Hinduism and Buddhism/Jainism

mhcrxlc at dir.manchester-computing-centre.ac.uk mhcrxlc at dir.manchester-computing-centre.ac.uk
Sun Oct 8 08:17:07 UTC 1995

S. Vidyasankar writes:

>Firstly, it is difficult to say what exactly is "Hindu", especially in the
>5th century BC. One can talk of Vedic ritualism and the upanishadic
>thought, but not of Hinduism in the modern sense.


>That said, it should be fairly clear that more than Buddhism, it is Jainism
>that is more firmly rooted in the SramaNa tradition. It must be remembered
>that Mahavira Jina is counted as the 24th tIrthAnkara from very early times.
>In contrast, Buddhism is not found before Gautama Buddha.

I think this is actually a difficult question. Since we know little of the
ideas and practices of the Buddha's teachers, such as Aa.laara the Kaalaama
and Uddaka Raamaputta, it is impossible to say what prior traditions he was
drawing on. It is clear, however, that early Buddhism claimed to be based
upon ancient teachings which had become corrupt.

The historicity of previous tiirthaa.nkaras is not really any better
established than that of previous Buddhas. It is simply assumed that
because Paar"sva is placed relatively recently in time, he must be
historical - a rather weak argument, when it comes to it.

>The idea of there
>being many bodhisattvas before him is a late concept, coming from mahAyAna

In fact the idea of previous Buddhas before Siddhattha Gotama is already
attested in the reign of Asoka who enlarged the stuupa of a former Buddha.

Lance Cousins

Email: mhcrxlc at dir.mcc.ac.uk


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