Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

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Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby jonaz108 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:59 pm

Namaste!
My obeisances to all,

I am curious about the fact that in the Shurangama Mantra,
there is (2 or 3 times) a worship to Indra, Rudra, Brahma and Narayana
that are some of the main Hindu Deities...
Any thought?

Thank you in advance,
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Re: Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby Indrajala » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:19 pm

Indra is one of the protectors of the cosmos. He heads the four Mahārājas, who guard the four directions.

Brahma likewise is friendly to Buddhism.

The gods should be respected and honoured. They are not specifically Hindu. Indra for example is Zeus and Thor (common Indo-European heritage).
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Re: Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby jonaz108 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:30 pm

Indrajala wrote:Indra is one of the protectors of the cosmos. He heads the four Mahārājas, who guard the four directions.

Brahma likewise is friendly to Buddhism.

The gods should be respected and honoured. They are not specifically Hindu. Indra for example is Zeus and Thor (common Indo-European heritage).


Is not Zeus the equivalent to Odin..?
Zeus could be equivalent to Indra (The keeper of celestial realms) like Odin..
But Thor is the son of Odin :shrug: Well, whatever... Thanks Indrajala! Namaste.
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Re: Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby Indrajala » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:37 pm

The identities of gods differ given the temporal and cultural factors at play.

Buddhism is basically polytheist and despite what a lot of people nowadays say, the gods have an important role to play in the cosmos. They are not proper refuges, but the Buddha never denied their existence.

In the greater scheme of things, having the blessings of friendly gods is probably in your interests. Historically Buddhists have seen it like this as well. Hence why you find these gods in Buddhist temples all over Asia.
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Re: Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby zamotcr » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:51 pm

Indrajala wrote:The identities of gods differ given the temporal and cultural factors at play.


It is good to hear this. I always thought that each god has to have a relation to other gods of other cultures, I mean, if a god is real, more than one people would see it, of course, each one will saw it according to his cultural view. I think also that the descriptions of Buddhist gods and devas is the same, influenced by Hindu culture, perhaps they are completely different that we think (they could be like archetypes)

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Re: Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby plwk » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:34 am

Buddhists are non-theists, hence do not 'worship' nor take refuge in worldly deities but merely accord the usual respect as Ven Indrajala mentioned to them like how you would accord respect to your family elders and those worthy of respect and that is what the Shurangama Dharani does in the case of mentioning the devatas as protectors. The ultimate reliance and refuge for us as Buddhists goes to the Noble Triple Gem. Dharma Protectors again are further classed into what is worldly/mundane and the enlightened (emanations of Buddhas & Bodhisattvas).

Just like in the Roman Catholic sense, for the sake of a comparison, they distinguish between latria, hyperdulia & dulia. The first is adoration, highest & reserved only for the Trinity, the second, special veneration to the Virgin Mary for her role and the third, common veneration for the Saints. The Protestants, the uninitiated and even some ignorant Catholics themselves oft confuse all three and make an issue of it where there's none.

If you look at this thread you will find I used the term 'shared legacies' in that Buddhism is seen as using many instances that are also common to other Indic based systems and perhaps beyond but the difference is the context and purpose. Even the Jains have for instance Lakhsmi, the consort of Vishnu and Sarasvati but how they regard these goddesses are not the same context and purpose as the Hindus would.

For instance, when the Buddha taught the young rich householder, Sigalovada in the Sigalovada Sutta, on the significance of the ancient Vedic sixfold directions worship practice, the former would have devatas assigned to each quarter but the Buddha gave it a totally new context and purpose when Sigalovada was blur as to its meaning. The Brahma deva who requested for the Buddha to teach? In traditional commentaries (when and if I find the link to a traditional commentary on this, I will update here), he is not a mundane deva but a Noble Third Stage Arhat, an Anagamin from a previous Buddha's period but who is on that stage of sainthood in the Brahmaloka. Another one is in the highest rung of the realm of Form, the Akanishta Heaven, is where those on the various Arhat stages would take birth before reaching the final fruit in early Buddhist texts and in Vajrayana, Akanishta again takes on another context and purpose. And all who are sitting in the position as a future Buddha in our world system, in their second last birth would make an appearance in Tusita Heaven located in the realm of Desire, like the present Maitreya Bodhisattva who is the Lord of the Inner Court of Tusita. And for instance, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva will use His many expedient forms, as one can see in Chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra and the Karandavyuha Sutra, where some of the deva ranks are mentioned as emanations of Himself in order to reach out to certain audiences.

So, through one's investigation of the scriptures and commentaries, one will learn to distinguish to some extent, the who's who and where and why.
But as Buddhists, we do not regard the concept of devas as how the theists conceive of them but merely those who are still creatures of duhkha and subject to sam & sara, just like myself. Take a read in the Dhajagga Sutta? That will give you an idea of what the Buddha regard 'powerful' devas like Prajapati (Brahma), Varuna, Sakra Indra, Isana Deva (Mahadeva / Shiva) as thought of by people of His time and proposes the qualities of the Triple Gem as fit for the highest refuge and honor.

And it is with some humor that I reflect what a Vaishnava Hindu friend of mine have to say on the once powerful and supreme Vedic pantheon who are now mostly retired or 'taken a back seat' and that Maha Vishnu is now in charge as the supreme one, like how Saivaites regard Mahesvara as the greatest and the almighty Brahma is now only left with one temple in the whole of India, in Rajastan's Pushkar. One can see how as civilisation progresses, so does that civilisation's deities, reshuffled to reflect the latest opinion, some with enlarged portfolios, others retired into the sunset of history. I reminded my friend that the Maha Vishnu that he so adores back then was regarded by some as merely a constellation deity of Vasudeva and Mahesvara who was known back then as the terrible Rudra & Pasupati, in charge of storms/pestilence & animal husbandry, when society back then was still mainly agricultural and not the Supreme One that they are made of in reformed Hinduism which gave them revised & enlarged contexts and functions.

So, when comparing and contrasting, it should be within context and purpose, in our case, the Buddha Dharma.
What the other religious communities do or don't, matters not to us to some extent.
So did god made us in his/her image or we who made him/her in our own image? :mrgreen:
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Re: Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby jonaz108 » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:24 am

plwk wrote:Buddhists are non-theists, hence do not 'worship' nor take refuge in worldly deities but merely accord the usual respect as Ven Indrajala mentioned to them like how you would accord respect to your family elders and those worthy of respect and that is what the Shurangama Dharani does in the case of mentioning the devatas as protectors. The ultimate reliance and refuge for us as Buddhists goes to the Noble Triple Gem. Dharma Protectors again are further classed into what is worldly/mundane and the enlightened (emanations of Buddhas & Bodhisattvas).

Just like in the Roman Catholic sense, for the sake of a comparison, they distinguish between latria, hyperdulia & dulia. The first is adoration, highest & reserved only for the Trinity, the second, special veneration to the Virgin Mary for her role and the third, common veneration for the Saints. The Protestants, the uninitiated and even some ignorant Catholics themselves oft confuse all three and make an issue of it where there's none.

If you look at this thread you will find I used the term 'shared legacies' in that Buddhism is seen as using many instances that are also common to other Indic based systems and perhaps beyond but the difference is the context and purpose. Even the Jains have for instance Lakhsmi, the consort of Vishnu and Sarasvati but how they regard these goddesses are not the same context and purpose as the Hindus would.

For instance, when the Buddha taught the young rich householder, Sigalovada in the Sigalovada Sutta, on the significance of the ancient Vedic sixfold directions worship practice, the former would have devatas assigned to each quarter but the Buddha gave it a totally new context and purpose when Sigalovada was blur as to its meaning. The Brahma deva who requested for the Buddha to teach? In traditional commentaries (when and if I find the link to a traditional commentary on this, I will update here), he is not a mundane deva but a Noble Third Stage Arhat, an Anagamin from a previous Buddha's period but who is on that stage of sainthood in the Brahmaloka. Another one is in the highest rung of the realm of Form, the Akanishta Heaven, is where those on the various Arhat stages would take birth before reaching the final fruit in early Buddhist texts and in Vajrayana, Akanishta again takes on another context and purpose. And all who are sitting in the position as a future Buddha in our world system, in their second last birth would make an appearance in Tusita Heaven located in the realm of Desire, like the present Maitreya Bodhisattva who is the Lord of the Inner Court of Tusita. And for instance, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva will use His many expedient forms, as one can see in Chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra and the Karandavyuha Sutra, where some of the deva ranks are mentioned as emanations of Himself in order to reach out to certain audiences.

So, through one's investigation of the scriptures and commentaries, one will learn to distinguish to some extent, the who's who and where and why.
But as Buddhists, we do not regard the concept of devas as how the theists conceive of them but merely those who are still creatures of duhkha and subject to sam & sara, just like myself. Take a read in the Dhajagga Sutta? That will give you an idea of what the Buddha regard 'powerful' devas like Prajapati (Brahma), Varuna, Sakra Indra, Isana Deva (Mahadeva / Shiva) as thought of by people of His time and proposes the qualities of the Triple Gem as fit for the highest refuge and honor.

And it is with some humor that I reflect what a Vaishnava Hindu friend of mine have to say on the once powerful and supreme Vedic pantheon who are now mostly retired or 'taken a back seat' and that Maha Vishnu is now in charge as the supreme one, like how Saivaites regard Mahesvara as the greatest and the almighty Brahma is now only left with one temple in the whole of India, in Rajastan's Pushkar. One can see how as civilisation progresses, so does that civilisation's deities, reshuffled to reflect the latest opinion, some with enlarged portfolios, others retired into the sunset of history. I reminded my friend that the Maha Vishnu that he so adores back then was regarded by some as merely a constellation deity of Vasudeva and Mahesvara who was known back then as the terrible Rudra & Pasupati, in charge of storms/pestilence & animal husbandry, when society back then was still mainly agricultural and not the Supreme One that they are made of in reformed Hinduism which gave them revised & enlarged contexts and functions.

So, when comparing and contrasting, it should be within context and purpose, in our case, the Buddha Dharma.
What the other religious communities do or don't, matters not to us to some extent.
So did god made us in his/her image or we who made him/her in our own image? :mrgreen:


Thank you for this great reply plwk!
Actually, Vaishnavas worship Krishna.
Vishnu and Shiva are considered His expansions.
Brahma is seen in vaishnavism as a jiva or soul,
just like any other, but playing the higher role of
creating 1 particular universe by the order of Vishnu.
In short, they acknowledge two kinds of tattvas:
Vishu tattva (God and His expansions)
and Jiva tattva (God's eternally subservient souls).
Just a remark.
Namaste!
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Re: Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby plwk » Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:56 pm

As promised, the Commentary: Pages 16-18, Point 2.3.4 on Brahma Sahampati who requested the Buddha for the Dharma (the entire link is an interesting work on why the Buddha hesitated to teach & various characters around the early days of His Enlightenment)
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Re: Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby Jainarayan » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:04 pm

Fwiw, my .02 is that there is cross-pollination between Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. The Jade Emperor of Taoism is known as Śakra and is the protector of Buddhist Dharma. Śakra is also a name for Indra. In the Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāranī there are references to Shiva and Vishnu:

Praharāyamānāya svāhā siddhāya svāhā mahā-siddhāya svāhā siddhayogīśvarāya svāhā
(To you who sees us, hail! To the Successful one hail! To the Great Successful one hail! To the Successful Lord of the yogis, hail!) [Shiva]
Nīlakanthāya svāhā varāha-mukhāya svāhā narasimha-mukhāya svāha
(To the Blue-necked one (Nīlakantha) [Shiva] hail! To the Boar-faced One hail! To Man-Lion faced One hail!) [Varaha and Narasimha, avatars of Vishnu]
Gadā-hastāya svāhā cakra-hastāya svāhā padma-hastāya svāhā
(To one who bears the mace (gadā) in his hand, hail! To the holder of discus in his hand, hail! To One who sports a lotus (padma) in his hand, hail!) [Vishnu]
Nīlakantha-pāndarāya svāhā Mahātali Śankaraya svāhā
(To Blue-necked One smeared (with holy ashes), hail! To the mighty auspicious one, hail!) [Śankara = Shiva, who wears ashes]
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Re: Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby Jainarayan » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:09 pm

jonaz108 wrote:Actually, Vaishnavas worship Krishna.


True.

Vishnu and Shiva are considered His expansions.


Not all Vaishnavas, only Gaudiya Vaishnavas, see it that way. Most Vaishnavas see it differently: Vishnu is the Supreme God, and Krishna is an avatar in this world. Shaivas view Shiva as Supreme God. Some Shaivas and Vaishnavas argue whether Shiva is a devotee of Vishnu or not. For most Vaishnavas Shiva is just another deity, albeit the most powerful one besides Vishnu.
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Re: Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby Rakshasa » Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:12 pm

Bhagavad Gita was written as a response to Buddhism and Buddha. Krishna did not exist yet during Buddha's time. Most of the Tantras show Buddhist gods trampling over Hindu gods. Many of the Hindu gods of popularity today were once exclusively Buddhist gods.
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Re: Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby jonaz108 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:05 am

Rakshasa wrote:Bhagavad Gita was written as a response to Buddhism and Buddha. Krishna did not exist yet during Buddha's time. Most of the Tantras show Buddhist gods trampling over Hindu gods. Many of the Hindu gods of popularity today were once exclusively Buddhist gods.


Well, Gautama Buddha was born in 500 BC,
while the B. Gita was transcripted in 3000 BC.
This is facts.
You need to read more before making such statements.
One good example: Rama, probably one of the most
popular Deities in all India, lived in Treta Yuga,
2.500.000 years ago (believe it or not) and others
like Matsya and Varaha, +5.000.000 years ago, in Satya Yuga.
So...
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Re: Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby plwk » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:28 pm

Well, Gautama Buddha was born in 500 BC, while the B. Gita was transcripted in 3000 BC. This is facts.

I hate to burst your bubble but perhaps you may know that it's open knowledge that Indian texts have a tendency to inflate time periods?
Have you considered that the 'facts' could have been a popular/glorified version? Just like how the early Chinese Buddhists in China, who faced competition with Taoists and Confucianists have inflated and pushed back the birth dates of the Buddha to ridiculously early periods?

Most scholars like Jeaneane D Fowler & Kashi Nath Upadhyaya are placing it between the 4th & 5th BCE periods and still yet others are undecided on actual dates.
Just like the dates of the Buddha's birth have long been debated, disputed and all that which on this most basic one, no tradition can lay claim that theirs is the only one although 563BCE seems to be the most popular but yet it's only by those who accept it and not others...

Btw, I liked the Gita and used to listen to its Sanskrit chants as available on Youtube.

What Jai said resonated with I have known with my Vaishnava and Saivaite friends.
And perhaps Rakshasa should revisit his tantra trampling stuff as one example, if one sees an elephant faced figure beneath, it's not necessarily referring to the famous obstacle removing deity that Hindus are familiar with but in some long ago stuff I have read, there are these pestilence and trouble maker beings known as Vinayakas who happen to have a similar appearance. But I am not surprised if there are Buddhists of the old periods just like today who may feel a need to assert their primacy. Besides, there's a lot in Tantra that cannot be deciphered through just a casual, superficial and cold reading, like any other religious text for that matter. If location is what is pivotal for sales & marketing, context is for texts...
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Re: Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby Nemo » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:50 pm

Some of the Gods have been Buddhist since the previous Buddha of this world cycle and became students of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni. I consider them fellow Sangha members. Sangha members old enough to remember the Buddha's own words. Some of the oath bound ones have been keeping Samaya for millenia now. I am always glad to thank them for helping to keep the Dharma alive in this dark time.
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Re: Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby jonaz108 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:23 pm

plwk wrote:
Well, Gautama Buddha was born in 500 BC, while the B. Gita was transcripted in 3000 BC. This is facts.

I hate to burst your bubble but perhaps you may know that it's open knowledge that Indian texts have a tendency to inflate time periods?
Have you considered that the 'facts' could have been a popular/glorified version? Just like how the early Chinese Buddhists in China, who faced competition with Taoists and Confucianists have inflated and pushed back the birth dates of the Buddha to ridiculously early periods?

Most scholars like Jeaneane D Fowler & Kashi Nath Upadhyaya are placing it between the 4th & 5th BCE periods and still yet others are undecided on actual dates.
Just like the dates of the Buddha's birth have long been debated, disputed and all that which on this most basic one, no tradition can lay claim that theirs is the only one although 563BCE seems to be the most popular but yet it's only by those who accept it and not others...

Btw, I liked the Gita and used to listen to its Sanskrit chants as available on Youtube.

What Jai said resonated with I have known with my Vaishnava and Saivaite friends.
And perhaps Rakshasa should revisit his tantra trampling stuff as one example, if one sees an elephant faced figure beneath, it's not necessarily referring to the famous obstacle removing deity that Hindus are familiar with but in some long ago stuff I have read, there are these pestilence and trouble maker beings known as Vinayakas who happen to have a similar appearance. But I am not surprised if there are Buddhists of the old periods just like today who may feel a need to assert their primacy. Besides, there's a lot in Tantra that cannot be deciphered through just a casual, superficial and cold reading, like any other religious text for that matter. If location is what is pivotal for sales & marketing, context is for texts...


I appreciate your remark, thank you plwk.
The 4 Vedas are not Indian or Hindu, they are universal.
They clearly state that the 4 yugas in a MahaYuga:
Satya, Dwarpa, treta and Kali yuga are respectively
1.600.000 / 1.200.000 / 800.000 / 400.000 years

"there's a lot in Tantra that cannot be deciphered through just a casual, superficial and cold reading, like any other religious text for that matter"
This is so true.
Namaste,
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Re: Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby Jainarayan » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:17 pm

Rakshasa wrote:Bhagavad Gita was written as a response to Buddhism and Buddha. Krishna did not exist yet during Buddha's time. Most of the Tantras show Buddhist gods trampling over Hindu gods. Many of the Hindu gods of popularity today were once exclusively Buddhist gods.


Jonaz is right. Krishna is said to have left Earth in 3102 BCE. And while Hindu texts do tend to have a unique view of time scales, i.e. exaggerate, there may very well have been a Kurukshetra War as described in the Mahābhārata around 1500 BCE. That is still 1,000 years before the Buddha's birth.
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Re: Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby Rakshasa » Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:35 pm

Jainarayan wrote:
Rakshasa wrote:Bhagavad Gita was written as a response to Buddhism and Buddha. Krishna did not exist yet during Buddha's time. Most of the Tantras show Buddhist gods trampling over Hindu gods. Many of the Hindu gods of popularity today were once exclusively Buddhist gods.


Jonaz is right. Krishna is said to have left Earth in 3102 BCE. And while Hindu texts do tend to have a unique view of time scales, i.e. exaggerate, there may very well have been a Kurukshetra War as described in the Mahābhārata around 1500 BCE. That is still 1,000 years before the Buddha's birth.



This is utter bullshit. I am sorry.
Krishna of the Vedas is not the god Krishna whom the Hindus worship nowadays or who expounded BHagavad Gita. The language of the text puts its origins after Buddha's parinirvana. In fact, BG has many Buddhist ideas like Karma, Yoga etc. Even many parables that Buddha said, like the parable of the Prodigal's son, are word to word same in BHagavad Gita. It is definitely influenced by Buddhism. "Krishna" in Vedic Sanskrit - which was very different from modern reformed Sanskrit after Patanjali - simply means "black" or "dark". Thus, the Buddhist Yogi "Krishnacharya" simply meant "black acharya".
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Re: Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:10 pm

plwk wrote:Just like in the Roman Catholic sense, for the sake of a comparison, they distinguish between latria, hyperdulia & dulia. The first is adoration, highest & reserved only for the Trinity, the second, special veneration to the Virgin Mary for her role and the third, common veneration for the Saints. The Protestants, the uninitiated and even some ignorant Catholics themselves oft confuse all three and make an issue of it where there's none.
Λατρεία (latria) translates as veneration and also has connotations of worship. Δουλεία actually translate as enslavement, servitude and subservience, not veneration. Ύπερ- (hyper) used as a prefix translates as "overlly". Overlly subservient to...
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby Jainarayan » Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:45 pm

Rakshasa wrote:
Jainarayan wrote:
Rakshasa wrote:Bhagavad Gita was written as a response to Buddhism and Buddha. Krishna did not exist yet during Buddha's time. Most of the Tantras show Buddhist gods trampling over Hindu gods. Many of the Hindu gods of popularity today were once exclusively Buddhist gods.


Jonaz is right. Krishna is said to have left Earth in 3102 BCE. And while Hindu texts do tend to have a unique view of time scales, i.e. exaggerate, there may very well have been a Kurukshetra War as described in the Mahābhārata around 1500 BCE. That is still 1,000 years before the Buddha's birth.



This is utter bullshit. I am sorry.
Krishna of the Vedas is not the god Krishna whom the Hindus worship nowadays or who expounded BHagavad Gita. The language of the text puts its origins after Buddha's parinirvana. In fact, BG has many Buddhist ideas like Karma, Yoga etc. Even many parables that Buddha said, like the parable of the Prodigal's son, are word to word same in BHagavad Gita. It is definitely influenced by Buddhism. "Krishna" in Vedic Sanskrit - which was very different from modern reformed Sanskrit after Patanjali - simply means "black" or "dark". Thus, the Buddhist Yogi "Krishnacharya" simply meant "black acharya".


You should be sorry, because Krishna is not in the Vedas. The adjective krishna also means 'attractive'. I think you have Jesus and Krishna confused about the parable of the Prodigal Son. You should further be sorry for not reading what I wrote instead of clutching your pearls: "Krishna is said to have left Earth in 3102 BCE. And while Hindu texts do tend to have a unique view of time scales, i.e. exaggerate, there may very well have been a Kurukshetra War as described in the Mahābhārata around 1500 BCE. That is still 1,000 years before the Buddha's birth." But whatever. To argue would say more about my lack of class than it does about someone who starts off a response with "This is utter bullshit" and a false statement "Krishna of the Vedas ".

Have a nice day.
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flawless in manner and intelligent, such one will honor gain. - Digha Nikaya III 273
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Re: Hindu Deities in the Shurangama Mantra.

Postby whitemonia » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:13 am

i think rakshasa has right.
induism don't talk about the empirical story, there is a lot of mithology mixed with the truth and the real facts and it makes confusion.

I think bhagavad gita and purana are the answer to the buddha dharma (brahmins didn't want lose the cast system and their power).

Actually the iskcon books and Hare krishna make a lot of confusion (gaudiya vaishnava is a mix between muslims and hinduism) about the story of india religion. They reject empirical facts and put the focus only on their vision and holy story (holy story is not a true story) of their traditions. In buddhism the truth and the empirical facts are important, is a different approach...buddhism is not a brainwashing religion. buddhism respect the science and the knowledge.

brahminical culture is not compatible with buddhism. The gods are respectable but they are not illuminated. They give us help for a material problems but not refuge. It would be better pray only illuminated beings.

namaste!
whitemonia
 
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