[Advaita-l] nAstika mata (bauddha mata) khaNDana in rAmAyaNa

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Mon May 2 15:41:12 CDT 2011

Dear Subramanianji,

Shunyata does not mean non-existence. Shunyata means the end of the individual identity ie. the end of the five koshas. Lord Buddha was silent about Brahman and that does not 
mean that without the five koshas there will be a limbo (trishanku) state other than Brahman. Does Lord Buddha deserve to be censured for his silence? What is in a name, like Shakespreare said. Call that state Brahman or anything you like, as nobodiy can really say what the Brahman is, other than how Kenopanishad .describes that Parampada. Etymologically Brahman just means what has spread.


--- On Sun, 5/1/11, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:

From: V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] nAstika mata (bauddha mata) khaNDana in rAmAyaNa
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Sunday, May 1, 2011, 12:23 AM

On Sat, Apr 30, 2011 at 10:12 PM, Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>wrote:

> There have been a range of views towards Buddhism from the astikas ranging
> from quite supportive to downright antagonistic.  Some have accused Buddhism
> of taking Vedic concepts but refusing to acknowledge their source.  For
> instance Gaudapadacharya in his karika 4.99 says
> kramate na hi buddhasya GYAnaM dharmeShu tAyinaH |
> sarve dharmAstathA GYAnaM naitadbuddhena bhAShitam || 99 ||
> "The knowledge of the all-pervading enlightened one does not associate with
> objects. In the same way all souls do not associate with objects. This was
> not taught by the Buddha."
> Shankaracharya observes that it was not taught by the Buddha because it had
> already been taught by the upanishads.
> So in that sense they are "thieves".

In his Kannada book ‘Mata traya sameekshA’,  Dr.Anandatirtha
Vysampayanacharya Nagasampige, a renowned Madhva scholar and Director of the
Purnaprajna Samshodhana Mandiram, Bangalore, includes a section in the
Chapter on Advaita darshana, titled:

// ‘*Are the Buddhists only Vaidikas in disguise*?’  It is the view of
Advaitins that since the Buddhists have adapted the concept of ‘nirvisheSha
(attributeless) Brahman of the Upanishads and have formulated their theory,
they are ‘pracchanna vaidika-s.’//

A front-ranking scholar in traditional Advaita, Dr.Mani Dravid SastrigaL,
told me that Shankara's criticism of Bauddha darshana was based on Kumarila
Bhatta's crirticism:  He had said that the Bauddha's ultimatate reality was

Critics of Advaita miss this crucial point when they desperately try to
equate Advaita with Buddhism.  The above mentioned Kannada book states this
point clearly.

The Advaitic view that the anAtmA, the material world,  is a superimposition
wholly, that is 'svarUpataH adhyAsta', could not be understood by the
non-Advaitins and they concluded that then such a situation would be no
different from shUnyavAda. The correct position is: in anyonyAdhyAsa, while
the chidAtmaa is superimposed on the anAtmA owing to a samsarga, (like in
the case of a red flower's redness is wrongly seen in the closely placed
crystal), the anAtman's adhyAsa on the Atman is svarUpataH.  This situation
will never lead to a shunya since after the negation of the superimposed
anAtman we will have the substratum Brahman/Atman, a sad-vastu,
bhAvapadArtha, intact. The Ratnaprabha commentary on the Brahmasutra BhAShya
(adhyAsa bhashya portion) says this in very clear terms.

 This fact could never be grasped by the non-Advaitic schools despite
Shankara's specific statement that a 'niradhiShThAnabhrama' (a
superimposition without a substratum) is impossible.

It is the conclusion of the scholars who have had extensive interactive
experiences with Dvaita and VishiShTAdvaita scholars is that none of the
non-advaitic scholars, including their founding Acharyas, has understood
Advaita correctly.  Several misconceptions prevail in their understanding of
Advaita. They are also increasingly becoming aware of this fact.  They
repeatedly seek to understand Advaita better through such interactions. A
top-ranking Dvaita scholar (name withheld to protect privacy) openly told an
Advaita scholar 'we are unable to understand the BrahmAnandI vyAkhyAnam for
the Advaita siddhi.'  This gloss is a very important work for the
understanding of the Advaita siddhi and when it remains incomprehended, the
understanding of the Advaita siddhi would remain questionable.

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