Hindu defense against Buddhism

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Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby devilyoudont » Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:02 pm

Many people in this forum seem to be laboring under a strange misapprehension that Hindus basically disregarded Buddhist arguments out of hand and went on worshiping their traditional deities out of stubbornness and spite and who knows what else. This is simply not true. Hinduism isn't yet another violently reactionary Abrahamic orthodoxy, and their panditas have never behaved so unreasonably. Here is a traditional source explaining the dialectic that ultimately led to the consensus which regarded Advaita Vedanta as the crown jewel of Classical Indian Philosophy: http://archive.org/details/Sarva-Darsan ... E.B.Cowell
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Re: Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby deepbluehum » Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:17 pm

History is written by the winners.
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Re: Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby viniketa » Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:48 am

devilyoudont wrote:Many people in this forum seem to be laboring under a strange misapprehension that Hindus basically disregarded Buddhist arguments out of hand and went on worshiping their traditional deities out of stubbornness and spite and who knows what else. This is simply not true. Hinduism isn't yet another violently reactionary Abrahamic orthodoxy, and their panditas have never behaved so unreasonably. Here is a traditional source explaining the dialectic that ultimately led to the consensus which regarded Advaita Vedanta as the crown jewel of Classical Indian Philosophy: http://archive.org/details/Sarva-Darsan ... E.B.Cowell


"Hinduism isn't yet another violently reactionary Abrahamic orthodoxy" -- I hope no one thinks that, from where did you get that impression on this forum? On the other hand, some forms of "Hinduism", since the British Raj, have been influenced by "Abrahamic orthodoxy", don't you think?

Thank you for the good reference.

:namaste:

P.S.: Since Buddha is an emanation of Shiva in some practices, why would a Hindu need a "defense" against Buddhism?
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Re: Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:53 am

Hinduism as a term was invented a few centuries ago. It just refers to polytheism in India. In that sense Buddhism can be included as well because it is polytheist (and I believe India classifies Buddhism as Hinduism).
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Re: Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby viniketa » Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:03 am

Huseng wrote:It just refers to polytheism in India.


I agree that "Hindusim" is a 'catch-all' phrase. However, there are good arguments against viewing Indic religions, in general, as "polytheistic". For example: http://www.columbiaseminary.org/coffeetalk/122.html

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Re: Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby devilyoudont » Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:12 am

deepbluehum wrote:History is written by the winners.

I don't know what you're talking about. History is written by total losers who get the crap beaten out of them in gym class.

But you're right, victors are never to be trusted, not even when they are on record as having regularly funded the losers' temples not out of conviction, but sheer generosity. When exiled religious groups from foreign nations (like Zoroastrians persecuted by Muslims, and Syrian Christians persecuted by other Christians) found shelter under them when no one else would take them in, simply because they asked and agreed to abide by the condition of non-proselytization. Of course, none of this is surprising in the least, considering the entire moral code of these victors was centered around protecting the weak by any means necessary, and they had bound themselves up in an onerous caste system in order to accomplish this objective, thus guaranteeing clans of inferior material culture exclusive rights to their traditional means of livelihood. On top of that, the religious projects of these exiles were funded as well for absolutely no reason explicable by survivalist game theory. And these groups are still living peacefully in the same communities into which they had immigrated millennia ago. Truly, how could such victors possibly be expected to say what they meant even when not discussing history at all, but expounding their own doctrines? Do you intend to level specific objections against specific historical narratives that I favor, preferably based on some form of evidence or reasoning, or not?

Sorry, self-reassuring slogans used as counterarguments make me a little crazy in the head. Enlightenment... I'll get there one day. :tongue:

(Also, bear in mind that this guy obviously learned Buddhism from Hindu polemics, and that at least over a quarter of his arguments, both for and against Buddhism, seem to be begging the question. I posted this to help Buddhists empathize with the Hindu point of view.)
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Re: Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby devilyoudont » Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:19 am

Huseng wrote:Hinduism as a term was invented a few centuries ago. It just refers to polytheism in India. In that sense Buddhism can be included as well because it is polytheist (and I believe India classifies Buddhism as Hinduism).

Sir, it is common practice by Indian Hindus to group the Astika schools under the umbrella term "Hinduism". Buddhism and Jainism, though polytheistic, reject the authority of the Vedas, (at least as transmitted in the present age) and are thus commonly regarded as non-Hindu systems of thought. However, ever since the politicization of the term "Hindu", there is no telling who is a True Hindu and who isn't. Even persons born as Muslims (such as myself) may be regarded as Hindu under some of the broader definitions.
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Re: Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:23 am

viniketa wrote:
Huseng wrote:It just refers to polytheism in India.


I agree that "Hindusim" is a 'catch-all' phrase. However, there are good arguments against viewing Indic religions, in general, as "polytheistic". For example: http://www.columbiaseminary.org/coffeetalk/122.html

:namaste:


Nice article. This is key:

The primary reason that Hinduism is viewed as a polytheistic religion is the great number of Hindu gods. The Vedas describe the mythologies and rituals related to multiple deities.

In cultures where strong monotheism never existed (let alone until modern times a notion of 'religion') it often seems to be the case that people are quite flexible in their practices. You can do business with one god, but not have to deny the existence of all others. This is problematic for some western scholars, at least in the past, who needed labels such as "Hinduism" to demarcate a "religion", though the natives themselves had no such notions.
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Re: Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:26 am

devilyoudont wrote:
Huseng wrote:Hinduism as a term was invented a few centuries ago. It just refers to polytheism in India. In that sense Buddhism can be included as well because it is polytheist (and I believe India classifies Buddhism as Hinduism).

Sir, it is common practice by Indian Hindus to group the Astika schools under the umbrella term "Hinduism". Buddhism and Jainism, though polytheistic, reject the authority of the Vedas, (at least as transmitted in the present age) and are thus commonly regarded as non-Hindu systems of thought. However, ever since the politicization of the term "Hindu", there is no telling who is a True Hindu and who isn't. Even persons born as Muslims (such as myself) may be regarded as Hindu under some of the broader definitions.


I'm aware modern Indians use the term Hindu, though it was a relatively recent invention:

Hinduism (n.)
blanket term for "polytheism of India," 1829, from Hindu + -ism.


The word "Hindu" itself just referred to Indians originally:

Hindu
1660s, from Pers. Hindu (adj. & noun) "Indian," from Hind "India," from Skt. sindhu "river," specifically the Indus; hence "region of the Indus," gradually extended across northern India. The Hindu Kush mountain range means lit. "Indian killer," and was said to have been the name given by the Persians to a pass where their Indian slaves had perished in winter.


http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?all ... hmode=none
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Re: Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby consciousness » Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:51 am

Huseng wrote:
Hinduism (n.)
blanket term for "polytheism of India," 1829, from Hindu + -ism.

The word "Hindu" itself just referred to Indians originally:

Hindu
1660s, from Pers. Hindu (adj. & noun) "Indian," from Hind "India," from Skt. sindhu "river," specifically the Indus; hence "region of the Indus," gradually extended across northern India. The Hindu Kush mountain range means lit. "Indian killer," and was said to have been the name given by the Persians to a pass where their Indian slaves had perished in winter.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?all ... hmode=none



Interesting yet controversial viewpoint. Given your interpretation of the etymology of the term hindu, from: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?all ... hmode=none,
if one was to substitute buddhist here, the result would be:

Buddhist (n.)
1810, from Buddha + -ist. An earlier word in this sense was a direct borrowing of Skt. Bauddha "follower of Buddha" (1801 in English), hence early erroneous hybrid forms such as Boudhist, Bauddhist.
shaman (n.)
1690s, "priest of the Ural-Altaic peoples," probably via Ger. Schamane, from Rus. shaman, from Tungus shaman, which is perhaps from Chinese sha men "Buddhist monk," from Prakrit samaya-, from Skt. sramana-s "Buddhist ascetic."
wat (n.)
Thai Buddhist temple, said to be from Skt. vata "enclosure, grove."
panchen
Tibetian Buddhist title of respect, 1763, abbreviation of pandi-tachen-po, lit. "great learned one."
lama
"Buddhist priest of Mongolia or Tibet," 1650s, from Tibetan blama "chief, high priest," with silent b-. Related: Lamasery.
Pali
1690s, Middle High Indian dialect used in sacred Buddhist writings (the lingua franca of northern India from c. 6c. B.C.E.-2c. B.C.E.), from Skt. Pali, from pali bhasa "language of the canonical books," from pali "line, role, canon" + bhasa "language."
macrobiotic (adj.)
also macro-biotic, "inclined to prolong life," 1797, from Gk. makrobiotikos "long-lived," from makros "long" (see macro-) + bios "life" (see bio-). The specific reference to a Zen Buddhist dietary system dates from 1936.

I am certain, the term buddhist predated the 1690s.


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Re: Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:00 am

As you quoted...

1810, from Buddha + -ist. An earlier word in this sense was a direct borrowing of Skt. Bauddha "follower of Buddha" (1801 in English), hence early erroneous hybrid forms such as Boudhist, Bauddhist.


In other languages there are other terms for devotees of the Buddha of course.

The problem I think is that with "Hinduism" it ignores the historical reality of many different unique traditions that had their own identities, worshipping various deities and having their own practices.
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Re: Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby consciousness » Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:08 am

devilyoudont wrote:Sir, it is common practice by Indian Hindus to group the Astika schools under the umbrella term "Hinduism". Buddhism and Jainism, though polytheistic, reject the authority of the Vedas, (at least as transmitted in the present age) and are thus commonly regarded as non-Hindu systems of thought. However, ever since the politicization of the term "Hindu", there is no telling who is a True Hindu and who isn't. Even persons born as Muslims (such as myself) may be regarded as Hindu under some of the broader definitions.


Intrigued, are you Jain, or do you have Jain friends.

Half my family are Jains, and all the Jain weddings i have attended involved vedantic scriptures, followed by the ritualistic circling of the fire, whilst invoking the Devta Agni.

The gayatri mantra, revered by many jains, is:
( see http://www.jainmathemagics.com/page/2/default.asp;
OM BHOOR BHUWAH SWAHA,
TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM
BHARGO DEVASYA DHEEMAHI
DHIYO YO NAHA PRACHODAYAT

is paying homage to Savitar, the solar deity of the rig-veda.Translation

May we attain that excellent glory of Savitar the god:
So may he stimulate our prayers."

A beautiful explanation of the gaytari, can be seen here:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jainstoday/message/1566
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Re: Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby consciousness » Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:25 am

Huseng wrote:As you quoted...

1810, from Buddha + -ist. An earlier word in this sense was a direct borrowing of Skt. Bauddha "follower of Buddha" (1801 in English), hence early erroneous hybrid forms such as Boudhist, Bauddhist.


In other languages there are other terms for devotees of the Buddha of course.

The problem I think is that with "Hinduism" it ignores the historical reality of many different unique traditions that had their own identities, worshipping various deities and having their own practices.


Very true, all three religions imo are a rich tapestry of differing beliefs,with their complex inter-relationships and quaint differences.

I myself come from a orthodox hindu / sikh background, lineage from my maternal side; sprinkled with dashing of jains. <i was born and raised in the UK btw>
From a young age, and endless questioning of why we do this and that, rejected orthodox, vedantic Hinduism, finding an affinity for mantra, tantra, and yantra!
I was especially aghast at the orthodox viewpoint of tantric practices as akin to witchcraft - since vedanta and bramachial society overtook the older sharamic and tantric shakta practises during puranic ages.

I do not call my self Buddhist, however, the way i lead my life, is essentially buddhist, in that i practise ahimsa, with an axiomatic belief of dharm(a) and karma(a) - so by chance, i was following Mahayana Buddhism before i really ever came across buddhism. Following several trips to dharmsala, nepal then finally a couple months in Tibet, i realised, rather than running around trying to find out about that which is beyond comprehension, one should look into one's own consciousness, into one's own mind, and concentrate on the emptiness within! Thus i feel rather than label myself as Hindu/Buddhist etc, i see myself as a sentient human being, living for compassion and good for others - i think this is what drew me to being a medic!

I do see some animosity towards other religions and beliefs on this site, often woven with wrongly interpreted messages, juxtaposed with ignorance. As the Dalai Lama once stated in a speech in Darmsala:
I urge those who genuinely seek a path to enlightenment, nirvana(a) or just happiness should rescind such negative deliberations which stem from insecurities and manifest as extraneous thoughts, detracting from the true gems Siddhārtha Buddha taught.
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Re: Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:51 pm

Hinduism and Buddhism are different religions. Buddha created a new religion separate from existing Indian traditions, which had at that time had not yet formed into what is now called 'Hinduism'. Later Hindus attacked Buddhism, destroying temples, enslaving nuns and so forth. In addition they copied large amounts of Buddhist doctrine and practice, claiming that these had been theirs all along. However they ultimately failed to extinguish Buddhism, because it has moved overseas. Today, such things are 'water under the bridge', and nobody cares very much any more, apart from Neo-Buddhists in India who have separate social grievances of their own. In fact, in our modern world which seems to be full of intolerant monotheists, there is a good argument for us to stick together since we are both children of Mother India.
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Re: Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby Red Faced Buddha » Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:16 pm

viniketa wrote:
devilyoudont wrote:Many people in this forum seem to be laboring under a strange misapprehension that Hindus basically disregarded Buddhist arguments out of hand and went on worshiping their traditional deities out of stubbornness and spite and who knows what else. This is simply not true. Hinduism isn't yet another violently reactionary Abrahamic orthodoxy, and their panditas have never behaved so unreasonably. Here is a traditional source explaining the dialectic that ultimately led to the consensus which regarded Advaita Vedanta as the crown jewel of Classical Indian Philosophy: http://archive.org/details/Sarva-Darsan ... E.B.Cowell


"Hinduism isn't yet another violently reactionary Abrahamic orthodoxy" -- I hope no one thinks that, from where did you get that impression on this forum? On the other hand, some forms of "Hinduism", since the British Raj, have been influenced by "Abrahamic orthodoxy", don't you think?

Thank you for the good reference.

:namaste:

P.S.: Since Buddha is an emanation of Shiva in some practices, why would a Hindu need a "defense" against Buddhism?


I was under the impression that Hindus thought Buddha was an avatar of Vishnu,not an emanation of Shiva.
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Re: Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby viniketa » Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:16 pm

Red Faced Buddha wrote:I was under the impression that Hindus thought Buddha was an avatar of Vishnu,not an emanation of Shiva.


Thank you for the correction. Fingers engaged before mind... :tongue:

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Re: Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby deepbluehum » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:33 pm

consciousness wrote:
devilyoudont wrote:Sir, it is common practice by Indian Hindus to group the Astika schools under the umbrella term "Hinduism". Buddhism and Jainism, though polytheistic, reject the authority of the Vedas, (at least as transmitted in the present age) and are thus commonly regarded as non-Hindu systems of thought. However, ever since the politicization of the term "Hindu", there is no telling who is a True Hindu and who isn't. Even persons born as Muslims (such as myself) may be regarded as Hindu under some of the broader definitions.


Intrigued, are you Jain, or do you have Jain friends.

Half my family are Jains, and all the Jain weddings i have attended involved vedantic scriptures, followed by the ritualistic circling of the fire, whilst invoking the Devta Agni.

The gayatri mantra, revered by many jains, is:
( see http://www.jainmathemagics.com/page/2/default.asp;
OM BHOOR BHUWAH SWAHA,
TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM
BHARGO DEVASYA DHEEMAHI
DHIYO YO NAHA PRACHODAYAT

is paying homage to Savitar, the solar deity of the rig-veda.Translation

May we attain that excellent glory of Savitar the god:
So may he stimulate our prayers."

A beautiful explanation of the gaytari, can be seen here:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jainstoday/message/1566


The Gayatri mantra is exceedingly profound. There are many levels of meaning.
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Re: Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby Astus » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:29 pm

To add one more thing besides the position of Buddha in the Hindu pantheon, Advaita Vedanta is believed to be the highest philosophy only by those who follow that specific school. There are other forms of Vedanta philosophies, and beyond that there are also other Hindu teachings. Hinduism is truly just a blanket term that covers lot of contradictory interpretations and even more religious practices. Just compare a vegetarian Vaishnava group like the ISKCON with a Shaivite movement like the aghoris where they eat human flesh.

As for the Hindu defence against Buddhism, the most famous apologist I am aware of is Adi Shankara. But I suppose there were others too who could be reviewed here. So, who has the knowledge to bring them here?
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Re: Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby AdmiralJim » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:52 pm

Not all branches of Hinduism are theistic either, there are atheist hindus too.
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Re: Hindu defense against Buddhism

Postby deepbluehum » Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:22 pm

The most popular form of Hinduism by far is Vedanta. It is supported by the Samkhya philosophy related to the three gunas, prakriti and purusha. These are mentioned specifically in the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita. Following that in popularity is Shakta philosophy which is pantheistic notion of ubiquitous mother energy, i.e., kundalini. Next in line is the worship of Shiva/Shakti and all the yoga methods under the umbrella of "tantra," like hatha yoga which is like a hybrid of Kashmir Shaivism, Aghori babas, etc., are much less popular. But one should really get into the reality of what it is like to be a "Hindu," by understanding it is quite a lot like being a Dzogchenpa. There is are no strict lines. For example, a very good shaktipat guru, is Guru Siyag. He gives shaktipat, and then one will go into automatic kriyas. This really happens and it works. What is his tradition? He says it comes from Gorakshnatha who was one of the 84 mahasiddhas. But, the shaktipat tradition really comes from the Shakta tradition which predates the Vedas and if you have ever followed a real Shakta siddha, you know, everything is very knowing but vague. You get into the phantasmagoria of the mother energy. To make it even more weird, the mantra he gives is Krishna. So which branch is Guru Siyag? You can't really say. It is mother India. That's the tradition.
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