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Buddhism and Brahminism

Buddhism and Brahminism

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Published by: Prof. Lakshman Madurasinghe on Dec 28, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Brahmanism, BuddhismandHinduism
An Essay on their Origins and InteractionsbyLal Mani Joshi
Department of Religious StudiesPunjabi University, Patiala, India
The Wheel Publication No. 150/151First Edition 1970Second Impression 1987Digital Transcription Source: Buddhist Publication Society.Copyright © BPS, 1970.Buddhist Publication SocietyP.O. Box 6154 Sangharaja MawathaKandy, Sri LankaE-mail: bps@bps.lk Web site:http://www.bps.lk Tel: 0094 81 223 7283 —Fax: 0094 81 222 3679For free distribution. This work may be republished, reformatted, reprinted and redistributed inany medium. However, any such republication and redistribution is to be made available to thepublic on a free and unrestricted basis and translations and other derivative works are to be clearlymarked as such and the Buddhist Publication Society is to be acknowledged as the originalpublisher.
In the essay that follows Dr. Joshi has set out to reply to certain Indian scholars who have criticisedBuddhism, and others who have put forward the theory that Buddhism is simply a form of Hinduism or an offshoot of it. His thesis broadly falls under five heads, namely:The Buddha was not “born a Hindu” because Hinduism in its present form had not emerged at thetime of his birth;Before the time of the Buddha the religion of India was
Vedic Bráhmaóism
, but that alongside theVedic tradition there was an ascetic (
) stream of religious thought and practice havingits origin in prehistoric times;That it is to this Øramaóic
culture that Buddhism has its closest affinity;That Hinduism grew out of a fusion of Vedic Bráhmaóism with Buddhism and other Øramaóicreligious trends;That although Buddhism acknowledges an affinity with the Øramaóic cults, it is nevertheless aunique product of the Buddha’s direct insight.Dr. Joshi is not the first to have pointed out the more obvious of these facts; but in his essay hehas brought to bear on the subject an impressive erudition and has supported his arguments withthe result of much painstaking research. We believe that few people will be inclined to question hisgeneral conclusions.Dr. Joshi is Professor at the Department of Religious Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala, India.At present he is serving the Harvard University as a visiting fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A. Among other writings, he has to his credit acomprehensive and scholarly work,
Studies in the Buddhistic Culture of India
(New Delhi 1967,Motilal Banarsidass).
December 1969 Buddhist Publication Society

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