Udupi: Dalits' Conversion to Buddhism Adds No Benefits to Status – Pejavar Swamiji
Daijiworld Media Network – Udupi (SP)
Udupi, May 24: “In my opinion, becoming Buddhists will not offer any added benefits for the dalits. If we exclude the dalits, the population of Buddhists in India is meagre. Hence, I don’t foresee any marked shift in the state of affairs of dalits after they change their religion. They will continue as they are now,” felt Sri Vishweshateertha Swamiji of Pejavar Mutt.
He was reacting to a programme being organized by Dalit Sangharsh Samiti in association with other organizations here on May 24, in which over 2,000 dalits are scheduled to desert Hinduism and embrace Buddhism.
“What do you get out of this conversion, as far as the issue of untouchability is concerned? This will destroy the dalit culture that has come through tradition, which will be a loss for the dalits,” he opined.
He said he does not mind the dalits joining Buddhism, as it is a part of Hinduism. He added that he welcomes the dalits becoming Buddhists instead of getting converted into Christianity, Islam, etc, in the interests of nationality and Hinduism. He observed that aspects like worship of idols, belief systems about sin and good virtues (Punya), heaven and hell, rebirth etc, which the intellectuals refer to as superstitions, exist in Buddhism too. The Swamiji offered to ordain the dalits into Bhaktiism (devotional path) or Vaishnavism (devotion to Lord Vishnu) under two different categories, one in which there are no strictures except the chanting of hymns, and the other, in which they are barred from consuming liquor and non-vegetarian food. In the first category, they will be equal to any other Hindu, while in the other, they will get elevated positions. In both cases, they will be able to get rid of untouchability tag, he analyzed.
He invited those who want to get this Deeksha, to inform the manager, Sri Pejavar Mutt, Vijayadhwaja Mandir, Udupi, to enable the Mutt to fix a suitable date for their admission into these sects under Hinduism.