using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Summer 2019
BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 69 Acknowledging Buddhism’s South Asian Roots Vishnu Sridharan GROWING UP, I perceived a close affinity between Hinduism—the religion of my ancestors—and Buddhism. Not only were both tradi tions rooted deeply in the soil of South Asia, but I had always been taught that the Buddha was the ninth avatar of Vishnu, the tradi tional Hindu preserver and protector of the universe (as well as my namesake). Given this, engaging with Buddhism felt like a natural part of my spiritual journey. Once I began participating in West ern Buddhist circles, though, I encountered a mix of fetishization and hostility toward Buddhism’s South Asian roots that led me to wonder whether I was misunderstanding Buddhism, or whether the Western Buddhists I was practicing with were misunderstanding me. Among the first things I noticed during my early forays into West ern Buddhism, particularly the Insight tradition, was that the san ghas were made up almost exclusively of white practitioners. I grew up in predominantly white, rural areas, so this alone didn’t bother me. It did seem odd, however, that in the Bay Area—home to one of the largest South Asian diasporas in the country—an assembly of people interested in practicing Buddhism would include roughly one person of South Asian descent: me. This overwhelming whiteness of my practice communities was more than just a point of curiosity; it had considerable impact on my experience of practice. I rarely got through a silent retreat without at least one person, if not multiple people, treating me as an exotic specimen. To this day, I regularly opposite | Buddha, the eighth avatar of Vishnu, in meditation India, circa 1780 (OPPOSITE)©VICTORIAANDALBERTMUSEUM,LONDON|GIVENBYMAJORR.G.GAYER-ANDERSONPASHAANDCOLONELT.G.GAYER-ANDERSON,C.M.G.,D.S.O.