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Twenty-Two Vows




It is now five decades since Dr Babasaheb reignited the minds of the downtrodden, the original native of India, by adopting the Lord Buddha’s Dhamma in the land of Buddha. Dr Babasaheb had many options to choose while he was contemplating the renouncing of Hindu religion after he announced his firm decision in 1935. Very early in life, Dr Babasaheb had realized that if he has to bring his people to path of progress and up-lift their socio-economical status, the first and the most important step would be to come out of the shackles of Hindu religion.  The entire Hindu religion is based on the caste system and the social status of a person is based on the caste in which he is born. Hindu is the only religion in the world which will not allow its follower to come up in life or achieve higher social / economical status if he is born in lower caste irrespective of his personal intelligence, willingness to work hard and his capabilities. Dr Babasaheb allowed over two decades time to the Hindus to change the social pattern and bring equality amongst all the Hindus but nothing changed in caste system neither Hindu leaders initiated any social reform process.

 According to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, "what is called religion by Hindus is nothing but a multitude of commands and prohibitions."


Dr Babasaheb in his speech at a Massive Mahar Conference held on 30th and 31st May, 1936 in Mumbai said:

“I do accept that the untouchables need equality as well. And to secure equality is also one of our objectives. But nobody can say that this equality can be achieved only by remaining as Hindu and not otherwise. There are two ways of achieving equality. One, by remaining in the Hindu fold and another by leaving it by conversion. If equality is to be achieved by remaining in the Hindu fold, mere removal of the sense of being a touchable or an untouchable will not serve the purpose. Equality can be achieved only when inter-caste dinners and marriages take place. This means that the Chaturvarnya must be abolished and the Brahminic religion must be uprooted. Is it possible? And if not, will it be wise to expect equality of treatment by remaining in the Hindu religion? And can you be successful in your efforts to bring equality? Of course not. The path of conversion is far simpler than this. The Hindu society does not give equality of treatment, but the same is easily achieved by conversion. If this is true, then why should you not adopt this simple path of conversion??/span>

Buddhism began in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, and it carried India through more than 1000 years of prosperity, then gradually declined. Then in the 13th century, an Islamic government came to be in India, and Buddhism disappeared from most of the Indian Subcontinent, with pockets of Buddhist people living in the Himalayan mountainous and other regions.

During the English Colonial Rule, even though it was a short moment in the history of India, there was a small resurgence of Buddhism in India. In the 1890's, for example, Dammapara of Sri Lanka founded the Mahaboddhi Society, and Ayoti Daas founded the Buddhist Society of South India, as well as other related Buddhist activities in Bengal and other places in India. The effects of these activities remained localized and never spread widely.

The resurgence of Buddhism in India did not go to its next stage until the arrival of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar upon the scene.

In 1956 Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar became a Buddhist and in a mass-conversion ceremony held at Nagpur located in Maharashtra State, India, he led several hundred thousand of his followers into the new religion. However, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar died just six weeks after that historic conversion ceremony. Today, according to the writer Mr. Motoo Yamagiwa, an authority on Indian Buddhism, the Buddhist population of India has broken 50 million people.

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar had expressed his dream in 1956 of resurgence of Buddhism in India. Besides helping the followers of Dr Babasaheb to adapt to changes in economical pattern on account of new policies by Government of India, we at www.jaibheem.com and www.jaibheem.net  have committed ourselves to work toward fulfilling Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s dream to restore Buddhism in India and to make India a Buddhist country once again.

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