[INDOLOGY] Crypto-Hindu and crypto-Buddhist

Andrew Nicholson andrew.nicholson at stonybrook.edu
Sat Oct 15 19:23:55 UTC 2016

Dear Bill,

Not only did the Viśiṣṭādvaitins and others refer to Advaita Vedāntins as
crypto-Buddhists; in his Śatadūṣaṇī, Vedānta Deśika also labelled the
Bhedābheda Vedāntin Bhāskara as a "Vedāntin who smells like a Jain" (

I have never seen a similar term in the premodern literature for a
"crypto-Hindu." Might we find similar epithets in Jain intra-religious
polemics (perhaps a *vedāntigandhijaina*)?


Andrew J. Nicholson
Associate Professor
Graduate Studies Director
Asian & Asian American Studies
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-5343 USA
(631) 632-4030

> On Fri, Oct 14, 2016 at 8:28 PM, Matthew Kapstein <mkapstei at uchicago.edu>
> wrote:
>> Hi Bill,
>> The "crypto-Buddhist" charge against Śaṅkara is, I think, inspired by
>> RamAnuja's
>> (at least, I recall it as RamAnuja's) castigation of him as
>> prachanna-bauddha, for
>> which crypto-Buddhist is fair enough as a translation. I don't think that
>> we find
>> a similar emic notion of "crypto-Hindu," though there are some Buddhist
>> polemics
>> I know that may suggest this. Tibetan critics of Dol-po-pa's theory of
>> "extrinsic
>> emptiness" (Gzhan-stong), for instance, often condemn it as disguised
>> sAMkhya or vedAnta,
>> but I doubt that Ritzinger or Hodge had this in mind.
>> best,
>> Matthew
>> Matthew Kapstein
>> Directeur d'études,
>> Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes
>> Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
>> The University of Chicago
>> ------------------------------

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