Talk:Buddhism and Hinduism

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Removed quotes[edit]

I removed these quotes that I thought to be non-notable:

  • It may readily be granted that Buddhist thought is far more consistent than the thought of the Upanishads. The Upanishads are the work of many hands and extend over many centuries; amongst their authors are both poets and philosophers. The Buddhist Dhamma claims to be the pronouncement of a single rationalist, and to have but one flavour. Gautama propounds a creed and a system, and it is largely to this fact that the success of his missionary activities was due. (...) No one will assert that the Upanishads exhibit a consistent creed. But the explanation of their inconsistencies is historical and leaves the truth of their ultimate conclusions quite untouched. (...) we find in point of fact that the essential thought of the Upanishads is never grasped by the Early Buddhists, and, is sometimes but obscurely apprehended by modern exponents.
    • A.K. Coomaraswamy: Buddha, p.206-207., quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • So, in spite of an intellectual misunderstanding concerning the notion of Self, the substance of the Upanishadic and Buddhist spiritual paths remains essentially the same. The central point of agreement is the value and discipline of non-attachment: "Implicit in Brahman thought from an early period (...) and forming the most marked features of later Indian mysticism-achieved also in the Mahayana, but with greater difficulty-is the conviction that ignorance is maintained only by attachment, and not by such actions as are void of purpose and self-reference; and the thought that This and That world, Becoming and Being, are seen to be one by those in whom ignorance is destroyed. In this identification there is effected a reconciliation of religion with the world, which remained beyond the grasp of Theravada Buddhists. The distinctions between early Buddhism and Upanishadic Brahmanism, however practically important, are thus merely temperamental; fundamentally there is absolute agreement that bondage consists in the thought of I and Mine, and that this bondage may be broken only for those in whom all craving is extinct. In all essentials Buddhism and Brahmanism form a single system.'
    • A. K. Coomaraswamy quoted in Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743, quoting A.K. Coomaraswamy: Buddha, p.221.
  • In comparing Buddhism (the teaching of Gautama, that is) with Brahmanism, we have then to understand and take into account the difference of the problem to be solved. Gautama is concerned with salvation and nothing but salvation: the Brahmans likewise see in that summum bonum the ultimate significance of all existence, but they also take into account the things of relative importance; theirs is a religion both of Eternity and Time, while Gautama looks upon Eternity alone. It is not really fair to Gautama or to the Brahmans to contrast their Dharma; for they do not seek to cover the same ground. We must compare the Buddhist ethical ideal with the (identical) standard of Brahmanhood expected of the Brahman born; we must contrast the Buddhist monastic system with the Brahmanical orders; the doctrine of Anatta with the doctrine of Atman, and here we shall find identity. (...) Buddhism stands for a restricted ideal, which contrasts with Brahmanism as a pars contrasts with the whole.
    • A.K. Coomaraswamy: Buddha, p.219. , quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • Ananda Coomaraswamy concedes that Buddhism developed a more satisfactory systematization of certain Upanishadic ideas than the Upanishads themselves: "Gautama repudiates the two extreme views, that everything is, and that everything is not, and substitutes the thought that there is only a Becoming. (cfr. Samyutta Nikaya, xxii:90:16) it is due to Gautama to say that the abstract concept of causality as the fundamental principle of the phenomenal world is by him far more firmly grasped and more clearly emphasized than we find it in the early Upanishads; nevertheless the thought and the word 'Becoming' are common to both, and both are in agreement that this Becoming is the order of the world, the mark of organic existence, from which Nibbana, or the Brahman (according to their respective phraseology) alone is free.'
    • A. K. Coomaraswamy quoted in Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743, quoting A.K. Coomaraswamy: Buddha, p.208.
  • The exact meaning of the Arabic rendering of Indian terms is ambiguous, starting with the meaning of budh/budd/but. As the Buddhists had been the first big producers of ornate sculptures for veneration, viz. Buddha statues, the word but became the standard Persian term for "idol", so an idol-worshipper was called But-parast, and an idol-breaker But-shikan, even when the idol was not a Buddha statue. Al-Baladhuri says that "the Indians give in general the name of budd to anything considered with their worship or which forms the object of their veneration. So, an idol is called budd.' (...) In the circumstances, is it likely that the freshly arrived Arab chronicler could distinguish a category of "Buddhists" in the general population of Hindus?... At that stage, the Arab-Muslim newcomers simply couldn't distinguish between Brahmins and Buddhist monks, all But-parasts, "idol-worshippers".
    • Al-Baladhuri, quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743, with reference to Elliot & Dowson: History of India, vol.1
  • The Japanese-Buddhist Goddess Benzai-ten is none other than Saraswati, the Chinese-Buddhist God Shui-tian is Vedic Varuna, etc., all imported by Buddhism without the help of a single (non-Buddhist) Brahmin. As D.D. Kosambi notes: 'Pali records started by making Indra and Brahma respectful hearers of the original Buddhist discourses. The Mahayana admitted a whole new pantheon of gods including Ganesha, Shiva and Vishnu, all subordinated to the Buddha.'... But in Japanese Buddhism too, we find many practices that are not traditionally Japanese nor Buddhist in the strictest sense, but that have been carried along by Buddhism as a part of its Hindu heritage, e.g. the fire ceremony of the Shingon sect which, like the Vedic sacrifice, is called 'feeding the Gods'.... The inclusion of Vedic and other Gods in the Mahayana Buddhist pantheon is well-attested.
    • D.D. Kosambi quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743 with reference to Louis Frédéric: Les dieux du bouddhisme, p.258-268., D.D. Kosambi: Culture and Civilisation of Ancient India, p.179.
  • Yet, when Hindu Revivalists claim Buddhism as a continuous evolute of Hinduism, they join an established viewpoint articulated by Western scholars with no axe to grind. Christian Lindtner quotes with approval Dharmakirti's list of four doctrines of contemporaneous Brahmanism which Buddhism rejected: 'The authority of the Veda, the doctrine of a Creator of the world, the conviction that rituals can cause moral purity, and the haughtiness based on claims of birth'. Then Lindtner adds: 'Apart from that, ancient Indian Buddhism should be seen as reformed Brahmanism.' (...) Though Western scholarship is usually invoked as the ultimate trump card with which to silence opponents, the Buddha-separatist authors prefer to ignore or dismiss it in this case. Thus, Buddhist scholar Davidi. Kalupahana, who rejects the inclusion of Buddhism in Hinduism, is irritated with Western scholarship: 'Hindu scholars writing on Buddhism made such statements as this: 'Early Buddhism is not an absolutely original doctrine. It is no freak in the evolution of Indian thought.[1]' But even a more sober scholar from the West felt that 'Buddhism started from special Indian beliefs, which it took for granted. The chief of these were the belief in transmigration and the doctrine of retribution of action (...) They were already taken for granted as a commonly accepted view of life by most Indian religions.[2]
    • Christian Lindtner: 'From Brahmanism to Buddhism', Asian Philosophy, 1999., and David Kalupahana: Buddhist Philosophy. with reference to S. Radhakrishnan: Indian Philosophy (Allen & Unwin, London 1962), vol. 1, p.360, and to EJ. Thomas: 'Buddhism in Modern Times', University of Ceylon Review) (Colombo), 9 (1951), p. 216. Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • To my mind having approached Buddhism after a study of the ancient religion of India, the religion of the Veda, Buddhism has always seemed to be, not a new religion, but a natural development of the Indian mind in its various manifestations...
    • – Max Müller , Chips from a German Workshop, i, 434, quoted from Ancient Indian Education: Brahmanical and Buddhist by Radha Kumud Mookerji [1]
  • For hundreds of years before Buddha's time, movements were in progress in Indian thought which prepared the way for Buddhism.
    • Hermann Oldenberg, quoted in Ancient Indian Education: Brahmanical and Buddhist by Radha Kumud Mookerji
  • Buddhism is only a later phase of the general movement of thought of which the Upanishads were earlier [expressions]. Buddha did not look upon himself as an innovator, but only a restorer of the way of the Upanishads.'
    • Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan: Indian Philosophy, vol.2, p.469., Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • We should never forget that Gautama was born and brought up a Hindu and lived and died a Hindu. His teaching, far-reaching and original as it was, and really subversive of the religion of the day, was Indian throughout. He was the greatest and wisest and best of the Hindus.
    • T.W. Rhys-Davids: Buddhism, p.116-117, quoted in D. Keer: Ambedkar, p.522. Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • Buddhism is returning home to India after a long exile of a thousand years and, like the proverbial prodigal son, is being received with open arms. Religious tolerance of the average Hindu partly explains the warm reception. But a more important reason is the fact that Buddha and Buddhism form an intimate part of Hindu consciousness. Buddha was a Hindu. Buddhism is Hindu in its origin and development, in its art and architecture, iconography, language, beliefs, psychology, names, nomenclature, religious vows and spiritual discipline....Hinduism is not all Buddhism, but Buddhism forms part of the ethos which is essentially Hindu.
  • Swami Vivekananda's close associate Sister Nivedita testifies that Swamiji was a great devotee of the Buddha: 'Again and again he would return upon the note of perfect rationality in his hero. Buddha was to him not only the greatest of Aryans but also 'the one absolutely sane man' that the world had ever seen. How he had refused worship! (...) How vast had been the freedom and humility of the Blessed One! He attended the banquet of Ambapali, the courtesan. Knowing that it would kill him, but desiring that his last act should be one of communion with the lowly, he received the food of the pariah, and afterwards sent a courteous message to his host, thanking him for the Great Deliverance. How calm! How masculine! (...) He alone was able to free religion entirely from the argument of the supernatural, and yet make it as binding in its force, and as living in its appeal, as it had ever been." Sister Nivedita also relates that Swamiji's first act after taking Sannyas was to "hurry to Bodh Gaya, and sit under the great tree"; and that his last journey, too, had taken him to Bodh Gaya.
    • Sister Nivedita, quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743, quoting Sister Nivedita: The Master as I Saw Him, p. 210-215.
  • S. Radhakrishnan: Indian Philosophy
  • EJ. Thomas: Buddhism in Modern Times