Did Adi Shankaracharya defeat Buddhism?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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DooDoot
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Did Adi Shankaracharya defeat Buddhism?

Post by DooDoot » Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:54 am

Dear DW forum

I have noticed a few videos where it is claimed Adi Shankaracharya single-handedly defeated Buddhism in India.

Please kindly discuss or offer any knowledge.

Thanks :smile:




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SarathW
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Re: Did Adi Shankaracharya defeat Buddhism?

Post by SarathW » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:33 am

it is claimed Adi Shankaracharya single-handedly defeated Buddhism in India.
Do not worry about India.
Did he defeat you?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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DooDoot
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Re: Did Adi Shankaracharya defeat Buddhism?

Post by DooDoot » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:34 am

There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

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Sam Vara
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Re: Did Adi Shankaracharya defeat Buddhism?

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:13 am

Well, something defeated Buddhism in India. If it was merely thousands of monks being slaughtered and monasteries burned by people wishing to extirpate it, then that's regrettable but only of historical interest. If, however, it was defeated by Shankaracharya's logic, then I guess we ought to know about it and see if that defeat can be avoided in ourselves. (Good comment, Sarath, by the way! :clap: )

It would be interesting to see a more systematic and comprehensive outline of Shankaracharya's thought. The speaker in the first video seemed quite impressive. His point was that there was no essential difference between Hinduism and Buddhism, and that the anatta doctrine was perfectly acceptable to Hindus as it deals merely with objects of knowledge, which includes jivatman, but not atman proper, as the latter is formless and unknowable. If anything was destroyed by Shankaracharya, it was, the speaker said, a corrupted firm of Buddhism. I have no idea whether this is historically accurate, but I do admire his conciliatory attitude.

SarathW
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Re: Did Adi Shankaracharya defeat Buddhism?

Post by SarathW » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:51 am

I have listened to the first video.
He has no idea about what Buddha taught.
Buddha very clearly asked what is the basis if someone says there is another thing outside the five aggregate.
As far as Buddha concern five aggregate is all. (eye, ear etc.)
Rupa Jivitandriya and Nama Jivitandriya are taught in Abhidhamma.
Nibbana is outside the five aggregate but Buddha said that it is not an objective reality.
Buddha did not talk about that we union with the Nibbana.

Another point is Adi Shankaracharya did not teach four Noble Truths, Dependent Origination, Noble Eightfold Path, etc.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Bundokji
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Re: Did Adi Shankaracharya defeat Buddhism?

Post by Bundokji » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:15 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:13 am
It would be interesting to see a more systematic and comprehensive outline of Shankaracharya's thought. The speaker in the first video seemed quite impressive. His point was that there was no essential difference between Hinduism and Buddhism, and that the anatta doctrine was perfectly acceptable to Hindus as it deals merely with objects of knowledge, which includes jivatman, but not atman proper, as the latter is formless and unknowable. If anything was destroyed by Shankaracharya, it was, the speaker said, a corrupted firm of Buddhism. I have no idea whether this is historically accurate, but I do admire his conciliatory attitude.
I still fail to see the significance of the distinction between Buddhism in its corrupt form and more accurate form based on Atman being unknowable.

If all objects of knowledge are not self, and if Atman unknowable, then why the idea of Atman (which is an object of knowledge) is useful?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: Did Adi Shankaracharya defeat Buddhism?

Post by SarathW » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:20 am

Sadguru talk about Adi Shankara.
What you make out of this statement.
"Logic is for the world. This is for me"

“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Sam Vara
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Re: Did Adi Shankaracharya defeat Buddhism?

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:35 am

Bundokji wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:15 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:13 am
It would be interesting to see a more systematic and comprehensive outline of Shankaracharya's thought. The speaker in the first video seemed quite impressive. His point was that there was no essential difference between Hinduism and Buddhism, and that the anatta doctrine was perfectly acceptable to Hindus as it deals merely with objects of knowledge, which includes jivatman, but not atman proper, as the latter is formless and unknowable. If anything was destroyed by Shankaracharya, it was, the speaker said, a corrupted firm of Buddhism. I have no idea whether this is historically accurate, but I do admire his conciliatory attitude.
I still fail to see the significance of the distinction between Buddhism in its corrupt form and more accurate form based on Atman being unknowable.

If all objects of knowledge are not self, and if Atman unknowable, then why the idea of Atman (which is an object of knowledge) is useful?
Sorry, I didn't express that well. They are two distinct points, and if there is a link between the alleged corruption of Buddhism and the atman issue, I can't see it in the video. (It would be interesting to see if there was other historical evidence for the corruption of Buddhism, or whether it is just Hindu myth.)

The unknowability of Atman as an object of knowledge is "useful" in that it enables one to make the claim that it is indeed self, and that the Buddhist anatta doctrine (and Dukkha and anicca) applies only to objects of knowledge.

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Kim OHara
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Re: Did Adi Shankaracharya defeat Buddhism?

Post by Kim OHara » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:52 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:13 am
Well, something defeated Buddhism in India. If it was merely thousands of monks being slaughtered and monasteries burned by people wishing to extirpate it, then that's regrettable but only of historical interest. If, however, it was defeated by Shankaracharya's logic, then I guess we ought to know about it and see if that defeat can be avoided in ourselves. ...
According to Wikipedia, it was both of these reasons and a couple of others.
:reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_o ... m_in_India

:coffee:
Kim

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Bundokji
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Re: Did Adi Shankaracharya defeat Buddhism?

Post by Bundokji » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:56 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:35 am
The unknowability of Atman as an object of knowledge is "useful" in that it enables one to make the claim that it is indeed self, and that the Buddhist anatta doctrine (and Dukkha and anicca) applies only to objects of knowledge.
I still fail to see how the idea of Atman adds anything useful. The Buddha taught that all conditioned things are Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta. The term "conditioned" implies objects of knowledge because it is quite legitimate to ask: conditioned by what? so the process of "objectifying" is integral to making things knowable.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

Dinsdale
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Re: Did Adi Shankaracharya defeat Buddhism?

Post by Dinsdale » Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:17 am

Bundokji wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:56 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:35 am
The unknowability of Atman as an object of knowledge is "useful" in that it enables one to make the claim that it is indeed self, and that the Buddhist anatta doctrine (and Dukkha and anicca) applies only to objects of knowledge.
I still fail to see how the idea of Atman adds anything useful. The Buddha taught that all conditioned things are Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta. The term "conditioned" implies objects of knowledge because it is quite legitimate to ask: conditioned by what? so the process of "objectifying" is integral to making things knowable.
Though in the suttas the unconditioned (Nibbana) is said to be knowable, and to be an "escape" from the conditioned.
I'm not suggesting that realisation of Atman = realisation of Nibbana (that would be heresy!), but I sometimes wonder whether they are different ways of describing similar experiences, different expressions of Moksha (liberation).
https://suttacentral.net/an3.47/en/bodhi
Last edited by Dinsdale on Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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binocular
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Re: Did Adi Shankaracharya defeat Buddhism?

Post by binocular » Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:23 am

Bundokji wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:15 am
If all objects of knowledge are not self, and if Atman unknowable, then why the idea of Atman (which is an object of knowledge) is useful?
It's useful to (mono)theistic agendas.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

sentinel
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Re: Did Adi Shankaracharya defeat Buddhism?

Post by sentinel » Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:44 am

If atman knowable
If nibbana knowable
That is in theory
Practically , unless one attained to the state
Comparison just remains
If one is an arhat he won't bother about atman
If one attained atman he don't bother either
:buddha1:

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Bundokji
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Re: Did Adi Shankaracharya defeat Buddhism?

Post by Bundokji » Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:51 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:17 am
Though in the suttas the unconditioned (Nibbana) is said to be knowable, and to be an "escape" from the conditioned.
I'm not suggesting that realisation of Atman = realisation of Nibbana (that would be heresy!), but I sometimes wonder whether they are different ways of describing similar experiences, different expressions of Moksha (liberation).
https://suttacentral.net/an3.47/en/bodhi
The following is my line of reasoning:

1- Both Hinduism and Buddhism are needed by the unenlightened. They are of no use for the enlightened.
2- The unenlightened has the following natural tendencies:

a- Of objectifying
b- of seeking rather than ending. Seeking experiences seem to be a feature of the unenlightened, not the enlightened

3- Both doctrines seem to agree that these tendencies can be problematic in achieving the goal

If you agree with the above, which doctrine is more effective in countering these tendencies?

By the way, the above is purely hypothetical based on your assumption that both are describing similar experiences. What constitutes the end of suffering from a Buddhist point of view might be radically different from Hinduism.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

binocular
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Re: Did Adi Shankaracharya defeat Buddhism?

Post by binocular » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:00 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:51 am
What constitutes the end of suffering from a Buddhist point of view might be radically different from Hinduism.
"Hinduism" is such a broad term ... comprising so many different doctrines, not just a few of them mutually exclusive.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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