Buddhism in India

gajapati

Regular Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2022
Messages
522
Likes
2,311
Country flag
Rebirth in Hinduism vs Buddhism

In hindusim there is concept of a permanent soul which changes body like dress . In buddhism also there is concept of rebirth but its slightly different .

Buddhism does nt believe in a permanent soul or self . The birth rebirth is just the unbroken chain of consciousness . The present form of consciousness inherits the impression from the past consciousness . Its like flame . Each moment the flame is different and has its own condition of existence different from the past flame which had its own condition of existence . But yet it is a unbroken stream .

Another example is a snow ball which moves on the slope of mountain . Through its course it accumulate many particles and also sheds many particles ( read as karma ) . The snowball at the top of mountain is no more the present snow ball but there must be some impression of past snowball which is left on it .
Cessation of suffering -

One who has understood conditional nature of universe , momentary nature of existence the action is no more driven by attachment , hatred , infatuation ( raga , dvesa , moha ) . The action is pure . There is no permanent self for whom you ll write paragraphs in "about myself " in facebook or try to impress everyone in instagram . You dont feel the need to publish in social media how you helped the poor yesterday .

The snowball which fell from the mountain slope no more accumulate particles ( karma ) .. it only sheds ..

Its like When you get hold of a violin and start playing your favorite notes in a isolated mountain .. This is the kind of action which is not directed at achieving something , motivated or influenced by raga , dvesa , moha ..

When someone asked Buddha what happens to a person who got nirvana when he dies .. Does he exist or not .. Buddha said if you have been hit by a arrow and you are in pain , what ll you do ? Will you remove the arrow or contemplate who shut the arrow or what kind of metal arrow is made of ? Buddha maintained such non speculative attitude towards metaphysical question and focused more on removal of misery .
 

MilkTeaAlliance32

Regular Member
Joined
May 26, 2022
Messages
71
Likes
167
Country flag
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.
Buddhism is a fascinating belief system. Most people in Taiwan and East Asia, the main thing they think of India traditionally, is "Tianzhu" (heavenly center, the old name for Indian subcontinent). According to Buddhist belief, the Western Paradise was where most people went after death. You have no idea how many Buddhist groups and temples are in Taipei alone, some from the Japanese occupation era also.

I think it is sad that the people of India today have little idea what Buddhism truly means. :(
 
Last edited:

BlackViking

Regular Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
991
Likes
3,962
Country flag
Buddhism is a fascinating belief system. Most people in Taiwan and East Asia, the main thing they think of India traditionally, is "Tianzhu" (heavenly center, the old name for Indian subcontinent). According to Buddhist belief, the Western Paradise was where most people went after death. You have no idea how many Buddhist groups and temples are in Taipei alone, some from the Japanese occupation era also.

I think it is sad that the people of India today have little idea what Buddhism truly means. :(
Following Dharma, that's what Gautama Buddha wanted and that's what we still follow. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism are all but branches of Vedic philosophy.
 

LurkerBaba

Super Mod
Joined
Jul 2, 2010
Messages
7,882
Likes
8,106
Country flag
You are correct when you say Buddhism is centralised to the state power. As we know for the Hindus every Brahmin were a potential priest. No ordination was mandated as such. Every household carried on rituals viz recitation of particular Mantras pilgrimages everybody memorizing some Veda its very purpose.

By contrast, Buddhism had instituted ordination.Monasteries were supported by the people and kings like Ashoka. When support got removed buddhism fell like a pack of cards. There are more reasons certainly.
Exactly. That's what I'm trying to convey. Hinduism is like a distributed system. Even when defeated its very difficult to wipe out compared to an institutionalized system like the Buddhist sangha.

However, the flip side of such a decentralized system is you can't expand easily when you're in power. That is probably why Hindus find it so difficult to create powerful religious institutions in India or abroad.

There's an interesting theory that the Islamic madrassa system was modelled after Buddhist Viharas (in central asia). Institutions are great for expanding and projecting power, but can be destroyed or coopted in defeat.
 
Last edited:

asaffronladoftherisingsun

Dharma Dispatcher
Senior Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2020
Messages
10,466
Likes
64,199
Country flag
Exactly. That's what I'm trying to convey. Hinduism is like a distributed system. Even when defeated its very difficult to wipe out compared to an institutionalized system like the Buddhist sangha.

However, the flip side of such a decentralized system is you can't expand easily when you're in power. That is probably why Hindus find it so difficult to create powerful religious institutions in India or abroad.

There's an interesting theory that the Islamic madrassa system was modelled after Buddhist Viharas (in central asia). Institutions are great for expanding and projecting power, but can be destroyed or coopted in defeat.
Can Hindu Dharma maintain the cultural complexity if it is institutionalised as organised religion?

In my understanding its the intense cultural complexity that has kept DHARMA alive to this day.

Maybe this vast decentralisation is direct consequence of such cultural complexity.

Buddhism or not there has never been islam devoid of politics.So we know madarsa is part of islamic politics.
 

LurkerBaba

Super Mod
Joined
Jul 2, 2010
Messages
7,882
Likes
8,106
Country flag
Can Hindu Dharma maintain the cultural complexity if it is institutionalised as organised religion?

In my understanding its the intense cultural complexity that has kept DHARMA alive to this day.

Maybe this vast decentralisation is direct consequence of such cultural complexity.

Buddhism or not there has never been islam devoid of politics.So we know madarsa is part of islamic politics.
But you need expansion, institutions and centralised power. The world has no status quo, anything that doesn't expand only contracts.

Perhaps a different form of Dharma is needed for export purposes? Interestingly, Alan Watts called Buddhism the export form of Hinduism
 

Love Charger

चक्रवर्ती
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2021
Messages
8,755
Likes
23,063
But you need expansion, institutions and centralised power. The world has no status quo, anything that doesn't expand only contracts.

Perhaps a different form of Dharma is needed for export purposes? Interestingly, Alan Watts called Buddhism the export form of Hinduism
I agree since Buddhist expanded outside India, it survives today .
 

asaffronladoftherisingsun

Dharma Dispatcher
Senior Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2020
Messages
10,466
Likes
64,199
Country flag
But you need expansion, institutions and centralised power. The world has no status quo, anything that doesn't expand only contracts.

Perhaps a different form of Dharma is needed for export purposes? Interestingly, Alan Watts called Buddhism the export form of Hinduism
Dogra rulers of our BHARAT's Kashmir apparently had a proselytizing policy towards other nature worshiping people including kalash siahposh nuristanis and even Buddhists of ladakh. Extremely far sighted to be honest..

I can show other examples. The entire silk route xinjiang were full of Dharmics. Obviously many of our Sanatani kings had maintained very proselytizing policies wrt DHARMA.

A Brahmin named Śīlabhadra was the President of Nalanda during the time of xuanzang He was the guru of xuanzang understood the whole Shastras. Xuangzang calls him a "Treasure of True Law".

What do you think he is referring to when he says without ever having to send a single soldier ;)

1654401203422.png
 
Last edited:

tribendra bisoi.

Regular Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2022
Messages
258
Likes
1,099
Please comment @LurkerBaba whenever you have time.

These indian philosophies should be promoted with more funding instead of those social science . Philosophy ll give some meaning to life and ll help people go through tough times . And this is our civilizational heritage .
The problem with indian philosophy is its written in sophisticated language .. And its mostly academic . Whats needed is knowledge should be transmitted in simple language with use of animation etc .
 

LurkerBaba

Super Mod
Joined
Jul 2, 2010
Messages
7,882
Likes
8,106
Country flag
Dogra rulers of our BHARAT's Kashmir apparently had a proselytizing policy towards other nature worshiping people including kalash siahposh nuristanis and even Buddhists of ladakh. Extremely far sighted to be honest..

I can show other examples. The entire silk route xinjiang were full of Dharmics. Obviously many of our Sanatani kings had maintained very proselytizing policies wrt DHARMA.

A Brahmin named Śīlabhadra was the President of Nalanda during the time of xuanzang He was the guru of xuanzang understood the whole Shastras. Xuangzang calls him a "Treasure of True Law".

What do you think he is referring to when he says without ever having to send a single soldier ;)

View attachment 158747
That's reinforcing my point. Silabhadra was a Buddhist monk (most Buddhist monks were Brahmins or Kshatriyas) and Nalanda was mostly a "Buddhist" university funded by the Vaishnava Guptas.

Now you might say that the distinctions between "Hinduism" and "Buddhism" were meaningless. And there is truth to that. But there also a separate phenomenon at work, about primary and secondary "religions" - "Buddhism" has ways to define in group and out group. This is not unique to "Buddhism", ISKCON or even Sikhism have similar characteristics.

A great thread on this, includes stuff about Primary and Secondary religions
 

asaffronladoftherisingsun

Dharma Dispatcher
Senior Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2020
Messages
10,466
Likes
64,199
Country flag
Now you might say that the distinctions between "Hinduism" and "Buddhism" were meaningless.

A great thread on this, includes stuff about Primary and Secondary religions
Medieval Shinto adopting and acknowledging various Brahmanvaadi principles to create a form of Japan's own Hinduism
1655779389867.png


Yamato Katsuragi Bozanki appropriated story of Bhagvaan Vishnu called Ikō and lotus flower

1655779471201.png


In Shingon text this Japan is considered a part of Jambudvipa. Also the Japanese Imperial Dynasty is called a "Chakravartin" and BHARAT is considered the center of the world.

1655779662575.png


1655779667847.png


Hirata Atsutante the greatest scholars of the Edo era also a Shinto nativist praises the "Ancient Brahmanvaadi traditions" and says the buddhists have copied Brahmanvaadi stories/myths and falsely attributed them to the Buddha.

1655779760352.png
 

tommy

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2013
Messages
568
Likes
1,820
Medieval Shinto adopting and acknowledging various Brahmanvaadi principles to create a form of Japan's own Hinduism
View attachment 160936

Yamato Katsuragi Bozanki appropriated story of Bhagvaan Vishnu called Ikō and lotus flower

View attachment 160937

In Shingon text this Japan is considered a part of Jambudvipa. Also the Japanese Imperial Dynasty is called a "Chakravartin" and BHARAT is considered the center of the world.

View attachment 160938

View attachment 160939

Hirata Atsutante the greatest scholars of the Edo era also a Shinto nativist praises the "Ancient Brahmanvaadi traditions" and says the buddhists have copied Brahmanvaadi stories/myths and falsely attributed them to the Buddha.

View attachment 160940
Which book is that?
 

HeinzGud

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2011
Messages
2,558
Likes
1,063
Country flag
Yes and no. That whole "Buddhism lost because of non violence" is BS. Buddhism was basically the belief system of elite Kshatriyas. Non violence doesn't even figure in the 4 tenents of Buddhism, this perception is because of Western hippie culture.

My understanding is that Buddhism is centralised and tied to state power, unlike Hinduism which is decentralized. If the state gets destroyed then Buddhism gets wiped out but Hinduism can survive.

However, the opposite is also true - if the state somehow survives then it's very powerful and can go toe to toe with most foes.

Just look at South East Asia, it's the Hindu kingdoms which converted to Islam. Buddhist states like Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam have powerful and influential militaries. There's a great book "Zen at War" on how Japan effectively used Buddhism post Meiji to promote militarism.
No I think that in India Buddhism was mostly spread among the merchant class (Vaisya). Many of Buddha's disciples were merchants or traders. Whereas Hinduism was practiced by the common folk such as farmers. That may be the reason for the decline of Buddhism as a whole because there was no link to peg the faith with the ground level.

This was opposite to what happened in Sri Lanka, where Buddhism became the common man's religion. It withstood the hardships even after the destruction of the central authority.
 

Flying Dagger

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2019
Messages
3,151
Likes
8,404
Country flag
Can Hindu Dharma maintain the cultural complexity if it is institutionalised as organised religion?

In my understanding its the intense cultural complexity that has kept DHARMA alive to this day.

Maybe this vast decentralisation is direct consequence of such cultural complexity.

Buddhism or not there has never been islam devoid of politics.So we know madarsa is part of islamic politics.
When we say institutions it doesn't mean the practice of Brahmins being the guardian of literature need to be destroyed or the practice of allowing people to conduct and practice on their own need to be interfered.

Hindu Dharma is too complex for such things to work.

But today we need powerful centres who can manage temples, construction , running them at the same time and expand it.

then we need centres which can take up the job if old age shastrarthas with other religious figures.


and also a potent wing to take action.

In short a Trinity with three different functions.

we are only failing where we lack knowledge and brute force. Logically we are much more sound than any philosophy or ideology that exists anywhere.
 

Global Defence

Articles

Top