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Re: Buddha...and Hinduism...

As my first reply to this message appears to have disappeared into the 
formless void <G> I'll try again.

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.

All mainstream Hindus consider Buddha to be an Avatar of Vishnu Bhagavan.

:  Then how was Buddha incorporated 
: into Hinduism if Buddha's beliefs were contrary to Hinduism? 

The story in the Puranas is this:  The Devas and the Asuras are 
constantly battling for supremacy over the universe.  Thanks to their 
practice of Dharma, Indra and the Devas always had the upper hand.  But 
once they became arrogant and instead of praising Bhagavan for their 
victories, they started praising themselves.  Seeing this, Dharma left 
them.  When The Asuras saw this, they seized the opportunity to practice 
Dharma and soon overpowered the Devas.  When the Devas realized the error 
of their ways they appealed to Bhagavan to save them.  So Bhagavan became 
the Buddha and preached "perverted doctrines" to the Asuras.  They forgot 
Dharma and the Devas soon regained their position of power. Unfortunately, 
along the way, some humans also got converted to Buddhism by accident.

Some medieval thinkers had a slightly more positive view.  For Instance 
the Bengali poet Jayadev in his Gita Govinda praises the Buddha Avatar as 
putting an end to the Vedic animal sacrifices.  This idea of the 
Buddha-as-social-reformer is also the view of modern Hindus.  However, 
the evidence shows this is false.  

: For example 
: Buddhists frequently say that Buddha didn't believe in a Supreme Being.  
: Yet he is considered a Supreme Being.

Only the Hinayana Buddhists are really strict about this.  The Mahayana 
Buddhists have built up a whole pantheon of Buddhas, Boddhisattvas, and Gods.

: Also does anybody know which 
: Upanisads are supposedly credited to Buddha, or his influence.

It is futile to try and sort out who borrowed what from where.  Perhaps a 
case could be made that both Buddhist and Aupanishadic thought came from 
a common environment.

: I think 
: Sankaracharya used some of them to show Buddhists that they were really 
: the same as Hindus.

He did nothing of the kind.  Shankaracharya was an implacable enemy of 

-- Jaldhar

: ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
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