Today, on December 6, the country will observe Mahaparinirvan Diwas, which marks the death anniversary of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. Dr Ambedkar, also known as the Father of the Indian Constitution, died on 6 December 1956. He also contributed to India’s independence struggle and in its reforms post-independence. Dr BR Ambedkar's death anniversary is observed as ‘Mahaparinirvan Divas' across the country.
What is Mahaparinirvan?
Parinirvan is one of the major principles and goals of Buddhism. The Sanskrit term (written in Pali as parinibbana) means "nirvana after death", which refers to the achievement of nirvana after the body dies. As per the Buddhist text, i.e. Mahaparinibbana Sutta, the death of Lord Buddha at the age of 80 is considered as the original Mahaparinirvan.
Why is BR Ambedkar linked to it?
Dr Ambedkar passed away on December 6, 1956, just a few days after completing his last work, The Buddha and His Dhamma. Ambedkar, who had finally converted to Buddhism after studying the religion for years on October 14, 1956, in Nagpur--along with 5,00,000 supporters--was considered to be a Buddhist leader by his followers. The mortal remains were cremated at Dadar Chowpatty in Mumbai which is now known as Chaitya Bhoomi.
Because of his stature and contributions to the eradication of untouchability in India, he was considered to be a Buddhist guru. His followers and supporters believe that Ambedkar was as influential, pure and blessed as Lord Buddha. And this is the reason Ambedkar's death anniversary is referred to as Mahaparinirvan Divas.