The ruthless demolition of Buddha statues by the Taliban leaders in Afghanistan has invited severe criticisms from different quarters of the world. It is quite surprising to note that the Hindu Nazi-led Indian Govt. supported by all other Hindu Nazis has condemned the Taliban action. It appears paradoxical that the ancestors of the present Hindu Nazis in India wantonly destroyed the Buddhist statues and brutally killed the followers of Buddha in India. An impartial student of history can unequivocally remark that the Indian Nazis have no moral right to criticise the Taliban action.
Hundreds of the Buddhist statues, Stupas and Viharas were destroyed in India between 830 AD and 966 AD in the name of the revival of Hinduism. Indigenous and foreign sources, both literary and archaeological, speak volumes of the havoc done to Buddhism by the Nazis in India.
Role of Sankaracharya
Nazi leaders like the Sankaracharyas and many kings and rulers took pride in demolishing the Buddhist images aiming at the total eradication of the Buddhist culture. Today, their descendants destroyed the Babri Masjid and they have also published a list of mosques to be destroyed in the near future. It is with this sin of pride that they are condemning the deed on the part of the Afghans.
The Hindu ruler, Pushyamitra Sunga, demolished 84,000 Buddhist stupas which had been built by Ashoka the Great (Romila Thaper, Ashoka and Decline of Mouryas, London, 1961, p 200). It was followed by the smashing of the Buddhist centres in Magadha. Thousands of Buddhist monks were mercilessly killed. King Jalaluka destroyed the Buddhist viharas within his jurisdiction on the ground that the chanting of the hymns by the Buddhist devotees disturbed his sleep. (Kalhana, Rajatharangini, 1:40). In Kashmir, King Kinnara demolished thousands of Viharas and captured the Buddhists villages to please the Brahmins. (Kalhana 1:80).
A large number of Buddhist viharas were usurped by the Brahmins and converted into Hindu temples where the Untouchables were given no entrance. The Buddhist places were projected as the Hindu temples by writing Puranas which were concocted myths or pseudo-history.
The important temples found at Tirupati, Ahoble, Undavalli, Ellora, Bengal, Puri, Badrinath, Mathura, Ayodhya, Sringeri, Bodhgaya, Sarnath, Delhi, Nalanda, Gudiallam, Nagarjuna Konda, Srisailam and Sabarimala (Lord Ayyappa) in Kerala are some of the striking examples of the Brahmanic usurpation of the Buddhist centres.
At Nagarjunakonda, the Adi Sankara played a demon’s role in destroying the Buddhist statues and monuments. Longhurst who conducted excavations at Nagarjunakonda has recorded this in his book Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India No: 54, The Buddhist Antiquities of Nagarjunakonda (Delhi, 1938, p.6.).
Non-Brahmins burnt alive
The ruthless manner in which all the buildings at Nagarjunakonda were destroyed is simply appalling and cannot represent the work of treasure-seekers because many of the pillars, statues, and sculptures have been wantonly smashed to pieces. Local tradition relates that the Brahmin teacher Sankaracharya came to Nagarjunakonda with a host of followers and destroyed the Buddhist monuments. The cultivated lands on which the ruined buildings stand was a religious grant made to Sankaracharya.
In Kerala, Sankaracharya and his close associate Kumarila Bhatta, an avowed enemy of Buddhism, organized a religious crusade against the Buddhists. We get a vivid description of the pleasure of Sankaracharya on seeing the people of non-Brahmanic faith being burnt to death from the book Sankara Digvijaya.
Havoc played in Kerala
Kumarila instigated king Suddhavanan of Ujjaini to exterminate the Buddhists. From the Mirchakatika of Sudraka we learn that the king’s brother-in-law in Ujjain persecuted the Buddhist monks. They were treated as bullocks by passing a string through their noses and yoking them to carts. The Keralopathi documents refer to the extermination of Buddhism from Kerala by Kumarila. About the activities of Sankara, Swami Vivekananda observe:
“And such was the heart of Sankara that he burnt to death lots of the Buddhist monks by defeating them in the argument. What can you call such an action on Sankara’s part except fanaticism.” (Complete works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol.VII. p. 118, Calcutta, 1997).
Kerala’s Buddhist history
There are hundreds of places in Kerala having the names like Palli either affixed or suffixed with them. Karungapalli, Karthikapalli, Pallickal, Pallippuram are some of the examples of these places. The term Palli means a Buddhist vihara.
It should be noted that Kerala had 1,200 years of the Buddhist tradition.Till recently schools in Kerala had been called as Ezhuthupalli or Pallikoodam. Our Christian and Muslim brothers use the term Palli to denote their place of worship. The pallies were wantonly smashed by the Hindu Nazis under the leadership of Sankara and Kumarila.
They exterminated 1,200 years of Buddhist tradition and transformed Kerala into a Brahminical State.Original inhabitants of Kerala like the Ezhavas, Pulayas etc. were crushed under the yoke of casteism. Many viharas were transformed into temples and the majority of the people were prevented from entering the temples under the pretext of caste inhibitions.
Role of Parasurama
It can also be noted that the name of Kerala is the Sanskritised Aryan version of the Dravidian and Buddhist term cherala. The Parasurama legend regarding the origin of Kerala says that the land of Kerala was raised from the sea by Parasurama by throwing an axe from Gokarna to Kanyakumari. This is a cock and bull story created by the Brahmins to hide all crimes against the Buddhists.
A number of the Buddha statues have been found at places like Ambalapuzha, Karungapalli, Pallickal, Bharanikkavu, Mavelikkara and Neelamperur. They are all in a disfigured state.
Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala and Lord Padmanabha at Thiruvananthapuram are the proxy images of the Buddha being worshipped as Vishnu.
Hundreds of Buddhists were killed on the banks of the river at Aluva in Kerala. The term Aluva is derived from Alavi which means Trisul, a weapon used by the Hindu Nazis to stab the Buddhists. Similarly on the banks of the Vaiga river in Tamil Nadu thousands of the Buddhists were killed by the Saiva saint Sambanthar. The Tamil books Thevaram documents this brutal extermination of Buddhism.
Historians hiding facts
This is what really happened in India, the land of the Buddha. But our so-called eminent historians are bent upon hiding the cruelty inflicted on the Buddhists in India. These “historians” have succeeded in creating an impression that India is a land of non-violence and tolerance. The entire world has been duped by them.
The deed on the part of Taliban is justifiable on the ground that Islam does not permit idols. At the same time, one has to note that Islam does not allow the demolition of other people’s religious centres and images. Whatever may be the argument for and against the Taliban action, the Hindu atrocities on Buddhism in India has no parallel in the entire history of religious struggles. Let the world know the cruel and crooked face of “Indian vulture, no culture”.
Dr. M. S. Jayaprakash
(Courtesy: The Dalit Voice April 16-30.The author is the Prof. of History, Guru Vihar, Punnathala, Kollam Dt of Kerala)