Showing posts from July, 2013

How Buddhism Declined in South Asia

When Chinese Buddhist pilgrims toured India in the 5th and 7th century, they found that Buddhism had virtually disappeared in its Gangetic homeland, under the imperial force of Brahmanism, though it still thrived in Afghanistan and Central Asia. The Chinese pilgrim Faxian noted major weaknesses in Indian Buddhism during his visit to India in the fifth century C.E., centuries before Islam came in the world scene. Mahayana Buddhism, with its many idols of Buddhas and bodhisattvas inhabiting a multitude of heavens, seemed so close to Hinduism that many Buddhists must have seen little purpose in maintaining a distinction. The upper caste Brahmins played a very important role in this battle of religions. They were not as greatly opposed to Buddha’s philosophical teachings as they were to his message that directly challenged their hegemony and the divinity of the Vedas, the bedrock of Brahmanism, which they had guarded so zealously and exclusively. Naresh Kumar, who researched the subjec

Professor Ram Puniyani's article on Bodh Gaya bomb blast

Professor Ram Puniyani has written an article on the Bodh Gaya blast which I recommend strongly. It can be read by clicking here .

Bodh Gaya Blast - who is behind the crime?

One may recall that Indian media  in recent days was abuzz with stories linking the July 7 Bodh Gaya blasts in India’s Bihar province with the Buddhist persecution of Arakanese Muslims, perceiving that sympathetic Muslim groups might have been behind the crime. It was unusual for the so-called liberal media in India. But years of anti-Muslim activities and religious propaganda by Hindu supremacist parties have succeeded in creating the unfortunate divide in that multi-racial and multi-religious country since at least the demolition of the historic Babri Mosque. Then came the Gujarat violence in which Narendra Modi as the Chief Minister and his BJP Party played a direct role that saw the massacre of more than a thousand Muslims. As the latest news report from India suggests an Assamese might have been behind the crime in Bihar. Click here for the news. Seema Sengupta has written a good article last week on the danger of ignoring the Rohingya problem in the Arab News. She also criti


Here is a recent video clip that I came across on terrible lynching of minority Muslims in Burma in recent days. Please, click here to view this.

Decline of Buddhism in ancient India

Popular myths circulated and believed amongst many Buddhists about the decline of Buddhism in South Asia or the Indian subcontinent are so bizarre that they are more often than not diametrically opposed to the historical facts. Those myths, unfortunately, define and justify the current genocidal campaigns against non-Buddhists in Buddhist-majority countries. This series of articles aims at an objective study on the causes of such decline. Against popular Buddhist narrative of history, before Islam came to South Asia Buddhism has already been marginalized by powerful Hindus. Even in Bengal, which is only a short distance from where Siddhartha Gautama Buddha was born, Hindu Brahmins/leaders/rulers were able to reclaim their control over the people. As a matter of fact, had it not been for Islam, Buddhism would have totally been wiped out by Hindus in entire India. This fact should not come as a surprise if the apologists for Buddhist crimes in places like Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand

Buddhism in Myanmar

When history is twisted, humanity loses. No country epitomizes this notion to the hilt better than Buddhist-majority Myanmar where history is twisted not only to deny human rights but also to justify genocidal campaigns against religious minorities. There is no historical record of Buddha ever visiting any part of Arakan and Burma, and yet the popular Mon and Myanmar oral tradition, including the chronicle Sasanavamsa, and the belief of the Arakanese Rakhines suggest that the Buddha visited their king and left behind an image of himself for them to worship. The Sasanavamsa mentions several visits of the Buddha to Myanmar and one other important event: the arrival of the hair relics in Ukkala (Yangon) soon after the Buddha's enlightenment. Modern historiography, of course, dismisses these stories as fabrications made out of national pride, as the Myanmar had not even arrived in the region at the time of the Buddha. Myanmar is a country of many nations: many races and ethnicities

Why Buddhism Declined?

Recently, after the publication of the Time Magazine’s cover page article on Wirathu, the Buddhist terrorist monk of Myanmar, I came across an article in which the writer tried to justify the on-going genocidal activities against the Muslims in Buddhist countries by stating that “ There is a common thread that runs through the histories of Buddhist countries; they have all been the victim at one time or the other of aggressive incursions made by people of Abrahamic faiths, i.e., Christians or Muslims. This process has not ended. It still continues unabated and with greater ferocity… O ne thousand years ago Buddhist Asia ranged from Afghanistan to Japan. Today countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and South Korea are no longer identified as Buddhist… Buddhist countries such as Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka today find themselves besieged by forces more powerful and predatory.” The writer went on to state that Time magazine got

William Dalrymple's must-read article on India

Here is an excellent article, published in March 2004 in the Guardian, by historian William Dalrymple that discusses Muslim rule in India.

Why Buddhism Declined in South Asia?

[Preface: I recently came across the writing of Shenali Waduge who is a die-hard apologist for Buddhist crimes against others, esp. Muslims. In that Shenali tried to promote the agenda of Buddhist terrorists like Wirathu and blame Muslims for the decline of Buddhism in South Asia. People like Shenali have intellectual inability to discern truth objectively. Thus, what we find is an ignoble attempt to rewrite history distorting facts with fictions, myths and lies. Here below is my analysis on the subject of decline of Buddhism in South Asia. - HS] Before Islam came to the Indian subcontinent, Buddhism has already been marginalized by powerful Hindus. Even in Bengal, which is closer to Bihar where Siddhartha Gautam Buddha was born, Hindu Brahmins/leaders/rulers were able to reclaim their control over the people. As a matter of fact, had it not been for Islam, Buddhism would have totally been wiped out by Hindus in entire India. Shenali and other Buddhist apologists for Buddhist crimes

New York Times report on condition of Muslim minorities in Myanmar

In its recent issue, the New York Times has covered the condition of Muslim minorities living inside Myanmar. It can be read by clicking here .