Buddha in Hindu History

This course deals with how the Buddha is inextricably linked with Hinduism and was just one in a long line of gurus that the dharmic faith produced. Buddhism was discovered by Orientalists outside of India which is why Gautama Buddha is thought of as a revolutionary religious leader with no ties to any previous school of thought. Buddha's philosophy was shaped by the scriptures and so too were the meditative practices that he learned at the feet of several rishis, who were invariably Hindus. Due to Buddhism's disappearance and its development outside of India, the connection with its roots is either unknown or neglected.

Instructor: Koenraad Elst

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Enrolled Students

7

Suggested Time

2 weeks

Pricing

 800 

Language

English

Rating

4

Unit 1: Introduction

Hinduism's Influence 13 min

Most of the Buddha's ideas such as being charitable, compassionate germinated from ideas that existed in Hinduism. Buddhism's essential teachings of reincarnation, karma were already a big part of India's dharmic culture. Many universities existed in India before Buddhism made its mark but popular culture has ascribed Buddhism as the progenitor of educational institutions such as the Nalanda university.
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Buddha's Order & Debt to Hinduism 11 min

Buddha gained prominence due to the following he had garnered and his teachings were mostly concentrated around Hinduism. He learned meditation at the feet of gurus and then added more elements to it just how any idea evolves. The people in Buddha's order at a  later time systematized as well as added a lot to his teachings which finally came to frution a few centuries after Buddha's death. He didn't have many original concepts, just a following which he had developed. Hence we can never know which portion is the original text as later contributors made the canons what they were.
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Buddha of the Scriptures 27 min

Buddha was consulted by others mostly on worldly matters while the spiritual aspect was restricted to his followers. As an elite character, he used the word Arya, originally a vedic tribe, such as in the "4 noble (arya)truths" as well as "8 folded path(arya)." Buddha wanted to supposedly reform Vedic truths because of their degeneration though he didn't know much about the vedas as he did about the Upanishads.
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Unit 2: Principles of Buddhism

Buddhism's Core Message 18 min

Impermanance is the foundation of buddhism, as in not identifying with the character traits you possess. Hence your personality is not your real self but that doesn't mean that the atman/self is not real. This is what the Upanishads have said for long, neti neti,  but modern writers in their haste to disascoiate from Hinduism conflate these ideas of the self. Most people who discredit the philosophical teachings have never done meditation themselves, hence are skeptical.
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Buddha's Followers & Casteism 11 min

Most of the Buddha's followers were upper caste, he stated that his next incarnation would be Maitreya, a brahmin, similar to Vaishnavism. Buddha concerned himself a spiritual reformer not as a social one as he knew it would take a longer period. Ashes were kept in stupas, which all kshatriyas desperately wanted and where shudras were not allowed. The followers of Buddha valourised caste, hence facts do not support his image of being anti caste
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7 Rules of Non-decline 12 min

The Buddha described the 7 rules that any organization/kingdom should follow to remain in power. He had become a political consultant towards the end of his life and he spoke about how customs should be preserved for a society to function and progress  A particular case of the Wargi republic  which asks the Buddha how to survive against Magdha kingdom is a fine illustration of this concept's practise.
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Unit 3: Shakya Tribe & Viewpoint

Shakya Hathya 30 min

Shakya was Buddha's own tribe, he described himself as a descendant of Manu. The tribe was endogamous & proud of their gene pool, unwilling to marry into another tribe. King Prasenadi's wife was half Shakya, unknown to him, and hence his sons' were not pure Shakya either.  General Bandhula and 2 sons of Prasenadi were killed due to a conspiracy. A coup is orchestrated by Virudaka while Prasenadi is consulting the Buddha who takes revenge and kills the Shakya tribe. All this is unknown to the Buddha as he talks about caste being transferred only through the paternal line.
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Musings and Q&A 19 min

Buddha claimed to be a reincarnation of Vishnu & relative of Rama while Buddhists now want to disassociate with Hinduism. Pali canon came a few centures after the Buddha, Sanskrit was the pan india language of that time. Monasteries were built by at times by slaves and non Buddhists as the monks either mediated or begged. which shows how Buddha was an elitist.
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