P.K. “Seems that this “Narayana” is of a rather different character than the Narayana we find in the Indian Vedic tradition. Just a similarity in name does not mean the same person.”
From Bhakti Ananda Goswami: Dear P.K., Thank you for your comment. I have had extensive experience in the field of Pure Land Buddhist studies and practice, comparing the various forms of Pure Land Buddhism, which diffused from India, throughout its entire range. I have been Nama Mantra initiated in three schools of Pure Land Buddhism (Japanese, Chinese and Nepali-Tibetan) and since the late 1960s I have studied the Holy Names, art and artifacts, scriptures, practices, place names, treaties and trade alliances, the general history (of course), and the non-Pure Land Buddhist Traditions that competed with the Pure Land Traditions. This research has included many hours of interviews with experts, both scholars and practitioners, which I interviewed as part of my 1982 Marylhurst College Field Studies Course Contract. For example I interviewed scholars and practitioners at Joshi (Sacred Heart) University in Tokyo Japan, and from universities, temples and monasteries in Taiwan, Vietnam, China, Korea, and in Sri Lanka, India and Nepal.
ALL of these experts were in agreement that the MANY SANSKRIT NAMES and Traditional Forms of the Pure Land Buddhist Trikaya’s Manifestations in the so-called Mahayana Buddhist Pantheon were derived from earlier ‘Hindu’ Traditions in India, and that the essential Pure Land Scriptures and litanies, mantras etc. in Buddhist Sanskrit were primary evidence of this connection. What these Buddhist Experts did not know was anything about Brahma Sampradaya (Lineage) Vaishnavism, and so they were appreciative of the information that I could give them about the specifice kind of ‘Hinduism’ that Pure Land Buddhism is quite obviously historically and theologically so closely related to. Because I am familar with the specific Brahma-Surya centric Vaishnavism of the great Schools of Vrindavan-Mathura and Gandhara, I am able to understand the specific connections of these Vaishnava Traditions to the Pure Land Tradition of Mahayana Buddhism, which originally diffused from these EXACT locations.