Buddhists and others, wasRe: RAJARAM EPISODE

nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Oct 11 06:43:45 UTC 2000

S Madhuresan writes :

>The decline of Buddhism and Jainism is largely due to the
>"emotional" Bhakti movement of Shaivism/Vaishnavism.

Are we to take it as the truth just because you assert so?

This assertion is also common leftist propoganda to overvalue the
contribution of the bhakti saints and undermine the brahmanic
effort. Fosse et al, don't think I'm exaggerating. In an article in
the Indian Express a few months back, Mushirul Hassan - a well known leftist
columnist, when referring to the "intellectual" heritage of India refers to
: the Sufi saints, the Buddha, the bhakti saints, Kabir and Nanak!

Apparently for him the four thousand years of "brahmanic"/JainA effort at
philosophy was either non-existant or not "intellectual" or considered alien
because it was "Aryan"!

>In Karnataka and Andhra regions, Veerashaivism poets/saints
>repeatedly cite the earlier saints further south, and
>use their stories in their wars against heretics.

The level of conflict (in the intellectual sense) between Buddhism
and Brahmanism as revealed by Sanskrit texts can hardly be compared
with that of Buddhism and other non-brahmanic cults.
Or maybe there were two levels to the conflict - one amongst the
intelligensia (bauddha and brahmin philosophers) and one amongst
the lay worshippers (bauddha and Saivite worshippers).

But it has to be remembered that it is the former - the intelligensia
- as in any movement, who were the core of Buddhism. Even if their
following declined due to the "attraction" of the bhakti movement
amongst the lay fold, they could still have regrouped and regained
their strength. Or adapted "bhakti" to suit Buddhism - which itself
is not very strange since NAgArjuna himself seems to be the pioneer
of the "jnAna cum bhakti" movement in India.

But such a thing didn't happen only shows that it was the ranks of
the Buddhist intelligensia themselves which slowly depleted. It is
here I disagree with some scholars who argue that it was KumArilla
and the NaaiyAyikas who actually ousted Buddhism and not Shankara.
Ritualism and pluralism (read as "eternal selfism" for the Bauddhas)
would never have been accepted by the Bauddhas. Irrespective of
the Astika criticism, which anyway doesn't render their own theories
valid, the Bauddhas would have kept on fighting.

It is only the emergence of Advaita, finely honed on the whetstone of
reason, which implicitly accepts the finer points of Bauddha philosophy
but still manages to retain its own individuality, which could have
offered an effective alternative to Bauddha philosophers (check
BhAvaviveka's approval of the GaudapAdiyakArikA and SAntarakshita's
opinion of the "minor" faults of Advaita) and other brahmin bauddha
aspirants. This way apart from reconversion of brahmins to the brahmanic
fold (check MAdhava's Shankaradigvijaya where Shankara converts colonies
of "Buddhist" brahmins to the Advaita fold), it would also have checked
fresh brahmin blood into the Bauddha fold thus effectively sapping
the intelligensia of the Bauddhas.

>Indian constitution guarentees some 14 languages as National languages.
>This includes Tamil also, and the whole list appears on every
>rupee note.

Sorry. By "national" I only meant the "link" language.

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