When you look at Japanese Buddhism you see all kinds of things straight from the Vedas. You know like this notion of feeding the gods. You know, in sacrifices, the sacrifices are pure the Vedic sacrifices. The idea of feeding your gods that’s from the Vedas. You know the gods exist because we feed them because we sacrifice to them. You know with all kinds of implicit, imagery like for instance, you know, Indra is a great consumer of soma. That is to say we humans are sacrificing plenty of soma to Indra and so that’s all.
And you know many of the practical formulas and so on they are straight from Hinduism. “Bodhi Sowaka”, you know, they say at the end of the Heart Sutra in Zen Buddhism. Sowaka is ‘swaha’, what they say at the end of a Vedic sacrifice. There’s just nothing new the practice of mantra, for example, in Tibetan Buddhism in Chinese Buddhism is just straight from India often it is also kept in Sanskrit pronounced a bit clumsily in the Chinese fashion in the Japanese fashion but still Sanskrit, is straight from India. They also recognized that it is all indebted to India. They would have greatly applauded if India adopted Sanskrit as national language in the late 40s.
Anyway, you have one more argument – the very gods were exported by Buddhists, you see, rather than being a concession to Hinduism, because it was everywhere. They couldn’t keep out the contamination by ugly vicious Hinduism as it is said in most modern introductions to Buddhism. Instead, you see, the Buddhists themselves embraced this Vedic tradition and took it elsewhere. You see, in Japan there were no Hindu missionaries yet in every village, there is a Saraswati temple. In Thailand, a few years ago, there was news about the terrorist attack on the Phrom temple. Now, I don’t know the exact pronunciation but Phrom is Brahma.
You see the main temple in Bangkok of the Buddhists is a temple to Brahma and in fact in the Buddhist story it is Brahma and Indra together who implored the Buddha after his enlightenment to go out and teach this technique of enlightenment to other people. So, anyway you know, this is in fact if you go to the contents rather than to the present the propaganda is obvious that Buddhism is a part of Hinduism.