Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sage Sri, Sankara disagrees with Buddhists who say, there is nothing - nonentity. Sage Sri, Sankara believe there is some reality, even though things are not what they appear to be.*****

Bhagvan Buddha:- No one saves us but ourselves.  No one can and no one may.  We ourselves must walk the path. 
Bhagvan Buddha as a constructive worker committed an error in failing to give the masses a religion, something tangible they could grasp, something materialistic, if symbolic that their limited intellect could take hold of, in addition to his ethics and philosophy. Here Sri Sage Sri, Sankara was wiser and gave religion; such as Bhakti, worship etc.--to the ignorant masses, as well as wisdom to those of higher intellect.
Even the  Sage, Sri, Sankara gave religious, ritual or dogmatic instruction to the mass but pure philosophy only to the few who could rise to it. Hence the interpretation of his writings by commentators is often confusing because they mix up the two viewpoints. Thus they may assert that ritual is a means of realizing Brahman, which is absurd.

Sage Sri Sankara in commentary to "Brahma Sutras:~  " "The highest beatitude is not to be attained by Yoga." (Sacred Books of East Series page 298 Vol.1.)   And he also says Samadhi is the same as sleep (p.312) ~ -this indicates that yoga is not the means to self-realization.  And yogic Samadhi is not non dual self-awarenesss.

Everything is consciousness, which Sage Sri Sankara declared 1200 years back –everything is Atman because Atman is present in the form of consciousness. 

Sage Sri Goudpada says that: The merciful Veda teaches karma and Upaasana to people of lower and middling intellect, while Jnana is taught to those of higher intellect.

Buddhism has not proved the truth of Non-duality.  There is no doubt Buddha pointed out unreality of world. He told people they were foolish to cling to it. But he stopped there. He came nearest to Advaita in speech but not to Advaita fully. 

The practices of the path and the destination or goals of both religions can be different.Theravada Buddhism is relatively conservative, and generally closest to early Buddhism. Later on Mahayana and Vajrayana also developed. It appears that later schools of Buddhism have developed a variety of other ritual and devotional practices that were inspired or influenced by the existing religious cultures of India, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, and Tibet. Little differences can be found between later schools of Buddhism and Hinduism. There is a huge difference when comparing Hinduism to the teachings of the Buddha as recorded in the Pali Canon of the Theraveda school of Buddhism.

Buddha is a Sanskrit word. Buddha means "awakened one." A Buddha is someone who has realized the enlightenment that ends the cycle of birth and death and which brings liberation from suffering.

Among all the Buddha's teachings, those on the nature of the self are the hardest to understand, yet they are central to the religion. In fact, "fully perceiving the nature of the self" is one way to define enlightenment.

The Five Skandhas

The Buddha taught that an individual is a combination of five aggregates of existence, also called the Five Skandhas. These are:~

  1. Form
  2. Sensation
  3. Perception
  4. Mental formations
  5. Consciousness
Various schools of Buddhism interpret the skandhas in somewhat different ways. Generally, the first skandha is our physical form. The second is made up of our feelings, emotional and physical, and our senses -- seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling.

The third skandha, perception, takes in most of what we call thinking -- conceptualization, cognition, reasoning. This also includes the recognition that occurs when an organ comes into contact with an object. Perception can be thought of as "that which identifies." The object perceived may be a physical object or a mental one, such as an idea.

The fourth skandha, mental formations, includes habits, prejudices and predispositions. Our volition, or willfulness, also is part of the fourth skandha, as are attention, faith, conscientiousness, pride, desire, vindictiveness, and many other mental states both virtuous and not virtuous. The causes and effects of karma are especially important to the fourth skandha.

The fifth skandha, consciousness, is awareness of or sensitivity to an object, but without conceptualization. Once there is awareness, the third skandha might recognize the object and assign a concept-value to it, and the fourth skandha might react with desire or revulsion or some other mental formation. The fifth skandha is explained in some schools as base that ties the experience of life together.

What's most important to understand about the skandhas is that they are empty. They are not qualities that an individual possesses, because there is no-self possessing them. This doctrine of no-self is called anatman or anatta.

Very basically, the Buddha taught that "you" are not an integral, autonomous entity. The individual self, or what we might call the ego, is more correctly thought of as a by-product of the skandhas.

On the surface, this appears to be a nihilistic teaching. But the Buddha taught that if we can see through the delusion of the small, individual self, we experience that which is not subject to birth and death.

Two Views
Beyond this point, Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism differ on how anatman is understood. In fact, more than anything else it is the different understanding of self that defines and separates the two schools.

Very basically, Theravada considers anatman to mean that an individual's ego or personality is a fetter and delusion. Once freed of this delusion, the individual may enjoy the bliss of Nirvana.

Mahayana, on the other hand, considers all physical forms to be void of intrinsic self (a teaching called shunyata, which means "emptiness"). The ideal in Mahayana is to enable all beings to be enlightened together, not only out of a sense of compassion, but because we are not really separate, autonomous beings.

There's an apparent discrepancy between the Buddha's words in The Dhammapada "By oneself, indeed, is evil done; by oneself is one defiled. By oneself is evil left undone; by oneself, indeed, is one purified. Purity and impurity depend on oneself. No one purifies another." (Dhammapada, chapter 12, verse 165)

Bhagvan Buddha also holds that this world which changes from moment to moment is no real, it is only a reflection and a thing of which it is the reflection alone is real. Buddha was not an atheist. He never denied reality. There is nothing in his words or teaching to show that he considered truth to be non-existent like horns of a hare. He could not have held the foolish view that something came out of nothing. It is true; some of his disciples misunderstood and misinterpreted him. his idea was that the truth which cannot be designated by a name , or described is words and of which one cannot even say whether it is existent or none extent , is like non-existent.  The idea is quiet in agreement with the view of the Upanishads. An object which cannot even be talked about, is, for all practical purposes, as good as non-extent. But it is not non-existent in the sense that the son of barren woman is non-existent.  This subtle idea, Bhagvan Buddha's contemporaries and even his disciple fail to catch. In one passage Bhagvan Buddha says clearly: Srmana Gautama was an atheist. It is annihilation of non-existent of truth that he teaches. So will people attribute to me atheism, which is not mine? So will they ascribe me to the theory of non-existence, which again is not mine. 

From these similar statements of the Bhagvan Buddha it is clear that he was not an atheist. All philosophers old and new arrive at the same point. Orthodox Advaita (monism) that is inevitable; the people of thoughtful temperament cannot find peace and quietude until they do so. Moksha (liberation) is in the realization of oneness with God. They speak of God Goddesses, devotion and devotee, only in an in accurate way only from the standpoint of dvaithi.  After realizing oneness with God, there is no distinction between God and devote and the word "devotion" has no meaning.   

Bhagvan Buddha, Sage  Sri, Sankara and Sage Sri, Goudpada have declared non-dual truth centuries back but one has to reach the destination with scientific (rational) investigation not through punditry and intellectuality. One has to mentally reach the final conclusion, than only the conviction becomes firm. Without the firm conviction the wisdom will not dawn. Therefore, there is a need to know consciousness is real all else is a myth, which Sri, Sankara declared as the world is myth Brahman alone is real.

Sage Sri, Sankara disagrees with Buddhists who say, there is nothing - nonentity. Sage Sri,  Sankara  believe there is some reality, even though things are not what they appear to be. If one knows the truth, he will know what to do to find inspiration for action. Seeker of truth‘s subject is to know what is it that is Real.

Buddhism says: all things are illusory and noting exists.  However, Advaita avers that it is not so.  It says that the universe of course is illusory, but there is Brahman, that exists forming the very substratum of all things. 

Sage Sri, Sankara says Atman is Brahman and everything is Brahman is scientific declaration not religious or yogic. Sage Sri, Sankara and Sage Sri,  Goudpada are more scientific than anyone else in the world. Since, the real Advaitic essence is hidden it cannot be got without the inner (mental) journey.

Sage Sri, Goudpada says :~ The merciful Veda teaches karma and Upasana to people of lower and middling intellect, while Jnana is taught to those of higher intellect.Gnana here is knowledge un-contradictable truth or scientific truth. Thus their scientific truth of the whole not the part is declared by Sage Sri, Sankara 1400 years back and thought only to those of higher intellect. Thus karma and upasana, yoga and orthodoxy have to be bifurcated in order to realize the ultimate truth or Brahman.  

Sage Sri, Sankara was criticised for his views on Maya [illusion] without understanding him. He said that (1) Brahman (Atman) is real (2) the universe is unreal, and (3) Brahman is the universe. He did not stop at the second because the third explains the other two. It signifies that the universe is real if perceived as the ‘Self’ and unreal if perceived as apart from the Self. Hence Maya or illusion and reality are one and the same. 

The dualists criticise the concept of illusion without understanding it. Sage Sri, Sankara  said that:~

(1) Consciousness (Atman) is real

(2) The universe ( mind) is unreal, and

(3) Consciousness is the universe(mind), because universe or mind is mere illusion created out of Atman (consciousness).  

 One need not stop at the second because the third explains the other two. It signifies that the universe is real if perceived as the Self and unreal if perceived as apart from the Self (consciousness). Hence illusion and reality are one and the same because both are one in essence. Realizing the essence, which is consciousness as the innermost Self, is Self-Realization or Truth- Realization of GOD- Realization. Thus Sri, Sankara‘s declaration is rational truth, scientific truth and also ultimate truth. 

The Self-knowledge or Bramha Gnana or Atma Gnana  is for those are capable of inquiring into their own existence to know and realize the ultimate truth or Brahman. Santthosh Kumaar