[Advaita-l] gauDapAda and Sankara

bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Tue Jul 18 07:18:47 CDT 2006


A person named Nandakumar Chandran used be a member of this forum, but
he does not seem to be active now. Anyway, I found these writings by
him while browsing the net:

Hare Krishna

I dont know why this very important thread has not attracted subsequent
replies from our advaita scholars...Anyway, let me share my thoughts
whatever it is worth. In the meanwhile, I would humbly request Sri Jaldhar
prabhuji or Sri Vidyashankar Sundaresan prabhuji to address these queries
in a detailed manner.

RK prabhuji :

It is also to be noted that Shankara's brand of Advaita is quite
distinct from Gaudapaada's.

bhaskar :

Based on my limited knowledge in advaita philosophy, I can say, we cannot
label advaita vEdAnta as shankara's & gaudapAdAchArya's...For that matter,
shankara acknowledges Sri GaudapAdAchArya as his parama guru & faithfully
written comprehensive commentary on his parama guruji's work *mAndUkya
kArika* strictly in line with tradition...

RK prabhuji:

Gaudapaada follows the "objective" approach of the Buddhists and clearly
endorses the Maadhyamika chatushkoti when he declares : "only those who
rise above the concepts
of Self, no-Self, both or neither are omniscient".

bhaskar :

I dont think this observation of gaudapAdAchArya is based on mAdhyamika
school..If my memory serves me right, mAndUkya upanishad has the similar
maNtra like above & declares "Atman is not of inward consciousness nor
outward consciousness (na antaH praJna na bahir prajnA etc.) nor of
consciousness in either direction and not a mass of consciousness (na
prajnAna ghana) etc.  This is just to negate Atman's all contacts of states
of consciousness such as jAgrat, svapna & sushupti...& prove that Atman is
free from all specific features..shankara's commentary on this maNtra would
be an interesting reading I believe.

RK prabhuji:

The rationale for the Buddha's teaching of anatta (as advanced by
Nandakumar above) really appealed to me. Is there is any reference to
such an understanding in the classical advaita-vedAnta literature?

bhaskar :

Ofcourse shankara too says in tattusamanvayAt sUtra bhAshya while talking
on shAstra pramANa, the shAstra does not propose to teach brahman as an
object, but it teaches brahman as no object at all...being the innermost
self and removes all distinctions created by avidyA such as jnAtru
(knower), jnEya (knowable) and jnAna (knowledge)...

But this teaching of shankara cannot be anyway comparable with that of
shUnya vAda or kshaNika vAda or vijnAna vAda of buddhists...coz. of the
simple fact that advaita vEdAnta is based on shruti. If buddha's antta vAda
is in line with advaita, shankara would have not considered bauddha mata as
*pUrva pakSha*....

My 2 paisa worth thoughts.....


Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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