[Advaita-l] Two 'declarations' by Sri Vedanta Desika

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Apr 9 05:03:19 CDT 2015

The following comment is found in this URL:


//Yamuna muni clearly states that all vaidikas admitted vishNu alone as
Parabrahman.This fact is further reteirated by vedAnta Desika who declares
that adi Shankara was a vaishnava. Yes, the same vedanta desikan who also
declared that advaita is Buddhism in disguise.//

We see two 'declarations' reported to have been made by Sri Vedanta

If Shankara is a (genuine) vaiṣṇava, would he be teaching a system that is
buddhism in disguise, misleading people? A vaiṣṇava would be upholding
vaiṣṇavism and certainly not buddhism, that too, in disguise.  The vaiṣṇava
credentials of Shankara are actually being called into question by Vedanta
Desika by terming advaita is buddhism in disguise.  If we take it that
Desika is genuinely certifying Shankara to be a vaiṣṇava, the question
would be what is the basis for such a declaration?  Obviously, the writings
of Shankara and they are the prasthānatraya bhāṣya. He must have gathered
from these that Shankara is indeed a vaiṣnava  But it is based on these
alone Desikan must have also concluded that his system is only  buddhism in

Add to this the fact that from the reported Yamunamuni's stand the
implication is Shankara is a vaidika.  It is everybody's knowledge that
buddhism is not vaidika; only avaidika.  So, the presenting of buddhism in
the disguise of vaidika system actually calls into question the genuineness
of the 'vaidika' epithet admitted to Shankara.    The equation is:
Shankara, a vaidika, a vaiṣṇava, is also a crypto buddhist.  Let us merge
the two epithets 'vaidika' and 'vaiṣṇava', into one, for one substitutes
the other in this context and retain also the 'pracchanna bauddha' epithet.

So the contradictions are quite obvious: the two declarations cannot go
hand in hand.  One has to be sacrificed in order to retain the other.  If
Shankara has to be on the 'vaiṣṇava (vaidika)' list, he must be divested of
the 'pracchanna bauddha' epithet.  If the latter epithet is to be retained
then the 'vaiṣnava (vaidika)' epithet will have to be slightly altered to
'kapaṭa vaiṣṇava (vaidika)' (pseudo vaiṣṇava (vaidika)). Which one to
sacrifice poses the proverbial hobson's choice (
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hobson%27s%20choice  )  My guess
is that in order to save the 'punch', the 'vaiṣṇava (vaidika)' epithet will
be given up.  Only if the crypto buddhist/buddhism epithet is retained
there will be something to criticize.


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