Role of Hindus in Wiping Out Buddhism in India and Parts of Sri Lanka – Part 1
Posted on September 17th, 2016
This is an academic analysis of undeniable facts on a subject that is crucially important today. It is not aimed at targeting anyone or any religion but to bring to the fore less discussed forces at work against Buddhism. Sri Lankans must wake up to this threat before it is too late.
Today only 0.7% of the Indian population is Buddhist. Most of them are classified as ‘low caste’ and denied the right to education, medical care, employment and even life. It is easy to blame Moghul and Western invaders for wiping out Buddhism in the landmass now known as India. They also contributed. However, by the time they arrived at the scene, Buddhism had already collapsed. What is most interesting however, is not India but Sri Lanka. Buddhism has been completely wiped out far more than in India in all but one Hindu majority districts of the island! This is an unmissable pattern and certainly no fluke. This seems to be a standard template used against Buddhism.
Economic deprivation of Buddhists, deliberate Hindu ideological onslaught and structural genocide are the main tools used against Buddhists in Hindu majority landmasses in South Asia.
Objectively analyzing these time tested truths is very important to save Buddhism in the island nation. Pushing them under the carpet is the surest way to erase Buddhism from remaining parts of Sri Lanka. Sadly, some claiming to be fighting to save Buddhism seem to have a secret agenda of wiping it out peacefully by refusing to admit these truths. They do more damage to Buddhism than any other external threat.
Hindu Ideological Onslaught On Buddhism
The following scholarly research article clearly identifies how deliberate and determined campaigns against Buddhism succeeded in Hindustan.
Various Brahminical texts included fierce strictures against Buddhists. Some of these (not all) are listed below.
Manusmriti by Manu ordered Hindus to “purify by having a bath” if they touched a Buddhist. Implication of this was Buddhists were marginalized in “India”. Another leader Aparka also ordained the same. Vradha Harit took it a level high claiming that “entry into a Buddhist temple as a sin, which could only be expiated for by taking a ritual bath”. Myths including the 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.” Quoted from the above link.
However, the most powerful political ideology onslaught on Buddhism comes from celebrated strategist Chanakya (a Brahmin), author of Arthashastra. It is well accepted that since 1947 Hindustan religiously follows his strategies within and outside India. He declared that “when a person entertains a dinner dedicated to gods and ancestors, then for those who are Sakyas (Buddhists), Ajivikas, Shudras and exiled persons, a fine of one hundred panas shall be imposed on him.” This effectively removed Buddhists from participating in societal affairs with others confining them to deprivation.
Quoted from the above research article, “Brahannardiya Purana made it a principal sin for Brahmins to enter the house of a Buddhist even at times of great peril.” Such castigation is not found in any other major religion. The last of the Puranas, Vishnu Purana called Buddha as “Maha Moha” (the great seducer) and warned against the sin of even talking with Buddhists which would guarantee them a place in hell! Interestingly, Vishnu Purana has a story involving the island nation of Sihaladeepa (modern Sri Lanka). A Vishnu avatar falls in love with a Lankan woman.
In Vayu Purana of Gaya Mahatmaya there mentions a “demon” in the town of Gaya (called Gaya Asura). He preached a way of life for anyone of any caste or social status to attain salvation. Clearly, the “demon” mentioned here is Buddha.
Shashanka the Brahmanic ruler murdered the last Buddhist emperor Rajyavardhana, elder brother of Harshavardhana, in 605 AD – even before Islam was invented let alone the Mughals. He went to Bodha Gaya and destroyed the Bodhi tree under which the Buddha had attained enlightenment. He forcibly removed the Buddha statue from the Bodhi Vihara nearby and installed a statue of Hindu Shiva. He allegedly slaughtered all Buddhist monks in and around Kushinagar. Nalanda destruction by Mughals pales into second place in terms of destruction.
This conduct is very similar to Hindu king of Jaffna Sankili who killed most Buddhist monks in Jaffna by poisoning. On the subject of Nalanda, consider what the Hindu nationalist Indian government did recently in Nalanda. Borrowing the good name of the celebrated ancient Buddhist university, a new university was established recently. However, it is hardly Buddhist. It is Hindu majority. This wiped out even the legacy of the Nalanda Buddhist University. In another one hundred years, it will be claimed that the Nalanda University remained a Hindu majority university for more than a century.
Wake Up and Save Buddha Gaya (from Hindus) in 1895 and 2012
When the great Buddhist revivalist Anagarika Dharmapala demanded that Bodh Gaya is saved, what was the threat from which he was trying to save it from? Was he trying to save it from Christian or Muslim acts? No. He was trying to save it from Hindu rule. Some of his actions succeeded thanks to British rule. Had India been Independent by then, Anagarika Dharmapala would not be able to even approach Bodh Gaya. Bodh Gaya was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2002.
In 1895 Dharmapala filed a case against Hindus causing destruction at Bodh Gaya. The proceedings of the case can be accessed here.
In 1949, Independent India introduced the Bodh Gaya Temple Management Act under which the administration of the premises was shared between Hindus and Buddhists – 5 Hindus and only 4 Buddhists. The premises was mismanaged.
Only in 2012, following a successful petition to Indian supreme court by Venerable Bante Arya Nagarjun did the management transfer back to Buddhists. He successfully argued that under this Hindu majority rule, “due to mismanagement and indifference to the temple, the sacred Bodhi tree is in danger of decay as found by a committee of the ASI”. This petition succeeded because in 2002 it was classified as a UNESCO world heritage site. Otherwise, it would not have materialised.
Strangely, this vital issue was not given due publicity in Sri Lanka.
Buddhism Wiped Out in Hindu Majority Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Mulaitivu, Vavuniya and Batticaloa Districts
It cannot be a fluke as it also happened in “Hindustan” next door. On the other hand Buddhism still survives in Islam majority Ampara and Trincomalee Districts and Christian majority Putlam District. Since the end of the war in 2009, Buddhist statues are broken and Buddhist shrines bombed (2012 in Chunnakam, Jaffna) and deprived of rehabilitation. A Buddha statue cannot be constructed even in Nagadipa – one of 16 holiest Buddhist shrines in the island. Buddhists displaced from Jaffna District have been prevented from resettlement.
Hindustan funded and armed Hindu majority terrorist groups attacked the two holiest Buddhist shrines in Sri Lanka in 1985 and 1998 while they also attacked crowded mosques in 1990 and churches in 1999 and 2007. In 1985, Tamil terrorists planted a bomb at the largest cathedral in Asia in Colombo north which failed. Relatively, they have very carefully avoided targeting Hindu kovils. Now their surviving associates are clamouring to remove the supreme status given to Buddhism which Indian-funded Hindu majority terrorist groups failed.
Interestingly this is a recurring theme since Buddhism was introduced to the island nation in 265BC. Lanka suffered a large number of Hindu invasions from the landmass called India today. These include Hindu invaders Elara, Chola, Pandyan, Magha, Chakravarti, etc. All of them without fail targeted Buddhism and Buddhist shrines.
Renewed Threat Emanating from Hindustan and Its Agents
Today there is a renewed threat from Hindustan and its agents to wipe out Buddhism from Sri Lanka and make it a Hindu nation. Despite the Catholic Cardinal clearly advocating to keep the supreme place granted to Buddhism and Islamic leaders having no problem with it, Hindu elements including the Hindu majority TNA party are at the forefront in attempting to remove supreme place to Buddhism. They are backed by Hindustan in every step of the way. Secular is a misleading term used to cover up Hindu invasion of the island nation as practiced in India. Islam followers get burnt to death in trainloads in “secular” India. Buddhists are marginalized and get beaten and deprived every month. Christians are also persecuted and their churches are burnt. As Hinduism unifies India (Kashmir was never unified with India in substance), India is keen to extend this model to Sri Lanka. If Sri Lanka becomes Hindu majority, it will automatically become a natural extension of India without having to deploy military and rely on pro-Indian regimes in Colombo.