[Advaita-l] Advaita and Bauddha Dharma

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 27 13:46:36 CST 2013

Dear Daniel,

When we talk about Lord Buddha he is always the Siddhartha-Gautama or the Sakyamuni Buddha, who according to the genealogy of the Ikshaku -vamsha was the grandson of Sakya and the son of Suddhadhana. The very name "Buddha" itself means one who attained liberation through the knowledge of Samkhya, so defines the sage Kapila in the Mahabharata. In the Bhagavad Gita also Lord Krishna says that some people can attain liberation through the knowledge of Samkhya. It is believed that in the Mahabharata war Drona attained liberation through concentrating on the knowledge of Samkhya and that was before his body was beheaded.

There is, of course, another Buddha whose name was Buddhaghosha, who was born a millennium after Lord Buddha. Buddhaghosha visited Sri Lanka twice, whereas Sakyamuni Buddha never visited Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan scholars thought the Sakyamuni to have visited Sri Lanka twice and that is how they gave the fifth century BCE date of Buddhaghosha to Sakyamuni Buddha and then manipulated a much later date to Buddhaghosha. Prof. Max Muller was given to understand that Sakyamuni Buddha lived in the fifth century BCE and that was a catalyst during the formulation of the Aryan Invasion Theory, according to which the time of the Vedas was later than  the fifteenth century BCE.  Later on however,the truth-lover that Max Muller was, he refuted his own theory by saying that the date Vedas could have been 3500 BCE or even much older.  

There are many misunderstandings about Buddhism. Lord Buddha learnt Samkhya and Yoga but he was dissatisfied with the plurality of Samkhya. His further meditation helped him realize the universal unity unity. After his awakening he taught the basic principles of the four eternal truths and the eightfold path during his first promulgation. Much later, he gave the second promulgation to some of his advanced students and the Prajna-paramita and such texts reflect these teachings. The very much shorter versions like the Diamond sutra and Hridaya sutra also reflect the essence of this advanced teachings, where it is said that the awakened one leaves the body of the five Skandhas (Koshas) and attains the Shunya-state. Buddha did speak about Brahman in texts like Tevijja sutta but he did not say that the Shunya-state is the Brahman. According to Madam Blavatsky Lord Buddha was promise-bound not to teach the Vedanta (probably because a Kshatriya was not supposed
 to encroach upon the domain of the Brahmins, who alone were authorised to teach the Vedic scriptures), yet being of very compassionate nature he circumvented the formal ways of teaching Vedanta and  tried to impart the teachings of Vedanta in his own unique way.

On the other hand the Advaita says that after one becomes Jnani  or becomes Jeevanmukta one eventually become Videhamukta or one leaves the body of the five koshas to  be one with the Brahman. 

As you can see that there is, no doubt, similarity between the teachings of Vedanta. Further one should remember that Sakyamuni was born Hindu and died Hindu. He only wanted to reform the Hinduism by impressing that Vedic ritualism alone cannot lead one to the ultimate goal. He wanted to stop the animal-sacrifice in the Yajnas as that has no sanction in the Vedas, so he told king Bimbisara. As for me, I believe Lord Buddha to be an advaitin.

Looking forward to hearing your views and with regards,

Sunil KB

 From: Daniel <dnllce at yahoo.fr>
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> 
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 10:00 AM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Advaita and Bauddha Dharma
Could (or would) anybody answer Venkatesh Murthy’question regarding
Advaita and Bauddha Dharma ? By the way Venkatesh did you speak about the Buddha
(Siddharta Gotama) or about another Bauddha ?
I’m living in Western Europe I must say the
difficulties to be close to Advaita traditional rules ; most of teachers come
from USA and claim to act as Neo Advaitins, just after having read a book or
spend a couple of weeks in an ashram ; so according to you wich place is it
possible to give to their thoughs and roles ?
What could you suggest to adapt traditions and original teachings for European students ? And wich place to give to Dennis Waite being supposed the best specialist in Advaita ?
To me Indiaremains in any case the place of birth of the original Advaita Vedanta, your topics confirm each day. 
Dhani L.
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