Buddhist use of advaya and advaita

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed Sep 18 23:11:29 CDT 2002

I was rather surprised to read of the Buddhist use of the term advaita.
It seems to give credence to those who say Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta
have the same goal which is not something our Acharyas taught.

Ashish pointed out a web page (http://www.buddhim.20m.com/7-4.htm) which
explains things from a Buddhist (Vajrayana) view which demonstrates that
our Acharyas were indeed correct in considering Buddhist ideas to be in
opposition to their teaching.

Difference between Advaya and advaita

Although both Jnana are called non-dual, here too they mean two different
things. Non-dual (advaita) in the Hindu context means (divitiyam nasti).
There is no second substance except the Brahman is the only thing that
exists. This should be called Monism rather than Non-dualism. The word eka
vastu vada would be closer than advaita.

However Buddhism usually uses advaya (only sometimes is advaita used) and
here it means 'not two' i.e. free from the two extremes (skt. dvaya anta
mukta) of samaropa (the tendency to see things as really existing) and
apavada (the tendency to see things as non-existing). Which would include
the existence of the grahaka and grahya too. Advaya is not of a thing (the
one and only thing) like Brahma but a description of the Svarupa of
samsara. That is why the samsara which is like illusion transforms into
Advaya Jnana in Buddhism whereas in Hinduism the illusory samsara vanishes
and the true eternal unchanging Brahman dawns.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

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