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Were Hindus and Buddhists enemies?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by ronki23, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. ronki23

    ronki23 Well-Known Member

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    The antics of Adi Shankara in the 8th century assuming he was born in 788 and died in 820 CE are well known and part of history. Sankara postulated the Vedas as authority; and hence was ranked as a Sanatani. Later on, the priestly class appropriated this and Max Muller called it Hinduism. Thus Hinduism dates back to to the 8th century.

    He was the arch foe of Buddhism and the principal architect of its downfall in India (Pande 1994: p. 255). Adi Shankara, along with Madhva and Ramanuja, was instrumental in the revival of Hinduism through aggressive and violent means.

    The historians like Vincent Smith suggested that it was due to Adi Sankaracharya there wasdecline of Buddhism in India. Others argue that it was due to the Muslim invasion (of Bakhtyar) that Nalanda was routed and the library there was burned and thousands of Buddha viharas were destroyed subsequently. Much of this is described in The Book of Thoth(Leaves of Wisdom).

    Shashanka was the Shaivite Brahmin king of Bengal. He was manipulated by the Brahmins to become a ferocious oppressor of the Buddhists. He had destroyed the Bodhi tree of Bodh Gaya and ordered the mass destruction of all Buddhist images and monasteries in his kingdom.

    1. Lal, V. 2004. Buddhism’s Disappearance from India [serial online]. [cited 2009 August 26]; [2 screens]. Available from

    2. Jaini, P.S., Narain A.K., ed., 1980. The Disappearance of Buddhism and the Survival of Jainism: A Study in Contrast. Studies in History of Buddhism. Delhi: B.R. Publishing Company:181-91.

    3. Ahir, D.C. 2005. Buddhism Declined in India: How and Why? Delhi: B.R. Publishing.

    Prof. P. Sankaranarayanan in his article The life and work of Sri Sankara published in the web page of Kanchi Mutt writes: “Buddhism, the rebel child of the Vedic religion and philosophy, denied God and the soul, laid the axe at the very roots of Vedic thought and posed a great danger to its very survival. This onslaught was stemmed occasionally, compelling Buddhism to seek refuge in other lands. While the credit for this should go primarily to the Mimamsaka, Kumarila Bhatta, it was because of Sri Sankara’s dialectical skill and irrefutable arguments that it ceased to have sway over the minds of the inheritors of Vedic religion.”

    T1) The Divyavadana (ed. Vaidya, 282). The most important of the murderous Hindu bigots who carried out their systematic campaign of violence against the peaceful followers of Lord Buddhawas Pushyamitra (184-48 B.C.), the founder of the Shunga dynasty. For details and refrences do see below

    2) Goyal [430] “The culprit in this case was Toramana, a member of the same dynasty as the Shaivite Mihirakula who did “immense damage to the Buddhist shrines in Gandhara, Punjab and Kashmir.” For details and refrences do see BELOW

    3) Mihirakula is said to have razed 1600 viharas, stupas and monasteries, and “put to death 900 Kotis, or lay adherents of Buddhism” [Joshi, 404].

    4) The Aryamanjushrimulakalpa tells us that Pushyamitra “destroyed monasteries with relics and killed monks of good conduct.” [Jayaswal, 18-19]

    5) As Goyal [394] notes, “According to many scholars hostility of the Brahmanas was one of the major causes of the decline of Buddhism in India.”

    6) The celebrated Tibetan historian Lama Taranatha mentions the march of Pushyamitra from Madhyadesha to Jalandhara. In the course of his campaigns, the book states, Pushyamitra burned down numerous Buddhist monasteries and killed a number of learned monks The archaeological evidence for the ravages wrought by Pushyamitra and other Hindu fanatic rulers on famous Buddhist shrines is abundant.

    7) The Brhannaradiya-purana lays it down as a principal sin for a Brahmana to enter the house of a Buddhist even in times of great peril.

    8) The drama Mrchchhakatika shows that in Ujjain the Buddhist monks were despised and their sight was considered inauspicious.

    9) The Vishnupurana (XVIII 13-18) also regards the Buddha as Mayamoha who appeared in the world to delude the demons. Kumarila is said to have instigated King Sudhanvan of Ujjain to exterminate the Buddhists.

    10) The Kerala-utpatti describes how he exterminated the Buddhists from Kerala.”

    11) The Chinese traveller Yuan Chwang (Huen Tsang), who visited India in the seventh century records the oppressions of Shashanka, the king of Gauda, who was a devotee of Shiva.

    12) Yuan Chwang’s account reads, “In recent times Shashanka, the enemy and oppressor of Buddhism, cut down the Bodhi tree, destroyed its roots down to the water and burned what remained.” [Watters II p.115] He also says that Shashanka tried “to have the image (of Lord Buddha at Bodhgaya) removed and replaced by one of Shiva”.

    13) Another independent account of Shashanka’s oppressions is found in the Aryamanjushrimulakalpa, which refers to Shashanka destroying “the beautiful image of Buddha” [Jayaswal, 49-50].

    14) Another prominent seventh century murderer of Buddhists was Sudhanvan of Ujjain, already mentioned in the quotation from Goyal above as having been supposedly instigated by Kumarila Bhatt.

    15) Madhava Acharya, in his “Sankara-digvijayam” of the fourteenth century A.D., records that Suddhanvan “issued orders to put to death all the Buddhists from Ramesvaram to the Himalayas”.

    16) Even after the Islamic invasions of India, Hindu bigotry and hatred for Buddhists was not subdued. According to Sharmasvamin, a Tibetan pilgrim who visited Bihar three decades after the invasion of Bakhtiaruddin Khilji in the 12th century, the biggest library at Nalanda was destroyed by Hindu mendicants who took advantage of the chaos produced by the invasion.

    He says that “they (Hindus) performed a Yajna, a fire sacrifice, and threw living embers and ashes from the sacrifice into the Buddhist temples. This produced a great conflagration which consumed Ratnabodhi, the nine-storeyed library of the Nalanda University”. [Prakash, 213]. Numerous destroyed Buddhist shrines were converted into Hindu temples after their destruction.

    17) Ahir [58] notes that “The Seat of Buddha’s Enlightenment was in the possession of a Hindu Mahant till 1952.

    18) Similarly, at Kushinara, where the Buddha had entered into Mahaparinirvana, the cremation stupa had been converted into a Hindu temple, and on top of it stood the temple of Rambhar Bhavani when Cunningham discovered the site in 1860-61.

    19) Among the shrines which still continue to be dedicated to Hindu gods mention may be made of the Caityas of Chezrala and Ter in Andhra Pradesh which are now Shiva and Vishnu temples respectively.

    20) The temple of Madhava at Sal Kusa, opposite Gauhati in Asam, was once a sacred shrine of the Buddhists. …

    21) And the famous Jagannatha temple at Puri in Orissa was also originally a Buddhist shrine.

    22) Similarly, the Vishnupada temple at Gaya was also once a Buddhist shrine.” As Rajendralal Mitra notes in his famous work of 1878 [quoted in Ahir, 59] the feet of Buddha at Gaya were rechristened the feet of Vishnu and held as the most sacred object of worship in the new Vishnupada temple.

    23) According to the records of Hieun Tsang and Kalhana’s Rajaatarangini, Asoka the great repented, converted to Buddhism (273-232 BC) and did a lot for Buddhism. Asoka renounced violence, and renounced his religion after the Kalinga war, and he became a Buddhist. During Asoka, Buddhism had become the state religion. The Brahmans did not like him, and many historians think the Brahaman opposition to Asoka led to the destruction of the Muyarian dynasty says the following about the Kushans (emphasis is mine and not Nehru’s): ” This Kushan Empire is interesting in many ways. IT WAS A BUDDHIST EMPIRE, and one of its famous rulers-the Emperor Kanishka-was ardently devoted to the dharma…the Kushans were Mongolians or closely allied to them. From the Kushan capital there must have been a continuous coming and going to the Mongolian homelands, and Buddhist learning and Buddhist culture must have gone to China and Mongolia…the Kushan Empire sat like a colossus astride the back of Asia, in between the Greaco-Roman world in the south. It was a halfway house both between India, and Rome, and India and China. The Kushan period corresponded with the last days of the Roman Republic when Julius Ceaser was alive, and first 200 years of the Roman Empire

    25) THE HINDU KASHATRIYA HINDU AND BUDDHIST WARS
    Jawarhalal Nehru in his book Glimpses of World History says (Page 103 and 104) “Chandragupta proclaimed his holy war “against all foreign rulers in India. The Kashatriyas and the Aryan aristocracy, deprived of their power and positions by the aliens (Kushans), were at the back of this war. After a dozen or so years of fighting, Chandragupta managed to gain control over Northern India including what is now called UP. He then crowned himself king of kings. Thus began the Gupta dynasty. It was a period of somewhat aggressive Hinduism and nationalism. The foreign rulers-the Turkis and Parathions and other Non-Aryans were rooted our and forcibly removed. We thus find racial antagonism at work. The Indo-Aryan aristocrat was proud of his race and looked down upon these barbarians and malachas. Indo-Aryan States and rulers were conquered by the Guptas were dealt with leniently, But there was not leniency for non-Aryans.

    26) Jawarhalal Nehru in his book Glimpses of World History says “Chandragupta’s son Samadugupta was an even more aggressive fighter than his father….the Kushans were pushed back across the Indus…Samadugupta’s son, Chandragupta II was also a warrior king, and he conquered Kathiwad and Gujrat, which had been under the rule of a Saka or Turki dynasty for a long time. He took the name Vikramaditya…..The Gupta period was a period of Hindu imperialism in India. There was a great revival of old Aryan culture and Sanskrit learning. The Hellenistic, or Greek and Mongolian elements in Indian life and culture which had been brought by the Greeks, Kushans and others were not encouraged, and were in fact deliberately superseded by laying stress on the Indo-Aryan traditions. Sanskrit was the official court language. But EVEN IN THOSE DAYS SANSKRIT WAS NOT THE COMMON LANGUAGE OF THE PEOPLE.
     
  2. Srivijaya

    Srivijaya Active Member

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    And how is it today in India? I believe there's a resurgence amongst the Dalits. Just wondering how modern Hindu nationalists deal with Buddhists?
     
  3. Samantha Rinne

    Samantha Rinne Active Member

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    I don't think enemy is the right word. An "enemy" you see as actually fighting wars and stuff. The Hindus (aside from untouchables and outcasts) generally didn't like Buddhist inattention to caste, and the Buddhists essentially decided to move away from their origin state to parts of China.
     
  4. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Historical stuff is extremely difficult to get an accurate observation on, as it's written with bias, changed over time, and so very long ago. Who knows what accurately happened? What matters is how we get along today, and in general terms, it's admirable.
     
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  5. ronki23

    ronki23 Well-Known Member

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    Not in Sri Lanka where the Sinhalese Buddhists were killing the Tamil Hindus
     
  6. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Tamil community there is about half Christian, half Hindu, and the Tiger leaders were all Christian. It was far more a Sinhala - Tamil conflict than a Hindu Buddhist conflict. Hindus, if they could, fled to safer places, like Europe and Canada.
     
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