The Buddha and His Dhamma, a treatise on Buddha’s life and Buddhism, was the last work of Indian statesman and scholar Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. It was first published in 1957 after Dr. Ambedkar’s death on 6 December 1956. According to Christopher Queen, the text is the scripture for those who follow Navayana Buddhism.
It was again Published in 1979 by the Education Department of the Government of Maharashtra as the eleventh volume of Ambedkar’s collected writings and speeches, with a list of sources and an index. Written in English, the book has been translated to many languages including Hindi, Gujarati,Telugu, Tamil, Marathi, Malayalam, and Kannada.
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar mentioned that it is one of the three books which will form a set for the proper understanding of Buddhism. The other books are: (i) Buddha and Karl Marx; and (ii) Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Ancient India.
While explaining the purpose of writing the book Dr. Ambedkar writes:
The urge to write this book has a different origin. In 1951 the Editor of the Mahabodhi Society’s Journal of Calcutta asked me to write an article for the Vaishak Number. In that article I argued that the Buddha’s Religion was the only religion which a society awakened by science could accept, and without which it would perish. I also pointed out that for the modern world Buddhism was the only religion which it must have to save itself. That Buddhism makes a slow advance is due to the fact that its literature is so vast that no one can read the whole of it. That it has no such thing as a bible, as the Christians have, is its greatest handicap. On the publication of this article, I received many calls, written and oral, to write such a book. It is in response to these calls that I have undertaken the task.
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