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6 years ago  ::  Sep 21, 2008 - 10:25AM #1
ganesh_bhakta
Posts: 66
Namaste all,

I have read the Bhagavata Purana where it mentions, if I'm remembering correctly, eighteen avatars of Lord Vishnu. My questions are:

1. Is the Buddha Avatar the same Buddha as the Buddhists, which is Shakyamuni Buddha, or is it a different Buddha?

2. Is the Rishabidev Avatar the same as the Jain Tirthankar?

3. If the answer is yes to the above questions, what was the purpose of these two incarnations?

4. What purpose do Buddhism and Jainism serve if the above answers are 'yes'?

Please forgive my ignorance. I am not a Vaishnava. I don't ascribe to any particular sect. These are just some questions I have been pondering and can't seem to find any answers too. Thank you very much!

Regards,

ganesh_bhakta
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 23, 2008 - 2:50PM #2
gangajal
Posts: 835
Dear ganesh_bhakta,
        Here are my answers:

1. Is the Buddha Avatar the same Buddha as the Buddhists, which is Shakyamuni Buddha, or is it a different Buddha?

The Buddha Avatar is the same Buddha as the Buddhists.

2. Is the Rishabhdev Avatar the same as the Jain Tirthankar?

Yes.

3. If the answer is yes to the above questions, what was the purpose of these two incarnations?

I do not know how Vaishnavas will answer this question.

4. What purpose do Buddhism and Jainism serve if the above answers are 'yes'?

I do not know how Vaishnavas will answer this question.

Namaste

Gangajal
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 23, 2008 - 3:06PM #3
ganesh_bhakta
Posts: 66
Namaste gangajal,

Thank you for your reply. I read somewhere where Jainism and Buddhism were originally created by Lord Vishnu to draw the asuras away from the Vedas. I'm not saying Buddhism and Jainism are asuric, this is just what I've read. But, I do trust the source where I got the answer. I post most of my questions regarding issues like this on a different forum.

Regards,

ganesh_bhakta
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 23, 2008 - 3:22PM #4
gangajal
Posts: 835
Dear ganesh_bhakta,

      Yes, I have also heard such a thing. I don't take such things seriously. I think what you are seeing is the process of incorporating both Buddha and Rishabhdev into the Hindu fold.

Namaste

Gangajal
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 24, 2008 - 12:50PM #5
radhe-govinda
Posts: 52
Namaste :)

I don't know about the Jain side of things so i will answer dealing with Buddha.  Yes Shakyamuni was the avatar of Vishnu.  Some believe that he came to lead the assuras away from the vedas but i have also heard another explanation. 

this is that at the time leading up to the Buddha, the Vedas were no longer being followed.  People were relying on empty rituals based on animal slaughter.  Wealthy, faithless priests exploited the people and true learning was not widely practiced.  During this time too there was a large growth of atheism, namely the ajivaka movement.  These people believed there was no god, no after life, no over arching moral law.  it was a "do as you like" time deal.  The Vedas by this point had been long forgotten. 

So out of mercy the Lord appeared as the Buddha and did two things.  First he decried animal sacrifice and urged vegetarianism (although theravada buddhists don't believe so) then he took the faithless and gave them faith.  they may not be able to believe in god so Vishnu gave them a doctrine of faith in the Buddha.  So those who wouldn't believe in God were tricked in a way into believing in him :)  this is the explanation i have heard.  i don't know how accurate it is with scripture though. 

Jai Sri Krishna! :)
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 24, 2008 - 1:10PM #6
ganesh_bhakta
Posts: 66
Namaste radhe-govinda,

Thank you for your reply! It is most interesting. I don't know what scripture says either.

Do you know if in Vaishnava temples, do they worship Lord Buddha, such as with Lord Rama or Lord Krishna?

Regards,

ganesh_bhakta
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 24, 2008 - 6:40PM #7
radhe-govinda
Posts: 52
Namaste Ganesh :)

the only temple that i know of for sure is the Lakshmi Narayan temple in Delhi.  They also have Mahavira and pictures of the Sikh gurus.  there may be others as i know there are buddhist temples with hindu deities in them but i can't say for certain. 

Jai Sri Krishna! :)
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2008 - 11:32AM #8
Jm8
Posts: 784
Namaste,

there is also another view, that Shakyamuni is different from Vishnu avatar Buddha:

http://www.salagram.net/buddha-vadiraj-ver.html

Bhagavata Purana 5.6.9-11 mentions Jainism negatively as a Kali yuga religion.

Some Vaishnava temples have dasavatara murtis which include Buddha (sometimes replaced by Balarama).


Hope this helps some. Hare Krishna

"This Krishna Consciousness is a science to understand what is the difference between a dead body and a living body". (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)

Your servant, bh. Jan

http://www.vrindavan-dham.com
http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz
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5 years ago  ::  Aug 13, 2009 - 12:33PM #9
jennieblue22
Posts: 23

Sep 21, 2008 -- 10:25AM, ganesh_bhakta wrote:

Namaste all,  I have read the Bhagavata Purana where it mentions, if I'm remembering correctly, eighteen avatars of Lord Vishnu. My questions are:  1. Is the Buddha Avatar the same Buddha as the Buddhists, which is Shakyamuni Buddha, or is it a different Buddha?  2. Is the Rishabidev Avatar the same as the Jain Tirthankar?  3. If the answer is yes to the above questions, what was the purpose of these two incarnations?  4. What purpose do Buddhism and Jainism serve if the above answers are 'yes'?  Please forgive my ignorance. I am not a Vaishnava. I don't ascribe to any particular sect. These are just some questions I have been pondering and can't seem to find any answers too. Thank you very much!  Regards,  ganesh_bhakta



Yes, the same Buddha of Buddhism and the same Rishabidev of Jainism are regarded as avatars of Lord Vishnu.  But not all Hindus accept Buddha and Rishabidev as avatars.  Particularly in South India, Lord Balarama is often substituted for Buddha in the Dashavatara (ten primary avatars of Lord Vishnu), and another substitution is made for Rishabidev.

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 25, 2010 - 11:55AM #10
Serenit
Posts: 5

A closer look into early texts shows the idea that Vishnu and Buddha are one is a myth:




In the Maha-samya Sutta there was an occasion when the devas from almost all the planes came to see the Buddha when he was dwelling in the Great Wood together with 500 bhikkhus, all of them arahants. The Buddha introduced their names to the monks, Vishnu was one of those present. The Buddha mentioned him by the name Venhu.

The Venhu Sutta shows Vishnu as one of the young devas who came to visit and talked with the Buddha:

At Savatthi. Standing to one side, the young deva Venhu recited this verse in the presence of the Blessed One: " Happy indeed are those human beings attending on the Fortunate One. Applying themselves to Gotama's Teaching, who train in it with diligence."
 
The Blessed One said: "When the course of teaching is proclaimed by me, O Venhu," said the Blessed One, "Those meditators who train therein. Being diligent at the proper time. Will not come under Death's control."-  The Connected Discourse of the Buddha"  A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya by Bhikkhu Bodhi ,page 432)
 
According to "Hinduism and Buddhism An Historical Sketch" (Vol. 2 page 746) , Sir Charles Elliot who was a British diplomat mentioned that this correlates with the Rig Veda text before Hinduism started. Both texts mentioned that Vishnu and Shiva are minor deities originally.



" Vishnu and Rudra (Shiva) are known even to the Rig Veda but as deities of no special eminence. It is only after the Vedic age that they became , each for his own worshippers, undisputed Lords of the Universe…..The Pali Pitakas frequently introduce popular deities , but give no prominence to Vishnu and Siva. They are apparently mentioned under the names of Venhu and Isana, but are not differentiated from a host of spirits now forgotten. ….The suttas of the Digha Nikaya in which these lists of deities occur were perhaps composed before 300 B.C. "- Sir Charles Elliot

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