[Advaita-l] Advaita and Madhyamika Buddhism

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Wed Mar 29 21:33:40 EDT 2017

Namaste Chandramouliji,

On Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 4:24 PM, H S Chandramouli <hschandramouli at gmail.com>

> << Unlike other critics Sri Vedanta Desika has understood the nature of
> sunya correctly as neither bhava nor abhava nor both nor neither, bhava
> abhava vilakshanam. Sri Desika contends that avidya is tantamount to the
> Madhyamika theory of sunya. It is to be noted that no advaitic work from
> the time of Anandabodhacharya has replied to this charge. But the earlier
> work, Ishta Sidhi and its commentary, have raised this question and
> provided the answer. In claiming this criticism as original to himself, Sri
> Vedanta Desika has either not seen the reference to it in Ishta Sidhi or
> has ignored the answer provided in it. There is a fundamental difference
> between the concept of sunyam and the concept of avidya nivrtti.

​I have trouble seeing what the author means with the last line; while the
concepts of shUnya and avidyA being compared, why has he suddenly landed on
concept of shUnya and concept of avidyA *nivRtti*?

About the rest of it, I do agree that there is a difference considering
shUnya's apratyogitvam as claimed by Buddhists. Having said that, in
Chandogyopanishad, where the Shruti Herself quotes Vainashika pakSha with
the mantra "asadevedam agra AsIt", Bhashyakara and Tikakaras say that there
cannot be a talk of complete non-absence, meaning without the pratiyogi of
bhAva, abhAva cannot be talked about. This Siddhanta objection will apply
to Mahavainashikas=Buddhists as well.

--Praveen R. Bhat
/* येनेदं सर्वं विजानाति, तं केन विजानीयात्। Through what should one know
That owing to which all this is known! [Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

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