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On the relationship of Advaita Vedānta and Mādhyamika Buddhism Reynolds, Eric T. 1975

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ON THE RELATIONSHIP OF ADVAITA VEDANTA AND MADHYAflKA BUDDHISM by ERIC T. REYNOLDS B.A., University of California, Riverside, 1969 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of RELIGIOUS STUDIES We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1975 In presenting th i s thes is in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary sha l l make it f ree ly ava i l ab le for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of th is thes i s for scho lar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives. It is understood that copying or pub l i ca t i on of th i s thes i s for f i nanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my writ ten permission. Department of Religious Studies The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date September 8, 1975 i i ABSTRACT This thesis deals with the relation of Samkara's Advaita Vedanta to the Madhyamika Buddhism of Nagarjuna. Much confusion has been generated by this problem both in traditional sources, and the work of modern scholars. The two systems of philosophy have been found unalter-ably opposed, and nearly identical by different scholars. The problem has two dimensions, historical and philosophical, and has focused on the issue of Madhyamika influence in Samkara's philosophy. Historically, some scholars have felt that Madhyamika heavily influenced Advaita because Madhyamika was prior in time and the two schools share the doctrines of maya, ajativada, and an absolute without qualities. Thus Advaita must have borrowed these doctrines from Madhya-mika. This conclusion is inadequate because it explains the doctrinal development of Advaita using only the external influence of Buddhism at the expense of internal dynamism within the Vedanta tradition. In order to understand the nature of Buddhist influence on Advaita, two questions must be asked. First, what was the nature or make-up of early Vedanta, and second, what elements of Samkara's philosophy can be found there? This procedure allows us to distinguish the elements of Samkara's philosophy which have their roots in orthodox tradition from those which could be interpreted as Buddhist in origin. In answering these two questions, the conclusion was reached that early Vedanta was not a unified school or philosophy, but a matrix of 'lineages' or i i i traditions. Each tradition contains many different threads of philo-sophical, psychological, and theological doctrine. The growth of a sep-arate school of Vedanta came out of the need to systematize this multivalent tradition. Samkara in forming a systematic interpretation of the Vedanta tradition drew upon numerous teachers and texts from this matrix of doctrine and tradition. Thus, all of the major elements of Samkara's philosophy can be found in early Vedanta but not forged into a systematic whole. Samkara then stands in relation to the Vedanta tradi-tion, much as Nagarjuna does to the Mahayana. Both took already existing elements from their respective traditions and placed them in dynamic relationship in order to form a systematic philosophy. .Samkara does seem to have borrowed Buddhist method in accomplishing this systemization. Nagarjuna's dialectic and division of scripture into passages of absolute, and empirical import were both utilized by Samkara. This borrowing must be understood as one of method and not doctrine, because all of the meta-physical tenets of Samkara's system can be found in early Vedanta, which makes it unnecessary to turn to Buddhism as their source. In addition, Samkara's usage of terms such as mayd is quite distinct from the meaning given them in Madhyamika, and much more atuned to his Vedantic heritage. From these conclusions the philosophy of Samkara can be viewed as the result of both internal dynamism within the Vedanta tradition, and the external influence of Buddhism. Many investigators have noted the similarity of Advaita and Madhyamika, and have drawn parallels between such concepts as Brahman and sunyata, or advaita and advaya. Frequently only the similarities iv have been pointed out, with the differences being dismissed as merely those of language. For this reason one system has often been understood through the categories of the other system. However, by viewing similar concepts in their philosophic context, parallels can be drawn which take into account both similarities and differences. The similarity of Advaita and Madhyamika is due to the shar-ing of several categories; the absolute, world-as-appearance, 'two truths', and nature of error. The uniqueness of each system comes from the transformation of these categories by the 'causal metaphor' upon which each system is based. The method of T.R.V. Murti who points out the ontological orientation of Advaita and the epistemological nature of Madhyamika will be used, along with Karl Potter's analysis of causal chains as being at the root of these respective orientations. The combination of these two methods places parallel concepts within their respective philosophical context, allowing us to make a comparison of the two systems which takes into account both the similarities and the uniqueness of each system. TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE 1. INTRODUCTION 1 2. MODERN SCHOLARSHIP 7 3. THE CONTROVERSY FROM TRADITIONAL SOURCES 27 4. THE HISTORICAL RELATIONSHIP OF MADHYAMIKA TO ADVAITA 39 5. ADVAITA AND MADHYAMIKA: THEIR PHILOSOPHICAL RELATIONSHIP 63 6. CONCLUSION 121 BIBLIOGRAPHY 128 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS A particular vote of thanks goes to Professor Joseph Richardson for his patience and instruction over the last three years. His constructive criticism played a major role in my academic growth and developing my ability to write. Hopefully his patience has born fruit in this thesis. Thanks also go to Dr. Keith Clifford for having helped in a similar capacity. In addition I would like to thank Professor William Nicholls and the Department of Religious Studies for their financial support. 1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION One of the continuing sources of controversy in Indian philosophy, both historically and at present, has been the relation of Samkara's Vedanta to the Buddhist Mahayana schools, particularly the Madhyamika. This paper intends to explore the relation between the Advaita Vedanta of Samkara and the Madhyamika philosophy of Nagarjuna by placing both similarities and differences in their historical and philosophical context. These two philosophies have been found both 'nearly identical' and 'irreconcilable' by different scholars, and at the beginning we might say that there are no simple conclusions in this complex matter. The first part of our task is to provide a historical model which demonstrates the nature oftheir mutual influence, the second will combine primarily the methods of Karl Potter and T.R.V. Murti to provide a basis for understanding both the similarities and uniqueness of each philosophical system. The relation of Buddhism to the orthodox schools of Indian thought is a difficult problem for both the historian of religion and the philosopher. The importance of this problem for understanding the growth of Indian thought is aptly stated by Poussin, " . . . as long as we have not ascertained the chronological relations between primitive Buddhism and the Aupanishadic—Samkhya theories, between the system of Nagarjuna and that of Samkara, between Dignaga and 2 'orthodox Nyaya', we cannot boast of even having traced the cardinal lines of the spiritual and intellectual history of India."1 Of these three areas which Poussin mentions it is certainly the relation of Samkara to Nagarjuna which has generated the most controversy, or perhaps more properly it is the only one which has continued from its inception to be a living issue in modern times. Much confusion has surrounded this problem primarily because of the partisan nature of its history. Traditional commentators and modern scholars alike have perceived the relation of Advaita to Madhyamika through their own bias. The driving force behind the problem has been its polemic nature. The first part of the paper will thus be a history of the problem in its traditional and modern forms both as basis for later discussion, and as a beginning on sort-ing out the confusion. Modern scholarship has perceived the problem either through the eyes of, or in reaction to neo-Vedantism. This twentieth century Indian movement finds its most eloquent spokesman in Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and is typified by universal ism and a tendency to per-ceive other philosophies through the conceptual framework of Advaita. Most of the scholars whose work we will discuss share this bias in one form or another. This bias has often resulted in the reduction of Madhyamika to Advaita categories. The method of these Louis de La Vallee Poussin, "Vedanta and Buddhism," Journal  of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1910, p. 130. 3 scholars notes, but does not deal with the historical and philosophical complexity of the problem in a systematic way. Historically, external influence is often used to explain doctrinal development at the expense of internal dynamism within the particular tradition. One to one philosophical parallels are drawn which overlook the context in which similar terms like Brahman and Sunyata operate; profound differences are thus obscured. Traditional history of the problem has an Advaitic and Buddhist side. From the beginning of Advaita, its similarity to Madhyamika was noted by Vedantic teachers of differing view. They identified Samkara's teaching with Buddhism for two reasons, Samkara's concept of a quality-less absolute (nirguna Brahman) and his use of maya. Ramanuja and others were concerned to preserve a theistic interpretation of the absolute, and the reality of the world. Most Advaitins follow Samkara in condemning Madhyamika as nihilism. The Buddhist side of the controversy is less well-known, but can be inferred from a number of textual sources. These indirect references along with a direct reference from Bhavaviveka demonstrate the existence of controversy between Hlnayana and Mahayana schools over the resemblance of Mahayana to Vedanta. This controversy took place, however, before the advent of Samkara's Advaita, and points to a need for sorting out the various historical levels. As an operational definition for Madhyamika, Nagarjuna and his two works the MulaMadhyamakakarikas and Vigrahavyavartani will 4 be used, for Advaita, Samkara and his commentary on the Vedanta-Sutras with occasional references to some of his other works. The two schools are five to six-hundred years apart. The Hlnayana comparisons of Mahayana with Vedanta for this reason do not deal with Samkara's teaching, but with an earlier less systematic Vedanta. A As Madhyamika preceeded Samkara the form of the problem has always dealt with Buddhist or Madhyamika influence on Advaita. The historical relation of Madhyamika or Mahayana to the Vedanta of that period is a separate historical problem, and for this reason the historical section will be restricted to Buddhist influence on Advaita. One further problem arises from the nature of Nagarjuna's texts. They are short and have a narrow, for our purposes, dialectical concern. Thus in making some comparisons it is necessary to appeal to longer Mahayana texts which deal with aspects of Mahayana doctrine not found in Nagarjuna. This procedure is justifiable as Nagarjuna is viewed by the later Madhyamika tradition as systematizing the more extensive Prajnaparamita literature. The nature of the material necessitates this modification of our operational definition for Madhyamika. The historical problem is then to understand the nature of Buddhist influence on Advaita. In order to accomplish this, some understanding must be had of Samkara's relation to the earlier Vedantic and orthodox tradition. Early Vedanta existed as a matrix of schools, texts, and doctrine. A single systematic Vedanta philosophy did not exist. The history of Vedanta seems to be a gradual systematizing of this multivalent tradition which culminates in Samkara. All of 5 the major elements of Samkara's philosophy can be found in earlier orthodox tradition but are not organized as a systematic philosophy. Buddhist influence then would seem to be that of method, not of doctrine. Samkara probably used Madhyamika as a model in his use of dialectic, and 'two truths' to present a systematic philosophy. This interpretation allows Advaita and Madhyamika to maintain their integrity as philosophical systems in relation to their own traditions, while allowing us to understand Buddhist influence on Advaita. The philosophical dimension of the problem demands a method able to demonstrate both similarities and the uniqueness of each system. A shared metaphysical framework or structure is responsible for the similarities. The absolute, world-as-appearance (maya.), 'two truths', and nature of error are categories found in both systems, but these categories are radically transformed by the 'root metaphor' for causality upon which each system is based. This transformation accounts for the differences between the two systems and the corresponding ontological orientation of Advaita and the epistemological concern of Madhyamika. Through this method each of the catagories discussed can be seen as a working part of an entire system of thought. The inadequacy of drawing simple parallels found in the work of some scholars is thus overcome by placing the parallel concepts within their philosophical context. In dealing with the historical part of the problem our method cannot be that of the rigorous historian who. backs every statement with a meticulous analysis of chronology and sources. 6 The existing sources are inadequate in both traditions for tracing the development of many ideas with any accuracy, and the chronology for the sources we do have is uncertain at best. Thus, in a more general way we will interpret the sources that are available in order to understand the nature of the interaction between Madhyamika and Advaita. The second part of the paper which compares the two as systems of thought will deal with Advaita and Madhyamika as Indian philosophers do, that is, in the terms of the schools discussed. No attempt is being made to deal with them as the professional philosopher might by subjecting them to the scrutiny of western philosophical categories and analysis. The method used here is closer to the historian of religions who attempts to understand the sacred as it appears in its many historical configurations. As Mircea Eliade states, "all expression or conceptual formulation of 2 such religious experience is imbedded in a historical context. Thus, in dealing with Advaita and Madhyamika 'philosophically1, we will compare how their respective traditions determined their expression or formulation of a similar metaphysical framework. Mircea Eliade, "Methodological Remarks on the Study of Religious Symbolism," The History of Religions: Essays in Methodology, ed. M. Eliade and J.M. Kitagawa, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1959, p. 89. 7 CHAPTER 2 MODERN SCHOLARSHIP Much of the confusion over the relation of Advaita and Madhyamika among the traditional commentators was based in the partisan nature of the dialogue. This bias has continued in a much modified form in the work of modern scholars, beginning with Radhakrishnan. Most of the energy going into sorting out this problem has been generated by Hindus trying to take account of Buddhist influence in Advaita. As we shall see, a Buddhist side to the controversy can be glimpsed, but apparently died with Buddhism in India. For both traditional commentators and modern scholars the problem has been to maintain the integrity of Advaita, while taking into account the influence of Mahayana Buddhism. Traditionally this problem, for a number of reasons, was overcome by dismissing Madhyamika as nihilism. 3 Mahadevan has continued this view in part. Some modern scholars on the other hand have solved this problem by assimilating Madhyamika to Advaita. Radhakrishnan is the leading figure in what has been called neo-Vedantism. Two principle characteristics of this Indian movement are its universal ism and its tendency to understand all other phil-osophies, both Indian and Western, through the spectacles of Advaita. T.M.D. Mahadevan, Gaudapada: A Study in Early Advaita, Madras: University of Madras, 1960, p. 211. 8 If Radhakrishnan is taken as the main exponent of this position, the following scholarship can be understood as modifications or reactions to Radhakrishnan's viewpoint. While neo-Vedantism is valid as an exposition of the views of twentieth century Indian intelligentsia, it is less so for understanding the relation of Advaita to Madhyamika. Basically the problem has been the reduction of Madhyamika to Advaita categories, through the rational of the universality of all religion and philosophy. This universality has been maintained throughout (with the exception of Mahadevan and Dasgupta) by noting that both Madhyamika and Advaita advocate an immediate intuition of the absolute. Scholarship has advanced with the growing recognition of the integrity of both systems, rather than the reduction of one to the other. Thus in Murti we find the culmination of a somewhat hap-hazard trend towards freeing Madhyamika from a Vedantic gloss, while maintaining that "in the actual state of the absolute they may be identical. . . . " 4 In a historical context the integrity of Advaita against Buddhist influence has been upheld by appealing to the Upanisads. A modern neo-Vedantic analogue of the traditional Indian attempt to recover rather than discover knowledge, has been the positing of the Upanisads as the 'fountainhead of all Indian philosophy'. Thus even those commentators who make a strong case for Buddhist and Mahyamika influence on Advaita, such as Bhattacharya, appeal to the 4 T.R.V. Murti, Central Philosophy of Buddhism, London: George Allen and Unwin, 1960, p. 320. Upanisads as the ultimate source of both philosophies. There are partial exceptions to this trend in S.N. Dasgupta and P.T. Raju who seem willing to grant greater autonomy to the Buddhist tradition. Finally, before summarizing the views of some of the major scholars it should be pointed out that this neo-Vedantic bias has been peculiar to the comparative study of Advaita and Madhyami ka, and has not been a problem for the study of Madhyamika per se. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Throughout his treatment of Buddhism Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan stresses the unity of Buddhism with the spirit of Indian religion and philosophy. In taking this position Radhakrishnan attempts to overcome the view that Buddhism and Hinduism are antagonists without common ground and establish the importance of Buddhist influence in the history of Indian thought. Radhakrishnan states "Historical Buddhism means the spread of the Upanisad doctrines among the peoples," or again "......we shall endeavour to show how the spirit of the Upanisads is the life-spring of Buddhism." Three periods of interaction are generally recognized by Radhakrishnan; early Buddhism and the Upanisads, the rise of the Mahayana, and Mahayana influence S. Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, Vol. 1, London: George Allen and Unwin, 1929, p. 471. 6Ibid., Vol. I, p. 362. 10 on later Vedanta systems. In keeping with his views on the unity of the two traditions, Radhakrishnan posits an end to Buddhism in India from a re-absorbtion by Hinduism of the Buddhist tradition. Early Buddhism is for Radhakrishnan the philosophy of the Upanisads from a new standpoint. He notes "To develop his theory Buddha had only to rid the Upanisads of their inconsistent compromises with Vedic polytheism and religion, set aside the transcendental aspect as indemonstrable to thought and unnecessary to morals, and emphasize the ethical universalism of the Upanisads."^ The differ-ences between Buddha's doctrine of andtman and the Upanisadic Atman3 are reconciled by Radhakrishnan as being only those of language and method of analysis. The Buddha denied the possibility of an Atman because holding to such metaphysical concepts was at the root of the problem of ignorance, but "Buddha is silent about the Atman enunciated in the Upanisads. He neither affirms nor denies its Q existence." Radhakrishnan in discussing early Buddhism, points to the affinity of various Buddhist doctrines with the Upanisads. He identifies concepts such as nirvana and moksa3 thus making Buddha philosophical heir to the Upanisads while stil l trying to account for the uniqueness of Buddhism. With the rise of the Mahayana there was a profound change both in the religion and metaphysics of Buddhism. With the con-Ibid. , Vol. I, p. 360. Ibid., Vol. I, p. 387. 11 stant influx of alien people through the northwest frontier, it was necessary that Buddhism give up "the icy coldness of some forms of early Buddhism and frame . . . a religion which could appeal to the 9 - -human heart." In this task the Mahayana was successful in.imitat-ing the theism of the later Upanisads and especially that of the Bhagavadgita. The concept of Adi Buddha reflects the parallel Isvara in Hindu theology. He is the first Buddha, supreme, and eternal, bringing the world forth. The role of the celestial bodhisattvas becomes important, along with the supreme Adi Buddha. This theistic trend leads Radhakrishnan to say, "So far as the Mahayana is concerned there is practically nothing to distinguish it from the religion of the Bhagavadgita."^ Metaphysically the concept of Bhutatathata as an absolute eternal substratum of existence is equivalent to Brahman of the Upanisads. Radhakrishnan also draws parallels between the monism of the Mahayana and that of the Upanisads, again demonstrating the integral nature of all Indian philosophy. In the Advaita Vedanta of Gaudapada and Samkara, Radhakrishnan finds evidence of Buddhist influence. He states "Buddhism created in the region of thought a certain atmosphere from which no mind could escape and it undoubtedly exercised a far reaching influence on •* • 11 Samkara's mind." This influence is even more evident in Gaudapada 9Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 591. 1 0Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 599. 1 1 Ibid., Vol. 2, p.-471. who uses arguments put forth by the Vijnanavadins to demonstrate the unreality of external objects. Gaudapada's views on causation and the use of the idea of two levels of truth are quite similar to Nagarjuna's work. Radhakrishnan notes the use of similar terminology by Gaudapada, and points out a series of philosophical parallels between Madhyamika and Advaita. The use of 'two truths', the similarity of nirguna-Brahman and sunyata3and avidya. as introducing the phenomenal universe are among these parallels. Radhakrishnan seems to think that this is the influence of method more than tenet for he states, "The Karika. of Gaudapada is an attempt to combine in one whole the negative logic of the Madhyamikas with the positive 12 idealism of the Upanisads." Later he notes, "There are no doubt similarities between the views of Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, and this is not surprising in view of the fact that both these systems 13 had for their background the Upanisads." Particularly at the time Radhakrishnan wrote his work Indian Philosophy, he did a great service in pointing out the unity of Buddhism with the rest of Indian culture, and the importance of Buddhism for understanding the history and development of Indian thought. Yet, when he finds the Upanisads to be the source of all subsequent philosophy in India (he almost seems a satkaryavadzn in this respect) the profound differences between Buddhism and the 2Ibid., Vol. 2, p. 465. 3Ibid., Vol. 2, p. 472. 13 Upanisads, or Vedanta seem lost, and the uniqueness of Buddhism as an independent structure gone. While Dr. Radhakrishnan is aware of the differences, they seem obscured by his constant theme of "the unity and continuity of Indian thought." F. Th. Stcherbatsky Stcherbatsky finds in Buddhism and Vedanta two "mutually indebted parties". The history of the attraction and repulsion of Vedanta and Buddhism for each other is given three phases by Stcherbatsky. The first phase finds early Buddhism opposed to the philosophy of the Upanisads. Early Buddhism finds the nature of reality to be 'discrete', split into an infinity of minute elements. The individual and physical world are an aggregate of these elements. This view is opposed to the unity posited in the Upanisads, the identity of Brahman and the Atman. The monism of the Upanisads is opposed by the radical plural-ism of early Buddhism in Stcherbatsky's view. In the second phase, "Monism took the offensive and finally 14 established itself triumphantly in the heart of a new Buddhism." Placed in Buddhist soil, Stcherbatsky finds monism producing a variety of new systems. In Madhyamika it received a dialectical foundation; in Asaiiga and Vasubandhu monism was established "dogmatically" and became an idealistic system. Dignaga and Dharmakirti gave monism Stcherbatsky, Buddhist Logic, New York: Dover Publications, 1962 (1930), p. 22. 14 a basis in epistemology and logic. Stcherbatsky points out that this outburst of creativity by the Buddhists could not help but influence the later Vedanta. Gaudapada recognizes this, and directly confesses common ground between some Buddhists and his own Vedanta. Stcherbatsky thinks this spirit of openness is replaced by "sectarian animosity" in Samkara, but Mahayana influence is obvious in Gaudapada's Advaita and represents a third phase of Buddhist-Vedanta interaction. Buddhism was in constant inter-action with its philosophical environment and "as regards Vedanta, it really did fall in line with i t , so as to leave no substantial differ-15 ence, except the difference in phrasing and terminology." Stcherbatsky did not develop his position beyond this. Histor-ically he at least notes the complexity of the problem, although he has nothing to say about the actual dynamics of the interaction. Philosophically he does not distinguish between monism and absolutism, a necessary distinction which we will take up later. Chandradhar Sharma Chandradhar Sharma seems aware of the philosophical differences between Buddhism and Vedanta, but he views these "only as different stages in the development of the same central thought which starts with the Upanisads, finds its indirect support in Buddha, its elaboration 5Ibid., p. 21. 15 in Mahayana Buddhism, its open revival in Gaudapada, which reaches its zenith in Samkara and culminates in the post-Samkarites." While he tends to see Buddhism through the eyes of a Vedantin, Sharma is aware of the importance and influence of Buddhism. Buddha's philosophy was in a sense based on the Upanisads, Sharma thinks, but was misunderstood by the Hinayanists who took no-soul and momentariness to be the 'corner-stone of Buddhism'. The mis-interpretation of the Hinayanists was rejected by the Mahayana schools. Nagarjuna systematized the doctrines of the prajnaparamita literature in his sunyavada philosophy. This brought Buddhism closer to the Vedantic ideal. The contribution of Vijnanavada was the view of ultimate reality as pure consciousness, a view only hinted at in Madhyamika. From here, however, Sharma finds Buddhism diverging into the philosophy of Dignaga, which interpreted pure consciousness as momentary. Gaudapada openly acknowledges his dept to Buddhism, representing for Sharma the best in Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu, while serving Vedanta. Sharma openly admits the influence of the Mahayana on Samkara through Gaudapada. The method Sharma uses is to draw philosophical parallels between Vedantic and Mahayana concepts. He does note differences between say Brahman.and sunya "sunya is used in a double sense. It means Brahman as well as maya."17 However he understands Buddhist ideas as reflections of Vedantic concepts, and thus distorts many 16C.• Sharma, A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy, London: Rider & Co., 1960, p. 318. 1 7Ibid., p. 320. 16 of the Buddhist concepts. An understanding of Madhyamika as an integral and unique system is lost, with its epistemological categor-ies tending to become ontological through a Vedantic gloss. Even though somewhat biased in this way, Sharma seems to have an appreciation of the positive value of the Buddhist systems, and avoids the error of Dasgupta and others in calling Madhyamika nihilisim. T.M.P. Mahadevan T.M.P. Mahadevan in his book Gaudapada: A Study in Early  Advaita spends about 40 pages on Gaudapada's relationship to Buddhism. Most of this portion of his book is spent refuting Bhattacharya's work, and establishing the integrity of Gaudapada as a Vedantist. In Mahadevan's view there are significant differences between Advaita and Mahayana Buddhism, and these differences are carefully brought out by Gaudapada. Mahadevan begins by noting the interrelationship of Buddhism and the Brahmanical tradition at all levels. Buddhism borrowed from the Upanisads and in turn influenced developing Vedanta, and eminent scholars of each school passed back and forth between the two traditions. Like Murti, Mahadevan notes the complexity of the Buddhist schools and quotes M. Hiriyana ". . .we have, so to speak, philosophy repeated twice over in India--once in the several Hindu systems and 17 I o again in the different schools of Buddhism." Similarity between Buddhist and Hindu versions of Idealism is then inevitable. Several points are made by Mahadevan to distinguish Advaita from Mahayana Buddhism. First, Advaita developed from the Upanisads, and not from Buddhist ideas. Second, although there are similarities, the Advaitic conclusions differ from those of the Buddhist schools. The absolute in Advaita is Brahman or Paramatman. Mahadevan states that in Vijnanavada it is a series of momentary ideas, and Madhyamika 19 represents philosophical nihilism as opposed to vulgar nihilism. While correct in distinguishing Advaita from both Madhyamika <\1— - — _ and Vijnanavada, Mahadevan errs in his interpretation of Madhyamika. Nagarjuna's philosophy is absolutism, not nihilism. He is correct, however, in distinguishing the manner in which Vijnanavada and Advaita establish their absolutism. Vidhushekhara Bhattacharya Vidhushekhara Bhattacharya in his translation and annotation - 20 - -of Gaudapada's Karikas has emphasized the influence of Mahayana loT.M.P. Mahadevan, Gaudapada: A Study in Early Advaita, Madras: University of Madras, 1960, p. 230. 19 See Mahadevan, p. 211 for this interpretation. 20 V. Bhattacharya, The Agamasastra of Gaudapada, Calcutta, University of Calcutta, 1943. 18 Buddhism on Gaudapada. This work is the most comprehensive and detailed attempt to demonstrate the influence of Buddhism on Gaudapada. 21 Bhattacharya's views have generated several refutations. Bhattacharya thinks Gaudapada is a Vedantin, although heavily influenced by Buddhist thought. Gaudapada's Vedanta is idealism, and r\j— _ he advocates a Vijnanavada theory based on the Upanisads but influenced by Buddhism. Thus according to Bhattacharya there are "two schools of Vijnanavada, (1) Vedantists headed by Gaudapada and 22 (2) Buddhists with Maitreya at the head." Both schools are interpreted by Bhattacharya as holding that the external world is the _. _ r\j— -product or transformation of mind. The Advaitic maya and Vi jnanavadi.n vasana may be regarded as equivalent. Ajativada is the highest truth in Gaudapada, this doctrine is taken straight over from the Madhyamika according to Bhattacharya. This interpretation of Gaudapada is not in conflict with the Upanisadio background of Vedanta, because according to Bhattacharya Buddhism itself stems from the Upanisadio tradition. The similarity of Vedanta and Buddhism is thus accountable to this common background. Bhattacharya's work is useful for the extensive research he has done on Buddhist influence in Gaudapada. However, the Vedantic use of Ajativada is quite different from that in Madhyamika, and the Vedantic analysis of the unreality of the external world is '^See T.M.P. Mahadevan, Gaudapada: A Study in Early Advaita, Madras: University of Madras, 1960 and Karmarkar, Raghunath Dame-da r, Gaudapada-Karika, Poona: Bhandarkar. Oriental Institute, 1953. 22 -V. Bhattacharya, The Agamasastra of Gaudapada, p. cxxxii. 19 different from that of Vijnanavada. These differences will be demonstrated in later discussion of the philosophical relation of Advaita and Madhyamika. P.T. Raju P.T. Raju restricts his discussion of Buddhism and Vedanta specifically to the relation between Madhyamika and Advaita. He notes the variety of opinions on the subject, and after some thought finds "that the indebtedness of the Advaita Vedanta of Samkara to Mahayana 23 Buddhism is greater than what has usually been supposed." Raju discusses principally the concept of maya, to demonstrate this indebtedness of Advaita, but also includes>nanamargu or the way of knowledge. Raju also points out that the ideas of Brahman and sunyata are not equivalent. The method adopted by Raju is straightforward, "to show who 24 developed the concept first." Thus whichever school developed a concept first can be considered the source of the doctrine. Raju, however, qualifies this by pointing out that he means here developed doctrine and not the raw material. For example, although the word maya. is used in the Vedas, the Vedas are not the source of the P.T. Raju, "Buddhism and the Vedanta," Indo-Asian Culture, 6, July 1959, p. 25. ?4 ^Ibid., p. 25. 20 Buddhist doctrine of maya. as it is found in the Madhyamika school. The concept of maya is part of the general philosophical background in India, and as such is part of the "raw material" which all the systems drew upon. In Raju's view it was the Mahayana Buddhists, particularly the Madhyamika, who first made systematic use of maya is a central philosophical concept. He finds three interrelated usages to the word, that maya is like a dream, that it is non-existence, and the use 25 of the four-cornered negation to describe it . All of these uses he traces in Buddhist literature prior to their use in Advaita, and thus concludes in favour of Buddhist influence. Raju's position and method raise several problems. First, as Raju himself notes, Advaita and Madhyamika mean different things in their use of maya. The Advaiticuse of the term is much more atuned to the Upanisads, which would seem to argue against understanding 'Buddhist influence' as the origin of the use of maya in Advaita. The historical method employed by Raju would thus seem to have its difficulties, because it oversimplifies the historical interaction between the Vedanta and Buddhist traditions. It neither exists, doesn't exist, nor both, nor neither. 21 Surendranath Dasgupta According to Dasgupta the study of the Buddhist schools is of paramount importance for understanding Indian philosophy, for they provided much of the stimulus for growth and development in the orthodox schools. While there has been much influence between the two, Dasgupta seems to regard them as distinct traditions. Unlike Radhakrishnan, he does not emphasize the unity of Buddhism with the Upanisads, but rather their differing views on the nature of the self. The meaning of ignorance (avidya) has quite a different meaning in each tradition, in the Upanisads it is ignorance of the Atman and in Buddhism ignorance of the four noble truths: sorrow {duhkha), its origination, cessation, and the path to release. Dasgupta notes the probability of Upanisadic influence in the philosophy of Asvaghosa, but adds "Nagarjuna's Madhyamika doctrines which eclipsed the profound philosophy of Asvaghosa seem to 27 "V- -be more faithful to the original Buddhist creed." The Prajnanaramita literature and Nagarjuna's systemization of it are then primarily for Dasgupta the result of internal development. He interprets the — sunyata of Madhyamika as pure non-being, and Madhyamika as nihilism. Even though he interprets Madhyamika as nihilistic, Dasgupta sees a profound influence on Advaita,". . . Samkara's philosophy is largely a compound of Vijnanavada and Sunyavada Buddhism with the Recent scholarship now points to the possibility that Asvaghosa's Awakening of Faith was composed in China, and brought to India by Hsuan-Tsang. 27 S.N. Dasgupta, History of Indian Philosophy, Vol. I, London: Cambridge University Press, 1922, p. 138. Upanisad notion of the permanance of the self-superadded." He finds this particularly true of Gaudapada, Samkara's philosophical progenitor. The dialectic of Vedanta was for the most part borrowed from Nagarjuna, and Samkara's Brahman is very like the sunya of Nagarjuna, as being and pure non-being are difficult to distinguish as catagories. Although he unfortunately misinterprets Nagarjuna as a nihilist, Dasgupta's account of the relation between Buddhism and Vedanta is straightforward. He stresses the importance of Buddhism for understanding the development of Vedanta both as an influence in the philosophical climate, and a source of doctrine. Like Raju he seems to use the 'whoever developed the doctrine first method', but unlike Radhakrishnan emphasizes the development of Buddhism as one of inner dynamism relatively independent of the Upanisads. T.R.V. Murti Murti in understanding the relation of Buddhism to Vedanta strikes a middle path between those who see a single unified tradition, and those who -fH-nd no relation at all between Buddhism and Vedanta. The view of Radhakrishnan and those who find a single unified tradition, and the view of those who lean toward finding complete Buddhist autonomy, are both over-simplifications in Murti's analysis. Ibid., Vol. I, p. 4 9 4 . 23 Murti states, . . . the truth lies somewhere in the middle . . . Hinduism and Buddhism belong to the same genius; they differ as species. . . . Without basic affinity they would have been completely sundered from each other; without differences they could not have vitalized and enriched each other.29 This method is used by Murti in dealing with Buddhist-Vedanta inter-action at any stage, since it is necessary to be alive to both affinities and differences between the two systems. Murti also points out the necessity of understanding Buddhism not as a single system, but as a matrix of systems. Wishing to preserve both affinities and differences, Murti is careful to explain just what he means by influence. He notes that in the relation between Mahayana Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta scholars have both denied influence, or asserted that texts were bodily incor-porated from one system into the other. Again Murti tries to steer a middle course, he states, Again, great religions do not bodily borrow from others. They gradually, and in their own way, assimi-late from other modes of thought elements that can be organically woven into their own fabric of thought.30 T.R.V. Murti, "Buddhism and Contemporary Indian Thought," Revue Internationale de Philosophie Fasicule 3, No. 37, 1956, p. 301. Ibid., p. 305. 24 Influence then means opposition as well as acceptance, and also the stimulus which causes a system to modify and revise its thought accord-ing to the needs of the time. Each system holds to its basic principles, and developments must be in accord with them. The develop-ment of either Madhyamika or Advaita must be understood then as a combination of internal dynamism and external influence. Murti's treatment of the problem of Buddhism and Vedanta has definite advantages over those previously discussed. Primarily, as Murti himself notes, it allows us to preserve the uniqueness of each system, while noting its affinities with opposing systems. His method also allows us to preserve the historical complexity of the problem. The fruitfulness of this approach will become more apparent when we deal with the philosophical and historical relationship of Madhyamika and Advaita. The problem of the relation of Advaita to Madhyamika has two dimensions in the work of these scholars; one is historical, the other philosophical. The two often become blurred and separate methods are needed for each dimension. Historically most of the scholars rely on various versions of Raju's view, . , . . the method I adopt is a common one: to show who developed the concept first. If two rival schools have the same doctrine and were often entering into controversy, then the school that started later must have taken over the doctrine from the school that started earlier.31 P.T. Raju, "Buddhism and Vedanta," Indo-Asian Culture, 6, July 1959, p. 25. This method is of course necessary to a certain extent, but does not do justice to the complexity of the historical process. To paraphrase Dr. Leon Hurvitz "One set of doctrine as formulated may pre-suppose another set of doctrine as formulated earlier in chronological time, 32 but this says nothing about origins." The history of one school cannot be traced in the texts of another. This holds particularly true for Advaita where no Vedantic texts remain from the Upanisadic period down to Gaudapada with the exception of Badarayana's Sutras. Both Madhyamika and Advaita must be understood in relation to the development of their respective traditions. Historically, a model must be found which takes into account internal development and external influence. The nature of Buddhist influence must be care-fully defined so that the resulting question of whether Advaita borrowed method or doctrine may be asked. The philosophical method used by most of the above scholars draws philosophical parallels between the two schools. The similarity of Brahman and sunyata is often noted, along with the common doctrines of 'maya' and two truths'. Poussin writes . . . that Samkara is indebted to Nagarjuna. may be true, but I object that we really know little or nothing about the history of Vedanta, and that conclusions based on philosophical parallels are by no means definitive.33 32 In seminar. 33 - -Louis de la Vallee Poussin, "Vedanta and Buddhism," p. 129. The process of drawing philosophical parallels is again necessary, but not sufficient. Generally these parallels have been based only on similarities which has led to an identification or equivalence of terms such as Brahman and sunyata. There are, however, profound differences between the two terms. The corrective in this case is not merely to note differences as well as similarities, but to place both in their philosophical context. Having done this, conceptual and structural similarity or difference can be viewed as a result of the functioning of Advaita and Madhyamika as total systems. Before developing these historical and philosophical models it would be useful to present the traditional Buddhist and Advaita controversy over this problem. 27 CHAPTER 3 THE CONTROVERSY FROM TRADITIONAL SOURCES From its inception Advaita seems to have been involved in controversy over its relation to Buddhism. The followers of the Advaita tradition hold that Buddhism was driven out of India by Samkara. The Hindu opponents of Samkara accuse him of the wholesale importation of Buddhist doctrine into Vedanta. Clearly, the accusation of "hidden-Buddhist" (pracchana-Bauddha) against the Advaitins is a polemical device. To be identified with the nastikas or unorthodox who reject the Veda was tantamount to philosophical dismissal. A similar device was used by the Hinayana Buddhists against their Mahayana opponents who were "accused of being 'Vedantins'. The Buddhist side of the controversy will be taken up somewhat later. The reaction to Samkara and his philosophy seems to have had" its basis both in doctrine and social factors. Philosophically the opponents to Samkara were concerned to preserve the reality of the world, and to attribute personality to the absolute. Thus Samkara's doctrines of maya as world-illusion and nivguna-Bvahman as quality-less absolute were the focus of debate. Socially, Samkara's founding of the dasabhumika order of monks, and his insistance that the four asvamas were unnecessary set him apart from much of Hindu orthodoxy. The philosophical reaction can be seen in a variety of texts and teachers. In the Padma Puvana, Isvava declares to Paravatl 28 "The theory of maya is a false doctrine, a disguised form of Buddhism; I, myself, 0 goddess, propounded this theory in the Kaliyuga in the form of a Brahmin." and again Siva states "that great system, the maya theory, is not supported by the Veda, though it contains the 34 -truths of the Veda." The Vedanta philosopher Bhaskara who holds the theory of identity and difference [bhedabheda) connects Samkara with the Mahayana Buddhists. Bhaskara lived only two generations after Samkara which points to the Advaita-Buddhist controversy beginning 35 -soon after Samkara's death. While Bhaskara does not mention Samkara or Advaita by name, he leaves no doubt as to whom he refers. Bhaskara takes issue with the theory of maya and connects those who propound it with Mahayana Buddhism. Various arguments are put forth by Bhaskara against maya and its indescribabi1ity {anirvacaniya). Throughout its history the main opponents of the Visistadvaita school seem to have been the followers of Samkara. Evidence for this can be seen in the works Yamunacarya, Ramanuja, and Venkatanatha. (Vedanta Desika). Yamuna was the teacher of Ramanuja's teacher Mahapurna and has the traditional dates of 918-1038 A.D. Yamuna in his Sidahitrayam compares the Buddhist to the Mayavadin, the first say 34 S. Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, VoK II, London: George Allen and Unwin, 1927, p. 471. Mayavadam asac chastram pracchannam Bauddha eva ca^ayaiva .Kathitam devi, Kalau brahmanarupina (i -14) and Vedarthavan mahaSastram mayavadam avaidikam. Wherever possible I have consulted complete translations, or original texts. When this has not been possible the secondary source and passage quoted are given. 35 " . See Daniel Ingalls, "Samkara1s Arguments Against the Buddhists, Philosophy East and West, III, No. 4, p. 292, footnote 2. 36 S.N. Dasgupta, History of Indian Philosophy, Vol. I l l , London: Cambridge University Press, 1940, p. 1. 29 Although the pure intelligence is free from differences, it is understood, by people whose view is troubled, as multiple; object of knowledge, subject of knowledge, knowledge. The second say - -The pure reality is not the cause of the development [of names and forms, of the intellectual contingencies], because it ceases not to be [what it is, pure]: therefore, it is Illusion who is the mother of this distinction, knower, knowable.37 The writings of Ramanuja contain extensive refutations of Samkara. Ramanuja argues against the nirguna Brahman and maya theories of Samkara. Knowledge in Ramanuja's view involves distinctions, so that there is no undifferentiated pure consciousness. Samkara's distinction of a higher Brahman and a lower illusory Brahman is thus denied. The Self for Raminuja is the eternal substratum of conscious-ness and not of the.nature of pure consciousness itself. Ramanuja states Your assertion that . . . pure Bliss to constitute the essential nature of Brahman is already disposed of by the refutation of the view that knowledge (consciousness) constitutes the essential nature of Brahman; Brahman being in reality the substrate only of knowledge.38 _ ^ , For Ramanuja, Samkara is also wrong in finding the world unreal, and based on pure consciousness. "Nor is it true that . . . only non-37 - -Siddhitrayam of Yamunacarya, Chowkambha Sanskrit Series, No. 36, p. 19, cited and trans.'by Poussin, Louis de la Vallee, "Buddhism and Vedanta," p. 132. 3^G. Thibaut, Vedanta-Sutras with Ramanuja's Commentary, Oxford: Clarendon Dr., 1904, p. 84. See pages 78-86 on this topic. differenced consciousness is real and everything else unreal." Ramanuja states that to hold such a doctrine is to hold the Madhyamika doctrine of the universal nothingness. If the avidya. or maya which obscures Brahman is unreal (it is not real by the Advaitins own admission), "that would involve the acceptance of the Madhyamika 40 doctrine, viz. of a general void." This brief paragraph certainly doesn't do justice to Ramanuja's arguments, but it points to the central differences, and Ramanuja's attempt to connect Advaita with Buddhist doctrine. An interesting continuation of Ramanuja's attempts to refute Advaita is the Satadusani text of Venkatanatha. This text presents sixty-six arguments against Advaita, again dealing mostly with the concepts of nirguna Brahman, maya, and non-difference. Venkata also includes as refutations: in the sixty-fourth argument the marks and garb of the Samkara monks are found inappropriate; in the sixty-" - 40 second the barring of stidras from Vedanta study is mentioned. The strength of the reaction to the Samkara school seems a testimony to its growing influence. The Nimbarka school of Vedanta raises objections to Advaita over the same issues that the Ramanuja school disagrees with. The Nimbarka Vedanta is a form of Bhedabheda ordvaitddvaita and concerned with maintaining differences and the reality of the world. Of note Ibid., p. 86; 106. See S.N. Dasgupta, History of Indian Philosophy, Vol. I l l , London: Cambridge University Press, 1940, pp. 304-346. here is the Paripaksagirivajra of Madhava Mukunda which is concerned to demonstrate the error of Advaitic views. Vijnanabhiksu in his philosophy attempts to reconcile Vedanta with Samkhya, but also to view all of the astika systems as a coherent whole. The only real opponents are then the nastika Buddhists. In this connection Vijnanabhiksu states There is not a single Brahmasutra. in which our bondage is declared to be due to mere ignorance. As to the novel theory of maya propounded by some persons calling themselves Vedantists, it is only a species of the subjective idealism (of the Buddhists). That theory is not a tenet of the Vedanta.41 42 The Advaituns are thus in effect called nastikas. The philosopher Madhva was born in 1197 A.D. and accused Samkara and Advaita of teaching Sunyavada Buddhism disguised as Vedanta. The dislike of Madhva for Samkara and his philosophy seems to have been extraordinary, his whole purpose was the refutation of Samkara. Madhva refers to the Advaitins as 'deceitful demons' who play in 44 " • the darkness of ignorance. The followers of Samkara are described as people who burn down monasteries, destroy cattle, and kill women - . 4 5 and children. Samkara used to convert followers by magic arts. 41 - • Samkhyaprayacanabhasya, i , 22. Cited by Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, Vol. II, p.'471. 42 Louis de la Vallee Poussin, "Buddhism and Vedanta," p. 131. 43 C.A.' Sharma, A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy, London: Rider & Co., 1960, p. 372. 44 ^Ibid., p. 372. 45 S.N..Dasgupta, History of Indian Philosophy, Vol. IV, p. 208. The polemic against Advaita was carried on by Madhva's followers, who were in constant controversy with the Advait-ins of their time. If we look at the traditional conflict between the sramanas and brahmanas, we can also see the term 'hidden-Buddhist' in a social context. The Buddhists were part of the great non-yedic ascetic tradition of India. This tradition included the Buddhists, Jains, Ajivikas and of course overlapped with the silent munis who were part of the early orthodox tradition. The conflict can not be understood simply as vedic and non-vedic. Rather the conflict was with the traditional Brahmana insistence thai the Karma-kanda (prescribed-action) section of the Veda be fulfilled. The four stages of life [asramas) and the various types of ritual assigned to the four classes (varnas) were all necessary in the eyes of the orthodox Brahmin priest. According to Wayman this non-vedic ascetic tradition was incorporated into 46 " • orthodox Hinduism with the worship of Siva. Samkara is well-known for his worship of Siva. Thus we can see in the accusation of 'hidden Buddhist1, a rejection of Samkara's monastic system where the seeker need no longer concern himself with Karma-kanda and can retire from the world. In Samkara's philosophy knowledge alone gives release. How-ever, for the more traditional Brahmana Vedantins it was a combination of works or duty and knowledge or works-devotion-knowledge which gives ~ 47 release. Venkatanatha in his Satadusani, third objection, argues 46 Alex Wayman, "Two Traditions of India - Truth and Silence," Philosophy East and West, Vol. 24, No. 4, October 1974, p. 391. 47 S.N. D sgupta, History of Indian Philosophy, Vol. I l l , p. 307. 33 in favour of jnana-Karma-samuccaya over Samkara s view that a wise man has no duties. As Samkara puts i t , "Work leads to purification of the mind, not to perception of the reality. The realization of truth is brought about by discrimination and not in the least by ten 48 mi 11 ions of acts." Before looking at this controversy in Buddhist sources, it will be helpful to survey what the Advaitins had to say about Madhyamika Buddhism. The topic of Gaudapada and Buddhism is a difficult one, which we will take up later in more detail. Gaudapada does not mention Madhyamika by name, but he seems open to Buddhism and was apparently aware of Madhyamika texts. He certainly agrees with the Madhyamika on the doctrine of ajativada, although he understands it in a Vedantic and not a Buddhist sense. Poussin notes similarity between some lines of Gaudapada and Nagarjuna. Gaudapada Karika IV, 7 - " prakrtev anyathabhavo na-Katham oid bhavisyati"— is quite similar to the following from Madhyamika XV, 8 — "prakrtev anyathabhavo . .- - ,49 na hi jatupapadyate.'' Samkara on the other hand dismisses Sunyavada as mere nihilism and not worthy of serious consideration. He states Swami' Madhavananda, trans. Vivekachudamani of Shri Shank- aracarya, Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama, 1970, verse 11. Louis de la Vallee Poussin, "Buddhism and Vedanta," p. 37. See also Gaudapada-Karika IV, 5 as a possible reference to Madhyamika. 34 The third variety of Buddha doctrine, viz. that everything is empty (i.e. that absolutely nothing exists); is contradicted by all means of right knowledge, and therefore, requires no special refutation. For this apparent world, whose exis-tence is guaranteed by all the means of knowledge, cannot be denied, unless some one should find out some new truth (based on which he could impugn its existence)—for a general principle is proved by the absence of contrary instances.50 The comment that the everyday world cannot be dismissed unless there is a higher reality is the only real criticism Samkara makes of Madhyamika. If Madhyamika were nihilism, he would no doubt be correct. Samkara's analysis of the Madhyamika has generally been followed by most of the Advaita tradition, but there are exceptions who note the value, or closeness of Madhyamika thought to their own. The similarity of some Madhyamika tenets to those of Advaita was not lost on Vacaspati. He terms the Sunyavada as the Buddhists of advanced thought (prakrstamati), the Sarvastivada realists those of inferior thought (hTnamati) and the Vijanavadins those of middle 51 - - " • ability (madhyama). Vimuktatma while following Samkara in interpreting Madhyamika as nihilism, admits that if by asat he means maya. and not mere negation then his position is similar to that of G. Thibaut, trans. The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary  of Samkaracharya, Vol. I, New_York£ Dover Publications, 1962(1890); II, 2, 32, p. 42. See also Madhavananda SwamT_trans. The Brhadaran- yaka Upanisad with the Commentary of Samkaracharya 4th ed. Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama, 1968; IV, 3, 7, p. 619. BhamatT of Vacaspati, i i , 2, 18. Cited in Radhakrishnan, S. Indian Philosophy, Vol. I, p. 703. 35 52 the Vedantin. Sadananda states that if the Sunyavadins mean by sunya the reality which is beyond the intellect then the Madyamika has accepted 53 - - 54 the Vedanta. Some of the Advaitins, like Sri Harsa, note that Advaita holds consciousness to be pure, eternal, and real, while the Madhya-mikin finds . even.consciousness to be unreal. The two schools are - - 55 otherwise similar in Sri Harsa's view. Most of the controversy generated by the relation of Advaita to Madhyamika stems from accusations of 1crypto-Buddhist' against Advaita. There is, however, a less well-known and less visable Buddhist side to the controversy, seemingly generated by analogous accusations of 'crypto-Vedantin' against the Mahayana schools. The Buddhist side of the controversy is known only from Mahayana sources, but the similarity of some of their doctrines to Vedanta, or Upanisadic sources is easily observed. It is difficult to determine when this controversy may have begun, but certainly by the early centuries A.D. from references found in the La'nkavatara and Mahaparinirvana Sutra. The 'absolutism' and 'theism' of the Mahayana although Buddhist, were easily understood in a Vedantic sense by their Hinayana opponents. The authors of the Lahkavatara, the philosopher Bhavaviveka, and others were aware of this similarity and were usually careful to emphasize the differences between Vedanta and their own views. 52 - - * Istasiddhi of Vimuktatma, ed. M. Hiriyana, Baroda, 1933, p. 13. Cited in C. Sharma, A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy, p. 314. 53 C. Sharma, A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy, p. 316. 54 Khandana-Khanda-Khadya of Sri Harsa. Cited by Mahadevan, T.M.P., Gaudapada: A Study in Early Advaita, pp. 209-210. 55 C. Sharma, A Critical History of Indian Philosophy, p. 321. Hinayana objections would seem to center on the general similarity of some Mahayana theory to the theism and Atman doctrines of the Upanisads. Little is known of Vedanta in this period, and it is consequently not possible to pinpoint references to any particular school of Vedanta. The Mahayana choice of terms was syncretic at times, facilitating this identification by the HTnayanists. Thus we read in the Lankavatara that the Tathagata is known among his "hundred thousand times three asamkhyeya's"' of names as ". . . Buddha, as Rishi, as Bull-king, as Brahma, as Vishnu, as Isvara, as original source {pradhana), . . . as soma, as the Sun, as Rama, as Vyasa, as Suka, as 56 - -Indra, . . . ." Several of the Mahayana sutras use the word Brahman to describe the highest reality. Although its use is only occasional, this term would make it easy to understand Mahayana in a Vedantic sense. Again from the Lahkavatara-Sutra, "The [mind as] norm is the abode of self-nature which has nothing to do with a v/orld of causation; of this norm which is perfect existence and the highest 57 Brahma, I speak." Several other Mahayana sutras have been pointed out by Chandradhar Sharma as containing similar usages of Brahman as absolute reality, among these are the Astasahasrika, S ,atas~ahasrika, - 58 - — Lalitavistara, and the Saddharmapundarika. The Yogacara philosopher Asanga states that in the fourth meditation, one ever dwells 0DD.T. Suzuki, trans. The Lankavatara Sutra, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1932, p. 166. 5 7Ibid., p. 132. 58See C. Sharma, A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy, London: Rider and Co., 1960, pp. 326-327. 37 59 in the blissful Brahman. Bhavaviveka finds that if properly under-stood Brahman is equal to Dharmakaya or nirvana. He states, Nothing and in no way is anything born from, or manifested by, it. There is none here, who either endures or perishes (283): This is the great Brahman, which cannot be grasped by the (god) Brahma. . . . 60 In his commentary from the Tarkajvala on this verse Bhavya states that Brahman has two meanings, one as lord of beings,the other as having gone beyond suffering (nirvana), which "is to be understood here only in the latter sense."61 He continues, "(284) [It is this] which the learned seers, like Arya Avalokitesvara, Arya Maitreya, and others adore 6 2 by the method of non-adoration." Similar passages could be gleaned from Mahayana literature in reference to the idea of great or pure self, and the Y-ogacara doctrine of pure consciousness (Vijnaptimatra or oittamatra) would be perhaps easiest of all to interpret in a Vedantic sense. One passage from which it is possible to infer this controversy occurs in the Lankavatara, where the Buddha speaks of the tathagata-garbha theory. " . . . Now the blessed one makes mention of the Tathagata-garbha in the sutras, and verily it is described by you as by nature bright and pure . . . to be eternal, permanent, auspicious, and unchangeable. Is not this Tathagata-59 - - • -Mahayanasutralankara, VII, pp. 2-3. Cited in Sharma, p. 327. 60 V.V. Gokhale, trans, with comments, "Masters of Buddhism Adore the Brahman Through Non-Adoration," (Bhavya, Madhyamakahrdaya, III), Indo-Iranian Journal 5, No. 4, 1962, p. 274. Ibid., p. 274. Gokhale translates the commentary from the Tarkajvala on the last two verses concerning Brahman. 62Ibi_d., p. 274. garbha taught by the Blessed One the same as the ego-substance taught by the philosophers?" The Buddha then descriminates his theory from the Atman theory of the philosophers. "No Mahamati, my Tathagata-garbha is not the same as the ego taught by the philosophers; . . . it is emptiness, reality-limit. Nirvana, being unborn, unqualified, and devoid of will-habit." The Tathagata's teach this doctrine to make "the ignorant cast aside their fear when they listen to the CO doctrine of egolessness." In effect the Buddha says this is only a provisional doctrine. Another passage which is found in the Mahaparinirvana-Sutra explains the similarity of doctrine between Mahayana'and the 'heretics' as the theft of Buddhist theories. "At the time, the papujas burnt out all the sutras with a great fire. Then, there were unburnt fragments, which all Brahmins stole away and, collecting these here and there, added to their own texts. Because of this, all petty bodhisattvas, when there is as yet no Buddha, generally believe in 63 the words of Brahmins." The only direct reference to this controversy comes from Bha-vaviveka in his Maanuamakahrda.ua, Chapter IV on views of the sravakas or Hinayanists. "The Mahayana cannot represent the teaching of the Buddha, either because it is not included among the sutrantas . . . or because it teaches the heretic paths of salvation, thus being 62 • - -D.T. Suzuki, trans., The Lankavatara Sutra, pp. 68-69. 63 -Kosho Yamamoto, trans., Mahaparinirvana-Sutra, Vol. II, Oyama, Ono-ku, Ube City, Yamaguchi-Ken, Japan: Published by the Karinbunko, 1974. This is a Mahayana text, not the Mahaparinirvana of the Hinayana schools. Southern version, Taisho Shinshu DaizSkyo, Vol. 12, p. 716c. similar to the Vedanta system." Bhavya notes in his Tarkajvala that the Vedantins and Mahayanists share bathing in rivers, fasting » and incantations as methods for destroying sin, but argues that the Buddha sti l l taught Mahayana as some similarity is not enough to prove the Hinayana case. He concludes that "whatever is well said in the Vedanta is all taught by the Buddha."65 Another source of information, although Hindu, which refers to the relation of Buddhism and Vedanta is the short drama Mattavilasa-prahasana. This farce dates from the seventh century A.D., and was written by the Pal lava King Mahendravikramavarman I of Kane!. A Buddhist monk is unjustly accused of stealing the alms-bowl of a Kapalika, who proposes that the Buddhist monk should salute Kharapata, who teaches Corasastra or theft, instead of the Buddha. The Kapalika, Then adds that the Buddha though, had been a great hand at theft him-self as the Pitakas or Kosas were made from the Vedanta and Mahabharata. While this work doesn't refer directly to controversy between the Hinayana and Mahayana over the latter's similarity to Vedanta, it does demonstrate awareness of this kind of issue at the popular level. The Mahayana criticisms of Vedanta philosophy deal primarily with pre-Samkara Vedanta. By the time of Samkara, Buddhism was on the wane in India and for this reason there is very little direct reference to Advaita in Mahayana literature. Kamalasila does mention 64 V.V. Gokhale, trans. & comments, "The Vedanta-Philosophy Described by Bhavya in his Madhyamakahrdaya." Indo-Iranian Journal, Vol. II, No. 3, 1958, pp. 179-180. ' 6 5Ibid., p. 180. Advaitadarsana, but it is not certain that even this reference is to the philosophy of Samkara. At least some of the Buddhist philosophers were willing to admit that the Vedanta of their time was at least partially correct. This view has already been pointed out in Bhava-viveka, and Santiraksita adds that the error in Vedanta is small.6 7 The Buddhists, like their Advaitin counterparts, were always careful to point out the differences between the two schools. 66See T.M.P. Mahadevan, Gaudapada: A Study in Early Advaita, pp. 229-230. See C. Sharma, A Critical History of Indian Philosophy, p. 324. 39 CHAPTER 4 THE HISTORICAL RELATIONSHIP OF MADHYAMIKA TO ADVAITA One of the difficulties in determining the historical relation-ship of Advaita Vedanta and Madhyamika Buddhism has been the lack of material on early Vedanta. Between the Vedanta-Sutras of Badarayana and Samkara's commentary on them, no texts have survived important to our problem with the exception of Bhartrhari's work. However, some attempt must be made to understand Samkara's relation to early Vedanta if we are to understand the nature of Buddhist influence on Advaita. A basis must be established for distinguishing which elements are Vedantic, from those which could be interpreted as Buddhist. Two areas of investigation are necessary; first, to understand the nature or make-up of early Vedanta, and second, to see which elements of Samkara's philosophy can be found there. From this investigation we have concluded that early Vedanta does not exist as a single unitary philosophy, rather it is a matrix of different 'speculations' or theories about reality and is found in numerous texts and teachers. All of the major elements of Samkara's teaching can be found in these orthodox texts. Samkara then stands to the Vedantic tradition much as Nagarjuna does to the Mahayana tradition. Both philosophers took already existing elements from their respective traditions and put them in dynamic relationship to form a systematic philosophy. Buddhist influence does exist in Advaita. Buddhism was an important 40 factor in forming the Indian philosophical climate; in response to this philosophical environment Samkara drew upon Buddhist method in systematizing Vedanta. These conclusions will be drawn out as we proceed. If the Upanisads are to be taken as 'the fountainhead of all Indian philosophy' as Radhakrishnan and other scholars have claimed, it is not in.the sense of a unified Upanisadio philosophy that this statement is true. Rather it is because all of the various concerns of Indian philosophy are found there in seed form, and these same concerns are reflected in the later developed philosophical schools. There are several important points about the nature of the Upanisadio tradition for understanding the growth of these seeds into systematic Vedanta. The history and nature of Vedanta revolve around the problem of Sruti, revelation, or scriptual authority. The Veda which contains the fundamentals of knowledge, is given or revealed at the outset of creation. It is the task of the generations that follow to maintain this knowledge. Indian philosophy is always then conceived as a 68 "gradual recovery, not discovery of knowledge." The development of the Vedio tradition grew out the need to maintain this knowledge. The texts of the orthodox tradition from the Brahmanas down to Samkara developed in this light. The teachers of the Vedanta tradition have had for this reason little use for works which purport to be original. El 1iot Deutsh and J.A.B. van Buitenen, A Source Book of  Advaita Vedanta, Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1971, p. 65. 41 A common device to discredit an opponent in debate was to accuse him of holding doctrines not found in the Veda, or not in accord with its teaching. Much Vedanta literature has for this reason been concerned with exegesis of texts, as any point of interpretation must be shown consonant with the Veda. Since Vedanta constantly tries to 'recover' or maintain that original knowledge, there is an emphasis on Vedic tradition. This tradition has been preserved principally through two overlapping institutions, the Brahmin family, and the g-uru-pupil relationship. Both are conceived as an ancestral 'lineage' stretching back to the Vedic seers. This idea of tradition as lineage can be seen in the Holy tradition of Advaita where the first half from Narayana to Suka is an ancestral father-son relationship, and the second half from Suka •* . 69 to the disciples of Samkara a guru to pupil relationship. Ideally the tradition embodies the direct realization [moska) of the truths found in the Vedic texts. The Vedic hymns were originally handed down in families or clans,usually father to son. Many of the Brahmin families special-ized in a particular Veda, accumulating specific Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upansads as an extension of the original, collection of hymns. Traditionally it was not until Vyasa that a Rgveda can be spoken of, rather than different recensions of Rgvedic hymns existing among various clans and families. The same type of situation seems to have The idea of gotra or lineage is used in Buddhism to describe_the attainment of Buddhahood as belonging to the gotra of the tathagatagarbha. 42 existed for the other three Vedas. While great teachers gained large followings and were highly influential, Vedanta as a social institution was centered in numerous clans or 'lineages'. Even though these different branches of the Vedio tradition had much in common, the mere fact of their plurality made difficult the formation of a systematic philosophy. In addition to these 'lineages', the responsibility for maintaining Vedio wisdom fell to the guru or 'spiritual preceptor'. The guru embodies the tradition, without him its knowledge, both intellec-tual and spiritual,would have become lost. He is not merely prior in time, but an ancestor worthy of veneration. For this reason his views do not become out-of-date, but are preserved. The main texts of Vedanta, the Upanisads, Bhagavad-Glta, and Brahma-Sutras are treated similarly, they act as 'guru1 to the various commentaries which have been written on them. These texts have been meticulously transmitted from teacher to pupil in an unbroken oral tradition. While this tradition has been amazingly accurate, it is sti l l highly vulnerable. Along with uncertainty about complete accuracy, it must have been quite easy for a teacher to emphasize or bend a particular point and so impress his students that the original interpretation was lost. Earlier we noted the reverence given to sruti. This reverence, coupled with the oral tradition,made the orthodox tradition extremely conser-vative and the development of a systematic Vedanta difficult. The emphasis was on understanding the basic texts, not on systematic commen-taries which interpreted them. The interpretations were for this reason more fluid, being suited to the needs of a particular time, student, or philosophical context. This orientation may have been partly responsible for the loss of pre-Samkara commentaries on the Brahma-Sutras •.-From the above discussion we can begin to see that early Vedanta was not a unified system, but a matrix of systems. A large number of texts are revered by the orthodox tradition as 'revealed1. Vedanta is based on the jnana-Kanda (knowledge) section of the Veda, and is thus concerned primarily with the Upanisads. To the thirteen major Upanisads are added the Bhagavad-Gita and the Brahma-Sutras. In these three sources there is a disparate array of metaphysical, theological, and psychological doctrine. It was possible to build a system of thought on any one Upanisad, or particular element in the Upanisads. While the other orthodox schools started with a single source, e.g. the Vaisesika-Sutras, Vedanta began with three sources. This gave the Brahma-Sutras somewhat less authority as a definitive text than the sutras of the other schools, and left Vedanta more open than the other systems. Thus from a strictly historical point of view it is not possible to determine whether a particular interpre-tation represents more faithfully the Brahma-Sutras, since each interpretation may represent a trend of thought from the time the Upanisads were composed. Vedanta then, like Buddhism, covers a range of schools. Even within a single Upanisad the ideas do not represent a systematic philosophy or interpretation of reality. Each Upanisad is concerned with the development and interpretation of a number of traditional 'metaphors' coming down from the Vedic hymns. Brahman, Atman, Purusa, Prctna, and Isvara are among these. The Upanisads consist of a series of 'speculations' which in many ways represent a transition between the 'mythical'70 thought structure of the Vedic hymns and the later intellectual or philosophic systems. Partly under pressure from the Buddhists, orthodox scholars felt a need of a clear perception of their own philosophy and began to develop diverse but more systematic theories of interpretation. In the early period, Vedanta was neither a unified school or philosophy, but a matrix of traditions sharing a common concern with the nature of reality. This conclusion is supported by the number of Vedic 'lineages' out of which Vedanta grew, and the variety of metaphysical, psychological, and theological doctrines found in the Upanisads: Vedanta as a separate school of philosophy grew out of a need to systematically interpret this multivalent tradition. Samkara then in constructing his philosophy must have drawn upon a number of texts, generated by several traditions, containing many different threads of philosophical and psychological speculation. For this reason the elements of Samkara's philosophy will be found in a variety of teachers and texts and not in a single school; although there may have been small pre-Gaudapada schools which bore great similarity to Samkara's philosophy. Using this term in an Eliadian sense. 45 Various elements of Samkara's philosophy can be found in the pre-Gaudapada teachers of Vedanta. Although they may not have interpreted these elements in precisely the same manner as Samkara, their philosophy offered a model for Samkara to draw upon. In the Brahma-sutras the names of pre-Badarayana Vedantins are mentioned: Jaimini,71 Asmarathya,72 Badari,73, Audulomi,74 Kasakrtsna,75 Karsnajini , 7 5 and Atreya.77 With the exception of Jaimini unfortunately little is known of them. Kasakrtsna's view of the relation of the self to Brahman is quoted with approval by Samkara. Samkara says, "In the opinion of the teacher Kasakrtsna the non-modified highest-Lord himself is the 78 -individual soul, not anything else." The Atman and the Paramatman are considered non-different in Samkara's interpretation of Kasakrtsna's view. Ramanuja also approves of Kasakrtsna, however, and Nakamura feels that Kasakrtsna represents an early thinker of the Bhedabheda school. Nevertheless, there would seem to be some basis for thinking that Kasakrtsna held that the Atman and Paramatman were non-different or identical as does Samkara. Badari is another old Vedantin approved of by Samkara, primarily because he makes a distinction between a 71Brahma-sutra I, 2, 28; 31; I, 3, 31; I, 4, 18; VI, 4, 2; 18; 40; IV, 3, 12; IV, 4, 5; 11. 7 2I , 2, 29; I, 4, 20. 7 3 I , 2, 30; III, 1, 11; IV, 3, 7; IV,4,10. 7 4 I , 4, 21; III, 4, 45; IV, 4, 6. 7 5I , 4, 22. 7 6III, 1, 9. 7 7III, 4, 44. 78 - -G. Thibaut, Vedanta-sutras of Badarayana with the Commentary by Samkara I, 4, 22, p. 279. 46 higher and lower Brahman, or Brahman as cause and Brahman as effect. (IV, 3, 7). This distinction corresponds to the nirguna and saguna Brahman of Samkara. Ramanuja agrees with this interpretation and identifies the lower Brahman;with Hiranyagarbha. One point to be noted about these early teachers of Vedanta is the apparent lack of distin-ction between the ritual and Vedanta schools found in later literature. After the Brahma-Sutras the names of several Vedantins have come down to us of whom we know little with the exception of Bhartrhari The name of Dravidacarya is claimed as a source of doctrine by both Advaita and Visistadvaita traditions. Anandagiri mentions two places where Samkara relied on Dravidacarya, and in commentaries on Sarvajnatman's Samksepasarlraka a certain Bhasyakara is identified as Dravidacarya. However, Yamunacarya in his Siddhitraya refers to commentator known as - - - - 79 Dramidacarya, who is also referred to by Ramanuja. ix, _ Bhartrprapanca is another early Vedantin none of whose works are extant. From what it is possible to reconstruct of his philosophy he taught Bhedabhedavada. One element of his philosophy which finds a reflection in Samkara is the doctrine of a higher and lower Brahman. The lower Brahman is, however, a real transformation in Bhartrprapanca, not an apparent one as in Samkara. There are other marked difference between Samkara and Bhartrprapanca. Bhartrhari supposedly lived in the late sixth century and has left us his Vakyapadlya. Although primarily a grammarian, 79 See T.M.P. Mahadevan, Gaudapada: A Study in Early Advaita, p. 233. °^See M. Hiriyana, "Bhartrprapanca: An Old Vedantin," Indian  Antiquary LIII, 1923, pp. 77-86. 47 Bhartrhari's philosophy of Sabddbrahman resembles that of Samkara in two important respects. He is an Advaitin and holds the world to be an apparent {vivarta) transformation of Brahman. Bhartrhari states, "The Brahman who is without beginning or end, whose very essence is the Word, who is the cause of the manifested phonemes, who appears as the 81 objects, from whom the creation of the world proceeds," and again "who has been taught as the one appearing as many due to the multiplic-ity of his powers, who, though not different from his powers, seems 82 to be so." In Bhartrhari the power that effects this appearance is time (Kalasakti) rather than maya as in Advaita. There is evidence from the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim I-tsing that Bhartrhari may have spent some time as a Buddhist. The Vedantin Brahmadatta is mentioned by both Suresvara and Yamunacarya. While he differed from Samkara on several major points he seems to have held a form of monism. The distinction between Atman and Brahman is maya although release for Brahmadatta did not occur until death. While there are no texts from the Vedantic tradition surviving between Badarayana and Samkara, by inspecting references from Jain, Buddhist, and other orthodox traditions it is possible to chart somewhat 84 further the nature and complexion of Vedanta in this period. The 81 K.A. Subramania, The VakyapadTya of Bhartrhari with the Vrtti  Ch. 1, Poona: pub. by S.M. Kartre for Deccan College, Postgraduate and Research Institute, 1965, verse 1, p. 1. op Ibid., verse 2, p. 4. 83 See M. Hiriyana, "Brahmadatta: An Old Vedantin," Journal of  Oriental Research, Madras, 1928, pp. 1-9. ^Much of the information in this section comes from a series of articles on Early Vedanta by Hajime Nakamura. These articles are portions in English of his Japanese work, Shoki no Vedanta Tetsugaku (continued over) picture drawn generally agrees with the information gleaned from the little known of pre- and post-Badarayana Vedanta teachers. Originally there were several Upanisadio philosophies rather than a single, systematic philosophy. In both Jain and Buddhist literature the term Vedanta is fairly late, coming in the sixth century. Before this period the term Vedavadin is used. Thus the separate emphasis which we find in Samkara on the Upanisads as jnana-kanda seems to have emerged fairly late, along with the coalesing of Vedanta as a separate school. Although there is an awareness of Upanisadio doctrines in early Buddhist and Jain literature, the Upanisads like Vedanta are not mentioned by name. This trend holds true for orthodox literature as well. All three of these sources are aware of specific Upanisadio doctrines, but seem to consider them part of general Brahmanism, and not a separate school. This is not to say that 'Vedanta' did not exist in this period, but merely that it had not differentiated itself as a social force from general orthodoxy. The growth of systematic philosophy in Vedanta seems to have come with the rise of Vedanta as a distinct school. Thus the texts of this earlier period contain most of the major elements of Samkara's thought, not yet forged into a systematic whole. The basic theme of Vedanta, the identity of Brahman and Atman, is referred to in various forms both in heterodox and orthodox literature. In early Jain literature a passage is found which resembles 84 (continued) (The Philosophy of Early Vedanta). Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1950. Please consult Bibliography for further information and see also the review article by G. Morichini. "Early Vedanta Philosophy," East and West, n.s. 11, March 1960, pp. 33-39. 49 closely a statement of the Upanisadio sage Uddalaka (chandogya Up. 6.1.4). "As what was originally one clod of dirt appears in various shapes; in the same manner consciousness takes various forms and appears 85 as the entire world." The Jain authors were familiar with and criticized the concept of an al1-pervading Atman and the use of Purusa in the same context. In early Buddhist literature there is no reference to Brahman (neuter) as absolute, but only to Brahma (masculine) the creator God. The principle of absolute consciousness is however mentioned in a debate between the Buddha and Brahma. The Buddha does not defeat this view by polemics but by supernatural powers. Early Buddhist literature enumerates sixty-two types of Atma theory which are refuted as heretical. Reference is made in the Buddhaoarita of Asvaghosa to the teaching of the sage Arada. The supreme Brahma, without attribute, 87 unchanging, and eternal is part of his teaching. In a text attributed to Aryadeva, the Sastra by the Bodhisattva \_Arya-'\ Deva on the Explanation of Nirvana by \_Twenty~\ Eeretical and Hinayana [Teachers'] Mentioned in the Lanka [-avatara]-Sutra, some of the doctrines held by Upanisadio thinkers are examined and rejected. The concepts of Brahman and Atman are not mentioned however, and neither is the school of Vedanta. 85 -Suyagadamga (l,I,f,9) of the Anga scriptures. Cited in H. Nakamura, "Vedanta Philosophy As Seen From the Scriptures of Early Jainism," Journal of the Oriental Institute Baroda, 8, 1959, pp. 148-155. 86Majjhima Nikaya I. 329 - Sutta, No. 49. Cited in H. Nakamura, "Upanisadic Tradition and the Early School of Vedanta as Noticed in Buddhist Scripture," Harvard Journal of Asian Studies, 18, June 1955, pp. 78-79.87 Buddhacarita of Asvaghosa XII, 65, Ibid., p. 84. An important and useful text for the history of Indian philosophy is the Madhyamakahrdaya of Bhavaviveka with his own commen-tary the Tarkajvdld. Not only does this text have a chapter on Vedanta, but he separates his treatment of it from that of Mlmamsa. Thus by the sixth century Vedanta was a system in its own right already differentiated from Vedio ritualism. One interesting facet is the presentation of Brahman, Atman, and Purusa as interchangeable concepts. An attempt was being made to systemize the varied Vedantic teachings. In addition the distinction found in Samkara between the individual self (jiva) and the supreme self {Paramatman) was taught in this Vedanta. The example used to illustrate this point is that of 88 ether pervading different clay vessels. There is no mention of mayavada in connection with Vedanta in any of these Buddhist and Jain scriptures, until after Samkara. From the texts of the other orthodox schools, similar passages on the monistic metaphysics of Upanisadic philosophy can be found. An additional point which is found in Samkara is reflected in the Vaisesika-Sutras. In III, 2, 1-8 the view of the opponent is that the self is known only through scripture. In Samkara, moksa comes from an intuition of the truth of scripture, particularly the mahavakyas. See V.V. Gokhale, "The Vedanta-Philosophy Described by Bhavya in his Madhyamakahrdaya," trans. Indo-Iranian Journal, Vol. II, No. 3, 1958, pp. 165-190,'verses 11-13. 51 The doctrine of maya in Advaita Vedanta has been the principle cause of accusations of 1crypto-Buddhist1. Maya is one of the key terms of Indian thought and is used in many different philosophies. The question would seem to be whether or not we can find roots of the particular Advaitic usage elsewhere and previous to Madhyamika. The answer is yes. In both early Buddhist and Jain literature there is reference to a school which holds a doctrine very similar to ajativada. In the Samyutta Nikaya we find, The"following opinion has occurred to some philosophers: --the winds do not blow, the waters of rivers do not flow; pregnant women do not bear children; the sun and moon do not rise and set; they stand firm, as stable as a pi liar.89 In the Jain text Suyagadamga 1.12.7 this view is that of the Akriyavadins. According to two Sarvastivada scholars, Vasumitra and Bhadanta, this view is held by those who postulate a minute and eternal Atman. Thus, even in ancient times there seems to have been a school which denied change and causation as real in the absolute sense. As the Jain passage puts i t , ". . . the whole world is in actuality determined as false." Maya is a multivalent term and is used often to describe the power of God to create, which when viewed by the individual deludes. This second sense which is prominent in Advaita is given in the Bhagavad-Gxtd Samyutta Nikaya (Book XXIV, Ch. I), III, 203. Cited in H. Nakamura "Upanisadic Tradition and the Early School of Vedanta as Noticed in Buddhist Scripture," p. 79. 52 "Verily, this divine illusion of mine, made up of the (three) qualities (of Nature) is difficult to cross over; those who take refuge in me 90 ' alone, cross over this illusion." The sense of Samkara's usage of the term maya. is to be found here and in various other Hindu texts, but not its systematic application as a philosophical concept. Al-though from the above passages found in Buddhist and Jain literature, there may have been a small school holding a very similar view to Samkaras. Also, as already noted the philosopher-grammerian Bhartrhari held that the world was an apparent (vivarta) and thus illusory trans-formation of Brahman. Another basic element of Samkara's philosophy is the idea of two levels of both Brahman and knowledge. The idea of two Brahman's has already been traced back to the pre-Brahma-Sutra philosopher Badari. The idea of a higher {para) and lower {apara) knowledge occurs in the Ahirbudhnyasamhita, a Pancaratra text of the fourth century 91 A.D. The Visnu Purana refers to both two fold knowledge and two Brahmans. This last text may have influenced Samkara as he quotes the Visnu Purana in his Gita and Chandogya Upanisad commentaries. A higher and lower knowledge is also taught in the Mundaka Upanisad (I, 4-5). These texts would seem to contain the roots of Samkara's doctrine of 'two truths'. Early Vedanta was then a matrix of different texts and traditions, without a unified interpretation. There are several 90 - -Swami Sivananda, trans. The Bhagavad Gita 7th ed., Sivanan-danagar: Divine Life Society, VII, 4, 1969. 91 See M. Winternitz, A History of Indian Literature, 2nd ed., Vol. I, Part II, Calcutta: Calcutta University Press, 1963, (1926), p. 516. 53 Upanisadio speculations about the nature of the universe, rather than a single philosophy. The traditional oral method of preserving Vedic wisdom among several 'lineages' or clans reinforces this picture of a matrix of differing but interwoven threads. The growth of the school of Vedanta, was the attempt to provide a systemic understanding of the body of scriptures which make up the tradition. Early Vedanta being a matrix in which are imbedded the 'gems' of Upanisadio wisdom, Samkara's philosophy will be found reflected in varied sources, texts and teachers. Thus, most of the major elements of Samkara's philosophy can be found in pre-Samkara orthodoxy, making it unnecessary to assume that Buddhist doctrine was the source. Brahman as quality-less (nirguna) absolute, the non-difference of Atman and Brahman, the world as maya, a higher and lower knowledge, a higher and lower Brahman, revelation or knowledge as the-means to release (moksa), are all found in pre-Samkara Vedanta, but not put into dynamic relationship to form a systematic philosophy. Samkara took these different elements and integrated them in order to form a systematic foundation for understanding scripture. This view does not necessarily deny Buddhist influence, but points out the need to define clearly its meaning. Buddhist influence in Advaita would seem to come through Gaudapada, Samkara's philosophical progenitor,-who was familiar with and drew upon Buddhist sources. Gaudapada's relation to Buddhism would seem pivotal for understanding the nature of Buddhist influence. According to Advaita tradition Gaudapada was the teacher of Govindapada, Samkara's teacher. Like many other Indian philosophers, little is known of Gaudapada's life and what remains to us are his philosophical writings. Several works have been attributed to Gaudapada, none of which can be identified with certainty as Gaudapada's with the exception of the Agamasastra. This work, known also as the Gaudapada-Karika or Mandukya-Karika, is an exposition of the Mandukya-Upanisad. The Karika is divided into four parts of which only the first is a commentary on the Upanisad, the remaining chapters constitute an independent treatise. The commentary attributed to Samkara on the Mandukya-Karika has assured its importance. The apparent openness of Gaudapada to Mahayana Buddhism has led to a variety of opinions on their relation. Generally these opinions follow one of two lines, either Gaudapada borrowed Buddhist doctrine or he merely used Buddhist terminology and method thinking that they tai lied with Vedanta. Dasgupta states " . . . there is sufficient evidence in his Karikas for thinking that he was possibly himself a Buddhist, and considered that the teachings of the Upanisads 92 tallied with those of the Buddha." V. Bhattacharya thinks that Gaudapada has advocated and used Buddhist doctrine throughout his - 93 Karika. The other line of thought is typified by T.M.P. Mahadevan who admits that Buddhist terms and dialectic are used but Gaudapada's purpose in using them, "is not to commend Buddhism to his followers, but to establish the conclusions of Vedanta. . . ." 92 S .N. Dasgupta, History of Indian Philosophy, Vol. I, p. 423. 93 -V. Bhattacharya, The Agamasastra of Gaudapada, p. liv. 94 T.M.P. Mahadevan, Gaudapada: A Study in Early Advaita, p. 220. 55 Evidence for Buddhist influence in Gaudapada is of three types: doctrine, method, and terminology. Various doctrines show similarity with Buddhist counterparts. Gaudapada is thought to have - - 95 borrowed from Madhyamika the doctrine of ajativada, or non-origination. Bhattacharya points to Nagarjuna as the source of this doctrine and to the fact that as a philosophical correlate of mayavdda, ajativada has often been objected to by Hindu opponents of Advaita. Gaudapada seems to openly admit the correctness of this Madhyamika view. He states "We approve the Ajati or non-creation declared by them. We do not quarrel with them. Now, hear from us (the ultimate reality) which 96 is free from all disputations." The doctrine of two truths is common to Vedanta, Madhyamika, and Vijnanavada. Bhattacharya thinks - 97 that Samkara accepted this view from the Buddhists via Gaudapada as the Buddhists were prior in time. Two illustrations which Gaudapada uses to prove the unreality of the world, the city of gandharvas and magic-elephant {maya-hastin), are both found in Buddhist literature. The title of the fourth prakarana, the Alatasanti, takes its name from the simile of the fire-brand-circle which is commonly found in 95 - _ See Mulamadhyamaka Karika, XXI, 13, trans, by F. Streng, in Emptiness, Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1967. All further references to the Madhyamaka-Karikas will be to Streng1s translation. 96 - - -Gaudapada Karika IV, 5 from_Nikhilana.nda, Swami. Trans. The ManduKyopanisad with Gaudapada's Karika"and Samkara's Commentary, 5th ed., Mysore: Sri Ramakrishna Ashrama, 1968. All further references will be to this edition. 97 V. Bhattacharya, Agamasastra of Gaudapada, p. 163. 56 Buddhist literature. The term Asparsayoga which Gaudapada uses to describe the path to realization, Bhattacharya connects with Buddhist usage. Asparsayoga is derived from sparsa vihara found in Buddhist Sanskrit literature, which Sthiramati explains as established in 98 sukha or ease, comfort. Various other ideas in Gaudapada are pointed out by Bhattacharya as having Buddhist analogues but the above is a representative sample. The method of dialectical analysis used by Gaudapada would seem to come from the works of Nagarjuna. Gaudapada is both aware of 99 the 'tetralemma' and uses reason or dialectic to destroy the notion of causality. Gaudapada uses the 'tetralemma' in this verse, "Childish persons verily cover it (fail to know it) by predicting of it such attributes as existence, non-existence, existence and non-existence, and absolute non-existence, derived respectively from their notion of change, immovability, combination of both and absolute negation.1,100 One of the principle ideas of the Karikas is ajativada. Gaudapada meticulously attempts to destroy the notion of causality, and establish the non-originition of world as maya.. In IV, 40 he uses dialectic to do this, "The unreal cannot have the unreal as its cause, nor can the real be produced from the unreal. The real cannot be the cause of the real. And it is much more impossible for the real to be the cause of 9 8Ibid., p. 97. 99 'tetralemma' is a term coined by Richard Robinson to describe the four-pronged dialectical process (prasanga) which Nagarjuna uses to refute all catagories about reality. See R. Robinson Early Madhyamika  in India and China, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1967, p. 57. 100Gaudapada-Karika IV, 83. See also IV, 84, p. 286. 57 the unreal."101 In IV, 84 he refers to the 'tetralemma' with the Madhyamika term catuskoti (for Kotyas catasrah). Bhattacharya has compiled a list of words which he feels are 102 used "originally or mainly in Buddhist works." Most of these terms ^ are found in the fourth, or Alatasanti prakarana, and while some may be disputed, others do seem primarily Buddhist in usage. Dharma in the sense of an ''entity1 is Buddhist and is used several times in the fourth prakarana. Samkara interprets dharma to mean jiva, and while this may be warrented in some places, its usage seems unmistakably Buddhist 103 in others. Gaudapada also uses the word Buddha to describe the wise, 104 or enlighted. He states, "The mind, thus freed from attachment (to all external objects) and undistracted (by fresh objects) attains to its state of immutability. Being actually realized by the wise [buddhanam.), it is undifferentiated, birthless and non-dual." Another aspect of similar terminology is the apparent close-ness of some of Gaudapada's Karikas to Buddhist scripture. This closeness has been pointed out by Poussin, Bhattacharya, and J. Majumdar to passages found in Nagarjuna, the Lahkavatara-Sutra, and the Astasahastika-Prajnaparamita. As already pointed out, Poussin cites these two similar lines, from'Gaudap.ada-karika IV, 7 "prakrter any&thabhavo na Katham aid bhavisyati" and from MulaMadhyamakakarikas XV, 8 "prakvtev — — — 106 any&thabhavo na hi jatupapadyate." While most of the passages 101Gaudapada-Karika IV, 4 , p. 252. See also IV, 11-19. 102 ~ V. Bhattacharya, The Agamasastra of Gaudapada Index VII. lf)3 _ _ luJSee Gaudapada-Karika IV, 1,6,8,10,21,33,39,40,53,54,58,59, 60,81 ,82,91 ,92,93,96',98,99. 1 0 4 Ibid., IV, 19,42,80,88,98,99,. 1 0 5Ibid., IV, 80, p. 284. compared by these scholars rest more on similarity of ideas than exact wording, it is nevertheless clear that Gaudapada knew and drew upon Buddhist scripture. From the above discussion we can see that Gaudapada was in-fluenced by Buddhism, but it is difficult to determine in what sense. The situation is further complicated by the disputed nature of the text. Some have felt that the fourth prakarana where Buddhist influence is so predominent is not part of the original text. Others have argued that the commentary was written not by Samkara, but by a later author. Gaudapada does seem open to, and willing to recognize the similarity and usefulness of some Buddhist doctrine. Gaudapada states, as non-duality is the ultimate reality, therefore duality is said to be its effect (Karya or bheda) . The dualists perceive duality either way. (i.e. both in the absolute and in phenomena). Therefore the non-dual position does not conflict with the dualists position. 107 This verse is taken with IV, 5 which has already been quoted, points out Gaudapada's willingness to see his own knowledge or view of the absolute reflected in other doctrines. Reality is after all a non-dual unity. His attitude seems very similar to that of Bhavaviveka who admitted that Vedanta had much good in it . This attitude does not mean Gaudapada thought his philosophy equivalent to Mahayana Buddhism. He states at the end of the fourth prakarana, " . . . Louis de la Vallee, "Buddhism and Vedanta," p. 137. See Bibliography for the series of articles by Jnanendralal Majumdar on Gaudapada and Buddhism. 107Gaudapada-Karika III, 18, pp. 164-65 also III, 17. 59 108 This is not the view of the Buddha," and thus differentiates his 109 own view from that of the Buddhists. While Gaudapada uses terms common to Buddhism, his usage is unmistakable Vedantic. Thus there are similarities, but also distinct differences in meaning between the Madhyamika and Vedanta use of ajativada for example. To understand the nature of Mahayana influence on Gaudapada and Vedanta requires a method which explains both the obvious similarities found here and yet maintains the basic Vedanta orientation of Gaudapada. From reading the Agamasastva of Gaudapada we can see the influence of Mahayana Buddhism. Gaudapada was willing to perceive the truths of his own philosophy in Buddhism, and draw upon Buddhist method and scripture. While Samkara does not seem to have drawn upon Buddhist scripture to elucidate his philosophy, there is no doubt that he inherited from Gaudapada much of his method in establishing Vedantic doctrine. Two reasons stand against understanding this as the wholesale- importation of Buddhist doctrine. First, all the major tenets of Vedanta metaphysics exist within the pre-Samkara orthodox tradition. Second, doctrines which appear to be philoso-phical parallels are in fact used in a uniquely Vedantic or Buddhist manner within their respective philosophies. These two reasons militate against understanding 'influence' in the sense of origins. Ibid., IV, 99, ". . . naitad buddhena bhasitam. . . . 109 This view is the traditional interpretation, and has been disputed by some scholars who point out that the passage may be a reference to the Buddha's silence as his only true doctrine. 60 Both from looking at Gaudapada1s text and understanding Samkara's relation to early Vedanta, Buddhist influence in Vedanta can be understood as a borrowing of method. Much like the Madhyamika philosophers, Gaudapada uses dialectic to destroy the notions of causality and the reality of the world. He was concerned to demonstrate the truth of scripture through the use of reason. In discussing early Vedanta its nature was shown to be plural-istic, or that of a matrix of systems. The emergence of distinct schools of Vedanta came out of attempts to systematize this matrix of text and tradition. Thus, Samkara drew out of the orthodox tradition the major elements of his philosophy as a systematic exposition of Vedio scripture. In accomplishing this he must have been influenced by Buddhist method. The specific philosophical tool which renders Advaita and Madhyamika so similar is the doctrine of 'two truths'. Samkara may have been influenced by the Madhyamika use of this method in organizing an understanding of scripture and tradition as a whole. Samkara thus divides scripture into those of lower {apara) and higher {para) import, enabling him to relate apparently different doctrines. These two Buddhist methods were assimilated by Advaita Vedantins into the fabric of their own philosophy, the use of dialectic and the use of 'two truths' to organize disparate doctrine and scripture. Although the idea of a higher and lower knowledge is found in pre-Madhyamika sources, it is not used as a method of structuring a systematic philosophy. Mahayana Buddhism was an important factor in the Indian philosophical environment, much of its impact on Advaita being due to this role. Orthodox Brahminism must have had a similar influence on the rise of Mahayana. The popular debates in which the various religious and philosophical schools took part,constantly forced these systems, "to modify, revise or even reaffirm their doctrines."110 Without vital differences each tradition could not have provoked this influence, yet without much common ground the dialogue never would have taken place. Murti makes the apt comment that they belong to the same genti)us but differ as species.111 The basic pre-suppositions of the Buddhist and Vedantic traditions are diametrically opposed. Buddhism affirms an-atman, and Vedanta the transcendental Atman. These differing orientations make impossible straight borrowing of doctrine. The changes which led to the formation of Mahayana and Advaita were the product of both internal dynamism within each tradition, and the influence of the philosophical and historical environment in which these changes took place. Any change which resulted from the interaction of these two processes must be true to the basic metaphysical pre-suppositions of each system, and the new elements or formulations gradually assimilated and transformed by the Buddhist or Vedantic fabric of thought. This Fundamental opposition between Madhyamika and Advaita in their method of analyzing reality radically transforms any apparent similarity of T.R.V. Murti, "Buddhism and Contemporary Indian Thought," Revue Internationale de Philosophie Fasicule 3, No. 37, 1956, p. 305. 1 1 1 Ibid., p. 301. 6 2 doctrine (e.g. maya). The key to understanding this transformation is the 'root metaphor' for causation upon which their respective analysis is based. This point brings us from the historical problem of Madhyamika influence on Advaita to the problem of their philosophical relationship. 63 CHAPTER 5 ADVAITA AND MADHYAMIKA: THEIR PHILOSOPHICAL RELATIONSHIP The philosophical relation of Advaita to Madhyamika has been an area of controversy at least equal to that of their historical relationship. As we noted, modern scholars have agreed as little on the relation of these two schools as their traditional predecessors. One school of thought finds Madhyamika and Advaita 'nearly identical', with differences being merely a question of emphasis and background. Dasgupta, Stcherbatsky, Radhakrishnan, Smart and C. Sharma all sub-scribe to various versions of this view. On the other hand Murti declares, "I hold a contrary view altogether: that in spite of super-ficial similarities in form and terminology, the differences between 112 them are deep and pervasive." Also included in this second catagory are those who insist on characterizing Madhyamika as nihilism, or those Buddhist partisans who might characterize Vedanta as infected by views which cling to 'self or 'substance complexes'. A structure is obviously needed before a beginning can be made on sorting out this problem, and again we might reiterate that there are no simple conclus-ions in this complex matter. However, by combining primarily the 113 114 methods of Karl Potter and T.R.V. Murti, a basis can be laid 112 T.R.V. Murti, "Samvrti and Paramartha in Madhyamika and Advaita Vedanta," Two Truths in Buddhism and Vedanta, Ed. M. Sprung, Dordrecht, Holland: Reidel Publishing Co., 1973, pp. 10-11. 11 3 Karl Potter, Presuppositions of India's Philosophies, Wesport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1972, (1963). H^T.R.V. Murti, The Central Philosophy of Buddhism, London: George Allen and Unwin, 1955. 64 for understanding both the similarities and uniqueness of each system. The similarity of Madhyamika and Advaita stems from a shared metaphysical framework or structure. The uniqueness of each system rests on the transformation of this structure by the 'root metaphor' for causality upon which the system is based. Thus, the method used here will be to deleniate several catagories within this shared framework, namely, the absolute, world as maya, two truths, nature of error, and demonstrate how quite distinct meanings are postulated for these categories based primarily on their analysis of the nature of causation. Many early investigators were content to draw simple parallels. While necessary to a certain extent, this procedure often reduced one system to the other. Frequently, each system has been understood through the categories of the other, as in the case of the Buddhist term advaya which has frequently been glossed as equivalent to the Vedantic advaita. Each catagory or term must be seen as a working part of an entire system of thought, enabling us to draw parallels which demonstrate both uniqueness and similarity. Both Madhyamika and Advaita are absolutisms; utimate reality is transcendent, free of empirical qualification and the phenomenal world as maya. is non-dual {advaita or advaya) from reality. Absolutism means here not only a unitary reality, but a particular means of establishing that unity. All dualism or plurality is denied, "not by 115 positive arguements, but by the negation of appearance." This 5 Ibid., p. 13. method distinguishes Advaita from the earlier Upanisads which establish unity through affirmation and thus should called monism and not advaita. Monism affirms the identity of absolute and world, absolutism negates the difference beweeen absolute and world-appearance. In agreeing on the status of absolute reality and the world, both systems use the idea of 'levels of truth' to analyze the relation between reality and appearance. Within this common framework of absolutism and method, Madhya-mika and Advaita differ on theories of causation, the self, the nature of error, and their use of negation or dialectic. These differences in turn appropriately modify each system's understanding of the shared metaphysical framework. As philosophies or conceptual systems, Advaita and Madhyamika are neither identical nor equivalent, but in that each system is didactic in function, their differences may be reconciled in an immediate intuition of reality {pvajnd or Brahmajnana). While Madhyamika and Advaita seem to make similar decisions about the relationship of reality to the world, each school is founded on a radically different tradition of analyzing reality. Mircea Eliade in writing of the task of the historian of religions states; He applies himself to deciphering in the temporally and his-torically concrete the destined course of experiences that arise from an irresistable human desire to transcend time and history. All authentic religious experience implies a desparate effort to disclose the foundation of things, the ultimate reality. But all expression or conceptual formulation of such religious experience is imbedded in a historical context. Consequently, these expressions and formulations become 'historical documents'. . . .H6 M D M . Eliade, "Methodological Remarks on the Study of Religious Symbolism," The History of Religions: Essays in Methodology, ed. M. Eliade and J.M. Kitagawa, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1959, pp. 88-89. 66 In the case of Madhyamika and Advaita, their respective Buddhist and orthodox traditions represent this historical context. Tradition here does not mean merely inheriting the general intellectual history of Indian philosophy, but also must be taken in the sense of 'lineage1 which was discussed earlier. Thus, both philosophies view their own efforts as an attempt to 'recover' or systematically interpret the original teachings of either the Buddha or the Vedas. Samkara basfls his philosophy on the Atman tradition of the Upanisads. Reality is pure being, with change and particularity being mere appearances of the underlying Brahman or Atman. Samkara is con-cerned with interpreting Sruti and puts forth his philosophy as the most consistant formulation of the doctrine presented there. Accord-ing to Samkara this interpretation is not contradicted by reason and experience, but is reinforced by them. Samkara begins by positing an underlying unity, cosmic ground, or 'unsubstantial' substance. As Samkara puts i t , "That all-knowing, all-powerful Brahman, which is the cause of the origin, subsistence, and dissolution of the world, is known from the Vedanta part of the scripture."117 Buddhism on the other hand begins with a denial of the self, or any 'substance view of reality'. By analyzing the world and self as a continuum of momentary entities, without own-being (svabhava), concepts such a soul, substance, universal, were found to have no objective referents. G. Thitjaut, trans., Vedanta-Sutras of Badarayana with  the Commentary by Samkara, Vol. I, 1,4, p.22. 67 Words can only refer to other words. For the Buddhist, it is in fact belief in such entities as a permanent self which leads to suffering. The most radical use of this analysis is found is Madhyamika where all possible entities and terms are sunya or empty. Included in this analysis were the Hinayana concepts of dharmas, skandhas and other aggregate groups. Madhyamika and Advaita represent in some ways the most consistent formulation of their respective 118 traditions, as will be seen in discussing causation. This disparity in their conception of reality and scriptural tradition again points to similarity of method, and not of metaphysical tenet. Their philosophical opposition would seem to reinforce the conclusions reached about their historical relationship. Thus, the transition from the earlier monism of the Upanisads to the absolutism of Advaita was produced both by the internal dynamism of the Vedantic tradition, and the external influence of Buddhist absolutism.the Madhyamika and Vijnanavada. Certainly the same type of conclusion must be reached for the rise of Mahayana absolutism out of the earlier radical pluralism of the Hinayana schools. Despite mutual influence, it is this fundamental opposition in their analysis of reality which is central to understanding their philosophical relationship. Advaita analyses reality as Being, Madhyamika as becoming. Their differing views on causation are the key to understanding this opposition. T.R.V. Murti, "Samvrti and Paramartha in Madhyamika and Advaita Vedanta," pp. 10-11. 68 In his book Presuppositions of India's Philosophies, Karl Potter puts forth several models toward "a fresh classification of philosophical systems." His discussion of the relation of causal chains to speculative philosophy is very useful in comparing Advaita and Madhyamika. Potter assumes "that the problem of causation is para-mount in Indian thought. The various ontologies are introduced as a 119 way of showing the continuity of these chains." The importance of 120 causation has also been noted by Ingalls and by Murti who states "This is the central problem in Indian philosophy. The concept of 121 causality a system advocates exhibits the logic of the entire system." The supreme value in Indian philosophy and religion is free-dom or moksa. With the exception of the materialist school (Carvaka) and the fatalists (Ajivikas), the attainment of this goal is the focus of philosophy. Freedom means that one's self and relationships with the world are perceived in their absolute nature. The mind is free from the grasping and restrictions of ignorance, and free to act spontaneously in meeting the needs of every situation. Indian philosophy at this point asks two questions; what is the nature of the world that life can be navigated toward freedom, and how is it to be accomplished. Potter calls the two respectively speculative and path philosophy. 1 1 9Karl Potter, Presuppositions , p. 105. 120 Daniel Ingalls, "Samkara's Arguments Against the Buddhists, Philosophy East and West, III, No. 4, pp. 304-305. 121T.R.V. Murti, The Central Philosophy of Buddhism, p. 166. They are closely intertwined and any decision about either will have profound effects on the other. The concern of speculative philosophy is in demonstrating the possibility and conditions of freedom. It must overcome both doubts about the possibility of complete freedom, and doubts about one's capacity to effect this possibility. Speculative philosophy then maps the relations between events such that man can enter as causal agent and influence his destiny; the causal relation must be weak enough to permit the effectiveness of man's action, and yet strong enough that events show a predictable order, thus providing a basis for attaining freedom. If the causal sequence of events is too weak we fall into chaos and skepticism that order exists, and if too strong we fall into fatalism about man's ability to control the course of events that influence him. Perhaps the two principal causal chains in Indian philosophy, and the two with which we are concerned, are the Buddhist chain of dependent origination {pratityasamutapda) and the evolutionary scheme of the Samkhya school. The Buddhist chain consists of twelve links each of which gives rise to the next link. The chain begins with ignorance (avidya) which in turn causes Karmic accumulation or predis-positions [samskaras), consciousness {vijnana), names and forms [namarapa), the six sense-bases [sad-ayatana), contact (sparsa), sensation {vedarid), thirst or craving {trsna), clinging {upadana), becoming {bhava), birth {jctti), and old age-death {java-mavana). Old-age and death again leads to ignorance. The chain attempts to account for the condition of human life as suffering, and points to the way out of suffering through breaking the chain at the two weak links, ignorance and craving. With wisdom [prajnaJ combatting ignor-ance, and non-attachment overcoming craving, man attains freedom. There has been no time when this chain did not operate for each of us, and it will continue to operate until it is broken at one of the weak links. The chain is strong enough to order events, yet weak enough to allow man to influence it at the two weak points. The other chain with which we are concerned is the evolution-ary scheme of Samkhya. Various versions and parts of this scheme are found throughout orthodox literature, but the classical form is that given it by Isvarakrsna. This scheme is both metaphysical and psychological as it tries to explain the existence of the manifest world and man's condition of ignorance. Two basic entities are postulated, numerous souls or selves (pumsa) and material nature {prakrti). By virtue of their mere existence the purusa's produce in the unmanifest prakrti a series of material modifications proceding from intellect {buddhi) to the gross elements which combine to produce — ^  the material objects of our world. The weak link in Isvarakrsna's scheme is the relation between the purusas and prakrti which can be broken. A very similar scheme is used by some of the Vedantic philosophers with the important difference that they postulate a single origin of selves and world in Brahman. The Buddhist and Samkhya causal chains differ in two respects. First the Samkhya chain has a cosmological dimension which the Buddhist chain lacks. Second, the various modifications of prakrti are considered to pre-exist in the unmanifest state of prakrti, being thus unlike the Buddhist chain in which each link merely leads to the arising of the next link. These differences give rise to opposing models for explain ing the relation between the elements of the causal chain. The causal models with which Advaita and Madhyamika begin are exactly opposite. The basic 'root metaphor' for causation in Advaita is satkaryavada, in Madhyamika it is asatkaryavada. Satka-ryavada begins by postulating a unity, asatkaryavada by postulating diversity. While neither Advaita or Madhyamika adhere to these causal models in a literal sense, their analysis of causation and reality is patterned after the logic which the models exhibit. While Potter assumes that "the various ontologies are introduced as a way of showing the continuity of these chains," it must be pointed out that the causal models probably were themselves based on the differing views about the nature of the self in Buddhism and Vedanta. Satkaryavada takes the view that the effect pre-exists in the cause. An unmanifest unity is postulated out of which the manifest world of plurality proceeds. In Samkhya this unity is the material prakrti. Fromprakrti(primordial matter)'issues mahat (buddhi i the great principle), from this issues ahamkara (I-principle); from which proceed the set of sixteen; from five of this set of sixteen 122 proceed the five elementary substances." In the Mundaka Upanisad 122 " • Samkhya-karika of Isvarakrsna,verse 22. Cited in Radha-krishnan, S. and Moore, C. ed., A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957, p. 434. the imperishable Brahman is the cause of all effects "As, from a well-blazing fire, sparks/By the thousand issue forth of like form/So from the imperishable, my friend, beings manifold/are produced, and thither 123 - -also go." A metaphor which is commonly used by satkaryavadins to illustrate their theory is that of milk and curds. Milk is the source or cause of curds; they are essentially the same material. In the curds milk is transformed into a solid state, but it st i l l retains its essential nature as milk. If the potential for curds did not already exist in the milk it could not be produced. You cannot, on this model, get curds from water. Satkaryrvadins also reason that if this were not the situation, i.e. the effect pre-existing in the cause, then you could produce curds from water. In addition, the effect cannot be considered distinct from the cause because you can bring different or distinct entities into contact with each other, an impossibility in the case of milk and curds. These arguments are summed up by Isvarakrsna in his ninth Karika. The effect is existent; (1) because what is non-existent cannot be produced; (2) Because there is a definite relation of the cause with the effect; (3) Because all is not possible; (4) Because the efficient can do only that for which it is efficient; (5) Because the effect is of the same essense as the cause."124 123 Mundaka-Upanisad; (2,1,1), R. Hume, trans., The Thirteen Principal Upanisads, n^d ed., revised, London: Oxford University Press, 1931, p. 3/0. 124 -' - -Samkhya-karika, verse 9. Cited in Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957, p. 434. 73 While these arguments are from the Samkhya school, their logic can be turned to suit the purpose of any of the satkaryavadins. Several varieties of this theory exist in Indian philosophy, but they can be divided into two groups. There are those who believe the transformation is actual, and those who find this transformation apparent. Isvarakrsna, Bhartrprapanca, and Ramanuja represent the former {parinamavada) with the various Advaitin philosophers holding to the latter [vivartavada). In moving from the dualism of Samkhya to the non-dualism of Advaita the logic of satkaryavada pushes toward 125 unification and epistemology. One of the main difficulties in the Samkhya position arises from the attempt to explain how purusa and -prakrti enter into relationship. While all of the various components of the physical and mental worlds are derived from the primordial unity of an unmanifest prakrti, there sti l l remains the 'irritating dualism' of prakrti and purusa. For most of the Satkaryavadins this problem was overcome by postulating Brahman as the ultimate source of both individual souls {jivas) and the material world. Ignorance or the condition of man's bondage in Samkhya comes from the confusion of prakrti as the purusa. As these two entities are in reality distinct, freedom consists in discriminating [viveka) between the two. The type of effort needed to break the causal chain is an act of knowledge. The qualified non-dualism (Visistadvaita) of Ramanuja and the identity and difference (Bhedabhedavada) philosophies of Bhaskara Speaking here of philosophical relationships and not a historical movement from Samkhya to the Vedanta systems. However, it was the Samkhya which was important in developing the logic of satkaryavada. and Bhartrprapanca represent an intermediate positions between Samkhya and Advaita in the movement toward unification and epistem-ology. The world and souls are the effect of Brahman, but they are a real transformation of Brahman. Since the world is a real transformation our actions within it are real, and room is thus left for devotion and action as an effective means of breaking the causal chain and attaining freedom. These philosophers try to resist the movement toward making freedom a totally epistemological question, in order to preserve the importance of religious and caste duties, as well as devotion to God. The difficulty for these philosophers comes in demonstrating how the world can have contradictory properties, i.e. identity with Brahman and difference from Brahman, both of which are equally real. This view is not completely opposed to Advaita, but rather as Sarvajnatman points out "parinamavada leads to - 126 vivartavada which is only a step ahead of it." The Advaitins hold to satkaryavada also, but theirs is a particular version called vivartavada. The effect pre-exists in the cause but unlike parinamavada it is considered illusory. The world {jagat) and souls (jivas) are only apparent transformations of the underlying unity, Brahman. In Advaita the trend toward unifi-cation reaches its logical conclusion with the denial of any reality to difference and plurality. Unlike Ramanuja or the Bhedabhedavadins 126Vivartavadasyahi purvabhumir vedantavade parinamavadah. Cited in Sharma, C., A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy, p. 262. who try to solve the problem by postulating contradictory opposites, Advaita carries the tendency towards epistemology to its logical conclusion, and makes freedom an act of supreme knowledge. The weak link in the causal chain is stil l the relation between unity (Brahman) and the world or plurality. The knowledge which overcomes ignorance negates the existence of difference or plurality, which are then perceived as having only illusory existence. Plurality, differ-ence, the world, have real separate existence only in the perceptions of the deluded, they are in fact the very stuff of ignorance. With the dawn of knowledge they are perceived in their true nature as unmanifest Brahman, and thus become an 'illusory' super-imposition (adhyasa) on Brahman. Again, knowledge is the negation of difference. The result of this tendency to 'epistemologize' is that concepts such as avidya become identified with maya. and are forced to do double duty both as epistemological and metaphysical concepts. What the Advaita philosopher has done is to push the satkaryavada causal chain to belief in ajativada, or no-causation when taken in an absolute sense. Freedom comes with the collapsing of the causal chain, which is in fact not a map of the world, but one of our own ignorance as it postulates difference and plurality. Knowledge reveals unity so absolute that causation no longer makes sense. Causation as an explanation of relations between illusory effects can itself only be illusory. For the Advaitin ajativada represents the final result of satkaryavada's tendency to unify the world. Potter at this point divides Advaitins into leap philoso-phers and progress philosophers, leap philosophers being those who - - 127 who believe in ajativada. Progress philosophers are those who believe they can map the causal relation such that man gradually attains freedom. Leap philosophers deny the efficiency of such attempts. While this is a necessary distinction, in Advaita the difference between leap and progress philosophers is one of degree. Most Advaitins would agree to ajativada if introduced in the context of absolute truth [paramartha-satya). As Samkara states in discus-sing creation "And, finally we must remember that the scriptural doctrine of creation does not refer to the highest reality; it refers to the apparent world only, . . . " Robinson agrees in part and points out that Nagarjuna (Potter's leap philosopher par excellance) accepts the idea of progress on the samwti or empirical level. Robinson cites Ratnavali Chapter 5, verses 40 to 61 to this effect.1 2 9 Gaudapada in his karikas repeatedly denies the reality of causation or origination {jati literally 'birth'), "No jiva is ever born. There does not exist any cause which can produce it . This 130 is the highest truth that nothing is ever born." From the ^27K. Po ter, Presuppositions, . . . . , p. 99. 1 2 8 G. ThibaU.t, trans., Vedanta-Sutras . . . , (II, I, 34), Vol. I, p. 357. 1 pq See Richard Robinson, "Classical Indian Philosophy," Chapters in Indian Civilization, Vol. I, ed. Joseph Elder, Dubuque, Iowa: Kendell/Hund Publishing Co., 1970, p:. 149. . 130Gaudapada-karika III, 48. absolute standpoint knowledge reveals this, " . . . Established in the Atman, knowledge attains to the state of birthlessness and sameness, 131 that is to say, changelessness." The world is considered an effect of Brahman, "As non-duality is the ultimate reality, there-fore duality is said to be its effect (Karya or Bheda). . . ." but it is only an illusory effect, "That which is ever-existent appears to pass into birth through illusion (maya) and not from the standpoint 133 of reality." Samkara develops and expands on these statements in his commentary, and the implications of these quotations will be drawn out in discussing the doctrine of two truths. The important point is to remember that Advaita affirms ajativada as a means of demon-strating the nature of the underlying substratum of existence, Brahman. All Buddhist philosophies follow the opposite view of causation, asatkaryavada, which holds that the effect does not pre-exist in the cause. To quote Potter again "the satkaryavadin tends to unify the ultimate stuff of the universe, the asatkaryavadin, multiplies the number of basic entities which enter as relata into 134 - -the causal relation." One criticism the asatkaryavadin makes of the satkaryavadin theory of causation is that it is simply not 131Gaudapada-Karika III, 38. 132Gaudapada-Karika III, 18. 133Gaudapada-Karika III, 27. 1 34 K. Potter, Presuppositions . . . , p. 111. 78 sufficient. To say that an effect comes into being because of a single material or immaterial cause is to oversimplify the nature of causation. To make curds out of milk requires a multitude of conditions other than just milk. Time, warmth, a pot, cow, person are all necessary at some point in the production of curds. Each of the conditions required to produce that particular effect require themselves a series of conditions in order that they are produced. Thus, there is an infinite regress of cause and effect, but it is not of the 'vicious' type. The vicious type involves a whole splitting into constituent parts to explain the nature of the whole, for example the self can't be split into two parts in order to perceive itself, as this would require a further division to perceive that division, to infinity. Rather, the example of harmless infinite regress is that of seed, sprout, tree, seed going back in an infinite series. There is no contradiction in this case, at least to the Indian philosopher. The Buddhist then multiplies the number of conditions re-quired to produce a particular effect. The doctrines of skandhas, ayatanas, dhatus, dharmas, pratZtyasamutpada and hetupratyaya are al1 concerned in some measure with diversifying what is taken to be real. The self (atman), ego, individual as self-existent-entity, is the assumed unity which the Buddhists are trying to diversify in order to allow for the exercise of human effort in attaining freedom. There is no objective entity which corresponds to the idea of self. Upon inspection the individual finds nothing but a series of relations between consciousness, feeling, the outer world, pre-dispositions, perception (the skandhas). The continuity of these relations gives rise to the illusory idea of a substratum or unity which people refer as the 'self . Existence is then an unending stream of relations or 'becoming', the perception of which through the eye of prajna gives rise to freedom. The major problem for the satkaryavadin is "roughly that the 135 relation be posits between cause and effect is too strong." If the world pre-exists in a universal cause, then man's situation is pre-ordained and effort on the part of man can not affect this situation. In avoiding this fatalistic attitude, many satkaryavadins made freedom an epistemological- act. An early Buddhist poem complains about man's 'condition', and a theistic version of this danger in satkaryavada. "He who has eyes can see the sickening sight;/Why does not Brahma set his creatures right?/If his wide power no:limits, can restrain,/Why is his hand so rarely spread to bless?/Why are his creatures all condemned to pain?/Why does he not to all give 136 happiness? . . . ." In rejecting this causal model, and adopting asatkaryavada to provide a means to freedom, the Buddhist runs the danger of "fragmenting the universe so thoroughly that his efforts become unavailing because the relation between them and effects is 137 too weak, affording no guarantee that those efforts will succeed." 1 3 5Ibid., p. 110. 136 — -Cowell and Rouse, ed. and trans., The Jataka, Vol. 6, 1907, p. 110. Cited in Radhakrsnan, S., The Dhammapada, London: Oxford University Press, 1950, p. 33. 137K. Potter, Presuppositions . . . . , p. 111. 80 The asatkaryavadin multip! ies the necessary conditions in the causal chain in order to make room for the exercise of human effort and the attainment of freedom, but he must avoid making the links in,the causal chain of events too weak or he will end in chaos. This danger brings with it one of the major philosophical problems of Buddhism; how is continuity in the individual, the external world, and the process of transmigration to be explained? While belief in transmigration may seem somewhat anomalous to many westerners, for the Indian philosopher to question belief in i t , is to question the moral nature of the universe. It is an integral part of all Indian 'maps' of freedom, and was denied only by the Ajivikas and Carvakas who denied the possibility of freedom. Very simply the law of karma and transmigration states that the fruits of one's action, both good and bad, are returned over a period of several lifetimes. The transmigration of the individual is used to account for the differ-ing fates of men which are in accord with the quality of their past lives. Thus, to deny transmigration was to deny not only responsibility for one's present condition, but also the possibility of meaningful human effort which might lead to freedom. While the satkaryavadin believes in the self (Atman) as the enjoyer of the fruits of past and present action, the Buddhist denies the self and must formulate an understanding of karma and transmigration with no entity to transmigrate or enjoy the fruits of its action. Various models were put forth by Buddhist philosophers to show that human effort mattered and affected man's condition. These models kept the causal chain from collapsing into skepticism. One school, the Pudgalavadins, put forth the idea of a pudgala or person. This 'person' represented a kind contingent self which although not ultimately real stil l transmigrated from lifetime to lifetime. This idea was, however, rejected by most of the Buddhist schools. The metaphor used in early Buddhist literature is that of a flame passing from candle to candle. The five aggregates are continually changing 13 in this l ife, "at every moment we are born and die, but we continue." When the physical body dies the energies which made up the functioning of the individual do not stop, but continue to become another lifetime, just as the flame passing from candle to candle is neither the same nor different. One thought-moment conditions the next thought-moment not only during this life, but from one life to the next. In this manner the Buddhist tries to overcome the danger of making the causal chain too weak and yet uphold his view of the constituent nature of the self. The Buddhist schools varied considerably about the nature and status of the constituent elements which make up the self and the endless series of point-instants (ksanika). In the differences on this topic the tendency of asatkaryavada to diversify, can be seen pushing towards the conclusions of Madhyamika. The Buddhist philosopher assumes that there are no per-sisting substances. The world is in fact momentary and made up of a series of point-instants {Ks ana-Bhanga-vada). The status of these Walpola Rahula, What the Buddha Taught, New York: Grove Press, 1959, p. 33. : point-instants or the elements which make them up varies among three basic positions within the Buddhist schools; these positions are typified by the Sarvastivada, Vijnanavada, and Madhyamika. The position of the Hinayana and early Buddhist schools culminates in the Sarvastivada abhidharma which is now found chiefly in the Abhidharma-kosa of Vasubandhu. The dharmas have proliferated to seventy-five and are taken to be real. They are the really-existing elements which constitute the nature of individual becoming, and have been given an r\j— — almost ontological status. The Vijnanavada school removes the substantiality which the Sarvastivada gives the elements of the causal chain and makes them a merely mental phenomenon. In the metaphor of the wheel.of fire (atdtacakra) the momentary flashes of fire which constitute the illusory circle are merely mental events having no externality. For Nagarjuna the dharmas are equally as illusory as any 'substance' which appears to make up the world. The world is pratityasamutpada or completely interdependent to Nagarjuna. As this interdependence is complete, causation cannot be taken to depend on dharmas which are real or mental. If dharmas were in fact real or mental (dependent on consciousness as in Vijnanavada) they would have self-existence {svabhava), but there is no positive entity which does not depend on something else. Complete interdependence must be considered to mean that the dharmas are essentially empty in their 139 - -nature along with all other conditioned phenomena. Nagarjuna These three positions did not develop historically in this sequence. states "If an element (dharma) occurs which is neither real nor non-real nor both real and non-real,/How can there be a cause which is 140 effective in this situation?" Thus there is no-thing which has the power inherent in it to cause another thing or event to arise. "Never are any existing things found to originate/From themselves, from 141 something else, from both, or from no cause." The logic of asa-tkaryavada is to diversify, to deny substance, and thus to allow man an act of knowledge (prajna) which frees him from the notion of self.. Nagarjuna extends this logic both to the tools of analysis (dharmas, skandhas, etc.) and the world itself. Causality collapses; Nagarjuna has driven the logic asatkaryavada to its final conclusion, and propounds as Advaita does non-causation or ajativada. The meaning of ajativada is interwoven with Nagarjuna's inter-pretation of nirvana, sunyata, and pratityasamutpada. There are three principal aspects to i t , a denial of causation and origination, movement, and any substance which can have originated. They are not three distinct catagories, and Nagarjuna uses his dialectic to demolish them as aspects of ajativada. These aspects are shown to be self-contradictory from the paramartha standpoint, and thus non-existent. Nagarjuna states of causation "If there is no causal source, there is nothing to be produced nor cause-in-general (Karana)./ Then neither do the producing action, the person producing, nor the 140 - - -F. Streng, Trans., Mutl amadhyamakakari kas of Nagarjuna in Emptiness: A Study in Religious Meaning, Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1967, (I, 7), p. 183. Hereafter abbreviated MMK. 141 IHIMMK I, p. 1. 84 142 instrument of production (Karana) exist." If causation or production is a self-contradictory concept, then movement or~the process of change must also be. "That-which-already-gone-to (gatam) is not that which is 'being gone to' (gamyate); more so, 'that which is not yet gone to' (agatam) is certainly not that 'being gone to!./Also; the 'present going to' (gamyamana) without 'that which is already gone to and 'that 143 which is not yet gone to' is not 'being gone to' (gamyate)." From this argument it must follow that if no production exists, and no move-ment through which something might be produced exists, then any entity must be non-produced and illusory. Nagarjuna pointedly states, "Those who perceive self-existence and other-existence, and an existent thing and a non-existent thing,/Do not perceive the true 144 nature of the Buddha's teaching." Advaita and Madhyamika share the doctrine of ajativada. Free-dom is an act of knowledge in Madhyamika; again as it is in Advaita. With the development of knowledge {prajna) the individual is able to discriminate between appearance and reality and perceive the world as emptiness (sunyata) and interdependent (pratltyasumutpada). This insight reveals the world as non-originated and non-caused. Unlike Advaita, Nagarjuna's use of ajativada is the result of the trend towards analyzing the real as diverse which is found in asatkaryavada. 142MM1< VIII, 4. 143 MMK II, 1. 144 MMK XV, 6. This brief discussion of causation in Advaita and Madhyamika while certainly not doing justice to the subtleties of either system, allows two things in comparing these systems. First, Advaita and Madhyamika both hold to ajativada, but give different meanings to this theory. Ajativada is the ultimate unification for Advaita; the world is non-caused because it is ultimately one. Nagarjuna holds to non-causation because the world is so diverse as to be unintelligable as caused. Here is a case where one axiom takes on different meanings when placed in different systems of thought. To overlook the context in which each philosopher uses this term and postulate simple equiv-alence would distort the distinctive use of ajativada in each philoso-phical system. Because of this difference there must have appeared to Samkara and his followers almost no similarity between Advaita and Madhyamika. Samkara does not begin by denying causation and "reality of the work-a-day world, he was forced into this position in order to 145 explain the unchanging and eternal and universal Brahma." Nagarjuna begins with a denial of causality and reality of the world, he found "no composites no wholes in the world, only constituents, 146 and these particles existing for an atom of time." As Ingalls points out it is no wonder that Samkara, given his position, under-stands Madhyamika as nihilism. Any similarity between the two schools must have seemed rather superficial to the adherents of either school, based as they were on radically different traditions 145 " • Daniel H.H. Ingalls, "Samkara's Arguments Against the Buddhists," Philosophy East and West, III, No. 4, 1954, p. 304. 1 4 6 Ibid., p. 305. of analyzing reality. This discussion of the importance of causation for understanding the structure of Advaita and Madhyamika can also be used to predict the relation between their similarities and differences. The difference in causation between Madhyamika and Advaita can be characterized in several ways. In Advaita attributes depend on the substance, or the many on the one. Madhyamika being based on asatkaryavada finds substance dependent on the attributes, or the one dependent on the many. As a result the problem for Advaita comes in the area of diversity, for Madkyamika in the area of unity. Interest-ingly enough, these areas are historically precisely where Advaita and Madhyamika have been criticized by philosophers of a more realistic turn. The Madhyamikins were accused of nihilism and holding a no-reality doctrine both by orthodox Hindus and other Buddhist philosophers. They were taken to have made the links in the causal chain too weak; things caused themselves, the world could not be acted upon through human effort and thus there was no freedom which could be attained. They had in the eyes of their opponents fallen into skepticism. Advaitins on the other hand were criticized for being illusionists and relegating the world to a mere shadow. Their opponents felt they had made the causal chain too strong and had fallen into fatalism. Since the world was illusory and super-imposed on the ground of Brahman no room was left for the exercise of human effort because illusory effort can not affect an illusory world. Both Madhyamika and Advaita were careful to point out that these accusations were untrue and took recourse to the doctrine of two truths. The problems experienced here come about from the manner in which they used their causal chains. Their use of different causal models also influenced their conceptualization of the nature of the absolute, ignorance and error, and the knowledge which removes ignorance Freedom in both Madhyamika and Advaita is an act of knowledge which reveals the real. The pre-dominent metaphor to communicate the nature of the real for Advaita is Brahman; for Madhyamika it is sunyata. As both philosophies are absolutisms, these two concepts have often been taken as nearly identical. Chandradhar Sharma states, - - 1 "'sunya is used in a double sense. It means maya as well as Brahman." Radhakrishnan also states in reference to Nagarjuna, "He describes his Sunyata almost in the very words in which the nirguna Brahman is 148 characterized in the Upanisads." Sharma and Radhakrishnan are probably right in identifying both philosophies as absolutism, but despite similarities Brahman and Sunyata must be carefully differen-tiated. As a concept Brahman is both ontological and cosmological, while sunyata is essentially epistemological. Sunyata and Brahman do occupy similar roles in that they both function as limiters. Brahman is the pivot around which all Advaita philosophy revolves; it is the nature of Brahman which defines the system. Brahman defines or limits because it stands outside the system. Sunyata plays a similar role in Madhyamika but it does not stand outside the system 147 C. Sharma, A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy, London: Rider and Co., 1960, p. 320. 148 S. Radhakrsnan, Indian Philosophy, Vol. I, 2nd ed., London: George Allen and Unwin"'l929, p. 700. and cannot because it is not ontological. Robinson states, 88 Like other Indian limiter concepts, emptiness is reflexive; it applies to itself as well as to others. It is self-validating, and so provides an epistemological foundation even though it does not constitute a cosmological first principle.!49 Although both principles, Brahman and sunyata, function as limiters in that they define the philosophical system they operate in they are not equivalent. These two concepts in fact analyze or portray the real in quite different manners. A short description of these two terms would be useful before comparing them. Brahman is both the ground on which and the source through which the world appears. Samkara defines it as follows, That omniscient,omnipotent cause from which proceed the origin, subsistence, and dissolution of this world—which world is differentiated by names and forms, contains many agents and enjoyers, is the abode of the fruits of actions, these fruits having their definite places, times, and causes, and the nature of whose arrangement cannot even be conceived by the mind,--that cause, we say is Brahman.150 Brahman is without difference or plurality, "For all passages whose aim is to represent the nature of Brahman . . . teach that it is free 151 152 from all difference." Brahman is "one, without a second." The entire manifold world, "with its objects of enjoyment, enjoyers, 153 and so on has no existence apart from Brahman." Brahman is the 149 R. Robinson, Classical Indian Philosophy, pp. 205-6. 150 - - - -G. Thibout, trans., Vedanta-Sutras of Badarayana. . . Vol. 1,1, 1, 2, p. 16. 1 5 1 Ibid., Vol. II, III, 2,12, p.153. 1 5 2Ibid., Vol. II, II, 3, 7, p. 12. 1 5 3Ibid., Vol. I, II, 1, 14, p. 321. 89 unitary principle of pure being in which all subject-object distinctions are dissolved. Any and all positive characterizations of Brahman must not be thought of as limiting Brahman, for it is nirguna or with-out attributes. Samkara in his commentary on the famous "Neti,Neti" passage in the Brhadaranyaka Upanisad states, How through these two terms 'Not this, Not this' is it sought to describe the Truth of truth? By the elimination of all differences due to limiting adjuncts, the words refer to some thing that has no distinguishing mark such as name, or form, or action, or heterogenity, or species, or qualities. Words denote things through one or other of them. But Brahman has none of these distinguishing marks. Hence it cannot be described. . . .154 Although Brahman is undifferentiated pure being, one of its principle 'characteristics' is creativity. Through Brahman all purality and creation comes to exist, even if illusory in an absolute sense. "Brahman has been defined as that from which there proceed the organiz-155 ation, sustentation, and retraction of this world," and again Samkara states "Brahman is to be acknowledged as the material cause 156 " • as well as the operative cause. . . ." Samkara distinguishes between nirguna Brahman and saguna Brahman, Brahman without and with Swami, Madhavananda trans., The Brhadaranyaka Upanisad  with the Commentary of Sankaracarya, Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama, 1964, II, 3, 6, p. 345. 155 - - - -G. Thibaut, Trans., Vedanta-Sutras of Badarayana . . . , I, 4, 23, p. 284. Ibid., Vol. I, 4, 23, p. 285. 90 qualities. Saguna Brahman is the absolute objectified and is invested with infinite creativity. Brahman is apprehended under two forms; in the first place as qualified by limiting conditions owing to the multi-formity of the evolutions of name and form (i.e. multi-formity of the created world); in the second place as being the opposite of this, i.e. free from all limiting conditions whatever.157 The qualified or saguna Brahman is identified with the Lord {isvara) who brings about creation through the power of maya. "So the Lord also who is all-present, the Self of a l l , all-knowing and all-powerful may, although himself unmoving, move the universe. . . . " which he creates by means of "the fact of the Lord being fictitiously connected with maya, which consists of name and form presented by Nescience.1,158 Knowledge or freedom is made possible because of the complete identity of Brahman with the self {Atman). The Atman is beyond space, time, and thought which are all characteristic of the manifest world. This unity can be represented only by absolute silence. This is communicated by Samkara in the story of Bahva questioning Vashkalin about Brahman. "He said to him, 'Learn Brahman, 0 friend', and became silent. Then, on a second and third question, he replied, "I am 159 teaching you indeed, but you do not understand. 'Silent is that Self.'" 1 5 7Ibid., Vol. I, I, 1, 11, p. 61. 1 5 8Ibid., Vol. I, II, 2, 3, p. 369. 1 5 9Ibid., Vol. II, III, 2, 18. Freedom is attained when the apparent difference between Brahman and the Self is removed, "He who knows that supreme Brahma becomes very •j gg Brahma." The individual might characterize this knowledge as sacohidahanda3 or pure being (sat)--the ontological ground on which existence rests, pure awareness {chit)--which witnesses and illumines all activity and existence, and bliss {ananda)--the submerging of all 1 g-j individual partial values in absolute value. Knowledge and free-dom then consist of the realization of the identity of Brahman with the Atman, self and world are perceived in their absolute nature. From this discussion of Brahman the application of Potter's model becomes clear. Satkaryavadins declare the one to be more real than the many, and thus unify the nature of the real. Brahman is the prime example in Indian philosophy of this unifying tendency. The causal chain of satkaryavada also predicts or demands that Brahman be understood as ontological and cosmological. Since effects are understood as pre-existing in the cause, the world and individual selves (jivas) must be understood as resting on or dependent on a ground of existence. Brahman as pure being is both this 'ground', and a first cause of creation. The relation between Brahman and the world will be discussed in more detail later. Mundaka Upanisad, 3, 219. Cited from R. Hume, trans., The Thirteen Principal upanisads, 2nd ed., London: Oxford University Press, 1931, p. 377. ^ E l l i o t Deutsch, Advaita Vedanta: A Philosophical Recon-struction, Honolulu: East-West Lenter Press, lyby, p. W. 92 Brahman is fairly straight forward as an intellectual concept. Sunyata. is not so easily understood. The storm of controversy which has raged over Madhyamika, invariably focuses on the meaning of sunyata. Thus the Vijnanavadins thought Nagarjuna carried sunyata to an extreme position, and the Madhyamikas were dismissed as nihilists by Samkara. However, by relating sunyata to asatkaryavada, sunyata can be seen as essentially an epistemological concept which tries to avoid the opposite ontological catagories of eternal ism and nihilism. As previously stated, asatkaryavada holds that the effect does not pre-exist in the cause. The one is dependent on the many, and the real is conceived of as plural. Asatkaryavada diversifies the nature of reality and breaks down substance into parts, as it is the appearance of substance which obscures our vision of reality. This "root metaphor" for causality necessarily solves the problem of freedom in an act of knowledge which finds substance empty {sunya). Sunyata. is thus epistemological, and is used by Nagarjuna, as was already pointed out, to demolish the causal chain on which it is based. Sunyata. is a radical denial of substance or essence (svabhava) as having any reality. Unlike the philosophies which he attacks, Nagarjuna tries to deny the possibility of having any ontology, whether it be positive or negative. "'It is' is a notion of eternity. 'It is not1 is a nihilistic view./Therefore, one who is •j go wise does not have recourse to 'being' or 'non-being'." Nagarjuna 162MMK, 15, 10, p. 200. 93 therefore not only denies the possibility of an eternal unity or self, but demonstrates that the dharmas of the Sarvastivadins and Vaibhasikas are empty. Nagarjuna redefines here one of the basic categories of Buddhist thought. Knowledge of the dharmas or factors-of-existence was quite important in early Buddhism because it was this knowledge which allowed man to penetrate into the process of becoming [samsara or pratZtyasamutpadd) and attain release. Nagarjuna does not deny the Abhidharma framework altogether, but relegates it to the level of conventional (samvrti) truth. Many of the earlier schools understood dharmas as non-substantial essences (bhava), which existed only for an instant. The dharmas preserved their identity in spite of their impermanence or momentary character. The Hinayana monk spent considerable effort studying the characteristics and interrelationships of the dharmas which were taken to be real existing entities even though non-substantial. However, in the Mahayana tradition both parts and whole are taken to be empty, and the dharmas as real constituent elements were rejected. _ _ t\,_ _ _ So it says in the Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita. "He should contemplate form, etc., as empty. But he should contemplate that with an undis-turbed series of thoughts in such a way that, when he contemplates the fact that 'form, etc., is empty', he does not regard that true nature of dharmas (i.e. emptiness) as something which, as a result of 1 co its own true nature (i.e. emptiness) is a real entity." or again 1 6 3 E. Conze, trans., Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita, Calcutta: Published by the Asiatic Society, 1958, p. 143. "if he considers them with the conviction that all dharmas are fabri-cated by thought construction, unborn, not come forth, not come, not ,,164 gone. . . . Nagarjuna's contribution was the systematic destruction of these catagories by demonstrating their self-contradictory nature. The three groups of dharmas that Nagarjuna deals with are the ayatanas, skandhas, and dhatus. The original intent of the ayatanas was to provide an understanding of the cognitive process which did not require a self or agent. The ayatanas consist of the six senses, sight, touch, hearing, smell, taste, and mind and their corresponding sense fields which when taken together produce cognition. Nagarjuna points out that this scheme is an inadequate answer to the problem of cognition. "Certainly vision does not in any way see its own self./ Now if it does not see its own self, how can it possibly see something 165 - -else." Nagarjuna argues that the notion of a 'seer', the 'faculty of vision' and 'what is seen' are all interdependent concepts and from the absolute standpoint are unintelligable. The independent reality of the skandhas is also denied. Originally the intent of the skandhas was to give an account of mental and physical phenomena without recourse to the idea of a self {atman). Nagarjuna denies the independent reality of the skandhas by demonstrating the impossibil-ity of causal relations among them. The form of his arguments can 1 6 4 Ibid., p. 52. 165MMK, III, 2, p. 187. 166See MMK, III, 1-6, p. 187. 95 be seen in the first verses of Chapter four, "(1) Vi sable form [rupee) is not perceived without the basic cause of visable form [rupakarana);/' Likewise the basic cause of visable form does not appear without the visable form./(2) If the visable form existed apart from its basic cause, it would logically follow that visable form is without cause;/ •j gy _ _ But there is nothing any where [arising] without cause." Nagarjuna thus demonstrates the interdependence of the skandhas which can not therefore be taken as existing independently. The dhatus next receive Nagarjuna's attention. Traditionally they were considered the 'irreducible elements' which are the ultimate components of existence. Against the dhatus Nagaarjuna uses the argument of inter-dependence between the dhdtu and its defining characteristic. He states "Space [akasa) does not exist at all before the defining characteristic of space (akasalaksarta)./If it would exist before the defining characteristic, then one must falsely conclude that there I go _ _ would be something without a defining characteristic." Nagarjuna's argument here is difficult, he certainly does not mean that the object, space, has objective existence because we define or name it. Rather it seems to be a rejection of our ability to grasp the true nature of space through a defining characteristic which is neither the same nor different from space. "Therefore space is neither an existing 169 thing nor a non-existing thing." The dhatus can not be under-167MMK, IV, 1-2, p. 187. 168MMK, V, 1, p. 188. 169MMK, V, 7, p. 188. 96 stood as really existing antities, they are in their true nature empty. The Hinayana schools held the doctrine of nairatmya or soullessness, the Mahayana extended this lack of substance to the dharmas and held dharmanairatmya or the emptiness of both self and dharmas. This position was systematically developed by Nagarjuna as part of his re-interpretation of pratityasamutpada. Since self and dharmas in their absolute nature lack svabhava and are empty, sunyata is identified by Nagarjuna as the true meaning of pratityasamutpada. Nagarjuna states "(18) The 'originating' dependently we call 'emptiness',/This apprehension, i.e., taking into account [all other things], is the understanding of the middle way./ (19) Since there is no dharma whatever originating independently,/ No dharma whatever exists which is not empty."170 Originally pratityasamutpada had been used to express the reasons for man's suffering [duhkha) and his continued existence on the wheel of re-birth {samsara). The links between the elements of the twelve-fold chain were considered real and their interrelationship a causal sequence with no beginning. A simple cause and effect process was not meant, but rather a mutually conditioned co-arising. From his position of ajativada or no-origination, Nagarjuna attacks the notion of causality in refuting the Hinayanists interpretation of pratityasamutpada. Nagarjuna regards the Hinayana conception of causality as true from MMK, XXIV, 18, 19, p. 213. 97 the conventional {samvrti) standpoint but not from the absolute [paramartha) viewpoint. The earlier view was helpful in demonstrat-ing the absence of self, but it obscured the truth of dharma-nairatmya. By demonstrating the interdependence of cause and effect,1 7 1 Nagarjuna denies the self-existence of any entity. "Fire does not exist in relation to kindling; and fire does not exist unrelated to kindling. . . . Though this and other arguments against the notion of causation, Nagarjuna prepares the way for his identification of pratityasamutpada with emptiness. Pratityasamutpada is the total interdependence of all phenomena All phenomena, dharmas, and causation lack self-existence because they arise in dependent co-origination and all things arise co-dependently because they are empty of self-existence. To perceive the truth of pratityasamutpada is to perceive the truth of emptiness. Because the world is totally interdependent and empty, Nagarjuna likSns it to maya. "Desires, actions, bodies, producers, and products/Are like a fairy 173 castle, resembling a mirage, a dream." The question then arises—is the nature of reality a mere - - 174 nothingness? Nagarjuna answers with an emphatic no! While the world, selves, and even the Buddha may have emptiness as their nature, 171MMK, I, 1, p. 222. 172MMK, X, 12, p. 195. 173MMK, XVII, 33, p. 203. 174See MMK, XV, 10, p. 200 already quoted. 98 this emptiness is only realized from an absolute standpoint {paramar-thasatya). To realize nirvana is to perceive the truth of sunyata, thus to Nagarjuna's way of thinking, without the emptiness of all things II freedom would not be possible." When emptiness 'works', then every-thing in existence 'works'./If emptiness does not 'work', then all 175 existence does not 'work'." If the world was eternal the causal relation (to return to Potter's model) would be too strong to allow freedom, if non-eternal it would be too weak. Sunyata. is the middle path which avoids both these extreme views, but is not itself a view-point. "Emptiness is proclaimed by the victorious one as the refutation of all viewpoints;/But those who hold 'emptiness' as a viewpoint--[the — 176 true perceivers] have called those 'incurable' {asadhya). Sunyata exists as a radical critique of conceptual catagories which by definition posit the self-existence {svabhava) of things or real relations (causality) among them. The insight of prajna dissolves these conceptual catagories by realizing the emptiness of all conditioned phenomena. For this reason sunyata cannot be taken as another view, as this would only impose another mental fabrication {vikalpa) on reality. Sunyata is itself empty [sunya-sunyata). Robinson's comments in Early Madhyamika are pertinent here, "Emptiness is not a term out-side the expressional system, but is simply the key term within it . Those who would hypostatize emptiness are confusing the symbol system with the fact system. No metaphysical fact whatever can be established 175MMK, XXIV, 14, p. 213. 176MMK, XIII, 8, p. 198. 99 from the facts of language.1,177 It is precisely because sunyata. exists within the 'symbol system' that it can function as a prescriptive for man's ignorance. Nagarjuna states, "Just as a magically formed phantom could deny a phantom created by its own magic,/Just so would be that 178 negation." Sunyata is an empty term used to point out the emptiness of all other terms. The difficulty here is that paramartha or the absolute nature of reality cannot be communicated in words. The inherent duality of language makes it inapplicable to the transcendent nature of the paramartha standpoint. We have seen that the asatkaryavadin has trouble explaining the apparent lack of unity in his philosophy. The Madhyamika philosophers inherited this problem in full force and were often termed nihilists. Having negated the idea of an ontological ground, and having collapsed the diverse reality of the HTnayanists, how are they to indicate the nature of the absolute without falling into either of these catagories? Thus in spite of the fact that words can never apply to paramartha in an absolute sense, the Madhyamikas have never denied the usefulness of language to indicate the nature of the problem and the path to freedom. Three different methods are used to indicate the nature of the absolute. Negation is used to deny the possibility of any attribute to the absolute which is beyond words. Richard Robinson, Early Madhyamika in India and China, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1967, p. 49. 1 yg F. Streng, trans., VigrahavyavartanT, verse 23 in Emptiness: A Study in Religious Meaning, p. 224. TOO '"Not caused by something else1, 'peaceful', 'not elaborated by discur-sive thought,"/ 'Indeterminate', 'undifferentiated1: such are the 179 characteristics of the reality (tattva)." Second, opposite qualities or attributes are ascribed to i t , or rejected. Thus Nagarjuna states. "All things prevail for him for whom emptiness prevails^/Nothing 180 — whatever prevails for him for whom emptiness prevails." Paramartha - -*- 181 may be identified with both svabhava and sunyata as another example. The last method identifies sunyata. with any one of a number of metaphors. tattva, dharmata, tathata, pratityasumatpada, bodhi and others are all used in this manner. This last technique should not be understood as an ontologizing of sunyata, but rather an identification almost forced on Madhyamika by the logic of their position.in order to deny the false view of nihilism. These metaphors when identified with sunyata have, however, led many scholars to emphasize the similarity of Advaita and Madhyamika. In considering both the Advaita and Madhyamika view of the absolute, substantial differences have been demonstrated. They grow out of an opposed tradition on the nature of the self and causation. These two differences lead Advaita to conceive the absolute as an onto-logical ground and cosmological first principle, and Madhyamika to analyze the real in an epistemological manner, denying ontology. This view of the relation between Advaita and Madhyamika parallels that of T.R.V. Emptiness . 181 179MMK, XVIII, 9. 180 F. Streng, Trans., Viqrahavvavartani. verse 70 in MMK, XX, 16, p. 210. 101 Murti who juxtaposes ontology and epistemology to point out differences between these two systems. Murti further states, "It is my contention that there could not be acceptance of any doctrinal content by either side from the other as each had a totally different background of 182 traditions and conception of reality." The implication is that similarities are of technique and not tenet. While probably historically true, the problem is not so clear-cut philosophically, and we have already noted the use, admittedly rare, of Vedantic metaphors in Mahayana (not necessarily Nagarjuna here). The line between technique and tenet is easily blurred. Even Murti seems to waver, "they differ . . . possibly with regard to that entity with which they identify the absolute. 183 In the actual state of the absolute they may be identical. . . . " Murti seems to imply here that the differences are a.question of conceptual or linguistic usage. Certainly it is difficult to conceive of two absolutes, and thus there has been a corresponding tendency among scholars to identify one of these systems with the other. Note Sharma again, "sunya . . . means maya as well as Brahman," and Murti, - 185 "sunyata represents the form of all absolutism." There are similarities in the Advaita and Madhyamika conceptions of the absolute. Both conceive the absolute as being transcendent, beyond language, and any empirical qualification. The relation of the 182T.R.V. Murti, Samvrti and Paramartha. . -» P- 1 0 183T.R.V. Murit, Central Philosophy . . . , P- 320. 1 8 4c". Sharma, j j ^ j ^ l Survey of Indian PJnloso£hy_, p. 320. 185T.R.V. Murti, Central Philosophy. . . , p. 237. 102 absolute to the world is non-dual{advaita and advaya) in both systems, and constitutes the reality which the samvrti world of appearance obscures. However, advaya and advaita have different meanings. Advaita refers to the non-dual relation between the underlying substratum of Brahman and the apparent differences of world and souls {jZvas). Advaya is perhaps better translated as non-two and represents steering a middle path between the two extreme views of eternalism and nihilism. They are structured by the ontological or epistemological orientation of the system in which they operate. Freedom in both systems is the direct realization of this 'non-dual' realtion, or as Nagarjuna puts i t , "There is nothing whatever which differentiates samsara from nirvana; •J Of and there is nothing whatever which differentiates nirvana from samsara " and Samkara relates, ' As soon as Brahman is indicated in this way, knowledge arising of itself discards Nescience, and this whole world of names and forms, which had been hiding Brahman from us, melts away like the imagery of a dreamJ87 In this state essence and existence may be said to coincide. The difference between appearance and reality gives rise to a theory of two truths in both philosophies. This theory is used to point out the nature of the negation of a world which has only illusory status {maya). IU"MMK, XXV, 19, p. 217. 187 G. Thibant, trans., Vedanta-Sutras . . . , I l l , 2, 21, p. 163. 103 The attributes of sunyata and Brahman are very similar, although Brahman is also considered one and eternal. This difference however is "largely verbal inasmuch as everlasting manifested duration and numerical one-1 OO ness are not intended in either case. Murti is right in finding that Advaita and Madhyamika differ in their approach to the absolute, one being ontological, the other epistemological; but this difference cannot extend to the absolute itself. The difference between epistomology and ontology presupposes distinctions between the knower, act of knowing, and object known, that are necessarily overcome in the transcendent realm of the absolute. Such distinctions belong to the world of empirical truth {samvrtisatya).189 On the level of paramartha to change our perception is to change the objects themselves. There can be no dichotomy between being and knowing for freedom to be possible. For this reason Madhyamika finds it necessary to identify emptiness with reality {tattva) or 'things as they really are' {tathata), and Advaita dissolves the knowing faculty 190 in Brahman. "He who knows Brahman becomes Brahman," as Samkara states. Murti suggests a model which is of some help. A circle has many radii which approach the center from different directions, yet all arrive at the same center or goal.1 9 1 Differences are absorbed or 1 8 8R. Robinson, "Classical Indian Philosophy," p. 209. 1 OQ _ v See Jacques May, "Kant et le Madhyamika: a propos d'un livre recent," Indo-Iranian Journal, III, No. 2, 1959, pp. 102-111. 190 191 1 9 0 G. Thibant, trans., Vedanta-Sutras . . . Vol. 1, I, 1,4,p. 31 T.R.V. Murti, Central Philosophy . . . , p. 321 104 dissolved in the realization of ultimate reality. To extrapolate from the Buddha's metaphor, no matter what kind of raft you have, it is left behind once you reach the other shore. Yet the radii are quite distinct, and must be seen as such. This model allows us to take into account differences in the philosophies, and their resulting views of the path to release. While this model is useful in comparing Madhyamika and Advaita, it cannot be loosely extended to all systems of Indian philosophy. Some schools had quite different conceptions of freedom, particularly those of a more realist turn, e.g. Samkhya, Hinayana etc. Nagarjuna and Samkara did not 'push' the logic of their causal models to final conclusions merely out of a need to be philosophically consistent, but rather to demonstrate a vision of freedom more complete than their dualist opponents. Advaita and Madhyamika make similar decisions about the nature of reality which are then mapped out in terms of their respective traditions. Both schools expended much energy refuting dualist or more realistic schools, precisely because all conceptions of freedom are not equivalent. Advaita and Madhyamika are both absolutisms and introduce a distinction between appearance and reality, or the world and its absolute nature. The world is an 'illusion' for this reason and is considered may a. by both systems. Maya indicates a "no-mans land of 192 ontology," a realm of existence which exists contingently but not absolutely. For this reason both Samkara and Nagarjuna describe its 19? R. Robinson, "Classical Indian Philosophy," p. 208. 105 nature as being neither real nor unreal. However, their use of the term maya. differs radically as to its source and nature. The term has a complex history, and only the major differences between Advaita and 193 Madhyamika can be indicated here. The term maya has a long history in Indian thought, being found as a key term in the Indian world-outlook from the time of the Vedas down to the present. For this reason a variety of interpretations exist, not all of which are necessarily in accord with the Vedantic and Mahayana Buddhist view of the world-as-illusion. There exists, however, a core meaning which is developed in a variety of ways depend-ing on the context. Jan Gonda paraphrases this meaning, "incomprehensible wisdom and power enabling its possessor, or being able itself, to create, 194 - -devise, contrive, effect, or do something." Maya is translated with difficulty because of its multivalence of "ideas and connotations." It has "an aspect on the side of the mayin--(the wielder), viz. his power, and an aspect on the side of the spectator, viz. the incomprehen-sibility of this power. Further there is the power itself, the process 195 of wielding it and the result." All of these varied meanings are covered by the same term. The first aspect referring to the possessor of maya is expressed in this verse from the Gitd, "Tho unborn, tho My self is eternal./ Tho Lord of Beings,/Resorting to My own material 193 Especially true for Advaita where controversy continued for centuries over the nature and locus (as>aya) of mayd. 10A Jan Gonda, Change and Continuity in Indian Religion, The Hague, Netherlands: Mouton and Co., 1965, p. 166. 195 Ibid., p. 171. 106 nature {prakrti) /I come into being by My own mysterious power {maya) ."^^ This wonderful power when viewed by the spectator is 'wonderful, incomprehensible', and has the power to delude. The Maitri Upanisad says of this condition in the individual, "like one bitten by a great snake--bitten by objects of sense; like gross darkness—the darkness of passion; like jugglery {indrajala)--consisting of illusion {maya-maya); like a dream-falsely apparent; like the pith of a banana-tree--unsub-stantial; like an actor--in temporary dress; like a painted scene--197 falsely delighting the mind." Both of these aspects exist in Madhyamika and Advaita, but adapted to their philosophical structures. Advaita proposes God as the source or wielder of maya.; creation is the projection {srsti) of maya, or the phenomenal world by the creator. This projection takes place on the ground of nirguna Brahman. God {isvara) is called saguna Brahman or Brahman-mth-qualities which places him with one foot in the absolute, and the other in the phenomenal world as a link between the two. The arising of the finite out of the infinite is accountable to the wonderful power of the Lord's maya. This view is in keeping with the satkaryavada causal model, which posits a primal unity out of which all effects or particulars arise. Samkara states, "Sometimes it is spoken of as Maya, illusion; so for instance [Sve. Up. IV, 10], ;Know then Prakrti is Maya, and the great Lord he who is affected with maya1-. For Maya is properly called un-developed or non-manifested since it cannot be defined either as that I Mr) — F. Edgerton, trans.,' The Bhagavad-Gita, New York: Harper and Row; 1964 (1944), IV, 6. 197 R. Hume, Trans., Maitri Upanisad IV, 2 in The Thirteen  Principal Upanisads. 107 198 which is or that which is not." While this first aspect of maya might be termed its positive side, the negative side is found in its power to delude. In Advaita avidya is often identified with maya, much as Atman is with Brahman. The exact nature of the relation between the two is rather elusive, but avidyd seems to be an individual epistemological correlate of the cosmological maya. Both account for the perception of plurality which covers and obscures the unity of Brahman, but in different frames of 199 reference. "For that causal potentiality is of the nature Nescience." Because of its nature as maya, creation is only an apparent {vivarta) transformation of Brahman. The world is ultimately unreal and false {jagan mithya). Samkara does not mean by this falseness, that the world is a complete non-entity. He is a realist as far as our every-day experience goes, and for some later Advaitins maya becomes almost a real, positive substance. The status of the world as maya will be further developed in discussing the doctrine of two truths. The Tathagata in Mahayana plays a somewhat similar role to Isvara in Vedanta, in that both are bridges between the absolute and phenomenal worlds. Like Isvara or saguna Brahman the Tathagata is conceived of as possessing maya, through which the tathagata descends or projects himself into the world in order to save all beings.200 p. 177. 1 9 8 G. Thibaut, Vedanta-Sutras . . . , Vol. 1, I, 4, 3, p. 243. 1 " ib id . , Vol. 1, I, 4, 3, p. 243. 200See Jan Gonda, Continuity and Change in Indian Religion, 108 The Tathagata, however, does not create, sustain or have the other cosmological functions of Isvara in Vedanta. , The relation of maya to Isvara and the Tathagata is in keeping with the general ontological and epistemological orientations of the two schools. Maya is also used in Buddhism as synonym for man's confusion or ignorance. In early Buddhism maya referred to the delusive power of illusion by which the self appears as a separate reality. Nagarjuna extends this illusive power to the phenomenal world as well. In Madhyamika the world is maya because it is empty (sunya), and equal to pratltyasamatapda. The arising of phenomena in dependent co-origination is the cause of everything, with one phantom following another. Nagarjuna states, "(32) Just so the 'one who forms' is himself being formed magically; and the act performed by him/Is like a magical form being formed by another magical form./(33) Desires, actions, bodies, producers, and products/Are like a fairy castle, resembling a mirage, 201 a dream." If a Vedantist were to ask if it was not Isvara that produced the first phantom, the Madhyamika philosopher would reply that the metaphor breaks down at this point. Again the causal chain applies, as Nagarjuna's interpretation of the nature of maya. results from the ultimate diversity {pratityasamutpada and sunyata) of existence. Like Advaita, Madhyamika does not deny the existence of the world, but carefully defines its status as maya by recourse to the doctrine of 'two truths'. MMK, XVII, 32, 33, p. 203. 109 The central philosophical tool by which both Madhyamika and Advaita analyze the relationship between reality and appearance [rnaya) is the doctrine of two truths. The importance of this doctrine cannot be underestimated; or in the words of Nagarjuna, (8) The teachings by the Buddhas of the dharma has recourse to two truths:/The world ensensed truth and the truth which is the highest, sense./(9) Those who do not know the distribution (vibhagam) of the two kinds of truth./Do not know the profound 'point' (tattva) in the teaching of the Buddha.202 Advaita and Madhyamika seem to agree on the nature of samvrti and paramartha when taken individually, but they disagree on the nature of the relationship between the two. The method of analysis which each system uses would again seem to be related to the causal model which they use. Before going into these differences discussion of common ground would be helpful. Paramartha and samvrti or vyaoaharika, do not have two different realms to which they apply. If this situation were true there would be two equally real worlds. In fact there is only one truth, the paramarthasatya, which is obscured by our perception of an 'everyday world'. The paramartha when realized removes this 'covering' from our perception. Advaita and Madhyamika agree that it is this knowledge alone which gives man access to freedom. While paramartha is only revealed by the removing of samvrti, this doesn't mean we can MMK, XXIV, 8, 9. n o dispense with samvrti. We must retain the everyday world if we are to consider paramartha. Samvrti is the means to the absolute end of paramartha. As the basis for man's realization of the absolute, the status of vyavaharika cannot be a complete negation. Both Advaitins and Madhyamikins "must endow empirical unreality with more being than nothing, 203 - _ and less being than" the absolute. For this reason both Nagarjuna and Samkara describe the world of samvrti or vyavaharika as being neither real or unreal. Nagarjuna comments, In 'The Instruction of Katyayana' both 'it is' and 'it is not' are opposed/By the Glorious One, who has ascertained the meaning of 'existent' and 'non-existent'.204 and Samkara again states "For Maya is properly called undeveloped or non-manifested since it cannot be defined either as that which is or 205 that which is not." If the world were absolutely real, both philosophers would be dualists, if unreal there would be no basis for attaining freedom. Both identify the samvrti world as maya or appearance, which is, to use Samkara's term, anirvaaaniya or indescrib-able. The world of samvrti owes its existence to primal ignorance. The differences in the nature and source of this ignorance between 203 K. Potter, Presuppositions . . . , p. 163. 204 MMK, XV, 7, p. 200. 205 G. Thibaut, Vedanta-Sutras . . . , Vol. 1, I, 4, 3, p. 243. Ill Madhyamika and Advaita are much the same as noted in our discussion of maya. As ignorance and maya. are often used synonymously in both systems this discussion need not be repeated. Both systems do agree that samvrti obscures or hides the true nature of things. Samvrti does not mean phenomena as such, but our perception of objects as self-existent entities. In Advaita this self-existence refers to perception of the world as separate from Brahman, in Madhyamika the perception of svabhava in what is really phenomenal becoming {pratityasamutpada). It means for both the world infested with duality. Samvrti thus includes the entire world of language and intellect which depend on a duality of language and its object or knower and known. Samvrti is simply the world of everyday knowledge, life, business, language, desires and activity. While empirically valid it is dissolved with the dawning of knowledge in paramarthasatya. From the standpoint of paramartha, reality is respectively sunyata or Brahman, thus we can apply the previous descriptions of these two terms to paramartha. Only paramartha is capable of making sense of the world, samvrti as ignorance is not. Questions such as^  What is samvrti? Whose is it? Are from the paramartha standpoint un-askable because only emptiness or Brahman has status as reality; and from the samvrti view ignorance cannot illumine ignorance. It is important here to remember that paramartha is co-terminus with samvrti. Nagarjuna states, "The extreme limit (koti) of nirvana is also the Some post-Samkara Advaitins differentiated the two, and it is perhaps best to understand the two terms as overlapping rather than identical. 112 extreme limit of existence-in-flux (samsara);/there is not the slightest 207 bit of difference between these two." When we said that knowledge of paramartha is transcendent, we do not mean that it is 'wholly other' or transcendent in Rudolph Otto's sense of the word. Rather paramartha is transcendent because it is beyond the limitations of the world perceived empirically, as samvrti. Paramartha in each system is calm, blissful, "How, then, will . . . the tetralemma apply to bliss (santa)"208 and "the bliss of 209 Brahman is . . . absolutely supreme," beyond thought, "If I would make any proposition whatever, then by that I would have a logical 210 error;/But I do not make a proposition; therefore I am not in error," and Samkara, "Brahman has none of these distinguishing marks, hence it 211 cannot be described. . . ," and without plurality. The doctrine of two truths is at the very heart of what Murti has called absolutism as opposed to monism. Paramartha is estab-lished by negating samvrti. The samvrtic, being neither real nor un-real , cannot be called identical with the real; it can only be non-different. Madhyamika uses advayavada to explain this negation, and Advaita as its name states advaitavada. 207MMK, XXV, 20, p. 207. 208MMK, XXII, 12, p. 210. 209 G. Thibaut, trans., Vedanta-Sutras. . . , 1, 15, p. 67. 210 - -F. Streng, trans., Vigrahavyavartani,verse 29 in Emptiness, p. 224. 211 - -Swami Madhavananda, trans., The Brhadarangaka Upansad . . . II, 3, 6, p. 354. 113 The manner of formulating negation differs between Madhyamika and Advaita. This difference is in accord with their epistemological and ontological orientations. Vedanta actually uses three levels of truth, pratibhasika, vyavaharika, and paramartha in negating appearance. Pratibhasika represents the completely illusory, as opposed to the empirical unreality of vyavaharika. The relation between these two-levels is then extended to the relation between vyavaharika and paramartha. The most well-known analogy used to illustrate this relation is that of the 'rope and the snake'. Pratibhasika occurs when one is "simply mistaken about what one is relating with (mainly to the extent that it is incapable of responding to one in the manner 212 assumed)." The rope, taken to be a snake in the twilight, does not have the attributes of a snake in reality. The existence of the snake is illusory. Pratibhasika is a personal illusion; hallucinations and dreams are included in i t , as well as faulty cognition. The super-imposition {adhyasa) of the snake upon the rope is sublated {badha) when upon closer examination the 'snake' is found to be a rope. The pratibhasika is sublated by the vyavaharika. Two key terms of Samkara's philosophy are used here, .adhyasa and badha, both of which are extended by analogy from the above relation to that between vyavaharika and paramartha. Adhyasa in a sense represents the mechanics of avidya., "But what are we to under-stand by the term 'super-imposition'--The apparent presentation, in Elliot Deutsch, Advaita Vedanta: A Philosophical  Reconstruction, Honolulu: East-West Center Press, 1968, p. 23. 114 the form of remembrance, to consciousness of something previously 213 observed, in some other thing." Thus the memory of a snake was superimposed on the rope, and caused the snake to be perceived again. Robinson notes that the use of adhyasa here is very similar to its - - 214 synonyms in Madhyamika, adhyaropa and samaropa. While to an unknown extent this usage may represent Buddhist influence, adhydsa seems to be another pan-philosophical concept which occurs in numerous contexts. A similar definition with memory as a cardinal factor is - i 215 found in Vyasas commentary on the Yoga-Sutras. Note here that the Advaitic usage of super-imposition requires a ground for the snake to be super-imposed upon. In a like manner maya or vyavaharika is super-imposed upon the ultimate Brahman. The vyavaharika which sublates the pratibhasika, is in turn sublated by paramartha. However, the - - 216 vyavaharika is an illusion, as opposed to the delusion of the pratibhasika. Vyavaharika is public, and empirical as opposed to the individual nature of pratibhasika. Badha or sublation is "the mental process whereby one disvalues some previously appraised object or content of conscious-217 ness because of its being contradicted by a new experience." In the case of the snake, it was sublated when a new experience revealed it to be a rope. Sublation can exist in many contexts in the empirical world. 213 - -G. Thibaut, trans., Vedanta-Sutras . . . , Vol. 1, 1, 1, p. 4. 214 See R. Robinson, Classical Indian Philosophy, p. 218. 215 S.N. Dasgupta, Yoga as Philosophy and Religion, Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press7~T970, 1924, p. 53. 216 - — Richard Brooks, "Advaita Vedanta's Doctrine of Maya," in Two Truths in Vedanta and Buddhism, Dordrecht, Holland: Reidel Publishing Co., 1973, p. 103. 115 The process of learning can be characterized in this manner, where knowledge is constantly modified by new practical, intellectual, or spiritual experience. The super-imposition of maya, or vyavaharika, on the ground of Brahman is sublated when the individual attains Brahmajnana. ' For as long as something else remains a desire is possible; but there is nothing else which could be desired in addition to the absolute unity of Brahman . . . there is no other kind of knowledge r by which it could be sublated.218 Brahman is considered the ultimate ground because it cannot be sublated by any other experience and because knowledge of Brahman illumines all other experience. Adhyasa is equated with ignorance by Samkara, badha is the act of removing that ignorance. There is an interesting Indian folk-tale which humorously illustrates the dangers of misunderstanding the status of vyavaharika and maya. It seems that a student of a local religious teacher and knower of reality was wandering down the road one day, thinking to himself, "I am that, all this is that, the world is false etc." Down the road came a runaway elephant with a driver on top shouting for all to get out of the way. Well, the student continued to think, "The elephant and I are non-different, how should I be afraid of my own self?" Needless to say he was run down, and somewhat bruised and perplexed returned to ask his teacher what he had done wrong. The Elliot Deutsch, Advaita Vedanta: A Philosophical Recon- struction, p. 15. 2 1 8 G. Thibaut, trans., Vedanta-Sutras . . . , II, 1, 14, p. 326. 116 teacher answered "And why didn't you listen to God in the form of the elephant driver telling you to get out of the way?" The moral being that the unity of Brahman with perception of the world as maya. has validity only when directly realized, not when based on thought or mood-making. The relation posited here between reality and appearance is in keeping with the ontological framework of Advaita. The emphasis is on the thing known; when that object is universal and devoid of difference (bheda), then freedom is attained. The 'this' in the phrase 'this is a snake' is the real. When the snake is seen as non-different from the 'this' {Brahman), then freedom is gained. The nature of error in Advaita is in the perception of difference. r \ j -Vijnanavada presents an interesting contrast with Advaita. Instead of false super-imposition on a real ground, the error for r \ j -Vijnanavada lies in thinking that ideas or objects are independent of consciousness. In the phrase 'this is a snake' the 'snake' is real as an idea, but its supposed externality to consciousness as 'this' 219 is unreal. An object if objectified is falsely constructed [parikalpita); consciousness is the real constructor of an unreal object. Vijnanavada, although an absolutism like Advaita and Madhyamika, posits the nature of error to be the objectification of experience. T.R.V. Murti, Central Philosophy . . . , p. 215. 117 Both Advaita and Vijnanavada start with a real which serves as a ground for illusion, and using an empirical illusion, extend it to the world illusion. Madhyamika avoids positing an ultimate ground, and begins directly with analysis of the world illusion, although they too recognize a false samvrti (mithya samvrti). Many elements which are included in the Advaita analysis--God, souls, creation, the locus of maya--are problems which don't exist for the Madhyamkia philosopher due to the epistemological framework of his philosophy. When Madhyamika negates samvrti, it negates the conceptualist tendency. The absolute represents the extinction of all views (drsti), while samvrti 220 - -is the "total and persistent conflict of reason." Nagarjuna remarks, When the domain of thought has been dissipated,'that which can be stated' is dissipated./Those things_which are unoriginated and not terminated, like nirvana, constitute the Truth {dharmata).221 The Madhyamikin takes the existing views and philosophies and the worlds which they construct, to be the nature of error. No view can characterize the real, and for this reason opposing theories such as eternalism and nihilism are rejected by Nagarjuna as inapplicable. This points again to an important difference between Madhyamika and Advaita which we have already noted. Non-duality [advaya) is the absence of extreme or opposing views in Madhyamika, which is the basis of the non-difference Ibid., p. 218. MMK, XVIII, 7, p. 204. 118 of sarnvrti and paramartha standpoints. In Advaita non-duality is lack of difference in a universal entity. To return to the phrase "this is a snake", in Madhyamika both terms are empty, in Advaita one term is the basis for the other. In Advaita and Madhyamika the nature of error on which samvrti is based has been found to be quite different. This difference brings out a further distinction in the use of negation and dialectic. For the Madhyamika philosopher dialectic or negation is philosophy. Dialectic in Madhyamika attempts the refutation of all views through reductio ad absurdam {prasanga) arguments which point out the self-contradictory nature of all 'views' of reality. Advaita uses negation [neti, neti) to refute the error of difference or plurality which hides the substratum of the real. This difference holds even though Advaitin philosophers use the 'tetralemma' and prasanga method which was highly influenced by if not borrowed from Buddhist works. Brahman is realized through negating false attributes super-imposed upon it. Both Advaita and Madhyamika agree that intellect or logic has only negative value in correcting this condition. One further use of the doctrine of two truths was the division by both the Madhyamikins and Advaitins of their textual traditions into nttartha, those textual passages which are of ultimate import, and neyartha those which are of everyday [vyavaharika) import. The neyartha passages deal with means, path philosophy, the reality of creation, or the skandhas, dharmas, etc. They are of secondary import. The nitdrtha are concerned with the ultimate goal, the transcendent realm of the absolute, Brahman or sungata. The Advaitic 119 terms for this are usually para and apara. The use of two truths in this manner allows both systems to synthesize many doctrines and grant a limited or empirical validity to the teachings of even their opponents. From the above discussion we can see that the categories which Advaita and Madhyamika share, the absolute, world-as-maya., two truths, - - 222 causation (ajativada), and nature of error are transformed by the philosophical context in which they are placed. Similar categories or terms have actually quite distinct meanings within each system. Any philoso-phical parallel must take into account this distinctiveness as well as any similarity. The key to understanding this transformation lies in the epistemological orientation of Madhyamika, and the ontological orientation of Advaita which are in turn the result of the 'causal metaphor1 upon which each system is based. From this we can also see that the respective criticisms Samkara and Nagarjuna might make of each other's philosophy do not really apply. As Madhyamikins affirm no positive reality which is the ground of all existence, Samkara from his ontological position naturally accused them of being nihilists. From the epistemological framework of Madhyamika the positing of a doctrine like Samkara's obscures the nature of the absolute, because all concepts such as self (Atman) and Brahman are infected with the idea of self-existence (svabhava). However, svabhdva cannot apply to the Advaita Our discussion of the nature of error in both systems has been limited to its structural aspects which are dependent on the differing orientations of each system. A full treatment of the problem of error would require a separate study. 120 concepts of Atman and Brahman which are self-luminous (svaprakasa) 223 and non-arisen. As the inapplicability of these criticisms points out there can be no easy identification of concepts between the two systems. See Richard Robinson, "Did Nagarjuna really refute all philosophical views?" Philosophy East and West, v. 22, 1972, p. 330. 121 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION In summary, Advaita and Madhyamika demonstrate a complex relationship, both historically and philosophically. It would overlook this complexity to come to a single conclusion, such that they are 'nearly identical' or 'irreconciliable'. Several fruitful possibilities have been suggested for understanding their relationship. The first of these lies in the area of the historical relationship of Advaita to Madhyamika. The specific problem has been the nature of Madhyamika influence on Advaita, and whether Advaita borrowed the methods of analysis which Nagarjuna developed several centuries earlier, or borrowed wholesale Madhyamika doctrine. The conclusion reached was that Samkara made use of Madhyamika method in forming his systematic philosophy, but did not make use of Madhyamika doctrine. This influence does not seem to have been direct, but "seems to have come to him through his teachers and through the general 224 intellectual climate of the times. In order to determine the nature of Buddhist influence it was first necessary to examine the nature of early Vedanta, and Samkara's relationship to it . Early Vedanta must be understood as Richard Robinson, Classical Indian Philosophy, p. 218. 122 a matrix of systems, and not a unitary philosophy. The Vedic tradition was handed down in a number of schools {sakhd), which contain many different texts. These texts in turn contain a number of 'speculations' which are developed to describe reality. While Vedanta certainly existed in the period of Badarayana, it had not yet differentiated itself from general orthodoxy. Vedanta as a separate philosophy seems to have arisen from the need to systemitize these early 'speculations'. All of the major elements of Samkara's philosophy can be found in these early 'speculations', but are scattered through numerous sources. y* . Samkara took these already existing elements within the orthodox tradition and placed them in dynamic relationship to form a systematic interpre-tation of the Vedanta texts. The nature of Buddhist influence must be understood as that of method rather than doctrine for two reasons. First, all the major tenets of Samkara's thought can be found in pre-Gaudapada orthodox texts, and second, parallel concepts are actually used quite differently within the two traditions. Through Gaudapada Samkara seems to have inherited the Madhyamika dialectic, and uses this method to help establish the truths of the sruti texts. Further, Samkara was probably influ-enced by the Madhyamika use of 'two truths' to divide scriptural passages into those of absolute and those of empirical import. He was thus aided by Madhyamika method in forging a systematic interpre-tation of Vedanta. Madhyamika and Advaita are based on opposing traditions of analyzing reality. The Buddhists hold to the doctrine of non-self 123 (an-atman), and Vedanta to the 'transcendental' self. This disparity made outright borrowing of metaphysical tenet impossible from either side. Rather, those elements were selected which could be assimilated and transformed thus making them an integral part of the already existing metaphysical framework. This process of interaction was the result of the internal dynamism of each tradition in constant relation with the historical and philosophical environment. The manner in which each tradition transformed or adapted philosophical catagories to their basic structure has formed the basis of our analysis of their philoso-phical relationship. The similarity of the two systems comes from a shared meta-physical framework or structure, consisting of several categories; the absolute, world-as-maz/a,two truths, and nature of error. These categories are transformed by the causal metaphor which each philosophy used to 'map' out the nature of the universe and the path to freedom. This method enables us to draw parallels based on seeing these categories as part of an entire philosophical system. Both systems are absolutisms. Reality is free of empirical qualification and transcendent. The world-as-maya is non-different from reality which is realized when this appearance is negated. Advaita and Madhyamika differ on theories of causation, the self, and nature of error; these differences modify their respective understanding of reality. In mapping out relations among the above categories both philosophies are concerned to demonstrate that man can enter into events as causal agent and attain freedom. In order for man's efforts to count, the causal relations between events must be neither too strong 124 nor too weak. If the causal relation is too strong man's efforts fail because he cannot affect the pre-ordained nature of things, if too weak his efforts fail because there is no order among events. The two primary causal chains in Indian philosophy are the evolutionary scheme of the Samkhya school and the Buddhist 'chain of dependent origination' {pratityasamutpada). The Samkhya scheme is based on satkaryavada which means that the effect pre-exists in the cause. The Buddhist chain holds that the effect does not pre-exist in the cause and is termed asatkaryavada. The logic of the causal models is exhibited in the entire philosophy. The tendency of satkaryavada is to unify the universe. In Advaita, Brahman represents this premordial unity. Reality is so unified that change or causation becomes unintelligable, and thus Advaita holds the theory of the apparent transformation (vivartavada) of Brahman. Asatkaryavada on the other hand diversifies the real. One cause is not adequate to form a particular effect, therefore asatkaryavada multiplies the number of conditions required to produce an effect. Madhyamika pushes this tendency to diversify the real to its logical conclusion, and holds ajativada because the phenomenal universe is so diversified as to be unintelligable as caused. Advaita avoids making the causal relation too strong, by making freedom an act of knowledge which negate appearances. In its use of asatkaryavada Madhyamika avoids making ajativada or no-causation too weak, by making freedom an act of knowledge which negates all views (drsti). Both philosophies hold the doctrine of ajativada. 125 but for opposite reasons, Advaita because of the ultimate unity of reality, Madhyamika because of its ultimate diversity. This difference, results in the ontological orientation of Advaita, and the epistemological orientation of Madhyamika. Advaita is ontological. Reality is pure being, consciousness, and bliss. Brahman is the ultimate ground, and cosmological source of the world. The other categories discussed are transformed by this ontological stance. Maya, is the super-imposition of apparent creation on the ground of Brahman. In the doctrine of two truths, paramartha is the absolute realm of Brahman, vyavaharika is the empirical world which is sublated by the truth of Brahman. The nature of error through v/hich the phenomenal world appears as real is the perception of difference or plurality when in fact there are no differences in the unity of Brahman. Madhyamika places these same catagories in an epistemological framework. The Buddhist tradition began by breaking down the concept of self into a constituent entity. The error which bound man was the perception of eternal substance and permanence where none actually existed. Nagarjuna extended this lack of self-existence {svabhava) to the dharmas which the Hinayana schools used to analyze the self and world. Self, world, and dharmas all arise in dependent co-origination {pratityasamutpada) and are thus empty [sunya). With the realization of emptiness, the absolute nature of 'things as they really are' {tathata) is revealed. The nature of error in Madhyamika consists in holding views such that the world is either eternal or non-eternal. 126 In 'two truths' the everyday {samvrti) world exists because people cling to these views- As the conditioned phenomena of the world in reality lack self-existence (svabhava) Nagarjuna characterizes them as maya. The paramatha standpoint is attained when all 'views' are removed, and the emptiness of all things is realized. The differences between the two schools can be easily summar-ized by pointing out the meaning of advaita as opposed to advaya. Advaita refers to the non-dual nature of Brahman and its apparent creation; Advaya to the 'non-twoness' of sunyata which is the middle path between the extreme views of eternal ism and nihilism. This example serves to demonstrate the transformation which 'similar' categories undergo where placed in different historical contexts. In this case the two terms, along with the other catagories discussed, are transformed by the orthodox Hindu and Buddhist traditions. The categories are thus seen as part of an integral system of philosophy, overcoming the inadequacies of some earlier methods which tended to overlook the profound differences between these categories or terms. Thus by using the method of T.R.V. Murti who points out the ontological and epistemological framework of Advaita and Madhyamika, and Karl Potter's analysis of causation as the reason for these differing orientations we have been able to take into account both the similar-ities and the uniqueness of each system. The philosophical and conceptual differences between the two systems are substantial, but the question must sti l l be asked, "are these differences based only in linguistic and historical 127 convention, on views which disappear in the realization of the absolute?" Certainly it would seem to be here that universal ism becomes appropriate but the answer would seem to rest as much on the pre-dispositions of the questioner as on an analysis of the two systems. Murti's model of the circle whose differing radii have the same center as goal is useful here. While the philosophies differ markedly, the goal of immediate intuition of the absolute is similar. Again, this model must be used with reservation as all Indian philosophies, e.g. Samkhya, of 'realization' do not characterize freedom in the same manner . Certainly there are many problems for further research here. Having made this type of basic comparison which utilizes similarities viewed as part of an organic system, it becomes possible to ask further questions about the nature of wisdom (prajna) and its attain-ment. For example a comparative study might be done of the nature of error in each school, which in Madhyamika is the tendency to 'conceptualize', and in Advaita the perception of 'difference'. The difference between the two concepts may be negligable, but could have implications for man's attempt to attain freedom. A comparative study of Advaita and Madhyamika in the very least broadens our under-standing of both philosophies by placing in sharp relief the conceptual framework of one system against the other. 128 BIBLIOGRAPHY A. 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