Questions on Indian idealism

Satya Upadhya satya_upadhya at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 19 23:11:06 UTC 2000

Theory of "Two truths" does not, so far as i understand, mean visible and
invisible Brahman. It means truth from the provisional practical point of
life (what Advaitists call "vyahvarika satya"), and truth at the ultimate
metaphysical level ("parmarthika satya"). Thus the food you eat exists at
the level of "vyahvarika satya", but at the higher metaphysical level
("parmarthika satya") it is just a phantom conjured up by mortal illusion,
according to both the Advaita Vedantists and the Mahayana Budhists.
[ Two fundamental of the Advaita are: 1. Brahman is the only reality.
2. Brahman is pure consciousness that is devoid of any attributes.]

Futher to this, i may mention just some of the several sources who accuse
Advaitists of being disguised Mahayana Budhists:

1. Vijananabhikshu, who coins the phrase "pracchanna baudha" to refer to the
Advaitists (in his intro to the Sankhyapravanbhasay from the Padmapurana).
2. Madhva on Brahma Sutra ii.2.29, when he says that the Brahman of the
Advaitists is nothing but the "sunya" of the Sunyavadins. [Rememember that
according to Advaita, the Ultimate Reality is devoid of any attributes, and
this is the position of the sunyavadis too as far as i know.]
3. Parthasarathi Mishra [the famous commentator on Kumarila] in
Sastra-dipika, Nir.ed. pg. 111; and Jayanta Bhatta in Nyayamanjari, Ch.ed.
ii.96 also (sarcastically) refer to the basic similarity between the Advaita
and Mahayana Budhism.
4. From the Advaita point of view, Sriharsa frankly acknowledges his
indebtedness to the sunyavadis [Madhyamikas].

Now, what i want to know is whether any work has been done in modern times
on the parallels between the Advaita and Mahayana Budhism.


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