Discerning the Buddha: A Study of Buddhism and of the Brahmanical Hindu Attitude to it

By: Lal Mani Joshi

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What is the Brahmanical Hindu understanding or misunderstanding of the Buddha and Buddhism? Modern enlightened 'Hindus' wedded to the Vaidika/Sanatana Dharma tradition hold that the Buddha was a 'Hindu' reformer, Buddhism a 'Hindu sect'; that original Buddhist teaching was Vedantic or 'Hinduistic', and that the Buddhists have misunderstood the fulfillment of 'the Hindu religion' and distorted the original teachings of the Great Master! On the other hand, stalwarts like Swami Vivekananda and Sir Radhakrishnan Also say that the Buddha is one of the makers of 'Hinduism'. The former even said that the Buddha was the greatest 'Hindu Seer, Philosopher, Vedantin, Karmayogin, and the only God who walked on the earth. Satkari Mookerjee has declared that 'every Hindu is a Buddhist'. The ancient and medieval scriptures of Brahmanical Hindus, however, regarded the Buddha as a 'barbarian', an 'outcast', a 'nihilist', and a 'non-aryan' teacher of the religion of the evil age (kaliyuga). The Puranas inform us that the Son of Suddhodhana, born among the non-aryan tribe of 'Kikatas', was no other than the Supreme Lord Visnu who had assumed a false avatara for the sole purpose of misleading demons! This incarnation of God had criticised the Vedas, opposed the sacred Vedic ceremonies, and questioned the supremacy of the brahmanas. He was pure, compassionate and dispassionate; He practised renunciation and meditation, and was very wise; many people worshipped Him in this kaliyuga. But He was an 'atheist', opposed to the holy Veda; He taught equality of brahmanas and untouchables, men and women, and black and white castes and races. Those who followed His religion proceeded to hells! Such are the conflicting attitudes towards the Buddha and Buddhism in the land of the Dharma famous for religious tolerance and synthesis. The present volume attempts an analysis and a systematic study of the traditional Brahmanical now called 'Hindu' attitude to Buddhism in India. The bulk of the volume, however, is devoted to an exposition of the fundamental doctrines of Buddhism in the Indian context. The author follows a combined methodology, although he reviews several current approaches to the study of the history and doctrines of Buddhism. Historical interactions and mutual favours between Brahmanic and Sramanic traditions, the role of Buddhism in the transformation of early Brahmanism into new Brahmanism and the evolution of 'Hinduism', the differences between Buddhism and Brahmanism/Hinduism, the differences between the ancient and medieval representatives and modern representatives of the Brahmanical tradition to Buddhism, Buddhist responses to this modern 'Hindu' attitude, and a review of Buddhist contributions to Indianism, are some of the subjects discussed in this book. One of the most important parts of this book deals with what the author has called 'God's Alternative in Buddhism'. An outline of Buddhology as a systematic study of the idea of Buddhahood, is one of the new themes discussed here. Another often neglected subject is a brief account of the possible Buddhist influences in the Judeo-Christian religious tradition. The volume is offered as a basis for further study and scholarly dialogue in the area of intercultural and historical hermeneutics in the study of religion in South Asia. Printed Pages: 298.

Title: Discerning the Buddha: A Study of Buddhism and of the Brahmanical Hindu Attitude to it

Author Name: Lal Mani Joshi

Categories: India, Buddhism and Buddhist Studies,

Edition: Reprint

Publisher: New Delhi, India, Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd.: 2008

ISBN: 8121501385

ISBN 13: 9788121501385

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: New

Jacket Condition: New

Size: 15 x 23 Cm

Seller ID: 024799

Keywords: Indian Buddhism Buddhist Discerning the Buddha