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Advaita VS Buddhism.

prasad1

Well-known member
I am not an expert. I do have an opinion.
My knowledge may be superficial, but they are real to me.

Advaita Vedanta and Mahayana Buddhism share significant similarities. Those similarities have attracted Indian and Western scholars' attention, and have also been criticized by concurring schools. The similarities have been interpreted as Buddhist influences on Advaita Vedanta, though some deny such influences, or see them as expressions of the same eternal truth.
Advaita Vedanta is the oldest extant sub-school of Vedanta – an orthodox (āstika) school of Hindu philosophy and religious practice. Advaita darśana (philosophies, world views, teachings) is one of the classic Indian paths to spiritual realization. It took shape with the writings of Gaudapada in the 6th century CE.

Buddhism is a religion and dharma that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices based on teachings attributed to the Buddha (5th century BCE), but diversified since then in a wide variety of practices and traditions. Buddhism originated in India, from where it spread through much of Asia. It declined in India during the middle ages, after the rise of new forms of Hinduism, including Advaita Vedanta.

Advaita Vedanta and various other schools of Hindu philosophy share numerous terminology and doctrines with Buddhism. Of the various schools, the similarities between Advaita and Buddhism have attracted Indian and Western scholars attention. Isaeva states in her analysis of scholarly views, that these have historically and in modern times ranged from "Advaita and Buddhism are very different", to "Advaita and Buddhism absolutely coincide in their main tenets", to "after purifying Buddhism and Advaita of accidental or historically conditioned accretions, both systems can be safely regarded as an expression of one and the same eternal absolute truth"

 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
Not true. Here's why

Though both tenets Hinduism and Buddhism talk about universal consciousness, all objects have consciousness, and it can transcend this world etc.., Advaitam is totally different to this.

Advaitams concept of Nirguna Brahman is wrongly equated to the concept of Shunyam by many folks.

Advaitam gives a comprehensive philosophy of 2 separate realities - empirical and spiritual, Nirguna Brahman as the sole preceptor - Brahman without any attributes, gigantic leap of the concept of the entire world as maya aka illusion, and how we can achieve jeevanmuktha - liberation while living. This has spawned any number of sub theories, of maya or illusions being present by the very existence of Nirguna Brahman, etc...or by empirical reality entanglement etc.

Now I see any number of scientific paper takking about illusion, or the world being a simulation, etc..
 
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KRN

Active member
Advaita darśana(philosophies, world views, teachings) is one of the classic Indian paths to spiritual realization. It took shape with the writings of Gaudapada in the 6th century CE.
This is a baseless assumption. Let us examine it. Is there anything in Gaudapadacharya's writings, that suggest he was charting a new course, a new step in philosophy? That he was the "founder" of advaita? Acharya Sankara refers in several places to Gaudapadacharya and other acharyas of the parampara, like Upavarsha, Dramidacharya etc. Is there any place where Sankara or other later-day Advaitins refer to Gaudapada as the founder of Advaita? You won't find any.

Gaudapada's might be the earliest, presently extant, systematic exposition of this system of philosophy. But that by itself is not enough proof that he was the founder of Advaita. Because in many places in the Mahabharata, in the Puranas, we find advaitic ideas - sometimes associated with specific individuals, sometimes not.
 

KRN

Active member
Advaita is a philosophy that has a monastic ideal. In the Sambandha bhashya to Prashnopanishad, acharya Sankara explains in detail how falsehood and deceit is unavoidable in a householder's life, and to avoid these a spiritual aspirant must undertake Sannyasa and go to the forest, and live there as per the rules of a renunciate. Given the huge emphasis on renunciation, in the spirit of passages in the early Upanishads like Brihadaranayaka Up (4.4.22) we can conclude that the early Advaita teachers lived far away from the masses, mostly in solitary meditation. Logically this should lead us to the conclusion that the teachings of the early advaitins must have been long lost to us, due to their forest origins, while in the course of time, certain ideas might have slowly percolated amongst the masses,
and found mention in such works like the Mahabharata. It must have been a considerable amount of time afterwards, that advaitic thinkers decided to put down to paper the ideas handed over to them by the parampara. Gaudapada is more likely to have been one of the very last, though highly significant, thinkers of this kind.
 

KRN

Active member
All attempts at tracing the Buddhist influence on Advaita, are centered upon Gaudapada's writings. For now, let us leave the debatable point on whether Gaudapada indeed owed his ideas to Buddhism (And by the way, what IS Buddhism really? Is there anything similar between the various "Buddhistic" ideas that were floating around in 6th Century CE, to the ideas that were compiled down a century or more after the demise of Buddha, and is believed to have been said by the Buddha in his lifetime). For now, the point I want to express here is this. Irrespective of whether Gaudapada, a latter-day prominent Advaita teacher used Buddhistic ideas in his work or not, since there is no proof that the early Advaitic teachers, who were mostly recluses, were in any way influenced by Buddhism, which is essentially centered on cities and villages, we can in no way conclude that Advaita itself was influenced by Buddhism.
 

tbs

Well-known member
I am not an expert. I do have an opinion.
My knowledge may be superficial, but they are real to me.

Advaita Vedanta and Mahayana Buddhism share significant similarities. Those similarities have attracted Indian and Western scholars' attention, and have also been criticized by concurring schools. The similarities have been interpreted as Buddhist influences on Advaita Vedanta, though some deny such influences, or see them as expressions of the same eternal truth.
Advaita Vedanta is the oldest extant sub-school of Vedanta – an orthodox (āstika) school of Hindu philosophy and religious practice. Advaita darśana (philosophies, world views, teachings) is one of the classic Indian paths to spiritual realization. It took shape with the writings of Gaudapada in the 6th century CE.

Buddhism is a religion and dharma that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices based on teachings attributed to the Buddha (5th century BCE), but diversified since then in a wide variety of practices and traditions. Buddhism originated in India, from where it spread through much of Asia. It declined in India during the middle ages, after the rise of new forms of Hinduism, including Advaita Vedanta.

Advaita Vedanta and various other schools of Hindu philosophy share numerous terminology and doctrines with Buddhism. Of the various schools, the similarities between Advaita and Buddhism have attracted Indian and Western scholars attention. Isaeva states in her analysis of scholarly views, that these have historically and in modern times ranged from "Advaita and Buddhism are very different", to "Advaita and Buddhism absolutely coincide in their main tenets", to "after purifying Buddhism and Advaita of accidental or historically conditioned accretions, both systems can be safely regarded as an expression of one and the same eternal absolute truth"

hi


yes....Advaita Vedanta and Mahayana Buddhism share significant similarities
 

KRN

Active member
To continue...

All the above is just from a historical perspective.

In any case, true advaitins will not be bothered about such "conclusions on external influences". Because the advaitin sees all philosophies the way a man sees the various limbs in his body.

In the incessant flow of time, ten generations of an ancestor might be dwaitins, and once a successor comes under the influence of Buddhism, ten subsequent generations might follow Buddhism, and then another ten generations might follow Advaita.... and so on...so who is influencing whom here!
 

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