Questions on Buddhism (was Re: [Advaita-l] Re: gauDapAda and Sankara)

Lakshminarayana narayana_kl_71 at
Wed Aug 2 02:31:26 CDT 2006


> In what sense in Atman/brahman an *eternal* entity?
> I suppose by
> "eternal" is meant that which is beyond space, time
> & causation. But
> in what sense is Atman/brahman an *entity*?

I did not explicitly state that Atman is an entity
though you are justified in considering it to be
implicit in my words. 

In what sense is Atman/brahman an *entity*? Here are
some ways in which it can be considered to be an
entity -

janmAdyasya yatah.

 - That from which the origin etc. of this world
proceed is brahman.

sadeva idam agra AsIt.

- sat alone was there in the beginning.

In both cases brahman is thought of as something
(though not necessarily as an object). It is in this
sense that Atman may be considered as an entity. Does
this answer your question? Do you think this is
reasonable? (Even if it is otherwise, I dont think
shUnya and Atman are counterparts).

> The concept of the substratum is something I have
> never quite
> understood. That shUnyatA is not a
> metaphysical/transcendental entity
> is fine. But what is brahman?

I wont pretend that I understand it completely either,
but an analogy might help here. brahman is the
substratum of the world just as a rope is the
substratum of an illusory snake. The substratum can be
considered to be the ground on which the universe is

> But what is brahman?

If I can really answer this question to your (or even
my) complete satisfaction, then probably I would not
have been here in this list.

As bhaskarji says, neti neti is the best description
of brahman, which has also been called satyam, jnAnam,
anantam. Now, from the point of view of an individual,
there are five sheaths, which are annamaya, prANamaya,
manomaya, vijnAnamaya and Anandamaya. Beyond all these
sheaths is the Atman. advaita vedAnta, as I understand
it, teaches that this Atman is brahman.

Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around 

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list