[Advaita-l] Advaita and Islam???

Venkatesh Murthy vmurthy36 at gmail.com
Sun Sep 23 23:41:55 CDT 2012


Book- What is Advaita? Author- P Sankaranarayanan
Publisher- Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
Page 117

Finally, a curious and patently wrong view of Advaita Vedanta may be
noticed if only to be summarily dismissed. It has been alleged that
Sri Sankara got the inspiration for his Advaita from the Monotheism of
Mohammed. Apart from ignoring the fact that Advaita Vedanta has
Upanisadic origins and is to be traced to a period earlier than Sri
Sankara's, or of the Prophet Mohammed, this view does not distinguish
between the Monotheism of Islam and the Monism of Advaita. Islam is an
ethical religion while Advaita Vedanta is a metaphysical system. Even
according to those who regard Sankara as born in the eighth century AD
he went away from Kerala even when young and could have had little
opportunity to come into contact with Mohammed's teachings carried to
the West coast of India by Arab traders. The Mohammedan religion is
iconoclastic, doing away with idols and their worship, while Sankara
established places of worship and installed and sanctified idols in
them. This tendency to see the influence of Islam in Advaita is of a
piece with another which says that Visistadvaita as a religious
philosophy has borrowed its tenets largely from Christianity. One
wonders if Sri Ramanuja would have even heard the name of Christ when
writing his Sri Bhashya.



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