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  • Of the ancient Indian philosophies of Ājīvika, Ajñana, Buddhism, Chārvāka, Jainism, Mīmāṁsā, Nyāya, Samkhya, Vaisheshika, Vedanta, and Yoga, we'll find the closest companion to Epicureanism in Chārvāka. Early Buddhism is most closely related to the Indian school of Ajñana, from which Pyrrhonism developed, so, in general, I don't think that comparisons between early Buddhism and Epicurean philosophy are helpful. They are dissimilar and historically unrelated. In terms of physics, Epicureanism sha…
  • Without going to deep into doctrines, here's a brief historical sketch: In general, Theravada Buddhist are a doctrinally-conservative group who follow a trend of Buddhism that recommends a withdrawn life of monasticism. Monks and nuns are typically separated like the Catholic Church. It's sort of like ... if the only expression of the Catholic tradition were the Desert Fathers who withdrew into contemplation. This form is found predominately in Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia, where Buddhism first…
  • I found a few quick images for some context: I didn't create this, but it matches up with what I'd generalize:
  • Keep in mind, we're talking about different denominations caused by political schisms throughout the centuries, no different than Christianity. Just like all Christians adopt the Nicaean Creed, agree on Biblical literary canon, and accept the early intellectual tradition of the Church Fathers, all Buddhists accept a common liturgy (the Pali Canon, with some cultural-specific additions) and a common intellectual tradition originating from Siddhartha Gautama. None of the Buddhist denominations are…
  • Here's another way to approach this discussion that I think can be fruitful. Let's ask: "Why are peoples in the modern world so drawn to ancient Idealism?" My short answer is that they feel like the modern world (which they relate to particle physics) is missing a heart, an substantive, meaningful context for a person within a rapidly changing world of symbols and technology. Epicurus' moral take on atomism, I think, provides a bridge between particle physics over what many perceive (ironically)…
  • EPICUREAN PHILOSOPHYTHERAVĀDA BUDDHISMMAHĀYĀNA BUDDHISMFounderEpicurusSiddhārtha GautamaSiddhārtha Gautama, NāgārjunaHistoryEpicurus (341–270 BCE) founded this anti-Platonic ethical philosophy of non-deterministic atomism with the support of his disciples Metrodorus, Hermarchus, and Polyaenus. The 1st-century BCE Roman poets Lucretius (author of De Rerum Natura, "On the Nature of Things") and Philodemus made notable contributions to spread the philosophy. The 2nd-century CE Diogenes of Oinoanda …
  • (Quote from Sid) All forms of Vedanta are at odds with Epicurean philosophy and inhabit opposite sides of the philosophical spectrum. Every historical iteration of Vedanta rejects other schools of ancient Indian philosophy that make similar claims to Epicureanism, such as Vaisheshika, which proposes a form of atomism, and the heterodox tradition of Charvaka, which proposes an atheistic form of hedonism. Incidentally, there are a number of similarities between Vedanta (especially Advaita Vedanta)…
  • One other noteworthy point to mention Sid is that there is (a proposed) historical link between Advaita Vedanta and Mahāyāna Buddhism. The 6th-century Hindu philosopher Gauḍapāda (an early inspiration of Adi Shankara) was supposedly influenced by the teachings of the Mādhyamaka tradition of the Buddhist monk Nāgārjuna. While Mahāyāna Buddhism differs in many ways from Advaita Vedanta, they are much more closely related to each other than either of them are related to Epicureanism (or, for that m…