Judaism & Brahmanism vs Buddhism & Christianity

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Sam Vara
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Re: Judaism & Brahmanism vs Buddhism & Christianity

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:59 pm

This is interesting stuff, No_Mind. I had no idea it was like that.

Some Indians I have known in the UK have been very conscious of their caste origins. I suppose that was mainly the Brahmins! I once taught a student with the surname Trivedi, and asked her if it had anything to do with the 3 knowledges. (Obviously different in Hinduism from the Buddha's use of the term - Richard Gombrich has written well on this). She was really amazed that someone should have any understanding of this, and said her father in particular was very proud of the family name. I believe it originally meant someone who had learned and mastered huge amounts of texts for religious ceremonies.

To be honest, most people in the UK tend to think - if they think about it at all! - that the caste system was closed, with no possibility of social mobility.

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No_Mind
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Re: Judaism & Brahmanism vs Buddhism & Christianity

Post by No_Mind » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:02 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:59 pm
This is interesting stuff, No_Mind. I had no idea it was like that.

Some Indians I have known in the UK have been very conscious of their caste origins. I suppose that was mainly the Brahmins! I once taught a student with the surname Trivedi, and asked her if it had anything to do with the 3 knowledges. (Obviously different in Hinduism from the Buddha's use of the term - Richard Gombrich has written well on this). She was really amazed that someone should have any understanding of this, and said her father in particular was very proud of the family name. I believe it originally meant someone who had learned and mastered huge amounts of texts for religious ceremonies.

To be honest, most people in the UK tend to think - if they think about it at all! - that the caste system was closed, with no possibility of social mobility.
If any educated Indian is proud to be a Brahmin (anytime after 1970) avoid that person. In urban India caste is dead* (barring couple of backward states called Bihar and Uttar Pradesh which are sort of stuck in mid-18th century)

Our Prime Minister is by his own admission a Shudra who was a tea seller on railway platform and was voted into power by all castes (not me since I am secular fellow)

Can it get more socially mobile than that?

*conservative arranged marriages are still according to caste but little more .. while on morning walk or on subway or at work no one cares if one is a Brahmin and the other guy a Shudra.

:namaste:
Last edited by No_Mind on Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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Sam Vara
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Re: Judaism & Brahmanism vs Buddhism & Christianity

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:07 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:02 pm

Our Prime Minister is a Shudra who was a tea seller on railway platform and was voted into power by all castes (not me since I am secular fellow)

Can it get more socially mobile than that?

:namaste:
Yes, that's an impressive example of downward social mobility! :tongue:

I remember railway tea sellers being among the most wonderful and welcome human beings after nights on long-distance express trains!

binocular
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Re: Judaism & Brahmanism vs Buddhism & Christianity

Post by binocular » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:29 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:59 pm
To be honest, most people in the UK tend to think - if they think about it at all! - that the caste system was closed, with no possibility of social mobility.
That is how we learned about it in school as well: caste means you're born into one social class and remain in it and are defined by it for the rest of your life, with no chance of vertical mobility.

What No_Mind is saying is actually what I first heard in ISKCON -- that one's varna and ashrama are supposed to be due to one's own effort and merit, and not defined by one's birth.

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No_Mind
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Re: Judaism & Brahmanism vs Buddhism & Christianity

Post by No_Mind » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:15 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:02 pm

Our Prime Minister is a Shudra who was a tea seller on railway platform and was voted into power by all castes (not me since I am secular fellow)

Can it get more socially mobile than that?

:namaste:
Forgot to mention that our President is an untouchable

:namaste:
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chownah
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Re: Judaism & Brahmanism vs Buddhism & Christianity

Post by chownah » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:02 am

No_Mind wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:15 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:02 pm

Our Prime Minister is a Shudra who was a tea seller on railway platform and was voted into power by all castes (not me since I am secular fellow)

Can it get more socially mobile than that?

:namaste:
Forgot to mention that our President is an untouchable

:namaste:
Well, our president was a black man so what did that prove?
chownah

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DooDoot
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Re: Judaism & Brahmanism vs Buddhism & Christianity

Post by DooDoot » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:08 am

No_Mind wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:40 pm
Hinduism never attacked Buddhism in any way (other than at debates) so "Hinduism defeated Buddhism" is wrong statement.
Did I infer anything otherwise?
No_Mind wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:40 pm
Please do not invent history (rather dangerous since most who visit this forum have no idea of ancient Indian history).
I didn't reinvent history.
No_Mind wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:40 pm
Buddhism declined because it lost popularity...
Buddhism was defeated in the popularity contest & Hinduism won the contest (just as Hinduism has appeared to won the contest in your mind). ;)

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No_Mind
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Re: Judaism & Brahmanism vs Buddhism & Christianity

Post by No_Mind » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:18 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:08 am
No_Mind wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:40 pm
Hinduism never attacked Buddhism in any way (other than at debates) so "Hinduism defeated Buddhism" is wrong statement.
Did I infer anything otherwise?
"Hinduism defeated Buddhism" carries other connotations unless one writes "Hinduism defeated Buddhism at debates."

Look buddy, no war with you but I am sole representative of 1.3 billion people in this mini-UN. I have to make sure i's are dotted and t's are crossed, when any reference to the subcontinent is made.

A member passed off couple of Nepali videos as Indian .. thankfully I was here to correct the error.

I hope you understand my position. It is not one I enjoy doing. I wandered into this forum one day .. and after some time found there were at least sixty Indian members here but all except me were silent (I think some of them secretly enjoy my predicament)

I feel like Sinbad the sailor carrying the old man on his back.

I have long wanted that history be rewritten to show that Buddha was born in Europe .. maybe Germany .. so that I maybe free. But it is not happening.

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

JiWe2
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Re: Judaism & Brahmanism vs Buddhism & Christianity

Post by JiWe2 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:34 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:40 pm
Hinduism never attacked Buddhism in any way (other than at debates) so "Hinduism defeated Buddhism" is wrong statement. Please do not invent history (rather dangerous since most who visit this forum have no idea of ancient Indian history).

Buddhism declined because it lost popularity and due to Islamic invaders who attacked the subcontinent.
I listened a while ago Dr. Alex Wynne's recent talk "Buddhist India" at Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies:

https://ocbs.org/buddhist-india/

Starting around time 25:30, page 24 of the pdf, he goes to subject "What happened to Buddhist India?" and the situation seems to be a bit more complex than debates, lost popularity and Islamic invaders.

Dr. Wynne quotes Giovanni Verardi's 2011 book "Hardships & Downfall of Buddhism in India". I don't have access to it, but I found a review of it here:
http://jocbs.org/index.php/jocbs/articl ... ad/138/161

There seems to be documented persecution of Buddhists (and Jains) by "neo-Brahmanical" sects, both before and after the Muslims.
"In a sense, such issues may seem secondary: what matters is that the Buddhists of India were violently repressed and 'cleansed'. That truth demands recognition. But surely it is important to consider why it has for so long been so hard to look clearly at the death of Indian Buddhism."
Some Indian scholars seem to share that view:
"There are many who seem to believe that brutality and bloodshed were the sole preserve of Muslim rulers and that Hindu rajas lived in an idyllic ocean of peace and tranquility. Unfortunately, an examination of the history of the Indian sub continent does not support such an uninformed opinion."
How the Buddhists and Jains were Persecuted in Ancient India.
https://karthiknavayan.wordpress.com/20 ... ent-india/
Opinions, opinions, opinions...

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No_Mind
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Re: Judaism & Brahmanism vs Buddhism & Christianity

Post by No_Mind » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:51 pm

JiWe2 wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:34 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:40 pm
Hinduism never attacked Buddhism in any way (other than at debates) so "Hinduism defeated Buddhism" is wrong statement. Please do not invent history (rather dangerous since most who visit this forum have no idea of ancient Indian history).

Buddhism declined because it lost popularity and due to Islamic invaders who attacked the subcontinent.
I listened a while ago Dr. Alex Wynne's recent talk "Buddhist India" at Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies:

https://ocbs.org/buddhist-india/

Starting around time 25:30, page 24 of the pdf, he goes to subject "What happened to Buddhist India?" and the situation seems to be a bit more complex than debates, lost popularity and Islamic invaders.

Dr. Wynne quotes Giovanni Verardi's 2011 book "Hardships & Downfall of Buddhism in India". I don't have access to it, but I found a review of it here:
http://jocbs.org/index.php/jocbs/articl ... ad/138/161

There seems to be documented persecution of Buddhists (and Jains) by "neo-Brahmanical" sects, both before and after the Muslims.
"In a sense, such issues may seem secondary: what matters is that the Buddhists of India were violently repressed and 'cleansed'. That truth demands recognition. But surely it is important to consider why it has for so long been so hard to look clearly at the death of Indian Buddhism."
Some Indian scholars seem to share that view:
"There are many who seem to believe that brutality and bloodshed were the sole preserve of Muslim rulers and that Hindu rajas lived in an idyllic ocean of peace and tranquility. Unfortunately, an examination of the history of the Indian sub continent does not support such an uninformed opinion."
How the Buddhists and Jains were Persecuted in Ancient India.
https://karthiknavayan.wordpress.com/20 ... ent-india/
Opinions, opinions, opinions...
I fully agree with you.

Do you know why .. because ancient Indians had been very bad at preserving history for future generations. Most of Indian history till coming of Islamic invaders in 10th century are from Vedas, Puranas and the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata as well as Buddhist and Jain scriptures. Religious texts are not dependable sources of general information.

However if we are sharing little known conjectures .. I might as share this one - Ashoka killed 18,000 Ajivika monks in one day because Ajivikas were against Buddha.
According to the 2nd century CE text Ashokavadana, the Mauryan emperor Bindusara and his chief queen Shubhadrangi were believers of this philosophy, that reached its peak of popularity during this time. Ashokavadana also mentions that after his conversion to Buddhism, Bindusara's son Ashoka issued an order to kill all the Ajivikas in Pundravardhana, enraged at a picture that depicted Gautama Buddha in a negative light. Around 18,000 followers of the Ajivika sect were executed as a result of this order.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%80j%C4%ABvika
Opinions, opinions, opinions ..

Any more conjectures that you wish to share .. we can always rewrite history :smile: The future is always certain .. the past is always uncertain. We can always rewrite it to suit ourselves.

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

JiWe2
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Re: Judaism & Brahmanism vs Buddhism & Christianity

Post by JiWe2 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:48 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:51 pm
Any more conjectures that you wish to share ..
No. Now the conjectures are balanced to my liking. 8-)

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