Karma Dorje wrote:Please provide sources for this assertion that merchants sided with the Buddhists or Jains because they felt shortchanged rather than because they were attracted to the message.
A good work that goes into the details of this is Giovanni Virardi's recent work Hardships and Downfall of Buddhism in India
The urban merchant classes had little to gain by supporting the brahman elites, especially when they sought a different model of society at odds with what the middle classes enjoyed. This helps to explain why Buddhism went into decline whenever the economic machinery of Eurasia broke down (like in the third century with plague in the Roman Empire and the collapse of the Han Dynasty in China). If it was the landed farmers and their overseers who supported Buddhism this wouldn't have happened. No, it was the merchant and tradesmen who formed the primary class of benefactors. This is especially see outside India in Central Asia.
Don't be silly. The Guptas were famously vaishya. Also, Nalanda University was likely founded by Shakraditya. It was a golden age for all forms of sanatanadharma.
Again, Virardi calls this into question.
He dates the Arthaśāstra
to the Gupta period and shows how the rules against feeding śramaṇas on special functions shows a kind of intolerance for śramaṇic religions like Buddhism.
The land transfers given to brahmans and their tax-free income was a strategy which helped cope with declining trade following the collapse of the Roman Empire. There was less coinage available in circulation after awhile.
That being said, some of the aristocracy might have supported Buddhism, but the dynasty itself was pro-Brahman overall. After the Gupta period we see increasingly hostile rhetoric aimed at Buddhists, referring to them as asuras. The artwork usually depicts them as characteristically Buddhist-looking.
That's a bold assertion. Where is the evidence?
It is quite logical if you consider the fact that political and economic power vested in the hands of untaxed Brahmans in the countryside outside the urban sphere was not good for largely urban merchants.
The early kaliyuga literature speaks of these money makers and their ilk, too. There were clearly competing systems. As a merchant would you want to subscribe to a religious worldview that classifies you and your activities as disagreeable?
By the brahmins? Again, please provide evidence. Nalanda was not sacked by Hindus, but by the Khilji from Afghanistan.
No, but Sarnath was destroyed several times before it was finally sacked for good.
Guess who did it?
Camunda sits on a corpse. Not on the corpse of a Buddha, a buddhist or a buddhist devata.
You need to look into the details of this. There are other specimens where clearly the dead corpse has the features often given to a Buddha image. This one likewise has the same features.
The reason they are naked is because they are without the Vedas. So, this isn't a Jain monk.
You are going to have to present something beyond your own fancy to substantiate such a wild claim.
Historical art analysis is where I got my information from. Again, see Virardi's work and his cited sources in the relevant chapter.
I think you watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom one too many times.
Let's not get personal.
The Kapalikas were tremendously influential on Buddhist tantra, and heavily influenced by Buddhist yogins in term.
It doesn't negate the fact some of them were useful for political ends and eliminating opponents.
It was the Muslim incursion into India that destroyed the main seats of learning, and the renaissance that followed Adi Shankara that led to Buddhism's demise in the north of India.
Yes, they hammered the last nails into the coffin, but before that sites like Sarnath and others were destroyed and rebuilt several times. Buddhists came to be known as atheist heretics spreading poisonous lies and violence was exercised against them. This is especially evident when you look at the relevant period literature which depicts them as asuras and whatnot. Later on they have the outcastes on their side, too.
Also, why exactly did a place like Nalanda have fortifications? It was to defend itself against hostile forces.
I am not sure why you are so fascinated with a ritual that hasn't been performed in 300 odd years.
Animal sacrifice was a part of various Vedic schools. The same with Confucianism. It is in their texts. If people don't do it anymore, it still nevertheless prescribes such activities as necessary and just.
There is a plethora of viewpoints within them and vedic animal sacrifices are not intrinsic to all by any means. In fact most Hindus find animal sacrifice to be a violation of ahimsa and don't support it. In the Vedas, these sacrifices are all kamya (to obtain specific desires) and are not necessary. Instead of animals, coconuts or other fruit are offered and animal sacrifice is interpreted symbolically.
I'm talking about how things existed historically -- before "Hinduism" came to exist. The ideas you outline here didn't exist in the ancient period. The texts and practices clearly called for animals to be sacrificed. Likewise Confucians used to sacrifice animals, but don't anymore. I'm not sure if the Qing Emperors were into the custom or not, but nevertheless their texts call for it. Modern values might mean they don't do it (for now).