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

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed May 17 04:24:08 CDT 2000

nanda chandran <vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:

>>It would be wrong to think that the Buddhist Sunyata and the Vedantic
>> >Brahman are the samething.
>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.

Let us not second-guess the realization of Buddha, who is said to have
remained silent. When I talk of the Buddhist Sunyata, I talk primarily of
the Mahayana understanding, as set forth in Nagarjuna's karikas. There,
Sunyata refers to the "emptiness" of all things, but "emptiness" should not
be made into a thing in itself. Nagarjuna would vehemently deny any sort of
making Sunyata into an absolute. The Vedantic Brahman, whether you look at
it as Nirguna in Advaita or Saguna in other schools, is an absolute. It is a
thing in and of itself. In Advaita, it is the only thing that can ever be by
itself. Even in Dvaita, other entities are para-tantra, only Brahman is
sva-tantra. Letting the Buddha remain in his eloquent silence, which perhaps
speaks volumes, for the highest Atman is also silence, I have to say that
the realities of Sankara and Nagarjuna *are* different.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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