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Monk who initiated BR Ambedkar into Buddhism passes away

Pragyanand was among the seven priests who performed the ceremony when Ambedkar converted to Buddhism.

india Updated: Nov 30, 2017 17:29 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Lucknow
Bhim Rao Ambedkar,Buddhism,Dalits
Dr B R Ambedkar converted into Buddhism in Nagpur on October 14, 1956.(PTI Photo)

Buddhist monk Pragyanand, who was among the seven priests who initiated Baba Saheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar into Buddhism, breathed his last on Thursday following prolonged illness.

The 90-year monk, who was undergoing treatment at the King George’s Medical University since November 26, breathed his last this morning, Chief Medical Superintendent, KGMU, Prof S N Shankhwar said.

Pragyanand was admitted following complaints of fever and chest pain. He was diagnosed with infection in lungs which got complicated because of his diabetes and blood pressure.

According to Bhante Suman, who used to look after the monk, Pragyanand had come to the city at the age of 13 and was the senior most priest at Baudh Vihar Mandir here.

Suman said Pragyanand was among the seven priests who performed the ceremony in Nagpur on October 14, 1956 when Ambedkar converted to Buddhism.

Pragyanand had breathing and other ailments due to old age and was bed-ridden since the past two years, he added.

First Published: Nov 30, 2017 17:29 IST