Antiquity of Advaita Vedanta (was Re: An Open Letter to All)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue Jun 13 21:19:25 CDT 2000

On Tue, 13 Jun 2000, Ravisankar Mayavaram wrote:

> Too much theory without practice is the common situation encountered in
> the realm of spirituality.


>  Also indulging in theory which is not so
> related is not beneficial. Former is eating food without digesting it
> and latter is eating junk food which is even worse.


> We need to know
> only enough theory to give shraddha in the practice.

But here I slightly disagree.  In school I learnt trignometry.  I can say
with certainty that since then I've never had to calculate the sine of
anything and probably never will.  But I'm still glad I know because
knowledge is good and ignorance is evil.  How much more so in the
spiritual realm?  Besides the exact nature of necessity can change from
time to time.  In America we face some challenges which we have not had to
face in Bharata for a long time.  Will the same mistakes of the past be
repeated or will we be able to remember that our ancestors already solved
these problems long ago?

> If you think understanding the similarities and disagreements with
> buddhism is so important, can you support it with a quote from any of
> the shankaracharya-s? Have they ever advised their followers to do so?

A while back I mentioned that Swami Chandrashekarendra Saraswatis' opinion
was that Buddhism was already in decline by the time Shankaracharya came
on the scene.  Yet Shankaracharya spends a good deal of effort refuting
their erroneous doctrines.  Even if we disagree with that chronology it is
certain that Indian Buddhism was extinct by the time of Swami Madhusudan
Saraswati.  Yet he also takes the time to refute them?  Why?  For
completeness no other reason.  Even if one has 100% faith in our Acharyas
one should still examine their views from all directions.  This doesn't
imply disrespect.  Nor does it mean agreement with what the opponents are

> I do welcome Nanda to post his article. But the fine line is if his
> article attempts to discuss buddhism on its own right rather than
> comparing it with advaita-vedanta then it clearly goes outside the
> scope of the list.

I agree with this too.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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