The Axial interval in the Indic case
I am asked to comment on the current Advaita movement.
I am not able to do that, it is too much to take in as yet…
but I read Dennis Waite’s tome to get my bearings here.
Instead of commenting let me put the question in context, that of my WHEE.
The Indian Axial Age, 900 BCE to 600 BCE is the interval in my model, not exactly the same as the Axial Age, is a tour de force of three things (or more). The transition moves through the classic legacy corrupted with Vedism and extracts the Upanishads and from there the Vedanta appears. This mysterious process then acts on the Jain legacy which is very ancient and the result is the world of Mahavir. And this leads to the third phase, the buddhist. Look first at the emergence of Israelitism: between 900 BCE and 600 BCE a whole new religious constellation emerges: the Old Testament starts to crystallize, the Prophets appear, then just around 600 BCE it is ready, almost. Then out of the blue Judah is destroyed and the ‘Israelites/Judahites’ are in Babylon and the Judaic corpus blends with the Zoroastrian. Then within a century they are back in ‘Israel’ and the religion emerges… Note how the period after 600 BCE is a realization phase.
The same is true in India: just after 600 BCE the buddhist legacy begins to undergo its realization and it is on its way. But there is a lot more there that leads up to this, and the conventional legacy is about to produce Vedanta’s larger realization and is also gestating further. The Indian tradition is thus confusing but the analysis of the macro model in WHEE is completely logical and makes sense of the data. The result goes in different directions, that of Vedanta into the realm of Advaita and much else…
The model produces this analysis without knowing anything about the content!
The Advaita world from Vedanta/Upanishads is almost primordial but it is corrupted by the Vedic legacy which is actually foreign to it. That’s the significance of buddhism: this mysterious process seems to wish to extract the core legacy from the confusing mixture by deleting the Vedic hybridizaition.