Now, the question may be that the Indians or the followers of the Vedas... Now it has become so. Actually, the followers of Vedas are everyone. Every human being is the followers of Veda because the history of all other religions, they are all recent—one thousand year, two thousand years, three thousand years—but you cannot trace out the history of the Vedic religion. So from historical point of view, suppose one religion is current for the last three thousand years. Then what was their condition before three thousand years? So the natural conclusion is: as there was no such religion three thousand years and the Vedic religion has no history—it is coming from time immemorial—that was the religion. Take for example in India. Twenty years before there was no Pakistan, but now there is Pakistan. Under certain circumstances, the religious principle has changed, but originally every human being on this planet were following the Vedic religion. And another sense, everyone is following the Vedic religion if it is religion.
How? In the Bhagavad-gītā you will find that vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ (BG 15.15). Sarvaṁ vedam: "all Vedas." "All Vedas" means originally there was one Veda, Ṛg Veda, or, somebody says, Atharva Veda. Then, later on it was divided into four: Ṛg, Sāma, Yajur, Atharva. Then, from the Vedic injunction, then it was summarized, which is called Vedānta, summarized in sūtras. Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1), athāto brahma jijñāsā. In the sūtra there are so many meanings. Then the Upaniṣads, 108 Upaniṣads, they are also Vedic. Then they were explained further for ordinary men—the Purāṇas. They are also Vedas. Then it was further explained by Mahābhārata. So that is also Veda. Rāmāyaṇa, that is also Veda. So any scripture, any literature, transcendental literature, whose aim is to understand God, that is Veda. Therefore, anyone who is searching after the Supreme Lord, he is following the Vedic religion. This is another conclusion. The searching process may be different according to the country, climate, but if the ultimate goal is God, then that is accepted as religion. Just like Christian religion. Christian religion, they are also searching after God—Lord Jesus Christ advising, "Be lover of God." He presents himself as son of God. The Muhammadan, Muhammad, he also presented himself as servant of God. In this way, everyone is accepting. Or if anyone is accepting God as the ultimate goal of religious process, that is also Vedic. Because Kṛṣṇa says that vedaiś ca sarvair aham. And a godless scripture, that is not accepted as religion. Therefore in India, although Lord Buddha appeared in India—he was a kṣatriya, and he started some religious principle—it is not accepted because it is not, in the Buddha religion, there is no acceptance of God or soul.
So these are some of the points. But the Bhāgavata says that although in the Buddha religion there is no, I mean to say, mention of worshiping God, but Lord Buddha is himself incarnation of God, and he induced his followers to worship him. Therefore in the Bhāgavata it is said that he cheated the atheists. The atheists were against God. He appeared before them. He said, "Yes, you are right. You don't worship God. You worship me." And he is incarnation of God. Keśava dhṛta-buddha-śarīra jaya jagadīśa hare. He is accepted in the Vedic literature as incarnation of God, but he says that "There is no God. You worship me. You follow me," because his principle was to stop animal-killing. Sadaya-hṛdaya darśita-paśu-ghātam. God became very much compassionate. When people were too much addicted in killing animals unnecessarily, He appeared as Lord Buddha. Sadaya-hṛdaya darśita-paśu-ghātam. Paśu-ghātam. The paśu-ghātam means they were being implicated in innumerable sinful activities by this process. Therefore God wanted to... Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati (BG 4.7). In the name of religion, they were killing so many animals. Therefore to stop this nonsense, he appeared. And he declined to accept the Vedic principles because there was no other way to stop. If he would have accepted Vedic principles, then these animal-killers would have shown him evidences that in the Vedas there is mention of animal-killing in the sacrifice. But he wanted to stop completely animal-killing; so therefore he adopted a new type of religion. But those who were followers of Vedic religion, they did not accept because that is not religion because it is against the Vedas. These are the principles.
Śaṅkarācārya... Śaṅkarācārya, after Buddha, His Holiness Śaṅkarācārya appeared to drive away Buddhism, and he established again Vedic religion. But that Vedic religion, being impersonal, that is also not Vedic religion. That is also another thing, that God is person. Nityo nityānām. Nityānām, the so many living entities—every one is person. How God can be imperson? If God is the supreme father... If you are a person, then how your father can be imperson? So that is imperfect knowledge. When we speak of God as imperson, that is imperfect knowledge.