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

Sankaran Kartik Jayanarayanan kartik at ECE.UTEXAS.EDU
Mon May 22 12:52:26 CDT 2000

On Mon, 22 May 2000, nanda chandran wrote:

> Vidhya writes :
> >>See, this is sAdhya-sama. From Nagarjuna's perspective, you are >>assuming
> >>that there is a something called paramArtha, and that >>understading the
> >>SUnyatA of things is another thing. And then you >>conclude that therefore
> >>there is a thing called paramArtha.

Yes, absolutizing a Truth and calling it "paramArtha" is completely
mis-interpreting Nagarjuna. As he sees it, postulating a paramArtha is a


> ShUnyata is the emptiness of all our conceptions.

That is the Zen approach to philosophy.

In the book "Zen mind, beginner's mind," Shunryu Suzuki explains that the
Zen mind is not the mature mind that has already completed its studies and
is full of ideas. Rather it is the empty mind that has just begun to seek
and learn. The Zen mind is the beginner's mind.

If you can make the equation Empty mind = Self, you *MAY* be able to
reconcile advaita to Zen. But that still doesn't mean that mAdhyamika
is close to advaita when you speak of the two *philosophical systems*. If
there isn't the postulate of an absolute reality, the system cannot even
remotely resemble advaita, no matter what it says (or doesn't say).


> He has no thesis about the *nature* of reality. If he thought there was no
> reality, then how could he be a Bauddha - a follower of SAkhyamuni who spent
> forty years teaching the dharma?

Get your facts right. According to Nagarjuna, the dharma is shUnya.


> GaudapAdAchArya didn't think so. If he thought both schools taught different
> realities why would he even try to reconcile Advaita with Buddhism?

He didn't.



bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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