Buddha and the Gospel of Buddhism

9780217182935: Buddha and the Gospel of Buddhism

This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1916. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... IV. BUDDHISM AND BRAHMANISM All writers upon Buddhism are faced with the difficulty to explain in what respect the teaching of Gautama differs from the higher phases of Brahman thought. It is true that the distinction appeared clear enough to Gautama and his successors; but this was largely because the » Brahmanism against which they maintained their polemic was after all merely the popular aspect of Brahmanism. From a study of the Buddha's dialogues it would appear that he never encountered a capable exponent of the highest Vedantic idealism, such a one as Yajnavalkhya or Janaka; or if Alara is to be considered such, Gautama took exception to the Atmanistic terminology rather than its ultimate significance. It appeared to Gautama and to his followers then and now that the highest truths-- especially the truth embodied by Buddhists in the phrase An-atta, no-soul--lay rather without than within the Brahmanical circle. Many times in the history of religions has the Protestant, having thus easily carried the outer defences of an Orthodox faith, believed that there remained no other citadel. It may be, on the other hand, that Gautama knew of the existence of such a Brahman citadel--where the truth was held, that the Atman is 'not so, not so'--but regarded the surrounding city as so hopelessly habituated to errors of thought and action, as to determine him rather to build upon a new site than to join hands with the beleaguered garrison. Perhaps he did not take into account that all such garrisons must be small, and did not foresee their final victory. However this may be, it is at least certain that at this period there existed no fundamental doctrinal opposition of Brahmanism and Buddhism; but Gautama, and some other Kshattriyas, and some Brahmans were alike en...

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About the Author :

ANANDA K. COOMARASWAMY (1877-1947) was born to Anglo-Ceylonese parents. After completing studies in Geology he soon became interested in the arts and crafts of his native Ceylon and India. In 1917 he relocated to the USA where he became Keeper of Indian and Islamic Art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, establishing a large collection of Eastern artifacts and presenting lectures on their symbolic and metaphysical meaning. An encounter with the seminal writings of perennialist author Rene Guenon served to confirm and strengthen his view of the Perennial Philosophy. From this period onwards Dr. Coomaraswamy began to compose his mature--and undoubtedly most profound--works, adeptly expounding the "philosophia perennis" by drawing on his unparalleled knowledge of the arts, crafts, mythologies, cultures, folklores, symbolisms, and religions of the Orient and the Occident. His plans to retire to India and take on sannyasa (renunciation of the world) were cut short by his sudden and untimely death.

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