West Point of View: Buddhist Challenged the authority of the vedic tradition by means of processes calls ‘transvaluation of values’ and ‘normative inversion’ whereby one group turns another’s obligation into Abominations, and often Vice versa,He cites a few examples of such inversion, such as: whether animal sacrifices are allowed or not, the meaning of dharma, the meaning of’arya’ and so on. He obsessively looks for things he can interpret as ‘norms’ in both systems and then tries to put them in mutual contradiction as much as possible.[1]


Response:Ashok Aklujkar challenges the view that the Buddha condemned the Vedas. He feels the Buddha could have meant that the Vedic brahmins had wrongly interpreted the Vedas. The claim of an absolute divide between Vedic and Buddhist/Jain use of languages is false, he says, as is the corresponding divide between Sanskrit and other languages. This is a crucial matter that Aklujkar is investigating.


He writes:

‘It is not the case that Sanskrit was not viewed as an Aryan language by the Jains and Buddhists or that languages like Pali and Ardha-magadhi were not viewed as parts of the same Aryan language continuum by the adherents of Brahmanism. […] To hold that Ardha-magadhi is a language of gods, rsis, or Aryas is essentially similar to the view held
in the Brahmanical tradition on behalf of (what we call) Sanskrit. The view, furthermore, fits naturally in the Brahmanical tradition and hence must be present in it at an earlier period and must have been taken over in the Jain tradition. Likewise, to say that Pali is a language of all living beings is a continuation of the kind of thinking which is implicit in the Brahmanical connecting of Sanskrit with the Language Principle through the language of the Veda’


Buddhism retained Upanishadic ideas and doctrines such as karma, rebirth and renunciation.[2]


  1. Rajiv Malhotra, ‘The Battle For Sanskrit’ p.382 Harper Collins ISBN:978-93-5177-538-6
  2. Rajiv Malhotra, ‘The Battle For Sanskrit’ p.383-384 Harper Collins ISBN:978-93-5177-538-6

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