chapter  III
49 Pages

Development of the Two Traditions and the Emergence of the Mādhyamika System

I GENERAL OUTLINE OF THE DEVELOPMENT SYSTEMS of philosophy are the elaboration, through concepts and symbols, of certain original intuitions. If all of us had those basic intuitions, systems should be superfluous. Every one is not a Buddha or a Yajfiavalkya. It happens that the

great mass of mankind can but be followers and are not leaders in thought. Systems of thought are intended to lead them to the highest experience through symbols and concepts. The several systems, both of the Upani~adic (atma) and Buddhistic (anatma) tradition, must be considered as so many attempts to embody their original inspiration. In the process of translation the original freshness and flavour are lost to some extent. Besides, all the systems do not equally penetrate to the original inspiration. Some may stay at the periphery, some go a little deeper, while it is only a few that penetrate to the centre. These differences arise because of the spiritual bias and the capacity of the makers of systems. Though all the Brahmanical systems are derived from the Upani~ads, there is justification to hold that only the Advaita Vedanta represents the real heart of the Upani~ads. Similarly, though all the Buddhistic systems (Theravada, Vaibha~ika etc.) embody the teachings of Buddha, it is the Madhyamika system that represents the real heart of Buddhism.