[Advaita-l] Is Tirupati's Balaji a Buddhist deity (Avalokiteshwara)?

Aditya Kumar kumaraditya22 at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 26 04:31:48 EST 2018

 Mysteriously, we do not have any accounts from the Shaivite (or was it Cholas?) kings. We do not even know the name of this king or any of the details. We have only one sided narrative which is always biased. 

    On Monday 26 February 2018, 2:44:25 PM IST, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:  
 On a somewhat similar note it would not be incorrect to say that while the followers of Ramanuja accuse some Shaivite King as having persecuted Ramanuja by forcing him to convert to Shaivism, Ramanuja too do the same though in a different way. While he could not tolerate the several Upanishads that unequivocally say Shiva as the Jagatkāraṇam, Ramanuja gave a twist to those names and forced a Vaishnava meaning on them with the sole view of seeing that no scripture contradicts his pet theory of 'Vishnu alone is Supreme'.  

On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 2:29 PM, Aditya Kumar via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

 Thanks for the excerpt, was a good read. Although I admit that the author is biased, the key issues raised are indeed plausible.
There are many similar themes in Buddhism and Vaishnavism - - Both are sects that revolted against orthodoxy- Equality of women and Shudras (on par with any high priest)- Both embraced the vernacular languages- Both have borrowed extensively from/rely on the agamas- Both endorse an oversimplified approach (against rituals/bhakti)- Both sects preach exclusive/supremacist philosophy (Buddha is the only way, Vishnu is the only true god)
I am sure there are many similarities and I have not even touched the socio-political history because it's outside the scope of this forum. I am not saying this is a bad thing. So what if Vaishnavism and Buddhism are similar? I believe we are already a liberal society where women are given sanyasa, foreigners are chanting rudram, no matter how coarsely. We have even somehow accepted that Buddha was an incarnation of Vishnu. 
The core theme being similar, it might have been possible that Sri Ramanujacharya converted all Buddhist places of worship into Vaishnava ones. That was probably why he was exiled from the country? He was the actual pracchanna bauddha! From a psychological point of view, it is common for a thief to accuse the accuser as a thief(please note, this is just an example. I am not saying Sri Ramanujacharya was a thief! or a liar!). So in turn, the Vaishnavas branded the Shankarites as pracchanna Bauddhas. Interestingly, Ramanujacharya found a solace in Hoysala kingdom whose king was a Jaina. 
Afterall, whether Buddhism or Vaishnavism, everyone were vying for political patronage. Post the demise of Buddhism in India, it entered through a backdoor called Vaishnavism - a different name/form but essentially the same philosophy at it's core. It's only after Ramanuja that pancharatra school became a sub-school within Vedanta and the Sri Vaishnavas were considered Brahmins! Whether Vaishnavism considers Vedas as pramana or not is immaterial because their interpretation is completely different (one god supreme). 
Please pardon/ignore if you found this to be spiteful. Purely academic interest. 

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