[Advaita-l] Re: Questions on Buddhism
elisabeth-sylvain at sympatico.ca
Wed Aug 2 05:37:43 CDT 2006
(Lakshminarayana) Being a buddhist, nAgArjuna cannot accept an eternal Atman
Is it possible "anatta" or "anAtman" only means that the "individual soul"
(liNga-sharIra) is not permanent ?
Siddharta Gautama said there is "unborn" (ajAta?), which seems equivalent of
----- Original Message -----
From: "Lakshminarayana" <narayana_kl_71 at yahoo.com>
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta"
<advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2006 11:11 PM
Subject: Re: Questions on Buddhism (was Re: [Advaita-l] Re: gauDapAda
> Interesting questions you raised.
>> 2) Right in the middle of his MMK, Nagarjuna says:
>> Shunyata = Pratitya Samutpada = Madhyamika
>> Question: What does this (apparently incongruous)
>> equation represent?
> I think Mahadevan is more or less right. I dont have
> MMK with me right now but I can try to hunt it down
> and give the appropriate sloka-s soon. Meanwhile I
> will answer this from my memory so I may be not exact
> in some details. I hope I wont be seriously
> misrepresenting nAgarjuna here.
> Being a buddhist, nAgArjuna cannot accept an eternal
> Atman or brahman. shUnyata is not a metaphysical or
> transcendental entity (or non-entity). It is not a
> metaphysical counterpart of brahman with just brahman
> just replaced by void. According to mAdhyamika,
> shUnyata is a property of everything. It indicates
> that everything is devoid of an eternal
> self-nature/sva-bhAva. This is more or less the
> definition of shUnyata.
> Now consider this. If an object has an eternal
> sva-bhAva, where does it get it from? According to
> nAgArjuna, it cannot get it from anything other than
> itself. This makes sense because if it gets it from
> anything else, then why is it not being called
> para-bhAva? Therefore, there can be no eternal
> sva-bhAva which can be obtained from something else,
> for sva-bhAva is inbuilt. Since sva-bhAva is inbuilt,
> it cannot be dependant on any entity other than the
> object itself. (This line of reasoning can be inimical
> to certain vedAntic philosophies like dvaita. Because
> if you say that all living jIvas are eternally and
> completely dependant on brahman for their existence,
> and hence for their sva-bhAva, then nAgArjuna would
> say that the jIvas dont really have a sva-bhAva but
> instead the goodness or badness of the jIvas is
> actually the goodness or badness of brahman itself).
> Therefore if something is dependantly arising out of
> something else, then it cannot have an eternal
> sva-bhAva because in that case its sva-bhAva should be
> more appropriately called as para-bhAva. (This clearly
> applies even if that something is "eternally
> dependant" on something else for its existence, and
> hence for its sva-bhAva. The converse is also easily
> seen to be true though I wonder if it holds in case of
> a beginningless entity that gets destroyed at some
> point of time). According to buddha, there is only
> dependant origination of everthing. Therefore
> nAgArjuna would say that everything is shUnya.
>> Question: Why don't Buddhists use the dual logic of
>> "being and
>> non-being"? In other words, why not the
>> straightforward two-fold
>> logical system instead of a contrived four-fold one?
> I remember reading the justification for this in a
> book on mAdhyamika written by a western or Japanese
> author, but I unfortunately dont remember what book it
> was. I might try to find it out and if I do I will
> inform you.
>> 3) Seldom does Nagarjuna actually refer to the
>> Buddha's own words in
>> the MMK, but scores of Buddhists claim that the MMK
>> represents Buddha.
>> Question: Is there some good reason to believe that
>> Nagarjuna is
>> correctly representing Buddha?
> If buddha's main teaching can be considered to be
> pratItya samutpAda and nAgArjuna's main teaching can
> be considered to be shUnyata, then the above(even if
> not well argued by me) shows that nAgArjuna correctly
> represents the buddha.
>>If so, why are there
>> virtually no
>> references or quotes to the Buddha in the MMK to
>> justify that claim?
>> (There are a couple of references to the personage
>> of Buddha, but no
>> quotes from any of Buddha's sermons).
> I dont know the answer but I have a question. Do
> buddhists in general have the habit of quoting the
> buddha directly in their works?
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