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

Sankaran Panchapagesan panchap at ICSL.UCLA.EDU
Mon May 15 12:46:16 CDT 2000


> But that need not mean that the end is different. Else it would mean 1.
> Shankara and Buddha experienced *different* realities, which itself would
> imply that either Shankara's or Buddha's reality is false.

  A general comment -
        The other natural interpretation is that the Buddha did not have
the Advaitic realization and whatever "reality" he experienced was not
what Shankaracharya experienced.

There is no need at all to *presuppose* that the Advaitic and the Buddha's
realizations are the same, which is what I think you're doing. And I think
what Vidyasankar is saying after reading Buddhist and Vedantic texts is
that the words they use to describe it, and their philosophies are not the
same, so it is reasonable to conclude that their realizations are also not
the same.

However close Ashvaghoshha's and other Mahayana philosophy might be to
Vedanta, the Buddhism of the Buddha need not be. That is the impression I
get after browsing the newsgroup talk.religion.buddhism for the last few
months. The emphasis there is more on practice, and they often quote from
Buddha's teachings to clarify philosophy, where the emphasis always seems
to be on relieving suffering which is basically caused by the belief in a
self, and not to remove avidyA like Advaita.

> The more logical and unprejudiced answer would be that they approached the
> same reality from different angles.

Actually, Vidyasankar's position seems to me to logical and unprejudiced
as I have explained above. It is possible that the Buddha did not realize
the highest reality of Advaita or at least did not speak about it ?

Only some generaly comments. If you think I'm wrong please correct me.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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