15.10.2011 – 16.10.2011, India

His Holiness The 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje visits Nagpur and Chandrapur

55 years ago, on October 14th 1956, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, known to the people of India as the “Father of the Constitution”, organized a public ceremony for himself and his supporters in Nagpur where he took refuge in the “Three Jewels” and accepted the “Five Precepts” of the Buddhist tradition. After formally completing his own conversion, he then proceeded to convert some 500,000 of his supporters, many of who were considered “Untouchables” in the Hindu “Caste System” like himself. Ambedkar believed that the Mahar people were an ancient Buddhist community of India who had been forced to live outside villages as outcasts because they refused to renounce their Buddhist practices. 
He considered this to be the reason they became known as “Untouchables” in the Hindu tradition, according to his book entitled Who were the Shudras?.
He then traveled to Kathmandu, Nepal to attend the fourth World Buddhist conference. 

Coincidentally, 1956 also marks a historical moment in the life of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, when at the Invitation of the Mahabodhi Society of India and Jawaharlal Nehru the Karmapa traveled from Tibet throughout India on pilgrimage in celebration of the 2,500th anniversary of Buddha’s Enlightenment. 

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Words of Wisdom
“Our smallest actions matter so much. This is the kind of awareness that we have to develop.”