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May 12, 2013

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Peter Kein: It certainly is anachronistic. I have been reading Nakamura's *A History of Early Vedanta Philosophy*. It's a treasure trove of useful information. I think pop Buddhists need to take a rest from their assumption that the Buddha was a fire breathing anti-Vedanta dude. Another book I have been reading is Tarapada Bhattacharyya's *The Cult of Brahma*. We just don't know that much about what the Buddha borrowed and what is original (he does claim originality at M. iii. 186). He might have been original with his 4 jhânas, and innovative with rebirth adding more to it. He was probably not original with his monastic system but original with the notion of the triple gem sangha which is only for arya-pudgala, a spiritual elite (lay or monastic).

As hinted, the idea of a "Hinduism" influencing Buddhism is anachronistic. A better question is whether Vedic Brahmanism influenced the Buddha. On this topic, your readers may be interested in Lal Main Joshi's 'Brahmanism, Buddhism and Hinduism (The Wheel Publication no. 150.151). On the influence of Jainism on Buddhism - Ch. 5 (Jain Antecedents) in Richard Gombrich's 'What the Buddha Thought'.

Consider the works of the Jain Acharya,
Shri Mahapragya.

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