In RCM also, it is mentioned that all 4 brothers were Vishnu's parts.
This is exactly why I find it questionable. I find it hard to believe anything which two avatars of Vishnu contradict each other. Both Rama and Krishna performed yagnas and endorsed them for the welfare of mankind, because it is the yagnas that cause rains to come and the crops to flourish. And also, by pleasing the devtas through yagnas people will always be shown their protection and mercy. If devtas were really being threatened by yagnas in Kali yug, then it would be more believable for me if Buddha had killed those sinners instead of preaching against yagnas altogether. That logic doesn't hold with me because all of Vishnu's avatars tried to teach people to reform peacefully first, and used violence only when the sinners would not listen. Had Buddha preached peace to everyone and killed the sinners who went against him, then I'd be able to consider him as Vishnu's avatar, but his teachings do not seem like the teachings of Vishnu so I find it questionable.
Correct. May be different situation, different era, different philosophy. But I agree with you primarily. Just leaving still the other possibility open since I can't think Vishnu to be only one dimensional because of Geeta endorsing all kinds of opposite ways to reach the supreme. Absolute Ahinsa as Brahmin dharma and Peace are also preached in Geeta.
Also, take for example Ravan, who performed yagnas to benefit himself and then used the powers he was granted to torment the devtas. This is the exact situation Buddha was preaching against, right? However, Rama did not tell everyone to quit doing yagnas since people like Ravan were getting boons. He killed Ravan and taught everyone what happens when they misuse their powers. This is the ultimate truth of Vishnu's teachings, whether it comes in the form of Ramayan or Bhagawad Gita. He is always merciful and kind to everyone, because they are his children. However, when they misbehave and walk on the wrong path, he will give them not one, but several warnings to improve their conduct and get rid of their sins, but if the sinners still do not listen, he will punish them.
RIght. If anyone who was supposed to be prevented from performing further yagyas was the one who was doing it (Like king Bali specifically only was prevented from completing his yagyas) with intentions of misusing of powers obtained through them. By preaching people in general, he was not going to be able to stop Ravan kind of people gathering power. On the contrary, righteous people would stop doing it and people who don't listen to Vishnu avatar would actually perform it and will get the fruit of karma inevitable out of it.
If Buddha was Vishnu's avatar, this is what I would expect him to do to the sinners who were misusing yagnas. Moreover, Kali Yug is the era of most sin. If you noticed, every one of Vishnu's avatars got more aggressive and more powerful as the yugas neared Kali Yug. Krishna taught people that one must fight for dharma, and he annihilated every sinner that walked the Earth in his time. So why would he come back to Earth in Kali Yuga as Buddha, and preach total peace when even more sin was rampant? I would expect someone like Kalki to come in Buddha's place.
Every progressive Vishnu avatar more aggressive?? How? And more powerful? Are you considering only Parshuram, Ram and Krishna? How Kurma was more powerful than Matsya and Vaaman more powerful than Narsinha? And in Kaliyug is the era of most sins but the absolute sinners are not that powerful like Ravan or Kans. Now the sin is spreaded and divided among ordinary people. Now there are not many absolute evils and absolute goods. There are both good and evils in individuals primarily. So, peace between people and peace between nations is perhaps the most relevant and necessary teachings of Kaliyug. But if it means that if a neighbour country invades you and you let their soldiers win our country without doing anything, then really that can't be digestible teaching if interpreted that way. I think Buddha's message was not for the mass. His message was for the true sanyasis and vairagis and not saansaarik people. His message was meant for very very small relevant mass. Revenge is the theme of Parshuram avatar (for dharmsansthapan and punishing evil). Individual Morality is the theme of Ramavatar. Sanaatan dharma is the theme of Krishnaavatar. Peace and non violence were the theme of Buddha. So if Buddha is the odd one out, other 3 are also not completely common due to different eras (I still see the fundamental nature and philosophies Ram and Krishna to be the same almost but era situations still differ and hence the practical approaches).
Vishnu puraan showed that Vishnu agreed to help the devtas in the form of Kurma, because it was pre-planned by them that Mohini would come and distribute the amrit. I kind of think of Mohini and Kurma as the same since they came in close proximity.
If we go that way, then even Dhanvantari would be included in it (in the middle of the two) with having the same motto and pre planned.
Only Krishna and Rama's avatars were the longest, otherwise all other avatars were short. I did not mean that Lakshmi had to be present in each one, but other Gods were always present in each one, weren't they? I don't know how to explain it, but every avatar of Vishnu shares a similarity in that some God or other (besides vishnu) is always present either being a catalyst or part of the audience, but in Buddha no one is mentioned. Most importantly, the avatars always start off with Vishnu proclaiming that he will come to Earth as so and so, to help so and so. But in buddha's avatar, even vishnu is not mentioned. His birth, childhood, adulthood, nowhere are any characters familiar to Hindu puranas ever make an appearance, so it makes doubt that he is vishnu's avatar.
Well Parashuram avatar was also very long. But anyway, I got the essence of your point.
Btw, which source did you say had Vishnu coming down as Buddha? Is it from an actual Hindu scripture?
I didn't say actually. It is written in those links I posted - Shreemad Bhagwatam which I just mentioned. Varaali also did mention this before IIRC. We can confirm this from her.