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

lallimahal mahal lallimahal at
Thu Mar 2 22:39:26 CST 2006

I am extremely sorry that I have opened a pandora's
box with my writing...I am off from this topic..since
I do not want any discussion which will split the
humanity..Let us  discuss only to converge..As an
individual I am above anything that will split the
people....My apologies if I have hurt the sentiments
of anyone..
I believe ...Sarva Deva namaskaaraaha  
             Kesavam Prathi Gacchathi....

--- Rishi Lamichhane <rishi.lamichhane at>

> Dear Mahalingam,
> There are some problems with that analysis. The
> first is that Hinduism
> is Advaita Vedanta or that it is predominantly
> Advaita Vedanta. This
> is the first notion that we must learn to drop
> because it annoys the
> hell out of all other Hindus and its simply not
> true. Advaita is in a
> sense the culturally dominant position in Hinduism
> for a long time now
> but this shouldn't give Advaitins the right to
> define the tradition.
> And most mature Advaitins absolutely do not and are
> very good at
> drawing appropriate lines.
> Whether one considers Buddhism part of Hinduism or
> not depends on
> comparing Buddhism with other schools that are
> well-accepted to be
> Hindu schools. You can't say "I'm not going to
> compare because they
> are more or less the same". How do you know that
> they are more or less
> the same if you don't compare them?
> I would like to say a few things about Buddhism
> which I have had the
> chance to understand better with some interactions
> with well-informed
> Buddhists.  The base explanation of Buddhism is
> unlike anything in the
> other Hindu schools. The Buddha's basic point is
> that the individual
> is a collection of aggregates which were unified
> into a single entity
> (the self) only by concepts. The "I" is just the
> different parts of
> what we call "me" and there is no fundamental unity
> behind it, but its
> just a unity given by conceptual thought.
> The different Buddhist schools in some sense or
> other base themselves
> upon this. The Madhyamika, with whom Advaita is most
> often compared,
> extends this analysis to all phenomena. Note that
> the Buddha in Pali
> canon also said sabbe dhamma anatta, so that
> Madhyamika is not saying
> something completely different.
> (Note that the Madhyamika do not deny the reality of
> appereances,
> appereances are not product of ignorance but based
> on the appereances
> we create objects and this is the mistake. This is
> why they are not
> nihilists, but probably we could call them realists
> in a strange way.)
> What they are saying is that an object is just a
> collection of its
> parts and the mind creates the object per-se by
> providing the concept
> which unifies the parts. The object has no nature of
> its own, its
> appearing to be an independent object with its own
> nature is due to
> ignorance. Thus Chandrakirti says svabhava is
> nisvabhava, that
> essential nature of a thing is that it has no
> essential nature.
> And in my opinion given this description, what the
> Buddhists mean by
> shunya is exactly the same as what Vedantins mean by
> mithya. And its
> not just my opinion, this is also what can be
> clearly seen from for
> example Swami Dayananda of Arsha Vidya (in his
> article available
> online on asti, bhati, priyam etc... wonderful
> article). He says:
> "Therefore, "flower" is only an arbitrary word to
> indicate a lot of
> things put together. And every one of them is a
> non-flower, please
> understand."
> Exactly the same idea since Swami Dayananda is
> saying that the flower
> is just a group of things that are not-flower, which
> when arranged in
> a certain way we call "flower". So in this sense,
> the flower is a
> creation of our mind. This is what Swami Dayananda
> calls "mithya". It
> is the consequence of something being dependent on
> something other
> than itself.
> Now Swami Dayananda goes on to explain Vedanta from
> this and goes
> beyond what is taught by the Buddhists and this is
> where the article
> is absolutely brilliant in my opinion:
> "You can see that as far as the human mind can go,
> everything is based
> on what it is not and without which, it doesn't
> exist".
> The flower is not the petals, but the flower cannot
> exist without the
> petals. The petal is not the cells, but cannot exist
> without the
> cells.
> So if we go back the flower, we discover something
> interesting. The
> flower is not a flower (since flower is just
> arbritary word to
> describe a collection of parts). The flower is not
> petals (because the
> petals themselves are abritrary words to describe
> collection of
> parts). The flower is also not cells, quarks, etc...
> It is also
> incidentally not a mountain, not a car, not a
> computer.
> This non-flower, non-petal, non-mountain, non-cell,
> non-quark, what is
> it? Swami Dayananda says that is "asti" (ie: Sat,
> Brahman). One thing
> he doesn't mention in the article but clearly
> follows is that the
> flower being neither a flower, nor a petal, nor a
> mountain etc... is
> "not this, not that", our familiar definition of the
> Self.
> So not only is the flower not really a flower - this
> is where the
> Buddhists stop - but it is also not anything else -
> everything else it
> could possible be can also be reduced to something
> else. The flower is
> "not this, not that". Now this "not this, not that"
> is not another
> object since as we all know, the Self is NOT an
> object.
> I think the Madhyamika is a great place to start
> Advaita from. In
> fact, we cannot really deny this - Gaudapada, Sri
> Harsha, etc... used
> Madhyamika techniques to help them establish
> Advaita. If it was
> completely useless, they would not have done so.
> Please do read all of Swami Dayananda's article, and
> I suggest reading
> it several times since I think it is one of his best
> teachings I have
> ever seen,
> I'm sorry if this message was way off topic.
> Regards,
> Rishi.
> On 3/2/06, lallimahal mahal <lallimahal at>
> wrote:
> > How can there bea  comparison between Advaitham
> and
> > Buddhism.....Buddha was a Hindu and he gave a new
> > interpretation to certain tenets of Hindu Dharma
> which
> > describes Advaitha.Moreover if there has to be a
> > comparison between two as similar philosophies why
> > should bhuddhism be aconsidered as an alternative
> who
> > had disillusions about Hindu Dharma.
> > It started with King Ashoka who ,while, performing
> the
> > duty of a Kshatriya,got into disillusionment and
> took
> > upto Buddhism..Similarly Buddhism was taken as a
> > refugeby Dr. Ambedkar when he wanted to go away
> from
> > Hindu Dharma for what he thought was an inherent
> evil
> > in the Hindu Dharma.  Advaitha had to be
> reiterated 
=== message truncated ===

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