[Advaita-l] Discussion group of Adwaita

srikanta at nie.ac.in srikanta at nie.ac.in
Tue May 6 01:09:50 CDT 2008

This with reference to the discussion on the Pratitya-samutpada and
Adwaita by Sri.Anant Bhagawat.He says that empirically pratitya-samutpada
can fit into the Adwaita tradition,and tradition evolve over the time and
social dynamics.

I would like to say that in Adwaita tradition,it has maintained a
uniformity over the years starting from Vyasa's Brahmasutra(what is now
available as the start) and the Gaudapada karikas,as the first manual on
Adwaita followed by Shankara Bhashyas.There is no scope to doubt that
there has been a crosscorrelation between the Adwaita tradition and the
Buddhist tradition.In Buddhist tradition what the Tripitaka says is in
accordance with what the Buddha taught to his disciples.The tradition has
undergone many transformations according to the various Buddhist
teachers,after Buddha who claimed to represent the true Buddha's
What we now have are the Prajnaparamita sutra,the Lankavatara sutra etc.
as the books representing the fundamental principles of Buddhism.The
Buddhist logicians over the years developed their logic.The dialectics of
their logic was opposed to the Nyaya of Gautama,primarily,though we donot
find much of their criticism directed against the Oupanishada
concept,except that they refute the existence of the Atman(self).The
dwaitins like sankhyans,Nyaya also hold the existence of the Atman and the
existence of many individual selves.The Nyaya logicians also developed
their system over the years,by Udyotkara,Vachaspati,JayantaBhatta who
directs his attack on the Buddhist logicians,later by Gangesha who was the
founder of navya nyaya.The Vaibhasikas and the Sautrantikas developed the
Mahayana Buddhism through their books.Vasubandhu and Nagarjuna developed
the Yogachara and the Madhyamaka views through their respective
traditions.It was during the time and Vasubandhu and Nagarjuna followed by
Chandrakeerthi, the Vijnanvada and the pratitya-samutpada views
respectively gained ground.The Vijnanvada view was developed by Dinnaga
and Dharmakeerthi(during whose time the grat meemamsaka Kumarila Bhatta
lived.)We can see the statements of Dharmakeerthi in his  and Shankara's
works.the 'sahopalambha"of Dharmakeerthi is quoted in the commentaries of
Shankara.The "Bahyartha vada nirakarana"(the refutation that there is the
external world,quoted by Dinnaga following the Vijnanavada,is seen in
Kumarila's work.).the madhyamaka view of the "Sunya" has been criticised
and refuted with the statement that there is no "pramana'(or evidence for
that view),by Gaudapada and Shankara. Gaudapada in "Alatashanti"prakarana
declares that the madhayamaks are too adventurists(sahasikataras) who try
to hold the sky in their fists.Shankara in his Brahmasutrabhashya says
that the well wishers(sreyaskamas) should show
indifference(niradharaniyah) to the "Sunyavadins",because they refute
their own vision even though they see everything and yet say that even
their sight is "sunya'(nullity).
It must be seen through the history of Buddhist logic,that their logic has
been modified and transformed over the years to meet the criticism from
other schools. Later,Bhavaviveka,Yashomitra tried to modify these views
and later the 'tathata' concept is an attempt to incorporate the
Upanishadic view into Buddhism.Somehow, in later years since the Adwaitic
tradition was not followed by the scholars,an erroneous view gained ground
that Gaudapada and later Shankara were "crypto Buddhists"(Praccanna
Bauddhas).This blasphemy was spread by the Vishishtadwaita and later
dwaitins like Madhwacharya.Yamunacharya in his Siddhitraya calls the
Adwaitins as "Mayavadins" and "Chadmaveshadaris",followed by
Ramanujacharya and Vedanta Desika.This erroneous view has continued till
date by modern scholars like Surendranath Dasguptha(in his History of
Indian Philosophy),Vidushekara Bhattacharya,Radhakrishnan,and more
recently Thomas E.Wood who interprets Mandukya Upanishad in terms of
Dwaita philosophy.Clearly,the Vishishtadwaita system is an attempt to
revive the Meemamsaka tradition,incorporating both the ritualistic(karma
siddhanta) and Upasana practices.This they did it by introducing the
Bhakthi and prapatti into their mode of worship,and made it more of  a
religion,than Philosopy.Because of this also,the clear Adwaitic view has
been covered over later years.
Regards,                                              N.Srikanta.

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