The Buddha's familiarity with upanisadic ideas

Maheswaran Nair swantam at ASIANETINDIA.COM
Mon Dec 11 03:06:56 UTC 2006

We have to take into account the Brahmana-Sramana  dichotomy.   
Brahmana and Sramana constituted two divergent traditions of which  
Upanishads follow the first and the Buddha the second. The 27  
pre-Buddhas and 23 Tirthankaras together constituted the Sramana. The  
ideological clashes between the Sadvaada of Brahmanas and Asadvaada of  
Sramanas existed before Gautama the Buddha. The Chandogya makes clear  
mention about that(6-2-1). So it is no wonder that the Buddha was  
familiar with the Upanisads which played an important role in his  
ideological past.
K.Maheswaran Nair
University of Kerala

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