Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sastha and Buddha

Received the following article from a friend / devotee who wanted an explaination regarding the logic and substance of this article.

I ve already dealt this subject in my book Maha Sastha Vijayam in detail

Anyway Ive answered it again in brief.

The portions given in "Yellow" belongs to the original article and my answers are given in white color: 

Aravind Subramanyam

Sabarimala sasta

The Sabarimala Temple 

was once a temple dedicated to Buddha. 
It can be inferred from the following.

The deity there is Sasta. 
Sasta is one of the names of Buddha. 

मुनीन्द्र: श्रीधन: शास्ता मुनि: शाक्यमुनिस्तु य:/
स शाक्यसिंह: सर्वार्थसिद्ध:
शौद्धोदनिश्च स: /
गौतमश्चार्कबन्धुश्च मायादेवीसुतश्च
स:  //

Just because Amarakosha says Sastha is one of the names of Buddha does it mean Sabarimala temple is a Buddist temple? Even Gautama is the name of a puranic rishi; 

so does it mean Gauthama (husband of Ahalya) is Buddha?
Let us be logical; (If Kamal hassan is called Azhwarpettai Andavan by his fans does it mean he is God?)

Amarakosha list many more names; So will they claim more temples?

We need to understand history before taking a stand; Amarasimma (author of the above mentioned Amarakosha) was basically a jain; 

He wanted to criticize Budda wherever possible; One of the famous name of buddha is "Thathagata" - which is nowhere to be seen in this list;
Instead Amarasimma mischievously attributed "Thathagata" to Mahaveera of Jainism. So can we assume Buddha and Mahaveera are one and the same?.

Pilgrims who visit the temple go on chanting –swamiye saranamayyappa.

Saranam here has come from the Buddhist refrain like this.

बुद्धम् शरणम् गच्छामि

धम्मम् शरणम् गच्छामि
संघम् शरणम् गच्छामि

Another absurd argument. Just because of the word "Sharanam" its buddism? 

The word Sharanam - is'nt a copyright material of Bhuddism; Even before Buddhism, even before Buddha our Hindu system had Sharanagati Tathwam.

Vedas declare : "Durgam deveem Sharanamaham Prapatye" and Bagawat geetha says "Maam ekam Sharanam Vraja"

We have an ancient text acclaiming "Swamin Sharanam Aryapa" - for the 51 Matruka Aksharams - this is the origin of "Swamiye Sharanam Ayyappa"


Buddhism does not recognize any caste

system.  Everyone is equal to a Sudra of the Hindu System.

Who said buddism doesnt have caste system ? 

Buddhism in India, like other religions, has attempted to reform and create a society without classes. Nevertheless, in some parts of India such a Ladakh, with significant historical presence of Buddhists, a caste system existed in a manner similar to caste structure in Tibet. The upper castes belonged to sger gzhis, and were called sgar pa. The priestly caste belonged to monastery, and were called chos-gzhis. Miser were the serf caste. Serfs, the majority of the people, farmed and paid taxes. An individual's social status and lifelong occupation was destined by birth, closed, and depending on the family one was born into, the individual inherited a tenure document known as khral-rten. Buddhist castes had sub-castes, such as nang gzan, khral pa and dud chung. Buddhist also had castes that were shunned by their community and ostracized, such as hereditary fishermen, butchers and undertakers. The untouchables in Buddhist regions, as in Tibet, were known as Ragyappa, who lived in isolated ghettos, and their occupation was to remove corpses (human or animal) and dispose of sewage


In the Hindu system caste is called Varna.  Varnaalso means color.  Here the caste is recognized by the color of

the dress one wears.

Brahmins wear white dress.
Khatriyas wear red dress.
Vaishyas wear yellow dress.
Sudras wear black dress.

Varna = Caste and Varna = Color; Best comedy award of this decade goes to this piece; Oh my God ! I really wonder the author's imagination.

In which text its given people wore dress according to their caste ? 

Argument for the sake of Argument; Nothing else

So all pilgrims going to Sabarimala
wear black dress.

The color dress of Sabarimala is to indicate one is in Vrutham and dark colors is preferred for stay in forest terrain and to protect one from wild animals.

Its an ageold practice that once you reach Pampa one is supposed to wear only Shwetha Vastram. Today due to convince these color dresses are preferred.

Sastha is called as "Bauddha Sanga Vinasanaaya Nama:" - He who annihilated the clan of Buddhists 

Thats my answer to this argument


  1. All such crazy things occur to such crazy minds. Still Shri AS has taken in the right perspective. The replies are true and simple.

  2. R Gopalakrishnan, Ramnagar, CoimbatoreMarch 28, 2013 at 7:33 AM

    There was a time when I used to go to Sabarimala with Vishwanathan Guruswamy of Kalina, more publically called as Publicity Vishwanathan. He used to insist that all brahmins and at least those in the Gruhasthashram, should climb the Neelimalai to the Sannidanam in Shwetha Vastra and wearing panchakachham. He used to say we must see the Lord only in shwetha vastram indicating that our mind after the 42 days vritham was supposed to as clean as white. Aravind you are 100% right on this notation as also your other commentries in this rejoinder. Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa