Gautam Buddha, the reformer of Hinduism

Written by RAMAKANT TIWARI

Gautama Buddha was serene and tranquil to the extreme as the intensity amply conveyed depth of his realisation of the highest order of enlightenment.

He had attained the Ultimate Consciousness and he had nothing left before him to attain more or strive for.

As he happened to be one of the greatest and finest human beings who ever walked on Planet Earth, he once politely rejected and returned the insult that was heaped upon him by someone who felt threatened by his erudition. He had attained the highest order of absence of Ahamkara  as he gently chided one of his disciples for having addressed him as the greatest Buddha  without knowing any other Buddha of past and future which numbered infinite.

Gautama Buddha had attained highest order of inclusion as he eschewed exclusion of any nature whatsoever anywhere.

He enunciated the doctrine of Srimad Bhagvad Gita, every spiritual faith/belief is sacrosanct for the pursuer, being compatible with his/her nature and content of un-redeemed Karma-s therefore, must be respected by all others. He outright rejected inter-faith hostility and welcomed inter-faith hospitality instead, at every opportunity.

He had attained humility of the highest order as he believed, no human being is capable of being omniscient. Venality alone can claim, he/she knows all and all other religions are either false or imperfect, “They know not the real, they know not the unreal, they know not the truth, they know not the untruth. In such a state of ignorance do they dispute and quarrel.”

Gautama Buddha was an ardent rationalist too. He never endorsed irrational rituals and exposed those Brahmanas peddling venal practices and traditions to the detriment of society. In various Nikayas, he eloquently spoke against such exploitative practices including gifts by Buddhists to non-Buddhists. He categorically declared, every non-Buddhists enjoyed the same right to liberation as Buddhists.

He was an excellent mediator and arbitrator too. He resolved every dispute/disagreement between religions by reconciliation and fortitude with emphasis to eschew aggression and hatred. Egoistic affinity towards one’s own faith is the vice that he abhorred, “To be attached to a certain view and to look down upon other views as inferior – this, the wise men call a fetter.” Buddhist monks cannot afford to be dogmatic in their faith – “This is my faith.” is a statement of truth according to Gautama Buddha but certainly not, “This alone is Truth and everything else is false.”

Gautama Buddha was a Hindu  of the highest order as well as one of the greatest human beings ever known to humanity.

He was an Avatara in true sense of the term and he himself had acknowledged that. Iksvaku Raja Pravarasi Sata Prabhava Vamsa Sambhava is the Prakrita  inscription of King Virpurusardatta  of IIIrd century CE discovered in Nagarjunakonda  valley of Vijayapuri  that means, “Born in the family that produced hundreds of great royal sages such as Iksvaku.” Another evidence cum affirmation arrives from Dasaratha Jataka  wherein he declares, “At that time King Suddhodana  was King Dasaratha, Mahamaya  was the mother, Rahula’s mother was Sita, Ananda  was Bharata  and I myself was Rama-Pandita.” Gautama Buddha was very much an ardent Hindu who preached Sanatana Vedanta Darsana  upon attainment of enlightenment inspired by Indra  and Brahma. Indra’s trademark weapon Vajra  happens to be insignia of Tibetan Buddhism. Gautama Buddha’s expositions heavily relied on Upanisadic  wisdom as he had accepted the glory of Upanisad-s in entirety in spite of the societal turbulence being undergone by Hindu-s. However, he did not encourage ritualistic segment of Hinduism as he regarded all that dispensable and volitional. What he had attained in the name of ultimate realisation/enlightenment was pure Dharma, meant for all and inevitable for everyone, absolutely devoid of man-made additives / contaminants of any kind whatsoever.

The Sakya Muni was an ardent Manuvadi too. Being thoroughly enlightened and liberated, he unhesitatingly declared himself a Brahmana and never castigated the doctrine of Varna as expounded in Manusmriti. Even Dr. Radhakrishnan confirmed, Gautama Buddha  never condemned Varna/Jati, “Not by birth is one a Brahmana, not by birth is one an outcaste; by deeds is one is a Brahmana, by deeds one is an outcaste.” Almost all of his followers were highly respected Brahmanas. So were so many of Buddhist-s later. Buddhist convention has already prognosticated, next Buddha shall be known as Maitreya and he shall be a born as a Brahmana  in addition to being a Brahmana  by Varna. Faith known as Buddhism  has absolutely nothing which has not been sifted out from Sanatana Vedanta Darsana  which happens to be the most fundamental and mother of all faiths in the world ever cognised by humanity. Beauty of the mysticism lies in the fact that Avatara of the era moulds it in such a way that the Darsana  is dedicated to address prevailing issues of concern, implicit threats and suggest best way out of the rigmarole. Subsequently and quite undesirably, approach so modified to the ongoing crisis alongwith it’s modified philosophy, were declared as a new faith / religion and all resources have been assigned to prove complete disconnect with its origin and roots.

Followers of Gautama Buddha were supported, nourished and protected in ancient Bharata  by Hindu  Kings exactly as all other Hindu Sadhus/Sannyasis. It came to be known as a separate faith only when it crossed borders of Bharata  as those Bhiku-s laid emphasis on Buddhism  while ignoring its roots and origin emanating from Sanatana Vedanta Darsana  and Gautama Buddha  being an Avatara  of Iksvaku  clan.

It is so unfortunate that subsequent generations of Buddhist-s repudiated the truth and questioned it without any shred of evidence. That only betrays their liberal flirtation with egoism rejected by Gautama Buddha unequivocally. Leftist view nourished by western intellectuals floated the belief that Buddhism has always been a separately identifiable faith as a measure of revolt against tyranny of Sanatana Hinduism. As a matter of fact, Gautama Buddha never founded any newer faith which could possibly have been declared Buddhism at all and Hindu-s never ever persecuted Buddhists.

Gautama Buddha is purported to have denounced the evil Vedic practice of animal sacrifice. As a matter of fact, no Veda ordains/mandates/recommends animal sacrifice at all. Evil practice of animal-sacrifice was prevalent in that era but it was wrongly and quite inappropriately linked with Vedas while Vedas have absolutely nothing to do with animal sacrifice. He was critical of Karmakanda described in Veda-s which has never been mandatory for anyone. However, Karmakanda enjoys its own unique importance and inevitable for those desirous of a defined/designated acquisition or possession. He mainly dwelt on Upanisadic Darsana acceptable to as many as possible and never ever claimed having founded a new sect / faith/religion. Gautama Buddha never denounced Vedic wisdom as he is often mentioned as a great Vedic reformer instead. As a true protagonist of Vedanta Darsana, Gautama Buddha was all inclusive to the extreme as he acknowledged spiritual enlightenment as a fundamental privilege for all. He graciously included all into the monastic order conceding equal opportunity for everyone to strive for the highest order of existence.

There have been sinister efforts for quite sometime to create antagonism between Hinduism and Buddhism completely obscuring the fact that Buddhism is indeed, the highest order of Hinduism  alone. In other words, Buddhism is the pinnacle of Hinduism and there is absolutely no trace of antagonism. “Though I was born a Hindu, I solemnly assure you that I will not die as a Hindu.” were the words of Dr. Ambedkar before switching over to Buddhism as if Buddhism is an altogether different religion !! His idea to proselytise himself to escape from indignities being heaped upon him was hardly an epochal decision. He was a born fighter against decaying social practices, should have dealt with all that with a heavy hand instead of escaping through Buddhism. Some of the so-called western Indologists (it is better not to call them Sanskritologists.) like Sheldon Pollock went to the extent of declaring, what to speak of Hinduism even Sanskrita was rejected by Gautama Buddha in favour of Pali. How could he deny the fact that Sanskrit always flourished even during adversities including Mughal era and the first slow-down was experienced only when the Mughal despot Aurangzeb arrived on the scene. If at all that is assumed to be true, they have no explanation as to why Buddhist era witnessed resurgence of Sanskrita  from CE onward. Even Dr. Ambedkar is purported to have opposed sponsoring Sanskrita  as national language while he had indeed, actively supported Sanskrita  to be accepted as national language.

Gautama Buddha  was a titanic socio-spiritual reformer who not only steered the society towards enlightenment, refinement and purification but also raised Sanatana Vedanta Darsana  to commanding heights.

About the author

RAMAKANT TIWARI

After a career in private sector in disciplines of Institutional Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Ramakant Tiwari is currently an author and a corporate director. His first book Srimad Bhagvadgita as Swadharmayoga Upanisad was published in 2015 by Vikas Publishing House, New Delhi.
Currently based in New Delhi, he also serves as Co-Convener (Intellectual Cell), Delhi BJP.

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