vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 29 17:03:48 CDT 2003
>If Buddha hadn't descended and firmly established
>Buddhism in India, would there have been a need For
>Adi Shankara to rise and establish Advaita Vedanta and
>expel Buddhism from India?
It is not altogether correct to think that Adi Shankara expelled Buddhism
from India. It is true that, in his commentaries, he gives a number of
philosophical arguments against various schools of Buddhist thought.
However, if we look at the historical data, Buddhism was already on the
decline in India before Adi Shankara was born, but continued to be
practiced till five or six centuries after him. What really drove Buddhism
out of India is the increased influx of Arabic and Turkic peoples
professing Islam; people who devastated most of the Buddhist schools of
learning. The reason that Buddhism more or less vanished during this period
but Vedic dharma did not is that Buddhism was never socially deeply
entrenched in India and was always dependent on small groups of thinkers in
monasteries, whereas Vedic dharma existed in every village of the country.
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