religion have been debating and still continue to debate on
the issue of Hinduism vs. Buddhism. While certain schools of thought
believe that Buddhism is an offshoot of Hinduism and that the Buddha
was essentially part of the Hindu pantheon, this view is not quite
acceptable to Buddhists.
Of course, it is widely understood and acknowledged that Buddhism as a
religion became popular in India during a revolutionary movement that
took place to abolish oppression and extreme orthodoxy prevalent in the
then Indian milieu.
In this article, we discuss the topic of Hinduism and Buddhism as two
of India's most ancient and most popular religions, also going in-depth
into their similarities and their differences.
Hinduism and Buddhism - Complementary
Before proceeding further with this study, it is imperative to state
that Hinduism and Buddhism are very ancient religions, both originating
from the Indian subcontinent. They share a unique relationship; very
similar in nature, but also apart from each other; much like
Christianity and Judaism. Strangely enough, Buddha was believed to be
born in a Hindu family, just like Jesus Christ was born in a Jewish
Buddhism in India blossomed as a result of people seeking freedom from
an extremely oppressive, caste-ridden society, which stipulated strict
norms of ritualistic worship, and granted special status to just a
handful of the "privileged class" of society, while looking down upon
the rest of the population.
Over 1,500 years ago, Hindus had accepted the Buddha as one of the ten
incarnations (Dashavatara) of Lord Sri Mahavishnu. However, the rivalry
between the two religions continued to grow through the centuries.
Though most rulers of the princely provinces practised a policy of
religious tolerance and secularism, there were stray instances where
Hindu rulers persecuted Buddhists residing in that region. Rulers such
as Sasank, who was a contemporary of Harshavardhana, actually went to
the extent of vandalizing sacred Buddhist monuments and even burnt down
the pipal tree under which the Buddha had attained nirvana.
Yet, despite the apparent differences between Hinduism and Buddhism,
they also ended up influencing each other in several ways. For
instance, while Mahayana Buddhism adopted the Indian methods of Bhakti
or devotional worship, the Buddhist concept of compassion and ahimsa
(non-violence) took its roots in the Indian psyche. The tantra shastra
of Hinduism went on to create the Vajrayana school of Buddhism.
Hinduism then adopted the excellent Buddhist techniques of meditation,
yoga and pranayama, using them as a means to attain awareness and
higher states of consciousness. Indian art and architecture too,
benefitted richly from Buddhism.
Hinduism and Buddhism - Two Sides of
the Same Coin
The rituals and practices of Hinduism and Buddhism have similarities
and differences. While Theravada Buddhism is quite conservative, and
generally closest to the early form of Buddhism, the Mahayana and
Vajrayana beliefs that emerged later, are more emancipated in thought.
It is believed that schools of Buddhism, at a later time, developed
several other rituals that were influenced by existing religions and
cultures of India, Japan, China, Tibet and Southeast Asia. However,
there are also many glaring differences between the early teachings of
Hinduism and those of the Buddha. These differences are evident in the
recorded literature of the Pali Canon of the Theravada school of
The Vedic cultural theme, however, shares several similarities with
Buddhism, Jainism and the more modern versions of the Buddha, Mahavira
and the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. All these were probably influenced by
the North-eastern regions of India, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and even
A.A. Macdonell, H. Oldenberg, F. max Muller
It is worth mentioning here that the India of yore basically had two
main philosophical streams of religious thoughts, namely, the Shramana
and the Vedic. These two religions, which had always shared paralleled
beliefs, had peacefully co-existed side by side for thousands of
years. Both Buddhism and Jainism are but extensions of the
Shramana belief. Modern Hinduism, on the other hand, is an extension of
the Vedic belief, combined with a mixture of the ancient Shramanic,
folk and tribal traditions of India. The similarities between the
Shramana and the Vedic religions were influenced by the Vedic priests,
who were referred to as the Brahmins. These Brahmins also followed some
of the Shramana teachings, thereby incorporating some of the Shramana
beliefs into the Vedic's religious philosophy.
The Buddha rejected the most common religious paths to attain salvation
or nirvana. According to his teachings, in order to achieve salvation,
one does not have to accept the authority of the scriptures or even
acknowledge the existence of God. The Buddhist texts actually describe
how Buddha rejected such paths of salvation, openly condemning them as
"pernicious views". It is interesting to note here that later Indian
religious thoughts were influenced by this very different
interpretation of the Buddhist tradition of beliefs.
Though Buddhism attained prominence in the Indian subcontinent, it
eventually faded out in the 11th century CE by both Hinduism and Islam.
However, Buddhism continued to grow and flourish outside of India.
Tibetan Buddhism is one of the most predominant religions in the
Himalayan region, while Theravada Buddhism evolved in Sri Lanka and
Southeast Asia. The Mahayana branch of Buddhism is most practised in
East Asia, mostly in China.
Early History of Buddhism
There is clear recorded evidence to show that both Buddhist and Hindu
traditions peacefully co-existed with each other, from a very early
date. The Buddha is mentioned in several of the Puranas, which are
believed to have been written after his birth. Some Buddhist teachings
seem to have their roots in the ideas and ideologies presented in the
early Upanishads. Interestingly, these ideas are sometimes concurrent
with Hindu thoughts, while some others have been criticized and
re-interpreted to fall in line with Buddhist philosophy.
Some prominent Indian scholars believe that the Bhagavad Gita, which
was chronicled after the birth of the Buddha, was actually written as
part of the Hindu perception of Buddhism.
In later years, both Buddhism and Hinduism were supported by Indian
rulers, regardless of the rulers' own religious identities. Hence,
Buddhist kings revered and respected Hindu deities and teachers.
Similarly, several major Buddhist temples were built under the
patronage of Hindu rulers.
Similarities between Hinduism and
Hinduism and Buddhism share many similarities with each other. Listed
below are the aspects where these two religions show a remarkable
semblance to each other:
The Buddha had adopted many of the terms which were already very much
in use in the philosophical discussions of his era. However, many of
these terms go to imply a different meaning in the Buddhist tradition.
We now discuss some of these terms and their implications in each of
Karma, meaning "action" or "activity", often also implies its
subsequent results (also commonly referred to karma-phala, "the fruits
of action"). Karma generally denotes the entire cycle of cause and
effect and is described in this manner in both Buddhism and Hinduism.
Karma is a vital aspect of Buddhist teachings. In Buddhism, karma is a
direct result of a person's word, thought, and action in life. Since a
person's word, thought, and action form the basis for good and bad
karma, sheela or moral conduct goes hand-in-hand with the development
The Buddha derived his teaching of the concept of karma through direct
experience rather than from the pre-Buddhist culture which was in
existence then. But he used the same terminology, so that the people in
that particular region could relate to what taught.
Dharma, which means "righteousness", also refers to Natural Law or
Reality. In relation to its significance in religion and spirituality,
it may also be considered the "Path of the Higher Truths". A Hindu
appellation for Hinduism itself is Sanatana Dharma, which translates as
"the eternal dharma." Similarly, the Buddha Dharma in an appellation
The four main dharmas in India are Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism or the
Jaina Dharma and Sikhism or the Sikha Dharma. Hence, the dharma also
formed the basis on which the religion itself rested. Each of these
religions also retain the centrality of dharma in their teachings. All
these religions also believe that those that live in harmony with
dharma proceed more quickly towards attaining Dharma and Moksha or
liberation. Dharma could also refer to religious duty, social order,
right conduct, or even simply put, virtue.
It is believed that in India, the concept of reincarnation (along with
karma, samsara and moksha) evolved via the beliefs of non-Aryan people
outside of the caste system, whose spiritual ideas influenced later
Indian religious thought. Buddhism and Jainism are hence said to be
continuations of this tradition. It is further believed that the
Upanishadic treatments of samsara, karma, and reincarnation are
fundamentally the contributions of the Upanishads to Hinduism.
According to Hindu philosophy, the atman or the soul immortal, while
the human body is subject to birth, decay, old age and death. The whole
idea of reincarnation here, is intricately linked with the notion of
karma, the sum-total of the good and the bad deeds performed in one's
lifetime. Also, the cycle of death and rebirth, governed by
karma, is referred to as samsara.
The Shakyamuni Buddha went against the traditional Hindu theory that
all beings have an immortal atman within the body. Buddhism developed
an understanding of a "continuum or stream of skanda" through such
disciplines as vipassana and shamata. Buddhism challenges the existence
of all such entities and believes that an "evolving consciousness" is
what is reborn, its qualities conditioned by karmic laws.
Symbolisms Used both in Hinduism and
Both Hinduism and Buddhism use common symbolisms, which are listed
- Mudra or hand-gestures, expressing
- Dharma Chakra, which appears on the
National Flag of India, as also on the flag of the Thai Royal Family
- Rudraksha, or the beads that monks
and devotees use for praying
- Tilak, a vermilion mark on the
forehead, which is also interpreted as the Third Eye
- Swastika or Sauwastika, which is a
sacred symbol that can be used both clockwise or counter-clockwise
Buddhism uses mantras or religious syllables, basically as spiritual
conduits. According to Buddhism, these specific words emit vibrations,
which help the devotee gain one-pointed concentration during prayer.
Other uses of the mantra include chanting in order to accumulate
wealth, avoid danger and also eliminate enemies. Mantra chanting has
remained the mainstay for Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and also
Differences between Hinduism and
Despite the many similarities between Hinduism and Buddhism, there also
exists glaring differences between the two religions. The most
predominant differences are as mentioned below:
The Concept of God
Though the Buddha never denied the existence of God nor forbade the
worship of the popular gods in existence then, the fact remains that
Buddhism does not believe in idol worship, but rather states that these
gods are merely angels who may be willing to help good Buddhists.
However, Buddhism does not believe that these deities are in any way
guides to religion.
It would be worthwhile to mention here, that the focus of the Noble
Eight-Fold Path of Buddhism is not really about worshipping god; not
about achieving heaven in the next life; and not about experiencing
Brahma consciousness in this life or the next. The real reason here is
to break free from the suffering that each being is constantly
subjected to; to experience liberation from the cycle of rebirth and
experience awakening in this very life.
We all know that the Buddha himself realized this state of awakening
after merely about six years of practice. He entered into the states of
Sunyata, rapture, sukkha or happiness, tranquility, equanimity, bliss
and the like, before eventually attaining the nirvana stage. According
to the Pali Canon, he visited any realm he felt like, subsequent to
that awakening. After attaining Parinirvana, the Buddha was liberated
from all rebirth in this samsara.
The Buddha as depicted in the agamas, set an important trend in
nontheism in the Buddhist religion. Nevertheless, in many passages in
the Tripitaka, the Gods are mentioned and specific examples are given
of individuals who were reborn as gods, as also of gods who were reborn
as humans. Buddhist philosophy hence recognizes the various levels of
gods and godliness, but none of these gods is considered the creator of
the world or of the human race. This ideology is completely removed
from the main tenets of Hinduism.
Later Mahayana literature, however, talks about an eternal,
all-pervading, all-knowing, immaculate, uncreated and immortal
Creation, the Dharmadhatu, which is inseparably linked to the
Sattvadhatu, or the realm of living beings. This Dharmadhatu is the
Awakened Mind (bodhicitta) or Dharmakaya ("body of Truth") of the
Buddha himself; and is attributed to the Buddha in a number of Mahayana
sutras and tantras as well.
According to some Mahayana texts, this principle sometimes manifests
itself in different "Buddha forms", such as Samantabhadra, Vajradhara,
Vairochana, Amitabha and Adi-Buddha, among several others.
Rites and Rituals Practices
According to the Pali Canon, there are several instances where the
Buddha discouraged Brahmins from the practice of rites and rituals.
According to him, virtue, purity of thought and word, and ethical
conduct was the most important prerequisite for attaining higher states
of being. According to this philosophy, the following are the best ways
to practice religion:
- Going to the Buddha, the Dhamma,
and the Sangha for refuge
- Observance of the Five Precepts
- Going forth from samsara and
leading the holy life, resulting in the realization of extinction of
asavas; that which excels all other sacrifices.
Mahayana Buddhism in Japan, Tibetan Buddhism and some other branches of
Buddhism later adopted the Homa and Yagna (fire ritual) concepts of
Hinduism and absorbed it in their respective cultures. These
philosophies also offered prayers for ancestors and the deceased.
While Hinduism was rife with the curse of caste discrimination, the
Buddha completely went against the caste distinctions of the
Brahmanical religion. In fact, the Buddha most vociferously criticized
the Brahminical claims that the caste system was divine in nature,
showing them that it is nothing but a mere human convention. He was
hence described as a corrupter and opposed to true dharma in some of
the Puranas. Buddhism openly offered ordination to all regardless of
caste. In fact, the earliest texts of Buddhism gave no predominance
whatsoever to caste and firmly stated that caste is not determined by
The idea of ritual purity, which also provided a foundation for the
caste system in Hinduism, was also entirely absent from the Buddhist
monastic code, and not generally regarded as being part of Buddhist
According to Buddhist cosmology, there are a total of 31 planes of
existence within the samsara. Living beings who reside in these realms
are subject to rebirth after some period of time. Only those who are in
the realm of liberation are free from this cycle of birth and
death. The Buddhas are considered to be beyond all these 31
planes of existence after parinibbana. According to Buddhist
philosophy, while the Hindu God, Brahma, is in a very high realm, there
are yet several realms above the Brahma realm that are accessible
through meditation. According to the Buddha, those in Brahma realms are
also subject to rebirth.
Mahayana Buddhism, however, takes a different world view. This sect
reveres several Hindu gods and divinities as holding an important place
in the rites and rituals. These deities include major Devatas such as
Brahma, Indra, Saraswati, Surya, Vayu, Varuna, Prithvi and so on.
- Of these 31 planes, the Arupa-Loka
or the Formless Realm includes 4 planes. Here, beings are born as a
result of attaining the formless meditation. Beings residing in these
realms are possessed entirely of mind and have no physical form or
location. Also, they are unable to hear Dhamma teachings. They achieve
this by attaining far advanced meditational levels in another life.
Since they have no connection with the material world, they do not
interact with the rest of the universe.
- The Rupa-Loka or the fine material
world is made up of 16 planes. Beings take rebirth into these planes as
a result of attaining the jhanas. They have bodies made of fine matter.
The devas of the Rupadhatu have physical forms, but are sexless and
passionless. They live in several types of devalokas that exist in
layers, far above the earth. These residents can be divided into 5
further groups, who exist at various levels of samsara. Out of these,
the "non-returners" are the ones who will go on to guard and protect
Buddhism on earth, and will pass into enlightenment as Arhats when they
pass away from the Suddhavasa worlds.
- The next is the Kamma-Loka. Birth
into these heavenly planes takes place through wholesome kamma. These
devas enjoy all the good aspects of samsara, including aesthetic
pleasures, long life, beauty, and supernatural powers. The heavenly
planes are not reserved only for good Buddhists. These devas can help
people by inclining their minds to wholesome acts, and people can help
the devas by inviting them to rejoice in their meritorious deeds. It is
important to note here that the Devas in these realms have physical
forms similar to, but larger than, those of humans. They are also more
interested in and involved with the world below than any of the higher
devas, and sometimes intervene with advice and counsel. Due to not
having direct knowledge of the realms above the Brahma realm, some of
the Brahmas have become proud, imagining themselves as the highest
creators of their own worlds and of all the worlds below them.
The Samannaphala Sutta in the Digha Nikaya of the Pali Canon explains
in detail the actual Buddhist concept of the true spiritual path. This
treatise lists the various practices that the Buddha taught disciples
as well as practices he did not encourage. Rather than stating what the
new faith was, the text emphasized what the new faith was not.
Common religious traditions prevalent then and practiced by the
non-Buddhists were negated and generally laughed upon. Strangely
enough, though, the early Buddhist texts also exhibit a type of anxiety
at having to compete in religiously plural societies.
Meditation - Combining Dhyana and Sila
According to the Maha-Saccaka Sutta, the Buddha recalled a meditative
state that he entered by chance, during his childhood. Thence, he
abandoned all the ascetic practices he has been performing so far and
went in search of the true path of awakening. After finding what he was
looking for, the Buddha could overcome all the obstacles in his path
and truly attain enlightenment. Each time the Buddha encountered
obstacles that caused the inner light to disappear, he automatically
also found his way out of them. Finally, he was able to fully penetrate
the light and entered jhana.
According to the early scriptures, the Buddha learned the two formless
attainment techniques from two of his teachers, Alara Kalama and Uddaka
Ramaputta. Some experts believe that these teachers belonged to the
Brahmanical tradition. However, the Buddha soon realized that neither
"Dimension of Nothingness" nor "Dimension of Neither Perception nor
Non-Perception" lead to Nirvana. So he left them and continued on the
path towards enlightenment.
Soon, the Buddha himself discovered an attainment beyond the dimension
of neither perception nor non-perception, a stage he referred to as the
"cessation of feelings and perceptions". Though the "Dimension of
Nothingness" and the "Dimension of Neither Perception nor
Non-Perception" are included in the list of nine Jhanas taught by the
Buddha, they are not included in the Noble Eightfold Path. The Noble
Path number eight is "Samma Samadhi" or Right Concentration. It is only
the first four Jhanas which are considered "Right Concentration".
The Buddha taught that there should be meditative absorption, but that
it should also be combined with a liberating cognition. The meditation
or dhyana must be coupled with the perfection of Sila or ethics, in
order for it to culminate in enlightenment. Some of the Buddha's
meditative techniques were shared with other traditions of his day, but
his idea of correlating dhyana to Sila was new and hitherto unknown.
Yoga in Hinduism and Buddhism
The concept and practice of Yoga is vital to both Buddhism and
Hinduism. However, there are clear differences in the usage of the
terminology in the two religions.
In Hinduism, the term "Yoga" usually implies the eight limbs of yoga as
defined in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Hindus believe that this was
given to man with the idea that his individual soul or atman should
bind or "yoke" with the Supreme Brahman.
According to Vajrayana Buddhism of Tibet, however, the term "Yoga" is
used to describe any type of spiritual practice undertaken. This could
include any of the various types of tantras like Charyoga or Kriyayoga,
Guru Yoga and so on. In fact, some scholars believe that Patanjali was
influenced by the success of the Buddhist monastic system to formulate
his own so-called version of Yoga.
The terminologies used to describe various meditative states in
Hinduism and Buddhism are quite similar too. The two most common terms
here are Dhyana and Samadhi. These describe the stages of meditative
absorption in both religions. Most notable in this context is the
relationship between the system of four Buddhist dhyana states and the
samprajnata samadhi states of Classical Yoga.
Aspect of Conversion
By and large, Hinduism as a culture has entirely stayed away from the
concept of religious conversion. While it welcomes one and all with
open arms, encouraging everyone to study its many intricacies, it does
not actively encourage people to move over to this form of tradition
and culture. While there are some who believe that in order to become a
Hindu, one has to be born a Hindu; most others who see this philosophy
as a way of life believe that one can become a Hindu by just adopting
Hindu beliefs and traditions into one's life. Even the Supreme Court of
India has taken the latter perspective on Hinduism.
Quite contrarily, Buddhism spread throughout Asia via evangelism and
conversion. Even Buddhist scriptures depict conversions in the form of
lay followers declaring their support for the Buddha and his teachings,
or via ordination as a Buddhist monk. A person who "takes refuge" in
Buddha, Dharma and Sangha is the one that becomes a Buddhist. Some
sects of Buddhism stipulate the observance of formal conversion
rituals. However, no specific ethnicity has yet been typically
associated to Buddhism.
The Brahman and the Brahmin
The ancient Upanishads consider the Brahman or the Atman as the Supreme
God, the One that Rules the World. The early Upanishads ascribe these
characteristics to Lord Brahma. He is filled with light and he is
invisible, unknowable, and also is omnipresent, omniscient and
omnipotent. Both Brahma and the Brahman possess all these
characteristics, and hence, they are one and the same, according to
The Buddhist concept of Brahman is quite different. According to the
Buddhist texts, there are many Brahmas. These entities are actually a
class of superhuman beings. They can be born again into the realm of
Brahmas by pursuing Buddhist practices in their current lifetimes.
In the Pali Canon, Brahmins who appear in the Tevijja-Suttanta of the
Digha Nikaya regard "union with Brahma" as liberation. Their main goal
in this lifetime is to achieve that state, which ultimately leads them
to nirvana. Buddhists believe this to be the right path, the path to
The early Upanishads frequently expound "association with Brahma", and
"that which we do not know and do not see". The Pali scriptures,
however, consider this as a "pernicious view", that ultimately causes
more damage to the seeker.
The Buddha redefined the word "Brahmin" so as to become a synonym for
"Arahant", replacing a distinction based on birth with one based on
spiritual attainment. The Buddha explains his use of the word "Brahmin"
in many places. According to his teachings, no one is an outcast by
birth and no one is born a Brahmin. It is his deeds that actually
decide whether or not he becomes a Brahmin. Only one who is totally
pure of mind can hope to become an arahant, according to the Buddha.
The Concept of Non-Duality
Therefore, while the Upanishads focus on the static Self, the Buddhist
view is more dynamic and believes that it is in the seeker's hands to
make things happen. While the Brahminical view of the realization of
non-duality is that it is a permanent state, Buddhism believes that it
is a mere meditative state and does not offer a permanent solution to
material suffering during the ongoing cycle of birth and death. The
Buddha further averred that states of consciousness are the result of
the yogi's training and techniques, and therefore no state of
consciousness could be this eternal Self.
The Buddhist idea of the liberated person and the goal of early
Brahminic yoga can both be characterized as nondual, but in a different
sense. The nondual goal in early Brahminism was to merge with the
Supreme after death. For the Buddha, however, such propositions are not
even applicable to the liberated person, as the truly liberated one is
free of these types of concepts and intellectual reasoning.
Attaining Nirvana or Liberation
Interestingly, though the term "Nirvana" was very much in existence
before the Buddha, it cannot be found in the early pre-Buddhist
Upanishads. It was first used in Buddhism and can also be found in
Jainism. This term was however used in the Bhagavad Gita - it is likely
that Hinduism had been influenced by Buddhist thought that early in the
The terms, "Nirvana", "Vimokha", "Vimutti", "Mokkha" and "Moksha" are
used often in orthodox Buddhist scriptures, to mean "Liberation".
Early Buddhism and the Upanishads
Early Buddhist literature does not make any mention of the Upanishads,
which are part of ancient Hinduism. This is in spite of the fact that
the earliest Upanishads had been completed before the emergence of the
Buddha. Hence, it is likely that early Buddhists had considered the
Upanishads as a part of the Vedas and had not thought of them as having
special, mentionable significance.
The Buddhist texts, though, do describe the existence of mendicant
Brahmins who spent their time wandering from place to place, in order
to promote the value of the Upanishads.
Branches of Buddhist Philosophy
Since we are continuing our study on Hinduism vs. Buddhism, it would
only be appropriate to also include the most notable branches of
Buddhism from regions such as China, Kashmir, Japan entered the
Himalaya and integrated itself with the schools of Tibetan Buddhism,
which later went on to emerge as major branch of Buddhist philosophical
thought. Yoga is the main aspect of Tibetan Buddhism.
- According to the Nyingma school of
thought, many practitioners start with Maha Yoga and progress to higher
levels such as Anuyoga and ultimately, the highest Atiyoga. Usually,
the majority of practitioners stay within one yana for their entire
- According to the Sarma tradition,
the Anuttara yoga class is equivalent to the three most subtle yana of
- Other tantra yoga practices include
a system of 108 bodily postures, combined with Pranayama or breathing
techniques. This is known as Trul Khor, or the union of Surya-Chandra
nadis (the moon and sun prajna energies). Incidentally, the body
postures of ancient Tibetan yoga are depicted on the walls of the Dalai
Lama's summer temple of Lukhang.
- During the 13th and the 14th
centuries, the Sarma tradition developed a fourfold classification
system for its Tantric texts, which was based on the types of practices
each contained, also giving importance to their relative emphasis on
external ritual or internal yoga.
Zen is a type of Mahayana Buddhism. This particular school of Buddhism
is noted for its proximity with Yoga. Zen Buddhism traces some of its
roots to yogic practices. Also, certain essential elements of Yoga are
important both for Buddhism in general and for Zen in particular.
The Concept of Buddha in Hinduism and
The Buddha to Hindus
There is much mention of the Buddha in many Puranas. Herein, he is
described as an incarnation of Sri Mahavishnu, who manifested in order
to delude either demons or mankind away from the Vedic dharma.
According to the Bhavishya Purana, during the Kali Yug, Lord Vishnu
manifested as Gautama, the Shakyamuni. He continued to propagate
Buddhism to people for a period of ten years. At the very first stage
of the Kali Yug, the Vedas took a backseat and Buddhism came to the
fore, with all men becoming Buddhists. During the course of this time,
those who sought refuge with Vishnu would be deluded.
Considering this view, some scholars believe that the Buddha avatar,
may have represented an attempt by Brahmin orthodoxy to slander the
Buddhists by identifying them with the demons.
The Buddha to Buddhists
PREACHING BUDDHA WEARING ROBE CARVED WITH
SCENES AND STORIES FROM THE LIFE OF BUDDHA - SINGLE STATUE FRONT AND
According to the biography of the Buddha, though, he was a Mahapurusha,
originally hailing from the Tushita Heaven. He took birth on earth as
Gautama Buddha. Before leaving his Tushita realm, the Buddha asked
Maitreya to take his place there. There is no return or rebirth for the
Buddha and Maitreya would manifest as the next Buddha on earth.
According to Buddhist scriptures, Krishna was a past life of Sariputra,
who was the main disciple of the Buddha. Since he had not attained
complete enlightenment during his lifetime as Krishna, he had to come
back again and be reborn as Buddha's disciple, who attained the initial
stage of Enlightenment with his teacher's grace. After he became
ordained in the Buddha's sangha, Sariputra reached full Arahantship or
attained total Awakening.