[Advaita-l] Sankara's praise of Buddha
Jaldhar H. Vyas
jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Sep 22 23:52:06 CDT 2011
On Thu, 22 Sep 2011, D.V.N.Sarma డి.వి.ఎన్.శర్మ wrote:
> What I was trying to point out is that Buddha is a historical figure
> with incontrovertible evidence for his existence and ministry.
Really? As I mentioned previously, Buddhacharita and Lalitavistara were
composed many centuries after Shakyamuni. Even the Tripitaka was composed
200 to 450 years later. Perhaps they do nevertheless record the original
sayings of the Buddha but you brought up the idea of objective thought.
Well, we have no objective reasons to believe someone called Siddhartha
Gautama existed only intuitions and surmise.
> Trying to transport him into mythological story of Tripurasura
> samhara to discredit his teaching is immature and naive.
> Buddhism is the major religion of Asia and that itself is
> sufficient vouch for its credentials.
There are more Christians and Muslims in Asia than Buddhists. Does this
mean anything? Should it? I don't think popularity is much of a standard
This story like all puranic kathas is to teach a point. That being that
buddhist teachings are dangerous and likely to lead the sadhaka astray.
It doesn't mean that they should not be studied and refuted in a more
logical away anymore than the skull and crossbones warning on a bottle of
poison means that chemists should not study poison.
> We have to get out of the habit of thinking that only Hindus are
> best in the world in every respect. Objectivity in thought is
> really will help us.
I don't know about every respect but the Vedic tradition culminating in
Advaita Vedanta is the best in the world at explaining dharma and
moksha and it is the standard by which I judge Buddhism and find it
wanting. This doesn't mean Buddhists aren't nice people or sincere or
interesting. They are simply wrong on the subjects of dharma and moksha
as so many others including many "Hindus" are. Employing strict and
measurable standard like this firmly and fairly is the essence of
On Thu, 22 Sep 2011, D.V.N.Sarma డ.వ.ఎన.శరమ wrote:
> If they are not the same the same the question arises who is this puranic
In case I wasn't clear what I meant is both the puranic and hagiographical
accounts are literary renditions of the life of a possibly historical
figure. Neither are factual biographies and neither can be privileged
over the other on objective grounds. Therefore we can say there are two
Buddha-images to select from and we as a tradition are defined in part by
our strong preference for the one where Buddha is a confuser of demons.
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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