Relationship of Advaita Vedanta to other religions

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jul 12 09:43:09 CDT 2002

--- Vivek Anand Ganesan <v_ganesan at YAHOO.COM> wrote:
> Hello all,
> --- Sri Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:
> > of interpreters of the Vedic religion.  He allows
> a
> > measure of diversity
> > in its' forms but where non-Vedic religions are
> mentioned
> > (Buddhism,
> > Jainism and even "Hindu" sects such as Bhagavatas,
> > Samkhya/Yoga etc.) it is in a negative way.
> I am curious to know more. Is he just criticizing
> their
> views with regards to the Agamas being superior or
> at least
> equal to the Vedas or is he denying the validity of
> the
> Agamas themselves?

In his upadeshasaahasrii, Shankara says to the effect,
"Let no one touch these writings [of Jains and
Buddhists]". He also refutes the Jain and Buddhist
positions in his Brahma suutra Bhaashhya.

> And, there is another question
> that has
> always bugged me - if the smArthAs are the "real"
> vaidhIkas
> then why are they not called vaidhIkas, why
> smArthAs?

A person who follows the dharma laid down in the Vedas
is called a "shrauta" (follower of shruti).

A person who follows the dharma laid down in the
dharma suutras (e.g. Apastamba dharma suutra) is
called a "smaarta" (follower of smR^iti).

A smaarta is also a follower of the Vedas, but
indirectly so, his chief dharma shaastra is the

This is what I could gather from HH
Chandrashekharendra Saraswati's book "Hindu dharma".

> > Historically, mainstream Christianity has not been
> too
> > kind to those who
> > got a little too close to God.
> AFAIK, this is not entirely true. Most people, when
> they
> think of Christianity, are only aware of the Western
> version ( both Catholic as well as Protestant ).
> But,
> Christianity is an Eastern religion and was rooted
> in the
> East long before it ever came to the West.  There is
> a very
> distinct Eastern Christianity which differs from the
> Western version in key respects.
>   One of the ideas of Eastern Christianity is
> theosis i.e.
> to be like God ( literally, to live as Christ did
> because
> Christ was the full expression of God ).  They also
> have
> meditation-like practices called heyschachts ( which
> is a
> form of nAma japam ). When the Roman church became
> powerful
> it "outlawed" these ideas and the churches
> associated with
> it ( it is a known fact that the fourth crusade was
> launched
> with the express intent to wipe out the byzantine
> church
> ).  Every now and then, there were strong "mystical"
> movements within Catholicism itself which was of
> course
> "purged" by the Church, such as those of the
> Cathari.
> The Christian mystics seemed to have a strongly
> advaitic
> vision of the Godhead but the Church has never been
> comfartable with such expressions of spirituality.
> To me, Meister Eckhart has a strongly advaitic view
> of God.
>   However, many mainstream theologians in recent
> times
> have favored Bhagavad rAmAnujar's theology ( for
> example,
> Thomas Merton or Tiehard de Chardin ). Of particular
> interest is the notion of shAreera bhAvam which they
> relate
> to as corpus christi or the body of Christ!
> -Vivek.
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