Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Advaita Vedanta - Adi Sankara's views

Adi Sankara's treatises on the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras are his principal and almost undeniably his own works. Although he mostly adhered to traditional means of commenting on the Brahma Sutra, there are a number of original ideas and arguments. He taught that it was only through knowledge and wisdom of nonduality that one could be enlightened.

Sankara's opponents accused him of teaching Buddhism in the garb of Hinduism, because his non-dualistic ideals were a bit radical to contemporary Hindu philosophy. However, it may be noted that while the Later Buddhists arrived at a changeless, deathless, absolute truth after their insightful understanding of the unreality of samsara, historically Vedantins never liked this idea. Although Advaita also proposes the theory of Maya, explaining the universe as a "trick of a magician", Sankara and his followers see this as a consequence of their basic premise that Brahman is real. Their idea of Maya emerges from their belief in the reality of Brahman, rather than the other way around.

Sankara was a peripatetic orthodox Hindu monk who traveled the length and breadth of India. The more enthusiastic followers of the Advaita tradition claim that he was chiefly responsible for "driving the Buddhists away". Historically the decline of Buddhism in India is known to have taken place long after Sankara or even Kumarila Bhatta (who according to a legend had "driven the Buddhists away" by defeating them in debates), sometime before the Muslim invasion into Afghanistan (earlier Gandhara).

Although today's most enthusiastic followers of Advaita believe Sankara argued against Buddhists in person, a historical source, the Madhaviya Sankara Vijayam, indicates that Sankara sought debates with Mimamsa, Samkhya, Nyaya, Vaisheshika and Yoga scholars as keenly as with any Buddhists. In fact his arguments against the Buddhists are quite mild in the Upanishad Bhashyas, while they border on the acrimonious in the Brahma Sutra Bhashya.

The Vishistadvaita and Dvaita schools believed in an ultimatelysaguna Brahman. They differ passionately with Advaita, and believe that his nirguna Brahman is not different from the Buddhist Sunyata(wholeness or zeroness) — much to the dismay of the Advaita school. A careful study of the Buddhist Sunyata will show that it is in some ways metaphysically similar as Brahman. Whether Sankara agrees with the Buddhists is not very clear from his commentaries on the Upanishads. His arguments against Buddhism in the Brahma Sutra Bhashyas are more a representation of Vedantic traditional debate with Buddhists than a true representation of his own individual belief. (See link: Sankara's arguments against Buddhism)


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13 comments:

黎仁南 said...

教育無他,愛與榜樣而已......................................................

佑英 said...

一個人的快樂,不是因為他擁有的多,而是他計較的少。..................................................

欣幸 said...

我的痛苦會停止,但求我的心能征服它。........................................

昱廷昱廷 said...

wonderful...................................................

均琇 said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical.........................................

TimikaE俞萍_Harkey偉昀 said...

錢,給你帶來歡愉的日子,但不給你帶來和平與幸福........................................

JesseniaT_Or怡臻ndorf said...

一棵樹除非在春天開了花,否則難望在秋天結果。..................................................

CharitaA_Reese said...

happy to read~ thank you!..................................................

730A_ngelinaRabideau0 said...

你不能左右天氣,但你可以改變心情......................................................

又陽 said...

Knowledge is power.............................................................

mckinney said...

你不能改變容貌~~但你可以展現笑容..................................................

孝齊孝齊 said...

向著星球長驅直進的人,反比踟躕在峽路上的人,更容易達到目的。..................................................................

胤綸胤綸 said...

支持你!!!期待你的更新!!!相信一定會更好!!!! .................................................................