How Buddha was turned Anti Hindu

Orientalists have started treating Buddhism as a separate religion because they discovered it outside India, without any conspicuous link with India, where Buddhism was not in evidence. At first, they didn’t even know that the Buddha had been an Indian. It had at any rate gone through centuries of development unrelated to anything happening in India at the same time. Therefore, it is understandable that Buddhism was already the object of a separate discipline even before any connection with Hinduism could be made.

Buddhism in modern India

In India, all kinds of invention, somewhat logically connected to this status of separate religion, were then added. Especially the Ambedkarite movement, springing from the conversion of Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar in 1956, was very driven in retro-actively producing an anti-Hindu programme for the Buddha. Conversion itself, not just the embracing of a new tradition (which any Hindu is free to do, all while staying a Hindu) but the renouncing of one’s previous religion, as the Hindu-born politician Ambedkar did, is a typically Christian concept.

The model event was the conversion of the Frankish king Clovis, possibly in 496, who “burned what he had worshipped and worshipped what he had burnt”. (Let it pass for now that the Christian chroniclers slandered their victims by positing a false symmetry: the Heathens hadn’t been in the business of destroying Christian symbols.)

So, in his understanding of the history of Bauddha Dharma (Buddhism), Ambedkar was less than reliable, in spite of his sterling contributions regarding the history of Islam and some parts of the history of caste. But where he was a bit right and a bit mistaken, his later followers have gone all the way and made nothing but a gross caricature of history, and especially about the place of Buddhism in Hindu history.

The Ambedkarite worldview has ultimately only radicalized the moderately anti-Hindu version of the reigning Nehruvians. Under Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, Buddhism was turned into the unofficial state religion of India, adopting the “lion pillar” of the Buddhist Emperor Ashoka as state symbol and putting the 24-spoked Cakravarti wheel in the national flag. Essentially, Nehru’s knowledge of Indian history was limited to two spiritual figures, viz. the Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi, and three political leaders: Ashoka, Akbar and himself.

The concept of Cakravarti (“wheel-turner”, universal ruler) was in fact much older than Ashoka, and the 24-spoked wheel can also be read in other senses, e.g. the Sankhya philosophy’s worldview, with the central Purusha/Subject and the 24 elements of Prakrti/Nature. The anglicized Nehru, “India’s last Viceroy”, prided himself on his illiteracy in Hindu culture, so he didn’t know any of this, but was satisfied that these symbols could glorify Ashoka and belittle Hinduism, deemed a separate religion from which Ashoka had broken away by accepting Buddhism.

More broadly, he thought that everything of value in India was a gift of Buddhism (and Islam) to the undeserving Hindus. Thus, the fabled Hindu tolerance was according to him a value borrowed from Buddhism. In reality, the Buddha had been a beneficiary of an already established Hindu tradition of pluralism.

In a Muslim country, he would never have preached his doctrine in peace and comfort for 45 years, but in Hindu society, this was a matter of course. There were some attempts on his life, but they emanated not from “Hindus” but from jealous disciples within his own monastic order.

So, both Nehru and Ambedkar, as well as their followers , believed by implication that at some point in his life, the Hindu-born renunciate Buddha had broken away from Hinduism and adopted a new religion, Buddhism. This notion is now omnipresent, and through school textbooks, most Indians have lapped this up and don’t know any better. However, numerous though they are, none of the believers in this story have ever told us at what moment in his life the Buddha broke way from Hinduism. When did he revolt against it? Very many Indians repeat the Nehruvian account, but so far, never has any of them been able to pinpoint an event in the Buddha’s life which constituted a break with Hinduism.

The term “Hinduism”

Their first line of defence, when put on the spot, is sure to be: “Actually, Hinduism did not yet exist at the time.” So, their position really is: Hinduism did not exist yet, but somehow the Buddha broke away from it. Yeah, the secular position is that he was a miracle-worker.

Let us correct that: the word “Hinduism” did not exist yet. When Darius of the Achaemenid Persians, a near-contemporary of the Buddha, used the word “Hindu”, it was purely in a geographical sense: anyone from inside or beyond the Indus region. When the medieval Muslim invaders brought the term into India, they used it to mean: any Indian except for the Indian Muslims, Christians or Jews. It did not have a specific doctrinal content except “non-Abrahamic”, a negative definition.

It meant every Indian Pagan, including the Brahmins, Buddhists (“clean-shaven Brahmins”), Jains, other ascetics, low-castes, intermediate castes, tribals, and by implication also the as yet unborn Lingayats, Sikhs, Hare Krishnas, Arya Samajis, Ramakrishnaites, secularists and others who nowadays reject the label “Hindu”. This definition was essentially also adopted by VD Savarkar in his book Hindutva (1923) and by the Hindu Marriage Act (1955). By this historical definition, which also has the advantages of primacy and of not being thought up by the wily Brahmins, the Buddha and all his Indian followers are unquestionably Hindus. In that sense, Savarkar was right when he called Ambedkar’s taking refuge in Buddhism “a sure jump into the Hindu fold”.

But the word “Hindu” is a favourite object of manipulation. Thus, secularists say that all kinds of groups (Dravidians, low-castes, Sikhs etc.) are “not Hindu”, yet when Hindus complain of the self-righteousness and aggression of the minorities, secularists laugh at this concern: “How can the Hindus feel threatened? They are more than 80%!” The missionaries call the tribals “not Hindus”, but when the tribals riot against the Christians who have murdered their Swami, we read about “Hindu rioters”. In the Buddha’s case, “Hindu” is often narrowed down to “Vedic” when convenient, then restored to its wider meaning when expedient.

One meaning which the word “Hindu” definitely does not have, and did not have when it was introduced, is “Vedic”. Shankara holds it against Patanjali and the Sankhya school (just like the Buddha) that they don’t bother to cite the Vedas, yet they have a place in every history of Hindu thought. Hinduism includes a lot of elements which have only a thin Vedic veneer, and numerous ones which are not Vedic at all. Scholars say that it consists of a “Great Tradition” and many “Little Traditions”, local cults allowed to subsist under the aegis of the prestigious Vedic line. However, if we want to classify the Buddha in these terms, he should rather be included in the Great Tradition.

Siddhartha Gautama the Buddha was a Kshatriya, a scion of the Solar or Aikshvaku dynasty, a descendant of Manu, a self-described reincarnation of Rama, the son of the Raja (president-for-life) of the Shakya tribe, a member of its Senate, and belonging to the Gautama gotra (roughly “clan”). Though monks are often known by their monastic name, Buddhists prefer to name the Buddha after his descent group, viz. the Shakyamuni, “renunciate of the Shakya tribe”. This tribe was as Hindu as could be, consisting according to its own belief of the progeny of the eldest children of patriarch Manu, who were repudiated at the insistence of his later, younger wife.

The Buddha is not known to have rejected this name, not even at the end of his life when the Shakyas had earned the wrath of king Vidudabha of Kosala and were massacred. The doctrine that he was one in a line of incarnations which also included Rama is not a deceitful Brahmin Puranic invention but was launched by the Buddha himself, who claimed Rama as an earlier incarnation of his. The numerous scholars who like to explain every Hindu idea or custom as “borrowed from Buddhism” could well counter Ambedkar’s rejection of this “Hindu” doctrine by pointing out very aptly that it was “borrowed from Buddhism”.

Career

At 29, he renounced society, but not Hinduism. Indeed, it is a typical thing among Hindus to exit from society, laying off your caste marks including your civil name. The Rg-Veda already describes the Muni-s as having matted hair and going about sky-clad: such are what we now know as Naga Sadhus. Asceticism was a recognized practice in Vedic society long before the Buddha. Yajnavalkya, the Upanishadic originator of the notion of Self, renounced life in society after a successful career as court priest and an equally happy family life with two wives. By leaving his family and renouncing his future in politics, the Buddha followed an existing tradition within Hindu society.

He didn’t practice Vedic rituals anymore, which is normal for a Vedic renunciate (though Zen Buddhists still recite the Heart Sutra in the Vedic fashion, ending with “sowaka”, i.e. svaha). He was a late follower of a movement very much in evidence in the Upanishads, viz. of spurning rituals (Karmakanda) in favour of knowledge (Jnanakanda). After he had done the Hindu thing by going to the forest, he tried several methods, including the techniques he learned from two masters and which did not fully satisfy him,– but nonetheless enough to include them in his own and the Buddhist curriculum.

Among other techniques, he practised Anapanasati, “attention to the breathing process”, the archetypal yoga practice popular in practically all yoga schools till today. For a while he also practised an extreme form of asceticism, still existing in the Hindu sect of Jainism. He exercised his Hindu freedom to join a sect devoted to certain techniques, and later the freedom to leave it, remaining a Hindu at every stage.

He then added a technique of his own, or at least that is what the Buddhist sources tell us, for in the paucity of reliable information, we don’t know for sure that he hadn’t learned the Vipassana (“mindfulness”) technique elsewhere. Unless evidence of the contrary comes to the surface, we assume that he invented this technique all by himself, as a Hindu is free to do. He then achieved Bodhi, the “Awakening”. By his own admission, he was by no means the first to do so. Instead, he had only walked the same path of other Awakened beings before him.

At the bidding of the Vedic gods Brahma and Indra, he left his self-contained state of Awakening and started teaching his way to others. When he “set in motion the wheel of the Law” (Dharma-cakra-pravartana, Chinese Falungong), he gave no indication whatsoever of breaking with an existing system. On the contrary, by his use of existing Vedic and Upanishadic terminology (Arya, “Vedically civilized”; Dharma), he confirmed his Vedic roots and implied that his system was a restoration of the Vedic ideal which had become degenerate. He taught his techniques and his analysis of the human condition to his disciples, promising them to achieve the same Awakening if they practiced these diligently.

Caste

On caste, we find him is full cooperation with existing caste society. Being an elitist, he mainly recruited among the upper castes, with over 40% Brahmins. These would later furnish all the great philosophers who made Buddhism synonymous with conceptual sophistication. Conversely, the Buddhist universities trained well-known non-Buddhist scientists such as the astronomer Aryabhata.

Lest the impression be created that universities are a gift of Buddhism to India, it may be pointed out that the Buddha’s friends Bandhula and Prasenadi (and, according to a speculation, maybe the young Siddhartha himself) had studied at the university of Takshashila, clearly established before there were any Buddhists around to do so. Instead, the Buddhists greatly developed an institution which they had inherited from Hindu society.

The kings and magnates of the eastern Ganga plain treated the Buddha as one of their own (because that is what he was) and gladly patronized his fast-growing monastic order, commanding their servants and subjects to build a network of monasteries for it. He predicted the coming of a future Awakened leader like himself, the Maitreya (“the one practising friendship/charity”), and specified that he would be born in a Brahmin family. When king Prasenadi discovered that his wife was not a Shakya princess but the daughter of the Shakya ruler by a maid-servant, he repudiated her and their son; but his friend the Buddha made him take them back.

Did he achieve this by saying that birth is unimportant, that “caste is bad” or that “caste doesn’t matter”, as the Ambedkarites claim? No, he reminded the king of the old view (then apparently in the process of being replaced with a stricter view) that caste was passed on exclusively in the paternal line. Among hybrids of horses and donkeys, the progeny of a horse stallion and a donkey mare whinnies, like its father, while the progeny of a donkey stallion and a horse mare brays, also like its father. So, in the oldest Upanishad, Satyakama Jabala is accepted by his Brahmins-only teacher because his father is deduced to be a Brahmin, regardless of his mother being a maid-servant. And similarly, king Prasenadi should accept his son as a Kshatriya, even though his mother was not a full-blooded Shakya Kshatriya.

When he died, the elites of eight cities made a successful bid for his ashes on the plea: “We are Kshatriyas, he was a Kshatriya, therefore we have a right to his ashes”. After almost half a century, his disciples didn’t mind being seen in public as still observing caste in a context which was par excellence Buddhist. The reason is that the Buddha in his many teachings never had told them to give up caste, e.g. to give their daughters in marriage to men of other castes. This was perfectly logical: as a man with a spiritual message, the Buddha wanted to lose as little time as possible on social matters. If satisfying your own miserable desires is difficult enough, satisfying the desire for an egalitarian society provides an endless distraction from your spiritual practice.

The Seven Rules

There never was a separate non-Hindu Buddhist society. Most Hindus worship various gods and teachers, adding and sometimes removing one or more pictures or statues to their house altar. This way, there were some lay worshippers of the Buddha, but they were not a society separate from the worshippers of other gods or Awakened masters. This box-type division of society in different sects is another Christian prejudice infused into modern Hindu society by Nehruvian secularism. There were only Hindus, members of Hindu castes, some of whom had a veneration for the Buddha among others.

Buddhist buildings in India often follow the designs of Vedic habitat ecology or Vastu Shastra. Buddhist temple conventions follow an established Hindu pattern. Buddhist mantras, also outside India, follow the pattern of Vedic mantras. When Buddhism spread to China and Japan, Buddhist monks took the Vedic gods (e.g. the twelve Aditya’s) with them and built temples for them. In Japan, every town has a temple for the river-goddess Benzaiten, i.e. “Saraswati Devi”, the goddess Saraswati. She was not introduced there by wily Brahmins, but by Buddhists.

At the fag end of his long life, the Buddha described the seven principles by which a society does not perish (which Sita Ram Goel has given more body in his historical novel Sapta Shila, in Hindi), and among them are included: respecting and maintaining the existing festivals, pilgrimages and rituals; and revering the holy men. These festivals etc. were mainly “Vedic”, of course, like the pilgrimage to the Saraswati which Balaram made in the Mahabharata, or the pilgrimage to the Ganga which the elderly Pandava brothers made. Far from being a revolutionary, the Buddha emphatically outed himself as a conservative, both in social and in religious matters. He was not a rebel or a revolutionary, but wanted the existing customs to continue. The Buddha was every inch a Hindu.

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Belgian Author and Orientalist :A Graduate in Philosophy, Chinese Studies and Indo-Iranian Studies at the Catholic University of Leuven. He frequently returns to India to study various aspects of its ethno-religio-political configuration and interview Hindu and other leaders and thinkers. His research on the ideological development of Hindu revivalism earned him his Ph.D. in Leuven in 1998. He has also published about multiculturalism, language policy issues, ancient Chinese history and philosophy, comparative religion, and the Aryan invasion debate.

Comments

comments

  1. The jati of the progeny is determined by that of the mother not father according to Hindu tradition.

    Ex 1: Dasaratha had many wives apart from the 3 Kshatriya ones and they had children. But they were not considered Kshatriya and so he didnt have a successor. So he had to do the Yajna to get progeny off his Kshatriya wives.

    Ex 2: When Vyasa begot children off Ambika and Ambalika by Niyoga, they were considered Kshatriya but not Vidura who was born off a Shudra women.

    The case with Yajnavalkya is different, he didnt know his jati but considering his adherence to truth, the highest quality of a Brahmin, his teacher concluded he must be Brahmin by nature. Here the quality is of Varna not Jati. While Jati is a social setup, Varna is a philosophical idea. Yajnavalkya’s teacher was varna oriented for the obvious reasons while Dasaratha and Satyavati were mindful of the society’s Jati system when they wanted Kshatriya progeny to be successors.

    • Mother’s Religion, not Caste, determines that of Child

      1. The commentator argued that “the Jaati of the progeny is determined by that of the mother, not father, according to Hindu tradition”.

      This line of argument does not seem to be correct. It appears that he might have mixed religion with caste which are different concepts all together. Actually, it is the religion of the progeny that depends on mother’s religion.

      Earlier there used to be only one religion on this land, and therefore, this question did not arise. Later came the Yavan. Barbarian as they were, they used sword to convert Hindoos into their religion. As generations passed, inter-religious marriages began to take place though more like exceptions, not norms. In time, it was felt necessary to evolve new guidelines dealing with exceptions.

      Let us look at the logistics. Father would go away early morning and return after the day’s work because his primary responsibility would be to provide for means of living to the dependants. Child would grow up in company of the mother, learn nuances of religion from the mother, and logically, mother would impart such religious education to her child according to the religion she followed. Thus, child would grow up to be an adherent of mother’s religion, in thought, action, and belief.

      An example would be that of famous Arundhati Roy, father Braahman’, mother Christian; mother left husband early with the young kid, raised her all through according to Christian values which were, in most instances, quite opposed to that of Hindoo value system. Child grew up and left the mother following her footsteps that deserted her husband; split in divided allegiance to conflicting parental ideologies, but also with the accumulated venom that her mother had nourished the child with, the anti-Hindoo venom; which grown up Arundhati personifies today; made a living by collecting empty beer bottles from road side dustbins and reselling them. Shrewd and deceptive as the Yavan-s were, characterized throughout their history, Arundhati too found it in her favour to use first name “Arundhatee (अरुन्धती)” — the wife of Rishi Vashisth’ (वशिष्ठ) — chastity personified, unblemished, revered, and worthy of following by all Hindoo women. She also found it profitable to retain father’s family name “Roy” a Braahman’ surname. But inside her built, the psyche remained that of her mother, the venomous one, and the deceptive one which made lesser informed Hindoos think of her as Hindoo but her true nature remained well known to those who, for their benefit, lifted her to the sky. This analysis was intended to demonstrate the significance of mother’s religion in cases of paramount clash of ideologies.

      2. The commentator offered the argument that “Dash’Rath’ had many wives apart from the three Kshatriya ones and they had children. But they were not considered Kshatriya and so he didn’t have a successor. So he had to do the Yajna to get progeny off his Kshatriya wives”. The question is whether Dash’Rath’ (दशरथ) had “many” wives “apart from” Kaushalya, Kaikeyee, and Sumitra? Does Sanskrit Vaalmeeki (वल्मीकि) Raamaayan’ (रामायण) confirm this? I would be interested in seeing some reliable and verifiable source that Dash’Rath’ indeed had many wives other than Kaushalya, Kaikeyee, and Sumitra.

      Vidur’ was not a claimant to the throne of Hastinaapur because he was born of a household help (maid servant) who did not belong to the Royal family; NOT because of her Varn’; and Vidur’s Varn’ was not in question

      3. The commentator offered the argument that “when Vyaas’ (व्यास) begot children off Ambika (अम्बिका) and Ambaalika (अम्बालिका) by Niyog’ (नियोग), they were considered Kshatriya (क्षत्रिय) but not Vidur’ (विदुर) who was born off a Shoodr’ (शूद्र) woman”

      The question is whether (a) Vidur’ was not identified as a Kshatriya’ or (b) Vidur’ was not identified as a claimant to the throne because Amba (अम्बा), unwilling to obtain a descendant (वंशज) through Vyaas’, sent her domestic help (maid servant) who did not belong to the Royal family?

      This question is important because the commentator began his comment with the argument “The Jaati of the progeny is determined by that of the mother not father, according to Hindu tradition”. If the base argument is correct then the example that follows could be said as supporting the base argument. Otherwise, example that follows would establish nothing.

      Not Yaagya’Valkya’, but SatyaKaam’ Jaabaal’ whose Gotr’ was unknown to his mother, and yet he was admitted in GuruKul’ recognizing in him the desire to tell Truth disregard how it affected him socially

      4. The commentator offered the argument that “the case with Yaagya’Valkya’ (याज्ञवल्क्य) is different, he did not know his Jaati (जाति) but considering his adherence to truth, the highest quality of a Braahman’ (ब्राह्मण), his teacher concluded he must be Braahman by nature. Here the quality is of Varn’ (वर्ण) not Jaati. While Jaati is a social setup, Varn’ is a philosophical idea. Yaagya’Valkya’s teacher was Varn’ oriented for the obvious reasons while Dash’Rath’ (दशरथ) and Satyavatee (सत्यवती) were mindful of the society’s Jaati system when they wanted Kshatriya progeny to be successors”.

      Here, I am not sure if the commentator had Yaagya’Valkya’ in mind or SatyaKaam’ (सत्यकाम)Jaabaal’ (जाबाल)? They were different individuals. Let us examine the case of SatyaKaam’ Jaabaal’ in some detail:

      The child goes to Gurukul’ (गुरुकुल) for Shiksha (शिक्षा). Guru asks about his Gotr’ (गोत्र roughly speaking, the bloodline emanating from Saptarshi-s सप्तर्षि). Child knew not about it. He replied what he had learned from his mother. He told his Guru, that his mother “Jaabaal’” did not know who his father was. She would serve the Rishi-Munis that passed by their village and rest for the night. One of them would be his father. Since he spoke of Satya (सत्य Truth) with a desire (काम Kaam’) to speak the truth, he became known as SatyaKaam’ Jaabaal’ (ref: Chhaandogya Upanishad’ छान्दोज्ञ उपनिषद).

      Varn’, a valuable structural reality of Hindoo society, and Caste a sub-set thereof

      5. The commentator put forward a hypothesis ” While Jaati is a social setup, Varn’ is a philosophical idea”.

      I would want to describe Varn’ (वर्ण) a social system based on birth and Caste (जाति) as a sub-set of Varn’ system.

      If interested, you may want to refer to my published work at Google Books Partner Program or read full contents at http://www.maanojrakhit.com/Website-2013-06-13/books/11.html

    • As per Manusmriti Caste is not by Birth, Caste is by the Profession one does, Sage Veda Vyasa was a Shudra but he became a Brahmin by sincerely following all that is required of a Brahmin and he gifted the whole World the Greatest Epic ‘Mahabaratha’. Maharishi/Rajarishi Viswamithra was a great Kshatriya Warrior King but he too by following the Brahmana Life Style sincerely became a Brahmin and gave some of the greatest Mantras to the World, so correct ur self.

  2. Pingback: Religion, Caste (जाति), Varn’ (वर्ण) in Hindoo society | Shankhnaad'

    • Yes, Buddha was born in india in lumbini garden which is presently in Nepal. During the time of Buddha the entire Nepal, Afganistan, pakistan, tibet, parts of modern china were all parts of India. later on the partitions happened and what we see are the countries carved out of ancient india.

      So because during the time of buddha, his birth place and kingdom were part of ancient india, he is considered an Indian.

  3. If Buddhism came from Hinduism or visa versa is of no importance. Buddhism has proven itself to be the most unique of all the major religions and it’s uniqueness is what proves itself to me to be the one true religion. No other religion was say, “it’s better to be a good Hindu/Christian/Jew, ect than to be a bad Buddhist” as Buddhism does. No other religion would say there is no creator god as a creator god is illogical….why would an all caring and loving god create infallible beings then punish them for being infallible? Buddhism is free from compulsion and coercion, and does not demand of the follower blind faith. Human beings are much too credulous. The vast majority of us believe either what. we want to believe. or what we have been told to believe. It is a rare person who thoroughly and honestly explores the question: “How do I know?” One of the greatest appeals of Buddhism for the Western mind is that the Buddha repeatedly told his followers to base their convictions neither on faith nor on scripture. ‘Investigate. analyze and see for yourself ‘ he told them; then you can believe.

    A truly beautiful example of the Buddha’s approach to epistemology is found in the Kalama Sutta which reads as follows:

    “The Kalamas who were inhabitants of Kesaputta, sitting on one side of the Blessed One: ‘There are some monks and Brahmins, Venerable Sir. who visit Kesaputta. They illustrate and illuminate only their own doctrines; the doctrines of others they despise, revile, and pull to pieces. Some other monks and Brahmins too, Venerable Sir, come to Kesaputta. They also illustrate and illuminate only their own doctrines; the doctrines of others they despise, revile and pull to pieces. Venerable Sir, there is doubt, there is uncertainty in us concerning them. Which of these reverend monks and Brahmins spoke the truth and which falsehood?”

    The Buddha replied:

    “It is proper for you, Kalamas, to doubt, to be uncertain; uncertainty has arisen in you about what is doubtful. Come, Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumour; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another’s seeming ability; nor upon the consideration: ‘The monk is our teachor’. Kalamas, when you yourselves know: (Thru mindfulness and vipassana meditation) ‘These are bad; these things are blamable; these things are censured by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill’, then abandon them.”

    I would disagree with the authors quote, ” The Buddha was every inch a Hindu” and would add the Buddha was every inch an enlightened being and the teacher to all mankind.

    • Thanks, Mark for clearing the wrong view of the author.
      Buddhism doesn’t come from Hinduism or any other religion. buddha discovered the truth, the dhamma. Truth cannot be derived from beliefs and customs it has to found out by self-experience. He is a discoverer of truth not an inventor. He is free from labeling himself. not even as buddhist. He is a ” teacher ” who teach people how to live as a good human beings and a ” doctor” who heal the world illness due to greed, anger and ignorance. He is the only one who can be seen even after his death more than 2500 years ago. Buddha said ” if someone want to see him or understand the teaching, they have to pratice the four Nobel path. ” he who see the dhamma, see me” Buddha.
      So what I want to tell the author is even if you get a phd religious study and read all the research paper you couldn’t understand Buddhism. For example, to some one who never eat mango fruits, even if he read thousand book on taste of mango, until he eats them, he will never understand how mango taste like.

      • The four nobel path you say, those four nobel paths are borrowed from hinduism. He basically preached what he learned for himself by following the Vedanta philosophy in his own life & moved on to give it a different name & select only the stuff he wanted to preach his followers.

        You got to understand that when Vedic philosophy existed, the society was more free to follow what they believed in. They were not forced to follow guidelines. Much to the contrary, the modern religions be it christianity, muslims & buddhists, they have guidelines to follow in their lives. It already confirms that these religions are not as old as the vedic times & needed followers. Therefore guidance was provided 🙂

    • From the author )

      Not just the Buddha, even Mark is a Hindu. He doesn’t call himself that? Well, since he uses the term “Hindu” pejoratively, he will certainly understand this likeness: a liar doesn’t usually call himself a liar, though he falls under the term’s definition. To be sure, Mark is carried away by the current manipulations of the word “Hindu”, which is usually but falsely reduced to its theistic-devotional form. When the word “Hindu” was introduced in India by the Muslim invaders, it included all variations of Hinduism, including the Buddhists a.k.a. “clean-shaven Brahmins”. Like most Hindus, Mark is enamoured of the founder of his Hindu sect, viz. Buddhism. He praises the Buddha to the skies (regardless of the flawed historicity of the Pali Canon on which he bases his beliefs), thereby proving what greatness a Hindu was capable of.

      Dr. Koenraad Elst

    • Mark. That’s exactly what Hinduism is. Hence the article is bang on. Buddha is 9th avatar of Vishnu . one of that is Rama. This is a Hindu belief. Vedic religions all ask one to question and not follow. We are hear to understand the true self…

    • Mark, you dont get the point at all. It’s not surprising because the world today believes in clean boxes – buddist/hindu/Christian – there is little possibility for ambiguity or development in such with-us-or-without-us thinking. What I understand Dr Elst is saying is that Buddhism was started by an awakened Hindu who never shrugged off his roots, but built on them to come up with teachings that many people embraced.

      Buddha never claimed he was a prophet, or wanted to create a new world order, which derides those who dont follow it – this is the essence of Hinduism, which stresses that there are many ways to self-fulfilment; and hence thousands of sects, sub-sects, ostensibly different, co-exist in India, some rising others waning at various periods of time.

      This could happen because the “religions”, if one could call them so, are more social/knowledge oriented in their approach, and were not interfered with by kings (the jaati system) – they seek to satisfy the most innate desire of humans for times immemorial – Who Am I? Why Am I Here? – in various ways.

      Hope this background helps you understand the article better. Go in peace.

    • are u kidding me? are you trying to say that hinduism and buddhism are same …haha don’t joke around ok…am buddhist …..we don’t need to discuss here so much but answer me that what the ultimate goal as buddhist and hindu …totally different ..and how did buddhist and buddhism vanished from india ? think about it ..its all because of strong rival from hindu and muslim india ..if that could be same then y hindu are are so alive and buddhist are barely to find in india ….

    • exactly ,,,mark ..its incredible and amazing answer to that lair author …i feel like to write the same reply as you did //…

  4. Ambedkar was opportunist who hardly took part in any freedom struggle ,
    Society was in Bad shape and they needed reforms and upliftment , But there were other people doing those job at ground level , Ghadge Maharaj,Phule etc..Even Ghandi try to take Harijans with him.
    Ambedkar 22 points are nothing but hate against Brahmins and nothing else.
    He wanted to take some other religions as well .
    Buddhism has nothing to do with Neo-Buddhism of ambedkar

  5. Tile itself suggests the author has approached Hinduism with his narrow perspective of ‘Religion’ which is relevant only to Abrahamic sects i.e. Christianity and Islam. While Christianity/Islam emphasize on strictly follow (by verbatim) what is written in their respective holy books so as to reach Heaven/Jannat, to the contrary a Hindu is supposed to be a “seeker” who is free to experiment and find it’s own ways to attain the supreme goal of Nirvaana/Moksha.

    The “Drama” streams within Hinduism (e.g. Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism etc) are all about accommodating diverse (even opposite) views/practices within itself. So much so, an atheist such as Charvak can still be a Hindu !….This indeed is a unique hallmark of Hinduism which makes it distinct vis-a-vis the “religions”.
    So, please don’t attempt writing something that one doesn’t understand.

    Buddha indeed was a very powerful critic of many theories/practices prevailed in Hinduism nevertheless as a matter of fact he NEVER (not even once) announced discarding his Dharma i.e. Hinduism. He himself did not announce any new sect/religion rather followed the ‘core ethos’ of Hinduism went to the extent of telling people not to follow him/his thoughts but to discover their own ways/methods to attain Nirvana/Moksh!
    Unlike Christianity/Islam, in Hinduism there is long tradition of self-critic which is promotes/encourages as a means to attain Shuddhi time-to-time which must not be mistaken as turning “Anti” to its own traditions.
    Buddh was neither the first not will be the last Yogi to undertake such critical scrutiny which has made Hinduism only stronger !

  6. Pingback: How Buddha was Turned Anti Hindu (hinduhistory.info) | Hinduism Now

  7. Very Enlightening article! Million Thx for the Grt Author for the Effort put in..

    • Thanks Upali! I agree that Hinduism is useless. Also, I don’t believe the Buddha was actually a historical person.

      • Are you sure of your own existence dear Zambori, I don’t believe that you too exist. Please post a photo of yours as a proof of your existence

  8. Religion is formed by ordinary people to propogate some eternal truths exemplified by great beings like Buddha. Hinduism is a word coined to denote a million practices of worship followed in what was known as bharata varsha. Great beinga are beyond religion. So no point in claiming Buddha was a Hindu , though it may be technically correct.

  9. Pingback: Meditation at the Speed of Light – Ironbear Living

  10. What I am born today as, is not in my hands to change. What I am born. Wherever born I am if I can see the world with a broader eye, try to make things best out of from a higher principle (truth, wisdom, nature of life and death, the game of big and small by perceptions, then I am evolving to a higher degree. If one gets it, and grow stronger from that, he gets to know the truth of existence. Those men and women – born in any background are recoginzed in India time immemorial. The many rishis, sages, munis, divine singers and many others we all remember from across the bharat varsha, is based on this fact. Now, in last 250 years, we have lost many and before intellectual analyzers and certify the highest intellectual analyzer with mannerism and code as thought by western men. In India, the men of highest order is not measured by mannerism but what they bring to the society’s greatness. The top example is the Shiva himself who sat in graveyard with absolute no resemblance of what a western man could identify. He is called the adi yogi or whatever. And that level of wisdom can be in anyone who adher to truth – rajas, peasants, brahmins, carpenters and so many are there in that level as example if we dig through.