[Advaita-l] Advaita Vedanta, religion, and science‏

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 23 13:54:59 CST 2009

<< When the finer differences are seen through the magnifying glass of Adi Sankara you will see the fatal errors in Buddhism.>>
Lord Buddha has been misunderstood by many scholars. In Lord Buddha's time the brahmins were very ritualistic and they read the scriptures including the Vedas without caring to know the real meaning of the scriptures. They also gave up meditation and practised animal sacrifice. At this juncture what he did was  to restore the basics that all the sufferings are due to one's own karma and he prescribed the eightfold path that also included meditation, to get out of the sufferings. He said that the ego-self (or in simple word the individual identity) is not permanent.  He did not teach metaphysics at that stage as that was not the need of the day and at that time he also discouraged any probing questions on those aspects.
Later on when he was nearing sixty Lord Buddha relented  and taught the concepts of Tathagataharbha, Shunyata  and about the different Kayas including Bodhakaya to his advanced disciples. Towards the end of his life he taught the Tantric aspects to his most advanced disciples. Yet many finer points were left for the future Jnani Buddha or Maitreya Buddha (who would take birth in a brahmin family) to explain. The theosophist A.P.Sinnett said that Adi sankaracharya was the Lord Buddha reborn. Irrespective of whether that is true or not, the fact remains that Lord Buddha did not say it all and he did not say anything wrong. Vishnu Purana tells that Lord Buddha would create confusion and that really happened as he gave different teachings at different levels. To this day the Hinayanis do not believe that Lord Buddha ever gave the Mahayana teachings. The Mahayanis believe that the Hinayana teachings are not the all that Lord Buddha taught. Even now
 many scholars do not appreciate the three-tier teachings of Lord Budddha. In the "The Sayings of Muhammad", compiled by Suhrawardy, we find that Prophet Mahammad told his followers that God gave him two types of knowledge and he is giving them only one type as they would not understand the other type. Probably prophet Mahammad knew that everybody did not have the receptive capacity for higher knowledge. We do not yet know if the prophet could give the higher knowledge to anybody. 
Sunil K. Bhattacharjya

--- On Fri, 1/23/09, Bhadraiah Mallampalli <vaidix at hotmail.com> wrote:

From: Bhadraiah Mallampalli <vaidix at hotmail.com>
Subject: [Advaita-l] Advaita Vedanta, religion, and science‏
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Date: Friday, January 23, 2009, 1:28 AM

>For the high level subjects he was discussing Adi Sankara had to
necessarily>reject many lower level subjects and the arguments contained in
them, but he>never meant to reject any thing in the absolute sense, because
local rules would>always apply for people living wihtin some given
That was a cryptic reply to following
>It is said that Adi Shankara's statements often seem severe,
reductive,>inapplicable, even 'untrue': because he was living at a
time when faith>itself -- any faith -- was in such a mess that 'laying
down the law' in the>most stringent terms was necessary.
It is not clear what these statemens are. Shri Michael may throw some light on
them preferably with sources. 
It is possible you may have received some third hand information. 
If it was meant to be Adi Sankara rejecting Buddhism, it is no different from
Einstein rejecting Newtonian mechanics. 
Buddhism is a close approximation to advaita. Likewise Newtonian mechanics is a
close approximation to relativity.
If you ignore anything after the 3rd or 4th decimal place and limit yourself to
experiments using ordinary equipment
which is not so sensitive, Newtonian mechanics gets you same results as
relativity. Similarly if you are not keen 
on finer points Buddhism gets you same results as advaita. For example Buddhism
talks of grief and sorrow,
whereas it is observed that before individual atma merges into universal atma
it would experience immense
grief and sorrow which proves Buddhism. When the finer differences are seen
through the magnifying glass
of Adi Sankara you will see the fatal errors in Buddhism. Sankara has advocated
his three-fold method of 
determining truth to even reject parts of Hindu-vedic shruti itself if logic or
experience contradict it. 
I do not see any proof for the argument that Adi Sankara used any outrageous or
abrupt means
to socially engineer any change in faith. 
Hindu vratams like Satya narayana vratam or Kedara vratam offer similar
features as world's leading religions. 
If you sincerely worship Satya narayana swami or Lord Shiva in these vratams
you will be among the chosen
few who will get riches and happiness; otherwise you will be doomed, your ships
will sink, you lose kingdoms.
Except for a brief period in South India there were no clashes between these
So far no other leading religion of the world (one that ties a practitioner)
has authorized its followers 
to reject any parts of itself. On the other hand  religions authorize their
followers to accuse other faiths 
as false religions and their followers as worshippers of false gods without
offering any proofs. 
Unless religions start accepting logical discourses (on a different message
board) it is difficult to 
participate in further discussion.  
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