Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby songhill » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:32 pm

Rakshasa wrote:Founder of Advaita (Shankara) was criticized by fellow Brahmins as being a Crypto-Buddhist. Although he did not acknowledge the plagiarism from Buddhism, his grandteacher Gaudapada admits that he is greatly influenced by Buddhism, especially Madhyamika of Nagarjuna. So no wonder both "appear" to be same. Besides, Advaita doesn't really have any "practice" as such. The Shankaracharya lineages of current times are only into rituals, worship, etc.

Advaita = Buddhism + Caste system + "Vedas infallibility".


Thanks for the fresh air. I read Gaudapada's karikas a few years ago; they are interesting and helpful in getting a clearer insight into N's karikas. And yes, I can see a lot of Buddhism in Vedanta. Thanks to Dr. Hajime Nakmur's great two volume set, A History of Early Vedanta Philosophy, we can see how Mahayana became the sun of reason for so many Indians like Gaudapada. Switching gears a little, Buddhists were not concerned that much with Vedanta. They were more concerned with the “outer path-farers” (tirthika) specifically, Sâmkhya and the Vaisesika, according to Dr. Nakamura.
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby lowlydog » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:40 pm

Astus wrote:
lowlydog wrote:something cannot be eternal. no-thing is eternal.


"No-thing"? Not a thing, nothing. If it is not something what does it matter if we call it eternal, impermanent, big, small, red or yellow? Talk about non-existent things is pointless.

Wisdom is not a thing.



Astus wrote:Unmanifested means what?

Quite frankly, that question cannot be answered. Even in asking the question, there is an implication that the unmanifested is a “thing” – and hence can be explained with words and understood by thinking. Understanding the unmanifested happens at a deeper level than thought.
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby Jainarayan » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:43 pm

songhill wrote:
Rakshasa wrote:Founder of Advaita (Shankara) was criticized by fellow Brahmins as being a Crypto-Buddhist. Although he did not acknowledge the plagiarism from Buddhism, his grandteacher Gaudapada admits that he is greatly influenced by Buddhism, especially Madhyamika of Nagarjuna. So no wonder both "appear" to be same. Besides, Advaita doesn't really have any "practice" as such. The Shankaracharya lineages of current times are only into rituals, worship, etc.

Advaita = Buddhism + Caste system + "Vedas infallibility".


Thanks for the fresh air. I read Gaudapada's karikas a few years ago; they are interesting and helpful in getting a clearer insight into N's karikas. And yes, I can see a lot of Buddhism in Vedanta. Thanks to Dr. Hajime Nakmur's great two volume set, A History of Early Vedanta Philosophy, we can see how Mahayana became the sun of reason for so many Indians like Gaudapada. Switching gears a little, Buddhists were not concerned that much with Vedanta. They were more concerned with the “outer path-farers” (tirthika) specifically, Sâmkhya and the Vaisesika, according to Dr. Nakamura.


For what it's worth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advaita_Ve ... a_Buddhism

Advaita and other Indian philosophies
Advaita developed in a multi-facetted religious and philosophical landscape. The tradition developed in interaction with the other traditions of India, Buddhism, Vaishnavism and Shaivism, as well as the other schools of Vedanta.

Influence of Mahayana Buddhism
Although Shankara's Advaita, like other traditions of Vedanta, claims to base itself chiefly on the Upanishads[v], the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras, many authorities from India and elsewhere have noted that it shows signs of influence from Mahayana Buddhism.

Buddhist influences
John Grimes writes that while Mahayana Buddhism's influence on Advaita Vedanta has been ignored for most of its history, scholars now see it as undeniable:

That Mahayana Buddhism had an influence upon the formation of Advaita Vedanta philosophy is now indubitable. However, for over a thousand years, this influence has either been virtually ignored, on the one hand, or either hotly contested by Advaita adherents or summarily paid lip service as some sort of crypto-Buddhism, on the other.[52]

Eliot Deutsch and Rohit Dalvi state:

In any event a close relationship between the Mahayana schools and Vedanta did exist with the latter borrowing some of the dialectical techniques, if not the specific doctrines, of the former.[53]

S. Mudgal noted that among some traditionalist Indian scholars, it was the accepted view that Shankara

Adopted practically all [...] dialectic (of the Buddhists), their methodology, their arguments and analysis, their concepts, their terminologies and even their philosophy of the Absolute, gave all of them a Vedantic appearance, and demolished Buddhism... Sankara embraced Buddhism, but it was a fatal embrace".[54]
Worthy, wise and virtuous: Who is energetic and not indolent, in misfortune unshaken,
flawless in manner and intelligent, such one will honor gain. - Digha Nikaya III 273
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby Astus » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:48 pm

lowlydog wrote:Wisdom is not a thing.


There are a few pages on prajnaparamita, as the primary form of wisdom in Mahayana. Short definitions are also available.

lowlydog wrote:Quite frankly, that question cannot be answered. Even in asking the question, there is an implication that the unmanifested is a “thing” – and hence can be explained with words and understood by thinking. Understanding the unmanifested happens at a deeper level than thought.


That is, you don't mean anything by "unmanifested", since nobody can conceive such a thing, in which case it cannot be used in an argument.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby lowlydog » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:00 pm

Astus wrote:That is, you don't mean anything by "unmanifested", since nobody can conceive such a thing, in which case it cannot be used in an argument.


Who's arguing?

There is nothing to argue over. :tongue:
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby Jeff » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:34 pm

lowlydog wrote:
Astus wrote:That is, you don't mean anything by "unmanifested", since nobody can conceive such a thing, in which case it cannot be used in an argument.


Who's arguing?

There is nothing to argue over. :tongue:


Doesn't that make it "empty"? :smile:
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:05 pm

lowlydog wrote:So you can think emptyness. hmmmm.
You can understand it intellectually and you can realise it "non-intellectually". If you couldn't understand it intellectually some of the most brilliant minds in Buddhist philosophy (including the Buddha himself) would not have wasted their time expounding it. Now whether understanding emptiness is necessary in order to realise it... That's a different story. But understanding helps when one has insights but not stable realisation, it helps because having the expereince explained by the realised one does not fall into the trap of reifying the experience.
:namaste:
PS Emptiness is spelt with an "i" and not a "y".
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:18 pm

According to Milarepa, primordial wisdom is beyond existence and nonexistence, permanence and impermanence, etc. It is completely beyond explanations. This is the key difference between advaita and vajra yoga. In Buddhism, the method and teaching are one. It is the union of method and wisdom. Here, we have the practice of doing nothing, seeing nothing, concentrating on nothing thus nothing is posited and we are free from the burden of practice, looking, investigating, concentrating, etc. Any advaita teacher will have you concentrating on something like some sort of innate experience forever. That is why it is not primordial freedom. For freedom to be primordial, one must be liberated at the outset from the tedium of a path.
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby greentara » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:18 pm

Upon liberation there is no one to observe anything' no one is one too many! Nevertheless it is not a blank!
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby greentara » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:25 pm

deepbluehum, The word 'burden' captured my attention. In Advaita he guru will ask why do you have to burden yourself with this individuality? Why do you carry it around and let it torment you? Lay the burden at the gurus feet and be free. Makes sense to me.
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby Rakshasa » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:31 am

Best article on Sankara, Advaita (Mayavada) and Buddhism from a historical as well as metaphysical point of view
http://gosai.com/writings/mayavada-and-buddhism-are-they-one-and-the-same
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby songhill » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:29 am

Rakshasa wrote:Best article on Sankara, Advaita (Mayavada) and Buddhism from a historical as well as metaphysical point of view
http://gosai.com/writings/mayavada-and-buddhism-are-they-one-and-the-same


Nice article. Here is Mandukya Upanishad with Gaudapada's Karika: http://www.swamij.com/upanishad-mandukya-karika.htm
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby muni » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:53 am

Hello Rachmiel, :namaste:

Regarding your words of pure awareness, I like to share some simple words by Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo. Homage to Jetsunma, homage to Ajhan Chah, homage to all.

"Dwell" with that which knows.
Stop identifying with that which knows.
Stop identifying with the known". Ajhan Chah.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fwh5_I4HdnA
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby oushi » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:48 am

Those two (Advaita and Buddhism) seems to be coherent to some degree. As interpretations are always misinterpretations, differences will naturally arise, like between Buddhists schools. Emptiness is a very skillful explanation, but not the only one, and maybe not the best one, as it use to trigger alot of conceptualization, which misses the point completely.
In both approaches, truth is beyond words, so how can it be compared?
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:54 am

oushi wrote:Those two (Advaita and Buddhism) seems to be coherent to some degree. As interpretations are always misinterpretations, differences will naturally arise, like between Buddhists schools. Emptiness is a very skillful explanation, but not the only one, and maybe not the best one, as it use to trigger alot of conceptualization, which misses the point completely.
In both approaches, truth is beyond words, so how can it be compared?
The relative aspect can be compared. As you might be aware of, in Buddhism there are two truths. One is not more important nor takes precedent over the other. If the relative view is "off" that will cloud our momentary perception of the ultimate. Only a Buddha, somebody that has overcome ignorance completely, sees the two truths as inseperable. As long as we are not fully enlightened, then we have to be aware of the importance of both types of truth. That is why there is intellectual understanding of emptiness and (non-intellectual) realisation.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby oushi » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:27 am

If the relative view is "off" that will cloud our momentary perception of the ultimate. Only a Buddha, somebody that has overcome ignorance completely, sees the two truths as inseperable.

Such a belief is a basis of the practice. A sketch that is used to direct the mind. From my experience, I can say that ultimate cannot be perceived as separate entity, but it is known by perceptions of the emptiness of the relative. New karma has no hold, and the old one dissolves at sight. Two truths becomes "no truth", and at this level both Advaita and Buddhism are just empty paths, neither true , nor faulty. The question may arise, can both paths lead to liberation? Hard to answer as it doesn't happen twice for one person.
Last edited by oushi on Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby asunthatneversets » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:35 am

lowlydog wrote:
Astus wrote: Advaita thinks consciousness (vijnana) is/has an eternal part. Buddhism refutes it.


Consciousness is permanent/eternal and Buddhism does not refute this. Advaita and Buddhism are the same teachings when understood(practically experienced) correctly.

rachMiel,

bodhicitta= pure awareness= brahman, but what you are suggesting scares the crap out of those who hang on to their religious beliefs to tightly. :smile:


Buddhism definitely refutes the idea that consciousness is permanent and eternal.
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:51 am

oushi wrote:
If the relative view is "off" that will cloud our momentary perception of the ultimate. Only a Buddha, somebody that has overcome ignorance completely, sees the two truths as inseperable.

Such a belief is a basis of the practice. A sketch that is used to direct the mind. From my experience, I can say that ultimate cannot be perceived as separate entity, but it is known by perceptions of the emptiness of the relative. New karma has no hold, and the old one dissolves at sight. Two truths becomes "no truth", and at this level both Advaita and Buddhism are just empty paths, neither true , nor faulty. The question may arise, can both paths lead to liberation? Hard to answer as it doesn't happen twice for one person.
I think you can just consider the intellectual undrstanding as the map and guide while the relisation is the actual travelling. Sure, you don't need necessarily a map and guide to travel, but it makes life infinitely simpler.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby 5heaps » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:52 am

rachmiel wrote:To cut to the chase, here's my predicament. I'm studying Advaita Vedanta, and much of it resonates with me, feels true. BUT (and it's a huge but!) the final conclusion of Advaita -- that brahman = changeless eternal ultimate substrate = oneness = everything (self of course included) -- has just never felt right to me. It feels like an arbitrary leap of faith, a fairy tale. I'm with Advaita through all its negation (I am not ultimately this, this is not ultimately real, etc.), but Advaita loses me with their final conclusion: THIS (brahman) *IS* real, and is all there is, therefore you and I and everything = brahman.

because at the top of the form realm there is just single-pointed awareness observing itself there is no object which can cause pain, suffering, doubt, confusion, etcetc, and so there is just masterful pristine awareness. it clearly and precisely ascertains all its qualities. for anyone at this point the ultimate nature or final characteristic that makes you a you which is ascertained is the characteristic of being pure, partless, unchanging, and independent from any other notion of you ie. your thoughts, your body, even your mind, none of these are you, what makes you a you

buddhism takes it a step further by suggesting that although that mind is very pure (since it is at the peak of the form realm after all), nevertheless there are still the _subtlest_ traces of ignorance which are what is giving rise to the appearance of partlessness, unchangingness, and independentness. whereas as what most Advaitas assert--that what makes a self a self is not something found amongst the parts nor the collection of parts, but rather something independent of the parts and collection--buddhists assert that what makes a self a self is not something independent of the parts nor something amongst the parts themselves (nor the collection itself). thus dharmakirti and dignaga taught apoha, imputation/projection/labelling, based on the buddhas own statements
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby lowlydog » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:34 pm

asunthatneversets wrote:Buddhism definitely refutes the idea that consciousness is permanent and eternal.


Prove it. :smile:
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