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Paganism and Buddhism

Discussion in 'Syncretic Religions DIR' started by mimpibird39, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. mimpibird39

    mimpibird39 So Many Gods!

    Dec 12, 2012
    Does anyone practice a syncretization of paganism and Buddhism (or any other Dharmic religion)? How does that work for you if you do?

    I've been reading about Greco-Buddhism which has got me interested in this topic/syncretization.

    Greco-Buddhism was the syncretization of Classical Greek culture and religion (Hellenism) with Buddhism Greco-Buddhism came about when Alexander the Great conquered parts of Asia and got as far as India. Hellenism greatly influenced Buddhist art in that area but there were also religious influences.

    For example, Greeks gods in Buddhism usually took on the role of being guardians to Buddha, devas or protectors of Buddhist teachings. Heracles was synchronized with Vajrapani. Athena was not syncretised with a Buddhism deity but instead stayed Greek and was possibly seen as a guardian of Buddhist teachings and cities. The Greek goddess Tykhe was also associated with the Buddhist figure Hariti (who was also an Iranian demon who kidnapped and fed other's children to her own. She has also been associated with the Hindu goddess Saraswati). In Buddhism, Hariti is associated with the protection of children and fertility. She also came to be seen as a protector of the town and good fortune/luck. Tykhe's role in Hellenism was as a protector of towns and cities and a goddess of fortune, fate and chance (much like her Roman counterpart, Fortuna).

    Here is a long but very informative and worth reading post on Greco-Buddhism if anyone is interested in this.
  2. StarryNightshade

    StarryNightshade Your favorite Heterodox Jew.
    Premium Member

    Jan 20, 2013
    Judaism (Traditional Egalitarian)
    Well, for a few months I was a Hindu-Buddhist syncretist. This was after I identified as a Buddhist for over a year. Now I'm back to following only Buddhism; but more as a philosophy (rather than strictly a religion) and I'm also back to being a seeker of sorts. :p

    Mixing Paganism with Buddhism seems very compatible in it's own weird way. I'm not too entirely sure if I'll fully explore this path, but mixing Mahayana or Vajrayana Buddhism with elements of ancient religions I like (such as Hellenistic, Celtic, Egyptian, Persian, Arabian, and Semitic) could be interesting.
  3. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Jul 22, 2011
    Hinduism, Vaishnava
    I meld Hinduism and Buddhism. They are not incompatible. Zhentong Buddhism does not deny the existence of ātman; Tibetan Buddhism is fairly crawling with deities that are almost directly lifted from Hinduism; Tibetan Buddhism also has Adi-Buddha:

    I also throw Taoism into the mix, which at its core is not incompatible with either Hinduism or Buddhism. Hence the symbols of the three religions/philosophies in my avi.