'Vedic conspiracy has suppressed Buddhism'

SHIMOGA, May 16 (DHNS)

A 'Vedic conspiracy` has been responsible for the suppression of Buddhism in India, according to writer-critic G P Basavaraj.

Speaking at a book release function of the Kannada translation of Ashwaghosha`s Buddhacharita organised by the Buddha Dharmankura Trust at Kuvempu Rangamandira here today, Mr Basavaraj said that the caste and gender prejudices prevalent during Buddha`s time had become Buddha`s greatest preoccupations. His aim was to find some means of helping people rise above such oppressions. The 'Sangha` he built was one such means wherein people of all classes and castes were admitted.

Pointing out that only the first 14 chapters of Ashwaghosha`s work in Sanskrit were extant today, Mr Basavaraj said the fact that only the later chapters which dealt with Buddha`s work were missing threw up interesting questions. ''One cannot but wonder if these chapters were deliberately removed by vested interests to protect their own religious claims,`` he said.

However, Buddha`s teachings had gained a firm foothold in several countries in the Far-East, and this had brought to light Ashwaghosha`s work, he said.

Praising the efforts of Prof L Basavaraj for translating the work into Kannada,Mr Basavaraj said the work was now made accessible to common readers as well as scholars.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof L Basavaraj said that his interest in Buddha stemmed from his works on the 12th century saint, Basavanna, since both had fought for religious and spiritual freedom of the common people.

He said that though there were thousands of books available on the Vedic religion, very few were found on Buddhism, especially in Kannada.

Chairman of the Buddha Dharmankura Trust, Prof Rachappa, said the Trust was trying to promote the teachings of Buddha. It was also involved in providing financial aid to students belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and backward classes, he added.


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