Talk:Advaita Vedanta

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Edit war cease-fire[edit]

I won't pretend to understand the nuances of the content dispute that has been occurring here, this is not a subject I have any knowledge of. What I do understand is the nuances of Wikipedia's policy on edit warring. I suggest that those who have been edit warring take a moment to make themselves familiar with them as well. The page is currently protected from editing to stop the warring, since WP:BRD was not being followed here. Please use this time to discuss these matters. When the protection expires, any return to edit warring can and will lead to alll participants being blocked, so please don't do that. If you cannot resolve the issues yourselves you can open a request for comment or pursue other forms of dispute resolution. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:59, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

My intended content[edit]

(If anyone wants to challenge the content please do so in the talk page here as requested by the administrators. I can provide references as required by the person challenging the content. If no one challenges the content, then the content below will be posted in the Advaita Vedanta page)

Adi Guru Shri Gauḍapādāchārya, the grand guru of Shri Adi Shankaracharya and the first historical proponent of Advaita Vedanta, also believed to be the founder of Shri Gaudapadacharya Math

Advaita Vedanta (IAST Advaita Vedānta; Sanskrit: अद्वैत वेदान्त [əd̪ʋait̪ə ʋeːd̪ɑːnt̪ə]) is considered to be the most influential[1] and most dominant[2][3] sub-school of the Vedānta (literally, end or the goal of the Vedas, Sanskrit) school of Hindu philosophy.[4] Other major sub-schools of Vedānta are Dvaita and Viśishṭādvaita; while the minor ones include Suddhadvaita, Dvaitadvaita and Achintya Bhedabheda. Advaita (literally, non-duality) is a system of thought that refers to the relationship between the Individual Self, I, the Ego (Ātman_(Hinduism)) and Consciousness, God (Brahman).[5]

According to Advaita (literally, non-duality) system of thought Consciousness, GodBrahman is the only reality, the Individual Self, I, the Ego (Ātman_(Hinduism)) is unreal. The Individual Self, I, the Ego (Ātman_(Hinduism)) assumes it is real based on its body, mind identity. Removing this delusion of the Individual Self, I, the Ego (Ātman_(Hinduism)) with the body, mind identity and realizing that all that there is Consciousness, God Brahman is called Self-Realization.

There are several paths to achieve self realization as prescribed by the Bhagavad Gita. The paths are

  • Gyana Yoga - The path of Wisdom based on Meditation
  • Bhakti Yoga - The path of Absolute Devotion to God
  • Karma Yoga - Doing your duty without attachment (non doership) and not expecting the results from the work

Each path if followed will quieten the mind and with time dissolve the delusion of the Individual Self, I, the Ego (Ātman_(Hinduism)) with the body, mind identity and realize that all that there is Consciousness, God (Brahman).[6].

The key source texts for all schools of Vedānta are the Prasthanatrayi—the canonical texts consisting of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras. The first person to explicitly consolidate the principles of Advaita Vedanta was Adi Shankara,[7] while the first historical proponent was Gaudapada, the guru of Shankara's guru Govinda Bhagavatpada.

Ramana Maharshi prescribes the Gyana Yoga path (Self Inquiry - Who am I?) as the way to achieve Self Realization.

International_Society_for_Krishna_Consciousness by A._C._Bhaktivedanta_Swami_Prabhupada prescribes Bhakti, devotion to God as the way to reach Self Realization.

NONE of the additional stuff has to do with classical medieval Vedanta. (talk) 15:50, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

The point of discussion is Advaita Vedanta Philosphy, what has Classical Medieval Vedanta got to do with this.Upanishads and interpretation by Adi Sankara, Ramana Maharshi and others have contributed the body of knowledge - the oneness of Brahman. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:48, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Ramana Maharishi is a modern guy. This article is about medieval Vedanta. (talk) 17:28, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Advaita Vedanta page in wikipedia is not specific to Medieval Vedanta. Advaita Vedanta is a school of thought that talks about the oneness of Brahman.Advaita Vedanta is mentioned in Rig Vedas, Ancient vedic period. Sage Vyasa, Adi Sankara, Ramana maharshi, Prabhupada have all contributed to the body of knowledge - the oneness of Brahman.

List of Advaita Teachers

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:42, 6 November 2011 (UTC) 

Buddhist influence[edit]

Advaita system of thought is based on the Upanishads , a collection of Hindu religious texts that was written prior to the birth of Buddha. The Bhagavad_Gita has verses that talk about paths to self realization and that Brahman is the only truth which is the central tenet of Hinduism and the Advaita system of thought. Hence the notion that Advaita Vedanta as a philosophy of thought was influenced by Buddhism is a false assumption.

Adi Sankara led the Hindu renaissance through Advaita when Buddhism spread across India. This has led to some false views that Advaita Vedanta was influenced by Buddhism [8]. The Advaita philosophy in the times of Adi Sankara may have some Buddhist influence, but the source of Advaita philosophy is mentioned in the Vedas and Upanishads which predate the birth of Buddha.

“There is no doer of a deed Or one who reaps the deed’s result Phenomena alone flows on No other view than this is right.” - Buddha

Buddha's words follow the Karma Yoga path to Self realization.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says (ITRANS transliteration is used below.): "karmaNyE vAdhikArastE mA phalEShu kadAchana mA karmaphalahEturbhUH mA tE sa~NghOstu akarmaNi"

Therefore, without being attached to the fruits of activities, one should act as a matter of duty, for by working without attachment one attains the Supreme.[2] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:29, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

At the risk of getting my head bit off, I believe Beeblebrox misinterpreted the situation here. This is not a content dispute. Ramanatruth is a fundamentalist Hindu follower of Ramana Maharishi inserting statements that the Bhagavad Gita dates from 3000 BCE and so on. Thats why they erased the Buddhist influence section, which was there for a while. They even erased real academic sources at one point and inserted books regarding Ramana Maharishi. The Buddhist Influence section is probably the highest quality section of the entire article. (talk) 06:46, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Please see my content of the reworded the Buddhist Influence section with the reference. Please let me know if you have any questions on the reworded content below. I would appreciate if stop the name calling like fundamentalist and start debating specific content.

Buddhist examples may have been included in the Advaita teachings of Adi Sankara I am not debating that. But the philosphy of Adivaita, the oneness of Brahmin is in the Vedas, Upanishads which predate the birth of Adi Sankara and Buddha. I hold Adi Sankara, Ramana Maharshi, Prabhupada, Buddha and all sages equally. I dont see quoting any of their works to be a mistake in the Advaita Vedanta page. They have all preached the oneness of Brahmin, Consciousness, God.

Gautama Buddha lived in 563 BCE to 483 BCE

The date of Bhagavad Gita 3000 BCE is mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita wikipedia page with references.

Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 13.31

When a sensible man ceases to see different identities due to different material bodies and he sees how beings are expanded everywhere, he attains to the Brahman conception.

Rig Veda 1700–1100 BC[4] (the early Vedic period).

prajñānam brahma - "Consciousness is Brahman" (Aitareya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda)

You need to post atleast one verbatim quote from an academic source to counteract the Buddhist Influence section which contains verbatim quotes. You are not a scholar. You cannot make up your own arguments. (talk) 15:25, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

I quoted the dates of the Upanishads which predate the birth of Buddha. When a thought is established prior to the birth of Buddha, how can Buddhism claim influence of Advaita. If some Advaita scholars use Buddhist examples in their teachings of Advaita, does not mean Buddhism influenced Advaita.

Rig Veda 1700–1100 BC[4] (the early Vedic period). Bhagavad Gita 3000 BCE Gautama Buddha lived in 563 BCE to 483 BCE

Advaita philosophy, the three paths to realizing Brahman is the central tenet of Hinduism.

There are several paths to achieve self realization as prescribed by the Bhagavad Gita. The paths are Gyana Yoga - The path of Wisdom based on Meditation Bhakti Yoga - The path of Absolute Devotion to God Karma Yoga - Doing your duty without attachment (non doership) and not expecting the results from the work

Instead of being a fundamental Buddhist. You should let common sense prevail.

If Buddha were to patent "Advaita Philosophy" it will be rejected due to "prior art" in Upanishads.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:53, 6 November 2011 (UTC) 
Just find a direct quote that counteracts the academic consensus and verbatim quotes already given in the section. Now for your own knowledge, you should read Comans' book on Vedanta. Adi Shankara, Gaudapada quoted Buddhist scholars by name, and borrowed verbatim arguments from them. Lastly most Upanshads were written after the Buddha. (talk) 17:36, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Rig Veda 1700–1100 BC[4] (the early Vedic period). Bhagavad Gita 3000 BCE Gautama Buddha lived in 563 BCE to 483 BCE

During the time of Birth of Buddha, Hinduism was the religion of the time. Vedas and Upanishads are the basic religious texts of Hinduism. I have quoted the dates when the Vedas and Upanishads were written. They predate the birth of Buddha. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ramanatruth (talkcontribs) 22:52, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Advaita Vedanta is an interpretation of the Vedas and Upanishads, Advaita is not those texts in themselves. That interpretation cannot be shown to exist until after Buddhism came about. There is a difference between a text and its interpretations, so the date of the Vedas, Upanishads, and Buddha is irrelevant. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:00, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Advaita Vedanta is not an interpretation of Vedas, it is from the vedas. The "oneness of Brahman" is mentioned in Vedas and Bhagavad Gita.

prajñānam brahma - "Consciousness is Brahman" (Aitareya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda) ayam ātmā brahma - "This Self (Atman) is Brahman" (Mandukya Upanishad 1.2 of the Atharva Veda) tat tvam asi - "Thou art That" (Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7 of the Sama Veda) aham brahmāsmi - "I am Brahman" (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10 of the Yajur Veda)

Adi Sankara led the Hindu renaissance by focusing on the Advaita Philosophy without the rituals from the Vedas and Upanishads to counter the spread of Buddhism at the time. Adi Sankara debated the Buddhists of the time and won.


Shankara travelled extensively, while writing commentaries on the Upanishads, Vishnu sahasranama, and the Bhagavad Gita. He engaged in a series of debates with Buddhist scholars, and with scholars of the Purva Mimamsa school, which helped in cementing his spiritual ascendancy. One of the most famous of these debates was with Mandana Mishra.


" The main opponent in Adi Sankara's work is the Mimamsa school of thought, though he also offers arguments against the views of some other schools like Samkhya and certain schools of Buddhism.


"Adi Shankara's works deal with logically establishing the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta as he saw it in the Upanishads. He formulates the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta by validating his arguments on the basis of quotations from the Vedas and other Hindu scriptures. He gives a high priority to svānubhava ("personal experience") of the student. His works are largely polemical in nature. He directs his polemics mostly against the Sankhya, Buddha, Jaina, Vaisheshika and other non-vedantic Hindu philosophies."

Vedas minus the rituals is Advaita Vedanta. This was propagated by Adi Sankara, Vaishnavism and Saivism which led to the decline of buddhism in India. Adi Sankara has used Buddhist examples to debate Buddhism but the origin of Advaita Vedanta is Vedas and Upanishads which predate the birth of Buddha.

Advaita Vedanta is not a trademark or a copyright. It is a philosophy which had its origin in the Vedas and Upanishads which predate the birth of Buddha. Adi Sankara led the Hindu renaissance from the onslaught of Buddhism in India by focusing on the Advaita sections of Vedas and ignoring the ritual sections.

I am not debating the Buddhist influence on the revival of Hindusism which led to the Philosophical convergence. All i am debating is that Advaita Vedanta the philosophy of thought has its roots in Vedas and Upanishads.

prajñānam brahma - "Consciousness is Brahman" (Aitareya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda) ayam ātmā brahma - "This Self (Atman) is Brahman" (Mandukya Upanishad 1.2 of the Atharva Veda) tat tvam asi - "Thou art That" (Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7 of the Sama Veda) aham brahmāsmi - "I am Brahman" (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10 of the Yajur Veda)

Karma, Maya, Dharma are all words used in Vedas and Upanishads.

" Philosophical convergence See also: Buddhism and Hinduism One factor that contributed to the demise of Buddhism was the diminishing of Buddhism's distinctiveness with respect to the ascendant Hinduism. Though Mahayana writers were quite critical of Hinduism, the devotional cults of Mahayana Buddhism and Hinduism likely seemed quite similar to laity, and the developing Tantrism of both religions were also similar.[54] Furthermore, Hinduism borrowed elements from Buddhism. Vaishnavites eventually frowned on animal sacrifices and practiced vegetarianism (a requirement of Mahayana texts), while Shaivites came to downgrade caste-distinctions as not relevant to religious practice. Furthermore, the prominent Hindu philosopher Shankara developed a monastic order on the Buddhist model, and also borrowed concepts from Buddhist philosophy.[54] Pande (1994: p. 255) identifies the entwined relationship of Buddhism and the view of Shankara: The relationship of Śaṅkara to Buddhism has been the subject of considerable debate since ancient times. He has been hailed as the arch critic of Buddhism and the principal architect of its downfall in India. At the same time he has been described as a Buddhist in disguise. Both these opinions have been expressed by ancient as well as modern authors--scholars, philosophers, historians and sectaries.[55] While Shankara is given credit for the defeat of Buddhism in Hindu literature, he was in fact active after Buddhism had faded from prominence in some areas. In particular, he was not a contemporary of the great Indian Buddhist philosopher, Dharmakirti. When Shankara came north to the intellectual centers there, he borrowed many of the ideas that had been formulated by Buddhist philosophers of the past.[56] In his exposition that the world is an illusion, Shankara borrowed arguments from Madhyamaka and Yogacara, though he disagreed with them on some matters.[57] Despite this, Shankara described the Buddha as an enemy of the people.[54] Literary evidences point towards an absorption of Buddhist elements by Hindu culture over a period of centuries.[58] Anti-Buddhist propaganda was also reaching its peak during the 8th century when Shankara modeled his monastic order after the Buddhist Sangha.[58] An upsurge of Hinduism had taken place in North India by the early 11th century as illustrated by the influential Sanskrit drama Prabodhacandrodaya in the Chandela court; a devotion to Vishnu and an allegory to the defeat of Buddhism and Jainism.[58] The population of North India had become predominantly Shaiva, Vaishnava or Shakta.[58] By the 12th century a lay population of Buddhist hardly existed outside the monastic institutions and when it did penetrate the Indian peasant population it was hardly discernible as a distinct community.[59] Buddhist monasteries were well-funded and life within was relatively easy. To avoid unwanted members, many monasteries became selective about whom they admitted, in some cases based on social class.[citation needed]


Advaita Vedanta the philosophy of "oneness of Brahman" is in the Rig Veda, the oldest Veda.

prajñānam brahma - "Consciousness is Brahman" (Aitareya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda)

Rig Veda 1700–1100 BC[4] (the early Vedic period). Gautama Buddha lived in 563 BCE to 483 BCE

Advaita Vedanta is not a "Trademark" or "Copyright".

I am not debating some Advaita Vedanta teachers including Adi Sankara may have used Buddhist examples in their teaching or if Buddhism had any influence. All i am saying is Advaita Vedanta as a philosophy of thought, the "oneness of Brahmin" is in the Rig Veda which predates the birth of Buddha.

Quoting again,

prajñānam brahma - "Consciousness is Brahman" (Aitareya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda)

The Mahavakyas are:

prajñānam brahma - "Consciousness is Brahman" (Aitareya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda) ayam ātmā brahma - "This Self (Atman) is Brahman" (Mandukya Upanishad 1.2 of the Atharva Veda) tat tvam asi - "Thou art That" (Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7 of the Sama Veda) aham brahmāsmi - "I am Brahman" (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10 of the Yajur Veda) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ramanatruth (talkcontribs) 23:55, 6 November 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ramanatruth (talkcontribs) 23:24, 6 November 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ramanatruth (talkcontribs) 23:13, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Address the comment of Ian.thomson above. (talk) 01:46, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Ramanatruth, Wikipedia does not take original research. If you can provide secondary sources which meet our reliable sourcing guidelines which show that the Advaita interpretation existed before Buddhism started, we'll put that in the article. So far, you have yet to provide any evidence that there were Advaita Vedanta was spoken or written about before Buddhism, only what can be seen as later interpretations of out of context portions of older works, and starting to go against WP:NOTFORUM and WP:NOTSOAPBOX. Ian.thomson (talk) 11:54, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

1. Please look at the dates. The date is the biggest proof.

Rig Veda 1700–1100 BC[4] (the early Vedic period)

Gautama Buddha lived in 563 BCE to 483 BCE

Rig veda is written prior to the birth of Buddha.--Ramanatruth (talk) 21:11, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Sir if you see the Advaita Vedanta wikipedia page see the section on Vedas. Now all you have to validate the time the Vedas were written and Buddha's birth.--Ramanatruth (talk) 21:16, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Mahavakya--Ramanatruth (talk) 21:16, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Mahavakya, or "the great sentences", state the unity of Brahman and Atman. There are many such sentences in the vedas, but one sentence from each veda is usually chosen. They are shown below Sr. No. Vakya Meaning Upanishad Veda 1 प्रज्ञानं ब्रह्म (Prajñānam brahma) Consciousness is Brahman aitareya Rig Veda 2. अहं ब्रह्मास्मि (Aham brahmāsmi) I am Brahman brihadāranyaka Yajur Veda 3. तत्त्वमसि (Tat tvam asi) That thou art chhandogya Sama Veda 4. अयमात्मा ब्रह्म (Ayamātmā brahma) This Atman is Brahman mandukya Atharva Veda--Ramanatruth (talk) 21:16, 7 November 2011 (UTC)--Ramanatruth (talk) 21:17, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

2. What is Advaita Vedanta ? - The Oneness of Brahmin. It is in the Rig Veda.

A direct quote from Rig Veda.

prajñānam brahma - "Consciousness is Brahman" (Aitareya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda)

Hinduism does not have one founder like other world religions. Hinduism relies on Vedas the earliest of which is Rig Veda 1700-1100BC--Ramanatruth (talk) 21:11, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Advaita Vedanta should not be treated like a Trademark, Copyright. Its a philosophy called oneness of Brahmin and the quote from Rig Veda says that. Now what other source do you need sir?

--Ramanatruth (talk) 21:11, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Like I keep mentioning I am not arguing Adi Sankara a Adavita teacher did not use Buddhist examples in his teachings. But the only thing I argue is Advaita pilosophy - the oneness of Brahman is in Rig Vedas which predate the birth of Buddha. Hinduism is based on Vedas. The oneness of Brahman is a central Hindu philosophy. --Ramanatruth (talk) 21:11, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

--Ramanatruth (talk) 20:55, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

While we discuss if the Advaita thought is in Rig Veda which predates the birth of Buddha, can I update the earlier section of the Advaita page with the content? Like I said i am have been practicing Advaita for 6 years now. My intent is not to fight, but to ensure accurate content is in the page.--Ramanatruth (talk) 20:59, 7 November 2011 (UTC)--Ramanatruth (talk) 21:16, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

A text and the interpretation of the text are not the same thing. The Rig Veda being older than Buddhism does not mean that the Advaita interpretation is older than Buddhism. You have not provided any evidence that the Advaita interpretation is older. How do you not understand this?
To draw a comparison with different religions, the Jewish Bible was written about 2300 years ago, but the Lurianic Kabbalah interpretation is only 500 years old. The Christian Bible was written about 1900 years ago, but the Calvinist intrepretation of it is only about 500 years old. The Quran was written about 1400 years ago, but the Wahhabi interpretation of it interpretation is only 300 years old. There is a difference between a text and its interpretation, and working with an older text does not send its interpretation back in time.
You have not found any sources that show the Advaita interpretation is older, you have only found that later Advaitists interpreted older texts. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:59, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

So Advaita Vedanta from the way you look at is Adi Sankara's interpretation of Vedas, Upanishads, and he may have some Buddhist influence. Ok i accept the way you look at it. I think i will end my talk on this topic. Thanks for the clarification.-- (talk) 15:20, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Junk Sources[edit]

I don't consider, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Sri Ravishankar etc. to be proper academic sources. (talk) 17:49, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

I was considering reverting as well, but hadn't taken the time to go through the sources. The revised section also confused the specific school of Advaita for Vedanta in general, and Vedanta for the earlier texts which it interpreted; all to downplay the influence Buddhism had on Advaita. Some of the material is worth rescuing, though. If noone else does it, I'll go through when I'm done with my final projects for the semester. Ian.thomson (talk) 17:55, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Sure, there might have been some material worth rescuing. (talk) 18:47, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes please. I was somewhat taken aback first by the extraordinary flurry of additions that followed my very quiet (and decently-sourced ;-) quotation on the interplay; and almost as much, by seeing everything vanish again. All life is illusion, or something! Chiswick Chap (talk) 19:45, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Sorry about the junk sources, I wasn't aware that website links were frowned upon. I shall try to get better ones. I have the following objections to the way this page reads:

1. "Buddhist influence" is an inappropriate first segment for an article on an important philosophy like Advaita. That is a sureshot indication that the editors of this page consider Advaita nothing but an illegitimate offspring of Buddhism. This topic on the interplay between Advaita, other traditions of Vedanta and Buddhism either belongs somewhere lower in the article, or in a separate article by itself. No one expects the Pre-Christian December 25 traditions of Europe to be the first thing you read on the wiki article on Christmas. In other instances, nothing of this sort is seen in the articles on Kabbalah or Dzogchen either. So I find it hard to understand why an article on Advaita would have to start with two strong quotes describing Buddhist influence, with no context provided whatsoever, before even starting with what Advaita itself talks about.

2. I completely agree with the prevailing academic opinion that Buddhism influenced Shankara and his gurus. But the quotes provided in the article before my first edit were very one-sided. Therefore, I threw in the Vivekananda quote, which did not contradict anything previously present in the article. In response, ChiswickChap added a very loaded quote which made it appear, to the lay reader, as though Advaita was an idea stolen from the Buddhists, and that every single propounder of Advaita since that time has been an ungrateful wretch singularly unappreciative of this fact. In fact the quote itself made sense only halfway through - "summarily paid lip service to as some sort of Crypto-Buddhism" - I really cannot make head or tail of what this is supposed to mean. It is of course true that Advaita has been accused of being hidden Buddhism by its philosophical enemies (especially from other Vedanta schools), and that is because it is quite similar to some forms of Buddhism.

3. To balance out the hostility of the Grimes quote from ChiswickChap and maintain NPOV, I added quotes from Vivekananda and Ravi Shankar, two modern practitioners of Advaita, whose knowledge of Advaita and Buddhism in all likelihood exceeds all of ours. Both persons strongly contradicted what Grimes had written (about Advaita practitioners not acknowledging their debt to the Buddha), by showing the greatest respect and gratitude for the pioneering work of the Buddha and the Mahayanists. And these two are among the two most-followed and celebrated spiritual leaders of modern India. The same is true of nearly every popular spiritual guru in India today.

4. It is true that Shankara himself vociferously sought to distance himself from the Buddhists, to criticize them as well as to defend himself from charges of being a Buddhist in disguise. At the same time, mention must be made that Gaudapada, Shankara's guru's guru, praised the Buddha effusively. I added that to the article as well.

5. I added in the well-established data about which specific Mahayana Buddhist schools were linked closely to Advaita, and wrote about their founders also being Brahmins, because there is a tendency amongst some modern Indian politicians to project Buddhism as an anti-Brahminical revolution that sought to combat alleged cruelty, lasciviousness and oppression by the Brahmins. The fact that many of the founders of important Buddhist schools were Brahmins is never mentioned, while Shankara alone is singled out for being a Brahmin (and thereby turned into an object of hate).

Thank you! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:45, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Interplay of Advaita and Buddhism[edit]

Thank you, ( for the sensible and open tone of your reply.

  • I agree with your account, though without pretending nearly as much knowledge of the history. Most, possibly all of your additions seem entirely necessary.
  • I assure you I had no intention of anything but establishing the case for the interplay of A and B, which (clearly notable subject) seemed to my surprise to be being denied. I was of course not responsible for placing the section at the head of the article, nor for its ill-judged original title. Now the situation has changed, and we can consider what best to do.
  • I propose that we have, somewhere in the article - very possibly almost at the end - a section on the "Interplay of Advaita and Buddhism". (Amidst the flurry, I did in fact rename the section to that, but I expect it soon got trodden on.)
  • That section must take a neutral, well-sourced view of what that interplay was, in both directions.
  • It might be a good idea to have an actual chronology listed in a table (columns for Date, Person, Event, with a citation for each row) to show the flow of events in the interplay.
  • There may well be a place for evidence like the Grimes quote, suitably presented, to explain the history of the 20th century debate about the Interplay of A and B - clearly there would have to be properly-sourced quotes illustrating both sides of the debate. That might be a subsection headed "20th century debate on the Interplay of A and B" or words to that effect. But I'm happy to leave that to people who have a fuller perspective on the matter. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:02, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
In re:
1. "That is a sureshot indication that the editors of this page consider Advaita nothing but an illegitimate offspring of Buddhism" - hardly so, but if Buddhism came first, and reliable sources say that the first recorded Advaita gurus were influenced by Buddhism, then we have to say that Advaita was influenced by Buddhism, regardless of our beliefs on the subject. There is only "hostility" if one thinks that the article must portray Advaita as some timeless truth (as some past editors have done), which is not how this place works. My point still stands that the rewrite completely confused Advaita for Vedanta in general, and Vedanta for the texts it interpreted. As for it being the first thing, it is simply because the history section is first. The first part of the the history section of Christianity says that it started as a Jewish sect. The first section in of the history section of the Christmas article is "Pre-Christian background." The Kabbalah article is tricky because there's debate what it was influenced by (be it Gnosticism, Manichaeism, Neoplatonism, or Zoroastrianism). Dzogchen's history is even more sketchy. If you have reliable sources for those, please suggest them at those pages.
Still, I will move the history section after the sections on beliefs, as other articles do.
2. If Buddhism came before Advaita, and since Advaita arose in areas where Buddhism was present, what explanation is there for similarities except for influence?
3. Vivekananda and Ravi Shankar may be aware of the theology of Advaita, but that does not mean they have studied the history. Aside from Hinduism's influence on Buddhism, and Judaism's influence on Christianity, members of most religions rarely like to admit influence.
5. That would be fine for a later interplay section, but it was unnecessary to overwrite the influence.
In re Chiswick Chap:
An interplay section is fine, but it shouldn't be the last thing in the article. History portions tend to go in chronological order, so placing it at the end makes the interplay seem like a recent event. Ian.thomson (talk) 15:33, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Mmm, yes. How about adding some specific dates to the 'Interplay' section, then, to tie the statements down to historical time? Then it won't matter if the article is at the end, helping to keep everyone cool? Chiswick Chap (talk) 16:44, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
In re ChiswickChap - Thanks for the changes, and the prompt response.. Much appreciated!
In re Ian Thomson - Thanks for your inputs - here are my responses to your points..
1. As I said in my previous post, I have absolutely no objection to the article stating that many aspects of Buddhist thought were incorporated by Shankara in his work. What I had a problem with was putting that as the first section of the article, without so much as a cursory nod towards all the other things that went into the synthesis that Shankara made. Several Indian religious figures from the Vaishnava Hindu sects have slammed Advaita for being Buddhism in disguise, therefore the Buddhist influence claim is not something radically new!
2. Again, I am not denying the influence of Buddhism on Shankara and Gaudapada. Of course, there are plenty of academic authorities such as Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (academic philosopher who later served as Vice President of the Republic of India) who state that another source of overlap was that both the Lord Buddha and Shankara were influenced by the teachings of the oldest Upanishads, to varying degrees. Additionally, the Mahayana founders were from a much later era than the Buddha and the period of the early Upanishads (around 500 BCE) - Nagarjuna in the 3rd century AD, Vasubandhu and Asanga in the 4th century AD. It is established fact that the Mahayana is quite far removed from the original teachings of the Buddha (this claim was first made by the Theravada Buddhist school). The Mahayanists themselves, however, claim that their teachings are the correct interpretation of the Buddha and that theirs is the oldest school of Buddhism. This is pretty much the same thing with Vedanta - the major Upanishads themselves, which are the core material of Vedanta, were composed over a period from before 800 BCE to the late Mauryan era, so there are many which show no Buddhist influence at all, and there are many which show a lot of Buddhist influence. Every school of Vedanta claims to be the most accurate interpretation of the Upanishads, so it is one-sided to say that Advaitic thought "began" only after Mahayana, with the work of Gaudapada and Shankara. In the eyes of most Indian philosophers and religious figures of today, Advaitic nondualism is the only logical and natural conclusion to be drawn from pre-Buddhist texts like the Brihadaranyaka and Chandogya Upanishads. In all likelihood the interaction between the various philosophical schools and religions of Ancient India was complex, multidirectional and drawn out over millennia. It is not something as simple as saying this came first, that came later, therefore that was made under the influence of this.
3. I provided quotes from Vivekananda and Ravi Shankar to provide proof that modern Advaitists do not deny their debt to the Mahayanist schools and the Buddha. And they both praised the influence of the Buddha, not exactly in line with your statement that apart from Christianity and Buddhism, religious leaders do not like crediting other people. There were indeed many Advaitins who vehemently denied Mahayana influence, but this attitude of exclusiveness is also found in several Buddhist teachers who adamantly hold to the position that Advaita is the opposite of Buddhism in every way - for instance

Some hardened segments of the Brahmin orthodoxy in India do indeed continue to deny the Buddha's magnificent contributions to Indian thought, but to make them the spokespersons for all of Advaita and Indian spirituality in general would be akin to making the Ku Klux Klan the authority on being Caucasian! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:58, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Last paragraph of "Interplay" section is junk[edit]

The last paragraph is junk. Ok first off, Buddha Bhagavatism has nothing to do with Advaita Vedanta. Thus this should be in a different article comparing Hinduism and Buddhism. This game can be played both ways since every aspect of Hinduism, except the Vedas and a couple of early Upanishads, is post-Buddhism. Secondly, you are trying to imply that Avaita has had influence on Buddhism which is a thesis that has never been put forward by any scholar. All the Buddhists mentioned were born centuries before Gaudapauda and Shankara. Their Brahmin heritage has nothing to do with anything. I have never seen it given any importance in books such as Joseph Walser's biography of Nagarjuna. (talk) 19:57, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

In re

I agree with your assessment that the last paragraph does not read well, I think it should be altered. However, being from India I assure you that Nagarjuna, Assanga and Vasubandhu's Brahmin heritage has everything to do with the issue. Not for Americans and Europeans who are abstractly interested in the philosophy alone, but for Indians who live with these doctrines in real life. Read my comment in response to ChiswickChap some time ago on this page. Advaita and Buddhism are political issues in India, where Buddhism is viewed as an anti-Brahmin movement that was killed off by the Brahmin reactionary Shankara. The explanation about the founders of Madhyamaka and Yogachara was to counteract this false assumption. PS your "since every aspect of Hinduism except the Vedas and a couple of early Upanishads is post-Buddhism" betrays a serious lack of knowledge about Hinduism, confusing of Hinduism with Vedic Brahminism, confusing of 1000 years of ever-changing Buddhist thought with Buddha's lifetime, and of course, a belief in some sort of mythical conflict between Hinduism and Buddhism. We have the highest regard for the Buddha in India and we are taught about his benevolence from childhood. My Hindu home, like many others, had images of the Buddha alongside Vishnu and Shiva in the same room. And I would recommend reading the wiki article about the religion of the Indus valley civilization. Hinduism is not limited to the Vedas - that is just a modernist assumption arrived at by the British while they ruled India, because the Vedas were the basis of the culture of the educated upper Brahmin caste. But that misreading of history denies the contributions that Dravidian, tribal and folk traditions made to what we call Hinduism. "Hinduism" is largely accepted today as an unwieldy construct made in the 18th and 19th centuries. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:19, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

I am Indian too. That has nothing to do with anything. This is a scholarly article. If you have some quotes from professors, Indian or Western, please post them! Secondly, reread what I said, because you clearly did not understand anything I wrote. (talk) 20:30, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Very well, I have made some changes and brought back some material you deleted, take a look at it and let me know what you think. I don't think you should have any objections to the way it reads. I shall add some quotes from professors and books if I come across anything interesting. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:47, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Sounds fine to me. I will just add some hyperlinks. (talk) 20:52, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Good to know, thanks. And as an Indian, I am curious, what is your opinion on this entire issue of Buddhism vis a vis Hinduism? Or is your comment regarding Hinduism just a few Vedas and Upanishads before Buddhism an accurate description of your stand on the topic? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:04, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
This page is not for such discussions. Read at the top. (talk) 21:15, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Since someone mentioned my book, I think I ought to weigh in here (this is Joseph Walser). I am not Indian (though the government of India considers me "a person of Indian origin," does that count?), nevertheless, I have to agree with the statement above that (at least for Nagarjuna and probably for the author of the first chapter of the Perfection of Wisdom in 8000 Lines), being a Brahmin had a whole lot to do with the philosophy. I couldn't get into it in my Biography of Nagarjuna because the issues were simply too complex. Suffice it to say that trying to disentangle Buddhism from Brahmanism is much easier in theory than in practice. I am finishing a book on it now. But just as a teaser, how are we to distinguish the Brahmanism of the Maitrayani Upanisad from Buddhism, when the one who realizes Brahman is said to be "anatman" and Brahman itself is said to be "sunya"? Have fun, guys. -j — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:20, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Scholarly article?[edit]

The article is much improved recently, IMO. I do have a concern, though: In the preceding discussion, there was mention that it is a "scholarly article." This seems to be contrary to the policy of What Wikipedia is not (see #8). The policy states: "Texts should be written for everyday readers, not for academics. Article titles should reflect common usage, not academic terminology, whenever possible."

It seems to me that terms such as "Ontology" and "Epistemology" are beyond the scope of general readers. I will edit to try to make the text more readable for general readers. Sunray (talk) 21:19, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Not really. Both of those are discussed in Advaita books for the general reader, using those exact words. You know the type of books on the shelves of Barnes and Nobles. If you really want to help, delete all the uncited material, and fix the formatting you broke. Or maybe its just my widescreen. (talk) 21:27, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand your reference. Barnes and Noble has books for the general reader, for sure, but it also has esoteric and philosophical works that are for specialized readers. Sunray (talk) 21:53, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
WP may reference scholarly books and papers, with care to avoid OR, but must take care to be encyclopedic in tone and approachability for "everyday readers, not for academics" as rightly stated above - WP should not be for the most academic readers and the dark dusty shelves (full of very expensive heavy volumes) at the back of the bookstore. If we have to talk about theories of knowledge, we are allowed to use big words but we should also explain them with brief glosses, and link them to their topics in WP and Wiktionary. Chiswick Chap (talk) 22:05, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Chiswick Chap, that if we use such terms in the text of the article, a link or an explanation should be included. I've modified those headings and attempted to use terms that are more understandable to the general reader. Sunray (talk) 22:37, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

New Additions Problematic[edit]

Why are these sources decades old? These were written so long before so much of scholarship. Why not someone modern (and still living!) like Upinder Singh, Deepak Sarma etc.? (talk) 02:57, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Ye gads... After I did all this work searching through the internet!! OK fine will do my best to see if I can find newer sources.
Of course, one important reason for the references being old is that I have the Radhakrishnan books sitting right next to me, so I used the references he had provided liberally... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:03, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
May I suggest The Method of Early Advaita Vedanta by Michael Comans? (talk) 03:25, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

````thanks for the tip,! will check it out sometime! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:38, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

No I meant, get rid of these inferior sources that you currently use. To imply Buddhism is derived from the Upanishads is simply not correct. Buddhism is from the Sramana movement which is diametrically opposed to the Brahmanical movement. Patrick Olivelle puts the Upanishads in a strictly Brahmanical context saying only "Sections of some of the early Upanishads may reflect renouncer influence or literature." (talk) 17:50, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
WP policies support using the most up-to-date sources. However, it is usually best to replace older sources rather than remove large chunks of sourced text. The only justification for removing sourced text is that reliable current sources portray a different picture. I've restored the sourced text until someone finds more recent sources. Sunray (talk) 17:51, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand how you are not following this discussion. Buddhism is not derived from the Upanishads. Please see this page. Do I have to actually prove that Buddhism came from the Sramana movement? (talk) 17:55, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Dear friend, this article is supposed to reflect all different viewpoints. I provided references from actual academic philosophers and historians to back up every single statement in my previous edit, and in most instances I directly quoted them instead of writing my own interpretation of their writings, to avoid misinterpretation. Now I understand some of the statements there may make you angry because they conflict with your worldview, but I do not think that justifies you deleting everything I wrote without any explanation. In case there is an actual law on Wikipedia stipulating that references only from such-and-such date are valid, and that references older than that date are not to be used, then I do of course accept your deletions and I apologize again for using old references. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:59, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Buddhism is not from the Upanishads[edit]

Buddhism is not from the Upanishads. Buddhism is from the Sramana tradition. This wikipedia page has further links to source texts. To state that Buddhism is from the Upanishads is ridiculous and 100% wrong. If anything scholars have noted influence of the renouncer tradition on the Upanishads. Reincarnation is a famous Sramana idea adopted into Brahmanism. (talk) 18:10, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

And you yourself are proving my point, dear Patrick Olivelle's statement that the early Upanishads showed Sramanic influence then makes it even more believable that Upanishads, Buddhist thought and Advaita share many similarities. The Sramana article itself is most informative. I have not written here that Buddhism was similar to the Vedas, all my quotes talked about the Upanishads and Buddhism. This is not a discussion about Vedic Brahminism and Shramanism. This is about Advaita and Buddhism. If you have good quotes about the Sramanic influence on the Upanishads, feel free to add them. They will only fortify my case - that in philosophical terms Buddhism and Vedanta are two sides of the same coin - a position also taken by Vivekananda, Gandhi, Ravi Shankar and many others. Of course, your own earlier statement that Bhagavata and Vaishnava influence on Mahayana should not be mentioned in this article would be opposed to your current desire to discuss Shramanism and Brahminism in this article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:14, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't want to discuss Sramanism in this article. But you currently are using obviously junk Hindu Indian sources that imply Buddhism is from the Upanishads which is factually wrong. The influence is the other way around. Sramanism influenced the Upanisahds. (talk) 18:22, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Warder (2000) describes the movements of the 2nd and 3rd century BCE in Greater Magadha, (including Buddhism), as being influenced by philosophical thought from the Vedic tradition, such as the Upanishads (see Buddhism#Philosophical thought). It seems to me that you each have a point, but that the relationships between Buddhism, Shramana and Advaita were complex. More sources would be helpful and then we could work towards consensus on this page. Sunray (talk) 18:32, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, a philosopher so highly respected in India that he was chosen to be its second President, is hardly someone I would classify as a "junk Hindu". But as so many articles on Shramanism, Hinduism and Hindu philosophy make clear, modern Indian religion (what we call Hinduism) has been created as much by Shramanas as by the Vedic Aryans. And I think this section of the article on Advaita and Mahayana Buddhism makes it eminently clear that there are a multitude of viewpoints on the relationship between the two. It has quotes from people who think they are the same thing, from people who think the influence went from A to B, from others who think it went from B to A,

and from people who attacked A owing to its closeness to B. Perhaps you are not aware that Shankara was called a "Demon born in human form", and the followes of Advaita condemned as evil tyrants who destroyed temples, killed women and children. Who called them that? Not the Shramanas, whom you think had some kind of hatred for Brahmins. These statements actually came from Dvaita Vedanta followers of Madhvacharya, himself a Brahmin. and this comes from an article by Deepak Sarma. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:35, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

What does that have to do with anything Also Sunray, notice this is not a Buddhism page. Secondly Sunray, read the comments of ian.thompson above. You don't seem to understand that Advaita is medieval interpretation by Gaudapauda and Shankara. (talk) 18:44, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
I must say, my dear - if you want to accuse me of being a fundamentalist, you ought to at the very least state which of the authors I quoted you consider to be fundamentalists. Half of them are actually Western authors, I don't think you can accuse them of being rabid Hindu militants. I did not make many statements of my own, or synthesize anything from pre-existing material. In the interest of NPOV and allowing all voices to be heard, why don't you just add some of your own academic references that match with your worldview? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:14, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Is this a joke? What is your understanding of NPOV? Should a Holocaust denier be granted free reign on the Holocaust entries? Should a 9/11 conspiracist create the 9/11 articles? (talk) 19:16, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
You seem to be skating very close to Godwin's law here, comparing a mere philosophical influence debate like ours to events where people were murdered. But I must point out again that even if I were as biased as you claim, my additions to the article were all based on published data from respected scholarly authorities on the subject. It isn't like I'm making statements based on the beliefs of the Shankaracharya of Kanchi or Narendra Modi or some rabid VHP goon. My most contentious statements perhaps were the ones at the end attributed to Vivekananda and Ravi Shankar, but even that was specified as their belief, not a statement of history, and it was merely added to depict what Advaita exponents in the modern Indian scenario think of their tradition's debt to Lord Buddha. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:26, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm going on the record again[edit]

Buddhism is not from the Upanishads. Buddhism is from the Shramana movement. The Sharmana movement influenced the Upanishads. (talk) 19:44, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

I mostly agree with you. But I think you believe that Buddhism and the Shramanas existed in some sort of vacuum for 1000 years. It was a complex and mixed philosophical matrix in Ancient India with various sects jockeying for influence and adherents. Which is why Indra, the chief Deva of the Rigveda, is also mentioned in Buddhist texts. Which is why Ashoka was called Devanampriya. Which is why, barring a few exceptions, most Indian kings funded multiple religious and philosophical institutions that competed against one another. Which is why in today's Sri Lanka, so many Buddhist shrines have Vishnu carvings as well. Where one tradition stops and the other begins is not so easy to define. Not with clear-cut boundaries anyway, not in India. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:53, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Since nearly all the Upanishads were written post Buddha, and with Shramana/Buddhist influence, do you suppose there is a time machine involved? I can add direct quotes regarding the influence of Buddhism on the Bhagavad Gita as well, which would be both factual and recent. Can your Hindu fundamentalism handle it? (talk) 20:09, 2 December 2011 (UTC) (talk) 20:25, 2 December 2011 (UTC):::Haha my friend you seriously misunderstand my political and philosophical leanings. It is obvious the Gita was influenced by many Buddhist thoughts, considering that it is believed to have been composed between 500 BC and 250 AD. In fact in BG 2.49, the verse starts with "Buddho Sharanam", saying that seeking refuge in wisdom is better than seeking refuge in action. I would like nothing better than to educate all "Hindus" about their Buddhist inheritance. Not in a hateful manner

But do note that some of the most important upanishads, among the 12 most important - brihad, chandogya, jaiminya, and perhaps taittiriya were pre-buddhist. it is of course possible they were influenced by some other shramanic philosophy. In fact a simple solution to this debate would be for you to add a few quotes describing possible Shramanic influence on the Upanishads. That would be fine by me, that just supports my writings regarding the similarities of AV and MB.
But then again perhaps that may not be acceptable to most, considering that the section deals with AV and Mahayana, not with Shramanas and the Upanishads. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:29, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. said: "Nearly all Upanishads were written post Buddha." No question about that. But as has said some of the older Upanishads were pre-Buddhist. Let's avoid taking categorical positions and edit warring. What the article needs to do is describe the influences on Advaita Vedanta and also the traditions that it has influenced. Above all, we need sources for everything. Sunray (talk) 20:36, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Again Sunray, you need to read the comments of ian.tompson above, since you still don't get it. Noone has ever aserted that Advaita has influenced Buddhism, not even here. If the Upanishadic influence is so great, why not put it into the main Buddhism page? I would like to see how far you get trying that. I still don't understand why we are humoring dated junk Hindu Indian sources in the first place. (talk) 21:10, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure which of Ian's comments you are referring to. Perhaps you could clarify that. Also, I am certainly not trying to argue that the Shramanas was not the major influence on Buddhism, only that there were other influences. As far as the dated sources go, I gave a more recent one (Warder, 2000). Would you be able to propose some others? Sunray (talk) 21:33, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Again I would point out this is NOT a Buddhism page. The comments of ian.thompson I was referring to are the ones where he distinguishes between Advaita and the Upanishads. Search for the word "Wahhabi", and you will find it. (talk) 22:48, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Well though I think the Advaita-Upanishad distinction is valid in a way, I must also point out that the very same John A Grimes (whose statement confirming the pervasive influence of Mahayana on Advaita is present in the article) wrote in his 1990 book that "Because it is frequently called the "Advaita of Sankara", this leads to a misunderstanding and one is likely to assume that Sankara was the founder or originator of Advaita. Such an impression is false, though, without a doubt, Sankara was the greatest expounder of Advaita. In actuality, Advaita has no founder in the sense that we speak of founders of other schools, eg Gautama as the founder of the Nyaya school or Patanjali as the founder of the Yoga school. Advaita is as old as the Veda".
This is of course not the only opinion about Advaita's relationship with the Upanishads out there, but I just wanted to put it here as an alternative viewpoint. ref: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:57, 2 December 2011 (UTC)


Something's seriously missing here: training. It's being mentioned in the lead, what is Advaita training about? I guess it's more than just seeing that "I don't exist", the favourite mantra of neo-advaita. Who's got a hint? Joshua Jonathan (talk) 18:12, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

This page is in a horrible shape, it's full of original research. If you have a reference that suggests something different please don't hesitate to change the sentence. Correct Knowledge«৳alk» 18:45, 5 September 2012 (UTC)


See Talk:Neo-Advaita. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 08:55, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Buddhist influences[edit]

I've removed the following addition, beacuse it's unsourced, and out of place in the section where it was inserted:

Shankara as well as his master Gaudapada have both been influenced by the teachings of Buddha and Shankara even hailed Buddha as the emperor of Yogis in the Kali age.At the same time Shankara was critical of several aspects of Buddha's teachings and even called him as 'an enemy of the people'

It must be well noted that inspite of the similarities between Advaita and Buddhist teachings ,one key difference which sets the two philosophies on opposite ends is the acceptance of Upanishadic teachings .While Advaita Vedanta recognises the presence of an impersonal ,supreme god (Ishwara) and the existence of the soul (Atman) , Buddhism denies both.

  1. "Shankara as well as his master Gaudapada have both been influenced by the teachings of Buddha" - already stated in the beginning of the section.
  2. "and Shankara even hailed Buddha as the emperor of Yogis in the Kali age." - Maybe so, and interesting, but unsourced.
  3. "At the same time Shankara was critical of several aspects of Buddha's teachings and even called him as 'an enemy of the people'" - also of interest, but also unsourced. Maybe we should add a subsection "Advaita Vedanta criticism of Buddhism"?
  4. "It must be well noted that inspite of the similarities between Advaita and Buddhist teachings ,one key difference which sets the two philosophies on opposite ends is the acceptance of Upanishadic teachings .While Advaita Vedanta recognises the presence of an impersonal ,supreme god (Ishwara) and the existence of the soul (Atman) , Buddhism denies both." - Relevant in general, but irrelevant at this place. It could be part of a "Advaita Vedanta criticism of Buddhism"-section.

Joshua Jonathan (talk) 10:29, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

Authenticity of the Vivekachudamani[edit]

I was surprised to find out that the authenticity of the Vivekachudamani is being doubted, or even rejected [2] [3]. Do other editors have more information on this topic? Joshua Jonathan (talk) 05:11, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

A detailed discussion on arguments in favour and against the authenticity of Vivekachudamani can be found in Pande, Govind Chandra (1994). Life and Thought of Śaṅkarācārya. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. pp. 117–119. ISBN 978-81-208-1104-1.  The author concludes (on p. 119): Vivekachudamani, whether actually authored by Shankara or not, is traditionally held to voice his views authentically. Therefore, this edit of yours looks alright to me. Correct Knowledge«৳alk» 12:08, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't notice your comment on this issue before. Thanks! Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 20:58, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

"Advaita Vedanta is based on Shankara's interpretation"[edit]

I've trimmed the following sentence from the lead:

Advaita Vedanta (IAST Advaita Vedānta; Sanskrit: अद्वैत वेदान्त [əd̪ʋait̪ə ʋeːd̪ɑːnt̪ə]) is a school of Hindu philosophy based on Adi Sankara's interpretation of the doctrine of liberation contained within the Mukhya Upanishads.


Advaita Vedanta (IAST Advaita Vedānta; Sanskrit: अद्वैत वेदान्त [əd̪ʋait̪ə ʋeːd̪ɑːnt̪ə]) is a school of Hindu philosophy.

This may seem odd, since Shankara is such a central person to Advaita Vedanta. But... the more I read about it, the more it dawns on me that Advaita Vedanta is not restricted to a Math or Sampradaya in the strict sense, but is a way of thinking which is an integral part of Indian culture. To ascribe it solely to Shankara - again, I fully acknowledge his status - is to force a limited understanding of the history of Advaita Vedanta. That's what I think, at least now. But I'm looking forward to other opnions. Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:58, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

I've reinserted the removed half-sentence, in a paraphrased way, into the Shankara-section. Nakamura devoted a whole chapter to the Mandukya Upanishad and Gaudapada's Māṇḍukya Kārikā, so apparently those are important texts. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 10:10, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
I've added more info on the Māṇḍukya Kārikā, and the disputed authorship of Shankara's commentary on the Māṇḍukya Upanishad. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 20:57, 25 January 2013 (UTC)


How about splitting the Philosophy-section into a separate article? The article is very long now. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 20:56, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

The article has 6367 words which means the prose is of a readable size. The article seems a bit long because of the many short paragraphs and lists. Too many lists and short paras are usually discouraged in GA Reviews[4] (I am sure there are some guidelines which substantiate this). If the section still seems long after merging them we can think of splitting out the section into a new article. Correct Knowledge«৳alk» 16:23, 1 February 2013 (UTC)


I've inserted a section on Neo-Advaita, to finally mention again this western movement which draws inspiration and authority from Indian spirituality. I know very well that even the suggestion of any connection between this movement and Advaita Vedanta is outright offensive to many Advaita adherents, yet I think it's justified to mention it. This movement does find inspiration in classical Advaita, no matter how distorted it may look to traditional Advaita. It is a token of the broad influence Advaita has acquired, not only in India, but worldwide. Whether it is Advaita or not, I won't judge here (though I've got my opinions); let the sources speak. But please, do understand it's not meant to provoke, hurt or offend. This offspring exists; Wikipedia should offer knowledge on it, also if we personally don't like it. With best regards, and respect to the religious feelings of all Advaita adherents, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:21, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Brahman as "the Whole"[edit]

JJ#1 - Step by step, the more I read about Advaita Vedanta (thanks to Wikipedia!), the more nuances I discerne. "The Whole (Brahman)" is such a nuance. Calling Brahman "the Whole" is a modern interpretation (or Tantra), emphasizing interconnectedness. Advaita states that the world of appearances is Maya, illusionary appearance, and only Brahman is Real, unchangeable, the first Principle. That's a subtle but very important difference. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:06, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

JJ#2 - The Feuerstein-quote is another subtle nuance. I've added a note. This is the verbatim text as it is now:

Georg Feuerstein is quoted by nonduality-adepts[note 1] as summarizing the Advaita Vedanta-realization as follows:

The manifold universe is, in truth, a Single Reality. There is only one Great Being, which the sages call Brahman, in which all the countless forms of existence reside. That Great Being is utter Consciousness, and It is the very Essence, or Self (Atman) of all beings."[web 2]

  1. ^ Feuerstein's summary, as given here, is not necessarily representative for Feuerstein's thought on Advaita. It is quoted on nonduality-websites[web 1], which is informed by the Perennial philosophy and New Age thinking. It is also discerneable in Neo-Advaita. The quote seems to give a subtle reinterpretation, in which the distinction between Real and maya is replaced by a notion of interconnectedness or pantheism. The original quote is from Feuerstein's book "The Deeper Dimension of Yoga: Theory and Practice", p.257-258. It is preceeded by the sentence "The esoteric teaching of nonduality - Vedantic Yoga or Jnana Yoga - can be summarized as follows".
  1. ^ Jerry Katz, - An Introduction
  2. ^ "Аdvaita - flame of nondualty - english". Retrieved 2011-06-10. 

Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:35, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

JJ#3 - I've moved Feuerstein to a new subsection. It simply is not a correct representation of Advaita, but a modern re-interpretation. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 11:16, 30 January 2013 (UTC)


Of course the Buddhist influences on Gaudapada can also be mentioned under "Buddhist influences". Yet, Gaudapada is essential to the history of Advaita Vedanta, and his use of Buddhist terms is essential to the understanding of Gaudapada, therefor this should be mentioned in the history section. But I've moved the info on "anutpada" to a note, since this article is about Advaita Vedanta, yet background information helps to understand the theme. Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:09, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Fair enough. Then I believe I should add some material from a reference indicating the differences between Gaudapada's and Nagarjuna's interpretations of ajativada. reference is available on google books. (talk) 07:14, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, sure. There's a lot available on both (here's one [5], and it's an interesting topic. The difference is being mentioned in the Ajativada-article, but only one sentence. Have a look at Anutpada too. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:32, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Thank you, I was reading the same ebook anyway. I have added a few lines to differentiate the conceptions of Ajativada as per King's book. I would still request you to take down that "A - Jati - Vada" explanation, it sticks out like a sore thumb and is not matched by similar breakdowns of big Sanskrit words anywhere else in this article. There is a line below it spelling out precisely what Ajativada means, so I do not see the point of providing the Sandhi ( (talk) 07:59, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
PS I have deleted a quote that claimed to come from the same King, 1995 book. If you see the back cover, it is part of a comment by another author, FG Sutton, and the quote on the book is entirely different from what has been written in this article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:10, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
I've moved the etymology to a note. Compliments for the removal of the quote! Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:23, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Thank you very much. I have added a couple of sentences on Vijnana in Buddhism vs Vijnana in Gaudapada. Ontologically, they held idealism in common, but epistemologically they are different. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:42, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
I am going to change the subheadings in the Influence of Mahayana Buddhism section, since it seems somewhat haphazard. Not removing any material. The heading is influence of Mahayana Buddhism, then the first heading under it is "Buddhist influence". And Madhyamaka and Yogachara are mentioned somewhere much later. They should come together. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:53, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I would like to propose a new link, or at least provide you with possibly new information. It is a digitalized version of the ebook "Preceptors of Advaita" found on which is in the public domain. It feauters an extensive collection of over 60 biographies/articles all written by academics. Every article features an elaborate discussion about the philosopher.Xoloitzcuintle (talk) 09:56, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Wisdom Library's non-spammy (granted I have some pretty good adblockers) and a bit easier to read than, so I think it'll be alright to add. Ian.thomson (talk) 14:19, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
My links get removed with the reason "promotional link". This really is not the case. There are no ads on the site, and the articles contained in the book are contributed by various scholars, all related to the history of Advaita Vedanta. The book itself is in the public domain. How do I add the link? Xoloitzcuintle (talk) 14:01, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

A Blog Is Not a Proper Source[edit]

A blog is not a proper source. I cannot believe all of this stuff was sourced from a random guy's blog! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Blog Isn't A Proper Source (talkcontribs) 04:52, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

See diff. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 12:18, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Modern day teachers[edit]

Does anyone think there should be a section on some of the prominent modern day teachers of Advaita Vedanta, such as Vivekananda, Ramana Maharshi and Nisargdatta Maharaj, etc., in order to show its current day relevance as a philosophy/religious practice? Bodhadeepika (talk) 13:06, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

First make very clear what is "modern advaita". See also Neo-Vedanta. Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 16:43, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Hi Joshua, I don't mean "modern advaita" so much as recent proponents of advaita vedanta. Nothing at all connected to Neo-vedanta or neo-advaita. It just struck me when reading the advaita vedanta article that there was very little about recent philosophers associated with it. I personally discovered advaita vedanta through discovering Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj, rather than the other way round. It will be different for different people, but for me, such teachers are inextricably linked with the philosophy and are what make it relevant in the present day. So... just putting it out there as a thought. Cheers! Bodhadeepika (talk) 17:43, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Are they Advaita Vedanta? Ramana Maharshi, for example, may have been more Shaiva Siddhanta than Advaita Vedanta. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 19:27, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Yeah, it's debatable. Bodhadeepika (talk) 19:37, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

I'll give a more extensive responee later; I'm working on a mini-tablet now, which is very limited in its usability for Wikipedia-editing. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 19:51, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Sure! No rush. I just put the thought out there in case any other wiki-editors thought it was worth acting upon. However, it might be better just to leave it as it is, and not clog up the advaita vedanta article with lots of personalities who already have their own articles anyway. I don't know? Good luck with the mini-tablet! Bodhadeepika (talk) 19:58, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

It could be part of "Influence". Those teacher are popular, after all, in the west. What I mean is: why those teachers; why are they seen as Advaita Vedanta? They don't belong to the Advaita Mathas. Ramana Maharshi was a "prodigy", learning about Indian traditions from library-books, library which, I bet, were founded by the British; Nisargadattah belonged to the Inchegeri Sampradaya, a Nath lineage; and Vivekananda threw all Indian traditions on one big heap, equating samadhi, anubhava and kundalini. So, what happened that all those traditions came to be regarded as "Advaita Vedanta"? Nevertheless, they could be part of the "Influence"-section.

Yeah, I agree. I'll leave it as it is. The teachings of all three teachers cited very much cross over with advaita vedanta, as can be seen in the third paragraph of the lead in of the article description of what advaita vedanta is, along with them all existing as part of the series on advaita-vedanta template. Nevertheless, like I said in the previous post, I don't think there is the need to clog up this article about a philosophy with sections about certain personalities. Vivekanada is also referred to in the influence section plenty too. Thanks for your thoughts! Best, Bodhadeepika (talk) 09:30, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Consciousness in Advaita Vedānta ,"] By William M. Indich, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1995, ISBN 81-208-1251-9.
  2. ^ "Gandhi And Mahayana Buddhism". Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  3. ^ "The Experience of Hinduism: essays on religion in Maharashtra,"] By Eleanor Zelliot, Maxine Berntsen, State University of New York Press, 1980, ISBN 0-8248-0271-3.
  4. ^ "Advaita Vedanta: A Philosophical Reconstruction," By Eliot Deutsch, University of Hawaii Press, 1988, ISBN 0-88706-662-3.
  5. ^ "Brahman" is not to be confused with Brahma, the Creator and one third of the Trimurti along with Shiva, the Destroyer and Vishnu, the Preserver.
  6. ^ "Brahman" is not to be confused with Brahma, the Creator and one third of the Trimurti along with Shiva, the Destroyer and Vishnu, the Preserver.
  7. ^ "Thirty-five Oriental Philosophers," By Diané Collinson, Robert Wilkinson, Routledge, 1994, ISBN 0-415-02596-6.
  8. ^ Eliot Deutsch and Rohit Dalvi. The Essential Vedanta. ISBN 9780941532525.