This article was prompted by a discussion I had the other day with someone on the subject of Buddhism.
Buddhism is allegedly a philosophy not a religion or at least that is what its adherents, particularly its western ones allege. Some may go so far as to term it a `philosophy of religion` or a `religious philosophy`. To me this sounds disingenuous. We know that originally Gautama Buddha conceived this system as a practical philosophy and not as a religion and yet effectively this is what it has become in the East. Many countries regard themselves as being mainly or in part Buddhist by religion, ie China, Japan, Thailand, Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, South Korea etc. The vast majority of these so-called Buddhists are merely culturally Buddhist just as the majority of people in England today are not really Christian by belief or practice but merely culturally so-and this is a thin veneer at best! Thus we cannot obtain a true appreciation of Buddhism just on the basis of the observation of the beliefs or practices of the majority-and this is the mistake that many westerners today make.
As Baron Julius Evola makes clear in his The Doctrine of Awakening Buddhism according to its earliest texts of the Pali Canon is a system by which the Ariya may obtain physical and mental detachment from the masses. It is most surely a Left-Hand Path and is not intended for the masses but for the spiritual elite, for the would be Master. To be a Master one must first learn mastery over one`s body and thoughts.
The very fact that the masses treat it as a religion where they offer worship to images of the Buddha demonstrates most clearly that it has become degenerate. Some of the practices of Buddhism are useful to the Ariya and may complement whatever Aryan spiritual path the initiate is undertaking. For this reason Evola`s book should be regarded as a useful textbook. The sub title of the book is The Attainment of Self-Mastery According to the Earliest Buddhist Texts and this should be the defining motivation for its study.
In chatper 2 of the book Evola stresses the Aryan-ness of the Doctrine of Awakening. He emphasises that the earliest written texts repeatedly call the teaching Aryan and imply this in a racial and aristocratic sense.
Buddha himself, Prince Siddhattha was the blue-eyed son of a king of Sakiya, a people who claimed to be a `solar race.` The Aryan peoples who built civilisation in both the West and the East belonged to this Nordic Aryan racial caste and one still sees this caste surviving even today amongst the darker-skinned alien hordes in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
"We have to remember that behind the various caprices of modern historical theories, and as a more profound and primordial reality, there stands the unity of blood and spirit of the white races who created the greatest civilizations both of the East and West, the Iranian and Hindu as well as the ancient Greek and Roman and the Germanic."[Evola, 1943]
He states that it is right that Buddhism call itself `Aryan` as it has in part preserved a heritage that is common to all the Aryan peoples but of which western man has largely forgotten. He points out that due to intermarriage between the racial Aryan elite of the East and the indigenous masses much of the tradition has become obscured and has degenerated-as many things have in the Kali Yuga but it is the task of the Arya, the Sonnenmensch to uncover and teach the essential primordial Hyperborean teachings of and to worthy members of our own race.