Me text-book and dad(historian + buddhist) told me that the father of the indian constitution converted into buddhism towards the end of his life.

Can anyone please tell me why he did so?

Tnx for all the help

2 Answers 2


i think Wikipedia articles on the man and on the Dalit emancipation movement give some insight into his reasons

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._R._Ambedkar#Conversion_to_Buddhism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalit_Buddhist_movement#B._R._Ambedkar

they appear to be primarily socio-political rather than existential and spiritual

  • Ok, tnx for the facts
    – user7062
    Feb 13, 2016 at 5:11

In his Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Ancient India, Dr. Ambedkar states: The history of India is nothing but a mortal conflict between Buddhism and Brahmanism. As Ambedkar saw it, the crucial conflict was not between Brahmans and non-Brahmans, nor between Aryans and non-Aryans, nor was it a conflict between the Vedas and the rest of Indian tradition. Rather it was between two world views, both generated within India itself.

“It was not within my capacity to be born in a particular religion. but though I was born as Hindu, I will not die as a Hindu.” This was the declaration of Dr. Ambedkar made by him as early as 1935 at Yeola in Nashik district in Maharashtra. He made this declaration after his dis-illusion of Hindu reforms due to experiences with the Satyagraha at Mahad to drink water from the public lake, burning of Manusmruti, Kalaram Temple Satyagraha for temple entry and treacherous behaviour of Gandhi at Round Table Conference and subsequent coercive Poona Pact.

It was Maha Thera Bhikkhu Chandramani Thera, the Most Senior Buddhist Monk in the country, who gave deeksha to Dr. Ambedkar. He was of Burmese origin but was resident in India for 40 odd years. After his own conversion, Babasaheb converted all the rest of half a million people by Trisaran, Panchasila and 22 vows.

This was a historical event in more ways than one. Never in history half a million were converted to any religion at one time and never had conversion been effected by a lay Buddhist and never ever the Hindu Gods and goddesses were denounced by 22 vows which became the inseparable part of rite of conversion to Buddhism in India, and never before it was declared that all and every Buddhist lay person was authorised to convert other willing person. There used to be rite of Upasampada for conversion as a Bhikku, but for lay Buddhist there was traditionally no rite. Ambedkar started this, as he believed one of the reasons of disappearance of Buddhism from India was absence of such a rite.

If one could ever call someone a Bodhisatva, it is Dr. Ambedkar. The next Buddha due to appear is said to be Maitreya (Skt; Pali: Metteyya), a bodhisatta currently residing in the Tusita heavens. It is said that at a time in future when human lifespan is 80,000 years, once the teachings of the current Buddha have long been forgotten, he will be reborn as a human being, rediscover the Four Noble Truths, and teach the Noble Eightfold Path once again. This is mentioned in the Cakkavatti-Sihanada Sutta (DN).

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