Bhagwad Gita - A Buddhist Sutra?

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The Bhagwad Gita is replete with Buddhist themes and messages. The Chariot itself stands for the Noble Eightfold Path.

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Is the Bhagwad Gita a Buddhist Sutra?

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The Highest Chariot (Gita calls it rathauthamam) represents the Eightfold Path and the armies represent Samsara, Buddha as Krishna is our guide and charioteer. Buddha is known as Purisa Damma Sarathi -- or charioteer of men.

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1)THUS HAVE I HEARD (Evam Maya Srutam)! This is what almost all Buddhist sutras begin with -- this identifies and differentiates Buddha Vacanam or Buddha's words from all other discourses.

1) Bhagwad Gita ends with Sanjaya exclaiming "Thus have I heard":

Bhagavad Gita 18.74

"Sanjaya said:

Thus have I heard the conversation of two great souls, Krishna and Arjuna. And so wonderful is that message that my hair is standing on end.

2)Buddha is remembered by the faithful since the beginning of Buddhism as "Purisa Dama Sarathi" or Charioteer of men.

2)Krishna is shown as a charioteer and guide of Arjuna.

3)THE CHARIOT: The Noble Eightfold Path: The Buddhist "Divine Chariot" VICTORIOUS IN BATTLE is another synonym for the Buddhist Eightfold Path (see Janussoni Brahmana Sutta).

Buddha says, "The noble vehicle 'Brahma yana;' the vehicle of the teachings, dhamma yana' and the incomparable vehicle of victory in Battle 'anuttaro sangama vijaya' are only different names, Ananda, for the Ariya Path of Eight Constituents."

3)THE CHARIOT: BG 1:24, In the Gita is also drawn by white horses (BG 1.14) which Krishna guides to VICTORY IN BATTLE IN A YOGIC WAR OF DHARMA. This chariot is called " rathottamam" or the best of chariots!

4)REFUGE: Buddhists take "Saranam" or complete refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha of saints -- this is how we become Buddhists and declare victory with this ultimate and highest refuge!

No other refuge do I seek;
The Buddha is my matchless refuge,
By the might of this truth,
May joyous victory be mine!

4)REFUGE: Gita constantly says to take refuge in Buddhi as the ONLY refuge, the true refuge:

buddhau Sharanam anvicchaa (Gita 2:49)
BG 14.2, BG 18.57,
BG 18.66

66. Abandoning all duties, take refuge in Me alone; I will liberate thee from all sins; grieve not.

Text 10

tesam satata-yuktanam
bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te

Translation

To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me. 

Who was Krishna addressing? We get a clue from the first line of the Gita that Krishna (aka Sariputra) was addressing Buddhists. The first line states, "Dharma kshetra Kuru Kshetra".



What do the Kurus have to do with the Dharma? NOTHING! There is no direct association in Hinduism between Dharma and the Kurus -- so a Hindu wouldn't know what Kurus have to do with the Dharma -- but a well read Buddhist would.



A Buddhist who reads the Jatakas would know that the 5 precepts that every Buddhist takes upon taking refuge in the Triple Gem of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha is rooted in the Kuru Dharma Jataka where the Bodhisatta is reborn as the son of the king of Indraprastha,



"Dhana˝jaya, the Kuru King, observes the Kuru righteousness (dhamma) And he caused them to write upon the plate of gold: "1)Slay not the living;

2)take not what is not given; 3)walk not evilly in lust; 4)speak no lies; 5)drink no strong drink."



This is the Pancha Sila of the Buddhist that every Buddhist takes along with the Triple Gem refuge!!!! Krishna also says, "Buddhau saranam anvicche"