The Buddha and the Upanishads

Som Dev Vasudeva somadevah at MAC.COM
Mon Dec 11 06:56:47 UTC 2006

Its seems to me that the expressed scepticism about the value of grappling with early textual sources to interpret and then comment on historical events easily can be taken too far (particularly by scholars not actively engaged in philological work themselves). This is not at all a new phenomenon, consider the amusing but brilliant spoof produced Richard Whately in 1819, "Historic Doubts Relative To Napoleon Buonaparte" :

"What, then, are we to believe? If we are disposed to credit all that
is told us, we must believe in the existence not only of one, but of
two or three Buonapartes; if we admit nothing but what is well
authenticated, we shall be compelled to doubt of the existence of

It appears, then, that those on whose testimony the existence and
actions of Buonaparte are generally believed, fail in ALL the most
essential points on which the credibility of witnesses depends: first,
we have no assurance that they have access to correct information;
secondly, they have an apparent interest in propagating falsehood;
and, thirdly, they palpably contradict each other in the most
important points."

Somadeva Vasudeva

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