A good work that goes into the details of this is Giovanni Virardi's recent work Hardships and Downfall of Buddhism in India.
Your post is riddled with such bizarre assertions I scarcely know where to start. I know you mean well, but I think it is dangerous to base one's ideas on a single scholar's viewpoint. Is it all based on Virardi's work? I don't have access to it, can you provide another more readily available source? Have you read his supporting sources?
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.
Where are Buddhists ever referred to as asuras? Do you mean the myth from the Bhagavata Purana that Buddha was an avatar of Vishnu sent to mislead asuras away from the vedic path? At the same time as this, there are competing myths of his purpose, such as from the Gita Govinda of Jayadeva,
O Keshava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of Buddha! All glories to you! O Buddha of compassionate heart, you decry the slaughtering of poor animals performed according to the rules of Vedic sacrifice.
I can't recall a single author that has equated Buddhists with asuras, outside of this one reference in the BhP. Can you please give some corroborating sources? As to them being "Buddhist looking", I can't think of any asuras that appear with shaved head and the robes of a bhikshu. Not a single one. Perhaps you can share?
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?
Political power was not vested in the Brahmins. It was vested in the Kshatriya. The Vaishyas' activities were certainly *not* viewed as disagreeable, they were focused on artha out of the four aims of life. Please give me a source for this assertion. These varnas were parts of a whole. There were tensions when the varnas left their traditional role (see Parashurama's war with the brahmins). These do not indicate competing systems.
No, but Sarnath was destroyed several times before it was finally sacked for good.
Guess who did it?
No need to guess. Qutb-ud-din Aibak.
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.
There is no precedent for this interpretation in the tradition. The word for this, "digambara", or "clad in the sky", is the very name of one of the Jain sects. However, digambara is also one of the epithets of Shiva. This corpse is Shiva, or the unchanging witness of the play of Camunda. He is naked, meaning "without elaboration".http://books.google.ca/books?id=DbxE8zOuRbUC&lpg=PA423&ots=oAL0EMhbtC&dq=camunda%20buddhist&pg=PA423#v=onepage&q=camunda%20buddhist&f=false
Historical art analysis is where I got my information from. Again, see Virardi's work and his cited sources in the relevant chapter.
Perhaps you can cite the sources, given that Virardi's book is not readily available to most of us. Hysterical art analysis is a better description of what you have described. By the same fatuous argument, it looks like the worshippers of Heruka and Vajrayogini must have been out slaughtering Shaivas.
I think you watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom one too many times.
Let's not get personal.
Nothing personal intended. The Thuggee as lampooned in the Temple of Doom were who you were referring to, not the Kapalika and they had nothing to do with the disappearance of Buddhism on the subcontinent.
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.
The Kapalikas were not murderers nor were they politically partisan. See Lorenzen's work on how they drew patrons from Hindu, Buddhist and Jain communities.
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.
This is philology of the worst kind. There is nothing in the historical record to support what is claimed. Buddhism flourished up until the Muslim invasions of the 12th-13th centuries. Have you read the puranas? Please show me where the evidence is of the sort of pogrom you are suggesting took place.
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.
As I said in my last post, such activities are kamya not nitya. They are optional, not necessary. As much as I dislike animal sacrifice myself, many Buddhist nations eat meat. Only those that completely reject meat eating should have anything to say about animal sacrifice, given that the animal is eaten after the sacrifice.
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).
The ideas I outline certainly existed in the period we are discussing (700 CE-1300 CE). Adi Shankara rejected animal sacrifice, whatever date we ascribe to him. Vaishnavism has always been against animal sacrifice.
This isn't about "modern values". This is about having some familiarity with the topic you are discussing before building a polemic based on the eccentric work of a single academic.