Re: Buddha...and Hinduism...
>From: firstname.lastname@example.org (line noise)
>Subject: Buddha...and Hinduism...
>I have a question here. Buddha is regarded by some sects of Hinduism as
>an incarnation of Visnu, or as a Hindu. Then how was Buddha incorporated
>into Hinduism if Buddha's beliefs were contrary to Hinduism? For example
>Buddhists frequently say that Buddha didn't believe in a Supreme Being.
>Yet he is considered a Supreme Being.
[... some deleted]
At the outset, it is fair to say that Buddha's beliefs (or for
that matter, any theistic belief) are not contrary to Hinduism.
They just *cannot* be. The nature of Hinduism itself is such that all
beliefs are recognized as being facets of the Ultimate Truth - noting
that while every sincere belief leads to the goal, the belief
is not complete in itself, and hence, is not the goal.
The Muslims and Christains say: God is only formless and He can be
reached only through this prophet.
The Hindu says: You're right. Our Jnana philosophy is experience of the
Formless God at its pinnacle. About the 'prophet' part, if you have that
faith in a certain prophet, build it - all you need is faith.
The athiests say: God doesn't exist at all.
The Hindu says again: Correct. There is no separate entity called
God besides your own reality. So just seek to perfect your character,
and you have no need to believe in a Supreme Being. (Advaita and
Some like to worship God with form.
The Hindu says again: Very good. Worship God as the picture, not the
picture as God." If some name or form reminds us of divinity, the easy way
to fix our mind on God is to constantly think about that name or form. In
SriRamakrishna's words: "Why do I need to know how much wine there is in the
world, when I can get drunk on one bottle?" - meaning, God with form is
enough to make us "drunk"; so where is the need to contemplate on
His Formless, Infinite Nature? :)
Hindu teachings don't deny anything. If you think carefully, none of
these beliefs are contradictory, anyway. The Hindus
respect all faiths and honour them as paths to the same
goal, as long as the beliefs are motivated by a genuine desire to
arrive at the truth about life and existence.
Coming to Lord Buddha specifically, He did not deny God's existence,
but was only silent about it (as I understand it). This is what
Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga and Jnana Yoga also say. They're to do with
character development, and are independent of belief in an Overseer.
They just believe that the end of all effort is a state of permanent
bliss, called Kaivalya, Moksha, Mukti, Sayujya, Turiya etc.
It is interesting to note that even the word "Nirvana" used by
Lord Buddha to describe a state of permanent bliss, appears in the
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