It is said that past Karma is inherited in the next birth. Buddhists go on to explain this in flowery language. It is even said Buddha foretold that human birth is genetic. On the other hand, it is said that there is no soul and the elements of the body disintegrate and get united with the elements. When the next birth takes place it is not necessary that the same part of elements is used. If that is so, how can past Karma have an affect on future birth? The answer is simple. We have proved from Gita that Hindus of that period didn’t understand the true concept of rebirth as told by Krishna. By denying the presence of soul, Buddha is only reaffirming the same and confirming that he fully agrees with Krishna, though only in the original form of teachings. This has to be true, as we have proved time and again in these notes that Buddha agreed to the presence of soul and has talked about it on various occasions.
We mention here three different statements of B.R. Ambedkar separated only by 11 pages in his book, which reveal the duality in understanding Buddha’s teachings.
See what B.R. Ambedkar writes on page 341:
“In the Hindu doctrine of Karma a child inherits nothing from its parents except the body. The past Karma in the Hindu doctrine is the inheritance of the child by the child and for the child.
The parent contributes nothing the child brings everything.
Such a doctrine is nothing short of absurdity. As shown above the Buddha did not believe in such an absurdity.”
At one place he says that parents also contribute in childbirth and at other place say that disintegrated elements recombine to form another birth. Who combines them is not told? See page 331:
“According to Buddha there are four elements of Existence which go to compose the body. They are (i) Prithvi; (2) Apa; (3) Tej; and (4) Vayu.
Question is when the human body dies what happens to these four elements? Do they also die along with dead body? Some say they do!
The Buddha said no. They join the mass of similar elements floating in (Akash) space.
When the four elements from this floating mass join together a new birth takes place.
This is what the Buddha meant by rebirth?
The elements need not and are not necessary from the same body which is dead. They may be drawn from different dead bodies.
It must be noted that the body dies. But the elements are ever living.
This is the kind of rebirth in which the Buddha believed.”
At another place, he tells the Jains in a Sutta called the Cula-Khanda that: “Niganthas, you have done evil in the past; extirpate it by these very austerities. Every present restraint on body, speech and mind will hereafter undo the evil doings of the past.”
So as per the aforementioned quotes, it is the rejoining of elements that becomes rebirth but at the same time past karma too contributes to rebirth. How is it possible? However, some critics say that the concept of karma is not from Buddha but has been “bodily introduced into Buddhism by someone who wanted to make Buddhism akin to Hinduism or who did not know what the Buddhist doctrine was.”
For the first time, B.R. Ambedkar has admitted that some Buddhist concepts may be the result of deliberate alteration of teachings by mischievous persons. Unfortunately, he had to say this when, because of apparent duality, he was unable to explain the teachings.
As far as we are concerned, we are of the opinion that since we believe Buddha to be an avatar of the same chain and reporting to the same source, there can be no duality in Buddha’s teachings and also between the teachings of Buddha, Rama, Krishna and other messengers associated with that one source. If there is duality, we should sit down and try to see whether we have understood it wrongly. At all times we should keep our eyes open to trace mischievous persons who are actually responsible for this duality to emerge. We should also remember that such persons could have only succeeded when they wear the garb of that very religion to which they were trying to harm. Other than mischievous persons, the foolish and the ignorant too have contributed in leading the teachings astray.
* * * * *
Now see how, in order to remove one duality, B.R. Ambedkar has created greater dualities.
On page 348 he writes: “The Blessed Lord preached that there was rebirth. But the blessed Lord also preached that there was no transmigration.”
Now combine this statement with his earlier view. Buddha preached that there was rebirth but there is nothing like past karmas. Does that mean that we keep taking birth after birth without rebirth having any link to the previous birth or the sins of previous birth having any relation to future birth?
B.R. Ambedkar agrees that Bhikkus erred at times in transmitting the content of Buddha’s teachings. He writes:
“The Buddhist canonical literature is as vast as ocean. To memorize all this was indeed a great feat.
In reporting the Buddha it has often been found that he has been misreported.
Many cases of misreporting had been brought to the knowledge of the Buddha while he was alive.”
When there can be “many” cases of misreporting, why should we have doubt if there are certain cases of misunderstanding, particularly in the light of misreported teaching.
In this regard, B.R.Ambedkar has given a test. He says that anything that is irrational, illogical or not profitable should not be accepted. Fact is that we are trying to do the same in these notes.
Moreover, to distinguish between irrational, illogical or not profitable teachings and the rest, man should have true and complete knowledge. Or else, there are innumerable cases of people who considered fire worship to be rational, logical and profitable act one day and irrational, illogical and unprofitable act the next day. That is why it is essential that we base our acts on the path shown by those whose enlightenment had a direct link with the Creator and hence there is no chance of our getting astray. That is why it also becomes essential that instead of disapproving Buddha’s link with anyone higher, we should try to identify his teachings with higher ups, who are fully aware of the process and purpose of creation and who bestowed Buddha with the 32 signs, even at the time of his birth, knowing fully well that this child was going to be the next Buddha.
* * * * *
We present here a few lines from B.R. Ambedkar’s book, which he would have liked to remain confined solely to Buddha, hell-bent as he is on cutting all links of Buddha with anybody higher. However, if you have read our commentary of Gita, see whether these lines of B.R. Ambedkar have not resounded in Gita as well. He writes:
“If one has self, let him practice self-conquest. This is the Buddhist Way of Life.
Self is the lord of self, who else could be the Lord? With self well subdued, a man finds a lord such as few can find.
The foolish man who scorns the rule of the venerable (arahat), of the elect (ariya), of the virtuous and follows a false doctrine, he bears fruits to his own destruction, like the fruits of the kattaka reed.”
See, Buddha is talking of the rule of the venerable, of the elect and of the virtuous. Venerable, agreed! Virtuous, agreed! But who are the ‘elected’ when B.R. Ambedkar takes pain to explain that Buddha did not elect a successor, was not elected himself, as he had no link with a God, and neither wanted himself to be discussed. There can be nobody more venerable and virtuous than Buddha in his time. But if his life is not to be discussed, as we have seen earlier in these notes, then whose life will be discussed. Buddha wants the virtuous, the elected and the venerable to be remembered along with their path. This shows that the virtuous, the elected and the venerable are some other beings, whose search is compulsory on us if we claim ourselves to be followers of Buddha. We will have to look in the Vedas to see who the elected are? We will find that the elected are such who are described as perfectly pure and elected ones in Quran as well.
When we find that Buddhists, guided by Buddha’s contemporaries like Kasyapa, decided not to keep the record of Buddha’s life, we will have to accept that he belonged to the categories of those who had erred or were misguided, in spite of keeping company with the Buddha.
* * * * *
Another quote of Buddha, which shows that there have been many preachers and Buddha is one of them, is given by B.R. Ambedkar on page 370 of his book:
“The Right Path is for the happiness not of the few but of all.
It must be good at the beginning, good in the middle and good at the end…
You yourself must make an effort. The Tathagatas are only preachers.”
Buddha confirms that he is one of the chain of messengers who were showing the same path, be it in the beginning, in the middle and towards the end.
* * * * *
Gita, we have seen, talks of our duty to make this world a better place to live. Argument given by Krishna is that the evils in this world are leading to its decay. Based on this argument, Krishna even sanctions a mortal fight against evil, if the need so arises.
That Buddha too agrees with this can be seen in these words by him: “He who does not rouse himself when it is time to rise, who, though young and strong, is full of sloth, whose will and thought are weak, that lazy and idle man never finds the way to knowledge.”
* * * * *
We are sure there will be people who will criticize the criticism that we have done. However, our purpose is to reach the truth. And we are only criticizing on the basis of certain arguments that we hope are strong enough to base our argument on. We welcome all criticism, but only request you to do so after you have applied your mind and done so after removing anger, ego and false pride.
Buddha himself has been subject of much criticism. His words alone have shown us the way: “There is an old saying. ‘They blame him who sits silently, they blame him who speaks much, they also blame him who says little.’ There is no one on earth who is not blamed.
There never was, there never will be, nor is there now, a man who is always blamed, or a man who is always praised.”
* * * * *
It is interesting to note the stress with which Buddha has denounced the consumption of alcohol. See: “Layman, observe this law: Shun drink; make no man drink; sanction no drinking. Mark how drink to madness leads.”
See, not only are we to restrain ourselves but we are to stop others as well. “Make no man drink” has an aura of force in it.
We have discussed at length, while commenting on Gita how Krishna’s sanction to Arjuna to fight was aimed at rectifying the evils plaguing the society. Krishna’s concept of a fight is exactly similar to the true Islamic concept of Jehad. Buddha too is giving sanction fighting the evils of the society. This is exactly the concept of true Jehad.
As regards to the Hindus, we have mentioned explicitly that drinking comprised the five great sins, as per the Upanishads. What’s more, there are only four sins mentioned and the fifth sin is to keep company with one who commits the four sins. This means that giving company to one who drinks too is a great sin, as per Upanishads. And you will be interested to note that the same is mentioned at more than one place.
Some Hindus try to justify their acts of drinking by pointing to Indradeva having soma-drink or Shiva consuming drink. We have proved that consuming the soma, as per Vedas, is something altogether different in meaning. Perhaps somebody did this false interpretation so as to give sanction to his own act. This was just as we have also seen that certain priests were accusing Indradeva of seducing the young maidens when in truth they were trying to hide their own crimes. Also, we have proved that nobody had seen Indradeva or Shiva and whatever stories are prevalent today are myths, based on wrong interpretation of the Vedic hymns and nothing else.
* * * * *