Fall and Decline of Buddhism- A summary

Dr. Ambedkar distinguishes the fall of Budhhism to decline of Buddhism in India.

The Fall (disappearance) of Buddhism was as a result of Islamic Invasion, which started some 712 AD and continued till 1296 AD. During this phase both Buddhism and brahminism were subjected to brutal assault. But brahmism survived and Buddhism didnt why ? To answer, Dr. Ambedkar gives three reasons. 1. at the time of invasion, brahminism had state patronage not Buddism 2.Buddhist priesthood could not be resuscitated after invasion because it was intellectually and culturally much more demanding 3. Bearing the burnt at both ends (even from the brahmincal rulers) the Buddhist mass converted to Islam.

But decline of Buddhism was a result of a continuous conspiracy hatched by Brahmins in support with the brahminical rulers. It starts with Pushyamitra sung’s ascension to throne in 185 BC (see the process still was only completed by 712-1296 AD by Islamic sword, which is the fall). By quoting various historians Dr. Ambedkar illustrates that all Hindu sacred texts are post-buddhist and undergone several editions to encompass brahminical supremacy and philosophy. All these Ramayana, Mahavarata, vedic sutras, vedant, puranas date much later to the Budhhist period-which actually didnt exactly end with Maurya empire but continued to be the religion of the king in several kingdoms. But among those, Manu smriti was most hideous and detrimental, as it was binding on the Kings( as a Law Code), it restricted social mobility(by making caste more rigid), it established the right of Brahmin to rule and regicide, it ensured graded inequality and conflict within castes, it degraded women and sudras, it forbade even greeting the Buddhists(referred as heretic). Dr. Ambedkar explores that Manu smriti indeed could be composed at the command of Pushyamitra. This extraordinary long period of horrible conspiracy was-what Dr. Ambedkar describes a- Counter-revolution. It systematised bahminical philosophy, simultaneously carrying out political/military coups and massacre of Buddhist priests.

This extraordinary long period of horrible conspiracy was-what Dr. Ambedkar describes a- Counter-revolution against the rise of Buddhism, the Revolution. It systematised bahminical philosophy, simultaneously carrying out political/military coups and massacre of the Buddhists.

Dr. Ambedkar hardly refers to Sankaracharya as a force to counter Buddhism but questions motives of the five acharya’s interpretation of the same Vedant Sutras. He states “There can be no doubt that the Vedanta Sutras are composed after the rise of Buddhism for the Sutras do allude to Buddhism.”

Source- Chapter 5 & 6 part-III of Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Ancient India (vol-III, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Writting and Speeches)

This was actually an apologetic post in Orkut since in the previous post I had posted wrongly that Sankaracharya was much before the fall of Maurya empire (blame it to googling). Although the two other information I gave was from my readings(not googlin) and was true. Here is the post

Check the dates !!
Was not Ashok’s Budhhist empire(as much as present India) centuries later Sankaracharya ?

  • The reason of decline of Buddhism was the assassination of emperor Brihadratha by the Brahmin commander-in-chief Pusyamitra.(source-History and Culture of the Indian People edit. R.C Majumdar et al. Vol -III) With the decline of Maurya dynasty and accession of a Brahmin resulted in unimaginable suppression and destruction of Buddhist culture.
  • It was the brahmin born Buddhist Monk Nagarjuna who internalised brahminical thoughts like Buddha as a reincarnation of Vishnu and idolatry in Buddhism. (source-Discovery of India J.L. Nehru, I will check the book in a day or two and rectify myself if i am wrong)

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