advaita and buddhism (was RE: [Advaita-l] discussion about panchayatan puja)

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at
Thu Mar 2 14:51:42 CST 2006

--- Amuthan <aparyap at> wrote:

> namo nArAyaNAya!
> dear shrI krunal makwana,
> --- Krunal Makwana <>
> wrote:
> > 
> > Forgive me for saying this but bUddha bhagwAns
> > 'shUnyatA' was Sankara's 
> > 'Kevalya Advaita' 
> >


> imo, as far as siddhAnta ('philosophy') is concerned,
> it is best to stick to one and only one. whether or
> not we integrate other siddhAnta-s within our own is a
> personal choice, but care should be taken so that our
> siddhAnta itself doesn't get distorted in the process!

The real problem in comparing advaita and Buddhist doctrines is that
there are presently no Buddhist teachers who are well-versed in their
traditional doctrines. For example, David Kalupahana's books seem to
give contrived interpretations of certain texts, and his name sounds
suspiciously like a Christian who has only an aloof academic interest
in Buddhism. Frankly, he comes across as very speculative in his
readings of Buddhism, confident that no one else knows better. One or
more of Nagarjuna's principal texts has been lost, let alone the
commentaries on the texts. The Tibetan Buddhists have admitted to
being an amalgam of various Buddhist schools. The Sri Lankan
Buddhists don't seem to have a clear approach in interpreting
Buddhist texts, and superimpose their own idle speculations on the
texts. The schools of Buddhism in East Asia are not interested in
studying Nagarjuna's works or any other texts at all, but only in
some meditative practices. The Zen school claims that it is
preserving Buddha's wisdom perfectly - only in this case, the wisdom
is said to have been "directly received from Buddha without the
intervening nuisance of words", which means that Zen is not a
doctrine at all. Evidently, the doctrine(s) disappeared because
people grew disinterested in preserving it.

Since we presently have an unbroken lineage in the advaita VedAnta
tradition where the principal texts have been carefully preserved
with the traditional commentaries, it is best to stick to it as the
standard when comparing various doctrines.


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