Sunday, August 24, 2008

on the new india: anand giridharadas

aug 24th, 2008

well said. the problem is compounded by the fact that the civilization of the land, hinduism, which is also india's greatest contribution to the world, is being wiped out. thus we have a bunch of rootless, alienated people.

btw, i have been arguing with someone who claims that buddhism is india's greatest contribution to the world, which is an axiom in certain circles. my claim is that buddhism is an atheistic, evangelistic variant of hindu thought, with most of its principles identical to hinduism. but a lot of people profess great respect for buddhism, just as a way of dissing hinduism. any thoughts?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: K.V.


http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/08/14/asia/letter.php


6 comments:

murali said...

Nizhal,

Let me start with a personal anecdote.I know someone who is 'educated',belongs to a high hindu non brahmin caste,originally from AP,settled in TN for over 300 years.The amount of hatred he has for Hinduism is unbelievable.But he professes to be a buddhist.

At least in his case,i know where the hatred comes from-pernicious british and dravidian propoganda,and quota systems in a scarce economy.The same reasons operate with other 'intellectuals' with self loathing and lack of depth and a general purposelessness which make them identify with buddhism.

Many brahmanas feel an affinity for buddhism because it rejects caste system.In many of the earlist followers of buddha were brahmanas.

For the same reason,many sensitive indviduals throughout india are attracted by buddhism.The Protestant Christians and British rule have played no mean role in denigrating hinduism and in creating this complex among hindus.The christists have exaggerated the ills of hinduism.But now,this is changing.It is because of people like you.

But the fact that the buddhism was a natural outgrowth of hinduism to which it returned is so crystal clear to us now.The fact which intrigued the french scholar/statesman Andre Marlaux doesn't surprise us at all.

Mahayana Buddhism which was exported to China had a theistic component.The Amiya Buddha was the theistic counterpart of 'Brahman'.Infact,this attracted the ire of Confucians/taoists in the past.

Ghost Writer said...

I quite agree on the use of Buddhism to somehow - anyhow, do Hinduism down; but the way to circumvent this is to own up to the Buddha even more. Besides dissing is done by folks who know practically nothing about Buddhism anyway. I am not sure if Buddhism fits the bill of "evangelistic" - that word has a pejorative context now.

If you see, Buddhism fit like a thin coating - a veneer on every society that took it up. China remained essentially Confucian and Japan remained essentially Shinto many centuries after "converting" to Buddhism. It did not interfere with the social stratification or the culture of both countries - even in India the much reviled caste system could not be beat down.

This is different from the "cultural carnivore" evangelists like Christism and Mohammedanism

Shahryar said...

I was under the impression that it was Buddhists who invented the idea of untouchability for the class of people who dealt with butchering animals and animal by-products like leather, etc.

After all Vedic dharma had use for animal sacrifices...

This is why the Japanese too have a caste of untouchables known as the buraku.

nizhal yoddha said...

interesting thoughts, ghost writer. is the idea that buddhism is only a thin veneer part of the reason the mohammedans were so easily able to wipe it out all the way from central asia to bengal?

and christists so easily korea?

of course, none of the pseudo-secularists will admit that buddhism was wiped out in india by mohammedans. they claim sankara did it. yeah, sankara and whose army? in fact the end of buddhism in india was marked by the sack of nalanda by baktiar khilji, where he beheaded *every single* monk.

shahryar, the burakumin apparently were people handling animal carcasses and are untouchables. i am not sure the buddhists invented untouchability. but that's an interesting hypothesis. after all, it was the white guys who invented casteism!

AGworld said...

People love Buddhism because it remains completely supine in front of semitic assault.

Hinduism can and has risen to challenge in the same coin.
Often victoriously, though not in the recent past.

The semitic types love it because its easier to wipe out, so the approach may be move from hindu to buddhist and then wipe out.

The other reason may well be that many in the west generally love buddhism because its a complete anti-thesis to western ideology and hence a more powerful, direct repudiation of western thought (than say hinduism, which is ok with western-style aggression depending upon the situation).

Finally i think people diss hinduism since its harder to grasp and requires thought -- not what most people associate with the role of religion.
They see it (religion) as something that gives all the answers (kill the infidel and you will have peace) rather than pose tough questions as hinduism does (what is your dharma, arjuna??).

what does everyone think?

Sandeep said...

Rajeev,

May I humbly submit my own writing on this subject? I try to show that Buddhism is just Vedanta repackaged.

http://www.sandeepweb.com/2006/05/29/buddha-as-a-vedantin/

http://www.sandeepweb.com/2006/06/06/buddha-as-a-vedantin-2/

Thanks!
Sandeep