Gautama Buddha points to the weakness of human nature

The Hindu perspective of Buddha

In the Dasavatara stotra section of his Gita Govinda, the influential Vaishnava poet Jayadeva Goswami (13th century AD) includes the Buddha amongst the ten principal avatars of Vishnu and writes a prayer regarding him as follows:

O Keshava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of Buddha! All glories to You! O Buddha of compassionate heart, you decry the slaughtering of poor animals performed according to the rules of Vedic sacrifice.
A partial list of Puranas mentioning the Buddha is as follows:

In the Puranic texts, he is mentioned as one of the ten Avatars of Vishnu, usually as the ninth one.

Another important scriptures that mentions him as an Avatar is Rishi Parashara's Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra (2:1-5/7).

In some of the Puranas, he is described as having taken birth to "mislead the demons":
mohanartha? danavana? balarupi pathi-sthita? ? putra? ta? kalpayam asa mu?ha-buddhir jina? svayam ?
tata? sa?mohayam asa jinadyan asura?sakan ? bhagavan vagbhir ugrabhir ahi?sa-vacibhir hari? ?
-attributed to Brahmanda Purana, quoted in Bhagavatatatparya by Madhva, 1.3.28
Translation: To delude the demons, he [Lord Buddha] stood on the path in the form of a child. The foolish Jina (a demon), imagined him to be his son. Thus the lord Sri Hari [as avatara-buddha] expertly deluded Jina and other demons by his strong words of non-violence.
In the Bhagavata Purana Buddha is said to have taken birth to restore the devas to power:
tata? kalau samprav?tte sammohaya sura-dvi?am ?
buddho namanjana-sutah kika?e?u bhavi?yati ?
-srimad-bhagavatam 1.3.24
Translation: Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, for the purpose of confusing the enemies of the devas, [he] will become the son of Anjana, Buddha by name, in the Kika?as

The point is, although the Hindu Puranas vary a bit here and there they have not been able to ignore Buddha and his influence on Hindu Dharma. Today, like it or not the universally accepted Hindu system says the 9th avtar of God Vishnu on Earth is Gautama Buddha.

I have not been able to understand the South Indian version that says Balrama the elder brother of Krishna is another avtar!! Why would Vishnu reincarnate as two forms at the same instant. It smells like more of a political move.

This is what Gita Govinda Mahakavya , 13th century poet Jayadewa wrote

Buddha the ninth incarnation is the embodiment of compassion. When a section of people were steeped in ignorance and the scripture had become inaccessible to them, when most of those who had access to such knowledge were concerned more with the form such as sacrifice, rather than the actual spirit of theirteaching, there was then, an all-round spiritual poverty. The consequent miseryof the people stirred God's compassion and He appeared as Buddha to showpeople the way out of misery. He also condemned animal sacrifice during performance of a Yagna.

There are a few critiques to the generally accepted view of the Avatars of Vishnu, and there are reasons for it, which I will come to very soon. But the overwhelming weight is on Buddha.

You have to remember Hinduism is not one book, written by one person at one point of time. Its a compilation of many manuscripts written by many Rishis, Yogis, unknown sources over many centuries. There is bound to be contradiction within themselves. In the same way as within Buddhism, there are many interpretations of what Buddha said, and many schools of thought.

The massive weight on the 10 most influential avatars of Vishnu is however Gautama Buddha, the 9th Avatar of Vishnu sent down to earth to restore Dharma amongst the Hindu Folk.

What does the 10 Avtars of Vishnu (dasha avtars) mean to Hindus?

Hindus believe that Paramatma, The Ultimate divine soul has three aspects. Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer.

Given that Vishnu is tasked with preservation of the universe, Krishna the 8th avatar of Vishnu tells Aruna in the Holy Bhagvad Gita...

Bhagvad Gita chapter 4, shloks 7 and 8:
Yada yada hi dharmasya, glanir bhavati bharata
Abhyuthanam adharmasya tadatmaanam srujaamyaham
Paritranaaya saadhunaam vinaashaaya ch dushcritaam
Dharmasanstha panaarthaaya sambhavaami yuge yuge

Translation by Swami Prabhupada;
Whenever and wherever there is a decline in Dharma, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of Adharma--at that time I manifest myself.

For the deliverance of the pious and to annihilate the evil, and in order to reestablish Dharma (the principles of religion), I do appear millennium after millennium

This is Kirshna (vishnu) telling Arjuna, in his reincarnation just before Gautama Buddha, in the beginning of the Kali Yuga.

So what went wrong with Hindu Dharma for Vishnu the preserver to advent as Gautama Buddha?

The sequence of events that followed is very simple. This is not a research document. A bit of your own research will turn up the following.

One, caste in Hinduism is not sanctioned by birth in any SINGLE HINDU HOLY book, or endorsed by any hindu Saint (Caution being used to distinguish between Saint or Spiritual Master/Guru and Pandita or a simple monk, who performs rituals in temples without understanding the greater transendental depths of Dharma). The Books and Saints always maintained that caste is just a propensity of a human to a certain function, also called inclination or varna, and not a birth right.

Two, Bhramins or the priestly class (not to be confused with saints again) discovered during the dawn of the agricultural age that poor pesants toiling the farms had no time to study texts. They went to temples, early morning or in the evenings and asked priests advice based on texts or interpretations. The Bhramin priestly caste discovered 3000 years ago, Knowledge was power!
Three, they promulgated their own law which was attributed to texts no one knew, that caste was sanctioned by birth, and that Sanskrit was the divine holy language of the gods, so normal folks who were unwashed and not pure, were banned from learning it. Thereby cuttting all access to holy texts by the masses, and ensuring that their children�s future was secured within the temples, where lots of offerings were made by hard working folks.

Four, now the masses, who had no access to the holy books had to depend on Bhramin priests to interpret religion for them.

Five, Hinduism had two core sets of books. The Vedas that are a massive compilation of knowledge and holy rituals, and the Upanishads that is the sublime distillation of the Vedas concerning the evolution of the soul. Considering working folks had no access to the holy books, and the priests were raking in money performing profiteable rituals, over time the deeper meaning of the Upanishads and its urge to focus on inner transformation for the soul was put aside.

Six, the simple economic fact was that if everyone was taught the Upanishad and its message of Inner transformation, it was bad for economics and�business in Temples and the Brahmin priestly classes fortunes.

Seven, it made a lot more economic sense to force everyone to perform costly rituals at temples from birth to death, where the Bhramin priest literally became your ticket to buy your way into heaven, provided you had the money and were rich.

Eight, so a convenient economic deal was done with Hindu spiritualism.........lets put aside........ the deeper meanings of soul and life and inner transformation and with it the Upanishads, which is meant to be accessible to every human soul born on earth to.............complete focus on the Vedas and non ending rituals, many being extremely costly.

Nine, the poor unfortunately, if they did not have money, could go to hell, as they did not have money to do all the necessary rituals. And since they were of no economic value to the temple and priests, were finally barred from entering temples.

Ten, in a perverse ironic way it was explained that, if you were poor, it was bad Karma, so anyway you deserve to suffer, so keep spinning around in your catch 22 Karmic check mate. Tough luck mate, you did not win the lottery in this rebirth sweep stakes.

Eleven, it was during this dark ages of Hinduism that a light called Gautama Buddha was born.

Twelve, he was soon going to say a lot of things that could save the souls of poor down trodden Hindus and make a lot of the rich priestly class loose their meal ticket after many centuries of comfort and steady business.

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