Hindus will be wiped out from Kerala
What has erased the traces of Buddhism from the history of Kerala?
Origins: There are slightly different views as to when Buddhism entered, flourished, and declined in the Kerala region. The region itself has been part of the history throughout history Chola Kingdom (from 150 AD) And later as a federal state Travancore differently named among the tirunals before India's independence.
One view is that Buddhism only flourished in Kerala for a short period of around 200 years.
Other views might suggest that Buddhism came to Kerala on its way to Sri Lanka, or even vice versa as Theravada Buddhism from Sri Lanka.
The Paliyam copper plate apparently proves that Kerala was introduced during the reign of Ashoka Buddhism.
During this time the emperor's son, Mahindra, led a Buddhist mission to Sri Lanka. Buddhism flourished in Kerala for over 700 years. The Paliyam copper plate of Ay king Varaguna (885-925 AD) shows that Buddhists, at least in southern Kerala, enjoyed royal patronage until 1000 AD.
From 800 AD there was a Bahman revival in the region.
During the time of Maurya Sharman, a Kadamba king, invited large colonies of Brahmins from northern India to settle in Tulu and Kerala . In 792 AD, King Udaya Varman of the Mooshika Dynasty settled 237 Brahmin families in Kerala. Tradition has it that six outstanding Brahmins came with these immigrants, defeated Buddhist leaders in public debates, and established the intellectual supremacy of Hinduism.
S Ramanath Aiyer wrote in his short sketch of Travancore (this version was printed in 1903):
Bhattacharya, Bhattabana, Bhattavijaya, Bhattamayukha, Bhattagopala and Bhattanarayana were the apostles and they brought all the forces of their dialectic to the subject and all converted to the cause of the Hindu triad. Sasthrakali, or a mode of worship peculiar to this land, is the only product of their triumphant compromise. The revered deity is Sastha, the divine descendants of Vishnu and Shiva.
It is claimed that Buddha was reintroduced into Hinduism as "Shasta", a Hindu deity - the above-mentioned snake deity.
Later scholars such as Guru Prabhakara and Shankaracharya (788-820 AD) strengthened the predominance of Hinduism. This led to royal patronage and promotion of Vaishnavism by the Kulashekara kings of the Second Chera Empire. Budhhist and Jaina temples were taken over and appropriated by the Hindus and converted into Hindu temples. Examples of such temples still exist.
The temple at Chitral in South Travancore is one of the several examples. It used to be a Buddhist temple. The idols we see in and around the temple prominently hint at Buddhist sculptures.
However, one of the main reasons for the decline of Buddhism could be the complexity of its philosophy.
In his 1980 essay, "The Disappearance of Buddhism and the Survival of Jainism in India: A Study in Contrast," Padmanabh S. Jaini mentions RC Mitra's reasons for the decline of Buddhism:
- Withdrawal of royal patronage
- Brahmin persecution
- Muslim invasion
- Internal corruption and decay
- Splitting effect of sectarianism
- Inadequate cultivation by the laity.
However, he denies this on several points, including exhaustion. Its main point is that Buddhist philosophy itself gave rise to internal contradictions that were difficult to resolve:
... the teaching of the heavenly bodhisattvas made Buddhism uniquely vulnerable to the assimilative tendencies of the surrounding Hindu cults. The development of the celestial bodhisattvas theory, and indeed that of all of Mahayana in Buddhism, may ultimately be traced back to the famous "Avyiikrta of the Buddha", his unwillingness to engage with certain fundamental philosophical issues. The Buddhists' inability to agree on the meaning of this silence led to a situation in which various contradicting absolutist teachings could arise, each claiming to be the correct interpretation of the teachings of the Master.
Another answer that looks at the decline of Buddhism in India from the 12th century can also be found on this thread
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