Shaswata_Panja wrote:good points binocular
and yes pulga , there is certain reluctance on part of modern Buddhists to understand Buddhism by placing it in the historical,social,cultural,political,economic context in which Buddhism took shape and flourished...divorcing Buddhism from the the crucible that nurtured it and grew will lead to an incomplete understanding of Buddhism
One should have a good understanding of the Brahminical background of the time of the Buddha as well as the of the anti-Vedic Shramana movement of which the Buddha was a part. On the other hand, the later schools of what eventually became Hinduism do not objectively get to define Buddhism and the Buddha's teachings. They tried, in various way, to subsume Buddhism and the Buddha, and followers of some of the later Vedic/caste schools also very deliberately persecuted Buddhism in India at various times.
At the risk of repeating myself I have to again delineate the various philosophical schools of Hinduism, so that Buddhists when talking of Hinduism know which part of Hinduism they are talking about (this basically agrees with what titbillings wrote----I would like to introduce the idea that the idea of an absolute Monotheistic God (as Deity like Allah,Yahweh) makes an entry into Hinduism with the rise of the Puranas..especially the Srimad Bhagavatam............but even then the Hindu Monotheistic Deity is NOT a Jealous God....It is Henotheism and not Monotheism)
The Puranas and the Srimad Bhagavatam post date the Buddha considerably. Monotheism finds its entry in Brahmanism before the Buddha:
- Klaus Klostermaier's A SURVEY OF HINDUISM, pgs: 137-8,
"In the Brhadaranyaka Upanisad [one of the very few Upanishads that pre-dates the Buddha] we read a dialogue in which
Yajnavalkya is asked the crucial question: _Kati devah_, how many are the devas [gods]? His first answer is a quotation from a Vedic text: 'Three hundred and three and three thousand and three." Pressed on, he reduces the number first to thirty-three, then to six, then to three, to two, to one-and-a-half and finally to One. 'Which is the one deva [god]?' And he answers: "The prana (breath, life). The Brahman. He is called _tyat_ (that).' Though the devas still figure in sacrificial practice and religious debate, the question 'Who is God?' is here answered in terms that has remained the Hindu answer ever since.
Also from the Brhadaranyaka Upanisad"
Hindu theology has many ways of explaining the unity of Brahman in the diversity of ista-devatas: different psychological needs of people must be satisfied differently, local traditions and specific revelations must be accommodated, the ineffable can only be predicated in -- quite literally -- thousands of forms. Among the saharanamas -- the litanies of thousands names, which are recited in honour of each of the great gods -- the overlap is considerable: each one would be named creator, preserver, destroyer of the universe, each one would be called Truth and Grace and Deliverance. Each one, in the end, is the same: One.
== 10. Verily, in the beginning this world was Brahman. It knew only itself
(atmanam): "I am Brahman!" Therefore it became the All. Whoever of
the gods became awakened to this, he indeed became it; likewise in the
case of seers (rsi), likewise in the case of men. Seeing this, indeed, the
seer Vamadeva began:-
I was Manu and the sun (surya)!
This is so now also. Whoever thus knows "I am Brahman!" becomes this
All; even the gods have not power to prevent his becoming thus, for he
becomes their self (atman).
So whoever worships another divinity [than his Self], thinking "He is
one and I another," he knows not. He is like a sacrificial animal for the
gods. Verily, indeed, as many animals would be of service to a man,
even so each single person is of service to the gods. If even one animal
is taken away, it is not pleasant. What, then, if many? Therefore it is
not pleasing to those [gods] that men should know this.
11. Verily, in the beginning this world was Brahman, one only.
Samkhya tradition of Hinduism is atheistic
Except it has been subsumed into a theistic contexts, as we see in the Bhagavad Gita.
Purva Mimasa of Hinduism is atheistic---this is basically what Buddhists call Brahmanism --Vedic Fire rituals
Purva Mimasa post dates the Buddha, and it is not what Buddhists call Brahminism. Brahmanism is what reputable scholars of Indian religions call the pre-Buddha -- and during the time of the Buddha -- Vedic/caste religious movement. And Brahmanical texts such as the Upanishad reflect the Brhamanical interactions with the non-Vedic shramana traditions, adopting and adapting these traditions.
Vedanta (Advaita Vedanta) is monistic and tends to be largely atheistic as propounded by Gaudapada and Shankaracharya
At best, a highly qualified atheism, to the point of referring to Shankara as an atheist is meaningless.
Atheism in Indian Philosophy : From the Rig Veda to Modern Times by Dr.Koenraad Elst . . . .
There are far better scholars.