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Sanatan Dharma from Buddhism?
‘When I say that Buddhism is a part of Hinduism, certain people criticize me. But if I were to say that Hinduism and Buddhism are totally different, it would not be in conformity with truth.” —Dalai
Of late, there is a tendency to state that Buddhism preceded Sanatana Dharma and that Sanatana Dharma is from Buddhism.
Buddhism and Vedic thoughts are so close, especially in their view of Reality that Sri Adi Shankaracharya is often called as ‘Pseudo Buddhist’ for his explanation of Brahman . His system of Philosophy is Advaita, Non- Dualism. Buddhism calls the Reality as Sunya,which is without Attributes .The details of this discussion may be found in my site filed under the Indian philosophy category .
The ethics of Buddha is also found in Sanatan Dharma.The purpose of the article is not to go out to prove that Buddhism is from Hinduism but to set history straight. Buddha was born as a Sakya ,a clan. He belonged to Gautama Gotra.His system was established as a result of the numerous deities being worshipped on the one hand and on the other hand, Mimamsa system was emphasizing more on the Karma Kanda portion of the Vedas to such an extent that the rituals were being conducted on a massive scale foregoing the Concept of Iswara.People were fed up of this and came Buddhism with its message of Ahimsa, Non violence which effectively forbade Killing , especially of animals in Yagnya as sacrifice.
It took centuries for Sanatan Dharma to regain lost ground from Buddhism and it took the efforts of Adi Shankaracharya to achieve this.He codified the methods of worship into six as Shanmathas and also emphasized Gnana and Bhakthi Yogas.
So it would be better if people study Buddhism and Sanatan Dharma before making statements.
Buddhism and Jainism are both called as Nastika system, not because they deny the Existence of but because they do not accept the Sruthi, Vedas as a source of Knowledge. That’s all . Both Jainism and Buddhism are also philosophical systems of India and Buddha is revered as the incarnation of Vishnu.
Buddhists and Hindus are not rivals and are not competing for converts or privilege.
We happily visit each others temples respect each others clergy and listen to each others teachings which are not all that different. For most part there is a symbiosis.
Thailand which is one of the premier Buddhist countries is the best example of Hindu-Buddhist harmony – the King is a Buddhist and the Royal preceptor (rāja-guru) is a Brahmin.
The palace in Bangkok contains a Hindu Devasthānam (temple) dedicated to the Hindu Trinity and the (Thai) Brahmins chant Tamil hymns of the Tiruvemppāvai.
All State ceremonies are conducted by the royal Brahmins. The recent coronation of the (Buddhist) King was officiated by the royal (Hindu) Brahmins.
The Ramayana is depicted on the walls of the palace which also contains a replica of Angkor Wat a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu which the Buddhist Thais claim as their own.
The most popular shrine in Bangkok is the Erawan Shrine dedicated to Brahma and almost every building has a shrine to Brahma at the entrance.
There is a statue of Ganesha outside the Bangkok stock exchange.
The Dalai Lama has expressed support and appreciation for the Hindu custom of not proselytizing, and supported Hindus and Buddhists uniting against Islamic aggression in this respect. He has attended the Kumbha Mela, and sprinkled himself with water from the river Ganga. He joined the Shankaracharya of Kanchi in performing Ganga Arati at dusk.
The Dalai Lama has spoken of Buddhism and Hinduism as being like spiritual brothers, sharing shila (ethics), shamatha (concentration), and prajna (wisdom). He has praised Hindus for being largely a peaceful people, and has held various discussions on the correspondences of the two spiritual traditions as well as the philosophical disagreement on atman vs. anatman. On this point, he has expressed the position that it is a personal decision as to which view appeals more.
Here is the Dalai Lama performing Rudra Abhishekam, a Hindu ritual, as a show of solidarity: