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Thread: When it comes to Buddhism and reasonable vedantic arguments

  1. #1

    When it comes to Buddhism and reasonable vedantic arguments

    Hello dear friends

    I am Ananda, a bhakta and non-sectarian devotee of Sri Krishna, and i am new here on the forum (and very happy to be here )

    I was reading a former tread: 'When it comes to Buddhism' and i was disappointed to see how most vedantin replies used such poor arguments to refute Buddhist concepts

    I actually find forummember Twilightdance to have a quite clear and correct comprehension of the differences between buddhism and hinduism and i mostly found it surprising how simplistically most vedantins reacted, imo

    I mean i also do not see any reason for vedantins to feel offended by what Twilightdance wrote, imo it was sincere, very correct and objectively, not meant to offend no-one

    which does not mean i agree with the essence of the buddhist core views myself, but at least you cannot say there is no logic involved

    The arguments used against his points where really very very bad imo

    And this happens me almost always when i hear vendantins argue against buddhism, mostly there is n't even a worthwile debate, they start using cliché thoughts, in which one can see they never even tried to understand buddhism.

    So this is a call for reason, logic, respect and openness, all qualities a true truthsearcher should embody if he/she wants to attain moksha, in my opinion!

    So I would like to see proper vedanta (or other) arguments here about the B. concepts of 'no-self', 'sunyata' etc..., the place of deva's and gods within buddhism, the fact that buddhism emphasizes on means and not on meta-physics etc...

    What does vedanta do better then buddhism iyo, or why do you think vedanta is closer to truth or liberation then buddhism, or why is vedanta a more legitimite way acording to you, or whatever view do you have on this? Please answer with serenity and respect please!

    We are all searching for the truth aren't we?

    And please in your own understanding, scriptures can be a tool for explanation but not a proof for the truth imo

    Thanks!

    in love for Lord Krishna

    Ananda

  2. #2
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    Re: When it comes to Buddhism and reasonable vedantic arguments

    Quote Originally Posted by Ananda Sahaj View Post

    So I would like to see proper vedanta (or other) arguments here about the B. concepts of 'no-self', 'sunyata' etc..., the place of deva's and gods within buddhism, the fact that buddhism emphasizes on means and not on meta-physics etc...
    As someone who has been a Buddhist for many years (I can't speak for vedanta) I reject both the concept of 'no-self' and the philosophical contrivance of sunyata. Buddha never taught either but many Buddhists do. There is a distinction.

    Deva's gods etc. are considered sentient beings, trapped (like us) within the round of re-birth. They are part of the cosmology and not seen as a solution.

    Means are considered more useful than speculation or metaphysics, as we are obliged to face our experiences in a direct way without the distortion and veil of metaphysics.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    Re: When it comes to Buddhism and reasonable vedantic arguments

    First of all, it appears that the OP'er is confusing Advaita for all of Vedanta.

    Next, what Buddhism would the OP'er like to compare against Advaita? There are realist and idealist schools of Buddhist philosophy each of which is irreducibly irreconcileable with each other. They themselves try to refute each other. So, to simply ask for comparison of Buddhism vs Advaita is not well-defined.

    Next, the differences between Buddhist schools of thought and Hindu schools of though are steeped in issues related to epistemology (how do we know what we know), metaphysics (what is really out there, if at all) and then consistent with the position adopted in epistemology and metaphysics, each school tries to provide a view on soteriology/moksha/nibbana.

    I have mentioned many times in the past that unless one is well-versed in these issues, trying to understand the differences between the schools is beyond one's ken.

    All that said, perhaps the OP'er can clarify where exactly he/she would like to compare and contrast Buddhism (which school?) and Hinduism (which school?)

    In any case, the OP'er can start by looking at the following threads and trying to follow the train of thought:

    Advaita vs Yogachara:

    http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=10137

    Nyaya vs Dinnaga/Dharmakriti on empty terms

    http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=10146

    Uddayanacharya (Nyaya) vs Buddhist theory of momentariness

    http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=8197

    Brahmasutras' refutation of Buddhist realists:

    http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/bs_2/bs_2-2-04.html

    Brahmasutras' refutation of Buddhist idealits:

    http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/bs_2/bs_2-2-05.html

    Regards.

  4. #4

    Re: When it comes to Buddhism and reasonable vedantic arguments

    Quote Originally Posted by wundermonk View Post
    First of all, it appears that the OP'er is confusing Advaita for all of Vedanta.

    Next, what Buddhism would the OP'er like to compare against Advaita? There are realist and idealist schools of Buddhist philosophy each of which is irreducibly irreconcileable with each other. They themselves try to refute each other. So, to simply ask for comparison of Buddhism vs Advaita is not well-defined.

    Next, the differences between Buddhist schools of thought and Hindu schools of though are steeped in issues related to epistemology (how do we know what we know), metaphysics (what is really out there, if at all) and then consistent with the position adopted in epistemology and metaphysics, each school tries to provide a view on soteriology/moksha/nibbana.

    I have mentioned many times in the past that unless one is well-versed in these issues, trying to understand the differences between the schools is beyond one's ken.

    All that said, perhaps the OP'er can clarify where exactly he/she would like to compare and contrast Buddhism (which school?) and Hinduism (which school?)

    In any case, the OP'er can start by looking at the following threads and trying to follow the train of thought:

    Advaita vs Yogachara:

    http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=10137

    Nyaya vs Dinnaga/Dharmakriti on empty terms

    http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=10146

    Uddayanacharya (Nyaya) vs Buddhist theory of momentariness

    http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=8197

    Brahmasutras' refutation of Buddhist realists:

    http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/bs_2/bs_2-2-04.html

    Brahmasutras' refutation of Buddhist idealits:

    http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/bs_2/bs_2-2-05.html

    Regards.
    Well this is what I call a sincere approach of the matter! which i really appreciate!

    I was actually basing myself on an other tread, if you look at that one you will see what i mean.

    I now that there are very many nuances, but in that tread they simplified it very much to buddhism vs vedanta.

    So i am really happy with your answer and will surely look at all the info!

    Yes, my question actually is: can vedantins please give proper arguments against the concepts of no-self and sunyata and for the concept of Brahman and God-with-form and their relation...

    because i often cannot easily understand my krishna bhakti in a rational way as i do not find most vaishnava literature convincing.

    but still my bhakti is very real and strong

    buddhist literature on the other hand is very to the point and recognizable but i do not find overly convincing explanations of my devotion towards God

    only vairayana approaches it

    so i actually would like to find convincing conceptual explanations of the personal Godhead and His/Her/It's relation to Para/Brahman/the experience of sahaja samadhi/nibbana...

    Thanks!

    Ananda

  5. #5

    Re: When it comes to Buddhism and reasonable vedantic arguments

    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by srivijaya View Post
    As someone who has been a Buddhist for many years (I can't speak for vedanta) I reject both the concept of 'no-self' and the philosophical contrivance of sunyata. Buddha never taught either but many Buddhists do. There is a distinction.

    Deva's gods etc. are considered sentient beings, trapped (like us) within the round of re-birth. They are part of the cosmology and not seen as a solution.

    Means are considered more useful than speculation or metaphysics, as we are obliged to face our experiences in a direct way without the distortion and veil of metaphysics.

    Hope this helps.

  6. #6
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    Re: When it comes to Buddhism and reasonable vedantic arguments

    Namaste Ananda Sahaj

    And welcome to the HDF. You introduced an interesting and broad subject - I think some of the other members have given very learned responses. Advaita or Vedanta does not have as great a "conflict" with Buddhism as did those Bhaktas (I assume I count you among those who practice Bhakti Yoga) who were "revolutionaries" during the Middle Ages in Hindu revival.

    As you know already, Jainism and Buddhism are Indian in revelation, perspective and inspired as is Hinduism, so there is no surprise to find similarities. I have been to Jain temples where Hindu Devatas are present in Murthi forms. I have heard Buddhists speak of Brahma giving orders to past and future Buddhas, and so on. But prior to the rise of such Hindu revival in India, first the Jains had much power which included among Rajas and Maharajas and rulers, and later Buddhists as well. Since such Royalty held much power and sway, and since their advisors were in many cases Jain or Buddhist, the very roots of enlightenment from Hinduism was ignored.

    So in those times, saints of both Saiva and Vaishnava traditions as well as those who worshipped Surya and Ganesha and their primary Lord(s), went directly to the people to espouse and revive Hinduism - and they did this by means of the doctrine of devotion.

    So actually, those who were active in attempting to counter the aspects of enlightenment which were unique and not mainstream to Hindu Dharma bravely stood up and found salience in the people of which many still held Hinduism in respect and in their hearts - eventually even great Rajas came around.

    So this may explain why some Advaitans might not have a long "history" of debate points with Buddhists. Because they were not the ones who led the Hindu revival that returned Sanatana Dharma to India during a time when firstly Buddhists and then later Muslims held the sway of power. It was the devotional movements that did so, and from their doctrines if and when captured first in the minds and later in scripture by the devotees will you find those types of point and counter-points of your interest. The Advaitans dwell mostly on their particulars of the nature of the Brahman and the soul, and were not as much involved in such debate.

    As others have pointed out as well, there are different schools of Buddhism which formed as it spread. This is true in regards to the impersonalists within Hinduism as well. If you go to the very origins of Buddhism, which is Indian Buddhism, you will find many relations to Hinduism. And that is because the Buddha, though taught by a Jain in philosophy and meditation, and in process and marga, was a Hindu in birth. So within the original Buddhism is very much the Hindu fingerprint. But then, Buddha as trying to be a reformer of his own, also did diverge from Hinduism on some key points. But I think you are using some consideration in your devotion, and that is a sign that you are a true aspirant.

    By the way, I just also wanted to say, I really like your "avatar" you are using for your Member ID. Don't change it! It is beautiful, especially with the Gomata!

    Om Namah Sivaya

  7. #7

    Re: When it comes to Buddhism and reasonable vedantic arguments

    Thanks Shivafan for your kind and informative answer!

    Yes i also thanks to your post and other things i have been reading and contemplating on, that the strong emphasize on the differences between these dharma-schools comes from worldly struggle: social, political, ethnically, class struggles, struggle between woman and man, between young and old and more...

    just like the struggle between catholicism, ortodoxism and protestantism in Christianity, or between the Sunni and the Shie in Islam, while Jesus and Mohammed did not bother about those matters, because they justr wanted to create the possibility for people to have space for God

    Actually struggles in this world of form, which are projected on the words of the great masters.

    To me I believe that a really attained master would not condemn other schools as a whole, they would maybe only think certain techniques or relative viewpoints are more efficient then others, in a practical sense, not in a moralistic or philosophical sense

    also al these philosophical differences are seen by scholars, and the masters are no scholars, although they may have started as scholars

    i think no philosophy can hold the truth, because reality is inconceivable for our mind

    I am quite certain that there are attained masters and 'avatars' in any of the great religions, that their experience is the same in experience, but that they explain it differently and that the divisions are actually created by their followers who look at the wisdom in a worldly way, because they cannot comprehend the real meaning of the words these masters spoke.

    Will be continued! (a friend just walked in my house... )

    Greets!

    Hari Bol!
    Om Namah Sivaya!

    ananda

    Quote Originally Posted by ShivaFan View Post
    Namaste Ananda Sahaj

    And welcome to the HDF. You introduced an interesting and broad subject - I think some of the other members have given very learned responses. Advaita or Vedanta does not have as great a "conflict" with Buddhism as did those Bhaktas (I assume I count you among those who practice Bhakti Yoga) who were "revolutionaries" during the Middle Ages in Hindu revival.

    As you know already, Jainism and Buddhism are Indian in revelation, perspective and inspired as is Hinduism, so there is no surprise to find similarities. I have been to Jain temples where Hindu Devatas are present in Murthi forms. I have heard Buddhists speak of Brahma giving orders to past and future Buddhas, and so on. But prior to the rise of such Hindu revival in India, first the Jains had much power which included among Rajas and Maharajas and rulers, and later Buddhists as well. Since such Royalty held much power and sway, and since their advisors were in many cases Jain or Buddhist, the very roots of enlightenment from Hinduism was ignored.

    So in those times, saints of both Saiva and Vaishnava traditions as well as those who worshipped Surya and Ganesha and their primary Lord(s), went directly to the people to espouse and revive Hinduism - and they did this by means of the doctrine of devotion.

    So actually, those who were active in attempting to counter the aspects of enlightenment which were unique and not mainstream to Hindu Dharma bravely stood up and found salience in the people of which many still held Hinduism in respect and in their hearts - eventually even great Rajas came around.

    So this may explain why some Advaitans might not have a long "history" of debate points with Buddhists. Because they were not the ones who led the Hindu revival that returned Sanatana Dharma to India during a time when firstly Buddhists and then later Muslims held the sway of power. It was the devotional movements that did so, and from their doctrines if and when captured first in the minds and later in scripture by the devotees will you find those types of point and counter-points of your interest. The Advaitans dwell mostly on their particulars of the nature of the Brahman and the soul, and were not as much involved in such debate.

    As others have pointed out as well, there are different schools of Buddhism which formed as it spread. This is true in regards to the impersonalists within Hinduism as well. If you go to the very origins of Buddhism, which is Indian Buddhism, you will find many relations to Hinduism. And that is because the Buddha, though taught by a Jain in philosophy and meditation, and in process and marga, was a Hindu in birth. So within the original Buddhism is very much the Hindu fingerprint. But then, Buddha as trying to be a reformer of his own, also did diverge from Hinduism on some key points. But I think you are using some consideration in your devotion, and that is a sign that you are a true aspirant.

    By the way, I just also wanted to say, I really like your "avatar" you are using for your Member ID. Don't change it! It is beautiful, especially with the Gomata!

    Om Namah Sivaya

  8. #8

    Re: When it comes to Buddhism and reasonable vedantic arguments

    Quote Originally Posted by srivijaya View Post
    As someone who has been a Buddhist for many years (I can't speak for vedanta) I reject both the concept of 'no-self' and the philosophical contrivance of sunyata. Buddha never taught either but many Buddhists do. There is a distinction.
    What evidence is there that he never taught anatta?

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