Everything is consciousness, which Sage Sri Sankara declared 1200 years back –everything is Atman because Atman is present in the form of the consciousness.
Sage Sri Goudpada says that: - The merciful Veda teaches karma and Upasana to people of lower and middling intellect, while Jnana is taught to those of higher intellect.
Buddhism has not proved the truth of Non-duality. There is no doubt Buddha pointed out the unreality of the world. He told people they were foolish to cling to it. But he stopped there. He came nearest to Advaita in speech but not to Advaita fully.
The distinction between Sage Sri, Sankara’s Advaita and Vijnanavadin Buddhism is that the former is mentalism i.e. mind is the real, whereas the latter is idealism, i.e. ideas are real. Advaitins follow the former.
Buddhism did not graduate its teaching to suit people of varying grades; hence its failure to affect society in Asia.
Buddha as a constructive worker committed an error in failing to give the masses a religion, something tangible they could grasp something materialistic, if symbolic that their limited intellect could take hold of, in addition to his ethics and philosophy. Here Sri Sage Sri, Sankara was wiser and gave religion; such as Bhakti, worship etc.--to the ignorant masses, as well as wisdom to those of higher intellect.
The Advaita Sage, Sri, Sankara gave religious, ritual or dogmatic instruction to the populace, but pure philosophy only to the few who could rise to it. Hence, the interpretation of his writings by commentators is often confusing because they mix up the two viewpoints. Thus, they may assert that ritual is a means of realizing Brahman, which is absurd.
Buddha's teachings that all life is misery belong to the relative standpoint only. For you cannot form any idea of misery without contrasting it with its opposite, happiness. The two will always go together. Buddha taught the goal of cessation of misery, i.e. peace, but took care not to discuss the ultimate standpoint for then he would have had to go above the heads of the people and tell them that misery itself was only an idea, that peace even was an idea (for it contrasted with peacelessness). That the doctrine he gave out was a limited one, is evident because he inculcated compassion. Why should a Buddhist sage practice pity? There is no reason for it.
Advaita is the next step higher than Buddhism because it gives the missing reason, viz. unity, non-difference from others, and because it explains that it used the concept of removing the sufferings of others, of lifting them up to happiness, only as we use one thorn to pick out another, afterwards throw both away. Similarly, Advaita discards both concepts of misery and happiness in the ultimate standpoint of non-duality, which is indescribable.
Buddhists say that a thing exists only for a moment, and if that thing has still got some of the substance from which it was produced, how then can they deny that its cause is continuing in the effect; hence its existence is more than a moment. Vedanta is concerned with whether it is one and the same thing which has come into being or has it come out of nothing.
The world is both real and unreal. It is real because it is a manifestation of the consciousness but is unreal, in the sense, that it is not absolute and eternal like consciousness itself.
People's approach is more practical, and they stuck with the reality of the world, they take it as real. That is why all the confusion.