The people who initiated them into Buddhism I have known very well. One was Bhadant Anand Kausalyayan, the other was Bhikkhu Dharmarakshita. Under the political guidance of Doctor Ambedkar, who was an untouchable, these two Buddhists converted a fraction of sudras. Doctor Ambedkar was from Maharashtra, Bhadant Ananda Kausalyayan lived in Nagpur – which is now part of Maharashtra. But neither was Bhadant Anand Kausalyayan a buddha, nor was Bhikkhu Dharmarakshita a buddha. Both were Buddhists. And to be initiated by Buddhists is nothing spiritual.
Initiation by a buddha may have some meaning, but initiation by Buddhist scholars can’t have any meaning as far as those who know are concerned.
I can see clearly that these people are angry. They are angry against Hindus. But anger is as blind as love. I am not a Hindu, I don’t belong to any organization. Now they are enraged against me, not knowing that I have been always favoring the untouchables. I have been a friend to these untouchables, whether they are in the Hindu fold or they have become Buddhists does not matter. Their inferiority complex is tremendous. Perhaps nobody in the whole world carries such inferiority as these people.
It was five thousand years ago that a Hindu scholar, Manu, created the caste system, and for five thousand years Hindus have followed it. Not a single untouchable has the guts to revolt against it.
Just today, the news has come that one untouchable has been selling coconuts before a Hindu temple and suddenly people remembered that he is an untouchable, and he is selling coconuts to people, and people bring those coconuts to the temple. As the word spread, the untouchables were beaten, their shops were burnt….
These people for five thousand years have lived just like animals, cattle. Naturally a deep wound of inferiority has been created in their psyche. Just because they have become converted to Buddhism does not mean that their inferiority complex of five thousand years will be simply erased. It is because of that wound, which is still oozing with pus, that they have spoken against me, a friend.
For a moment I thought all my efforts to support the untouchables, knowing perfectly well that this would bring only condemnation from the Hindus, from the Jainas…when I saw these people speaking against me, for a moment I thought perhaps Manu was right.
The basis of Manu’s whole sociology was that the untouchables are souls coming from past lives who, because of their evil acts are born untouchables. Hence they should not be treated as human beings. Obviously, if you treat people like cattle, they go on collecting as much anger and rage as possible.
Speaking against me – who does not belong to any organized religion, who has declined to be a host to Gautam Buddha’s wandering soul. I have to remind them that before making any statements about me they should try to understand my philosophy of Zorba the Buddha. It has nothing to do with your Gautam Buddha. And I am absolutely capable to announce myself as an Awakened One – self-styled!
I am not against luxury, I am not against comforts. I am absolutely in favor of luxury and comforts, because the more a luxurious and comfortable life is available to people, the more meditation is possible, the more relaxation is possible.