Non-buddhist texts about Buddhism?


I wondered if there were non-Buddhist (Jain, Hindu) texts describing Buddhism? Buddhist texts seem to discuss Niganta and other philosophies all the time.

With metta


Yes, there are many Jain texts refuting Buddhist concept (e.g. about anatta doctrine of Buddhism) and attacking Buddhists not to advocate vegetarianism. But AFAIK, these texts are later than EBTs because, unlike Buddhist texts, many early Jain texts are not well preserved.

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Nilakesi is a Jain text criticising Buddhism. You can search it on Google. Thanks. With regards, Abhinav

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Some opinions about the Buddhists from Jain text, Sūtrakritāṅga (according to Wiki it’s dated around 4th-3rd century BCE):

The Doctrine, Chapter One


Some men *, Sramanas and Brāhmanas, who ignore and deny these true words, adhere (to their own tenets), and are given to pleasures. (6)


Some fools say that there are five skandhas of momentary existence. They do not admit that (the soul) is different from, nor identical with (the elements), that it is produced from a cause (i.e. the elements), nor that it is without a cause (i.e. that it is eternal). (17)

The Gānayas say that there are four elements: earth, water, fire, and wind, which combined form the body (or soul?). (18)

(All these heretics say): ‘Those who dwell in houses, in woods, or on hills, will be delivered from all misery if they adopt our creed.’ (19)

But they do not cross the Flood of Life, who, ignoring the true relation of things, and not versed in the true Law, hold the above heretical opinions. (20)

They do not reach the end of the Samsāra, who, ignoring, &c. (21)

They do not reach the end of transmigration, who, &c. (22)

They do not put an end to birth, who, &c. (23)

They do not put an end to misery, who, &c. (24)

They do not put an end to death, who, &c. (25)

They will again and again experience manifold pains in this ring of the earth, which is full of death, disease, and old age. (26)

The highest Gina, Mahāvīra the Gñātriputra, has said that they will undergo births without number, being placed in all sorts of existences. (27)

Thus I say.


* According to Sīlāṅka the Bauddhas, Bārhaspatyas, and others are intended.

Viz. the Bauddhas. The five skandhas are explained in the commentary as follows: 1. rūpaskandha, or substances and their qualities; 2. vedanāskandha, feelings, as pleasure and pain; 3. vigñānaskandha, perceptions of the qualities of things; 4. samgñāskandha, perception and knowledge of things; 5. samskāraskandha, merit and demerit.

Gānaya, which is explained in the Dīpikā by gñānaka = panditammanya, denotes the Bauddhas. I think that the word may be derived from yāna ‘vehicle,’ which the Buddhist used to designate the two sections of the church, viz. the Hīnayāna and Mahāyāna schools. The commentator quotes a various reading: āvare for gānayā, and explains it as referring to another sect of Bauddhas than those spoken of in the preceding verse. Sīlāṅka comments on the reading avvare first, and then on gānaya.

The Bauddhas = the Buddhists

Besides expected name calling it’s interesting to note definitions of khandhas from the Jain Commentary that are given in the footnotes (especially how viṅṅāṇa is different from sañña). Another interesting bit is how anattā doctrine is phrased by the Jains in 17th verse.