Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

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Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:33 am

I would like to introduce here the theory of "Proto-Indo-European Religion", which is essentially that numerous Indo-European religions descend from a common source and hence the common deities and even practices.

Wikipedia has a good article on this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo ... n_religion

A striking example of a less distant relationship is between Vedic (Sanskrit) and Zoroastrian (Avestan) hymns:

yo vo apo vasvish yajate asuranish asurasya vashishthabyo hotrabhyo
(Sanskrit)

yo vo apo vanguhish yazaite ahuranish ahurahe vahishtabyo zaothrabyo
(Avestan)

he who worships you, the good waters, the Ahurian wives of Ahura, with best
libations (English)


This is not surprising given the common ancestry of both the Vedic Aryans and the Indo-Iranians. Their languages likewise descend from a common Proto-Indo-European language:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo ... n_language

Some Indo-Aryans for a time ruled a kingdom in what is now Syria called Mitanni. At some point they also came to dominate NW India and eventually the whole Indian subcontinent. It seems they were a highly mobile people. This is interesting given their proximity to other Mesopotamian and Egyptian peoples.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitanni

In any case, this is relevant to Buddhism because a lot of the deities (Indra, Brahma, etc...) and cosmology in Buddhism have roots in this trans-Eurasian culture descending from a common Indo-European heritage (from Ireland to Nepal). It isn't necessarily all Vedic influences as presumably a lot of this would have been already present in Magadha in the Buddha's time. Śākyamuni's kin were Indo-European descendants.

It is really helpful to see Buddhism emerging from this greater context. It puts a lot of things into perspective.
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Re: Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby mindyourmind » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:04 pm

Fascinating stuff, thanks.
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Re: Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:08 pm

Bearded, dreadlocked druids sitting in forest groves discussing metaphysics...sound familiar? Writing about the Ancient Celts Julius Caesar noted, 'Their doctrine is that the soul does not die and that after death it passes from one body into another.' All Northern Europeans had similar beliefs, and as for the South...in the words of Socrates, 'I am confident that there truly is such a thing as living again, and that the living spring from the dead.' So Europeans seeking the forgotten wisdom of their ancestors have only one place to look; Mother India.
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Re: Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:35 pm

Raksha wrote:Bearded, dreadlocked druids sitting in forest groves discussing metaphysics...sound familiar? Writing about the Ancient Celts Julius Caesar noted, 'Their doctrine is that the soul does not die and that after death it passes from one body into another.' All Northern Europeans had similar beliefs, and as for the South...in the words of Socrates, 'I am confident that there truly is such a thing as living again, and that the living spring from the dead.' So Europeans seeking the forgotten wisdom of their ancestors have only one place to look; Mother India.
:namaste: R.


Interesting to consider India as a depository for some amount of ancient Indo-European culture. There would be truth to that because a lot of it elsewhere was purposely eradicated. The old pagan polytheist religions of Europe died out. Zoroastrianism is in the minority in Iran and elsewhere.
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Re: Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby Michael_Dorfman » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:00 pm

Huseng wrote:I would like to introduce here the theory of "Proto-Indo-European Religion", which is essentially that numerous Indo-European religions descend from a common source and hence the common deities and even practices.
<snip>
It is really helpful to see Buddhism emerging from this greater context. It puts a lot of things into perspective.


Indeed. If you aren't already familiar with it, I'd heartily recommend Thomas McEvilley's The Shape of Ancient Thought, which covers this, and other connections between the Greek and Indian religious and philosophical traditions. Very interesting with regard Buddhist Studies.
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Re: Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:10 pm

Michael_Dorfman wrote:Indeed. If you aren't already familiar with it, I'd heartily recommend Thomas McEvilley's The Shape of Ancient Thought, which covers this, and other connections between the Greek and Indian religious and philosophical traditions. Very interesting with regard Buddhist Studies.


Looks interesting. I'll have to pick this up at some point. :smile:

One interesting thing to consider is the indirect spread of Indo-European thought via Buddhism into lands as far away as Japan.

For example you see both Indra and Brahma all around Japan. Siddham script was widely studied over the last thousand years or so. I reckon older educated generations can identify the script (they might not be able to read it, but they'll know it is Siddham). There is also the philosophical impact of various schools of Buddhism, which introduced a lot of vocabulary and abstract ideas into the East Asian lexicon.

One thing I discovered was that while the Chinese Buddhists were exposed to grammatical ideas like "verbs" and "nouns" via Indic texts and monks, such ideas never entered the mainstream.

I wrote about this here:

http://wenyanwen.blogspot.tw/2011/06/li ... t-and.html

Formal Indian logic and grammar never really clicked with the Chinese the way it did with the Tibetans. A lot of the formal logic the Tibetans took a liking to existed in Chinese translation, especially after Xuanzang's translations, but it never made great inroads.
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Re: Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:18 pm

The Central Asian city states of the Silk Road were mostly Persian in culture, but they were definitely Buddhist in religion, so the direct influence of Zoroastrianism on Buddhism was negligable. Apparently the cult of Amitabha may have copied its devotional aspect from Zoroastrianism worship of Ahura Mazda, but that's all. The situation in respect of Bon and Dzogchen is more complicated. Zhang-Zhung was a kingdom in Western Tibet which had many connections with Ancient Persia. However the biggest influence on Bon in Zhang-Zhung came from Kashmir. This is apparently why Guru Rinpoche spared one of the Bonpo factions, because it was actually descended from an Indian yogic tradition. The root of the misunderstanding is Shangri-la, a.k.a. Shambhala, a.k.a. Olmolungring, which was said to be in Tagzig (Persia). This is said to be the source of Bon Dzogchen. In fact it was an extension of Buddhism into Zoroastrian Iran, rather than the other way round. Understandably, only the faintest traces of this have survived in Iranian folklore. (Just as few people realise that Bagram Airbase in present day Afghanistan, is Bagaram-Viharam-Vihara. It was once the site of a very famous Buddhist temple.) So Shambhala was most likely a Vajrayana cult centre in a remote mountainous region inside Persian territory. It is extremely unlikely to have survived in secret up to the present day, but not impossible.
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Re: Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby viniketa » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:05 am

In support of the Vedic origin of the darkness/light 'motif':

One useful tool that some scholars have emphasized in determining the Greek ancestry of the Kalash is their religion. However, there is no appearance of Greek gods under different names. The location of the Kalash dictates that it could have been imported from other local cultures or merged to form a distinct Kalash tradition that has nothing to do with Greeks. There is firstly a great emphasis on dualism (light/good and darkness/evil) that is surely influenced by the Buddhist, Manichean, and Zoroastrian heritage of the region stretching from Tajikistan to Kashmir under Iranian hegemony. The Kalash apparently divide their worldview into a system of male and female realms, and gendered aspects of reality and life ruled over by gods and goddesses. The Kalash worship nature, animals, and spirits. None of these religious qualities seem to derive from original Greek religion of Alexander. No Zeus, Hera, Apollo, or Athena. No titans and Promethian myths. Of course, the Kalash as possible Greek settlers could easily have invented and adopted their own religion by drawing from eclectic local inspirations. Therefore, religion fails to be a good litmus for determining an Alexandrian and Greek link. The modern religious mysticism of the Kalash may simply be a blend of the Greco-Kushan Buddhist tradition and Zoroastrian/Manichean dualism that evolved into its own new form after the jihad of invading Muslim sultanates abolished Buddhism and destroyed nearly all temples and statues of the Buddha in India. There is much influence from the more core tenets of Hinduism or its Vedic predecessor that came to India in the 2nd millennium BCE via the Aryan invasion. Belief in Indra and emphasis on the bull/cow are present, revealing links with Iranian and Vedic tradition. The Kalash emphasis on fertility rites, nature, statues, and gendered gods is common to the Vedic, Hindu, Mahayana Buddhist, and Manichean traditions that dominated the region throughout history.

It would seem that the Kalash are simply yet another one of many unique and disparate tribes found throughout Central Asia, the Pamirs, and the Kush with what are abstractly described as "European" features. Many of these settled in the region with Alexander's expansion, many with the Turkic and Hunnic conquest. Many are simply Iranians with recessive eye color genes who spread east via early Persian conquests. Almost certainly, they are not Greek or migrants from Europe, nor are any of the “white” tribes of Central & South Asia, the Pamirs, or the Hindu Kush. Blue eyes and light-brown hair in Tajikistan and the Tarim Basin of China does not translate to European immigration or invasion.

Recently, the European Journal of Human Genetics published a scholarly article proving a lack of Greek genetic influence in the region by using Y-chromosomal testing (see article, thanks to Mictrik).
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Re: Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby Tara » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:51 am

Please note the following:

Academic Discussion Forum Guidelines

The aim of academic argument is to explore a question, a proposition or an area of knowledge and achieve reasoned mutual understanding. It is not important who "wins". What matters most is the quality of the argument itself. Please offer your opinion complete with reason and support from academic sources.
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Re: Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby deepbluehum » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:40 pm

Based on the OP, I'm assuming Wikipedia is sufficiently "Academic" for purposes of this forum.

I am asserting that at least one source, Wikipedia, has referenced academic materials that propose Zoroaster possibly lived as many as 20,000 years ago in an "immaculate conception," like Buddha.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroaster

The relevant quote:

The date of Zoroaster, i.e., the date of composition of the Old Avestan gathas, is unknown. Classical writers such as Plutarch proposed dates prior to 6000 BC.[9] Dates proposed in scholarly literature diverge widely, between the 18th and the 6th centuries BC.


Generally, from the Bonpo literature, the founder of their religion, Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche lived to the west of Tibet in a region known by the 8th Century as "Tajik."

http://bon-encyclopedia.wikispaces.com/Tonpa+Shenrab

As a first element to what could amount to a basic theory, I note the coincidence of two things: the place and time of Zoroaster and Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche.

Zoroastrianism is a religion that on its surface proposes a dualistic vision of the universe with the competing forces of Ahura Mazda (The Light) versus Angra Mainu (The Dark).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroastrianism

In Buddhism, the popular stories tell of Buddha battling Mara, again, Light vs. Dark. If Zoroastrianism is as old as 18th Cent BC, then these elements very well might have been integral Indo-Aryan cultural themes by Buddha's time.

While Zoroastrianism is mostly an exoteric practice of doing good. There is the component of doing good with body, speech and mind, part of which is reciting mantras.

http://www.hinduwebsite.com/zoroastrianism/beliefs.asp (see #11) [Also of note here is the notion that the world is emanated out of God's light, the elements are pure, and man's nature is pure. This corresponds in respectively to the realization in Dzogchen that all is light, in Vajrayana that the world is a Pure Land inhabited by Dakas and Dakinis, and in Dzogchen that our true nature is Kuntuzangpo].

(See Heart Drops of Dharmakaya, section on Exhaustion of Phenomena);
(See http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?o ... ew&id=1660, first question and answer re pure perception);
(see http://www.dharmakirti.org/online_libra ... zangpo.pdf re Kuntuzangpo)

Again, there is a concurrence in Zoroastrianism of doing good with Body, Speech, and Mind, which is a central Buddhist tenent, going back to the Pali Sources.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Vajras
http://www.suttas.net/english/suttas/kh ... /index.php

Zoroastrian is not only dualistic, but has a nondualistic mysticism. Which can be related to "tuning" into a deity via mantra. But more importantly to overcome the "darkness" of "confusion," meaning it is not an outer agent which causes salvation, but one's inner condition that counts. Note that tuning into a deity is the purpose of Vajrayana mantras and Dzogchen mantras (i.e., Song of the Vajra viz Samantabhadra). Whereas, mantras have also evolved as magical formulas, it is the deity's power that makes the magic work).

http://tenets.zoroastrianism.com/TAAVIL ... MYASHT.pdf

Thus, all Buddhist yanas appear tinted by Zoroastrianism and key ways.

As to the possible influence or confluence of Zoroastrianism and Vedic thinking, of course there is the practice of mantras. The Gayatri Mantra comes from Mandala 3 of the Rg Ved. The Gayatri mantra is not just a prayer but has the power to arouse supernormal bliss, one can test this by mentally reciting it numerous times just as it is written below).

http://www.utexas.edu/cola/centers/lrc/RV/RV03.html

3.062.10a tát savitúr váreṇiyam
3.062.10b bhárgo devásya dhīmahi
3.062.10c dhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt


The Rishis or reciters of the Vedas predated the Vedas in a "pre-historic or mythical period."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rishi

The Mahabharata states the Maharishis came from a Northern Region, called Rishikas and Parama-Kambojas, which is modern day Tajikistan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parama_Kamboja_Kingdom

Thus, here again, there is a correspondence between a Dzogchen source and a Vedic one.

The Bonpo Dzogchen guardian Nyipangse/Pehar are thought to derive from the Vedic deity Brahma, the white deity.

(See, The Bon Religion of Tibet, Reynolds)
(See, Bo and Bon, Ermakov)

Of note within the Dzogchen is the "Rishi" posture, a manner of sitting, perhaps does reflect a continuous tradition from the actual Rishis.

For the above-stated reasons, among others, I have theorized that Zoroastrianism's esoteric tradition is a fountainhead for Vedic, Buddhist and Dzogchen practices.
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Re: Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby Rakshasa » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:59 pm

1. It is actually wrong to conclude that India is mostly Aryan, because majority of Indian cultural origins were still pre-Aryan Dravidian and Austro-Asiatic. However, since Indo-Aryan religion (Brahmanism) triumphed over Buddhism and other Shramanic religions after Shankara's revival, most of the surface embellishments to overall Indian religious views appear to be Aryan.

2. India had two Caucasian races - Indo-Aryan and Indo-Scythic, In fact, my opinion, in terms of population, the Indo-Scythians contributed more to the current Indian gene pool compared to even the Indo-Aryans. The whole of North-Western India (Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan etc) which contributes significantly to overall population of India is comprised of castes like Jat/Jatts, Gujjars, Rajputs etc who are confirmed as descendants of Indo-Scythic migrants to India. In fact, their migration could be one of the reasons why the Indo-Aryan Brahmins shifted to South and East and made South India as the center of orthodox Brahmanism after the Gupta age.

3. Many of the Indian native people were strictly matriarchial and had considerable difference in culture with the Indo-Aryans. For example, the early Indo-Aryans worshiped Indra, Agni, Vishnu etc, but today it is fairly common to see worship of various deities, including famous Goddesses like Kali, Durga, Vaishno Devi etc and other deities like Ayyappa, Tirupathi etc who have absolutely no mention in Vedas, Upanishads and early Indo-Aryan literature. Which means that Indo-Aryans took over the religion and its ideas of the natives, as Brahmins, and colored them with Brahmanical ritualism to produce hybrid religious traditions.

4. The even older civilization of Indus Valley was not Indo-Aryan and I am pretty sure that some ideas from this civilization also got carried over to the subsequent civilizations in India. There is a famous seal of a Yogin found from Harappa site.

Also, Buddhism and Shramanism in general is not necessarily an outcome of Aryan civilization because the Vedas and Early Upanishads do not mention the concepts of Karma and rebirth which were central to religions like Jainism and Buddhism. Later these concepts are given some mention in the later Upanishads but it is mentioned just as one of the ideas (among others which the Indo-Aryans encountered during their migrations), and not a central concept of Brahmanism. Hinduism borrows much from Indo-European religion (Vedas) and Buddhism, than Buddhism borrows from Indo-European religion (which is more or less limited to the language).



Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby deepbluehum » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:53 pm

It does appear that there were various Indo-European migrations, but the time frames begin in the Holocene era. The waves of migrations may be been bi-directional, north and south; there may have been many such migrations; and they may be exceedingly more ancient than 1500 BC.

In a 2011 genetic study "confirmed the existence of a general principal component cline stretching from Europe to south India." They also concluded that the Indian populations are characterized by two major ancestry components, one of which is spread at comparable frequency and haplotype diversity in populations of South and West Asia and the Caucasus. The second component is more restricted to South Asia and accounts for more than 50% of the ancestry in Indian populations. Haplotype diversity associated with these South Asian ancestry components is significantly higher than that of the components dominating the West Eurasian ancestry palette. Modeling of the observed haplotype diversities suggests that both Indian ancestry components are older than the purported Indo-Aryan invasion 3,500 YBP[57] However, rather than ruling out the possibility of Indo-Aryan migration, these findings suggest that the genetic affinities of both Indian ancestral components are the result of multiple gene flows over the course of thousands of years, with Indo-Aryan expansion into the subcontinent but one of many complex demographic episodes. The study authors write:

"Summing up, our results confirm both ancestry and temporal complexity shaping the still on-going process of genetic structuring of South Asian populations. This intricacy cannot be readily explained by the putative recent influx of Indo-Aryans alone but suggests multiple gene flows to the South Asian gene pool, both from the west and east, over a much longer time span."[58]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetics_a ... South_Asia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Aryan_migration

Thus, if there was an 18th Cent BCE Zoroastrian esotericism, it very well may have travelled with migrators into India.
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Re: Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby viniketa » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:31 pm

Rakshasa wrote:Just my 2 cents.


Rakshasa - Since this is the Academic forum, would it be possible for you to list some sources? I'm particularly interested in point #1.

Thanks.

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Re: Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:19 am

Rakshasa wrote:Hinduism borrows much from Indo-European religion (Vedas) and Buddhism, than Buddhism borrows from Indo-European religion (which is more or less limited to the language).


Buddhism I believe is an Indo-European religion. The Buddha spoke Middle Indic which, while not Sanskrit, was closely related to it. Magadha in those centuries was settled by Indo-Europeans. Indo-Aryan is just a branch of Indo-European culture, like Indo-Iranian.

Bronkhorst in his works Buddhism in the Shadow of Brahmanism and Greater Magadha suggests that while the Buddha was aware of Brahmins and the Vedas, at the time they were insignificant in Greater Magadha. The Brahmins even believed Greater Magadha was a demonic land. Nevertheless, you see reference to Brahma and Indra in the early scriptures, which is not surprising given the common heritage between Indo-Europeans. Indra for example is a demon in Zoroastrianism, though I'm uncertain what Indra's role was in pre-Zoroastrian Persian religion.

Also, Buddhism and Shramanism in general is not necessarily an outcome of Aryan civilization because the Vedas and Early Upanishads do not mention the concepts of Karma and rebirth which were central to religions like Jainism and Buddhism. Later these concepts are given some mention in the later Upanishads but it is mentioned just as one of the ideas (among others which the Indo-Aryans encountered during their migrations), and not a central concept of Brahmanism.


Indo-Aryans were different from the other Indo-Europeans who settled around the subcontinent. As Bronkhorst argues the Vedas played a small role in Magadha at the time of the Buddha, though nevertheless the Brahmins to the west were still not so different a people. Their languages were mutually intelligible, though the Brahmins didn't seem to care for the Magadha dialect.
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Re: Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby Rakshasa » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:42 am

Viniketa,

I am from India and know it for a fact that majority of the people from North Western States like Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan (and even a considerable part of Pakistan) are Jats, Gujjars and Rajputs who are distinctive in their culture, physique from Indians, say, in the South. For one, they are tall, lighter in complexion compared to others, and they are also heavily casteist and have feudal communities which still practice racism against the "Low caste".

Here is the link for your Academic interests:
http://www.jatland.com/home/Indo-Scythian

Also, they are usually simple agricultural communities and dont have cultural diversity and complexity as in the South, central or other parts of India.
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Re: Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby Rakshasa » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:51 am

Huseng,

Buddhism I believe is an Indo-European religion.Buddhism I believe is an Indo-European religion.


So where is the concept of Karma, Rebirth, Jhanas, Tantras, etc in Vedas, Zenda Avesta and other Indo-European religions?

The Buddha spoke Middle Indic which, while not Sanskrit, was closely related to it. Magadha in those centuries was settled by Indo-Europeans. Indo-Aryan is just a branch of Indo-European culture, like Indo-Iranian.


You contradict yourself. Even Bronkhorst shows evidence in his "Greater Magadha" that even the likes of Panini considered Magadha a foreign "barbaric" territory and there are verses in Satapatha Brahmana which shows that the Indo-Aryans disliked the tongue spoken by the Magadhans. As a matter of fact, even the Sri Lankans speak Indo-Aryan language, unlike even the South Indians, but are they Indo-Aryan? I have lived all over India since childhood and can attest to the fact that Biharis and UPites do not show Caucasian features unlike the North-Westerners (who are Indo-Scythians mostly) or others.

Read a relevant paper by eminent Indian historian B.N Jha
http://www.stopfundinghate.org/resource ... entity.pdf
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Re: Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:12 am

Rakshasa wrote:
Buddhism I believe is an Indo-European religion.


So where is the concept of Karma, Rebirth, Jhanas, Tantras, etc in Vedas, Zenda Avesta and other Indo-European religions?


Julius Caesar among other classical authors noted the Druids had a doctrine of reincarnation:

They wish to inculcate this as one of their leading tenets, that souls do not become extinct, but pass after death from one body to another, and they think that men by this tenet are in a great degree excited to valour, the fear of death being disregarded.


http://www.shsu.edu/~his_ncp/Caesar.html

Other Hellenic philosophers had an idea of reincarnation, though it never came to have the same prominence as it did in on the subcontinent.

I'm not denying that clearly there were other non-Indo-European influences on the formation of Buddhism, though overall Buddhism was originally Indo-European in characteristic. As it developed it became perhaps even more so with the brahmanization of Buddhism which Bronkhorst writes extensively on. Even before that though the language, pantheon and culture all appear quite Indo-European.




The Buddha spoke Middle Indic which, while not Sanskrit, was closely related to it. Magadha in those centuries was settled by Indo-Europeans. Indo-Aryan is just a branch of Indo-European culture, like Indo-Iranian.


You contradict yourself. Even Bronkhorst shows evidence in his "Greater Magadha" that even the likes of Panini considered Magadha a foreign "barbaric" territory and there are verses in Satapatha Brahmana which shows that the Indo-Aryans disliked the tongue spoken by the Magadhans.


Yes, but if I recall correctly he notes that the Vedic Brahmins at the time could understand the tongue spoken by the Magadha peoples.

They were in effect speaking close dialects of the same language. As you're aware Gāndhārī, Pali, Sanskrit and Middle Indic were all closely related languages. The Vedic Brahmins were just one group of people in northern India at the time. This does not exclude the possibility of other Indo-Europeans speaking sister languages having also migrated into the territories ahead of time. The Indo-European clans in Magadha, such as the Śākyas in Kapilavastu, might not have been Vedic Aryans, but still of the same stock but with different religious and cultural customs.


As a matter of fact, even the Sri Lankans speak Indo-Aryan language, unlike even the South Indians, but are they Indo-Aryan? I have lived all over India since childhood and can attest to the fact that Biharis and UPites do not show Caucasian features unlike the North-Westerners (who are Indo-Scythians mostly) or others.


The Indo-European language family extends from Ireland to Nepal. The Indo-Aryans and Indo-Iranians might not have been entirely caucasian. The Altaic language family includes a lot of steppe peoples like the Turks and even the Koreans, but they're quite physically distinct looking from one another despite speaking related languages.
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Re: Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:33 am

The Atlantic seaboard of Europe, in particular Britain, has about 80% Neolithic DNA, so the invading Indo-Europeans simply took over the top jobs, just as they did in India. The pre-Indo-European aboriginal peoples, which many believe are the ancestors of the Basques, would have carried on much as before. So there is no question that the result is a synthesis of cultures; the foreign rulers decided on the basic framework which was then filled with the deities and practices of the numerically superior natives. Likewise, no one denies that much of Buddhism is derived from Indian aboriginal peoples, however the framework is unquestionably Indo-European.
Huseng wrote-The Indo-European language family extends from Ireland to Nepal.
If I remember correctly both Eire and Iran are from the same root as Arya (noble).
:namaste: R.
Namgyal
 
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Re: Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby Illuminaughty » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:20 am

Indeed. If you aren't already familiar with it, I'd heartily recommend Thomas McEvilley's The Shape of Ancient Thought, which covers this, and other connections between the Greek and Indian religious and philosophical traditions. Very interesting with regard Buddhist Studies.


One of my favorite books. :applause:
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Re: Indo-European Religions and Buddhism

Postby Slag310 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:39 am

A comment about the Indo-European religion(s): I have a website at http://piereligion.org/pierintro.html which gives a few ideas of what can be stated broadly about the Indo-European religions. I have had to study quite a bit about Buddhism in order to separate the threads, you might say. I have found your discussion here very informative.

Slag310
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