[Advaita-l] pratItya-samutpAda and advaita

Ananta Bhagwat ananta14 at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 30 05:20:36 CDT 2008

Sri Srikanta

1/ "For Adwaita,the Paramarthika satya is all the more
important than the vyavaharika satya.adwaita is not merely
speculative,though it uses tarka for examination(shodaka)"

The pAramArthika satya is axiomatic (based on shruti). Other wise it is "na eshA tarkeNa matirApaneyA". As I have said earlier advaita emphasize the transcendental aspect while Buddhism emphasizes the "process of Being (Becoming). It is the degree of emphasize rather than metaphysical correctness of the theory.

2/ "Acharya Gaudapada  was a crypto-Buddhist and that
he was influenced by Yogachara and Madhyamaka  views."

There is nothing wrong in getting influenced by innovative ideas and  techniques. It is quite possible that Buddhism (yogAcAra-mAdhyamaka in particular) could have been influenced by upanishadic - advaitic ideas and it is not a slur on Buddhism (or for that matter on advaita).

3/ "Pratitya-samutpada is "acausal""

Many times we use words for want of better choice. Since there is a time sequence, one use the term causality to show one state (effect) follows the other state (cause). FA too only talks about conditional and sequential states. Causality is superimposed for practical convenience. 

One cannot deny that the ever changing flux of cosmos is following dependent-origination because this flux is changing conditionally  and we experience it. We can further say that this changing flux has the brahman as a common substratum rather than saying there is no substratum (SUnya).  It is true that mAdhymaka has taken the root of reaching SUnya via pratItyasamutpAda; no body stops us in reaching brahman via the same route without violating shruti. Dependent origination is empirical, observable law and there is no point in denying it. We can of course call this law mithyA since it operates at vyAvahArika level.

4/ Sri Sankara has refuted the Buddhist doctrines quite summarily (BSBh II.2.31-32) on the ground of momentariness and lack of substratum. His arguments are not directly applicable to pratItya-samutpAda because its core principal is neutral to substratum. advaita can provide the substratum and adapt it as brahmacakra (Svet VI.1 or gItA IX.10 etc).

5/ There are arguments as to why SUnyatA of mAdhyamaka is not nihilism. But my purpose is not to defend mAdhyamaka but to see if advaita has any room for pratItyasamutpAda, the law of vyavahAra.

----- Original Message ----
From: "srikanta at nie.ac.in" <srikanta at nie.ac.in
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2008 9:45:04 AM
Subject: [Advaita-l] A Discussion group for adwaita Vedanta.

Sri.Anantha Bhagawath
In discussing the pratitya-samutpada you have equated pratitya-samutpada
and adwaita based on the two level truths,Viz.samvrti satya and
paramarthika satya with the vyavaharika satya and the paranmarthika satya
of adwaita vedanta.You have also drawn parallelism with the Yogachara
view,and you have asked when the Adwaita enveloped the two  pinnacles of
thruths why did it leave the foundation pratitya-samutpada?first of all it
is incorrect to equate the two ,i.e madhyamaka and Adwaita on the basis of
these two truths.For Adwaita,the Paramarthika satya is all the more
important than the vyavaharika satya.adwaita is not merely
speculative,though it uses tarka for examination(shodaka).In Brahmasutras
and karikas of acharya Gaudapada and the bhashyas of Shankara all the
schools of philosophy including Yogachara vijnanavada and madhyamaka views
have been examined in detail and rejected,based on their own standing and
concepts.acharya gaudapada has examined these views of Buddhism in the
"Alatashanti"peakarana of Gaudapada karikas on Mandukyopanishad.it is an
reeoneous view and conclusion that Acharya Gaudapada was a crypto-Buddhist
and that he was influenced by Yogachara and Madhyamaka  views.I am  writing
a thesis which disproves this conclusion on the basis of vedanta and
Buddhist prakriya.I am willing to discuss with anyone who is interested to
know the correct perspective.

You have said that pratitya-samutpada is based on dependent co-origination
or given a cause it produces an effect just like the input stimuli of an
Finite Automaton which is directed to the next state depending on the past
history.This is not true.Pratitya-samutpada is "acausal".It is at the
basis of the pratitya-samutpada theory that everything is "acausal" as
against the Adwaita view that cause and effect are one.in the long history
of Adwaita vedanta pratitya-samupada view has been examined and totally

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