Saint Ved Vyas relating the Bhagwatam to Shukdeo (3100 B.C.)

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(62) The Jain and Buddh religions.

       Jain religion.
Jain religion was specially promulgated by Mahavir Swami. He was born near Vaishali, Bihar, and was a contemporary of Gautam Buddh. His religion is based on three things: (a) Compassion for every being of this earth planet, (b) observing perfect nonviolence and not hurting any being, even an ant or a mosquito, and (c) observing penance which includes fasting of several kinds from 3 days to 3 months, and also sustaining heat and cold in summer and winter, sitting on a hot boulder and snatching all the hair of the head from the root, etc.

By the observance of the above, the practitioner is supposed to improve the sattvic quality of his mind, develop a feeling of humbleness in his heart, a regard for all the religions especially Sanatan Dharm and detachment from all kinds of worldly entertainments, attachments, social activities, physical comforts and pride-giving situations.

Their philosophy: There is not much that could be called a philosophy. There are only two prime aspects of their theory: (1) It says that the soul of a being is equal to the existing size of the body. It means it is always changing as the body grows from a baby to adulthood. Thus, the soul of a bacteria expands when it becomes an elephant. (2) The soul is heavily laden with the weight of various kinds of sinful karmas and is sinking under its weight. So, by observing penance, austerity, nonviolence, compassion, humbleness and renunciation from all kinds of worldly attachments, the burdened soul becomes lightweight and rises higher in the space… That’s their theory. There is no technical form of meditation in their religion as there is in the Buddhism.

Life history of Buddh: Buddh religion starts with Gautam Buddh (1894-1814 BC) son of Shuddhodan who was the king of Kapilvastu which is at the border of Nepal near Gorakhpur. Buddh’s original name was Siddharth Gautam and his mother’s name was Mahamaya. He was born in 1894 BC at Lumbini in a mango grove when his pregnant mother was proceeding to her parents’ home. He was called Buddh when he got enlightenment. Thus he became famous as Gautam Buddh.

When he was young, he saw the miseries of the world in the form of old age, sickness and death that gripped every living being and he began to think deeply for a way to escape this situation. Seeing him gloomy and totally reluctant from the activities of the kingdom, his father got him married to Yashodhara, who, in time, got a son named Rahul, but the heart of Siddharth was still yearning to find the path of salvation from the pains. So, one evening he came out of the palace, went out of town, stripped off his fine clothes and jewelry which he was wearing, put on a hermit’s robe and started on an unknown journey to find the truth of the world. He reached Gaya and, resolving to perfect austerity, he sat and meditated under a peepal tree (a native tree of North India) for 49 days. In his enlightenment he discovered that ‘desires’ are the only cause of all the pains so they have to be totally removed to make one happy. Gautam Buddh was now thirty-five. He then proceeded to Varanasi and started preaching his religion. In his last days he also visited Vaishali. He lived for 80 years.

The Mahabharat war had happened in 3139 BC and, according to the Bhagwatam, after the war Brihadrath dynasty ruled for about 1,000 years, Pradyot dynasty for 138 years, and then it was taken over by Shishunag dynasty. The fifth king of Shishunag dynasty was Bimbsar. It is a well known historical fact that Gautam Buddh was propagating his religion during the reigning period of King Bimbsar.

In the Shishunag dynasty (according to Kaliyug Rajvrittant) Shishunag ruled for 40 years, Kakvarn 36, Cfihem Dharma 26 and Chamoja 40 years, then Bimbsar took over the throne and ruled for 38 years. Thus, deducting [1,000+138 +142 (40+36+26+40)] 1,280 years from 3139 comes to 1859 BC. Now adding 35 years of Buddh’s existing age of that time to 1859 comes to 1894 BC which is the birth date of Buddh.

The characteristics of his religion and his philosophy: Gautam Buddh was born in such a period when the prideful chatriya kings of Bharatvarsh had become extremely worldly. Their sensuality and meat eating habits had taken so much importance in their life that they wanted to get it justified in the name of God. Thus, during that period (before the birth of Buddh) those chatriya kings with the help of poor and greedy brahman scholars got such Sanskrit entries made in our religious books (like Manu Smriti, Grihya Sutras, Dharm Sutras and Tantra books etc.) that introduced the killing of an animal in yagya as an ordained act; and in this way those chatriyas freely killed animals in the name of yagya and ate them. In those days all of our religious books were in the shape of manuscripts so it was easy to reconstruct some verses and add to it and create a new manuscript.

Gautam Buddh, although he was a Divine personality, did not introduce the Divinity at all in his teachings. According to the need of the existing social conditions of that time, he only introduced the path of compassion for the beings of the world which is just the sattvic quality of maya. Maya is such a peculiar power which exists like ‘nothing’ for a God realized Saint, and, during the maha pralaya, it exists like ‘absolute nothingness.’ So, Gautam Buddh designed his theory of “nothingness.” Accordingly, it is called “shoonya vad,” which means the philosophy of nothingness or the philosophy of mayavad. There are four branches of Buddhism, called: Madhyamik, Yogachar, Vaibhashik and Sautrantik. There are slight differences in their philosophy, but all of them, in general, are called shoonya vad. That’s why Buddhism is called a non-Godly religion.

The secret of Gautam Buddh’s ‘enlightenment’ and his term ‘nirvan’:

When Gautam Buddh said that he got enlightenment after 49 days of fasting and meditation, it doesn’t mean that previously he was ignorant and then he became enlightened in a literal sense. His ‘enlightenment’ only meant ‘the discovery of a truth,’ and the truth was that desires are the cause of pain; so, remove the desires, and the pain is gone.

Gautam Buddh used the word nirvan for this kind of desireless and thoughtless state of the mind. Nirvan word means to extinguish (the flame of the desires). Desires create anxieties and excite the heart so they are paraphrased as a flame, like the flame of a candle. Now take an example: A candle is burning. You extinguish it. But, as long as the candle is there, it can again be ignited, because the burning element, the wick and wax, is still there. This is nirvan, to temporarily extinguish the flame of the desires.

Thus, nirvan is not liberation from the mayic bondage, it is only an intermediate state. Liberation means the total elimination of the mind along with the past uncountable accumulated karmas of a soul (which means the total destruction of the candle according to the above example). The same is the case with the practices of Jain religion. So, after attaining the ultimate height, the nirvan (according to both, the Jain and Buddh religions), the practitioner has to adopt the guidelines of the scriptures (Sanatan Dharm) and do bhakti to a personal form of God. Only then he may receive liberation from the mayic bondage of birth and death with the Grace of God, otherwise not. But the approach of Gautam Buddh was only up to nirvan and the ‘absolute nothingness (shoonya vad)’ which is a mayic state, and so his theory was formulated on non-Godly grounds.

Reconciliation of Buddh and Jain theories: A question arises: What was the use of creating such a theory of nothingness, or the imaginative theory of soul (in Jainism) where it is lighter or heavier and smaller or larger?

It has already been stated that both Jain and Buddh religions were introduced for only a particular and specific purpose of showing the path of humbleness and compassion, because the animal killers, meat eaters, and non-Godly chatriya rulers of those days had no interest in God. So they needed the lesson of compassion which was the best thing for them to become good people, and thus, gradually practicing to renounce their worldly ambitions, they may become happier in their life. The talk of God was not needed for them. Thus, whatever theory was created was enough for them, and the main thing was that the practice of being humble and compassionate, and the procedures of penance, fasting, renunciation and meditation, or whatever was formulated in those two religions was to improve the sattvic quality of the doer. By practicing these religions, when the person has released his worldly desires and attachments, he would naturally begin to think of God and God realization and His absolute Bliss; and in that case he would naturally be drawn towards the greatness of Hindu scriptures and begin to follow the path of Sanatan Dharm. That was the hidden secret behind the formation of both the dharmas, Jain and Buddh. But the common people of kaliyug always take things in their wanted style, and thus, instead of following the universal teachings of Sanatan Dharm, the followers of Jain and Buddh dharmas made it an excuse to criticize the Sanatan Dharm.

Buddhism after Gautam Buddh: Sometime after Gautam Buddh the integrity of Buddhism began to fall and the Buddhists, instead of following the path of purity, humbleness and giving respect to others, became involved in religious politics, self praise and opposing Vedic dharm. Their vanity and opposition had become so strong that when Shankaracharya was born, at that time they were acting as a headstrong born enemy of Vedic dharm. They destroyed our religious books and tried to kill Kumaril Bhatt as he was a follower of Vedic dharm. Their monasteries grew in number and they were quite prosperous in India in those days. Jains were not so popular as Buddhists in those days but they also freely criticized Vedic dharm. So, to overthrow the effect of Buddhism from India, Shankaracharya used the philosophy of advait vad and re-established Sanatan Vedic dharm.


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