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January 10, 2013

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Sariputta, when I know and see thus, should anyone say of me: 'The recluse Gotama does not have any superhuman states, any distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones. The recluse Gotama teaches a Dhamma (merely) hammered out by reasoning, following his own line of inquiry as it occurs to him' — unless he abandons that assertion and that state of mind and relinquishes that view, then as (surely as if he had been) carried off and put there he will wind up in hell. (MN 12)

steve:

To begin to understand Vedanta I think it is necessary to read Hajime Nakamura's book, _A History of Early Vedanta Philosophy_ (the book has a lot on Buddhism, too). I am still reading it. Suffice it to say that the Buddhist Vijnanavadins called themselves Advaitavadinah before the time of Sankara.

I'm not going to get all Meet The Press on you. But that was a Bill Clinton-type answer.

To the question of "whether, in your opinion, there is any meaningful difference between what the buddha taught (as further expounded by bodhidharma and huang-po and other zen patriarchs) and advaita vedanta."

This isn't a gotcha question. If the answer is "no", I'm not going to go "AHA! YOU'RE NO BUDDHIST AND I DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN TO YOU!" If the answer is "yes", I'd like to know what you think the difference is.

steve:

It is probably more accurate to say that Vedanta came from Buddhism.

ok. i understand what you're saying. Let me just ask you point blank. In your opinion is what the Buddha taught in any meaningful way different from the teachings of Advaita Vedanta?

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