Antiquity of advaita vedanta (was : an open letter to all)
anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 15 22:50:02 CDT 2000
On Thu, 15 Jun 2000 21:25:25 -0400, Jaldhar H. Vyas
<jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM> wrote:
>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.
>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.
I would like to clarify one thing. I did not respond to Nanda's postings
on MAdhyamika. Please see the archives. I was responding to a different
thread. Please check the archives before you say that I prevented
Nanda from presenting mAdhyamika.
What I did respond to was what I saw was a blatant distortion of GauDapAda,
VAchaspati, and shrIharshha's views. Nanda tried to have us believe that
these were all great admirers of Buddhism which is sheer nonsense.
Once again, I clarify. I have no objection if Nanda does not distort
advaita according to his convenience. I don't really care how he presents
mAdhyamika. Let him present mAdhyamika. Let him offer his
own personal views and say " I strongly feel that mAdhyamika is better
than advaita" or whatever he wants as long as he makes it clear it is
his opinion. Everyone is free to express his/her opinion. In fact I
would admire his honesty and courage for expressing his own heart-felt
views. But when someone starts putting words into the mouth of others
without a basis, that is not good. Especially, second-guessing the
AchAryas is dangerous, not for them, but for the novices among us.
Those of us who know advaita a little will not be affected by such
careless remarks. But those who are beginners will get confused and
might even go astray altogether! If someone does indeed go astray,
now, that is a far sadder situation than what we are dealing with now.
bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam
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