Neo-Buddhism – 22 Vows

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After receiving ordination from Buddhist monk Bhadant U. Chandramani, On 14th October 1956 at Nagpur, Bodhisattva Dr. B. R. Ambedkar gave Dhamma Diksha to his followers.

An important part of the ceremony was 22 vows to all new converts after Three Jewels and Five Precepts.

On 16th October 1956 he repeated another mass religious conversion ceremony at Chanda where he gave only 22 vows to all the people gathered there:

1) I shall have no faith in Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh nor shall I worship them.

2) I shall have no faith in Rama and Krishna who are believed to be incarnation of God nor shall I worship them.

3) I shall have no faith in ‘Gauri’, Ganapati and other gods and goddesses of Hindus nor shall I worship them.

4) I do not believe in the incarnation of God.

5) I do not and shall not believe that Lord Buddha was the incarnation of Vishnu. I believe this to be sheer madness and false propaganda.

6) I shall not perform ‘Shraddha’ nor shall I give ‘pind-dan’.

7) I shall not act in a manner violating the principles and teachings of the Buddha.

8) I shall not allow any ceremonies to be performed by Brahmins.

9) I shall believe in the equality of man.

10) I shall endeavor to establish equality.

11) I shall follow the ‘noble eightfold path’* of the Buddha.

12) I shall follow the ten ‘paramitas’** prescribed by the Buddha.

13) I shall have compassion and loving kindness for all living beings and protect them.

14) I shall not steal.

15) I shall not tell lies.

16) I shall not commit carnal sins.

17) I shall not take intoxicants like liquor, drugs etc.

18) I shall endeavor to follow the noble eightfold path and practice compassion and loving kindness in every day life.

19) I renounce Hinduism, which is harmful for humanity and impedes the advancement and development of humanity because it is based on inequality, and adopt Buddhism as my religion.

20) I firmly believe the Dhamma of the Buddha is the only true religion.

21) I believe that I am having a re-birth.

22) I solemnly declare and affirm that I shall hereafter lead my life according to the principles and teachings of the Buddha and his Dhamma.

These 22 vows are important as they make the Anti-Hinduism and Pro-Buddhism stances very clear.


noble eightfold path :

* Wisdom (Sanskrit: prajñā, Pāli: paññā) ปราถนา

1. Right view
2. Right intention

* Ethical conduct (Sanskrit: śīla, Pāli: sīla) ศีล

3. Right speech
4. Right action
5. Right livelihood

* Mental discipline (Sanskrit and Pāli: samādhi) สมาธิ

6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration


[from param beyond + ita gone from the verbal root i to go]

Gone or crossed to the other shore; derivatively, virtue or perfection. The paramitas vary in number according to the Buddhist school: some quoting six, others seven or ten; but they are the glorious or transcendental virtues — the keys to the portals of jnana (wisdom).

Blavatsky gives these seven keys as (VS 47-8):

1) dana ทาน “the key of charity and love immortal”;

2) sila ศีล (good character), “the key of Harmony in word and act, the key that counterbalances the cause and the effect, and leaves no further room for Karmic action”; 3) kshanti, “patience sweet, that nought can ruffle”;

3) viraga, วิราคะ “indifference to pleasure and to pain, illusion conquered, truth alone perceived”;

4) virya วิริยะ (strength, power), “the dauntless energy that fights its way to the supernal TRUTH, out of the mire of lies terrestrial”;

5) dhyana (profound spiritual-intellectual contemplation, with utter detachment from all objects of sense and of a lower mental character), human consciousness in the higher reaches of this state becomes purely buddhic, with the summit of the manas acting as vehicle for the retention of what the percipient consciousness experiences; once the golden gate of dhyana is opened, the pathway stretching thence leads towards the realm of “Sat eternal”; and

6) prajna ปราถนา(understanding, wisdom), that part of the mind that functions when active as the vehicle of the higher self; “the key to which makes of man a god, creating him a Bodhisattva, son of the Dhyanis.”