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

Sankaran Kartik Jayanarayanan kartik at ECE.UTEXAS.EDU
Tue May 30 18:20:38 CDT 2000

On Sun, 28 May 2000, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:


> But
> one thing various people have overlooked (although Jaldhar touched
> upon this) the fact that shruti (and smR^iti) pramANa *alone* can
> produce realization. It would be quite clear to anyone not infected by
> vacuous optimism that sha.nkara makes it quite clear that avidyA is
> destroyed by the shruti pramANa only. shruti is a pramANa (means of
> knowing), that should be quite clear. It's not a record of some
> mystical realizations of some X or Y or Z. The Buddhists don't accept
> shruti pramANa, hence their avidyA cannot be destroyed. There is no
> question of the sha.nkara and Nagarjuna having the same "realization".
> End of story.

There are two problems with this:

1) I'm not sure if you're saying that the Rishis obtained realization
after accessing the shruti (by means of supersensory perception) or
whether it was the other way around (they obtained realization and then
"saw" the shruti). In either case, they weren't "taught" the shruti. Why
cannot someone follow the same path the Rishis did and then obtain
realization, thus completely bypassing a "study" of the shruti?

2) You could very well claim that GauDapaada disagreed with Nagarjuna's
philosophy of mAdhyamika, however, there is every reason to believe that
he considered the Buddha a GYAnii. I'm yet to see a single argument
establishing why the Buddha is not to be considered so. Did the Buddha
study the shruti?


> Rama


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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