[Advaita-l] Shankara's praise for Buddha

Srikanta Narayanaswami srikanta.narayanaswami at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 20 03:29:22 CDT 2011

On Tue, 20 Sep 2011, V Subrahmanian wrote:

> *The title of the work is 'dashAvatArastotram'.  The verse appears after
> KrishnAvatara and before Kalki avatAra.  The work is attributed to
> Shakaracharya.

Note that this stotra was not included in the Vani Vilas edition of the complete works of Shankaracharya.  I doubt if it is genuine.  Even when Gaudapadacharya gives (albeit backhanded) praise to the Buddha in the Mandukya karikas, Shankaracharya does not follow suit and I'm not aware of any other place where he speaks of the Buddha in a positive way or even at all.  (Most of his engagement with Buddhists is with much later philosophers.)

Neither as far as I know has this stotra been commented on by later Advaitins such as Anandagiri or Svayamprakasha.  While not a clincher this would be very unlikely if this was an original work of Shankaracharya.

Radhakrishnan had some scholarly credentials but he was first and foremost a politician and this wouldn't be the first time he distorted the truth to fit his personal agenda.

-- Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com
With reference to the above topic regarding Shankara's praise for Buddha in "Dashavatarastotram",there cannot be a greater blasphemy than this.As is well known from the Brahmasutrabhashya,his discussions regarding Buddhistic "purva paksha"in Brahma sutra in "Abhavadhikarana",in the sutras "Naabhavah upalabdeh",Na bhavo anupalabdeh","vaidharmyacca na svapnadivat"and examination of Buddhism in "Brahadaranyaka Upanishad Bhashya"and in other bhashyas of Upanishads,
and the consequent observations of Shankara that if these diverse views of Buddha stated by different branches of Buddhism like,"sarvastivada"Vaibhasikas and srautrantikas,and the sunya vadins,one cannot but come to the conclusion that the Buddha taught these contradictory views out of enemity to the People(prajapadveshi).Hence the seekers  who are on the path of "goodness"(shreyaskamah)must  ignore this to a greater extent.(BSB).
Secondly,it has been wrongly attributed that Gaudapadacharya,the Paramaguru of Shankara has (albeit backhanded)has praised Buddha in his Mandukya karikas,especially in the IV th prakarana(the Alatashantiprakarana),
"Kramate nahi Buddhasya Jnanam dharmeshu tapinah!
Sarve dharmah tatha Jnanam "naitad buddhena bhasitam""!!.
Most scholars have not understood the purport of this very important karika,Radhakrishnan included,who
has uncharitably  written in his book that,by exclaiming"naitad Buddhena bhasitam",Gaudapadacharya,"protests 
rather overmuch".There has never been a point of concurrence between Advaita and Buddhism,however the later scholars have tried to fit into a framework.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list