shUnyavAda and KShaNikatva (momentariness)

Ritwik Bhattacharya bhattacharya_ritwik at YAHOO.COM
Thu Jun 22 10:10:31 CDT 2000

> said
> > on one of the posts, it is quite obvious that both advaita and
> buddhism
> > have been influenced by each other. Can we not leave it at that ?
> >
> Well as wouldbe practioners of Advaita Vedanta we surely want to know
> what
> the scope of that influence is don't we?

Not necessarily. Speaking for myself, as someone who is interested in
what Advaita Vedanta has to say, I am trying to read the essential
texts that lay out Advaita philosophy, and to see whether what they are
saying is reasonable. I will then decide whether to delve deeper into
Advaita or not. But to do this, I have no need to try ot verify the
historical statement of whether Buddhism influenced Advaita, or vice

> On the subject of tolerance, our highest duty is to the truth and we
> should be 100% intolerant to anything that distorts or obscures the
> truth.

That is debatable. For one, I doubt that anybody can claim to "know"
the truth of this matter (buddhism vs. advaita). Hence, it is virtually
impossible to say whether the truth is being distorted or obscured. Of
course, this is not to grant license to anybody to distort somebody
else's statements.

Also, I disagree with that statement in general. For example, if
someone were to make a claim as to the lifestyle of some obscure
Saharan tribe, I would not spend 15 days to try to find out if he is
distorting the truth. The point I'm trying to make is that we should be
intolerant of distortions, only as far as they concern our primary aim.
As I described earlier, to me, the entire topic of who influenced who
is completely irrelevant.

> To refuse to learn doesn't make one a mystic it makes one ignorant. A
> true
> seeker may be completely sincere but without knowing what he is
> seeking he
> is never going to find it.

Precisely my point :). I am not seeking the truth of whether buddhism
influenced advaita or not. I am trying to find out WHAT advaita says
about the nature of "Truth".


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