Ambedkar Mission Toronto is a group of Canadians, non-resident Indians, and resident Indians who believe in the teachings of Buddha and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s thoughts. We meet regularly at our Buddha Vihara to preach, promote and advance the spiritual teachings of Buddhist faith based on the book “Buddha & His Dhamma” by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and other schools of Buddhism, practicing the religious observances, teaching meditation and doctrines associated with that faith.
Ambedkar Mission was originally started in Vancouver, Canada in 1978 as Ambedkar Memorial Association. After one year Mr. Darshan Chaudhary moved from Vancouver to Toronto in June 1979 and Ambedkar Mission was started in the same year with the main objective of propagating the religion and social philosophy of Babasaheb Dr. B.R Ambedkar. Yogesh Varhade was the chief organizer at that time. Late Mr. Nasib Sallan was its first president along with Ram Parkash Rahul as secretary, Mohan Verdi as Treasurer, late Jit Lal Jhamat as cultural secretary and Darshan Chaudhary as joint secretary. Gian Kaura, Mark Vaharade and Banta Ram Jakkhu were other founding members of the mission. Weekly Buddha Puja (Service) started at the Toronto Maha Vihara in Scarborough as the mission did not have its own place of worship.
In September 1979 three families of Nasib Sallan, Mohan Verdi and Darshan Chaudhary embraced Buddhism at a ceremony held at Toronto Maha Vihara (Sri Lankan) Scarborough which was officiated by Venn. Bhadant Anand Kausalyayan and Chander Bodhi from England, Bhante Punna Ji, Bhante Dhamika and Bhante Seelam of Toronto Maha Vihara. At that time a talk on the essence of Buddhism by Venn. Bhante Anand Kausalyyan was also arranged at the University of Toronto.
In April 1980, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar birthday was celebrated in Toronto for the first time and David Weatherhead, M.P. Scarborough west attended the ceremony with message sent by the Minister of multiculturalism federal govt. Ottawa. Ambedkar Mission participated in the first Buddha Jayanti (Birthday) organized at the City Hall by newly constituted Toronto Buddhist Federation of which the Ambedkar Mission was the member along with other forty Buddhist Organizations-temples. At that occasion the Mission distributed five hundreds copies of the booklet “Buddha and the future of his religion” by Dr. B.R Ambedkar.
In 1981 late Jit Lal Jhamat, Parkash Rahul and Gian Kaura along with their families were also initiated into Buddhism at the Diksha Day in October. From this time onward mission had three annual functions regularly every year namely Dr. B.R Ambedkar’s birthday in April, and Parinirvana day in December. In addition to these the mission likewise every year celebrated Buddha’s birthday organized by Toronto Buddhist Federation which later on transferred itself into the Buddhist Council of Canada. In that year Mohan Verdi also financed the publication of the book on the life of Babasaheb Ambedkar in Punjabi for Punjabi readers.
Ambedkar Mission Inc. was incorporated by letters patent issued by the Province Of Ontario on September 23rd, 1982 and Supplementary Letters Patent were issued on April 7th 2006 to change the corporate name to Ambedkar Mission and to change the objects of thereof to accord with objects set forth herein as follows to advance the Buddhist faith (Dhamma) by: