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

nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed May 24 07:18:45 CDT 2000

>"But perhaps Nagarjuna's negation is quite different from
>Upanishadic negation. The latter assumes the existence of an >inexpressible
>essential substratum, and the main aim is to describe, by negation, an
>absolute which cannot be expressed. The Madhyamika negations do not assume
>an inexpressible essential >substratum, nor is their purpose to describe,
>by negation, this reality, rather to deny that there can be such a

Please underline the "perhaps" in this statement. So even this
author is not sure. And I can quote numerous such "opinions"
by other authors to refute this argument.

I'm getting rather tired of this kind of argumentation. Please
don't base your arguments on somebody else's conclusions, for
we have no way to affirm the validity of those judgements. If
you've independent arguments of your own to make based on the
text of any of NAgArjuna's works, that'll be very useful. Else
it is just a lot of useless handwaving, which as G.Murthy used
to say will,"produce more heat than light".

I'll just say one thing : without understanding the nature of
the MAdhyamaka dialectic you cannot understand ShUnyatA. Most
people directly take off on the "shUnya" or "empty" bit and
start speculating as to why shUnya means this or that. Understand
*why* he says the world is unintelligible (shUnya). It's not mere
sophistry. It will take a lot of concentration and abstract
thinking, to understand the MAdhyamaka dialectic. When you
really understand the nature of the dialectic and the meaning of
shUnya, it'll have a profound psychological effect on you. Then
you who understands will know what has not been negated.
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