Antiquity of Advaita Vedanta

nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Jun 23 19:07:46 CDT 2000

Vidhya writes :

>To paraphrase Nanda, it is the doctrine of anattA that allows one to evolve
>a consistent school out of the Upanishads, and therefore, to understand
>madhyamaka buddhism is necessary to understand advaita vedAnta.

Yup, no doubt about it. But it should be understood that neither does
the Self in Advaita stand for the "self" as normally understood and
nor does anatta in MAdhyamaka and VijnAnavAda stand for "no self" as
commonly understood. In my first post of "Understanding MAdhyamaka",
please read what I've said. And specially read the paragraph regarding
Ashvaghosa carefully.

>For example, does the madhyamaka school reject the Buddhist doctrine of
>momentariness, one of the four noble truths taught by the Buddha?

C'mon, Vidhya I thought you were more knowledgable than that. The four
noble truths is simply : That life is suffering; suffering is caused
by desire; to overcome suffering one must let go of desire; and the path
which leads to overcoming desire. Where does the four noble truths even
mention momentariness?

The four noble truths are actually no innovation of the Buddha for the same
doctrine applies to all the schools prior to the rise of Advaita.

And for the MAdhyamaka, the preceding moment is an impossible conception. So
he doesn't approve of the doctrine of momentariness.

>is our reason and intellect all that great that we should assert our own
>theories, rejecting what thinkers of the Advaita tradition have been saying
>and also what thinkers of the Buddhist tradition have been saying?

I'll not agree to this "great thinkers" and obiesence to them. It is ironic
that this is the attitude in the supposed age of reason. Contrast this with
the attitude of the NaiyAyikas, 2500 years before, who declared that they'd
accept anything which is proved by logic and reason.

Everybody has a brain and if the argument is valid, the theory holds good.

In a previous post, I've already pointed out from the GK itself where
GaudapAda accepts the MAdhyamaka position. I've also pointed out where
Shankara himself asserts that GaudapAda endorsed the VijnAnavAda stand.
Plus I've also shown other evidence to prove that Shankara's main
criticism of Buddhism was not directed against both the above mentioned
Bauddha schools. Also please explain as to how Shankara declares the world
as anirvAchaniya - the arguments he gives which are different from the

This post contained the bulk of my arguments and there was no proper reply
to this. Without proper answers to these questions, there's not much
strength to the claim that Advaita is un-influenced by Buddhism.
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