Advaita and Buddhism
Anand V. Hudli
anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Jun 27 12:12:31 CDT 1999
On Fri, 25 Jun 1999 14:57:56 PDT, nanda chandran <vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
>But that he was a LOkAyata cannot be questioned, since he himself claims to
>be one. Plus this is supported by Sri Harsha's reference in his
>KhandanakhandakAdya, to a school of LOkAyatas, who like the MAdhyamakas and
>the Advaitins refuted the ultimate validity to the pramAnas.
>So the real question would be whether the ChAravAkas can be really
>classified as "materialists"?
The chArvAka's are materialists alright. MahAkavi shrIharSha does
cite the chArvAkas and the mAdhyamikas in his KhanDanakhaNDakhAdya
but as the shAnkarI commentary thereon by Shankara Mishra shows,
the chArvAkas accept perception and no other means to valid knowledge
(pramANa). But if you ask a chArvAka, " do you accept perception as
a valid means of knowledge", ie. the prAmANya of pratyaxa (perception)
itself, the chArvAka will deny it because admitting such would be
tantamount to indulging in inference (anumAna) which is avoided at all
costs by the chArvAka!
The chArvaka treats and believes that things perceived are real, the
world is real, there is no after-world, etc. But then he is unwilling
to justify his position using reasoning/inference.
Therefore, one should be no doubt that chArvAkas are materialists.
As a general rule, one should read the KhanDanakhaNDakhAdya with the
help of a good commentary, because one might get trapped into many
"knots" (granthi's) that shrIharSha himself admits to having placed in
his work, on purpose!
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