advaita and buddhism (was RE: [Advaita-l] discussion about panchayatan puja)

Amuthan aparyap at
Thu Mar 2 09:45:15 CST 2006

namo nArAyaNAya!

dear shrI krunal makwana,

--- Krunal Makwana <>
> Forgive me for saying this but bUddha bhagwAns
> 'shUnyatA' was Sankara's 
> 'Kevalya Advaita' 

it is quite difficult to compare advaitAnubhava with
buddhist nirvAna. the traditional view is that both
are different. but svAmi vivekAnanda's view is that
they are essentially the same. the description of
nirvAna given by certain buddhist monks (and nuns) are
so similar to advaitAnubhava that it is compelling to
conclude that they are the same. of course, the
traditionalists would brush aside the buddhist
experience of nirvAna as a puruSha tantra j~nAna, but
this may not be true in all cases. cutting the matter
short, it is irrelevant for our purposes to worry
whether nirvAna is the same as advaitAnubhava. that is
'their' headache :-)

--- Krunal Makwana <>
> The above is my 
> understanding of Advaita, and to be a true Advaitin
> (in my opinion) accept 
> all philosophies as leading to Advaita. Instead of
> refuting the other 
> philosophies see what is good in them and apply that
> to your life.

imo, as far as siddhAnta ('philosophy') is concerned,
it is best to stick to one and only one. whether or
not we integrate other siddhAnta-s within our own is a
personal choice, but care should be taken so that our
siddhAnta itself doesn't get distorted in the process!

however, it is certainly true that certain *practices*
may be borrowed from other darshana-s, if necessary,
provided they do not conflict with our siddhAnta. for
instance, aShTA~Nga yoga has been traditionally
integrated within advaita though the siddhAnta of yoga
(sA~Nkhya) is certainly not acceptable to advaita. 

while on this topic, i'd like to make a small
observation. to my knowledge (and strictly in my
opinion), certain buddhist descriptions of meditation
(especially those of the theravAda vipassana schools
based on the 'visuddhimAgga') are far better any of
the recently composed texts on meditation. if used
properly, they can be very effective in generating
nityAnitya viveka, vairAgya or sAdhana chatuShThaya
sampatti. besides, most of these buddhist meditations
are essentially 'observe-and-know' processes and hence
*cannot* conflict with advaita for precisely the same
reasons why a properly conducted scientific experiment
cannot clash with advaita. hence, imo, there is ample
scope to integrate certain forms of buddhist
meditation within advaita. 

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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