Disappearance of Buddhism From India: An Untold Story
Posted on October 3rd, 2015

             Naresh Kumar

The complete disappearance of the religion of the Buddha from the land of
its birth is one of the greatest puzzles of history. Once holding sway
throughout the length and breadth of the subcontinent, Buddhism today
survives only in the Himalayan fringes along the Tibetan frontier and in
small pockets in northern and western India among recent Ambedkarite Dalit
converts.

Various theories have been put forward which seek to explain the tragic
eclipse of Buddhism from India. According to one view, corruption in the
Buddhist sangha or priesthood precipitated Buddhism’s ultimate decline.
While it is true that with time the Buddhist priests became increasingly
lax in the observance of religious rules, corruption alone cannot explain
the death of Buddhism. After all, Buddhism was replaced by an even more
corrupt Brahminism. Another theory is that Buddhism disappeared from India
in the wake of the Arab and Turkish invasions in which many Buddhists were
said to have been killed. However, this theory, too, seems not to be
convincing as a complete explanation of the extinction of Buddhism in
India. After all, in places such as Bengal and Sind, which were ruled by
Brahminical dynasties but had Buddhist majorities, Buddhists are said to
have welcomed the Muslims as saviours who had freed them from the tyranny
of ‘upper’ caste rule. This explains why most of the ‘lower-caste’ people
in Eastern Bengal and Sind embraced Islam. Few, if any, among the ‘upper’
castes of these regions did the same.

Since Buddhism was replaced by triumphant Brahminism, the eclipse of
Buddhism in India was obviously primarily a result of the Brahminical
revival. The Buddha was a true revolutionary – and his crusade against
Brahminical supremacy won him his most ardent followers from among the
oppressed castes. The Buddha challenged the divinity of the Vedas, the
bedrock of Brahminism. He held that all men are equal and that the caste
system or varnashramadharma, to which the Vedas and other Brahminical
books had given religious sanction, was completely false. Thus, in the
Anguttara Nikaya, the Buddha is said to have exhorted the Bhikkus, saying,
“Just, O brethren, as the great rivers, when they have emptied themselves
into the Great Ocean, lose their different names and are known as the
Great Ocean Just so, O brethren, do the four varnas – Kshatriya, Brahmin,
Vaishya and Sudra – when they begin to follow the doctrine and discipline
propounded by the Tathagata [i.e. the Buddha], renounce the different
names of caste and rank and become the members of one and the same
society.”

The Buddha’s fight against Brahminism won him many enemies from among the
Brahmins. They were not as greatly opposed to his philosophical teachings
as they were to his message of universal brotherhood and equality for it
directly challenged their hegemony and the scriptures that they had
invented to legitimize this. To combat Buddhism and revive the tottering
Brahminical hegemony, Brahminical revivalists resorted to a three-pronged
strategy. Firstly, they launched a campaign of hatred and persecution
against the Buddhists. Then, they appropriated many of the finer aspects
of Buddhism into their own system so as to win over the “lower” caste
Buddhist masses, but made sure that this selective appropriation did not
in any way undermine Brahminical hegemony. The final stage in this project
to wipe out Buddhism was to propound and propagate the myth that the
Buddha was merely another ‘incarnation’ (avatar) of the Hindu god Vishnu.
Buddha was turned into just another of the countless deities of the
Brahminical pantheon.

The Buddhists were finally absorbed into the caste system, mainly as
Shudras and ‘Untouchables’, and with that the Buddhist presence was
completely obliterated from the land of its birth. Dr.Bhimrao Ambedkar
writes in his book, The Untouchables, that the ancestors of today’s Dalits
were Buddhists who were reduced to the lowly status of ‘untouchables’ for
not having accepted the supremacy of the Brahmins. They were kept apart
from other people and were forced to live in ghettos of their own. Being
treated worse that beasts of burden and forbidden to receive any
education, these people gradually lost touch with Buddhism, but yet never
fully reconciled themselves to the Brahminical order. Many of them later
converted to Islam, Sikhism and Christianity in a quest for liberation
from the Brahminical religion.

To lend legitimacy to their campaign against Buddhism, Brahminical texts
included fierce strictures against Buddhists. Manu, in his Manusmriti,
laid down that, “If a person touches a Buddhist he shall purify himself by
having a bath.” 
Aparaka ordained the same in his Smriti. Vradha Harit
declared entry into a Buddhist temple a sin, which could only be expiated
for by taking a ritual bath. Even dramas and other books for lay people
written by Brahmins contained venomous propaganda against the Buddhists.
In the classic work, Mricchakatika, (Act VII), the hero Charudatta, on
seeing a Buddhist monk pass by, exclaims to his friend Maitriya “Ah! Here
is an inauspicious sight, a Buddhist monk coming towards us.” The Brahmin
Chanakya, author of Arthashastra, declared that, “When a person entertains
in a dinner dedicated to gods and ancestors those who are Sakyas
(Buddhists), Ajivikas, Shudras and exiled persons, a fine of one hundred
panas shall be imposed on him.” Shankaracharaya, the leader of the
Brahminical revival, struck terror into the hearts of the Buddhists with
his diatribes against their religion.

The simplicity of the Buddha’s message, its stress on equality and its
crusade against the bloody and costly sacrifices and ritualism of
Brahminism had attracted the oppressed casts in large numbers. The
Brahminical revivalists understood the need to appropriate some of these
finer aspects of Buddhism and discarded some of the worst of their own
practices so as to be able to win over the masses back to the Brahminical
fold. Hence began the process of the assimilation of Buddhism by
Brahminism. The Brahimns, who were once voracious beef-eaters, turned
vegetarian, imitating the Buddhists in this regard. Popular devotion to
the Buddha was sought to be replaced by devotion to Hindu gods such as
Rama and Krishna. The existing version of the Mahabharata was written in
the period in which the decline of Buddhism had already begun, and it was
specially meant for the Shudras, most of whom were Buddhists, to attract
them away from Buddhism. Brahminism, however, still prevented the Shudras
from having access to the Vedas, and the Mahabharata was possibly written
to placate the Buddhist Shudras and to compensate them for this
discrimination. The Mahabharata incorporated some of the humanistic
elements of Buddhism to win over the Shudras, but, overall, played its
role of bolstering the Brahminical hegemony rather well. Thus, Krishna, in
the Gita, is made to say that a person ought not to violate the “divinely
ordained” law of caste. Eklavya is made to slice off his thumb by Drona,
who finds it a gross violation of dharma that a mere tribal boy should
excel the Kshatriya Arjun in archery.

The various writer of the puranas, too, carried on this systematic
campaign of hatred, slander and calumny against the Buddhists. The
Brahannardiya Purana made it a principal sin for Brahmins to enter the
house of a Buddhist even in times of great peril. The Vishnu Purana dubs
the Buddha as Maha Moha or ‘the great seducer’. It further cautions
against the “sin of conversing with Buddhists” and lays down that “those
who merely talk to Buddhist ascetics shall be sent to hell.” In the Gaya
Mahatmaya, the concluding section of the Vayu Purana, the town of Gaya is
identified as Gaya Asura, a demon who had attained such holiness that all
those who saw him or touched him went straight to heaven. Clearly, this
‘demon’ was none other the Buddha who preached a simple way for all,
including the oppressed castes, to attain salvation. The Vayu Purana story
goes on to add that Yama, the king of hell, grew jealous at this, possibly
because less people were now entering his domains. He appealed to the gods
to limit the powers of Asura Gaya. This the gods, led by Vishnu, were able
to do by placing a massive stone on the “demon’s” head.  This monstrous
legend signified the ultimate capture of Budhdhism’s most holy centre by
its most inveterate foes.

Kushinagar, also known as Harramba, was one of the most important Buddhist
centres as the Buddha breathed his last there. The Brahmins, envious of
the prosperity of this pilgrim town and in order to discourage people from
going there, invented the absurd theory that one who dies in Harramba goes
to hell, or is reborn as an ass, while he who dies in Kashi, the citadel
of Brahminism, goes straight to heaven. So pervasive was the belief in
this bizarre theory that when the Sufi saint Kabir died in 1518 AD at
Maghar, not far from Kushinagar, some of his Hindu followers refused to
erect any memorial in his honour there and instead set up one at Kashi.
Kabir’s Muslim followers were less superstitious. They set up a tomb for
him at Maghar itself.

In addition to vilifying the fair name of the Buddha, the Brahminical
revivalists goaded Hindu kings to persecute and even slaughter innocent
Buddhists. Sasanka, the Shaivite Brahmin king of Bengal, murdered the last
Buddhist emperor Rajyavardhana, elder brother of Harshavardhana, in 605 AD
and then marched on to Bodh Gaya where he destroyed the Bodhi tree under
which the Buddha had attained enlightenment. He forcibly removed the
Buddha’s image from the Bodh Vihara near the tree and installed one of
Shiva in its place. Finally, Sasanka is said to have slaughtered all the
Buddhist monks in the area around Kushinagar. Another such Hindu king was,
Mihirakula, a Shaivite, who is said to have completely destroyed over 1500
Buddhist shrines. The Shaivite Toramana is said to have destroyed the
Ghositarama Buddhist monastery at Kausambi.

The extermination of Buddhism in India was hastened by the large-scale
destruction and appropriation of Buddhist shrines by the Brahmins. The
Mahabodhi Vihara at Bodh Gaya was forcibly converted into a Shaivite
temple, and the controversy lingers on till this day. The cremation stupa
of the Buddha at Kushinagar was changed into a Hindu temple dedicated to
the obscure deity with the name of Ramhar Bhavani. Adi Shankara is said to
have established his Sringeri Mutth on the site of a Buddhist monastery
which he took over. Many Hindu shrines in Ayodhya are said to have once
been Buddhist temples, as is the case with other famous Brahminical
temples such as those at Sabarimala, Tirupati, Badrinath and Puri.

http://www.sikhspectrum.com/022008/buddhism.htm

23 Responses to “Disappearance of Buddhism From India: An Untold Story”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    This is an astonishingly accurate account of how Hindus driven by Hindu scripts were responsible for the demise of Buddhism in India, Nepal and modern Bangladesh.

    What is more worrying is the possibility of this happening in Sri Lanka as well. Already hundreds of Buddhist shrines in the north have been destroyed by Hindus. King Chankili is just one example. More recent examples are plentiful. Christian invaders failed to achieve this in Sri Lanka and Muslim invaders too failed it (unlike the Maldives).

    Thank you Lankaweb for carrying this highly informative article which goes against propagated falsehoods.

  2. Independent Says:

    A lot of merit for the editor for finding such an article and letting Lankwaeb community to read it. (Not sure how many would read it though). It is so good to read the truth form an Indian, even though there are many research publish with similar conclusions.
    I have been telling this for years. I have been actively engaging in the society spreading the truth that “Hinduism is a new religion created borrowing some aspects of Buddhism”. All Buddhist should spread this truth. There for no Hinduism when Prince Siddharta was born” This is 100% clear form the Buddhist texts. Yet it was so difficult to even let Sinhala Buddhist to accept this truth – this is 100% ignorance.
    I remember even Buddhist believe seeing a monk first when you go out form the home to do some important task is not good. People carrying empty pots, buckets all these superstitious beliefs are the legacy of dreaded Brahmanism even in our country.
    Hindus are the most unfortunate community out of all religious groups in the world. All the words that describe wisdom are there but a set of utterly stupid beliefs and corrupt practices as the foundation to this religion

  3. NAK Says:

    isn’t it the misfortune of the masses in India that they are deprived of the light emanating from Buddhism.

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Muslim invasions might have played its part in Buddhism disappearing from India.

    Some Hindu people look down on Buddhists in India as they think that only Indian DALITS embrace Buddhism in India.
    As the Buddha did not recognise the Caste Structure (being far ahead of his time), this did not suit the Hindu caste folk.
    The Buddha said : “a person is high born or low born according to that person’s acts only, and not by birth”.

  5. mario_perera Says:

    One important factor that the author has missed out on the matter of the disappearance of Buddhism from India is that it was left high and dry totally bereft of STATE PATRONAGE. Buddhism could not count on its own structure for its survival. In short it had no AUTHORITATIVE HIERARCHY in an ascending and descending order. It relied and relies for its being and well being on the lay ruler, an adherent no doubt but still a layman.

    The prominence and dominance of Buddhism in India was due to the regal support of Asoka. So too in Sri Lanka. Buddhism was established in Lanka through the intervention of Devanam Piyatissa. But when royal support was withdrawn Buddhism floundered. This was the case in Sri Lanka in Colonial times. With the Portuguese onslaught Buddhism disappeared. The monastic order vanished. Buddhism owned its rebirth and revival once more to the lay ruler, Kirthi Sri Rajasinha.

    It is also apparent that Buddhists lean heavily on Hindu gods for their material well-being and NOT on the Lord Buddha. If the devotion to the Lord is compromised, be it by destroying the temples and the monastic order, then the Buddhists get assimilated to Hinduism due to the inherent attachment to the gods.

    The Mahavamsa states clearly that the Lord on dying placed his doctrine in the care of Vishnu. When Buddhism dies it is vishnu who rules the roost. To put it in another way, with the ascendance of Vishnu, or the HIndu gods in general, Buddhism is shown the exit door.

    In our times,this is what the modern Anagarika Dharmapala, Soma Hamuduruwo saw and fought against. He wanted the Hindu gods banished from Buddhist temples and practices. But he failed, such is the force of attachment of Sri Lankan Buddhists to the HINDU gods..

    Unfortunately in Sri Lanka Buddhism is more a residual culture and a political power block than a religion.

    Sadly, Sri Lankan Buddhists appear to be able to do without the Lord, but cannot do without the Hindu gods.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    Mario is quite right. Thank you, Mario.

    ————–

    Colonial materialism and Hindu mini-gods win.

    If Materialism does its full round as in some countries in the west, then Buddhism stands a chance, for a while. It is the Material factor (satisfying the endless void of the 5 senses) that is obviously available to a human being, from infancy to death.

    It is the living Experience (a high sweet feeling) that the living Teacher imparts that is lacking when the Teacher, the Buddha, passed away. Very few experience this feeling on their own, through practice of Dhana, Seela & BHAVANA.

    At least now, some Bhavana ought to taught in all schools, if sanity is to prevail, and not rampant materialism.

  7. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    It is difficult for a religion like Buddhism to thrive/survive in a society based on cast system. Buddhism preaches equality
    among all people. It guarantees human rights by preaching non-violence. It even guarantees animal rights by preaching
    not to kill. No wonder a society based on material things, Buddhism gradually disappeared.

    There was also the threat of islam. Islam is propagated throughout the world by relentless breeding and outnumbering
    the native population. India was no exception. Within a few hundred years of their arrival, multiplication guaranteed the demise of Buddhism in most areas. Today even where Lord Buddha was born, is a mussie city. It is a very very sad situation. Non believers have used the non-violent nature of Buddhism to destroy it. It is currently repeated in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Mynmar without any hindrance.

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    Mario,

    I just have one more thought on what you wrote above.

    When dying, the Buddha is supposed to have said “Depend upon Your Selves”. I am assuming he meant for us to depend upon our Higher Self, the Atman, the Soul, the Heart, the Godhead, within us all, accessed through Meditation.

    Comments welcome.

  9. charithsls Says:

    Buddhism is not a religion for popularity, the numbers cannot show the overwhelming nature of the Truth it delivers.
    How many bright A* students will be in a class of forty, only a handful, there it says all for Buddhism. The meaning of the name Buddhist is similar to intelligent so you cannot expect the average world masses to embrace Buddhism & it is never meant to be. With growing materialistic demands & indulgence, the world is moving towards own disaster than success. How many wars engulfing the world at present? Its own doctrine highlights the destruction leading to times without the Dhamma. What happened in India is irrelevant & looking at its poverty & social problems,it is not a place for Dhamma to reign. However look at how Buddhism has made vast popularity in the Western world & it still accounts for near to 10% world population. Sadly you cannot drive wisdom into the masses but ignorance reigns.

  10. Lorenzo Says:

    LTTE is a HINDU terrorist group. Its symbol TIGER is the vehicle of HINDU GODDESS DURGA. The TIGER has HINDU HOLY ASHED 3 lines on its forehead!!

    ALL LTTE military leaders were HINDUS including VP, Pottu, Karuna, KP, Soosai, Tamil Chelvam, Nade-sung, etc.

    VP’s father had constructed a kovil and handed it to public worship in VVT.

    LTTE was helped by HINDUSTAN with weapons, money and training. Earliest LTTE supporters MG RAMACHANDRAN was a devout HINDU follower.

    JAYALALITHA and KARUNANIDHI are also HINDUS.

    SLs must realize that LTTE is a HINDU tool used by HINDUSTAN to destroy BUDDHISM in SL. Why Buddhism? Because Buddhism goes directly against DALIT caste discrimination thus posing the BIGGEST threat to HINDUSIM.

  11. Lorenzo Says:

    “Sadly, Sri Lankan Buddhists appear to be able to do without the Lord, but cannot do without the Hindu gods.”

    TRUE.

    This is the weakness exploited by HINDUSTAN to destroy SL’s Buddhism.

  12. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lorenzo,

    The LTTE was almost all low caste Tamils, of Hindu origin of course. Later, the leader, V. Prabhakaran, became a Christian or a Catholic. That is well known. There was a mix of Hindu low caste plus Christian/Catholic converted in the LTTE. Shenali Waduge reported that on her visit to the North, she noted nearly a 100 Catholic churches in that area. The LTTE probably mostly had NO religion, judging by their atrocities against the rest in Lanka. They were all probably brain washed and highly disturbed mentally. India trained the LTTE in Tamil Nadu during the time of the Cold War with ultra west JR in power in Lanka.
    The Tiger images with three stripes was to create FEAR in the ordinary people of Lanka.
    It is the ordinary Tamils of Lanka who benefitted the most by removal of the LTTE.

    Small Hindu shrines have been a part of Buddhist temples for may be a thousand years.

    The only hope for Hindu folk is to turn to the Four Great Yogas. I have always written to the L’web that Raj Yoga is akin to Buddhism.

    ————

    In my view, the Esssence of all religions is the same. After the Teacher/Master passed away, his followers interpreted what was said, and there are probably many anomalies via the interpretations.

    See website WOPG.org for clarity.

  13. Lorenzo Says:

    Fran,

    VP NEVER became a Christian. He was a HINDU until death.

    The confusion is because he named his first son CHARLES ANTHONY. He was a HINDU too.

    Charles Anthony was VP’s body guard. In 1982 in a gun battle with the army involving VP, he sacrificed his life to save VP. Out of gratitude VP named his son Charles Anthony.

    All LTTE practices were based on HINDU rituals.

    e.g. Suicide bombers used to worship DURGA and fire before their mission with VP.

    e.g. LTTE cemeteries were WITHOUT dead bodies. They are actually monuments to terrorists. A HINDU practice.

    e.g. LTTE used SATHI POOJA in a creative way. Widows were turned into suicide bombers and they will commit suicide in a ball of fire as directed in HINDU scripts.

    e.g. Mahaveer nal is still celebrated in Jaffna HINDU kovils. They plan a HUGE event this year.

    e.g. PONGU THAMIL the LTTE cultural pageant is all based on HINDU traditions.

    Christian Tamils including KASIPPU JOSEPH went after the LTTE NOT TO BE LEFT OUT. Tamil speaking Christians and Muslims were seen as traitors by the LTTE.

    The tiger was chosen because it is the VEHICLE of HINDU goddess DURGA – LTTE wanted to pretend HINDUS it was standing up to INJUSTICE as the goddess!! VP named his daughter DURGA (spelt Dwarka).

    Read and learn how HINDUISM created and want to recreate the LTTE.

    “http://hinduexistence.org/tag/ltte/”

    LTTE’s first victim was a CHRISTIAN – Alfred Duraiappah!! He was waiting outside a kovil where his HINDU wife and kids were praying. LTTE SPARED his HINDU family and killed only him!!

  14. Lorenzo Says:

    Fran,

    Also look at this LTTE GOVT.

    How many Tamil Christians are in it? NONE!

    How many HINDUS are in it? AT LEAST 2 from the UNP alone.

    Learn from history if you can.

    SL had 14 HINDU invasions (ONE BY 2 HINDU GODS – Raman and Hanuman !!!!!) and 3 Christian invasions.

    So stop defending the enemies of SL.

  15. Independent Says:

    LTTE is HINDU, it represent HINDU, its prime aim is to destroy Buddhism. However, it was supported by certain Christian groups and its support base was the west due to this reason. Hindu support base could be defeated but the powerful USA, UK, Europe, CANDA Christian support base was the crucial one haunting us today. LTTE pretended to be “Christian”. It is also pretending to be Pro-Buddhist, Pro- Mahinda , pro- MY3 , pro-everything popular to gain popularity. When it comes to crunch time its true colour will be displayed.

  16. mario_perera Says:

    Thanks to ALL OF YOU, for this extremely interesting and educative discussion.

    I venture to suggest one more ground for the vulnerability of Buddhism. Charithsls has already touched on an aspect of this matter.

    The religions sprang out from SOUTH ASIAN soil (Buddhism and Jainism) were launched by RICH AND POWERFUL personalities. this is in stark contrast to the Mediterranean religion that is Christianity. Jesus was a POOR MAN. What am I getting at? Just this that to appreciate and cultivate Buddhism one must consider it from the point of view of RICHES and POWER. It is only then that the significance of the Lord’s RENUNCIATION dawns on the adept.

    Jesus constantly repeated ‘blessed are the poor’ and promised them HEAVEN; heaven which will open to them the riches of the Kingdom of God. One will recall the invitation of Jesus to the RICH young man: renounce to all you have, give it to the poor, then come and follow me. But the young man he invited to join him was RICH. So he COULD NOT. The promise of a Kingdom of riches did not attract him.

    In stark contrast the Lord Buddha, born to a royal family, had everything imaginable. It was the power of his renunciation that acted as the propeller that propelled him OUT OF THE GRAVITY OF HIS SELF. A kingdom of Heaven with everlasting and unending riches had no place in his endeavour. Furthermore ‘the kingdom of heaven’ is very RICH in imaginative content while NIRVANA offers nothing to the imagination. for the vast number of ‘Buddhists’ the SEDF finds its place even in ‘their’ Nirvana.

    So, Buddhism is a natural attraction for the RICH who have enough of their condition, while it is a mighty and even insurmountable challenge for the POOR. The poor need the rich. They are drawn to the rich and to riches. That is their principal obstacle in striving for the GREAT RENUNCIATION. Thus they will always be prone to leave a religion that calls on them to give it all up and go after a system that says: we will GIVE you what you never had.

    Buddhism is a tremendous natural attraction for the rich and the powerful, the ones who have had it all. For the poor it is more a means of material survival in this world, because in Nirvana they will have NOTHING. So they will always be inclined and ready to give their ‘souls’ (selves) to the ones that promise to make them rich IN THIS WORLD.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  17. Dilrook Says:

    Mario:

    You are referring to the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs theory which still is the best motivation theory around. It is applied in workplaces to motivate staff at different levels.

    Accordingly, there is a pyramid of human needs. Bottom large layer is physiological needs (food, clothing, housing, etc.). Once these are reasonably satisfied the man moves up a notch to security and safety needs (physical, financial, etc). Then the next layer up is belongingness needs. Once that too is satisfied he moves to self actualization needs which is the apex.

    Your classification of religions (including philosophies) fits perfectly well in this framework. It also explains how they grow and die (apart from fashionable following). Christianity is waning in richer countries but growing in poorer countries; similar to Islam. Hence the constant conflict between them as they appeal to the same ‘market’. The rich and adventurous in the west pursue Buddhism and other self actualization philosophies more. And hence the conflicts between them to stay ahead.

    Following on, for Buddhism to survive in Sri Lanka, the economic conditions of Buddhists must be raised. Otherwise they will follow other religions that are more suitable to poorer conditions.

    It may also explain why ancient kings went out of the way to ensure economic prosperity of the people first (wewa and dagoba concept). Wewa was dug up first which ensured people’s food needs were taken care of, then from the soil the dagoba was built where people’s spiritual needs were looked after.

    However, Christianity is more than the craving for heavenly pleasures and the fear of hell. Absence of vengeful ‘justice’ is at the heart of Christianity which makes heaven and hell irrelevant.

  18. mario_perera Says:

    Dilrook,

    thank you for your insightful observations

    Mario

  19. charithsls Says:

    I agree with Mario Perera when he says Buddhism attracts the rich & powerful but really not for the reasons he highlights.The main theme in Buddhism is REALIZATION of Dhukka. In short,in my mind you can achieve it in two ways & one way is what MP points to & what the Bodhisattava had had, plenty of riches.Then there comes a time (in the wise developed mind through the samsara),the absurdity of it, the impermanent nature of it & the ‘restriction’ in the pleasures one can enjoy with it.If you have 5 star hotel food every day,you find the ‘end’of the pleasure there one day, after sometime.You cannot grow that pleasure anymore, that what The Buddha saw & the realization of Nirvana where the ‘pleasure’ is not inhibited by ‘outside’ forces. A pleasure of not ‘feeling’ & permanent. (Therefore it is quite incorrect for MP to say, in Nirvana they will have nothing but in fact quite the opposite).You see Dhukka through the riches! If you have the fantastic job, latest Benz,wonderful family & children ,a nice house & riches ,holidays & health, one may somewhat understand, nothing more to achieve & the uselessness of materialistic gains. Therefore I too agree with MP,it is ‘easier’ in a way for the developed mind in a ‘rich’ situation to be attracted to Buddhism. However you get more & more into indulgence if Dhamma has not set in your mind in these situations.
    However the realization of Dhukka can occur in sorrowful situations as well. If a sudden bereavement happens to your near & dear, the reality may dawn upon in a developed mind. A classical example is what happened to Patachara.realizing the Dhukka through an abject unfortunate situation. Therefore Buddhism is equally applicable to the poor & powerless with a developed mind.This is highlighted why the Right time is sought for a Buddha to be born, masses are full of developed minds & at the end of a Buddha sermon, people attained the Arhathood in droves. What will happen now if the same delivered? I’ll leave it with you.

  20. Independent Says:

    “Buddhism is for the rich” is not a correct statement.

    Who understands suffering better ? Rich or the Poor ? Take the First Noble Truth for example.

    Let me quote by Dhamma.

    “jatipi dukkha, jarapi dukkha, vyadhi pi dukkha, maranam pi dukkham; soka-parideva—dukkha-domanass-upayasa pi dukkha, appiyehi sampayogo dukkho, piyehi vippayogo dukkho, yam-p’iccham na labbhati tampi dukkham; sankhittena pañcupadanakkhandha dukkha.

    Birth is dukkha, decay is dukkha, disease is dukkha, death is dukkha; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are dukkha, association with the disliked is dukkha, separation from the liked is dukkha, not getting what one wants is dukkha, in brief, the five grasped-at-groups are dukkha.”

    Reading Dhamma as original as above, Can anyone conclude it is more attractive for the RICH than poor ?
    “Not getting what one wants is dukkha is this applicable to the RICH ? There may be some RICH who may not even experience this ( for example Prince Siddhartha). So it is definitely not only for the RICH.

    True, if you go to some poor country who have never heard about Buddhism and try to teach it, they might ask you for food as they are hungry. A person who has tried every gratification of senses and has a lot of money may find suddenly Buddhism is attractive.

    But if you are a Sri Lankan Buddhist , you are learning Dhamma form birth unless you belong to a family of extreme poverty and earn a living by stealing, killing, illicit intoxicant trade and so on.

    Buddhism teaches everything, from how to work hard to earn a living and how to save and to protect what you have earned to final liberation. People must read Suttas like Singalovada Sutta as well as Mahanidhana Sutta before coming to shallow conclusions.

  21. Cerberus Says:

    Hinduism has designated Buddhists as untouchables. So when Ranil W puts his Chunnel between India and Sri Lanka the Sinhala Buddhists will be the new untouchables or Dalits. You can be sure Indians will introduce the caste system in Sri Lanka whether we like it or not. How one mistake by President Mahinda Rajapakse in having elections too early has created a domino effect and created a whole sequence of events which are now out of control of anyone.

  22. Fran Diaz Says:

    I agree with Dilrook. Maslov’s theory operates with every human being. The Buddha was in a unique position to explore the Unknown as he had experienced wealth and pleasure as a young man, and knew for himself that those items did not deliver what he looked for.

    MR had to go with elections. The build of the anti-MR campaign was too much. It had gone on for about 2 yrs at least prior to elections in Jan. 2015. The change of govt and the attendant disappointment had to be experienced to appreciate fully what MR did for the country.

  23. Fran Diaz Says:

    Whilst Buddhism disappeared from India, how is it that small Lanka managed to make Buddhism the main religion here ?
    Here are some reasons why, and what may happen if Ranil’s ‘Bridge’ to Tamil Nadu becomes a reality.

    * Lanka has been a country physically away from India because of the sea (Palk Sts). India which carried on with the Caste system (virtual slavery and low self esteem for the Dalits) though seen as the country where the Buddha was born, was not part of strong Caste practices as in India. In old Lanka, the Caste system was according to livelihood and mainly removed with the modern education system leading to different vocations and also later anyone could become a Buddhist monk if so inclined.

    Quesiton: What will have happen if Ranil has his way with the ‘Bridge’ to Tamil Nadu ? TN has some 15 Million Tamil Dalits who suffer atrocities and will leave TN if they can to Lanka with the Tamil Laguage in place and free education, health care etc. Lanka will be swamped by these people and since this is small country we will not be able to take care of them or deal with their psychological problems coming mainly through Caste discrimination.

    * The mainly Buddhist thinking has led to a Socialist Republic here. Tamils have been given Language rights as well as other rights that others in Lanka have, and the Prevention of Social Disabilities Act (1957) removed the Caste imposed disabilities on Tamils of low caste. Freedom to change religions allows Tamils of Lanka to gain self respect and gain other opportunities for upward social mobility.
    It is pertinent to note that Europe, after two World Wars, has mainly Socialism in place in the various states.

    Question: Will we lose all we have gained so far in terms of social justice for the existing Lankans if the Bridge is built ?

    * Considering everything, and also that Lanka has to produce more material needs for the existing population, wouldn’t it be wise to make do with the Labor we already have in Lanka rather than ‘import’ more Labor from Tamil Nadu via Ranil’s ‘Bridge’ ?

    * The ‘Bridge’ means going under Tamil Nadu hegemony and that means re-imposition of the Caste System of Tamil Nadu on Lanka. Who wants that ?

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