ADVAITA-L Digest - 27 Jun 1999 to 28 Jun 1999 (#1999-65)

nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 30 13:19:44 CDT 1999

>Just for the record's sake, I would like to make it
>clear that I did not understand or imply that Advaita was
>prachanna-Bauddha at all.

My mail was not directed at you, but at the general criticism equating
Advaitam with Buddhism.

>        In one of the Buddhist (I don't know whether it's Mahayana or
>Hinayana) texts called "Milindapanha", a king called Milinda >(supposed to
>be Greek king Menander of Punjab I think) meets a Buddhist sage >(Nagasena,
>I think)  and has a dialogue (panha?) with him.  The basic point >Nagasena
>makes is that though he is called Nagasena, there is nothing >essential to
>him, he's just a temporary combination of flesh, bones, senses, mind, >etc.
>just like the king's chariot is a temporary combination of wheels, >axle,
>etc. Just like the chariot will completely cease to be if it is >dismantled
>or if it is broken, so too the human being (in fact neither really >exists
>at any time, according to Nagasena). There is no essence at all to >either
>the chariot or the human being, or to anything in the world, no Self >to
>living creatures.
>        This is in stark contrast to the Chandogya Upanishad text, >where
>the Rshi UddAlaka AruNi asks his son Svetaketu to bring a nyagrodha(=
>banyan?)  fruit, asks him to break open the fruit, and asks him what >he
>finds. When Svetaketu says there are many seeds, UddAlaka then asks >him to
>break one of the seeds. When Svetaketu has broken it, UddAlaka asks >what
>he found, and Svetaketu says nothing. Then UddAlaka says that That >unseen
>Essence which causes the seed to grow into a big (banyan?) tree, is >the
>Atman, That art thou (tattvamasi).

Milindapanha is an authoritative TheravAda text.

It should be understood that NAgasena is only refuting the concept of Self
and not the truth in man. Early Buddhism has no God and it insists on
ethical perfection for salvation. So if truth is not within where else would
it be?

NAgasena denies that the reality within is the Self and declares that it is
the eternal dharmas (elements of existence) within, which is the Reality - a
materialistic nirvAna.

UddhAlaka Aruni also points to the reality within man, but says it's the
Self, which is spirit - unseen and eternal.

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>From ADVAITA-L at LISTS.ADVAITA-VEDANTA.ORG Tue Jul  6 22:50:03 1999
Message-Id: <TUE.6.JUL.1999.225003.0400.ADVAITAL at LISTS.ADVAITAVEDANTA.ORG>
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1999 22:50:03 -0400
Reply-To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
From: Savithri Devaraj <sdevaraj at EXPLORER.CSC.COM>
Subject: viShNu sahasranAma 1-4 to 1-6
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bhIShma uvAcha --

4.jagat.h prabhuM devadeva-manantaM puruShottamam.h
   stuvan.h nAmasahasreNa puruShaH satatotthitaH ||

bhIShma replied --
  He will be free from all sorrows who always praises by 'the
sahasranAma' (thousand names) that All-pervading Being who is the master
of the worlds, who is Supreme over all Devas and who is the Supreme

5. tameva chArchayannityaM bhaktyA puruShamavyayam.h |
   dhyAyan.h stuvan.h namasya.nshcha yajamAnastameva cha ||

  That worshipper will be free from all sorrows who devoutly worships
and meditates on that Undecaying Being, as also praises Him and makes
prostrations to Him.

6. anAdi-nidhanaM viShNuM sarva-loka-maheshvaraM |
    lokAdhyaxaM stuvannityaM sarva duHkhAtigo bhavet.h ||

  He will be free from all sorrows who always sings the praise of
viShNu(the All-pervading Being), who is free from the six changes
beginning with origin and ending with death, and who is the master and
over-seer of all the worlds.


>From Translation and commentary of Sri SankarAcArya. Translated by
Swami Tapasyananda.

Does anyone have any other translations of Sri Sankara's bhAShya on the
viShNu sahasranAma?  This version does not have the commentary for the
Introductory chapter.  The copy that Sri Ravi mailed me for
transliteration (the actual sanskrit bhAShya) has explanation/commentary
on the introductory chapter as well.


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