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Re: Buddha...and Hinduism...

line noise (hmahamwa@vela.acs.oakland.edu) wrote:
: 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.  Also does anybody know which 
: Upanisads are supposedly credited to Buddha, or his influence.  I think 
: Sankaracharya used some of them to show Buddhists that they were really 
: the same as Hindus.

The purpose of the Buddha avataar, like all of the avataars, was to reestablish
dharma where adharma had become prevalent. My understanding of this particlar
situation was that people had fallen into materialism and thus were neglecting
their spiritual development. The Vishnu avataars appear to teach the devotees
as much as they could understand at that time. Because of the rampant 
materialism, Buddha therefore did not teach about the concept of a personal
God, going no further than saying there was a higher spiritual truth than
material life (Nirvana?). This concept of an impersonal, higher, spiritual
Truth was appealing and easily understood by people fallen into materialism,
and thus quickly spread. However, with the spread of Buddhism, respect for
the Vedas and the Vedic Truths began to diminish.

Sri Sankracharya is supposed to have been an incarnation of Lord Shiva, who
appeared to reestablish the people's faith in the Vedas. He is the founder
of Advaita Hinduism, because instead of preaching the existence of a personal
God, he concentrated on showing his devotees that the Buddha's impersonal
spiritual goal was the same as impersonal Brahman realization, as described
in the Vedas. Actually, Brahman realization is supposed to be only the first
step in realizing the Highest spiritual truth.

-- Krishna

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