Buddhism in Kerala

// January 3rd, 2010 // Cultural Politics, Culture and Ecology

Buddha Sculpture at Mavelikara

The Buddha idols of Mavelikara and Karumadi in south Kerala are now well known all over the world. Today we see plenty of relics and ravages related to Buddhism and the Sramana tradition in Kerala scattered all over the state. Architectural and sculptural reminiscences are numerous apart from the vital linguistic and cultural imprints like the abundance of Pali (the ancient Buddhist Bahujan language) words in the present south Indian regional languages.

Recovered from the River

Karumady Kuttan: Half destroyed Buddha idol in Karumady near Ambalapuzha

The state is also known for the educational and health care achievements apart from its universal literacy. All these human development indicators are not just the product of 20th century evangelical Christian missionary activities and state welfare schemes but the lasting legacy of Buddhism, the democratic, egalitarian and inclusive way of living that shaped the cultural contours of Kerala from B C 3rd century to A D 13th century.

Nilamperur Pally temple: Converted to Hindu after Pallybana Perumal

Kerala is also known for its progressive left and democratic politics. This grass root level democracy and collective struggles of subaltern people are also a reminiscence of Buddhism that was the first missionary yet peaceful religion that welcomed women and outcastes to the mainstream community. The people or Bahujans who were defiant to Hindu Brahmanism after the destruction of Buddhism by Brahmanism were condemned as untouchable Chandals as outside the Brahmanic Hindu Chatur Varnayam after the devastation of Sramana tradition in Kerala. These Chandals or untouchable Buhujan masses were and still are the agents of Kerala social revolution or renaissance under the aegis of various radical social rebellions like the Narayana Guru movement, Ayyankali movement, Sahodara movement and various other progressive left and democratic processes in Kerala.

Buddhist Pagoda Shrine housing Karumady Kuttan, built by Dalai Lama

According to researchers, historians and thinkers like P C Alexander, P K Gopalakrishnan, Pavanan, Puthussery Ramachandran, Aju Narayanan etc. Buddhism was introduced in Kerala in the B C third century itself by the missionaries of emperor Asoka on their way down south to Sri Lanka which still is a Buddhist country. Jainism and Ajivaka philosophy also co-existed with Buddhism creating the great Sramana civilization of the South that has given birth to cultural classics like The Thirukural, Silapatikaram, Manimekhala and the whole canon of Sangham writing. The Buddhist, Jain and Ajivaka seers introduced the Brahmi script and the art of writing in South India. All the early inscriptions now available are written in Brahmi script in Tamil language. The ancient Tamilakam or Tamil country was a treasure house of Sramana heritage.

Tenth century granite Buddha at Pallykal Bharanikavu, Kayamkulam. Recovered from the pond of a present Savarna Hindu temple and placed near the gate now with the intervention of local people

Almost all the current Savarna Hindu temples in Kerala are modified Buddhist or Jain temples by coveted Brahmanism and its Padaja (Sudra or subservient Varna) forces. The brutal persecution of Buddhist monks/nuns and conversion of temples happened in eighth and ninth centuries under the leadership of Sankara the furious advocate of Brahmanical propaganda and violence. He argued with other religious scholars, defeated them verbally and annihilated them and their religion forever. His brutal followers and henchmen like Vramila Bhatta converted the seat of the defeated to that of Hindu Brahmanical temples with extended support from ruling classes. He is also called Prachanna (pseudo) Buddha as he modified and disguised Buddha’s Sunyavada (rational theory) into the empire of the

A fake Gandhara Buddha in Mattaanchery antique market

Brahmanic self, the Advaita ‘theory’ that reiterated and enforced caste division and hierarchy with a peripheral and cunning shroud of unity that cheated the masses. Thirumulla Varam, Thottappally, Podiyil Mala, Sabarimala, Kodungallur, Thrissur, Kottakkal, Madappally and Bekal were world renowned Buddhist shrines of worship, learning, health care and nature conservation. In places like Mathilakam and Kiliroor there were even Buddhist and Jian universities and Research centres in Kerala in the early centuries of the first millennium that attracted intellectuals and students from all over the world.

Tenth century granite Buddha recovered from Maruthurkulangara, Karunagapally and now placed in Krishnapuram palce near Kayamkulam. Face and features badly mutilated

Pally is still the most popular affix used along with place, plot and family names in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra. The Pali word Pally means a non Hindu/ Brahmanic place of worship. In the ancient times it denoted a Jain or Buddhist shrine. Buddhism guided culture and society in the south for more than a millennium. It was erased from Kerala through the barbaric and coveted Brahmanic invasion that happened from the fifth to eighth centuries under cruel and reckless royal patronage and usurpation with power.

Karunagapally Buddha is claimed to be much older than Archeology Dept. says. Aju Narayanan argues that it is made out of a monolith in 8th century

Images and records of Buddhist persecution by the Brahmanic barbarians are still available in Kerala in the form of stone carved images, local subaltern orature and secret lore (Valath). The Hindu Brahmanic colonists burned the Pali canon and the sacred texts and knowledge systems of Buddhism in Kerala. These nomadic Aryans from the Vedic and Sanskritic clans of West and Central Asia introduced Sanskrit and Hindu religion in the South Indian Kingdoms. They found leverage in royal patronage through cunning usurpation and cheat. The legend of Onam and Maha Bali still articulates the historic deceit of Buddhist Bahujan culture by the Brahman dwarfs. Poets like Sahodaran Ayyappan has extensively written about the internal imperialism of Hindu Brahmanism in Kerala.

Vadayar Attuvela: A relic of Buddhist past

The Brahmans created the notorious sexual colonies among the Sudra women and used their male counterparts as foot soldiers who ensured the caste and Varna system, the practice of untoucahbility and pollution. The Sudras in return were given land and titles (as Nayar, Panikar, Thampy, Unni, Kaimal, Kurup, Menon etc.)with which they suppressed the local defiant untoucahable people having Buddhist lineage with bloody hands and weapons. These foot soldiers and menial hands of Brahmansim were absorbed to the Chatur Varnyam (fourfold Varna stratification of Brahmanical imagiNation comprising of Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra) as the fourth and last Varna, the Sudra. The vast majority of people, the Dalit Bahujans were outside the cultural geography of Brahmanism as Chandals and Mlechas, as they are the former Buddhist and Jain population.

Perinjanam Pallyil Bhagavati temple north of Kodungallur.  The first installation by Pallyvanar in early 16th century.

Perinjanam Pallyil Bhagavati temple north of Kodungallur. The first installation by Pallyvanar in early 16th century.  Goddess became prominent here as well.

The Nayar dominance in Kerala history began in the middle ages with large scale Brahman settlements and militarization and still holds sway though they also want to be declared as a backward community now, as they still relish absolute power! According to state commission reports this power elites and historically advantageous group having less than 15 percent of Kerala’s population enjoy more than 32 percent share in government jobs. In higher education and universities it is more than 48 and in private owned print media and visual media it is almost 90 percent. Imagine the extent of Savarna Nayar hegemony in Kerala even today!

Sastha idol recovered from Cherthala. Dharma Sastha is a synonym for the Buddha and is clearly related to pre Brahmanic traditions, Krishnapuram palace museum, Kayamkulam

These henchmen of Brahmanism who cheated and killed their Buddhist, Ajivaka and Jain brethren to enforce Brahmanic caste and did the work of pimps by fetching their own women for the Brahmanic high priests with all the shameless pride of getting an elite alliance; are now hailed as the Samurais of Kerala by some fascist spokesmen of elitism who thrive in popular cinema and culture. This historical mediating middllemen are still the advocates of Gita classes, Veda and Vedantic obscurantism in Kerala and outside! They are the orchestrators of Hindu hegemonic discourses and the power heads of the Parivar forces all over the country allying with the Neo Kshatriya aspirants. They are also Hinduizing the Bahujan masses who are attracted to power and chauvinist social status! They need the numbers of Hinduized Bahujans for their pseudo majoritarian and fascist politics. It is an absurdity of history that some of them even today boast about their Brahmanical wedlock which was stopped just a few decades ago!

This Brahman – Sudra alliance or infamous Sambandham gave birth to the Manipravalam literature, the new Malayam-Tamil and later Malayalam and the Savarna elite culture of Kerala in the dark and dubious middle ages that Sanskritized and Hinduized Kerala elites and a lot of people. Even Syrian Christians boast about their Brahmanical connections more than 2000 (?!) years after conversion! Actually there were no Brahmins in the south in the A D first century! Then how could St. Thomas convert those absent Brahmans to Christianity? The coveted Brahmans came to Kerala only in the 4th or 5th century or later.

The power of Brahmanism and Hindu hegemonic discourse is that much tangible and an everyday reality in Kerala and India. This hidden Savarna elitism is the real culprit behind all the fascist pogroms and genocides in post Independent India. All the minority religions in Inida and Kerala like Jews, Muslisms and Christians still use the Pali word Pally to refer to their place of worship along with Jains and Buddhists in the south. Buddhism is making a second coming as an ethical philosophy and eco-spiritual alternative way of life all over the world and in India and Kerala in particular.

Smiling Buddha at Pallykal Bharanikavu, Kayamkulam

The historic affiliation to Buddhism in the philosophy and praxis of Narayana Guru the seer of Kerala modernity, his disciples and intellectuals like C V Kunhiraman, Asan, Sahodaran Ayyappan and now the new Ambedkarite Dalit movement in Kerala are significant. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s illuminating subaltern hermeneutics of Buddhism in his masterpiece Bddha and his Dharma are also instrumental in the second rebellion of Buddhism against caste Brahmanism and social exclusion. Plenty of radical scholars and organic intellectuals in India and Kerala are now working on Buddhism like Gail Omvedt herself. It could be well assumed that Buddhism is emerging as the cultural and ethical alternative of the present and future all over the world and particularly in Kerala. The Bahujans in Kerala who lost their true Sramana legacy in the onslaught of Hindu Brahmanic internal imperialism are now recovering from the calamity of Brahmanism and its burden and looking forward to alternative paradigms and new ways of living.

Reference
Alexander, P C. Buddhism in Kerala.
Gopalakrishnan, P K. Keralthinte Samskarika Charithram. Tvm: Kerala Bhasha Institute, 2001.
Omvedt, Gail. Buddhism in India: Challenging Brahmanism and Caste New Delhi: Sage, 2007.
Pavanan. Baudhaswadheenam Keralathil. Tvm: Kerala Bhasha Institute, 2008.
Ambedkar, B R. Buddha and his Dhamma. Bombay: Govt. of Maharashtra, 1980.
Valath, V V K. Keralathile Sthala Charithrangal: Ernakulam Jilla. Thrissur: Kerala Sahitya Academy, 2001.
—, Thrissur Jilla,Thrissur: Kerala Sahitya Academy, 2001.
—, Thiruvananthapuram Jilla, Thrissur: Kerala Sahitya Academy, 2001.
Narayanan, Aju. Keralathile Buddhamatha Samskaram. Thrissur: Current/Tapasam, 2005.

67 Responses to “Buddhism in Kerala”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ajay Sekher, Ajay Sekher. Ajay Sekher said: Blog Post: Buddhism in Kerala http://bit.ly/5MJZr7 […]

  2. G.Vivekanand says:

    your article is brilliant,simply brilliant. i would like to add some of my findings.
    it was the prominent among the budhist laity who were the first converts to christianity and probably they were descendants of the early north indian settlers
    identification of nairs as a caste from day one appears wrong. essentially nairs/nayakars were formed/assembled as an organised army/chaver pada (as compared to the chekavar/chova militia) during the long years of war by the later cheras against the brutal rulers/conquerors of the second chola dynasty. the said organized (comparatively,
    considering that it was very early days) army comprised of willing (to die) men of all castes. their job profile of fighting against a formidable enemy resulting in near sure death precluded the possibility having a proper/attached family.
    secondly the decline of budhism had commenced prior to shankara. debauchery and mercantile activities thrived in their monastries. shankara’s advaitic arguments acted as the last nail. however the priestly class like the present day reservation system votaries used his pure bhakti based vedantic/spiritual communism to further the cause of their progeny.
    looking forward for your opinion

  3. Ajay says:

    Dear Vivekanand, thanks for your timely comment. I agree with you. Do develop this into a debate.

    • S.Swapna Kumar says:

      Mr. Ajay
      Is there any peoples who are the follower of Buddha rather believer. Pl revert back.
      Regards
      9995493058

  4. Abhimanyu says:

    Thought provoking.

  5. S.Swapna Kumar says:

    Thou art the Buddha.Our life is the creation of our mind. Look within.

  6. Ruben Nicholson says:

    You have done it once again! Great writing!

  7. dr felix says:

    Dear Ajay, A great article. it is relieving to know about the spiritual tradition of India, especially Kerala.

  8. S.Swapna Kumar says:

    People normally hear and read the books and come to conclusion that what is said is right. But Buddha never wanted the people to believe him until they applied and experienced. This is the real truthful Buddha. We gained so much knowledge and the age of electronics miniaturised the way of exchange of informations. But still now the hidden truth is not seen by most of peoples and stick to what is there earlier. Just as Buddha said in the sky there is not direction of east, west, south or north but people in their mind decides and other follows……..
    If any one intrestedin exchanging the REALITY of LIFE pl write to my mail id.
    S.S.Kumar
    +919995493058
    sswapnakumar@yahoo.co.in

  9. ഈ ബ്ലോഗ് പോസ്റ്റുകള്‍ മലയാളത്തിലും ഉണ്ടാകേണ്ടിയിരിക്കുന്നു.

  10. BCG says:

    Dear Mr.Ajay,

    Thank you very much for your briliant writing! expecting more writings from you…

  11. Prof. S. Swapna Kumar says:

    The reality of accepting the TRUTH that “lead a life from unreal to real” in real sense is difficult to accept by every one because the way one grown up from child hood cannot be easily accept for changes in later part. Even if they see that it is wrong then also accept to follow the laid rules from ancestors.
    But the truth is what Buddha spoken to us.
    “There is only one SUN in this universe which cannot be created by we human being, whereas we can create many imaginary things in this earth as it is in our hand.”

  12. arun.a says:

    Fascinating and desirable

  13. N.HARIDAS says:

    Dear sir
    please promote http://www.keralamahabodhi.blogspot.com for the promotion Buddhism in kerala..
    In past all untouchables in kerala were Buddhist.So we must promote Buddhism
    why we suffer religious slavery?
    Haridas

    • NIBU says:

      I also wanted to convert to Budhism long years before. Glad to find people with same thoughts. But you remember one thing, after conversion you cannot enter in to any of the temples you are worshiping, till from your childhood. All of them in these temples were budhist gods but changed their names and way of worshiping, by the lie stories designed by brahmins. And that is only why they are not permitting non hindus inside temples, to prevent the out flow from their idiotic religion to a religion of love, peace and cooperation.

      • Rajendran says:

        Nibu,
        After reading your response, it is felt that you may nned to look at this in a different angle. For one thing, there is no such thing called “Buddhisum”. The “isum” must have been added for an effect, most probably by westerners. It is not a relegion, but a “Way Of Life”. There are no temples or rituals in the Buddhist way of life, according ot the original scriptures. However, there are many Buddha temples withe large statues of the Buddha. These places where you can go, my be light a butter lamp and meditate. Rituals were never a part of the Buddist way of life. Buddha said ” Never belive in anything untill unless you have understood and experienced it yourslef” .There are no personal gods. Anybody currenlty following any relegion can follow the Buddhist way of life. You need not get converted to a buddhist. If you are Hindu now, you can contine to go to all the temples that you regulerly go.. The beautyof Buddist way of life is that it acknowldeges the Hindu gods as beings in the gods releam. So you can continue to seek their help and blessings. At the same time, in your daily life, try to follow the buddhist practices. However, if you want to become a buddhist monk, then is it different. You need to get attached to a monastry and then find a suitable guru or a master and then practice under him or her.

        Thanks and Regards

        Rajendran

  14. baiju narayan says:

    like to know more about bhuddism.like to get converted to bhuddism.

  15. I am also very much interested in Buddhism

  16. Sir.
    So many peoples daily vising keralamahabodhi.blogspot.com from around the world. Can I add ur articles in this site. without editing .
    Haridas

    • Ajay says:

      Dear Haridas
      You are free to use the article. If you don’t mind giving a link-back to the original article. Thanks
      ajay sekher

  17. ANILESH.T.T. says:

    Dear Sir,
    The article is well-studied,comprehensive and informative. Please do some research work on the Buddhist reminiscences which may exist in the religious/ritualistic practices of Malabar region which are now (mis)read as derived from Brahminic epistemology.

  18. Dear All,

    The Article – The story behind the story – the realities of us. In THEYYAM THOTTAM PAATTU, we can see that PALLIKOLLUNNA, PALLI and lot more about out old culture. A lot of books available in our libraries written by great scholars but no time for new generation to refer this books. so this is the best media – e – learning- to propagate the realities and feudalism in olden days in Kerala

    keep it up, great work, also ref. muthappan website

  19. sayintu says:

    ” Even Syrian Christians boast about their Brahmanical connections more than 2000 (?!) years after conversion! Actually there were no Brahmins in the south in the A D first century! Then how could St. Thomas convert those absent Brahmans to Christianity? The coveted Brahmans came to Kerala only in the 4th or 5th century or later.”
    It is true that Brahmins reached Kerala around ‘4th or 5th century or later’ as you say. But it seems you took it for granted that St.Thomas visited Kerala during the first century AD. The St.Thomas who converted Brahmins to christianity may not be the St.Thomas of early days of christianity. Perhaps there were many other christian missionaries of the same name. for eg. Thomas of Kenya. Very interesting write up! Congradulations

    • R.Sajan says:

      The Pope’s saying that St.Thomas came only to North India was a matter of controversy recently with the Kerala Church protesting it. Thomas might have come to India in search of Jesus who came back to his Buddhist monastery in Nepal/Kashmir, after escaping from the Cross.
      Kaanayi Thomman’s story is what Kerala Christians parade off as St.Thomas’.

    • It is OK for you not to believe that Apostle Thomas did come to Kerala. But “the Government of India issued postage stamp with picture of the Apostle in A.D. 1964. another postage stamp was issued in India with the picture of St. Thomas Cross in A.D. 1973, in connection with the nineteen century anniversary of martyrdom of the Apostle” (Davis K. Thanjan, The Legacy of Apostle Thomas in India, ISBN 978935o674352).

      • Nanda says:

        I could not stop myself from replying for this logic. How great it would be if the measure of authenticity is based on govt of India/postal dept stamps!!

  20. sandeep says:

    I think buddhism will come again in kerala

  21. Tsering says:

    Thank you for writing and posting this detail writing about history of Buddhism in Kerala. I was just delighted to know some more about my religion, my way of living. I will tell about this to my friends and my brothers, who are monks.

    I thank u and also my friend fazil from Kerala who told me about the existence of Buddhist and later shared me this link.

  22. Rajendan Menon says:

    I accidently came to your blog while looking for some information on Buddhism in Kerala. The article was some kind of an eye opener, a bit of a shock and lots of amazement to me. As an Englishman would say “Brilliant”.

    Quite interesting and exciting for me to know that Buddhism was prevalent in Kerala long ago and what is more exciting is that people are now taking more interest in the same. I came to Buddhism some time back, by accident. Then once I started to read, I knew that this was what I was looking for. It game me answers to my questions. I personally feel that there is one mi-conception in the word “Buddhism”. There is no “ism’ associated with it for the simple reason that it is not a religion, but a WAY OF LIFE. The ‘ism’ must have been added by the westerners for an effect. One of the key things that attracted me to the Buddhist way of life is its simplicity. What other religion or belief system can be completely explained in just two words ? – Compassion and Wisdom.

    I am very much interested to meet / discuss with those who are interested in the Buddhist way of life. My E-mail Id is rajendranmenon@hotmail.com. I have lots more to write / express.. may be later.

    May you are Well..
    May you are Happy..
    May you are free from Miseries and Suffering..
    May you are filled with Joy and Loving Kindness..
    May you are filled with Peace..

    Thanks and Regards

    Rajendran Menon

    • Athula Bandara Herath says:

      Sir I respect you very much for your wisdom.I also very happy to hear there are some Buddhist in your country.Theruwan saranai.Athula from Sri Lanka.

  23. vijin says:

    hi
    i am very interesting to know about zen budhisa

  24. shibu says:

    if my family is interest to convert Bhudhism. what is the next step. can you help me?

    • Rajendran Menon says:

      Shibu,

      Glad to note your interest in Buddhism.

      You need not consider Buddhism as a relegion. It is a way of life. All you need to do is to try and incorprate the Buddhist way of life in your daily life. This may mean changes to your existing habits, outlooks and approch to life as such. There are excellent books and articles available on the same. One book that I would recommend is the “How To Practice” by HH the Dalai Lama.

      All the Best.

      Rajendran Menon

  25. Great blog.
    Thanks for the information on Bylakupe.

  26. I am author of TIRUPATI BALAJI WAS A BUDDHIST SHRINE among other books. there is a chapter in that book about Lord Ayyapa was Buddhist. Book is available on above site, though the recent edition has about 100 pages added to it.

    I understand there are more instances of atrocities against Buddhists, mentioned in ‘Keralotpatti’. Can you guide on this point.

    Also Silappadikaran and Manimekhalai, how much historical importance should be placed on them?

    Thanks!

    • Ajay says:

      Dear Jamnadas, thanks for your comment. Keralolpathy is actually a Brahmanical text written by the Vedic Brahmans in Kerala soon after the colonization to legitimize invasion. But fortunately there are plenty of references to Buddhists and Sramana people and the overcoming of the threat of Buddhism though from the Brahmanical point of view. Though it is a fabricated text of Brahmanic epistemological violence and invasion it provides instances and partial comments on Buddhism and Jainism in Kerala. In this sense it is historically important for researchers and activists.
      Unlike this the Tamil epics of Silapatikaram and Manimekhalai directly articulate the Sramana spirit and philosophy in their very narrative texts through themes, characters and motifs. So they are also vital tools who probe the history of Jainism and Buddhism in south India. Some scholars are of the opinion that even the celebrated poetry of Ouwayar is a direct paraphrase of Buddhist wisdom and erased or burned texts. I hope you would write about the Sramana legacy of Tamil epics and ancient literature soon and enlighten all of us on this regard.

  27. Prathapan KP says:

    S.Jaipal Reddy mentioned in a Buddhist International Conference that Buddha was a symbol of rationalism and humanism. He was the first intellectual democrat and great believer in moderation.But there is no room for rebirth concept (of Buddhism) in rationalism.Could you please give a clarification on this

    Prathapan KP

  28. Reply to S. Jaipal Reddy’s comments

    Jaipal Reddy is entirely correct

    It is reported that:

    “S. Jaipal Reddy mentioned in a Buddhist International Conference that Buddha was a symbol of rationalism and humanism. He was the first intellectual democrat and great believer in moderation. But there is no room for rebirth concept (of Buddhism) in rationalism.”

    Mr. Reddy is absolutely correct. All the rationalists have criticized idea of rebirth as exploitative. About those who accept rebirth of the persons, fate, heaven and hell and so on, the rationalists comment that, those accepting rebirth wish to transcend this world considered only as a temporary abode of the souls. There are moral injunctions but there is no socialization of the individual. Spiritual liberation is given the top priority. Society and the world are to be discarded as evil. It must be realized that this is the one single factor of exploitation and also it prevents any sort of rebellion or revolt by the victims. [http://www.iheu.org/node/3155]

    The problem is of that when Mr. Reddy says ‘Rebirth concept of Buddhism is not rational’, he is actually referring to the Brahminical concept of rebirth.
    Brahminic Rebirth is misnomer

    I had asked the question of Rebirth to Late Dr. Bhadant Anand Kausallyayan in open meeting. He explained that what the Brahmins call as ‘Rebirth’ cannot be rebirth. For some thing to be reborn, it has to first die. Brahmins believe that the atma does not die. How can something be reborn if it never died? What they mean by ‘rebirth’ is that atma enters a new body. That cannot be called a ‘rebirth’. It is transmigration of soul. The Brahmins wrongly call it rebirth. Then he explained what rebirth is according to Buddhism, as explained by Dr. Ambedkar.

    A lot of confusion is caused by terminology, and some traditional Buddhists do try to preach same doctrine of Brahmins as doctrine of the Buddha. May be, Mr. Reddy remarked because of that.
    The Ten Unanswered Questions of Buddha

    The confusion about Rebirth is caused by what is known as, ‘the ten unanswered questions’ by the Buddha. There are two main texts in the Pali scriptures, Sutras 63 and 72 of the Majjhima Nikaya, each with the same list of ten propositions or ‘views’ (ditthi):

    1. The world is eternal.

    2. The world is not eternal.

    3. The world is infinite.

    4. The world is not infinite.

    5. The soul (jiva) is identical with the body.

    6. The soul is not identical with the body.

    7. The Tathagata exists after death.

    8. The Tathagata does not exist after death.

    9. The Tathagata both exists and does not exist after death.

    10. The Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist after death.

    The Buddha refused to give any teaching about these issues, although the monk Malunkyaputta challenged him. The Buddha’s fundamental point was that to know the answers to these questions is not necessary for relief from Dukkha. He told the parable of the man pierced by a poisoned arrow. If the victim insists to know details of shooter of arrow, before receiving medical treatment, he will die before his thirst for knowledge is satisfied. This was to emphasize that leading a religious life and get freedom from Dukkha, does not need answers to metaphysical matters. (Majjhima Nikaya, 63).

    Everybody used to ask these questions. There were, apart from Brahminic, 62 different schools of thought, six of them being prominent, prevalent during the times of the Buddha, and every one of these six believed in the soul except the Buddha, though each had its own way of describing the soul.

    But the Buddha had already answered these questions, not in one place but separately, right from the very first sermon at Sarnath, which is famous by the name of Dhamma Chakka Pavattan Sutta, where there is strong rejection of atma. From doctrine of Pratityapa Samutpad, it is clear that the world is infinite. Theory of Anitya was propagated which says world is changing, which means it is not eternal. In Chula Dukkha Khanda Sutta of Majjhima Nikaya, in a dialogue between the Buddha and the Jains, the Buddha asks:

    “Do you know, reverend sirs, whether you had an existence before this or you were not non-existent?” On negative reply, he asks: “Do you know that, in a former existence, you were guilty, and not guiltless, of misdeeds?” On further negative reply, he further asks: “Do you know that, in that former existence, you were guilty, and not guiltless, of this or that specific misdeed?” To this again he receives a negative reply.

    The gist of the Sutta is there is no other life. This life is the only life, which answers whether the Tathagata lives after death etc.

    Now question remains why the Buddha did not reply when Malunkyaputta challenged him. Dharmanand Kosambi explains that Buddha did not reply to avoid confusion in the minds of people to this complex question about Atma, which could be analyzed into five skandha-s. The theory of annatta was already propagated by the Buddha.

    The difference of opinion between the Original Buddhism and the traditional Buddhists about Rebirth is caused because the Buddhists misinterpreted the ‘Pratityapa Samutpad’ to include past and future births.

    Dr. Ambedkar raised the question of ‘Rebirth’ of ‘what’ and of ‘whom’ and explained that the elements in the body after death disperse and join the wide mass of elements from which new life comes into existence. This means there is no real rebirth in the sense of Brahminic concept, in Buddha’s original teachings.
    Brahminic concept of Rebirth

    Even the Brahminic theories had very many different ideas about atma. Delicate nuances between the ‘atma’ (soul) and ‘parmatma’ (god) have been exhaustively described in Brahminic spiritual books for centuries. According to this concept it is believed that whatever position you got in this birth is the result of the deeds (karma) of the previous birth/s, the hypothesis of ‘karma vipak’.

    The practical discernible use of all the ideological discourses is the concept of Rebirth. The only use the Brahmins made of the theory of atma and karma and rebirth etc. is to avoid responsibility of society to deal with the problems of the poverty and misery in life of poor and lowly, and lead the masses to believe that the cause of their present misery is the deeds their own previous births.

    It is still used today by Brahminists to justify inequality, atrocities and injustice to weaker sections of society. At the time of Viacom Satyagraha, the Nambudiri Brahmins argued that the present day untouchables have sinned in previous birth/s, and therefore got the birth of untouchables in this life, and hence can not complain about their sufferings.

    We boast of our philosophy of soul, atma, god, karma and rebirth, to be the best in the world, but forget that this ‘great’ philosophy is poisoned by the rules of caste, which has made it highly exploitative and made this country a slave for centuries.
    Idea of Rebirth and Karma-vipak reduced this country to slavery

    Scholars have observed that the Idealistic outlook – belief in god, soul, rebirth, and all that goes with these – presupposes separation of ‘thought from action’ – ‘manual from mental labor’ and degradation of manual labor.

    Concept of Brahminic rebirth is crucial in social field as this doctrine leads to dampen, or rather prevents the creation of, the motivation to fight against exploitation and inequality created by human vested interests.

    A person is told and made to believe that his poverty, lower ranks in the varna-caste system, miseries of widowhood, and other sorrows of life are due to his own deeds of past lives and no external exploiter or social order is responsible for his miseries. That creates tolerance to accept sorrows and prevents him from creating just and equitable systems. Because of this doctrine of ‘karma-vipak’, for thousands of years, the evil systems of social life and exploitation got the ideological sanction leading to misery of population in this caste infested country. The realistic opposition to this karma doctrine could challenge the social order based on injustice, and prevent the fatalist attitude.

    Laxman Shastri Joshi has observed that, the ideas of otherworld or unrealistic spiritual concepts being the basis of all religious ideologies, they lead to retrograde system of production, evil social structure and parochial worldview.

    Thanks

    Dr. K. Jamanadas
    Sunday, June 26, 2011

  29. Harish Krishna says:

    It is important to note here that St. Thomas never came to Kerala as has been clarified by Pope it self. It was Syrian Business man by the name of Thomas who came. Hence the ones whom he converted were certainly not Brahnmins who came very late to kerala. If you go to coatal trichur district and take the family names of Ezhava, muslim and Christian families you find that the family names have similarities. Racial similarities are even more profound here in Trichur.

    • The Pope did not say that St. Thomas did not come to Kerala. Pope told that the Apostle came to Kerala from Pakistan. Pope was right that St. Thomas came to Kerala from Taxila in Pakistan. But that was after St. Thomas first came to Kerala in 52. St. Thomas went to Taxila, Pakistan from Kerala and came back to Kodungallur, Kerala. Pope John Paul II brought the relics of St. Thomas from Ortono, Italy to Kokkamangalam in Kerala in AD 1999 in recognition of Apostolic visit to Kerala and enshrined the relic in the Apostle Thomas Church. Quoting the Pope is just like the devil quoting the Bible. Even the Peoples Daily, the mouth piece of the Communist Party of China accepts that St. Thomas came to India in 52 and came from India to China in 54″The Government of India issued postage stamp with the picture of the Apostle in A.D.1964. Another postage stamp was issued in India with the picture of St. Thomas Cross in A.D. 1973, in connection with the nineteen century anniversary of the martyrdom of the Apostle” (Davis K. Thanjan, The Legacy of Apostle Thomas in India, ISBN 9789350674352). Mr. Harish, still you have the right to uphold your opinion.

  30. R.Sajan says:

    @Hari Krisha:
    St.Thomas might have come to India in search of Jesus who came down back to his Buddhist monastery in Nepal, after the crucifixion. His tomb in Kashmir passes most tests of authenticity.

    The Pope said that he had been to North India; and when Kerala Catholics protested, changed it.

    Kaanayi Thomman story might be the beginning of the Thomas in Kerala story; but then Knanayites are a closed community without conversion into them

  31. Harish says:

    Racial similarities and a very cordial relationship which each community enjoyed towards each other for centuries especially Muslim and Ezhavas were quite close together in south Malabar especially in Coastal districts of Trichur. It could be deduced from their cordial and co-operative nature that they were the same families that were disunited by conversion (most probably by Tipu for Muslims and in case of christians much earlier). Thus the families retained cordial relationship till the ties just diminished to friendship and then later to just cordial till recent times when fanaticism over saw even that relationship

  32. Ajit Tambe says:

    Its really good article ..I never think that Kerala had Buddhism in ancient time .. Thanks again ..
    Regards

    Ajit Tambe .

  33. Nanda says:

    Truely interesting article. But, we may need to spread the truth to the masses to break the bloody slavery enforced by the so called brahmins( currently it is bloodless, but still continues!!!)

    Great. Expecting more credible research from you.

  34. Karthick says:

    Whichever Thomas came to Kerala, it would have been impossible to make a Brahmin leave his privileged position and make him accept an alien religion. This Brahmin conversion is a myth propagated by the christian clergy to a gullible laity. The people Thomas converted was from the Ezhava community. The muslim and christian converts of Kerala are from the Ezhava community who later added the prefix “Syrian”.

    • Why should the Christians prefer the Hindu Brahmins than the Buddhist Ezhavas? Why should the Christians add the prefix Syrian, when St. Thomas or Jesus were not Syrian. The belief that Brahmins cannot be converted to Christianity is the belief of the present day dwindling number of Brahmins and not the rest of the world. Even the King at Kodungallur in Kerala converted to Christianity. “The King was given the Christian name of Anthrayos (Andrew). Hence Kodungallur was known also known as Andrapolis or Antropolice in ancient times. The child Kunjan was given the Christian name Kepha (Keppa, Cephas, Peter). He became a priest when he grew up.” (Davis K. Thanjan, The Legacy of Apostle Thomas in India, ISBN 9789350674352).

  35. Pradeep P R J says:

    Happened to see this site while searching for something. It is indeed a healthy debate, post-communist Kerala, earlier post-Brahminical, is looking for its identity. Once again, where all are part. People, faith, change with time as history shows, have to.

    But I am afraid the obsession with Jainism and Budhism as cults to be reinvented seems a trap. These faiths too must have undergone decay at some point in history how they disappeared, were rejected. How a new model integrating the two evolved what we call Hinduism now, what later became the decadent Brahminical Hinduism. It too has to go, Communism came in to play that role. Though that too decayed as we see. What next is the question.

    But here, to equate castes as monoliths is anomalous, there are good and bad people in all castes. Reforms were seldom driven by one caste or other. Look at Communism, most recent, it was by the progressive people of all castes. Yes, some look benefiting but that is on the surface. Deeper turmoil is often not visible. And affluence and social power are not the goal in life for many people, consider tribal ambitions. Next the missionary phase presented a distorted picture of social relations in Kerala, for colonial motives, what has come to be the public discourse now for many who harbor illogical ill feelings. Animal instincts work there.

    The saner way for Kerala is, it is a personal opinion, to reassert the culture of first people, tribals and dalits, ecofriendly and simple that. Restore its status up on the prestige scale, what I have been doing wherever possible with all genuineness. And the progressive people of so called upper castes have a duty here. And for isms, Budhism, Jainism or Hinduism, to Communism, these are all institutions with their own priesthood.

    The native Kerala spirituality is rooted in Tamil Sidha traditions, of ascetic saints. Where the so called low castes remain in. There are no rituals here, no priests, no institutions, just man and the divine. It lost space when people took to Brahminism, also Christianity and Islam, why deny. As Swami Sivananda Paramahamsar of Sidhasramam, Vatakara said, ‘there is only one matham ( faith ) and that is Eeswara Matham, great men came to take people to that faith but their followers made it religion. Budha did not make Budhism, Jaina Jainism or Mohmmed a religion called Islam… they all gave ways to be humane, in tune with the almighty….’ Or words to that effect.

    For the Malayali to reinvent the Sidha traditions is a compulsive need in the vacuum after Communism. Kerala was part of ancient Tamizhagam but during the cultural transitions this root was lost. Sanskrit took the space of Tamil, Brahmins that of Ascetic Saints.How Kerala society is now superficial and hollow. Many of the famous Sidhas were from present day Kerala. And Budha and Jaina(s), it was not one man as history tells, were all Sidhas though not known so. ‘One prophet one book’ religions create divisions why go that road. Even Vedic (Veda based) Priestly Hinduism is the same, where the timeless Sanathan Dharma is without borders. What gives the space for all religions in India to co-exist.

    It is an existential search together for all of us Malayalis
    Thank you

  36. Sreehari says:

    excellent article……This helped me to find out some ideas about Buddhism in kerala..and finally I want to know how to become a buddhist???

    • Benny Alex says:

      ഹലോ ശ്രീഹരി ഞാനും അത് ചിന്തികാറുണ്ട് എന്തുകൊണ്ട് ബുദ്ധനെ പോലെ ഒരു മഹാനെ കേരളം വേണ്ട വിധത്തില്‍ ആദരിച്ചില്ല ?

  37. dr sajan says:

    many of our hibdu temples were once budhist shrines. even the name of kodungallur came from after the kodum kola ( the great killing) so its called kodum kolayur, now called kodunghallur. here thousands of budhist people were killed in the past and this palli is taken over by brhamins rogues. in this centuary also to gloryfy that victory, they conduct kavutheendal, and killing roosters etc. the same agenda they will use against the minorities of india.

  38. Nalin says:

    Good article.but why restrict the scope of this article to Kerala.this Hindu bhuddist war,according to me is still being fought in proxy .just to quote a few examples.try researching the origin of Kashmir dispute.u will find some intreating facts.try researching the politics behind Maoist insurgency in India,one will find some interesting facts.dig deep into the politics of mayawathi ,one will find very interesting facts.arundathi Roy may raise different issues.observe closely.you will find a specific agenda. And a lot more………………

  39. its good to know people

  40. Majeeshkumar says:

    Very informative….

  41. francis says:

    marvellous

  42. […] two links are very informative and extensive in shedding the light on its Buddhist past. Buddhism in Kerala*|*Ajaysekher.net The Broken Buddha of Pattanam, Boddhisatvas in Disguise and the Silent Siddha of Kayikara: […]

  43. george says:

    Bhavatu Sarva Mangalam

    This article was noticed only now, you will gather boundless merit for this wonderful act. As i was searching for the truth, i encountered Buddha dharma from the chinese friends. I was really shocked to see such a great wonderful dharma was chased out from kerala and people are deprived ( those interested) of their chance to enlightenment. As i now practice and study Buddha dharma seriously both Mahayana and theravada, started to know certain realities, and encountered many unexplainable miracles, which at first, was difficult to believe. Now fully understood as i advance on the stage. these things if i have to tell others it is hard for them to accept and believe.

    Now, I realised, beyond doubt that whatever Lord Buddha has preached is the truth and reality. This ultimate truth cannot be grasped by ordinary people. because it is beyond the scope of our mind to understand. Philosophers can read hundred of books and talk many theories, but they will not understand nothing of Buddha dahrma. Even if one has to read many books and very good in arguments, he just can not grasp the real meaning of dharma. you can go on thinking and reading all your life, you will reach nowhere. Why? because we use our false mind to think study debate, imagine, this our ordinary mind what we call mind is a thief misguiding us cunning mind, this mind speculates and jump into conclusion, which is absolutely false. This false mind consists of 5 skandas, its function is to grasp the false self ego, craving for blind pleasure and continuity. this is the 7th consciousness, One need to go beyond 7th consciousness to reach the reality of 8th consciousness.

    So, what we do, ordinary people?. You need to practice vipassana Bhavana/Samatha Bhavana daily with sincere effort and full devotion to the Triple Gem ( Buddha, Dharma, Sanga). You have to take refuge and believe in Triple Gem, no other way. Why? without a teacher it is impossible to learn something, total faith in the teacher is a must, without which you will never advance in the sate. Suppose you go learning Kung-Fu you have to have faith in the master if not you cannot advance, if you have doubt you cannot advance. As one advances on the path own will start to understand the reality and the truth of Lord Buddha, and the teachings. Believe me it is such a wonderful and blissful dharma, that words cannot explain, but it is there, no words for that, oen may try to explain what it is, but it is impossible to express it. Because the languages also some form of tags used identify visible things, it is meant for worldly affairs, to handle the things of this world, it cannot go beyond 7th consciousness. so the philosophers and greatly learned ones are at loss unable to penetrate through, they only can talk, talking machines, machine fueled by oxygen, which they mistake for themselves and speculate all falsehoods, that is what the Bramanic demons do, they will reach hells.

    If one need to learn swimming, or learn karate/kung fu, even if you study one thousand books and do all research and say i know everything about swimming and i know everything about kunf fu, is he foolish or wise???, can he jump into deep water??? can he fight ???.

    Bramanic demons led by demon king shankara tried to destroy Dharma, but they are fools to think that way, dharma cannot be destroyed SATYAMEVA JAYATE. They have played havoc with Sanga and did what they can to destroy, but before they could do this cunning act of enslaving people by fabulous stories, the Dharma has go to Sri lanka, Burma, Thailand, China, Japan, Korea, US, Europe etc and it remains intact there and more and more people started giving importance. For 1800 years Buddha Dharma remained in India in its purity and it was flourishing, then the demons got a chance to do harm, they had six hundred years to harm, then the British came in to protect Dharma , they killed and defeted all the demonic braminic backed rulers and restored All Buddhist holy places Lumpini, Bodhgaya, Saranath, and Kushinagar monuments were restored and manitained by them.

    Buddha Dharma is beyond doubt True Why?, because millions have crossed the ocean of samsara (cycle of birth and death), and realised deathless Nrvana the ultimate bliss. if millions proved it is true then, You can also, only your hard work and sincerity needed. others who are not so determined can study and have a basic foundation by just keeping panch sheela and after few life, this seed you put now will sprout. I see some of them bogging that, it is not a religion and all ideas,. True it is not a religion, but the Sanga should be kept in tact just like a political party , sanga comprising Monks, Nuns, and Lay people (believes) other wise how others will get a chance to know the dharma?. The Sanga should be strong like a religion for the benefit of future generation, so that Snaga can preserve the dharma. I tell you the demons are just waiting to do anything they can to harm the dharma, unless we have strong sanga how???. I tell you, this demonic forces are very real, ordinary people cannot understand this, But as one advance in the path one will be able to detect them and perceive their cunningness, either worldly demons or heavenly demons which many people worship for material benefits.

    ” It is difficult to encounter dharma in millions of kalpas, now I hear it, see it and uphold it , I vow to understand the true and actual meaning of the Tathagatha.”

    if anyone interested ask me questions/doubt. In India there are many retreat centres run by Acharya GoenkaJI
    but not in kerala, Tamilnadu has two. I suggest if you can go for a ten day course it will be beneficial to know the basics. Buddha Dharma is definitly coming back to India and Kerala it will come to its glory again.
    Bhuddham Saranam

    Sarve Satta sukhita hotu
    Bhavatu Sarva Mangalam

  44. S. Swapna Kumar says:

    My dear brothers/sisters
    Most often people used to call me and ask how to convert to Buddhism……So my answer in a simple form is as follow:-
    – One should know that Buddha never formed religion….it was the period of Gotama Buddha when several Brahmanism philosophy was spread in India.
    -He studied Vedas / Upanishads and many other philosophy and came to understand that there is no proof in support of these….finally he did not accepted and look for the realities…
    -As per Budha, it is hard for mankind to liberate itself from the 1. entanglement of God and soul, 2. It is hard for mankind to give up its belief in rites and ceremonies, and 3. It is hard for mankind to give up its belief in karma.
    -Buddha after getting an Enlightened focused the two problems for the human beings…
    1. Human beings are suffering in the world.
    2. How to remove the suffering and make mankind happy.
    Buddha never accepted the unseen truth which vedas narrated in favour of Brahmanism benefits…..as He says…“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

    In my recent pilgrimage visit to Lumbini(Nepal), Bodhgaya(Bihar) and Kushinagar(U.P) (13.05.2013 to 16.05.2013) there was wider clarity in which Buddha ideology peoples followed.
    “One must understand that Buddha attained enlightened after passing all the stages of religions methodology and understanding its flaws”……In this modern world we only understand the fraction……..which is quite far and not easy to reachable that Buddha attained…..this reality one should accept…..

    We human being in this modern society is like how we enjoy the entertainment of ART /COMMERCIAL picture types…If one watch commercial movie then they never gets bore as it is mixture of songs, fictitious scripts, scene etc…..on the other hand when we watch art movie we get bore because everything is real…and there is no entertainment……
    In the same way the man made commercial form of God and its religion rites and ceremonies etc…….which is not true…..these doctrine is for selfish motive to sustain in the man made society…….

    Here is some important questions that raised to me and heard from someone….
    – If every religion believe in their God supreme…then can any one answer this……
    Why Sachin born in ……why Amir born in …why Bill born in …..why X born in etc…..WHY NOT ALL BORN IN ONE……..This is the truth…………

    Another question…..if there is a word God…then why God need so many arms for fighting…..etc…
    India got freedom by non-violence…..this means human being should understand doctrine is truth and to establish the kingdom of righteousness on this earth for the purpose of attaining peace……

    Read the book on “THE BUDDHA & HIS DHAMMA by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

    “Blessed is the Buddha, for his path of reason, and his way of emancipation is from superstition”……

    S. Swapna Kumar
    09995493058

  45. Nikesh fule says:

    jay Buddha..jay bhim

  46. george says:

    bhavatu sabba mangalam

    Law of karma works without fail. Bramins tried to chase away Buddhism from India particularly from Kerala. They did all barbaric fanatic terror to destroy the Dharma. But they did not know the law of karma, even the demon Shankara did not knew. Due to their ignorance they terrorised Buddhists. Emperor Ashoka rock edict says let every religion live in peace if one tries to destroy other religion he is harming his own religion. This is exactly what is happening now, law of karma taking its course,collective karma.
    When Bramins headed by demon shankara terrrorised Buddhists with his slave army he did not know he is digging his own grave. why???. To escape bramanic terrorism most of the Buddhists converted themselves to Islam, thus strengthening and building a formidable opponent. Today in Kerala 25% population is muslims, after 50 years from now majority population will be muslims in kerala. So by 2063 muslims will cross majority line and they will rule the sate. there will not be congress or communist rule, since they have majority seats they will be able to rule independently without others help. In that situation many babri masjids will come up. Bramins and their slaves will be reduced to nothing and they will undergo brutal repression many times worst than what they did to buddhists. Is it not Bramins digged their own grave???. Had Buddha Dharma remained in its glory they would had been in a better situation. Now what are they going to do about it???. Are they going to do the same thing as they did to buddhists???. I dont think so, they dare to point even their finger at muslims, if so finger will be missing. That will be the situation in Kerala after 50 years.
    Alll India level muslim population is 18% now it will take 100 years, by 2113 India will be a muslim country, since majority population and they will rule the country independently. Unless some worse calamity happens, this will be a reality. So at that time Bramins going to enjoy with their fabricated stories.

    When I first encountered Buddha Dharma in 2008 I went to a Buddha Vihara to attend Sutra Chanting, i was shocked and humiliated to see that Chinese people and reciting fluently in Pali whereas I was unable to read or say my own language.
    A few months back I came to India to trace the paths of Lord Buddha and visited Lumpini, Bodhgaya, Saranath,Kushinagar, Shravasti and Ajanata. and Deeksha Bhoomi (nagpur, Jai Bhim) I also attended 10 days retreat at Dhamma Bodhi in Bodhgaya (Acahraya Goyenkaji). As i see Bihar, it is miserably poor people worst seen anywhere, also UP is worse condition.I happened to travel by unreserved train from Patna to Gaya 2 hrs journey , It was a nightmare so bad, the people are like animals fighting each other. Has the Buddha Dharma remained in India in its glory, the situation would have been different much better. Most of the Buddhist countries, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Sri Lanka are better and doing very well and living in peace and happiness, why in India Things are worse???.It is the absence of Dharma.
    my observation is that Maharashtra and Kerala are people are well behaved. Hindi belt is worse. I hope and wish that Buddha Dharma come back to Kerala and india, May the people understand the Dharma and accept it instead of holding on to some fabricated imagination of worshipping stone, clay,plastic,metal. May the glory come back. I really appreciate the efforts of this site owner and maintainer. May he be well and Happy, May he be free from danger.

    Buddham Saranam

  47. Rajendran Valappil says:

    Dear George,

    Your comments made interesting reading. I am curious to know why you are following both Mahayana and Theravada. The basic principles are the same, but the purposes are different.
    As you have rightly pointed out, it is difficult to explain realizations to others. They can only be experienced. There is no point in understanding the teachings at an intellectual level if you do not put them into practice on a daily basis.
    It is quite sad that such wonderful and profound teachings did not find much acceptance in our country, where it all originated. However, it is quite heartening to note that many are slowing awakening to the teachings and coming to embrace it.
    If you really look at the Brhamins from a Buddhist perspective, instead of feeling angry at them, you should feel compassion for them for the sufferings that they may encounter in future due to their past bad karmas.
    Bihar and many of the Hindi belts can be a bit too much for those who are not accustomed to India. But then if you really analyze the situation you will find that it is due to lack of education it is like that. From a Buddhist perspective, everybody has a potential to become a Buddha. But due to ignorance, they are doing things that they should not and then get more and more entangled in Samsara.
    What is required is the spreading of this wonderful and profound teachings to one and all so that it replaces the darkness of ignorance with light.

    Thanks and Regards

    Rajendran

  48. george says:

    Bhavatu sabba mangalam

    brother Rajendran,

    Your curiosity….. I see no difference between Theravada and Mahayana, but there are some problems with tantrayana (Tibetian). One should not discriminate between Theravada and Mahayana, both are the teachings of lord Buddah, purpose also same. But some people have discriminating view. Mahayana has Bodhisattva idea, that is not bad. When someone gets enlightened and he quietly goes away, then, it is narrow minded act, therefore the idea of Bodhisattva. Though there are some Hindu concepts are there in mahayana, that can be identified. But many of the Mahayana Sutras are very complicated and high in wisdom and very very difficult to understand, that kind of teachings may not found in Theravada. For example Shurangama Sutra is highly complicated using high wisdom, that, ordinary people find if difficult even read. With the help of a wise dharma master we may grasp a little bit. I study Shurangama Sutra with commentary from Ven Dharma Master Hsuan Hua, a Chinese monk (enlightened one) who went to U.S and set up the city of ten thousand Buddha in San Francisco. It is very complex sutra if you can understand them fully, then you are close to goal. In this sutra explanation about skandas, complex doctrine also 50 demonic states which attacks the ones who advance on the path, also various methods used for enlightenment by various Arahants and Bodhisattvas. Many other Mahayana Sutras are complicated like prajna paramita sutra, Lotus sutra, Diamond sutra etc… if Sutra says “Ananda Form is Emptiness and Emptiness if form, in emptiness no form,no birth, no death,no suffering, no wisdom…..” this is very confusing for ordinary people, but through investigation during meditation it can be understood. While one practices seriously, many doubts and questions comes up, that we need to solve by ourselves by reflecting.
    Buddhist teachings are gradual. like a high school student may think, ok that is enough school final is my aim, another thinks i go for graduation, another thinks i go for post graduate, another think i go for doctoral, then post doctoral. When one goes to graduate level, school level subject will be of no use to him, post grate level, its useless, doctoral, its useless …
    Many of these sutras are available online.
    Why one must practice and cultivate Dharma???. We are not sure of anything. But one thing we are sure – death- it can strike anyone any time. If one pass away with a contaminated mind and bad karma then surely human form will not be obtainable, he may land in animal,hungry ghost or hells, then it will be very very long suffering to get a human form, the moment he gets a human life after kalpas of suffering in other realms, he see the attraction of this dream world entangle him and then again he go back to samsaric rounds. some say rebirth is myth, researchers in US has proved it 100 pct true. an old woman told them stories of Ireland (few hundred years back) , she never travelled outside US and they found what ever she said was true, many other case in India, other countries..
    So this birth and death business is to be taken very seriously. human life got back only for the purpose of knowing the ultimate truth, if that chance is wasted and lived sub human level then no hope. People dont understand the seriousness of the matter. If it is not now ,when???. At the time of death if the mind is not understood and studied , then it is going to be terrible, death experience is extremely terrible. What happens during the last 3 minutes before the consciousness leaves the body is worse, no word to explain. extreme restlessness, worst fear, total confusion and in order to leave the body, the mind ( consciousness) will collect itself to become one point, that is a worst agonising experience, even while dhyana samadhi when try to be one point you will see what is happening.But humans are sleeping. death experience i had undergone and came back.
    Sabbe Satta Sukhita hotnu
    Buddham Saranam

    george

  49. Ron says:

    I like this article very much. Talks about the history of Kerala and their faith. I’m from a christian background would like to know more about Buddhism.

  50. nissar k rasheed says:

    iam try to make a documentary about budddisam in tibattan kolany mysoor anyone have any info about these topic plz contact with me 08129279727

  51. shaji says:

    hi
    can u substantiate your facts?
    i have been having the thoughts what you have written above in my head for a while. and mine is simple logic as yours.
    never could get info from google much.

    • george says:

      bro,

      what in particular is your quest for wisdom???. As Buddha Dhamma is ultimate wisdom and the subject is vast like an ocean. One will not be able to study the whole sutras in a life time. Merely studying dharma is like any other study it does no real good. practice is most important, without practice if anyone claims to be a buddhist is like any other religion. As the great master Bodhi Dharma puts it “The real essence of dharma cannot be put it in words, there is no dharma to be spoken of” that is the ultimate reality what we study must be tested in our real mind, that is not the conscious mind, which is false and always mislead us and make us believe fake as real. the mind that we use for out daily existence is false and empty, no real substance in it. it is
      only good for worldly affairs, still by relying on it we land in misery. When you destroy this false mind then one will be able to see the true and enter the true. This thinking, reasoning, imagining, discriminating mind is false, it is only a mental process driven by habit energy, this habit is built up over a long long period of time. When this habit energy is weakened through mindfulness and dhyana samathi then thought process will stop and at that time there is no mind, that is the real mind, it existing yet it is not existing. it is not an easy affair to know the truth, it is certainly not easy, but through hard work and determination one reaches that state of Nirvana. Initially one need to learn vipassana Bhavana (meditaion) starts with anapana sati then advances stage by stage. Then one need to surrender to the triple gem (buddha,dhamma,sanga). initially study the basics (not just read) 1.Dhammachakka pavathana sutta 2.satipattana sutta 3.Anatta lakahana sutta etc.

      Few people are interested in this, because everyone runs after fake things and easy way out, but they dont realise it is fake. They promise heaven and earth paradise and sorts of tempting falseness which people take it for real, in the end they find themselves fallen in to a subhuman existence and suffer there for a long time, then again get a human body and worldly attractions and the cunning people deceive them again and spent the life wastefully and the story goes on for ever. This is unacceptable, we should not allow other people to rule over us and take us for a ride, find the true and accept it go with it, if we dont do it now, when ???. Life and death is a serious matter, it is not to play fool around. It should be considered very seriously, death is dangerous. One life hard work can free us from this cycle, then, what are we waiting for ???. try hard go diligently and wisely in the end victory shall be yours. Finish this joke of life, miserable joke.

      Bhavatu sabba mangalam.
      Bhuddam saranam

      george

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