Buddha was not a Buddhist, Christ was not Christian……….
The notion that Buddhism is a form of Hinduism makes as much sense as saying that Christianity is a branch of Judaism. Firstly that lumps the so called branches into small ones, where they would both best be described as very large trees in their own right. Buddha was born in a land where Brahmanism was the dominate belief system; Christ was born where Judaism wasn’t even the major belief in the region. Making these analogies, you might as well say Baptists are Buddhist because they both say do not lie, or steal. Most of the major belief systems have a similar moral code built in, as the rules of how to get along within society really don’t change regardless of where you live. You could say that scientists are Buddhists, because of their similar approach to natural phenomena. Both reject supernatural explanations, or demand that you just have faith. Buddhism because of this natural world based approach, with no deity co-exists with science, much more smoothly than some other believes. There hasn’t been the persecution of scientists, such as Galileo or Copernicus. Nor does Buddhism try to mix evolution with creationism, in some form of blender to come up with intelligent design. Rather Buddha focused on eliminating the suffering we face every day. He took immortality, the vastness of the universe, mysticism, metaphysics off the table for the vast majority of us. Leaving it to the most devout of the Sangha to ponder and pontificate. Much like a Physician who specializes in treating cancer, when we listen to him he aren’t worrying about the causes, or what treatment might be available in say 100 years, we want to know about what can be done right now. This is exactly what Buddha gave us, a prescription for living in the here and now. A prescription of a way to handle the stresses and anxieties that causes us to suffer. Think of the Four Noble Truths as scientific hypotheses. They can be tested by anyone who wants to do the work, and can be repeated by anyone. Like any good science experiment the Four Noble Truths, not only pose a question, they explain the procedure and the outcome if the procedure is followed