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By Eliot Deutsch, J. A. B. van Buitenen

Publication by means of Deutsch, Eliot

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Extra resources for A Source Book of Advaita Vedanta

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And while Buddhism flourished in the great centers on which the monks depended for patronage, Brahminism kept moving across the countryside as Hinduism. In the process these ancient ritual specialists began to become the ministers of the gods. Though their own dharma-sastra s prohibited them from professional priesthood for "godlings," it was hard for religious zeal to distinguish between a locally supreme god and the Supreme of the ancient texts. The litanies they composed in Sanskrit for these gods had the same convincing language as the ancient mantras, and their taking over, gradually and assuredly, the ministrations of local religion had an inevitability about it and .

Only when the transmission is complete does the scholar have a right to strike out on his own, with the proud certainty that, if his views after careful probing have been considered useful and worthwhile by his fellow-scholars, they will become part of the disciplinary erudition of what is forever preserved. Learning therefore is highly verbal; the orally acquired disciplinary erudition, which in part may also have been laid down in a written manuscript, is followed by probing discussions and debates, which add to the erudition and perhaps to the textual history of the system.

In the larger historical context, then, it might be said that Vedanta did not so much demolish its rivals as it swallowed them up. 1 It is impossible to know just when or by whom the Vediintic arguments against the basic metaphysical principles of the rival systems were first formulated. ow have the~. kara, in this account, introduces certain origmal elements mto the arguments while accepting a line of attack ~hich had already been worked out. 2 In any event, the dialectical mterplay between Vedanta and the other Indian systems, as it has .

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