« Nihilism's problem with the self | Main | Some food for thought »

September 06, 2009


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Interestingly, we should note that Advaita Vedanta considers that the self has three inseparable qualities, namely Sat, Cit and Ananda. Sat is absolute permanent being (nicca), Cit is the Citta or Self(atta) and Ananda the infinite joy (sukha).

What is not self (anattam) is then logically marked by the three characteristics of existence (anicca, dukkha and anatta). Objects are therefore "not me, not mine, not my self" to quote a canonical Theravada expression. Advaita yogis practicing self-inquiry would simply say "neti, neti" (not this, not this) following a very similar via negativa.

I would add that some scholars consider that Gaudapada and Adi Shankaracarya's Advaita Vedanta (8th century CE) has been inspired by Yogacara Buddhism. Advaita Vedanta has therefore nothing to do with the doctrines criticized by the historical Buddha, nor should it be confused with neo-Vedanta.

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