Balangir : 13 October 2020 : The time can not forget the Buddha. Buddha is eternal, deathless and timeless. How will his name vanish from this world? China did not forget the Buddha. Japan did not. Burma did not. Only India forgot the Buddha. It is clear that time is not responsible for this, but the enemies of the Buddha are responsible for this situation.
Mission of the Buddha :
What are the fundamental teachings of the Buddha Dhamma? What did he accomplish? Without understanding these questions, importance of the Buddha can not be understood.
During the time of the Buddha, the Brahmanism has three pillars. The first pillar was infallibility of the Vedas, sacrifice was the second and the third pillar was Chaturvarna dharma.
Whatever is written in the Vedas is infallible whether it is intellectually valid or not. Buddha was against accepting that the Vedas are infallible and he considered it as the first fetter. Instead of believing in the infallibility of the Vedas, Buddha’s position was that the truth has to be accepted on intellectual basis.
In the Brahmanism, the stress was on attaining the God. Without making sacrifices the God can not be attained and therefore sacrifice was the considered as the religion.
The Buddha attacked the belief of infallibility of the Vedas and in the same force attacked the custom of sacrifices. One can say that Buddha’s position in this regard was revolutionary.
Buddha advocated that there is no connection between the religion and attainment of God. The purpose of the religion was related to human’s behavior with another human. This was the Buddha’s position. Buddha thought that attainment of the god is not concern of the religion. On one hand, strive for attainment of god and on another treat the neighbors with the contempt is the antithesis of the religion.
Buddha attacked the third pillar of Brahmanism that is Chaturvarna Dharma vehemently. The essence of Brahmanism lies in the Dharma of Chaturvarna. The concept of caste based on superiority or inferiority of the birth is responsible for this belief in Chaturvarna Dharma.
In Brahmanism the lowered caste and the women do not have a respectable position, they do not have means of livelihood and they do not own anything and therefore these two classes are not free. This is their condition when they are alive. This same condition will follow them after their death. In Brahmanism there is no freedom even after death for these two classes.
Buddha was opposed to the concept that even if the Brahman is fallen he is worthy of worship by the three worlds. Buddha wanted to remove this wrong propaganda. Buddha was the greatest proponent of the social equality and like of him can not be found elsewhere.
There was no freedom for the women in Brahmanism, Buddha opened the gates of freedom for them. Even for the lowered caste, the Buddha accepted them as monks in his Sangha. Buddha not only advocated the principle of social equality, but also made efforts to make it possible. He not only made the women and lowered caste the members of his order, but also made other lowered castes the members of his order.
The above explanation is not sufficient; however it is useful for readers to understand what the Buddha did for this country. The principles of Buddhism were beneficial and very bright and it led to huge spread of Buddha Dhamma all over the world.
In south, it spread to Sri Lanka and many islands in the Pacific Ocean. In the east, it went to Burma, Assam, Thailand, China and Japan. In the north, it went to Tibet, Nepal and Turkstan. Buddha Dhamma also went to Afghanistan. No religion spread to this extent.
There is another specialty of the Buddha Dhamma. Not every religion spread due to its values and ideas. Islam grew on the basis of wars. Christianity grew on the basis of law. Only Buddhism spread with its values and ideas. It did not need the support of sword or force of law. Buddha never forced people to follow his teaching. People forced themselves to follow his teachings.
Despite of this, the question arises as to why Indians forgot the Buddha Dhamma. Buddhism is still living outside India. There are many Buddhists in the world. However in India Buddhism was killed.
Brahmans were the enemies of the Buddha. The reason is that the Buddha was the greatest opponent of Chaturvarna Dharma, If Chaturvarna is eradicated, Brahmanism will be eradicated. Brahmans knew this. In fact, they considered Chaturvarna dharma as their breath. The attack on the Chaturvarna dharma was therefore attack on the Brahmans.
One can say that the Buddha’s movement was the anti-Brahman movement of that time and the Buddha was the leader of that movement. The Brahmans conspired to destroy the Buddha and His Dhamma by all means.
Brahmans started worshiping Buddha , thinking thus, the non Brahmans thought that there is no point in continuing fight against them. Thus the Buddha’s movement against Brahmans was weakened. The Brahmans started advocating that though the Buddha is yours, we accept him as the reincarnation of Vishnu.
People became happy. Now that the Brahmans accept the Buddha as the tenth reincarnation of Vishnu the matter is over. Now what is the point of fighting? On one hand the Brahmans tried to pacify the non Bramhans and on the other hand they started imitating the Buddha Dhamma and started misguiding people that Brahmanism and Buddhism are the same.
It is understandable that the Brahmans opposed Buddhism as it was their main opponent. However the non Brahmans should not have forgotten the great man who tried to liberate them from the clutches of blind faith, who tried to liberate them from the slavery of magical spells, who tried to bring them on humanistic way, who tried to make them humans, who gave up his royal life for their welfare, who fought for their self respect, who made this country glorious by his deeds. It is great pity that the non Brahmans forgot such a great man. They should have kept the Buddha’s memory alive.