In Hinduism, the Avatars of various deities, notably the 10 Avatars of Vishnu, manifest on earth in a human form for a specific and unique purpose. This purpose is more often than not to raise the levels of human consciousness and to trigger off an upward movement in the evolution of man.
The last Avatar of Vishnu, the Buddha, also took birth as a human and died as most human of old age and decaay. Buddha, like Sai Baba, never claimed to be God or an Avatar of God. In fact, the Buddha was recognized as an Avatar of Vishnu, somewhere in the 8th Century, the period, when Buddhism was rapidly declining as the main religion in India.
The references in the Puranas about the Buddha being the 9th Avatar of Vishnu are mostly from this period in the history of ancient India. Were, these references added to the original texts, including the Geeta, during this period?
I wonder what the Shankaracharya has to say about the Buddha? Why does Orthodox Sanaatan Dharma recognize the Buddha as the 9th Avatar of Vishnu?