Thursday, September 20, 2018

Why the "Hindus vs. Buddhists and Jains" Historical narrative is Invalid

The historical narrative offered by a section of left-liberals of pitting Hinduism on one side, and Buddhism and Jainism on the other, and showing only Hindu rulers as intolerant is invalid. There were some, and notwithstanding the tenets, even intolerant Buddhists and Jains (there are allegations against them, just like against Brahmanical rulers, all of which are literary and may not always have solid archaeological evidence); in recent times, we've seen Buddhist majoritarianism in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and even Bhutan, of which Hindus have also been victims, as discussed here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. It's interesting that Jain scholar Haribhadra, somewhere in the 5th-8th centuries AD, wrote the book Shaddarshan-Samuchchaya expounding different schools of ancient Indian philosophical thought - Jain, Hindu and Buddhist - with respect. Even a satirical text like the Mattavilasa Prahasana, an early 7th century Sanskrit play set in Kanchipuram (in present-day Tamil Nadu) exposing how the rot had set in in reformist cults like Buddhism and Jainism and also heterodox Hindu orders, portrayed all of them with respect. A Shaivite ruler Harshavardhan had patronised the Buddhist Council, and the Satavahanas and Guptas patronised Buddhist and Jain shrines. Arya Bhat, a non-Buddhist, was possibly involved in teaching science in the Nalanda University, a Buddhist university. 

As Sita Ram Goel stated, addressing that certain variety of left-liberals-

“Every Brahminical sect has used strong language about other Brahminical sects. So have the Buddhist and the Jains, not only vis-a-vis Brahminical sects but also about each other. ... I fail to understand the logic of placing Buddhists and Jains on one side of the fence and Brahminical sects on the other. (...) Finally I suggest that all cases of Brahminical rulers building and endowing Buddhist and Jain temples and Buddhist and Jain rulers dong the same for Brahminical temples, should also be compiled for obtaining a total picture of the religious scene. You are very prompt in pointing out the few cases where Hindu temples were endowed or built under Muslim patronage whenever large scale destruction of Hindu temples by Muslims is brought to your notice. Why do you always fail to point out the numerous cases Brahminical patronage of Buddhism and Jainism, while listing the few cases of Brahminical persecution?”

Even theologically, there is much in Buddhism that draws from Vedanta, as discussed in this article and this one. As
this video shows, the Japanese embraced a combination of Hinduism and Buddhism, which travelled from India.

The Rumktek Monastery in Sikkim has a painting of Lord Ganesh, for a Tibetan Buddhist master claimed that Lord Ganesh had appeared in his dream.

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