Why Buddhism failed in India?

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by A chauhan, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. A chauhan

    A chauhan "अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l" Senior Member

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    Buddhism the one of the most prominent religion of the world has failed in India its birthplace.

    1. It has failed to survive as a state religion.

    2. It has failed to survive as a way of life and currently India has only 0.5 to 1 % buddhists here.

    Buddhism was heavily propagated by one of the biggest Emperors of India and of the world Samrat Ashok.

    But if you see now its presence in India is negligible . Some people say that it was extinguished from India because of Brahmins and Kshatriyas, some say that the Muslim invasion was responsible for it, but it doesn't appear like that because Chinese Buddhists are also turning atheists without any violence. Moreover mere violence can't kick a religion out of the practice, it must have some socio-economical and spiritual factors behind it. Swami Vivekanand said :-

    There must be some other reasons except violence for this, What you guys say?
     
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  3. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    buddhism picked up very fast and lost the pace,
    the main reasons for its failure is no potential religious leader to name about after these emperors.may be internal strives for power in between them
     
  4. warriorextreme

    warriorextreme Senior Member Senior Member

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    Buddhism lost the battle because of predominantly two things.

    1.Destruction of state sponsored buddhism (started with Pusyamitra sunga killing brahdrata)
    2.Work done by Adi Shankara who is also called as Prachanna Buddha( Buddha in disguise)
     
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  5. dhananjay1

    dhananjay1 Regular Member

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    Buddhism was never a majority 'religion' in India. Only the imperial patronage by Ashoka gave it a boost. Buddhism managed to take roots in other cultures because it provides fine philosophical and social structures through the developments that were developed in India. But, there was no such advantage in India itself because here these developments were already in place through various traditions of 'Hinduism'. Thus the competition was stiiff and Buddhism didn't survive it. Though it survived as a minority tradition in the northern plains till 12th century and was finally wiped out by the Jihadi destruction that took place at the end of 12th century. It would have survived if it had even a single strong center in the south, but it didn't so it didn't. The Indian Mahaayaana tradition was also lost in the south east Asia. Theravaada Buddhism took over in Kambuja and champaa, while Java was islamised.
     
  6. Decklander

    Decklander New Member

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    Buddhism never failed in India. In the seventh century, Sankaracharya challenged them to a dharm dwandh and defeated them as a result of which all of them reconverted to Sanatan dharm enmass.
     
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  7. jmj_overlord

    jmj_overlord Regular Member

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    did buddhism contribute to the forming of any other religion ?
     
  8. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Reviving Buddhism in India | Ron Purser
     
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  9. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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  10. Simple_Guy

    Simple_Guy Regular Member

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    Spread of Buddhism

     
  11. Simple_Guy

    Simple_Guy Regular Member

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    Another point of Jainism and Buddhism is that they remained elite religions, never becoming the people's religion, which was always Hinduism.

    They relied on state support while Hinduism had the people's support. Even after Islamic invasions, Jainism survived because of state support in Gujarat-Rajasthan from the Rajput rulers, but Buddhism was wiped out.
     
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  12. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    also Mahayana vs. Hinayana, anyone care to elaborate? East Asia mostly of Mahayana school, while the latter followed by southern minority neighboring Myanmar n Laos.

    Sent from my 5910 using Tapatalk 2
     
  13. Eesh

    Eesh Regular Member

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    Pushyamitra did withdraw state sponsorship of Buddhism, but did not destroy it.

    Shankkaracharya came on the scene about 1,000 years later.

    State patronage by Ashoka was a big facrtor in spread of Buddism. But unfortunately, it spawned a big class of monks who were freeloaders, shirker and general drain on resources. Fact is agriculture and economy suffered heavily due to easy living provided by monasteries. Not surprising it became ddegenerate.

    Another factor was that around Ashoka times, Buddhists started actively trashing Hinduism and its philosophies. Consequently, a philosophical battle started in which Buddhist philosophers were the losers.

    Shunyavad. Shankar and even Gaudpada before him did not condemn it, but accepted it as being in conformity with Parbrahmma.
     
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  14. Tolaha

    Tolaha Senior Member Senior Member

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    If we are going to measure the success of Buddhism in India, solely by the number of people who call themselves as Buddhists, then perhaps it did fail. But if Buddha's philosophies/teachings/morals have become a part of our culture, making it indistinguishable from what we call as Hinduism today, then perhaps Buddhism is successful.

    However, even before we can answer the question as to 'why Buddhism failed?", we need to perhaps answer "Did Buddhism fail at all?"!. Once its decided that it indeed has failed, maybe then it would be possible to do a post-mortem.

    Hinduism today is an amalgamation of what was, in the 6th century, unique and at times totally contradictory philosophies. To determine the winner in a race to conquer the heart and mind of the Indians, that was started way before 6th century, we need to decide who are the participants in this race. So who are they? I dont have the ability or the means to distinguish Buddhism in the 6th century from the boutique of philosophies then. I will atleast try to name these different philosophies. Mind you, it would be silly to include Hinduism as one of the participant, as its a recent clubbing of a number of participants, because some foreigners were too lazy to remember all the names of complex sounding philosophies. If we go a little back, none of our ancestors would be able to identify themselves as Hindus but rather place themselves under one of the participants mentioned below. Let's not loose our ability to judge basing our opinions around recently formed terminologies.

    There is the Vedic Bhrahmanism, it is still the philosophy followed by Brahmins in India. But it does have quite a few flavors. It is, in itself, a rich boutique of philosophies then and now. It is the dominant group undoubtedly though, with most of the non-Brahmans assimilated into one of the streams of Vedic Brahminism. The major philosophies in here would be Advaita, Dvaita, Shrautha, Bhakthi.

    Then we have Shaiva and Vaishnava. Though it would sound wrong in the current age to call them as religions, but they are sectarian, and hence, clearly divergent from Vedic Brahminism. Atleast in South India around the 12th century, I guess the fight would have been primarily between Shaiva, Vaishnava, Jaina and Buddha schools.

    We have the Charvaka, which I have always suspected, to be the silent winner. Aren't most youngsters followers of this? ;-)

    We have numerous village/regional deities. For example, in parts of Karnataka, worship of the spirits is a common practice by the Hindus (and Jains and at times even Muslims!). These spirits/village deities do not have any relevance in Vedic Brahmanism but are the central part of the worship by Hindus today in significant numbers across the country.

    Then we have religions based on the Gurus. Nowadays, it would be the Arya Samaj, ISKON, Osho, Sai Baba etc.

    And lastly, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, which are similar to the Guru based religions, but differ in terms of perhaps having institutions that have been established to carry on the work of the Gurus, rather successfully in a larger scale for a longer duration.

    I'm sure I might have missed numerous important ones, but atleast this would give us some fair idea to rank Buddhism amongst various Indic religions.
     
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  15. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    any links.....
     
  16. Decklander

    Decklander New Member

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    Adi Shakaracharya not only defeated Buddhists but also many other sects and brought them back to sanatan dharma.
    Philosophical tour





    Sharada temple at Sringeri Sharada Peetham, Sringeri
    Adi Shankara then travelled with his disciples to Maharashtra and Srisailam. In Srisailam, he composed Shivanandalahari, a devotional hymn in praise of Shiva. The Madhaviya Shankaravijayam says that when Shankara was about to be sacrificed by a Kapalika, the god Narasimha appeared to save Shankara in response to Padmapadacharya's prayer to him. As a result, Adi Shankara composed the Laksmi-Narasimha stotra.[29]





    Sarvajna Peetha, on Kodachadri peak, near Kollur where Adi Shankara is believed to have meditated
    He then travelled to Gokarṇa, the temple of Hari-Shankara and the Mūkambika temple at Kollur. At Kollur, he accepted as his disciple a boy believed to be dumb by his parents. He gave him the name, Hastāmalakācārya ("one with the amalaka fruit on his palm", i.e., one who has clearly realised the Self). Next, he visited sringeri to establish the Śārada Pīṭham and made Sureśvarācārya his disciple.[30]

    After this, Adi Shankara began a Dig-vijaya "tour of conquest" for the propagation of the Advaita philosophy by controverting all philosophies opposed to it. He travelled throughout India, from South India to Kashmir and Nepal, preaching to the local populace and debating philosophy with Hindu, Buddhist and other scholars and monks along the way.

    With the Malayali King Sudhanva as companion, Shankara passed through Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Vidarbha. He then started towards Karnataka where he encountered a band of armed Kapalikas. King Sudhanva, with his Nairs, resisted and defeated the Kapalikas. They safely reached Gokarna where Shankara defeated in debate the Shaiva scholar, Neelakanta.

    Proceeding to Saurashtra (the ancient Kambhoja) and having visited the shrines of Girnar, Somnath and Prabhasa and explaining the superiority of Vedanta in all these places, he arrived at Dwarka. Bhaṭṭa Bhāskara of Ujjayini, the proponent of Bhedābeda philosophy, was humbled. All the scholars of Ujjayini (also known as Avanti) accepted Adi Shankara's philosophy.

    He then defeated the Jainas in philosophical debates at a place called Bahlika. Thereafter, the Acharya established his victory over several philosophers and ascetics in Kamboja (region of North Kashmir), Darada and many regions situated in the desert and crossing mighty peaks, entered Kashmir. Later, he had an encounter with a tantrik, Navagupta at Kamarupa.[31]

    Adi Shankara - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    You can do some more net search and will find some very very interesting facts about Adi Shankaracharya.
     
  17. A chauhan

    A chauhan "अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l" Senior Member

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    @Tolaha I called it a failed religion on the basis of the two facts:-

    1. The contribution of Buddhist philosophy to Indian philosophy is limited.

    2. Buddhist population % in India, its birthplace is negligible which is a strange fact, because it has a very good presence in other countries.

    It is very strange that Buddhism is about to extinct in its birthplace, hence I said that it failed in India, however you may call it a successful religion in other countries.
     
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  18. Tolaha

    Tolaha Senior Member Senior Member

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    err.... would you elaborate on the facts? Just as an example, do we still place animals in the fire pit, to say, get the ability to buy a new car? Ok, I was joking. The point that I was trying to make is, in that earlier (lengthy!) post was, that many of Buddhist philosophies have got so imbibed in our culture, that it is not easily distinguishable. Buddha was about not following a practice blindly just because its written by someone long back. But if majority of Indians still believe that the animals that we drop into the fire in an elaborate ceremony do directly reach the gods and that a yajna or spending many years in desolate forests performing tapasya is the only way to convince the gods to fulfill all our wishes, then yes, Buddha was a failure and I give up.
     
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  19. A chauhan

    A chauhan "अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l" Senior Member

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    That could be the real case, and again it doesn't signify that Buddhism was successful, rather I will say that Buddhism has affected Hinduism or Indian philosophy in more or less positive way. Its contribution is still limited or minimal to the larger Indian philosophy, however I may be wrong.
     
  20. Eesh

    Eesh Regular Member

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    Pick up any good book on Indian Philosophy.
     
  21. Eesh

    Eesh Regular Member

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    Don't have much love lost for Buddhists. But influence of Buddhism on Sanatan Dharm cannot be denied. In fact the real development of Vedanta philosophy was in response to Buddhism. But Buddhism itself was contained. The denouement is that Buddha is considered 8th avatar!!
     
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