[Advaita-l] tradition as pramana

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Sun May 22 22:37:28 CDT 2011

[was Re: [Advaita-l] buddha : according to purANas and other hindu-texts]

On Fri, 20 May 2011, Satish Arigela wrote:

> I might reply to this, if you can tell me what the purANa tells about 
> Adi Shankara?
> I am specifically interested in what the padma purANa says about Adi 
> Shankara.
> One more related question: Since it is a purANa(padma purANa in this 
> case) which speaks about Adi Shankara misleading people with mAyAvAda.. 
> do you believe everything the padma purANa says about Adi Shankara. If 
> yes no question. If no, i am interested in knowing why.

This relates to an idea I believe I discussed with you before.  One has to 
look at traditions dynamically not statically.  How popular where they? 
Who considered them "traditional?"  And where and when?

One purana contains statements about mayavada.  On the other hand every 
purana that mentions Buddha does so in a negative way.  In fact even the 
Padmapurana in condemning Shankaracharya does so by...calling him a 

Further more, only one historically late sect, uses this Padmapurana text 
as part of their polemics even though it would be rhetorical gold for 
other opponents who are equally opposed to Advaita Vedanta.

On the otherhand the negative portrayal of the Buddha and supposed 
Buddhist teachings is widespread (though not total as you usefully point 
out.)  Even Hindu sects that are at loggerheads with each other agree on 
this topic.  The negative view is found at all periods of Indian 
intellectual history.

So my conclusion is the negative view of the Buddha in puranas has a lot 
firmer base in "tradition" and deserves to given a lot more weight than 
the negative view of Shankaracharya in puranas.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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