Assimilation of Brahmanism into Buddhism is a research work on Buddhism and Buddhist art of early medieval period in India. Archaeological materials and literary records suggest that Buddhism had a continuous existence during the third century BCE to the thirteenth century CE in India. Though early Buddhism was totally different in its doctrines and faith from the Brahmanical system, the Buddhism of today is a religio-philosophical system having assimilated and adopted new ideas and beliefs from the environment in which it was born and nurtured.
The introduction of Tantrism bought Buddhism and Brahmanism closer to each other. It opened the gate to the vast field of Buddhist iconography along with Tantric practices, deities, mudras and mandalas. Many of these were influenced by the Brahmanic idea of godhead and some were the combination of one or more ideas of Brahmanic divinities. There was assimilation of a number of factors between Brahmanism and Buddhism.
This scholarly volume addresses the different aspects of this assimilation process by getting into a historical study of Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhism; outlining the political history, and socio-economic and religious changes during 300-700 CE; scanning the political and economic background and the spreading of esoteric Buddhism; emergence of Vajrayana Buddhism; and providing a detailed sketch of Vajrayana images.