[Advaita-l] Budha & Advaita

Sankaran Aniruddhan ani at ee.washington.edu
Tue Jan 3 19:38:42 CST 2006


> Can someone pls enlighten me on whether Gautam Budha's teachings were 
> fundamentally the same as Advaita ? I think Budha never talked about 
> Brahman or the Absolute , but otherwise are they the same ? 

I think you have answered your own question here. The ultimate goal of
vedAnta is brahman. If The Buddha never mentioned brahman The Absolute,
his teachings are probably quite different from vedAnta. Its not just a
case of just using the word brahman. I could understand that if such a
teaching came from outside India, where the word brahman or the Vedas are
unknown. However, The Buddha came from the same cultural background and
was probably aware of (if not knowledgeable in) the Vedas. I feel that if
he felt that his teachings were the same as vedAnta, it would have been
simple to point out (and easier to gain more followers?). Is there any
record of anyone feeling that the Buddha's teachings are the same as
vedAnta till a few hundred years after The Buddha?

>  Also why Budha had to start a new religion instead of reforming the 
> religion he was born with, as was done by other greats like Shankara 
> etc?  

Buddhism probably became a separate religion because its day-to-day
practices may have been quite different from the prevalent vedic religion
(leaving aside the question of whether ultimately they tried to describe
the same reality). I assume that practising the vedic religion involves,
to a great extent, following the karma kanda portion of the vedas, the 
same portion that Buddhists criticised severely.


Sruti smRti purANAnAm Alayam karuNAlayam
namAmi bhagavatpAda Sam.karam lokaSam.karam

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