhism, new developments in the Buddhist world, and the Indian subcontinent's history from the Buddhist point of view.
Bhagya Reddy Verma (Madari Bagaiah), a Dalit leader of Andhra Pradesh, was also fascinated by Buddhism and promoted its adoption among the Dalits.

Why Dr. Ambedkar renounced Hinduism?

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.