Overview for Dr. Ambedkar's Vision of Dhamma: An Assessment
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (1891-1956), who embraced Buddhism, alongwith half a million of his followers, on14 October 1956, has been hailed as a modern Boddhisattva. One of the duties of a Boddhisattva. One of the duties of a Bodhisattva is to re-interpret Dhamma, according to the requirements of his time, and the growing spiritual and social consciousness of humanity. Dr. Ambedkar endeavoured to accomplish this task through his monumental work, The Buddha and His Dhamma. In this work, not only the field covered by the author is vast but in some cases he has broken new ground as well. Ever since its publication in 1957, Dr. Ambedkarâ€™s work has been a subject of critical comments by some orthodox Buddhists. This study presents a comprehensive analysis and critical assessment of Dr. Ambedkarâ€™s Vision of Dhamma, as reflected in his book, The Buddha and His Dhamma. Beginning with an introductory chapter on the Liberation Movement of the Untouchables, we trace the history of this monumental work by Dr. Ambedkar; trace the original Pali sources relied upon by the author; and critically analysed the First Sermon of the Buddha, and seven fundamental principles of Buddhism, as presented by Dr. Ambedkar. In the last chapter, are examined views of the critics of Dr. Ambedkarâ€™s work. In our view, Dr. Ambedkarâ€™s Vision of Dhamma is, by and large, in accord with the original Teaching of the Buddha. Wherever he has added something of his own, it is only to present the Dhamma in right perspective.
D C Ahir (Author)
D.C. Ahir (born 1928, Punjab) is a reputed scholar of Buddhist studies, and has made notable contribution to the history of Buddhism during the last 42 years. He retired as Director to the Government of India in February 1986, and since then is fully engaged in enriching literature. He already has more than forty published works to his credit, besides numerous articles on Buddhism. In appreciation of his noble and notable contribution to the Buddhist Literature as a Distinguished Scholarand Author, the Maha Bodhi Society of India, Sarnath conferred on him on 30 November 2001 the Honorary Title of Buddha Sahitya Shiromani.