Hinduism: once was: RAJARAM EPISODE

Thu Oct 5 22:15:46 UTC 2000

Nanda Chandran wrote:

> Asian Buddhism was basically spread by Indian monks
> and so there's still a traditional connection with the home of the
I "got" my Buddhism from Asian teachers -- though unfortunately there
don't seem to be many Indian Buddhist monks around these days.

> While Western Buddhism was imported into the West by Westerners
This may be true of an academic approach to Buddhism but is only
partially true at best of practitioners/converts themselves -- go to
any sizable Buddhist centre in the UK where
I live and see for yorself.

> likewise if you'd got it from India in the days of old, you would
have identified yourself differently.
Naturally you would not have called yourself "Hindu" since the term
did not exist then but you would have been quite conscious of your
religio-philosophical affiliation -- read any of the accounts given by
medieval Chinese or Tibetan pilgrims -- Buddhists are "insiders" and
all the others are "outsiders" or else "heretics".   Xuan-zang is
quite clear that he is a Buddhist and not anything else.

> And I guess Siddhartha is a common Mongolian name and the gotram
> Gautama, a common extent gotram of brahmins even today, is a common
> Mongolian name! Also how about MAyAdevi or RAhula or Suddhodana?
Well, my name is Stephen and my partner's is Rebecca.  Does that mean
I am Greek and she is Jewish ?  Actually, I am basically Anglo-Italian
and my partner is Afro-Caribbean. and we are both Buddhists !    Or I
could confuse things even more and give you our Sanskrit or Tibetan
Dharma names.  Or more appositely, many of the Buddhist rulers in the
Kapi`sa / Gandhara area in the 8th century CE called themselves by a
variant of "Caesar".  Does this make them Romans ?  No, they  were
Eastern Turks.

> Also if he wasn't Indian, why did he not move east into
Tibet/Burma - the
> land of his peoples in search of enlightenment, but rather moved
towards the
> traditional "Hindu" holy place of VAranasi
Probably for the same reason that early Christians like Paul or Peter
gravitated to Rome rather than drift out into the deserts of nearby

Best wishes,
Stephen Hodge

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list