5 Theory of Entry of Hindu Buddhism to Indonesia and The evidence

The influx of Hinduism and Hindu Buddhism in Indonesia in the past has influenced many aspects of the life of the people of the archipelago. Nevertheless, the story of how the conversion of religion and culture in the past is still a mystery. The allegations conveyed by scholars about the theory of Hindu Buddhist entry into Indonesia based on the evidence they find there are also numerous. Here are the allegations and theories as we quote from the book Social Science History published by PT Tiga Serangkai in 2011.

The Entry Theory of Hindu Buddhism to Indonesia

The theory of the entry of Hindu Buddhism to Indonesia which is expressed by historians generally divided into 2 opinions.

  1. The first opinion states that in the process of entry of these two religions, the Indonesian nation is only a passive role. The Indonesian nation is considered merely accepting the culture and religion of India. There are three theories that support this view of Brahmanic theory, Waisya theory, and the theory of Knights.
  2. The second opinion states that Indonesia is also an active nation in the process of acceptance of Hinduism and Buddhist culture. Two theories that support this view are the theory of backlash and Sudra theory.

5 Theory of Entry of Hindu Buddhism to Indonesia:

1. The Brahmin Theory by Jc.Van Leur

The brahmin theory is the theory that the entry of Hindu Buddhism to Indonesia brought by Brahmins or religious leaders in India. This theory is based on the inscriptions of ancient Hindu Buddhist kingdoms in Indonesia in the past that almost all of them use the letters Pallawa and Saksekerta language. In India, these letters and languages are only dominated by Brahmins.

In addition, the theory of the entry of Hindu Buddhism to Indonesia because the role of Brahman is also supported by the customs of Hinduism. As it is known that the whole and true Hindu teachings can only be understood by the Brahmins. In those days, it was only the Brahmin people who were deemed to have the right to spread Hinduism. Brahmins are invited to the archipelago by tribal chiefs to spread their teachings to their people who still have animist beliefs and dynamism.

2. Waisya theory by NJ. Chrome

Waisya theory states that the spread of Hinduism Buddhism in Indonesia is thanks to the role of the Waisya (traders) which is the largest group of Indian society who interact with the Indonesian archipelago. In this theory, Indian traders are thought to have introduced Hindu and Buddhist cultures to local communities when they trade.

Because at that time the voyage depended heavily on the wind season, so in some time they would settle in the archipelago of Nusantara until the sea breeze that would bring them back to India was blowing. During the settlement, these Indian traders also conducted their da'wah on the local Indonesian community.

3. The theory of Knights by CC Berg, Mookerji, and JL Moens

In the theory of Knights, the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism in Indonesia in the past was done by the knights. According to the theory of Hindu Buddhist entry into Indonesia this one, the history of the spread of Hindu Buddhism in the archipelago cannot be separated from the history of Indian culture in the same period. As it is known that at the beginning of the 2nd century AD, the kingdoms of India were decimated by the struggle for power. The rulers of the knights in the losing kingdoms of the period were considered to have fled to the archipelago. In Indonesia, they then established their new colonies and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms. In its development, they then spread the teachings and cultures of both religions to local communities in the archipelago.

4. The Theory of Reverse Flow (National) by FDK Bosch

The theory of backflow explains that the spread of Hindu Buddhism in Indonesia occurs because of the active role of Indonesian society in the past. According to Bosch, the introduction of Hinduism was first brought by Indians. They spread this doctrine to a handful of people, until at last the people were interested in studying these two religions directly from their native India. They departed and studied there and upon returning to Indonesia, they then taught what they got in other Nusantara societies.

5. Sudra theory by van Faber

Sudra Theory explains that the spread of Hinduism and Buddhist culture in Indonesia was initiated by the sudra or slaves who migrated to the archipelago. They settled and spread their religious teachings to indigenous peoples until there was a significant development towards the direction of their original beliefs of animism and dynamism of believing in Hindu and Buddhist teachings.

Well, so some theories of the entry of Hindu Buddhism to Indonesia along with historical evidence. Of the five theories, Brahmin's theory put forward by Jc.Van Leur is considered the strongest theory because it is supported by the real evidence. So hopefully useful.

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