Hindu elan missionnaire

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 18 10:46:27 EST 1999

Hindu elan missionnaire

 I have a feeling that Buddhism might be construed as "Hindu"
elan missionnaire since the Buddha is recognized as
an incarnation of Vishnu.

  Sanskritized elites viewed Buddha this way that suits them
  and occurs very late in the chronology of Hinduism.

  After all, Buddhism cannot be classified as a subsect of
  Hinduism. Hinduism did not spread to places where the
  caste is not present whereas Buddhism did spread all over
  the Orient due to its secular nature.

  Bhakti mass movement, with virulent attacks on Buddhists
  and Jains, was started in the Tamil South by Nayanmars and Alvars.
  This bhakti mass movement spreads to Karnataka and Andhra
  and further North in the following centuries. This is purely
  a missionary movement.
  Saint Appar who converted back to Saivism from Jainism also
  converted the Pallava king, Mahendravarman. His younger companion,
  Saint Gnanasambandhar converted the Madurai Pandyan to
  Saivism. From 3rd and 4th centuries AD, the same
  people from the extreme South India took Shaivism/Vaishnavism
  to Southeast Asia. Note that Funan kingdom started by
  KauNDiNyavarman and Gnanasambandhar is from KauNDiNya
  gotram also.

  Because of the basic nature of Hinduism
  that it won't flourish without varNa system,
  Hinduism gave way to the more secular Buddhism in
  Southeast Asia later.

  In other words, Hinduism is basically the varNa scheme.
  Some call it varNa racism/conspiracy. For Hinduism to thrive in
  the future, 1) priesthood must be open to all who have a degree
  in the official language of the Indian state where
  the priest works and in Sanskrit and  2) Sankaracharyaship
  must be thrown open to anyone irrespective
  of caste if s/he is well versed in Sanskrit.

  Shrinivas Tilak wrote about the `danger' of Hinduism
  becoming a minority in another thread. Sanskritized elites
  must make space for Tamil, dalits, tribals, Dravidian culture.
  Otherwise, the 'danger' will turn into a reality. This is after
  all a post-enlightenment era where humane and secular things
  compete in the world arena and win.

  N. Ganesan

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