Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Buddha Was A Hindu Right Wrong

The Buddha Was A Hindu Right Wrong Image
THE BUDDHA opposed the Vedas (Hinduism's sacred texts). He was part of a (shraman)movement that opposed the brahmin priests. The situation is mirrored later in history when Jesus opposed the temple priests (PHARISEES and PHILISTINES) and revitalized and utterly transformed ancient "Judaism" (collectively speaking, Old Testament views and oral traditions).

The Buddha went against the stream, against the religious authority of his day (temple brahmins and other ascetic schools, such as Jainism). His realization transformed India and the world. It actualized the Vedic Brahmanism of his day. That Brahmanism gave rise to Hinduism, which owes much to the revitalizing influence the Buddha started. There was no "Hinduism" at that time.

The Buddha was not a Hindu. SRI SHANKARA (788 CE-820 CE) systematized and founded what the British later dubbed "Hinduism" (the disparate and incomprehensibly diverse practices and views from the Indus River Valley). Shankara organized the commonalities and developed sets of beliefs we would now recognize as "Hindu." But he was very antagonistic towards Buddhism. He reduced the Buddha to a avatar -- an incarnation of the God Vishnu.

And brahmins, to reassert their top status (called into question by the noble-warrior caste Buddha and shramans), invented the story of Vishnu coming down to mislead purposely mislead people away from "Eternal Dharma" (an epithet Hinduism uses for itself). The average Hindu has no idea about any of this. They simply regard the co-opted Buddha as yet another holy man, sage, or avatar, of which there are so many in Hinduism as to stagger the imagination.

Hindu founder Shankara did all he could to destroy Buddhism in India, and Muslim/Islamic marauder completed the task. But by then Buddhism had already become a universal missionary religion, that went on to inspire and lend much to the Earth's two other "world religions," Christianity and Islam. (EXPLORING BUDDHISM AND HINDUISM MAGAZINE)

BRAHMANISM, BUDDHISM, AND HINDUISM

Dr. Lal Joshi (BPS, Wheel No. 150/151)

Dr. Joshi replies to certain Indian scholars who have criticized Buddhism, and others who have put forward the theory that Buddhism is simply a form of Hinduism or an offshoot of it. His thesis broadly falls under five heads, namely:

(1) The Buddha was not "born a Hindu" because Hinduism in its present form had not emerged at the time of his birth; (2) before the time of the Buddha the religion of India was Vedic Brahmanism, but alongside the Vedic tradition there was an ascetic ("'Sramana") stream of religious thought and practice having its origin in prehistoric times; (3) it is to this "'Sramanic" culture that Buddhism has its closest affinity; (4) Hinduism grew out of a fusion of Vedic Brahmanism with Buddhism and other "'Sramanic" religious trends; (5) although Buddhism acknowledges an affinity with the "'Sramanic" cults, it is nevertheless a unique product of the Buddha's direct insight.

Dr. Joshi (professor at the Dept. of Religious Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala, India and visiting fellow at Harvard Univ.'s Center for the Study of World Religions, Cambridge, Mass.) is not the first to have pointed out the more obvious of these facts. But he brings to bear on the subject an impressive erudition and has supported his arguments with a great deal of painstaking research.

FOREWORD - I. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS - II. CURRENT THEORIES OF THE ORIGINS OF BUDDHISM - III. CRITICISM OF THE CURRENT THEORY - IV. DATE OF THE OLDEST UPANISHADS - V. EARLY BRAHMANICAL IDEALS CONTRASTED WITH EARLY BUDDHIST IDEALS - VI. PRE-HISTORY OF RAMANISM - VII. CONCLUDING REMARKS

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