[Advaita-l] Re: Buddhism Related Discussions

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Aug 15 00:36:45 CDT 2006

On Fri, 11 Aug 2006, Lakshminarayana wrote:

> Namaste Shri Jaldhar,
>> Of the Nastika darshans, Jainism has had a
>> longer-lasting and more
>> profound influence on our tradition IMO and even
>> that is not very much.
> If it is not out of scope of this list, I am
> interested in knowing how jainism influenced advaita-vedAnta.

I did not mean Advaita Vedanta but "Hindu" culture in general, 
specifically vegeterianism as Abhishek correctly guessed.  I have remarked 
here before that no Buddhist country has anywhere near the percentage of 
vegetarians that India has.  Of course you can find an impulse towards 
vegetarianism and ahimsa in Vedic shastras too but Jainism put (and 
continues to this day to put) a heavier emphasis on it.

I don't know about other areas but in Gujarat Jains specialized in 
creating pothi bhandars or libraries of manuscripts of all sorts not just 
their own tradition.  This was an important way of preserving scholarship 
in what were otherwise very trying times.

Finally the very fact that Jainism is around today whereas Buddhism had 
become extinct by the 12th century and was moribund for several centuries 
before that indicates a greater possibility for influence don't you think?

On Mon, 14 Aug 2006, Abhishek RK wrote:

> I don't believe that the shramaNa tradition is diametrically opposed to 
> the brAhmaNa tradition as the latter has been much influenced by the 
> former.

and vice-versa.  "brahmanas and shramanas" are just one manifestation of 
the age-old divide in Indian culture:

Brahmana                   Shramana
grhastha                   sannyasi
karma and ritual           jnana and meditation
caste or other group       individual
heaven                     liberation
this life                  endless reincarnation

Quite a lot of philosophical schools do not fall entirely within one 
category.  You cannot simply say Brahmana = orthodox and shramana = radical.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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