If advaita stands, all other systems(including dvaita) fall
msuresh at INDIA.TI.COM
Thu Jan 9 01:06:59 CST 1997
> From owner-advaita-l at TAMU.EDU Wed Jan 8 21:05:06 1997
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> Date: Wed, 8 Jan 1997 10:12:00 -0500
> Reply-To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
> Sender: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
> From: Anand Hudli <ahudli at APPN.CI.IN.AMERITECH.COM>
> Subject: Re: If advaita stands, all other systems(including dvaita) fall
> Comments: To: advaita-l at tamu.edu
> To: Multiple recipients of list ADVAITA-L <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
On Wed, 8 Jan 1997, Anand Hudli wrote:
> M Suresh wrote:
> > Somehow I have always found the criticism of dvaitins that advaita is
> > identical
> > with buddhism to be very valid.
> > Buddhists say that the reality behind everything is emptiness and
> > say
> > that the reality behind everything is non-dual brahman. Both are two
> > words to denote something which is beyond all dualities and can be treated
> > equivalents.
> Not so. We have to look at what the Shruti says about Brahman. It
> is not emptiness because shruti describes it as "satyaM jnaanaM
> anantaM", "ananda", etc.
But the non-dual Brahman is beyond knowledge, experience and description.
Because knowledge implies a knower and the known which is dual,
experience implies experiencer and experience which is dual and
description implies description about an object which is again duality.
Thus the non-dual Brahman would be the same as emptiness.
Sri Ramana Maharishi modified the Upanishadic definition of Brahman "Soaham"
meaning "That I am" to just "I am" where the subject and object dissappear
and just the "I" is there. IMO "I am" would be the same as "I am NOT" as
conveyed by emptiness.
> Further, there is a crucial difference between how advaita describes
> the world and how the nihilists desribe it. According to the latter,
> the world is totally nonexistent. It is like the horns of a hare --
> a purely fictitious entity. But according to advaita, the world is
> an illusion superimposed on Brahman. The argument is that an illusion
> must have a real substratum. The illusory snake has the real rope as
> its substratum. No illusion can occur without a basis in reality or
> in other words, no illusion can be based on an unreal entity.
If all duality is illusory as stated by advaita then everything can be
considered to be illusory or non-existent because knowledge or experience
of anything implies duality.
> The shruti says "neha naanaa .asti kinchana." There is no variety
> whatsoever. It only negates duality. But there is an implied
> nondual reality. If the ultimate reality were void or nothingness
> it would have said, "neha kinchidasti" (there is nothing here).
I think both are essentially same and it is only a choice of words.
> I would also like to clarify that not all Buddhist schools are
> nihilistic. Some for example accept reality but assert that it is
> an instantaneous entity. Nevertheless, they contradict the shruti
> in some way or the other.
> > Of course in buddhism it is negation and in advaita it is affirmation, but
> > both
> > are concepts which point to the same eternal non-dual state beyond all
> > concepts.
> > Therefore IMO the core of both buddhism and advaita teachings are the same
> > though
> > they differ in details and practice.
> As far as the teachings and practice are concerned, Buddha probably
> took some concepts from the upanishhads, which explains why there
> may be some similarities. But don't be deceived by these similarities.
> The orthodox advaita position is that Buddha accepted some parts of
> the Vedas and rejected others. So he did not accept Vedas in their
> entirety. That is precisely why Buddhism is considered a heterodox
> or anti-Vedic philosophy. But there is more to this charge than just
> some orthodox brahmins' censure of a heretical doctrine.
> You cannot selectively accept parts of the Vedas and reject others.
> The whole of Vedas is usually divided into karma and jnaana kaaNDas.
> Each kaaNDa has a role to play and the relation between the two
> kaaNDas is extensively dealt with in Sureshvara's sambandha-vaartika,
> an introduction to his monumental vaartikaa on the brihadaarNyaka.
> The advaitins don't reject the karma kaaNda outright as the Buddhists
> do. What I am trying to say is that karma kaaNDa has a role to play
> in Brahman realization, in that it purfies the mind and makes it fit
> for inquiry into Brahman. We see two extreme positions on the karma
> kaaaNDa by the miimaamsakas and the Buddhists. The mimaamsakas treat
> the karma kaaNDa as the true import of the Vedas, thereby relegating
> the jnaana kaaNDa to mere arthavaada. The Buddhists take the other
> extreme position, completely abolishing the karma kaaNDa. It is only
> advaita that recognizes the importance of both the karma and jnaana
If you agree that Buddhism has borrowed Jnaana Kaanda then the truth of
the Brahman expounded in it is the same as the emptiness which is the
highest doctrine in Buddhism.
I do not disagree that Buddhism and advaita vary in their approach to
> > This is the reason why many advaitins are somewhat familiar with buddhist
> > philosophy.
> I hope this familiarity is not from reading the dvaitins' criticism
> of advaita and Budhhism.
This is true to a certain extent about myself. But from the net and from this
mailing list I have observed that many advaitins have read books on buddhism,
> > -Suresh.
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