Gandhi Swami Vivekananda and BR Ambedkar

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Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda and BR Ambedkar

New Sociology

Religion was the center of Gandhi’s life, thought and work and he considered politics as a practical religion. However, his religious views were complex and his writings varied on all occasions. His views on religion were subject to change.


In this first place he considered himself a Hindu. Writing in “Young India” in 1927, he said, “Hinduism is

was the most tolerant of the religions.” Its freedom from dogma gave the greatest opportunity for self-expression. It enabled the adherents to respect not only all other religions, but also whatever good might be in the other’s faith. is praised for imbibing it. Ahimsa is common to all religions but it is

found the highest expression and application in Hinduism. Hinduism believes in unity. There was no trace of defensiveness in the promulgation of this doctrine, and at the same time there was a deep acceptance of the truths of all other religions. He was proud of Hinduism but this did not stop him from rejecting and criticizing secular justifications, ideas and beliefs which Hindus consider as part of their religion. For example :-


He not only rejected untouchability but fought against it throughout his life. He was opposed to blood sacrifice to the gods. Actually he opposed all kinds of cruelty towards animals. He also criticized the ‘phuka’, by which the peasants used to hammer a stick into the harness of the oxen to make them move faster. He stopped drinking cow-buffalo milk. During a serious illness in 1918, ‘Kasturba’ convinced him to drink goat’s milk to save his life. He even protested against it but to complete his work he stopped drinking it. He rejected the Hindu-Jain concept of mercy which was limited to killing an animal. He once committed the great Hindu sin of cow slaughter, by shooting a calf and circumambulating it to end its suffering. His concept of compassion towards animals was very western and modern. He had no time for elaborate rituals and worship and never consulted astrologers. A true Karmayogi, he condemned the widely spread child marriage, dowry system and human treatment of widows. In 1918, he stood up for gender equality. He declared, “Woman is a companion of equal mental capacities and has an equal right to liberty and equality.” He wanted them to have equal legal status with men.


 It is a well known fact that ‘Ruskin’, ‘Tolstoy’ and ‘Thoreau’ and the Bible and the Gita all influenced Gandhi. From Tolstoy, he derived his critical approach to organized religion, and from Ruskin, his ideal of a simple life. When he thought of an idea as good, he tried to put it into practice, but here too, though putting idealistic thought into practice, Gandhi did not abandon his sense of social reality. He saw ‘praxis’ as the necessary completion of an idea. When he was a law student in England he had read the ‘Bible’, the life of ‘Christ’ and ‘Semon’ on the mountain went straight to his heart. The idea of doing good for hate and returning evil fascinated him, thought he did not fully understand it. Geeta also did

A great influence on them was, in particular, the ideas of ‘aparigran’ (non-possession) and ‘possible’ equality. He gave up all legal practices. He also ensured that Kasturba accepted ‘Aparigraha’ with him, and persuaded her to give up her other valuable gold necklace.


Gandhi regarded the Gita as his “mother’s milk”, but, strange as it may seem, he found in it an endorsement of nonviolence. According to Gandhi, “the Mahabharata demonstrated the futility of violence”. He wrote in an introduction to his Gujarati War in 1929, “Let it be given” corresponded to renunciation of fruit and others. Later, he realized that complete renunciation is impossible with absolute observance of ‘ahimsa’ in every shape and form. Gandhi discovered nonviolence not only in the Gita but also in the Bible and the Quran. According to Gandhi, in the Qur’an “non-violence is permitted as a duty, violence and necessity. His study of the Bible and the Qur’an led him to the conviction that there was an underlying unity in all relations. Acc. to win For, “The time has passed when followers of one religion could stand up and say, ‘Ours is the only true religion and all others a false one. acc. For him, “Bhagwan, Allah, Rama, Narayan, Ishwar, Khuda, were descriptions of a single existence. He rejected the idea of conversion from one religion to another.

In Gandhi’s view, religious practices, ideas, and beliefs had to pass the test of the weather, and those that failed the test were discarded. This test he applied to all religions, while Gandhi regarded all established religions as divinely inspired, he also recognized a higher religion which was criminal and which transcended particular religions. He said in 1940 “Religion does not mean sectarianism.

  1. R. Nanda”, Gandhi’s distinguished biographer, concluded from his study of Gandhi’s religious ideas and practices that “Gandhi’s concept of religion bore little resemblance to what usually passes for organized religion: dogma, ritual, superstition. and bigotry. Gandhi’s religion was only a moral framework for the conduct of daily life. While Gandhi believed in the existence of God in every human being, there were occasions when he prayed to an outside entity for gifts or benefits.

Conclusion: In a very perceptive observation on Hinduism, French anthropologist, Louis Dumeau

Ant has said that in Hinduism it may seem contradictory, renunciation

(Sanyasi) are creative innovators. But from Buddha and Mahavir to Gandhi, it is true about the renunciates, but Gandhi turned the whole renunciate tradition on its head. This symbolized his refusal to wear the ‘saffron cloth’, and instead stuck to the white ‘Khadi’, a symbol of freedom. It was Gandhi who devised that powerful instrument of collective action, ‘Satyagraha’, to enable the oppressed, the exploited and the weak to fight against the rich and powerful oppressors. For Gandhi, the political, economic and social dimensions are inseparable from religion. This is the point where he is definitely not a modernist.






Swami Vivekananda

Swami ‘Vevakananda’ was born on 12th January, 1863 on the festival of ‘Makarsankranti’, his nickname was ‘Billi’ and in adulthood he got the adult name of ‘Narendranath’ by all Hindu customs. His childhood was molded by his mother’s deep traditional sense of asceticism and his father’s sanyasis, prompting him to study law to join the most radical branch of the Brahmo Samaj. Sadao Brahmo Samaj was being led by ‘Shivnath Shastri’ and ‘Vijay Krishna Goswami’. Narendra adopted two aspects of Sadhara Brahmo Samaj.

  1. The belief that universal religion was practical as an essential service to mankind.
  2. The sanctity of all social relationships – even up to marriage, the main concern of the Brahmins was to preach ‘universal theism’ not only to the educated but also to the uneducated. This approach would be adopted by the future Vivekananda.

Vivekananda was a disciple of ‘Ramakrishna’ priest of the Datashineshwar temple outside Calcutta. In 1881 Narendra went to see Ramakrishna at Datashineshwar. There he was invited to sit on Ramakrishna’s small bed. Immediately, Ramakrishna placed his foot on Narendra’s chest. Narendra begins to lose sensory awareness of his body. They experienced varying degrees of loss of body consciousness, loss of a normal sense of time, loss or change in personal identity, etc. Thus, Narendra began to change his stance, which he later identified as the key to Ramakrishna’s resistance. He will worship Kali and finally break the letter of his Brahmo oath, even though the soul may have been bewitched/broken years ago.

Search for Universal Foundation

By August, 1889, we became convinced that the reinterpretation of the Vedas would provide a classical basis for a socially relevant Vedanta, thus reforming Vedanta free from caste distinctions and injustice. According to him, the answers lie in the right questions. Ramakrishna thought that Vedanta was the highest expression of universal religion. It is difficult to trace the season discovered by Swami ‘Narendra’. Support from a traditional Siddha and Yogi etc. In his own words he said “I am a servant of Ramakrishna, laid my body at the feet of Tulsi and Tulsi leaves” and his aim is to dedicate himself to the service of all tyagi devotees established by him. His order was that all his Tyagi devotees should assemble together. Narendra served that the spirituality of India can be proved by the extraordinary achievements of its gurus, siddhis and sadhus. He observed that all gurus are one and the “universal guru” is part and parcel of the Lord.



Neo-Hindu Mission

Narendra wants Dutta’s life to consist of three phases”

 Viram and his Gurubhai

 Re-establishment of Ramakrishna’s contact with these Shaktas in America and

 Return to India and establishment of Ramakrishna Order.

It appears that the future Swami Vivekananda could not lead his Guru brothers from their devotion to the worship of Kali and Ramakrishna. Ramakrishna demanded that Bhakti is the best form of religion of ‘Kaliyuga’ and his former Gurubhai were not ready to follow the truth

On May 21, 1893, the new name ‘Swami Vivekananda’ got its name from the suggestion of the Maharaja of ‘Khetri’, on the call of social reform of H Chitananda. The Maharaja planned to earn enough money to continue his mission in India. His work in America, England and Madras began when he was able to bring his former Gurubhai to his spiritual concepts. in his first letter to the East

Gurubhai, he told about his plan to uplift the masses in India, work in America to get money, give spirituality in return, not be dependent on anyone in Hindustan, he told his former Gurubhai about his personal goal of liberation called upon to abdicate. “By doing good to others one attains one’s own good and by leading others towards devotion and liberation one attains them himself once.” He gradually took up some relief works, aiming them at practical service.

Swami Vivekananda’s return to India has been extensively exploited, but what must be noted is the gradual crisis that surrounded Vivekananda upon his return. Vivekananda’s Vedanta was conceived not as the true religion but as the inner truth behind all religions.

Thus, true knowledge or Satya Ekta is unity. The criterion of truth is unity, by which the principle is judged, which Swami Vivekananda designated “Reason”, unity is the goal of religion and science. unity or whole being

This is God. Truth is decided by Truth and by no other.” The Swami’s search for meaning aims at nothing less than absolute truth because for him the scriptures were first accepted “on faith” so that their application could be used to prove the existence of the ultimate. Swami Vivekananda observed that the basis of each level of knowledge is personal experience. True knowledge will never be accepted “on faith” in some external entity. If it is universally true then each level of truth Must be able to be verified by the seeker when he has reached that level of understanding according to Swami Vivekananda, on which all apprehensions of truth depend on a higher synthesis.

Swami Vivekananda identified the changeless, infinite, eternal unity as the most meaningful concern of life. The unique acceptance of Swami’s teaching about the universe is not that the universe lacks an ultimate reality, but his two principles of causality and his view of the universe. He linked ‘Parinama’ to ‘Samkhya’ to ‘Advaita’ to ‘Vivarta’ and referred to them as two complementary but different realms of reality. Accordingly, ‘parinama’ refers to the actual transformation of the cause into a multiplicity of effects, according to ‘vivarta’, the relative view is transcended and the apparent multiplicity of objects can no longer be found. Because only Brahma is beyond the bonds of time, place and reason.

Conclusion: In the light of the above discussion, it can be argued that freedom from the bondage of sorrows is the knowledge of one’s true nature because Vedanta teaches liberation which is not in the world. Thus, only practical Vedanta can bring harmony and revolution in all life in the world.



B R Ambedkar

“Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar” who later came to be known as ‘Baba Saheb’, was born in 1891 in ‘Maharashtra’ to the untouchable ‘Mahar’ caste, is regarded as the architect of the Indian Constitution and laid the groundwork for modern Played a major role in the making of India. , Shortly before his death (1956), he took public initiation into Buddhism with a large number of followers. He was heavily influenced by the Buddhist ideology because for him Buddhism is sustained

  1. a) The argument that Buddhism is based on ‘reason’, ‘experience’ and


  1. b) the contest of its divinity and
  2. c) It recognizes the basic principles of social life.

According to Ambedkar, Hinduism was a religion that included hierarchy while other religions sanctioned equality. In his ‘Round Table Conference’ in 1933, he intended to leave Hinduism and was inclined to opt for Buddhism. He argued the purpose of our mouths:

“Freedom is to be gained; Social, economic and religious, for the untouchables and this freedom cannot be achieved without conversion.

Concept of Dharma of Buddha:

Buddhism is not a faith, states Ambedkar, Buddhism denies the existence/reality of God, understood as the creator or absolute, cultural entity. He is certain that the Buddha claimed divine status neither for himself nor for his world. In their understanding Buddha was not a prophet. He argued: Buddha was a ‘margdata’. In contrast Buddhism is ‘search’; It is the result of an inquiry into the conditions of human life on earth. Buddhism, he claims, was nothing if not logical, if not rational. His followers are free to modify or even discard any of his teachings if those teachings do not satisfy these conditions. Thus Buddhism helps in realizing the core values.




Mahatma Gandhi

“Mahatma Gandhi” was against mass conversion of untouchables and gives two main arguments:

  1. a) He insisted that untouchability had started

Either (weaken and disappear) fade away due to the activities of reformers who would discourage such conversions.

  1. b) Dharma being a spiritual matter, one cannot turn it into a house.

But Ambedkar was indifferent to the spiritual dimensions of Hinduism which shows that he had no faith in God or religion. He is pretending to go from one religion to another just to achieve equality.

Choosing Buddhism as an egalitarian religion

Ambedkar converted to Buddhism in 1956, exactly 20 years after adopting Sikhism. Ambedkar and his followers adopted certain ideological approaches before converting to Buddhism such as:-

 If it is necessary to wipe out the culture of Hinduism before adopting another religion

His young followers stopped worshipping, boycotted Hindu festivals and broke idols.

 In fact they went – the people who participated in the Hindu culture. His familiarity with Buddhism went back to his youth in 1908, when his teacher, impressed by his outlook, gave him a biography of ‘Lord Buddha’. He had a deep impact on his young mind. In 1934, he built a house named ‘Rajagriha’ after the capital of the ancient Buddhist kings of Bihar.

In 1948, he published The Untouchables, a work in which the Untouchables were presented as the descendants of Buddhists who had assimilated when the rest of society had transitioned to Hinduism. at the same time, in the assembly

His activities prepared the ground for his conversion to Buddhism. His interest in Buddhism is quite consistent. On the one hand, he believed in the necessity of religion on the past of man and society, but on the other hand, he followed the values of the Enlightenment: thus Buddhism was an ideal choice, as it was more susceptible to reconstitution. Interpretation and adaptation to the modern world in comparison to other religions.

According to Ambedkar, ‘Dhamma’ was a secular ideology to understand the world, man and society and transform them in the light of reason and on the basis of morality. In 1956, Ambedkar wrote to the general secretary of the ‘Mahabodhi Society’ that he was preparing a commission of untouchables of India for Buddhism.

 The first wave of the commission took place on 18 March in Agra, where ‘Jatavs’ formed the main untouchable caste: 2,000 of them renounced Hinduism on that occasion.

 On May 24, 1956, he announced that he would court Buddhism in October 1956 and called upon all untouchables to join him in doing the same.

 On 23 September, he confirmed that Germany would be on 14 October, the day of the Hindu festival of Dussehra, he invited the heads of Buddhist monks from India to perform the rituals.

 The commission was held in Nagpur in which several lakhs of untouchables were dressed in white, some of them wearing the colors of the flag of Buddhism.

Ambedkar and his second wife were the first to convert in front of the crowd.

So it is the Dhamma around which the whole debate revolves. The Buddha’s main concern was to give man salvation in his life on earth and not to promise it in heaven after his death. Whereas dharma refers to the control over an end in that or oneself. For them religion is social and thus helps people to get rid of all kinds of sufferings in this world. Dharma is righteousness, which means right relationship between man and man in all spheres of life. According to him there is no need of religion if man is alone, but when these two persons are living in relation to each other they have to find a place for religion whether they like it or not. In other words society cannot run without religion. So, when there is no religion, there is no Buddhism, there is no society, at least not a society that allows for coexistence. Dharma is seen both as a moral code for conduct and social interaction in the life of the world, and as a constitutional requirement for society. “Morality in religion stems from the direct need of man to love man.” Ambedkar also emphasizes on law like ‘Kamma’ where every individual is free to act morally. There is good (kusala) and there is less bad (akusala). Bad karma, leading to a ‘bad’ moral order, may even lead men to doubly abandon the Dhamma altogether. Society may choose not to choose any Dhamma while good karma leads to a good moral order.

Ambedkar chose Buddhism because of its egalitarian philosophy but it was also a compromise solution that led him to break with Hinduism. His Buddhism became integrated, almost as a sect, as a solution to untouchability, Ambedkar therefore, appeared as a sect guru after his death, considering him as an incarnation of Lord Buddha as a ‘Bodhisattva’. As the vast majority of people in Maharashtra who have converted worship only Ambedkar and Buddha and celebrate only their two birthdays as religious holidays.

Conclusion: In the light of the above discussion, it can be argued that in Ambedkar’s view, Buddhism is the only religion that can hold the world. Only Buddhism can bribe as an ethics of social action

Bringing morality back into society and thus bridging the gap between different or opposite walks of life. Only Buddhism is capable of reshaping the society and giving new ways of life to the society. Thus Dhamma replaces Dharma but at the same time transcends Dharma. 

New Sociology


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