Buddhism Through the Ages

Ambedkar FABO

After publishing a series of books and articles arguing that Buddhism was the only way for the Untouchables to gain equality, Ambedkar publicly converted on October 14, 1956, at Deekshabhoomi, Nagpur. He took the three refuges and the Five Precepts from a Buddhist monk, Bhadant U Chandramani, in the traditional manner. Accepting the Three Refuges and Five Precepts from a Buddhist monk in the traditional manner, Ambedkar completed his own conversion, along with his wife Dr. Savita Ambedkar(née Sharada Kabir).

He then proceeded to convert a large number (some 500,000) of his supporters who were gathered around him.He prescribed the 22 Vows for these converts, after the Three Jewels and Five Precepts. The conversion ceremony was attended by Medharthi, his main disciple Bhoj Dev Mudit, and Mahastvir Bodhanand’s Sri Lankan successor, Bhante Pragyanand. He then traveled to Kathmandu in Nepal to attend the Fourth World Buddhist Conference. Ambedkar would die less than two months later, just after finishing his definitive work on Buddhism.