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

Ram Chandran ramvchandran at JUNO.COM
Tue May 16 11:10:50 CDT 2000

Hari Om Sankaran:

Honestly, we can't describe either of their realizations. Intellectually, we
can only grasp their path to liberation. Nanda correctly pointed out that
Vedanta recognzes the positive aspects of life where as Buddhism stresses
removing the negative side.

The Vedantic approach points out that the True Human Nature is Divine and we
should take steps to regain the Divine Nature. Buddhism on the other hand
wants to drive out the 'Devil.' Buddhism did not recognize the presence of

According to Vedanta, when we gain the "Infinite Wisdom," we become silent,
we achive fulfilment to our desires and we get liberation from the evils of
desires. Desires as such as is not bad and it is impossible to live without
desires. Vedanta correctly suggests that we divert our desires toward the
"Iswwara." With this transformation of our attitude, all  our actions become
spontaneous and mind becomes inactive!

In the Buddhist approach, desires are the root cause of all problems. If we
look carefully, desire is not the problem but the real problem is the
"attachment." There is no such thing as "desireless!" If we say that we want
to be "desireless," we express an unachievable desire!

Coming back to our intellectual comparison between these two approaches, we
can safely conclude, that the Vedantic approach is practical and also
achievable. Most important, for those who believe in the Vedic Traditions
like us, "Divinity" is missing in the approach to salvation.  In conclusion,
for seekers, the path is much more relevant and important.


Ram Chandran

From: Sankaran Panchapagesan <panchap at ICSL.UCLA.EDU> writes:


> 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.

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

Archives :
Help     : Email to listmaster at
Options  : To leave the list send a mail to
           listserv at with
           SIGNOFF ADVAITA-L in the body.

>From  Tue May 16 09:47:25 2000
Message-Id: <TUE.16.MAY.2000.094725.0700.>
Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 09:47:25 -0700
Reply-To: anandn at
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
From: Anand Natarajan <anandn at MYWORLDMAIL.COM>
Organization: MyWorldMail  (
Subject: Re: Antiquity of Advaita Vedanta
Comments: To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at>
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Taken from the site :-


I am not a Buddhist, as you have heard, and yet I am. If China, or Japan, or Ceylon follow the teachings of
                       the Great Master, India worships him as God incarnate on earth. You have just now heard that I am going to
                       criticize Buddhism, but by that I wish you to understand only this. Far be it from me to criticize him whom I
                       worship as God incarnate on earth. But our views about Buddha are that he was not understood properly by
                       his disciples. The relation between Hinduism (by Hinduism, I mean the religion of the Vedas) and what is
                       called Buddhism at the present day, is nearly the same as between Judaism and Christianity. Jesus Christ was
                       a Jew, and Shakya Muni was a Hindu. The Jews rejected Jesus Christ, nay, crucified him, and the Hindus
                       have accepted Shakya Muni as God and worship him. But the real difference that we Hindus want to show
                       between modern Buddhism and what we should understand as the teachings of Lord Buddha, lies principally
                       in this: Shakya Muni came to preach nothing new. He also, like Jesus, came to fulfill and not to destroy.
                       Only, in the case of Jesus, it was the old people, the Jews, who did not understand him, while in the case of
                       Buddha, it was his own followers who did not realize the importance of his teachings, As the Jew did not
                       understand the fulfillment of the Old Testament, so the Buddhist did not understand the fulfillment of the
truths of the Hindu religion. Again, I repeat, Shakya Muni came not to destroy, but he was the fulfillment, the logical conclusion, the
logical development of the religion of the Hindus.

The religion of the Hindus is divided into two parts, the ceremonial and the spiritual; the spiritual portion is specially studied by the

In that there is no caste. A man from the highest caste and a man from the lowest may become a monk in India and the two castes
become equal. In the religion there is no caste; caste is simply a social institution, Shakya Muni himself was a monk, and it was his
glory that he had the large-heartedness to bring out the truths how the hid- den Vedas and throw them broadcast all over the world.
He was the first being in the world who brought missionarizing into practice - nay, he was the first to conceive the idea of

The great glory of the Master lay in his wonderful sympathy for everybody, especially for the ignorant and the poor. Saint of his
disciples were Brahmins. When Buddha was teaching, Sanskrit was no more the spoken language in India. It was then only in the
books of the learned. Some of the Buddha's Brahmin disciples wanted to translate his teachings into Sanskrit, but he distinctly told
them, "I am for the poor, for the people: let me speak in the tongue of the people." And so to this day the great bulk of his teachings
are in the vernacular of that day in India.

Whatever may be the position of philosophy, whatever may the position of metaphysics, so long as there is such a thing as death in
the world, so long as there is such a thing as weakness in the human heart, so long as there is a cry going out of the heart of man in
his very weakness, there shall be a faith in God.

On the philosophic side, the disciples of the Great Master dashed themselves against the eternal rocks of the Vedas and could not
crush them, and on the other side they took away from the nation that eternal God to which everyone, man or woman, clings so
fondly. And the result was that Buddhism had to die a natural death in India. At the present day there is not one who calls himself a
Buddhist in India, the land of its birth.

                                          - Swami Vivekananda

A FREE web-based e-mail service brought to you by the PC World Technology Network.
Get your FREE account today at

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

Archives :
Help     : Email to listmaster at
Options  : To leave the list send a mail to
           listserv at with
           SIGNOFF ADVAITA-L in the body.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list