Query: Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu

Frank Conlon conlon at u.washington.edu
Sun Nov 20 18:21:20 UTC 1994

Colleagues, I reproduce herewith a query just received and posted on 
H-ASIA.  Professor Rabe appears to be seeking works in translation, but 
further discussion of the question of identification of the Buddha as an 
avatar and suggestions for further sources on the subject would be 
appreciated. Thank you.

Frank F. Conlon
Professor of History
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
Co-moderator of H-ASIA
<conlon at u.washington.edu>
>From conlon at u.washington.eduSun Nov 20 10:17:00 1994
Date: Sun, 20 Nov 1994 10:15:39 -0800 (PST)
From: Frank Conlon <conlon at u.washington.edu>
To: H-ASIA at uicvm.uic.edu
Subject: H-ASIA: Query: Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu

			      November 20, 1994

Query: Hinduism on Buddhism: Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu
From: Michael Rabe <RABE at vaxd.sxu.EDU>
Subject: Hinduism on Buddhism

A student of mine would like to follow up on the puranic rationale for 
Visnu's avatar as the Buddha, but I'm at a loss to suggest further readings:

[When gods had been defeated by demons] "lord Visnu heard their request,  he
emited from his body a deluding form of his magic power of illusion
(maya-moha), and he gave it to the supreme gods and said, 'This magic deluder
will bewitch all the demons so that they will be excluded from the paths of the
Vedas, and thus they will be susceptible to slaughter.... [Visnu Purana, trans.
Wendy (O'Flaherty) Doniger,Hindu Myths, p. 232]

Bhagavata I.3.24: Then after full advent of the Kali Age, (He) will be born
with Buddha as his name, and as a son of Ajana in the Kikuta country. 11.7.37:
Seeing that asuras who follow the path of Veda will harass the world,
travelling in cities, moving with invisible velocity constructed by Maya, he
will assume the disguise of heritics, deluding the mind and attracting the
heart of asuras, he will extensively explain to them heretic doctrines.

Any leads to similar passages or secondary source studies will be duly
forwarded and put to use in a research paper.


Michael Rabe, Ph.D.
Saint Xavier University, Chicago
	(South Indianist art historian)
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               Frank F. Conlon
               University of Washington, Seattle
               Co-Moderator, H-ASIA


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