Antiquity of advaita vedanta (was : an open letter to all)
Jaldhar H. Vyas
jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Thu Jun 15 20:25:25 CDT 2000
On Thu, 15 Jun 2000, Anand Hudli wrote:
> >And can't we have an objective discussion without resorting to personal
> Sure. Stop making personal attacks on GauDapAda, Shankara, and
> the other AchAryas. Stop presenting your views as their views. Is this
> too much to ask for?
Please everyone this is going too far now.
The Advaitic acharyas may have respected even admired certain opponents of
theirs on a personal level but there is no doubt that on a philosophical
level they saw Buddhism as a heresy of the worst kind. Frankly I don't
think you can prove otherwise. But if you want to try, you need to
produce actual evidence.
You asked whether we should believe Nanda or Madhusudan and
Brahmananda? My answer is even they, as learned as they are, are in
exactly the same boat as Nanda. They are archeologically reconstructing
a philosophy that had long since vanished from everyday life.
In fact in some ways the modern researcher is better off. Much of the
early history and texts of Indian Buddhism have been reconstructed from
Tibetan and Chinese sources in recent times. Even the great scholars of
old may not have had that kind of access. With the meager store of
actual facts we have at our disposal some speculation is necessary and I
think it was a little uncharitable of you to criticize Nanda for doing
this before he had presented his final conclusions.
List members in general:
I'm not really interested in Buddhism either. I would certainly say I
know less about it than either Nanda or Anand. However I encouraged Nanda
to post because I believe it is an indispensable part of sadhana to
examine the tenets of Advaita Vedanta thoroughly. Every inch should be
poked, prodded, taken apart and put together again. It is not
out of doubt but precisely because I have 110% faith in the sadguru
parampara that I know it is capable of withstanding such
examination. Buddhism turned out to be a dead end in India but during
it's vital years it did exert an influence on our own beliefs--even if
only in a negative way. It was a factor in making us who we are today and
we leave it unexamined at our peril.
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam
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