Realism of RAmAnuja

Balaji Hebbar bhebbar at EROLS.COM
Mon Feb 8 01:44:44 UTC 1999


If  you  really  wish  to  understand  the  "battle  royale"  between
the  Indian  Idealists  and  the  Indian  Realists  over  the  issue
whether  objects  exist  OUTSIDE  of  consciousness,  one  must  look
at  the  scholastic  and  polemical  texts  of  the  VijNAnavAda  school
of  MahAyAna  Buddhism  and  the  NyAya-VaisheShika  system  of  Hindu
thought.  Like  two  giants  they  intellectually  fought  for  6.5
centuries  and  in  the  process  bled  each  other  to  death.  The
arguments  between  Advaita  VedAnta  and  the  theistic  schools  of
VedAnta  (RAmAnuja  &  Madhva  particularly)  along  the  same  lines
really  pales  by  comparison.

Also,  with  regard  to  the  ontology  issue,  the  real  difference
between  Shankara  and  Vasubandhu  (two  Indian  idealists)  is  the
former  belongs  to  the  AtmavAda  trend  of  Indian  thought  and  the
latter  to  the  AnAtmavAda  trend.  Both  regard  consciousness  as
the  only  reality.  For  Shankara  consciousness  is  substantial  and
based  on  VedavAkya  while  for  Vasubandhu  (being  a  Buddhist)  it
is  non-substantial  and  based  on  Buddhavacana.

I  haven't  forgotten  that  you  need  evidence  from  RAmAnuja  on
the  Consciousness-objects  dualism  affair.  I  will  keep  you


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