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Forum LockedWhy did Buddhism not overtake Hinduism in India?

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dud View Drop Down
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    Posted: 19-Jan-2009 at 18:15
India is the birthplace of two major religions: Buddhism and Hinduism. When Buddhism started spreading just before the time of the Qin Dynasty's rise to power, India, of all places, did not yield to the flourishing religion. Why did India stick to Hinduism? Did it have anything to do with the Brahmans' political influence? Was Buddhism shunned?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote prisha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jan-2009 at 00:44
Buddhism was accepted both by common folk and upper castes especially the main patrons were merchant community who donated vast amounts of money for buddhist activities. Most of the king's wives and moms became followers of buddhism and made donations for stupas and buddhist shramanakas. so how come it disappeared from india, you wonder all that charity and benovolance attracted lot of riff-raff into buddhism making the people hate the bhikkus and bhikkunis. Hindu society is based on work based castes, each caste had its own place in society because they performed certain acts which are in turn like wheels chugging the scoiety machinery.
Bhikkus and Bhikkunis did not have any specific act to be performed except they wanted societies charity for ever. Hinduism in turn accepted the best things taught by buddha and elevated him to one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu. people who were attracted to buddhism before found their calling back to hinduism when Adi Shankara appeared on scens along with Ramanuja attracted these lost people to hindu fold. My state had lot of buddhist history and we are finding so many things through archeological excavacations. i love buddhas teachings and find comparable things in my own religion. i do not feel i am away from hinduism as the core concepts of buddha actually exist in hinduism itself. This hindu prince who is one of the greatest humanitarians ever lived on earth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hmmm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jan-2009 at 01:13
Originally posted by dud dud wrote:

India is the birthplace of two major religions: Buddhism and Hinduism.


India is the birthplace to not 2 but 4 major religions.  Apart from the above 2 please note Jainism and Sikhism.  Without them you will not get the whole picture.

Quote When Buddhism started spreading just before the time of the Qin Dynasty's rise to power, India, of all places, did not yield to the flourishing religion. Why did India stick to Hinduism? Did it have anything to do with the Brahmans' political influence? Was Buddhism shunned?


Buddhism spread the most during Ashoka's times and was probably the most popular religion in the sub-continent with most followers.  Things changed a lot from 4 CE.  Lot has to do with internal dynamics and tussle with other competing ideologies.  However, some has to do with outside invaders also most notably White Huns, who destroyed one of biggest Buddhist centers ever created.  Muslim invaders also did their part to destroy this religion.  Some of the remnants were destroyed till very recently, most notably Bamian Buddhas were destroyed by Taliban in Afghanistan.


Edited by hmmm - 20-Jan-2009 at 01:14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jan-2009 at 01:15
Great answer prisha.

Buddhism did gain a substantial minority in the subcontinent. Especially in what is now called Bengal, Bihar, Pakistan & Afghanistan. Bihar - which is Budda's native state is even named after a type of Buddhist university ("Vihar").
"O Byzantines! If success is your desire and if you seek right guidance and want your empire to remain then give the pledge to this Prophet"
~ Heraclius, Roman Emperor
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dud Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jan-2009 at 18:42


India is the birthplace to not 2 but 4 major religions.  Apart from the above 2 please note Jainism and Sikhism.  Without them you will not get the whole picture.

Could you explain this further? What part did Sikhism and Jainism play in the absorbtion of Buddhism into India?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hmmm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jan-2009 at 21:13
Originally posted by dud dud wrote:



India is the birthplace to not 2 but 4 major religions.  Apart from the above 2 please note Jainism and Sikhism.  Without them you will not get the whole picture.

Could you explain this further? What part did Sikhism and Jainism play in the absorbtion of Buddhism into India?


I was merely correcting your initial statement in the opening post of this thread where you said that India is a birthplace of 2 major religions.   I replied that India is a birthplace of not 2 but 4 religions.

Jainism predates Buddhism and Sikhism is of a much later origin.  It is also accepted that Jainism originated in the same area as Buddhism.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jan-2009 at 00:09
Originally posted by prisha prisha wrote:

Buddhism was accepted both by common folk and upper castes especially the main patrons were merchant community who donated vast amounts of money for buddhist activities. Most of the king's wives and moms became followers of buddhism and made donations for stupas and buddhist shramanakas. so how come it disappeared from india, you wonder all that charity and benovolance attracted lot of riff-raff into buddhism making the people hate the bhikkus and bhikkunis. Hindu society is based on work based castes, each caste had its own place in society because they performed certain acts which are in turn like wheels chugging the scoiety machinery.
Bhikkus and Bhikkunis did not have any specific act to be performed except they wanted societies charity for ever. Hinduism in turn accepted the best things taught by buddha and elevated him to one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu. people who were attracted to buddhism before found their calling back to hinduism when Adi Shankara appeared on scens along with Ramanuja attracted these lost people to hindu fold. My state had lot of buddhist history and we are finding so many things through archeological excavacations. i love buddhas teachings and find comparable things in my own religion. i do not feel i am away from hinduism as the core concepts of buddha actually exist in hinduism itself. This hindu prince who is one of the greatest humanitarians ever lived on earth.
 
Thank you, prisha, for answering a question I've had for quite some time, but never thought to ask on the forum. I appreciate the thought you put into it. And thank you, dud, for asking the question in the first place. Smile
 
-Akolouthos
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rcscwc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Apr-2009 at 08:45
Originally posted by dud dud wrote:

India is the birthplace of two major religions: Buddhism and Hinduism. When Buddhism started spreading just before the time of the Qin Dynasty's rise to power, India, of all places, did not yield to the flourishing religion. Why did India stick to Hinduism? Did it have anything to do with the Brahmans' political influence? Was Buddhism shunned?
 
India, at one time did yield to Buddhism.
 
But the reasons why Buddhism could not hold for long are many. A big, firce battle on philosophical palin, slowly but steadily saw the decline of Buddhism. After all, coming down to the kernel, there was not much difference between the two dharmas. They had common morality and ethics.
 
By 200 AD, Hindu philosophies redined themselves. Buddhism was increasing shown to be a parallel of Vedanta and Shankracharya gave the final push.
 
But the after effects of Buddhism were prolonged. At height of Buddhism, Indian economy suffered. So did the military strength. It happened because large number of men became monks, who contributed nothing to the economy and military.
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because buddhism  is  a part of the  hindu philosophical school system. it cannot be looked seperately
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Yes and No to some answers here. 
Yes because, During Ashoka, almost entire kingdom (except deep south of India) was Buddhism. I find it rediculous people talking about Brahminism in every aspect, as they were holding power. May be it is mostly fashion statement. Any ways. I have some answers of what i learned from different people across Buddhist experts and several others. This is not my deduction and i don't claim it.

Hinduism ( as you name, The Sanathana Dharma) for that any religion exisits only with Patronage, So please stop blaming Brahmins, they are just instruments Kings used. 
Some myths:
Did Buddism died? No .. Buddhism is assimilated into Sanatha Dharma and Buddha became a another Avataar. (Boudha Avatare ... ) and unconsciously is part of hymns of any temple in India. Now probably your question is why is not as separate entity and buddha temples like you perceive in Buddhism.  
Reasons:
1. After Ashoka, the later kings fell back and as patronage was down, so is the significance.  This should answer many about blaming Brahmins (I am sorry, i  call them stupid). 
2. Buddhism fell in it's own good, As it did not recognize Brahminism, every one was absorbed and unfortunately drunkards, unclean and every one stepped in the ladder of religion and were not role models. So the Brahminical Buddhism survived(I mean to say people who followed good spread to find patronage across world, well received and honoured). 
3. Any religion which is in contact with India, can influence but cannot escape caste system, will it( Buddhism too fell to caste system) unfortunately one is prominent, either caste system or Buddhism. People choose caste over Buddhism partly because of human nature of trying to be superior and trying to be important. Victim is the kind of Buddhism you wanted to see.
4. Brahmins for generations, like always they did went in philosohical debates and leader is the one who debates and wins the heart of diciples and people. Obviously he gets the money to run the school and funds and respect from kings. So as someone rightly pointed out.. Adi Shankaracharya revived Hinduism (as we call it now). He could convince people fall back on philosophy and Buddha bacame Avataar. Hindus (as you call them) pray Buddha as well.  Remember in those days, Brahmins and Buddhists ( Brahmins) had same school of study. Debates went on the reincarnation. God, rituals etc etc.  Thus when Adi Shankaracharya won the debate over Mandala Mishra and several other monks across India. The most Brahmin Buddhists fell back to refined philosophy. Well This was time, Jainism was too on rise with patronage in many kingdoms of Northwestern parts. Also there were other proponents vaishnavites, Shivites etc etc. 
It flourished in countries with vaccum in philosophy. So what did Shankaracharya proposed, he simplified numerous upanishads, Vedas etc. Shunned rituals, caste systems. Are we following it as he revived it atleast .. is a different debate. 

Regards
-- Anand
-- Regards

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