Greg Goode goode at DPW.COM
Mon Aug 9 11:02:45 CDT 1999

At 07:51 PM 8/6/99 , Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:
>Greg Goode <goode at DPW.COM> wrote:
> > Advaita-vedantins consider him a dualist, do they not?  But in
> > Buddhism and other Mahayana schools, he's considered the father of
> > philosophy because of his Mulamadhyamakakarika (Treatise on the
> > Way).  Can someone offer pointers about why Advaitins see him as a
> > dualist?  Thanks!
>sha.nkara does call the buddhists as dualists explicitly. That would
>include Nagarjuna obviously.  In the bhAshhya to gauDapAda kArika
>3.17, sha.nkara states his view on who the dualists are. In this verse
>gauDapAda mentions that the dualists are constantly confounding each
>others doctrines, whereas the advaita doctrine does not have any
>conflict with any of these (avirudhha). sha.nkara explains gauDapAdas
>use of the word "dvaitinaH"-dvaitins as:
>svasiddhAnta-vyavasthAsu svasiddhAntarachanAniyameshhu
>kapila-kaNAda-buddha-arhatAdidvaitinAm ...
>Note the last compound where he lumps the followers of kapila
>(sA.nkhya), kaNAda (vaisheshhika logicians), buddha and arhat (jains)
>as dvaitins. So there is no doubt that would include Nagarjuna also.
>The reason is also given in the same place. All these schools do not
>believe in "unity" of the self, or seeing the same self in everyone.
>So they are dvaitinaH. sha.nkara says this explicitly. Please refer to
>the bhAshhya.

Yes, the bhAshhya does give this formulation.  Thanks.  It is likely that
Gaudapada read Nagarjuna, since some of the arguments, esp. in Chapter 4,
are similar, and the twirling firebrand image was used by both.  (Likely
also that this image was current in Indian philosophy of the time).

 >From one point of view, stating difference to be an illusion could be
>interpreted as "non-dualism". But at least as far as advaita vedAnta
>goes, denial of unity is also dvaita.

Is there a scriptural reference for that outlook?  There are several

1. A non-dualist philosophy doesn't entail dualism.
2. A non-dualist philosophy entails unity.

3. A dualist philosophy entails dualism.
4. A dualist philosophy doesn't entail unity.

I was interpreting dualism and non-dualism according to (1) and
(3).  Especially for the definition of non-dualism, the emphasis seems to
be on not-two. It seems that you are interpreting Shankara as operating
according to (2) and (4).  I read Nagarjuna as not asserting unity or
dualism, and Shankara as asserting unity.  Interesting.  Thanks!

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