[Advaita-l] Budha & Advaita

Sankaran Aniruddhan ani at ee.washington.edu
Wed Jan 4 11:21:39 CST 2006


> Probably Budha, who was a man of few words, did not talk about Brahman 
> becoz there was no point in talking about something that cannot be 
> described by words and has to be experienced. When one reaches Shoonya 
> going beyond the mind then experience of Brahman comes by default. 
> Budha generally avoided talking about things that cannot be described 
> by words.

But, the vedas spend thousands of words talking about brahman. Is all 
that useless? It is not possible to describe brahman directly, however 
it is possible to indicate indirectly. And most importantly, one should 
start off by first asserting the existence of brahman, which the Buddha 
never did. In contrast, for example the bhrguvalli in the Taittiriya 
Upanishad asserts right in the 3rd line "satyam jnAnam anantam brahma", 
listing out a possible "definition" of brahman.

> Also the ritualistic portion of Vedas such as in Karma Kanda were 
> meant only for Karma Yogis and were never considered compulsory for 
> evolution as there are other paths such as for example Bhakti marg, 
> direct enquiry method of Ramana Maharshi etc which also leads to the 
> experience of the divine. Karma Kanda was prescribed for those 
> interested in material benefits, generally for the gross people. 

Every AchArya in the sankaran tradition to this day have said that 
performing obligatory karma regularly is essential in spiritual progress.

> I don't think Shankara ever advocated or supported animal sacrifies - 
> I think it was he who clarified that what was meant by animal 
> sacrifices in Karma Kanda was the killing of one's own animal instincts. 

Actually, I believe sankara has supported animal sacrifices in his 
brahmasutrabhashya. More knowledgeable members can confirm/deny this.

> Vedas are highly cryptic and symbolical and cannot be taken for word 
> meaning and had to be interpreted correctly by sages like Shankara. 

Again, the traditional analysis procedure assumes that the vedas do not 
contain cryptic/symbolic language unless the direct interpretation leads 
to a logical contradiction.


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

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