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

Ravisankar Mayavaram miinalochanii at YAHOO.COM
Wed May 31 09:17:57 CDT 2000

--- Sankaran Kartik Jayanarayanan <kartik at ECE.UTEXAS.EDU> wrote:

> 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?

Interesting question.

> 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?

>From the biographical accounts of Buddha's life I have read, he did
explore and learn other traditions like yoga before embarking on his
own. His earnestness in finding a solution to the suffering would have
definitely prompted him to study veda-s. We can probably say that he
outrightly rejected the karma kaaNDa. I think he must taken some of his
ideas from the upanishads.

Aside: shriivaishNava-s do not accept gautama buddha (Prince Siddharta
who became buddha) as an avatar of nArAyaNa. I  read this in two
different posts in bhakti-list. It seems there is a reference to buddha
in mahabharata where bhishma tells krishna that you came as buddha to
mislead asura-s. I read in that post that it is aadi buddha who is a
minor avatar of vishhNu and he was before krishna.  But one conflicting
point is annaamacharya in his kriti DOlaayam ... refers to the buddha
and kalki after krishna. (daruna budhha kalki dashavita avataraa).
Annamacharya is also a shriivaishNava.

In any case if you accept buddha as an incarnation of nArAyaNa then the
question whether he is a jnaani or not is not so meaningful. And if
nArAyaNa does not know the shruti, who else can claim they know it? If
you do not accept him as an avatara then it is a different ball game.

My 2c.


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