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Re: Buddha...and Hinduism...

In article <30ej8c$o9p@ucunix.san.uc.edu> H. Krishna Susarla 
<susarla@great-gray.owlnet.rice.edu> wrote:

: 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.

See my reply to Line Noise for the true reason of the Buddha Avatar.

: 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,

A technical nitpick:  Shankaracharya was the populizer of Advaita not the 
founder.  There was a long line of Acharyas before him.  In fact, he names his two 
immediate predecessors, Gaudapada and Govindapada.  Also much work had 
already been done to combat Buddhism by his Purva Mimamsaka 
contemporaries, Kumarila Bhatt, Mandana Mishra, and Prabhakar Mishra.  

: 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.

But the two are not the same.  Nirvana according to the Buddhists is 
completely without qualities.  According to the Vedas, Brahman has the 
qualities of Sat, Chit, and Ananda. 

: Actually, Brahman realization is supposed to be only the first
: step in realizing the Highest spiritual truth.

What could be higher?

-- Jaldhar

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