[Advaita-l] Maya and Buddhism

Kalyan K kalyankc.81 at gmail.com
Sun Feb 12 03:52:57 CST 2012

 >"Orthodox" Advaitins (who tend to be more educated about these matters
than the >"modern" ones) wouldn't find it difficult to accept that
Buddhists use similar >terminology but they would vigorously contest the
"before" part.

 Jaldharji, nAgArjuna talks about multiple realities much “before” any

  >The notion that there are multiple levels of reality is hardly profound.

  In hindsight, things always appear very simple. The same “non-profound”
concept of multiple realities has been used to defend advaita many times.
Now this is where I bring in the “modern” advaitins who do not mind giving
credit where it is due.

  >Aside on the question of influence:  Why do Nagarjuna and Buddhists of
his time >suddenly stop writing in Pali and take up Sanskrit?

 Well, it is very much possible that the buddhists were influenced by the
Astika philosophers too.

>The Buddhists contend in a nutshell that the  multiple levels of reality
continue in >infinite regress.  This is the difference between the
Madhyamaka concept of void >(shunyata.)  Maya then is only the illusion
that causes the void to be seen as a >singular continuum.

I do not know what you mean by infinite regress here, but let me clarify on
one thing - I do not equate mAyA of advaita with shUnya of buddism. shUnya
simply indicates lack of svabhAva.

>I think a case can be made that later thinkers have extended Advaita
Vedanta >beyond what Shankaracharya said (though there is an influential
view that they >_re_introduced ideas from i.e. Mandana Mishra) but I just
don't see what any of it >has to do with Buddhism.

The inference that you take here has very less to do with what I had
written originally. Still since you mention this, let me say that srI
harsha had no problem in using mAdhyamika logic to refute nyAya.

>Ah but historically the opponents of Advaita Vedanta have used pracchanna
>bauddha ("pseudo-Buddhist") as an insult and the resistance to it from our
side >has precisely been because it was taken as something to be ashamed of.

Yes I am aware of this and this is probably the reason why “orthodox”
advaitins of the present day do not admit of any such influence. However,
our admission or otherwise is not going to change the stance of the


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list