In his new book, Casino Capitalism: The Collapse of the US Economy and the Transition to Secular Democracy in the Middle East, Dr. Susmit Kumar suggests Buddhism may be in for a comeback as the world’s largest religion:
“All religions are officially banned in China at present but it is said that nearly half of Chinese population practice or believe in Buddhism. Until the 1949 communist takeover, Buddhism had the largest number of followers in the world, with Christianity as the second largest. Hence once China starts to move away from the communistic ideology (that considers religion as “the opiate of the masses») we will see the revival of Buddhism.”
According to PROUT, a world constitution should guarantee the fundamental right of spiritual practice to every individual, among other essential rights.
Kumar writes: “As China is poised to be the world’s military and economic superpower in very near future, Buddhism may eclipse all other religions and regain the position of the world’s leading religion. It may even make an inroad into India at the expense of Hinduism. During the heyday of Buddhism in India, from 3rd century BC to 12th century AD, there were several large universities like Taxila (4th century-6th century) and Nalanda (5th century-12th century) that attracted scholars and students from such faraway places as Greece, Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey. Nalanda University was one of the first great universities in recorded history. It had eight separate compounds, ten temples, meditation halls, classrooms, lakes and parks. It had a nine-story library where monks meticulously copied books and documents so that individual scholars could have their own collections.”
“At its peak, Nalanda provided dormitories for nearly 10,000 students, perhaps a first for an educational institution, and also accommodations for 2,000 professors. It was devoted to Buddhist studies, but it also trained students in fine arts, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, politics and the art of war.* In 1193, it was sacked by an invading Muslim army of Bakhtiyar Khilji, a Turk. The invading army burned thousands of Buddhist monks alive and beheaded thousands in order to uproot Buddhism. They also set fire to the nine story library that continued to burn for three months and the smoke from the burning manuscripts could be seen from hundreds of miles afar. Now efforts are underway to revive this grand old university. A consortium led by Singapore and Japan, with funding from India, China and other nations, have collected $500 million for this purpose.”
* Garten, Jeffrey E, “Really Old School,” The New York Times, December 9, 2006.
See our review of Casino Capitalism: The Collapse of the US Economy and the Transition to Secular Democracy in the Middle East. The book is available at Amazon and other online book stores.