Originally posted by ShivangBuch
Originally posted by .Vrish.
Incidentally, Buddha being missed in DkDM as one of Vishnu's avatars when Shiva was doing his Nata dance was briefly touched on here
One poster made a pretty good point that what Sidhartha did - abandoning his family in pursuit of moksha - was against Karmaic laws, which is incidentally what Krishna advised Arjun against doing in the Gita.
Baalak dhruv became tapasvi at child age. Shankara left his family at child age. Vivekanand also left his family at young age. Can you quote the exact verse of Geeta where Krishna specifically tells Arjun not to become Sanyasi even if one is a true sanyasi by mind?
I don't have my Gita on me, so can't cite any verses. But no, there is nothing against becoming a sanyasi, but usually, when people did it, they normally left others to handle their worldly responsibilities. Like Vishwamitra did. Or when each ancestor of Rama retired to take up sanyas, they first installed their sons as their successors and then went. Different from Buddha, who instead of asking Rahul to succeed Sudhodhana, took him into the sangha and probably saw the end of his father's dynasty.
On your other example above, Dhruva and Buddha's tapasya couldn't be more different from each other. Dhruva did not have a plan to renounce the world - he wanted to win back his right to his father, which is why he went into meditation. Vishnu granted him that he'd get that, and also succeed his father as king, whereas in Buddha's case, even after he got enlightened, not only did he not return, but his wife and son joined the Sangha. Essentially, anybody who could fulfill the karmaic duties of succeeding his father were, AFAIK gone. In fact, Dhruva is a perfect example of why Buddha was not the ideal path to follow.
Shankara and Vivekanand were more latter examples, and with all due respect, can't be held up as reinforcements of what Vedic religious practices, as done during the first 3 yugas, were. Indeed, it would be very tough to take any of their teachings, and project it back to rationalize activities of Rama, Krishna, Arjun or anyone else, even though they take the actions of these divine figures and built up various philosophies surrounding their activities. But one can't for certain claim the reverse cause-effect. A lot of what was done by Shankara, Ramakrishna & Vivekananda was reformation of Hinduism, and that too, a subset of followers. Which is absolutely valid, but once you start reforming anything, there are departures from the original traditions that may or may not be supported by the shastras,. This of course doesn't mean that it's not Hindu or not valid in Hinduism, but it does make it likelier that the original shastras did not factor in these latter philosophers in mind, not only for obvious reasons of preceding them by millennia, but also, due to variances in the very messages themselves, be they about rituals, sacrifices, or whatever.
Actually aside from Varaali's speculations above, I think we bypassed a more basic definition - what did we use as our benchmark to define whether a person or religion was/is Hindu? For something in those times, I'd look @ its compatibility w/ the ancient Hindu scriptures, and whether they followed those or not - particularly the Vedas, the Puranas and the Upanishads. Granted, some texts, such as Manu's Smritis, could be revised over time, since they were written by humans and transmitted orally, and wouldn't be constant over time independent of society (although it did remain unchallenged for the first 3 yugas).
I also think that this religious compatibility thing is something like software. If you bought an app 15 years ago that ran on Windows 95, that app would not run today under Windows 7, but that doesn't mean that either of those OSs are not Windows. It does however mean that Windows 7 has features that not only were not there under Windows 95, but can't be supported there either. Similarly, there are practices in the ancient scriptures that would be either impossible or illegal to try doing today - to take a very innocuous example, try doing an Ashwamedha yagna anywhere in India today, and it would be laughed @. This is not b'cos the Ashwamedha Yagna is not a Hindu tradition or that today's Hindu's ain't Hindus, it's b'cos the 'versions' of Hinduism have changed over the millennia.
I don't deny that Buddha was Hindu, although it is fair to say that the religion he started is different from Hinduism to warrant being classified as different. To continue the software analogy above, just like Firefox forked from the original Netscape, similarly, Buddhism (and Jainism and Sikhism) forked from Hinduism, and Christianity forked from Judaism. Of course, there are differences and points where those parallels end - Christianity still has a place honoring the Old Testament, whereas Buddhism doesn't have any such place for the Vedas or the Puranas.