Buddhism Vs Advaitam

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Sun Dec 14 21:59:53 CST 1997

On Mon, 8 Dec 1997, Chandran, Nanda (NBC) wrote:

> I'm well aware that I'm beating the old horse again and am at that
> vyavaharika level, but the more I read Buddhism and Advaitam, the stronger
> gets this theory :
> I think the principle difference between Buddhism (as taught by Buddha) and
> Advaitam (as expounded by Gaudapada and Shankara), is the motive. The famous
> statement of the Buddha, that he preaches only the cessation of suffering,
> which is applicable to all, is quite in contrast with Gaudapada and
> Shankara, who in each of their works clearly state the requisite
> qualitifications of the aspirant, which makes their club exclusive. The
> motive of Buddha, is aimed more towards the welfare of all people and their
> happiness, rather than enlightment (which, as expounded by the Upanishads is
> clearly not for the majority). The motive of Gaudapada and Shankara, other
> than the resurrection of the Vedic religion, was Self-Realization.

You are comparing two different things.  Yes Vedanta was aimed at elite
but it is only one part of Vedic religion.  And although the Vedas are
also restriced to certain castes, the shastras based on them such as the
Puranas and Ramayana and Mahabharat are open to all.  And one more data
point.  If Buddhism was so conducive to human happiness and Hinduism was
not, why are there no Buddhists and Hindus from Kashmir to Kanyakumari?

> Correct me if I'm mistaken, I feel that the intellectual dimension of
> Buddhism grew with the likes of Asvagosha, Nagarjuna et al. Not that the
> Compassionate One wasn't capable of it (for he was as capable as any,
> ever!), but probably felt, there cannot be any blue print for the
> achievement, that he achieved and that it's to be created by every man for
> himself and that time would be better spent for the greater good and
> happiness of all.

If you look at traditional Buddhist societies there doesn't seem to be any
less dogmatism there than in any other religion.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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