Adventures in Humility

News, Views, and Chews on spiritual issues.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Vedanta doubts answered

An interesting question was brought forward by a devotee recently on the Oppiliappan list. I have corrected the formatting to make it easily readable:

I have some basic questions about the date of the Brahma Sutras of Badarayana. Our Sampradaya identifies the identity of Badarayana with Veda Vyasa, the redactor of the Vedas, Itihaasa-s and Purana-s. The latter's age is said to be around the end of the Treta Yuga, i.e around 3100 BCE. If Badarayana is identified with Veda Vyasa, some problems arise.

This is because the Brahma Sutras of Badarayana refer to Buddhist/Jaina/Naasthika doctrines which are known to have historically been existent only after 400 BCE. If such be the case above, how is badarayana the same as Veda Vyasa?

Two main answers were sent in reply:

Answer 1: As adiyEn heard from a scholar during Kalakshepams, the so called doctrines of Buddhism etc. were in existent even before the advent of the Buddha, Mahavir etc. and therefore there need be no doubt about the references to these in the Brahma Sutras of Badarayana who was none other than Veda Vyasa. Such ideas or views get boosted up by some personalities who become attracted by these ideas. Even in Ramayana, atheistic ideas are discussed and rejected.

Answer 2: Buddhists and Jains themselves believe that that there were many Buddhas and Mahavir's prior to those dated to the 4th and 5th centuries. And that the ideas they expressed are also very old. When adiyEn asked a similar question to a scholar regarding Azhvars dates and their references to Buddhist and Jainist philosophies, I was told the same. That there is no need to tie these philosophies only to the most recent known Buddha or Mahavir.

Well, I found that very gratifying. Did you?


Post a Comment

<< Home