The Buddha and His Dhamma,

The Buddha and His Dhamma, a treatise on Lord Buddha’s life and Buddhism, was the last work of Indian statesman and scholar B. R. Ambedkar. The book is treated as a holy text by Indian Buddhists. It was first published in 1957 after Ambedkar’s death.

It was again Published in 1979 by the Education Department of the Government of Maharashtra as the eleventh volume of Ambedkar’s collected writings and speeches, with a list of sources and an index.

Written in English, the book has been translated to many languages including Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada etc.

Book I: Siddhartha Gautama — How a Bodhisatta became the Buddha

In this part entire life of Siddhartha Gautama is covered, His Birth, Parivraja(Renunciation), Enlightenment, His Predecessors and contemporaries.


Dr.B.R.Ambedkar writes that Sidhartha’s exile is due to opposing the resolution in Sakya’s sangh to declare war on the Koliyas, over the controversy of Rohini river water sharing between Sakyas and Koliyas.

Obeying the rules of Sakya’s Sangh, Siddharth realised the consequences that would follow if he continued his opposition to the Sangh in its plan of war against the Koliyas. He had three alternatives to consider — To join the forces and participate in the war, to consent to being hanged or exiled, or to allow the members of his family to be condemned to a social boycott and confiscation of property.

He was firm in not accepting the first. As to the third he felt it was unthinkable. Under the circumstances he felt that the second alternative was the best.

At this difficulty Siddharth Gautama decided to become a Parivrajaka and leave this country.

This opinion of Dr.B.R.Ambedkar is entirely different from the traditional view that he took Parivraja because he saw a dead person, a sick person and old person. Dr.B.R.Ambedkar writes that this traditional answer of Siddhartha’s parivraja is absurd on the face of buddhism.

1 Comment

  1. May 14, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    I myself had independently come to this conclusion long back while preparing for my MA in Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology from Kurukshetra University, during the period from 1972 to 1974. After finding about the same conclusion having been reached by Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar, I decided to complete the unfinished work of Babasaheb concerning the reinterpretation of Hindu religion and philosophy, on the suggestion of my dear friend N C Rattu, who had remained Hon. Private Secretary to Babasaheb for 17 years. My important publications in this behalf include (1) Politics of Gods: Churning of the Ocean (1984), Socio-Political Analysis of Manusmriti (1987), Philosophy of Administration: Mythological Interpretation (1987). I also proved in my Indian Freedom Struggle New Insight (2003) that Dr. Ambedkar’s conclusion that Mahatma Gandhi’s fight for freedom was a sham fight. That book was released by well known Hindi writer, Kamleshwar, in a ceremony presided over by Ramdas Athavale in Constitution Club, New Delhi. My last work is directly on Babasaheb, titled “Dr. B R Ambedkar: Man of Millennium for Social Justice”, published by Kalpaz Publications, Delhi in 2007. In my estimation, India has never produced a man like Ambedkar, who was the only person to frankly and thoroughly expose the religious fraud of Hinduism against the Depressed Classes and the British policy of total unconcern for the improvement of the lot of Depressed Classes. No other Indian freedom fighter directly criticized the British, including Mahatma Gandhi and even Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

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