[Advaita-l] On Brahmasutra - Shankara Bhasya - By Swami Paramarthanandaji

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 24 00:23:34 CDT 2015

Namaste Jaldharji,
It is nice to know that you have studied the Chronological aspect of the ancient Indian history. I tried to delve into this area and presented a paper on it, several years ago. I also saw a paper on the astronomical dating of Kaniska by Prof Narahari Achar.That is the reason for our divergent views. 
Regards,Sunil KB 

     On Wednesday, September 23, 2015 9:38 PM, Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

 On Tue, 22 Sep 2015, R Krishnamoorthy wrote:

> It is not very clear as to what you wanted to say.

I thought it was but ok if that's your opinion.

> Whether Buddha propounded a systematic philosophy or did not.

100% not.  Note that even Gaudapadacharya who is by far the most 
philobuddhistic of Advaita acharya thinks that the philosophy of the 
Buddha (by which is meant the historical Buddha i.e. Shakyamuni as opposed 
to the supposed many other Buddhas of other eras) is incomplete when he 
says at the end of Mandukya Karikas that "the best amongst the two-footed 
did not realize this."

On Tue, 22 Sep 2015, Sunil Bhattacharjya wrote:

> The historical studies have been made so far in a sporadic manner. I hope
> the historians will look at it earnestly.

On the contrary, in this particular area we are on much firmer footing 
than most Indian chronology because a lot of the nyaya/vaisheshika works 
and their Buddhist rejoinders were translated into Tibetan and Chinese 
(some only survive in this form and have been reconstructed back into 
Sanskrit on this basis.

> Ashwaghosha and Nagarjuna were contemporaries of Kanishka and the date of
> Kanishka from the Pauranic source as well as from Astronomical studies comes
> out to be the beginning of the 13th century BCE.

Ridiculous.  From some early jyotisha works (which used the Kushana era 
instead of or alongside Vikrama and Shaka eras.) as well as independent 
references in Greek, Iranian, and Chinese sources the reign of Kanishka 
can be pretty definitively said to have begun in 127 AD.  Therefore 
Nagarjuna and Ashvagosha are also from that time.

> It has also been reported that the Buddhist teaching in Nalanda was vibrant
> till the end of the 12th century CE, i.e. till. Bhaktiyar Khilji (d.1206 CE)
> destroyed all that was in Nalanda and he is reported to have killed about
> 10,000 students and teachers there. 
> Buddhist Nyayaikas as well as the early Hindu Nyayaikas were active  within
> the period of two millennium or so (from the time of Ashwaghosha/Nagarjuna
> to the time of Bakhtiyar khilji)

The Nyayasutras criticize some Mahayana precepts so Nagarjuna and his 
shishya Aryadeva wrote several rejoinders.

Pakshilaswami Vatsyayana (not the same as the author of the Kamasutra who 
was Mallanaga Vatsyayana) met those rejoinders in his bhashya on the 

Dignaga replied for the Buddhist side so Uddyotakara wrote the varttika on 
the NS bhashya.

In the next round, Dharmakirti criticized Uddyotakara so the great 
commentator on all darshanas Vachaspati Mishra wrote the tatparyatika on 
the vartika to meet these latest objections.

Ratnakirti and Jnanashrimitra were the last of the great Indian Buddhist 
philosophers.  As usual they attacked Nyaya/Vaisheshika.  Udayanacharya 
wrote tatparyaparishuddhi on the tatparyatika.  This chain of commentaries 
on the NS from Vatsyayana to Udayana are known as the Prachina as opposed 
to the Navya school of Nyaya.  Udayana also wrote two prakaranas against 
the Buddhists: Atmatattvaviveka (Also called Bauddhadhikkara or "reproach 
to the Buddhists") which defends the concept of atma against kshanikata or 
"momentariness" doctrine of the Buddhists, and Kusumanjali which defends 
the concept of Ishvara.

By this time (C. 10th Century AD) the big viharas like Nalanda were 
already in decline and astika dharma dominant.  Although they lingered on 
until Islam came they did not produce many more scholars of note.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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