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

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed May 10 22:14:46 CDT 2000

On Wed, 10 May 2000, Anand Natarajan wrote:

I agree with much of what you are saying but the  views expressed below
swing too far to the opposite extreme.

> Regarding Buddhism ,Adi Shankara only destroyed the degraded Buddhist
> cults and not the teachings of Bhagavan Buddha.

On reading the works of astika authors with first-hand experience of
Buddhism whether Vedantins of various stripes, Mimamsakas or Nayayikas, it
becomes clear that they considered Buddhist teachings to be the vilest
heresy.  The poet Jayadeva (who lived at the very end of Indian
Buddhism) is the only author I've encountered so far who has had anything
good to say about Buddha and his teachings.  As I mentioned in my other
post they may have had warm personal relationships but on a philosophical
level?  Certainly not.

>  Here is another
> quotation from Swami Vivekananda on this topic.
> "Hinduism cannot live without Buddhism,

But Hinduism *has* lived without Buddhism for many centuries now.

>  nor Buddhism without Hinduism.

If Buddhism survives today it is because of its enthusiastic adoption by
foreign cultures often in forms which would hardly be recognizable
to the classical authors.  India and Hinduism have not helped a bit.

> Then realize what the separation has shown to us, that the Buddhists
> cannot stand without the brain and philosophy of the Brahmins, nor the
> Brahmin without the heart of the Buddhist.

This type of formulation is mildly insulting to both Brahmins and
Buddhists.  Neither has a monopoly nor deficit in brains or heart.

> This separation between the
> Buddhists and the Brahmins is the cause of the downfall of India. That
> is why India is populated by three hundred millions of beggars, and
> that is why India has been the slave of conquerors for the last
> thousand years.

Thailand has many beggars, what are we to make of that?  Slavery was ended
in Tibet by the Communists not compassionate Buddhists.

Learning about Buddhism is important to understand the development of
Advaita Vedanta and other astika darshans but on a practical level it is

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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