[Advaita-l] A 5th Century AD view of Vedanta (Some Comments)

Srinath Vedagarbha svedagarbha at gmail.com
Wed Jan 2 17:07:54 EST 2019


On Thu, Dec 27, 2018 at 12:18 AM Venkatraghavan S via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> In summary, while we cannot be certain what Bhavya was referring to, there
> is some evidence to hold that he was not talking of advaita, but something
> else altogether.
Insight into what Bhavya was referring to, we can get it from another works
by one AryadEva (said to be immediate pupil of Naagarjuna) in
Lankavataara-sutra (LS). within the Madyamika tradition.

Nakamura Hajime in his article. "Upanisadic Tradition and The Early School
of Vedanta as Noticed in Buddhist Scripture" (this article is based on his
earlier work "Shoki no Vedanta tetsugaku" (Early Vedanta Philospophy)
published in Tokyo in 1950); explores in detail all the relevant passages,
not only from madyamika school, but other Buddhist sources, about the
detailed account of vedaanta doctrine as prevalent during their time.

In that article,  Nakamura  quotes AryadEva's enumeration of some 20 plus
views held by his pUrvapaxin. If you study those quotes, they are all
centers around Ishvara creating this world and other dualistic concepts.

At the end Nakamura  concludes "From the quotations I have given it is
clear that the author of this work (i.e AryadEva) was fully and correctly
appraised of orthodox Brahminical concepts. The doctrines which he quotes
are found in Vedas (especially in Upanishads) and Mahabarata. Specially
noteworthy are his precise quotations from the Bhagavatgita. It is curious,
then, that there is no mention of school of Vedanta, nor any reference to
the endeavor of philosophers to effect a synthesis of differnt doctrines of
the Upansihads and epics and to construct a philosophical system thereon."

 Btw, Nakamura  also examines other works of other sub-schools of Buddhism
such as YogachArabhumisAstra,  and including Bhavya's two works being
discussed in this thread.

It is interesting to note that Nakamura identifies the very first instance
where the term "Advaitadarshana" appears is in Kamalasila (c. 700-750)
work. Incidentally, Kamalasila's time coincides with timeline generally
attributed to Shankara.


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