Generalization About Buddhist Relations with Hindus?

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Generalization About Buddhist Relations with Hindus?

Postby AdvaitaJ » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:19 am

A few months ago, my team at work hired (with my wholehearted endorsement) a gentleman of Indian nationality. What I know is that he is superb at his job and definitely a vegetarian. I strongly suspect he is Hindu. Certainly not a problem from my perspective, but I'm wondering what relations are generally like in other parts of the world between Hindus and Buddhists. Given that Buddhism started in India but now comprises less than 2% of the population does make me wonder if relations between the two groups might be less than cordial. :shrug:

Regards: AdvaitaJ
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Re: Generalization About Buddhist Relations with Hindus?

Postby bodom » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:25 am

AdvaitaJ wrote:A few months ago, my team at work hired (with my wholehearted endorsement) a gentleman of Indian nationality. What I know is that he is superb at his job and definitely a vegetarian. I strongly suspect he is Hindu. Certainly not a problem from my perspective, but I'm wondering what relations are generally like in other parts of the world between Hindus and Buddhists. Given that Buddhism started in India but now comprises less than 2% of the population does make me wonder if relations between the two groups might be less than cordial. :shrug:

Regards: AdvaitaJ


You can thank the 2% Buddhist population for the muslim invasion which wiped out Buddhism nearly entirely from India. I have received free dhamma books from wave and on the back it says for Non-Muslims Only. Im not sure of the relation between Buddhism and Hinduism.

:anjali:
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Re: Generalization About Buddhist Relations with Hindus?

Postby bodom » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:32 am

I found this:

Hinduism and Buddhism by Jayaram V

http://www.hinduwebsite.com/hinduism/h_buddhism.asp

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Generalization About Buddhist Relations with Hindus?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:34 am

I have never looked for this on any site, but Ajahn Sumedho did spend some months in india a few years ago, and he has talked about his time there, maybe someone knows of some references in his talks or elsewhere?
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Re: Generalization About Buddhist Relations with Hindus?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:02 am

Greetings,

One of my best friends is Hindu - we get along fine. :jumping:

Chance are that this person will be far more impressed that you're Buddhist than if you said you were a Christian.

To a Hindu, Buddha is a god (just another one in the pantheon), and they will probably like that you revere one of their gods.

That we do not perceive Buddha as a god is another story altogether.

:buddha2:

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Re: Generalization About Buddhist Relations with Hindus?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:21 am

bodom wrote:I found this:

Hinduism and Buddhism by Jayaram V

http://www.hinduwebsite.com/hinduism/h_buddhism.asp

:anjali:


No, this writer doesn't know what he is talking about.

It is the usual situation, the author can't distinguish between Brahmanism at the time of the Buddha, and later "hinduism" which is already heavily influenced. Then makes the usual dubious claims about them having commonalities, when many are anachronistic statements. For example, the notion of karma as factor in "transmigration", and the role of meditation - which the Brahmans initially never practiced. It also says Buddhism believes in transmigration for the "soul". It also suggests that the Buddha is a "prophet". And "the Buddha was born into a Hindu family" - no. Wrong all the way.

I rate this link about 2/10.
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Re: Generalization About Buddhist Relations with Hindus?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:23 am

In india, there are only a couple of groups (outside a scholar or two) who are largely Buddhists. the baruas in bengal, and also the dalits. the latter are an untouchable class, and mainly through Ambedkar's influence, turned to buddhism. however, they have an extremely hinduized buddhism, because they don't have many trained teachers. due to the caste system, the other castes still look down on them. the baruas do a better job, but they are still a tiny minority, really.
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Re: Generalization About Buddhist Relations with Hindus?

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:24 am

I have spent some time with the the formerly classed untouchable now become Buddhist people in India. I understand there is a bit of tension created by these "conversions" from what I have heard. Especially among the more conservative cast Hindus. The Hindu Nationalist BJP party is somtimes compared to the Ku Klux Klan by some of my Indian friends in order for me to understand the mind set they deal with.

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Re: Generalization About Buddhist Relations with Hindus?

Postby christopher::: » Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:29 am

Concerning India, the Dalai Lama and many Tibetan Buddhists were welcomed and have been allowed to remain there. A number of well known Buddhist teachers, such as Anagarika Munindra & S. N. Goenka, have also resided and taught in India, for periods of time.

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.N._Goenka

Though i try to refrain from generalizations, I've only had very positive experiences with the Indians and Hindus that I've met.

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Re: Generalization About Buddhist Relations with Hindus?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:37 am

Anagarika Munindra & S. N. GoenkaThey are both Indian.

As for Buddhist relationship with Hindus, generally okay, but, of course, life is not lived in generalizations. It is lived on a one-to-one basis with the people with whom one relates. The owner of an Indian restaurant I used to frequent, while knowledgeable about Hinduism, knew little of actual Buddhism, but would expound on how Buddhism was really nothing more than heterodox Hinduism in a friendly way over great food. Generally, if one must, Hindus look favorably upon Buddhism as sort of a wayward little brother.
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Re: Generalization About Buddhist Relations with Hindus?

Postby cooran » Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:58 am

You can thank the 2% Buddhist population for the muslim invasion which wiped out Buddhism nearly entirely from India. I have received free dhamma books from wave and on the back it says for Non-Muslims Only. Im not sure of the relation between Buddhism and Hinduism.


The Non-Muslims Only caution is because WAVE books are published in a Muslim country ~ Malaysia.
Wisdom Audio-Visual Exchange (Malaysia). WAVE has an extensive catalog of Dhamma books for free distribution, with titles by such authors as Ajaan Lee, Ajaan Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw, and many others. WAVE welcomes donations to sponsor publication of new books or to reprint old titles. Contact: Mrs Lim Tay Poh, c/o No. 1187, Jalan 17/46, Petaling Jaya, 46400 Selangor, Malaysia.

Can you tell me what the 2% Buddhist population had to do with the Muslim invasion of India via Afghanistan? (With traceable quotations please).

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Re: Generalization About Buddhist Relations with Hindus?

Postby bodom » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:20 pm

Around 1000 CE, Turkic, Persians and the Afghan Muslims began major incursions into India through the traditional invasion routes of the northwest. Mahmud of Ghazni (979-1030) established a base in Punjab and raided nearby areas. Mahmud is remembered for the ferocity of his attacks on non-Muslim religions. In 1193, Qutb-ud-Din, a Turkish commander, seized control of Delhi, leaving defenseless the northeastern territories that were the heart of Buddhist India. Later that year, raiders under Muhammad Khilji, one of Qutb-ud-Din's generals, destroyed Nalanda, the great Buddhist library; this event was a major milestone in Indian Buddhism's suddenly precipitous decline. By the end of the 12th century, following the Islamic conquest of the Buddhist strongholds in Bihar and Bengal, Buddhists ceased to be a significant presence in India.


http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Dec ... id/1313781

Im not gonna do your homework for you. Just do any search.
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Re: Generalization About Buddhist Relations with Hindus?

Postby bodom » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:22 pm

Paññāsikhara wrote:
bodom wrote:I found this:

Hinduism and Buddhism by Jayaram V

http://www.hinduwebsite.com/hinduism/h_buddhism.asp

:anjali:


No, this writer doesn't know what he is talking about.

It is the usual situation, the author can't distinguish between Brahmanism at the time of the Buddha, and later "hinduism" which is already heavily influenced. Then makes the usual dubious claims about them having commonalities, when many are anachronistic statements. For example, the notion of karma as factor in "transmigration", and the role of meditation - which the Brahmans initially never practiced. It also says Buddhism believes in transmigration for the "soul". It also suggests that the Buddha is a "prophet". And "the Buddha was born into a Hindu family" - no. Wrong all the way.

I rate this link about 2/10.


Wellll soorrrrryyyyyyyy. :tongue: I guess this goes to show the misunderstandings between the two?
Last edited by bodom on Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Generalization About Buddhist Relations with Hindus?

Postby bodom » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:34 pm

See alsoMahmud of Ghazni A Dictionary of Buddhism by DAMIEN KEOWN|

Mahmud of Ghazni.A Muslim Turkic adventurer who seized control of Afghanistan and neighbouring areas and established the short-lived Ghaznavid Empire (997–1030 ce). He led several extremely destructive forays into India as far as the heartland of Buddhism on the plains of the Ganges. Although his advance was repulsed, he was soon followed by other Muslim armies who systematically looted and destroyed most of the great Buddhist establishments in that region, such as Nālandā.

http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O108-M ... hazni.html

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Generalization About Buddhist Relations with Hindus?

Postby Calahand » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:15 pm

Yeah Nalanda was a great center for learning, india was really a center for knowledge and learning at that time. The guptas were hindu kings, but they too had great respect for professors and those living at nalanda university. Hindus and buddhists were almost always tolerant of each other, though people like Adi Shankaracharya opposed buddhist philosophy, it was only in debates about philosophy, nature of the self and the universe.
From the article (see the link at the end of my post):
"During the Gupta age,the practice and study of the mahayana, especially the madhyamaka, flourished. However, from 750 AD, in the Pala age, there was an increase in the study and propagation of the tantric teachings.This is evidenced by the famous pandit Abhayakaragupta, a renowned tantric practitioner who was simultaneously abbot of the Mahabodhi, Nalanda and Vikramashila monasteries. Also Naropa, later so important to the tantric lineages of the Tibetan traditions, was abbot of Nalanda in the years 1049-57."

In this article (see link posted below), it even says how dedicated they were too : "Much of the tradition of Nalanda had been carried into Tibet by the time of the Muslim invasions of the twelfth century. While the monasteries of Odantapuri and Vikramashila were then destroyed, the buildings at Nalanda do not seem to have suffered extensive damage at that time, although most of the monks fled before the desecrating armies. In 1235 the Tibetan pilgrim Chag Lotsawa found a 90 year old teacher, Rahula Shribhadra, with a class of seventy students. Rahula Shribhadra managed to survive through the support of a local brahmin and did not leave untilhe had completed educating his last Tibetan student."

Too bad the muslim invaders couldn't see Nalanda for what it was, and had to kill everyone almost and burn everything to the ground.

You can read about how Nalanda was here http://www.nalanda.nitc.ac.in/about/Nal ... itage.html
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Re: Generalization About Buddhist Relations with Hindus?

Postby Dhammabodhi » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:50 pm

Hi AdvaitaJ,

I (still) consider myself to be a Hindu, and I think I get along fine with you guys! :tongue:

The "relationship between Hindus and Buddhists" is hard to quantify. But I can say with confidence that as of now, in modern India or elsewhere, the majority of Hindus get along fine with Buddhists, as they do with Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Jews, or members of any other community.

As Retro has pointed out, the Buddha is seen as a God, but not just any God, he's considered an Avatar of Vishnu, so he'd be right at the top level of the hierarchy of devas . Of course, some Hindus try to project Buddhism as a "subset" of Hinduism, this ignorant lot unfortunately includes people who are well-educated.
This does not stop people to give a lot of respect to Buddhist teachers in India, however. As christopher points out, the Dalai Lama is a highly respected figure in India and an overwhelming majority of people and the government support the Tibetan refugees and their movement.

In Bodh Gaya, Hindu shrines lie adjacent to ancient Buddha- rupas. You can hear the Muezzin's prayer call while sitting below the Bodhi-tree. The Dungeshwari cave, where the Buddha is supposed to have spent years in ascetic practices, has rupas of Hindu gods and goddesses along with the ascetic Buddha. Neither the Hindus nor the Buddhists insist on throwing out the others' idols.

Irrespective of religion, majority of people are kind and compassionate to others around the world, unless provoked and brainwashed by politicians or fanatics. Hindus and Buddhists are no different. In India, our Prime Minister is a Sikh, the ruling party's chief is a Roman Catholic from Italy. Our previous president was a Muslim. All this of course does not imply that India is a Utopian land, far from it, but these are good signs nevertheless.

With metta, :anjali:
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Re: Generalization About Buddhist Relations with Hindus?

Postby dspiewak » Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:05 pm

I have Hindu friends. Our friendship has been very peaceful. Not only does it help me to (slightly) bridge the language gap, it also helps that I share some knowledge of South Asian history and culture that allows me to relate to them better. Plus, interacting with Sinhalese people seems to have given me better understanding of the distinctive body language and mannerisms you see frequently in South Asian people.

Which groups do Buddhists not get along with? I have never heard of a single person who said "I am tolerant of nearly everyone, but those jerk Buddhists really cheese me off." :lol:

I will agree with
Paññāsikhara wrote:In india, there are only a couple of groups (outside a scholar or two) who are largely Buddhists. the baruas in bengal, and also the dalits. the latter are an untouchable class, and mainly through Ambedkar's influence, turned to buddhism. however, they have an extremely hinduized buddhism, because they don't have many trained teachers. due to the caste system, the other castes still look down on them. the baruas do a better job, but they are still a tiny minority, really.


I'd like to add one more observation to this: the Ambedkharist Dalit Buddhists are very enthusiastic, but my impression of their Buddhism is that it is heavily politicized, and seems to have a lot to do with social self-empowerment. But if it causes a few people to seriously practice and observe the results...opanayiko.
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Re: Generalization About Buddhist Relations with Hindus?

Postby AdvaitaJ » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:02 pm

Thanks to all for your responses!

This issue was somewhat surprising to me. In learning about and adopting Buddhism, I never stopped to think about what the external ramifications of that action might be. Religion is one of those things that people (collectively) use to to identify themselves and considerations of how "my group" might interact with "their group" was not something I questioned.

:anjali: AdvaitaJ
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