Sage Sri, Sankara has declared Advaitic truth centuries back. The seeker has to reach the inner destination with soulcentric reasoning. Until one mentally reaches the final conclusion and the conviction of the truth, which is beyond the form, time and space, the Advaitic wisdom, will not dawn. Without realizing the fact that, the Self is not the ‘I’ but the Self is ‘I-LESS Soul, the truth will not reveal. The Soul, which is present in the form of the consciousness, is the ultimate truth or Brahman.
The Soul, which is present in the consciousness, is real and eternal and all else is a myth, which Sage Sri, Sankara declared as the world is myth Brahman alone is real.
It is no use arguing Buddha is wrong or Sage Sri Sankara is right, but the seeker has to find out where he is going wrong in his understanding of the nondualistic or Advaitic truth, what is blocking him to realize the truth propagated by the great Sages of the past. The seeker has to find out what are the obstacles?
Some say, that without the Sunyavada, Advaita philosophy could not have come into existence because Advaita starts from where Sunyavada ends. That is why they say it is the extension of Buddhism. If Advaita existed prior to Buddha, he would not have advocated Sunyavada at all because Advaita is final and the ultimate truth.
Since the Buddhist and the Vedic scriptures have been passed down by hearing, they were written down only relatively late, so one wouldn't know whether to rely on the times they give. Also, a lot depends on the translation. Each 'Sloka' or sutta is open to many layers of interpretation.
Sage Sri, Sankara said:~Talk as much philosophy as you like, worship as many Gods as you please, observe ceremonies and sing devotional hymns, but liberation will never come, even after a hundred aeons, without realizing the Oneness.
Sage Sri, Sankara himself had often said that his philosophy was based on Sruti or revealed scripture. This may be because Sage Sri, Sankara addressed the ordinary man, who finds security in the idea of causality and thus in the idea of God—and Revelation is indispensable to prove the latter. He believed that those of superior intelligence, have no need of this idea of divine causality, and can, therefore, dispense with Sruti and arrive at the truth of Non-Dualism by pure reason.
Sage Sri, Sankara’s supreme Brahman is Nirguna (without the Gunas), Nirakara (formless), Nirvisesha (without attributes) and Akarta (non-agent). He is above all needs and desires.
Sage Sri, Sankara says:~ "This Atman is Self-evident. This Atman or Self is not established by proofs of the existence of the Self. It is not possible to deny this Atman, for it is the very essence of he who denies it. The Atman is the basis of all kinds of knowledge.
The Self is within, the Self is without, the Self is before and the Self is behind. The Self is on the right hand, the Self is on the left, the Self is above and the Self is below".
Satyam-Jnanam-Anantam-Anandam, are not separate attributes. They form the very essence of Brahman. Brahman cannot be described because description implies the distinction. Brahman cannot be distinguished from any other than He.
The objective world-the world of names and forms have no independent existence. The Atman alone has real existence. The world is only phenomenal.
Sage Sri, Sankara was the exponent of the Advaitic truth. His wisdom can be summed up in the following words:~
Brahma Satyam Jagat Mithya,
Jeevo Brahmaiva Na Aparah
Brahman alone is real, this world is unreal; the Jiva is identical with Brahman.
The critics who declare Sage Sri, Sankara's philosophy as negative (because of his Neti, Neti) do not know that this is applied only to the witnessed (three states), the critic ignorantly believes that it is also applied to the formless witness (Soul). The seeker should never negate the formless witness, only the witnessed.
The Advaitic wisdom is nothing to do with the Advaitic orthodoxy. The orthodoxy meant for the ignorant populace whereas the wisdom is meant for those who are seeking the higher truth.
According to Advaita Vedanta, the Veda addresses itself to two kinds of audiences - the ordinary ones who desire the transitory heaven and other pleasures obtained as a result of ritual sacrifices, and the more advanced seeker who seeks to know Brahman. Thus, the purva mimam.sa, with its emphasis on the karma kanda of the Vedas, is meant for the first audience, to help lead its followers along the way. However, the Vedanta, with its emphasis on the jnana kanda, is meant for those who wish to go beyond such transient pleasures.
There is a need to do deeper Self-search in order to know the true essence of Advaitic wisdom propounded by Sage Sri, Sankara and Sage Sri, Goudpada and emptiness of the Buddha.
In Brahma Sutras Sage Sri, Sankara says that Brahman is the cause of the world, whereas in Mandukya he denies it. This is because he says that at the lower stage of understanding, the former teaching must be given, for people will get frightened as they cannot understand how the world can be without a cause, but to those in a higher stage, the truth of non-causality can be revealed.
Brahma Sutras, i.e. "Vedanta Sutras" by Badarayana, are intended for those of middling intellects, not for those who have the best brains: it is a semi-theological, semi-philosophical work; it starts with the assumption that Brahman exists.
The opening sentence is "All this is Brahman." But nobody knows or has seen Brahman.
If one says "All this is gold" and show a piece of gold, the words are understandable. Suppose one has never seen gold. Then what is the use it becomes meaningless when the object indicated is seen by none.
Hence, the Brahma Sutra opening is equivalent to "All this is Brahman". Both have no meaning so long as they are not understood if we take them as the data to start from. It is for this reason, the Brahma Sutra is intended for theological mindsets because it begins with dogma although its reasoning is close. For it starts with something imagined.
The critics who declare Sage Sri, Sankara's philosophy as negative (because of his Neti, Neti) do not know that this is applied only to the witnessed (three states), the critic ignorantly believes that it is also applied to the formless witness (Soul). The seeker should never negate the formless witness(Soul), only the witnessed(I).