[Advaita-l] Why can't it be done by some learned scholars?
Jaldhar H. Vyas
jaldhar at braincells.com
Sat Apr 4 01:51:37 CDT 2015
On Sun, 29 Mar 2015, Santosh Rao via Advaita-l wrote:
> What were these 72 sects? it is my understanding that sankaracharyas
> philosophical opponents were mainly buddhists, jains, and mimamsikas not
> muslims. Is this incorrect?
Most of the polemics in the Brahmasutrabhashya are against purva mimamsa
Bhedabhedavadi Vedantins and samkhya.
If one accepts the 788-820 AD date for Shankaracharya it is conceivable
that he could have come accross Muslims as they are known to have begun
trading with Western India including Kerala by that time. However they
(or Christians) are not mentioned anywhere in his writings.
> What is the answer to the assertion that advaita vedanta is a philosophical
> "compromise" with buddhism? Does this claim hold water?
The primary source for this assertion is the fact that Gaudapadacharyas
Mandukya Karikas use a lot of Buddhist concepts and terminology. But a
careful reading shows that he is using those things in a markedly
different way than the buddhists. It is more like the way some expositors
of today might use "quantum physics" to explain Vedantic concepts. That
doesn't make Advaitins scientists.
Here are some differences between the Buddhists and the Advaitins.
1. Advaitins like all astikas consider the Vedas as an authoritative
source of knowledge. The Buddhists don't.
2. Buddhists (especially idealists like the Vijnanavadins) think the
phenemonal world is an illusion. Advaitins think it is a _delusion_.
There is really "something" underlying all but it is not comprehended
because of Maya.
3. chitta (consciousness) for Buddhists is kshanika (momentary) whereas
for Advaitins it is Brahman itself and therefore pure, continuous and
4. Self for Buddhists is the ahamkara (ego) only. For Advaitins it is
Brahman the only true reality.
5. The end goal for Buddhists is nirvana (extinction) whereas for us it
is mukti (liberation) the perfect knowledge that all is one.
Given this, it is difficult to understand what compromise with Buddhism
Advaita Vedanta is supposed to have made.
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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