Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar embraced Buddhism after renouncing Hinduism on October 14, 1956. Even though the conversion took place on October 14, Dhammachakra Pravartan Din, which marks the event, is celebrated on Ashoka Vijayadashami (Dussehra) every year. He had made 22 pledges on the day when he renounced Hinduism. One of which is, “I thereby reject my old religion, Hinduism, which is detrimental to the prosperity of humankind and which discriminates between man and man and which treats me as inferior.” Dr Ambedkar fought against the caste discrimination against Dalits and wrote extensively against caste in Hinduism.
HERE ARE THE 22 VOWS OF DR BABASAHEB AMBEDKAR:
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 Shradh 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 endeavour to establish equality.
11. I shall follow the noble eightfold path of the Buddha.
12. I shall follow the 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 endeavour to follow the noble eightfold path and practise 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.