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Gods, Hinduism, Buddhism, Respect

To: alt.pagan,talk.religion.misc,alt.religion.all-worlds,alt.magick.tyagi,talk.religion.buddhism
From: nparker@crl.com (Nathan Parker)
Subject: Re: Gods, Hinduism, Buddhism, Respect (Was Re: Gods: Kali, Satan ...)
Date: 24 Feb 1995 11:56:07 -0800

Christopher G Caruso (ccaruso@mail2.sas.upenn.edu) wrote:

: The fact that Hindus attacked the Buddha's teachings does not prove that 
: they were significantly philosophically different.  
: The Buddha rejected the Vedas as having a monopoly on truth.  In doing so, 
: he opened the spiritual path to all castes (i.e. you don't need a Brahaman 
: to interpret it for you).  This obviously angered the Brahmans.  
: However, if you compare the orthodox Hindu school of Samkhya-Yoga to 
: Early Buddhism, their soteriologies are nearly identical.    

Even in the Shad-darSanas the role of brAhmaNas remains the same as in 
other vedic lines. The Shad-darSana sUtras were themselves written by 
brahmaNas (Gautama, KanAda, Kapila, PataNjali, Jaimini, and BADarAyaNa), 
and in all of them, the vedic system is upheld. Even in the system given 
by SrIpAda SaNkarAcArya, he upheld the position of brahmANas. That is 
technically known according to advaita-vAda as the vyavahArika platform, 
where one must act conventionally according to duality. Duality itself, 
in their vAda, is comprised of the three guNas (modes of nature), and the 
varNa's are determined according to those very same guNas: guNa karma 
vibhAgaSaH. One's occupational duties are born out of one's qualities 
(according to the three modes) and one's activities. So, though SaNkara 
stated that there is only one brahman, while in duality one must act on 
the vyavahArika platform, which includes brAhmaNa, kSatriya, vaiSya, and 
Sudra. In fact the brAhmaNas following SaNkara's line are the most 
fanatic brAhmaNas in the sense that they are very strict in regards to 
interaction with other varNas. They are technically calle 
smarta-brAhmaNas, and have the title Aiyar (Iyyer). In South India I was 
at a smartas house, and a construction worker had touched the water from 
his water tank (water is stored in tanks there) in order to wash his 
hands. Even though there was a water scarcity, the smarta ordered that 
his entire water tank be emptied (these tanks are _not_ small). It is the 
advaita brAhmaNas who uphold the varNa system the most.

Likewise in every vedic philosophy (nyaya, vaiSeShika, sANkhya, yoga, 
karma-mImaMsa, and uttara-mImaMsa), every one of them accept the vedic 
literatures, and all of them accept the varNa system. The only 
similarites between the buddhist philosophy and the vedic sANkhya is that 
they are both ultimatley atheistic, as are five of the six darSanas. 
Other than that, you can not find much similarity between them.

: Chris Caruso

JND


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