Is Advaita considered to be not-Buddhism (for the purpose of deciding what's on-topic on this site)?

I'm guessing that these answers might be Advaita, or something like that:

Wikipedia has an entry for "Adisankara"

Adi Shankaracharya (Sanskrit: आदि शङ्कराआचार्य [aːdɪ ɕɐŋkɐɽɐ]) was an early 8th century Indian philosopher and theologian who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta. He is credited with unifying and establishing the main currents of thought in Hinduism.

Anyway, these answers are all downvoted and one has been flagged.

  • What ever teaching contains the eightfold path is the teaching of the Noble Ones. One may see also the Great Reference. To simply go after it or simply reject is not the way of wise people.
    – user11235
    Sep 16, 2019 at 1:38
  • Not to speak that what ever is actually on topic flows into meta and meta usually becomes topic....
    – user11235
    Sep 16, 2019 at 1:39

2 Answers 2


Advaita: a Vedantic doctrine that identifies the individual self (atman) with the ground of reality (brahman). It is associated especially with the Indian philosopher Shankara (c. 788–820).


Advaita Vedanta: Advaita Vedanta, originally known as Puruṣavāda, is a school of Hindu philosophy, and believed to be one of the classic paths to spiritual realization in Hindu tradition. The term Advaita refers to its idea that the true self, Atman, is the same as the highest metaphysical Reality.


Vedanta: Vedanta or Uttara Mīmāṃsā is the most prominent of the six schools of Hindu philosophy. Literally meaning "end of the Vedas", Vedanta reflects ideas that emerged from the speculations and philosophies contained in the Upanishads. It does not stand for one comprehensive or unifying doctrine.


These are Hindu concepts. therefore, if a question/answer is only about Advaita and/or Vedanta it belongs to https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/ can be migrated here. If it is comparative religions question with a Buddhist angle then it can be here.

  • I think that's right, i.e. that's what I get about Advaita Vedanta from Wikipedia. What I didn't know for sure is whether people from that school identify the school as "Buddhist", or not.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Sep 13, 2019 at 9:56
  • Advaita and Vedanta are tags on hinduism.stackexchange.com perhaps if it's on-topic there we could consider it off-topic here.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Sep 13, 2019 at 9:57
  • My thinking is:- If the question is seeking and Hindu response or purely about Hinduism with a Buddhist angle it can be off-topic. If there is a comparative religion with Buddhism angle we can have it here as well. E.g. a Hindu may be interested in Buddhism but might refer to Hindu concepts familiar to them to understand Buddhism. Sep 13, 2019 at 10:03
  • The answers which you have highlighted in your OP are more Hindu than Buddhist answers. Sep 13, 2019 at 10:07
  • Alright I deleted this one anyway, which someone had flagged. The other two remain, downvoted.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Sep 13, 2019 at 10:13

All Vedanta schools must have Atman at the core of all sentient beings (Bhagavad Gita 2.17-30). If it does not, then it is not Vedanta. Regardless of whether it is Dvaita, Advaita, Visishtadvaita, Shuddhādvaita or Bhedabheda, all have Atman and Brahman.

Similarly, all Buddhist schools must accept that all phenomena is not Atman or not Self, regardless of whether it is unconditioned phenomena (Nirvana) or conditioned phenomena. If it does not fulfill this, then it is not Buddhism. This is confirmed in the essay "Vedanta and Buddhism: A Comparative Study" by German indologist Professor Helmuth von Glasenapp. This essay includes a definition of Atman or Self, that is consistent with Bhagavad Gita 2.17-30. This applies to all Hinayana / Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana schools.

This topic of Atman is a fundamental irreconcilable difference between Vedanta and Buddhism.

By this definition, since Adi Shankaracharya preached Atman at the core of all beings, he was definitely an astika (a believer) and therefore his teachings fall under the umbrella of Hinduism. This can be seen in his compositions: Atma Bodha, Vivekachudamani, Aparokshanubhuti, Tattva Bodha and his commentaries.

The Buddha rejected the concept of an eternal Atman at the core of any being and also rejected Brahman, so he was a nastika (a non-believer).

Another criteria is the acceptance of the authority of the Vedas as revealed scripture (shruti). Adi Shankara accepted the Vedas, so he was an astika. Meanwhile, the Buddha did not accept the Vedas as evidenced in the Canki Sutta, so he was a nastika.

It can be seen in this answer that even non-Vedanta schools that are classified as astika (believer), all accept Atman.

So, based on these two criteria, Advaita Vedanta does not fall under Buddhism, and instead falls under Hinduism.

From Professor Helmuth von Glasenapp's essay "Vedanta and Buddhism: A Comparative Study":

Nothing shows better the great distance that separates the Vedanta and the teachings of the Buddha, than the fact that the two principal concepts of Upanishadic wisdom, Atman and Brahman, do not appear anywhere in the Buddhist texts, with the clear and distinct meaning of a "primordial ground of the world, core of existence, ens realissimum (true substance)," or similarly.

  • "Atman and Brahman, do not appear anywhere "... is not rigt at all, yet there is higher taught by the Blessed one. Rejecting Sublime has not even an entrance to the path.
    – user11235
    Sep 16, 2019 at 1:41
  • Pardon me, but I downvoted because you place an irreconcilable division between Vedanta an Buddhism. I do not share this view and feel a great deal more argument would be required to justify such a statement. A difference yes, but Vedanta, advaita and (Middle Way) Buddhism are not difficult to reconcile as descriptions of Reality.
    – user14119
    Nov 20, 2019 at 11:04

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