And isnt nirvana and brahma the same ? State that comes when you destroy ego ?
A very important assumption in all vedAnta is that man suffers from bondage in the course of his life in this world. This is said to be sam.sAra, which involves being caught in an endless cycle of births and deaths. The quest therefore is to seek a way out of this bondage, to break the cycle of rebirths and attain moksha or liberation.
The most important issues in vedAnta have to be understood with respect to what constitutes bondage and what constitutes liberation. The advaita school is of the view that jnAna (knowledge) of man's true nature is liberation. Bondage arises from ignorance (avidyA) of man's true nature, and therefore removal of ignorance roots out this bondage. Liberation is therefore nothing more or nothing less than man knowing his true nature. This true nature is his innermost essence, the Atman, which is nothing other than brahman. He who knows this, not merely as bookish knowledge, but through his own Experience, is liberated even when living. Such a man is a jIvanmukta, and he does not return to the cycle of rebirths.
"...advaita vedAnta maintains that really brahman is devoid of all attributes, and is therefore known as nirguNa. brahman may be described as in the upanishads, as Truth (satyam), Knowledge (jnAnam), Infinite (anantam), or as Being (sat), Consciousness (cit), Bliss (Ananda), but none of these terms can be truly interpreted as attributes of brahman as a Super-person/God.
Rather, it is because brahman exists, that this whole universe is possible. It is because brahman exists that man ascribes attributes to brahman. However, brahman's true nature cannot be captured in words, for all these attributes are ultimately just words.
Hence, it is man's ignorance of Its true nature that postulates attributes to brahman, thereby describing It in saguNa terms (with attributes).
This saguNa brahman is ISvara, the Lord, whose essential reality as brahman is not dependent on anything else, and does not change because of the production of this universe.
Therefore, advaita holds that brahman's own nature (svarUpa- lakshaNa) is devoid of any attributes (nirguNa), while It is seen for the temporary purposes of explaining creation (taTastha- lakshaNa) to be ISvara, with attributes (saguNa)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"There is that dimension where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon.
And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor staying; neither passing away nor arising: unestablished, unevolving, without support (mental object). This, just this, is the end of stress."http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
There is, monks, an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unfabricated.
If there were not that unborn, unbecome, unmade, unfabricated, there would not be the case that emancipation from the born, become, made, fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unfabricated, emancipation from the born, become, made, fabricated is discerned.http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
One who is dependent has wavering. One who is independent has no wavering. There being no wavering, there is calm. There being calm, there is no desire. There being no desire, there is no coming or going. There being no coming or going, there is no passing away or arising. There being no passing away or arising, there is neither a here nor a there nor a between-the-two.
This, just this, is the end of stress.
Buddha Nature and AtmanAt that time, Mahāmati the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva said this to the Blessed One: Now the Blessed One makes mention of the Tathāgata-garbha in the sutras, and verily it is described by you as by nature bright and pure, as primarily unspotted, endowed with the thirty-two marks of excellence, hidden in the body of every being like a gem of great value, which is enwrapped in a dirty garment, enveloped in the garment of the Skandhas, Dhātus, and Āyatanas, and soiled with the dirt of greed, anger, folly, and false imagination, while it is described by the Blessed One to be eternal, permanent, auspicious, and unchangeable.
Is not this Tathāgata-garbha taught by the Blessed One the same as the ego-substance taught by the philosophers? The ego as taught in the systems of the philosophers is an eternal creator, unqualified, omnipresent, and imperishable.
The Blessed One replied:
No, Mahāmati, my Tathāgata-garbha is not the same as the ego taught by the philosophers; for what the Tathagatas teach is the Tathāgata-garbha in the sense, Mahāmati, that it is emptiness, reality-limit, Nirvana, being unborn, unqualified, and devoid of will-effort; the reason why the Tathagatas who are Arhats and Fully-Enlightened Ones, teach the doctrine pointing to the Tathāgata-garbha is to make the ignorant cast aside their fear when they listen to the teaching of egolessness and to have them realise the state of non-discrimination and imagelessness.
I also wish, Mahāmati, that the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas of the present and future would not attach themselves to the idea of an ego [imagining it to be a soul].
Mahāmati, it is like a potter who manufactures various vessels out of a mass of clay of one sort by his own manual skill and labour combined with a rod, water, and thread, Mahāmati, that the Tathagatas preach the egolessness of things which removes all the traces of discrimination by various skilful means issuing from their transcendental wisdom, that is, sometimes by the doctrine of the Tathāgata-garbha, sometimes by that of egolessness, and, like a potter, by means of various terms, expressions, and synonyms. For this reason, Mahāmati, the philosophers' doctrine of an ego-substance is not the same as the teaching of the Tathāgata-garbha.
Thus, Mahāmati, the doctrine of the Tathāgata-garbha is disclosed in order to awaken the philosophers from their clinging to the idea of the ego, so that those minds that have fallen into the views imagining the non-existent ego as real, and also into the notion that the triple emancipation is final, may rapidly be awakened to the state of supreme enlightenment.
Accordingly, Mahāmati, the Tathagatas who are Arhats and Fully-Enlightened Ones disclose the doctrine of the Tathāgata-garbha which is thus not to be known as identical with the philosopher's notion of an ego-substance.
Therefore. Mahāmati, in order to abandon the misconception cherished by the philosophers, you must strive after the teaching of egolessness and the Tathāgata-garbha.
At that moment then the Blessed One recited this verse:
'The personal soul, continuity, the Skandhas, causation, atoms, the supreme spirit, the ruler, the creator, —[they are] discriminations in the Mind-only.'
On NirvanaAt that time Mahāmati the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva again said this to the Blessed One:
Thou speakest of Nirvana, Blessed One. What is meant by this term Nirvana?
Replied the Blessed One:
When the self-nature and the habit-energy of all the Vijñānas, including the Ālaya, Manas, and Manovijñāna, from which issues the habit-energy of wrong speculations—when all these go through a revulsion, I and all the Buddhas declare that there is Nirvana, and the way and the self-nature of this Nirvana is emptiness, which is the state of reality.
Further, Mahāmati, Nirvana is the realm of self-realisation attained by noble wisdom, which is free from the discrimination of eternality and annihilation, existence and non-existence. How is it not eternality?
Because it has cast off the discrimination of individuality and generality, it is not eternality.
How about its not being annihilation?
It is because all the wise men of the past, present, and future have attained realisation.
Therefore, it is not annihilation.
Again, Mahāmati, the Great Parinirvana is neither destruction nor death.
Mahāmati, if the Great Parinirvana is death, then it will be a birth and continuation. If it is destruction, then it will assume the character of an effect-producing deed.
For this reason, Mahāmati, the Great Parinirvana is neither destruction nor death. Neither has it anything to do with vanishing;l it is the goal of the Yogins.
Again, Mahāmati the Great Parinirvana is neither abandonment nor attainment, neither is it of one meaning nor of no-meaning; this is said to be Nirvana.Further, Mahāmati, there are four kinds of Nirvana. What are the four? They are:
(1) the Nirvana which is attained when the self-nature of all things is seen as nonentity;
(2) the Nirvana which is attained when varieties of individual marks characterising all things are seen as non-entities;
(3) the Nirvana which is attained when there is the recognition of the non-existence of a being endowed with its own specific attributes; and
(4) the Nirvana which is attained when there takes place the severance of the bondage conditioning the continuation of individuality and generality of the Skandhas.
Mahāmati, these four views of Nirvana belong to the philosophers and are not my teaching.
According to my teaching, Mahāmati, the getting rid of the discriminating Manovijñāna—this is said to be Nirvana.At that time again, Mahāmati the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva said this to the Blessed One: Nirvana, Nirvana is talked of by the Blessed One; what does this term designate? What is the Nirvana that is discriminated by all the philosophers?
Said the Blessed One: Then, Mahāmati, listen well and reflect well within yourself; I will tell you.
Certainly, Blessed One; said Mahāmati the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva and gave ear to the Blessed One.
The Blessed One said this to him:
As to such Nirvanas as are discriminated by the philosophers, there are really none in existence.
Some philosophers conceive Nirvana to be found where a system of mentation no more operates owing to the cessation of the Skandhas, Dhātus, and Āyatanas, or to the indifference to the objective world, or to the recognition that all things are impermanent; or where there is no recollection of the past and present, just as when a lamp is extinguished, or when a seed is burnt, or when a fire goes out, because then there is the cessation of all the substrate, which is explained by the philosophers as the non-rising of discrimination. But, Mahāmati, Nirvana does not consist in mere annihilation.
Again, some explain deliverance by going to another quarter and abode, as when a wind stops blowing, when the discrimination of objects ceases. Again, some philosophers explain deliverance by the getting-rid of the [dualistic] view of knower and known. Some conceive deliverance to be the cessation of discrimination where one sees permanence and impermanence.
Again, some explain the discrimination of various forms as the bearer of pain, and yet not understanding that there is nothing but what is seen of the Mind itself, are alarmed by the notion of form, and seek their happiness in formlessness. In this they cherish the notion of Nirvana.
Again some conceive this to be Nirvana: that in consideration of generality and individuality recognisable in all things inner and outer, they are never destroyed, maintaining their being throughout the past, present, and future. Again some conceive that Nirvana is an ego-soul, a being, a vital force, a nourisher, a supreme spirit, and the indestructability of all things.
Again, Mahāmati, some philosophers owing to their foolishness declare this to be Nirvana: that there is a primary substance, there is a supreme soul, and they are seen differently by each, and that they produce all things from the transformations of the qualities.
Some conceive Nirvana to consist in the extinction of merit and demerit; some in the destruction of the passions by means of knowledge; some in regarding Iśvara as the free creator of the world. Some think that the world is born of interaction and that there is no [special] cause other than this cause, and clinging to it they have no awakening because of stupidity, and they conceive Nirvana to consist in this non-awakening.
Again, Mahāmati, some philosophers conceive Nirvana to be the attaining of the true path. Some cherish the thought of Nirvana as where there is the union of qualities and their owner, from which there is oneness and otherness, bothness and not-bothness. Some imagine that Nirvana is where they see the self-nature of things existing all by its own nature, such as the variegated feathers of the peacock, variously formed precious stones, or the pointedness of a thorn.
Some, Mahāmati, conceive Nirvana in the recognition of the twenty-five Tattvas (truths); some in the king's observance of the teaching of the six virtues. Some, seeing that time is a creator and that the rise of the world depends on time, conceive that Nirvana consists in recognising this fact. Again, Mahāmati, some conceive being to be Nirvana, some non-being, while some conceive that all things and Nirvana are not to be distinguished one from the other.
All these views of Nirvana severally advanced by the philosophers with their reasonings are not in accord with logic, nor are they acceptable to the wise. Mahāmati, they all conceive Nirvana dualistically and in a causal connection. By these discriminations, Mahāmati, all philosophers imagine Nirvana, but there is nothing rising, nothing disappearing here, -[and there is no room for discrimination.] Mahāmati, each philosopher relying on his own text-book from which he draws his understanding and intelligence, examines [the subject] and sins against [the truth], because [the truth] is not such as is imagined by him; [his reasoning] ends in setting the mind to wandering about and becoming confused, as Nirvana is not to be found anywhere.
Again, Mahāmati, there are others who, roaring with their all-knowledge as a lion roars, explain Nirvana in the following wise: that is, Nirvana is where it is recognised that there is nothing but what is seen of the Mind itself; where there is no attachment to external objects, existent or nonexistent; where, getting rid of the four propositions, there is an insight into the abode of reality as it is; where, recognising the nature of the Self-mind, one does not cherish the dualism of discrimination; where grasped and grasping are no more obtainable; where all logical measures are not seized upon as it is realised that they never assert themselves; where the idea of truth is not adhered to but treated with indifference because of its causing a bewilderment; where, by the attainment of the exalted Dharma which lies within the inmost recesses of one's being, the two forms of egolessness are recognised, the two forms of passions subsided, and the two kinds of hindrance cleared away; where the stages of Bodhisattvahood are passed one after another until the stage of Tathagatahood is attained, in which all the Samādhis beginning with the Māyopama (Māyā-like) are realised, and the Citta, Manas, and Manovijñāna are put away:1 [here indeed they say Nirvana is to be found].
Nirvana is severally conceived by the philosophers; but theirs is no more than imagination, it is not the way of emancipation.
Released of bound and binding and free from all expediencies, the philosophers imagine they are emancipated, but emancipation is not to be found there.
Divided into many a school are the systems of the philosophers; there is thus no emancipation in them, because of their imagination stupidly carried on.
Wrongly imbued with the ideas of cause and effect, all the philosophers are beguiled, and their is thus no emancipation for them who are of the dualistic school of being and non-being.
maestro wrote:What's the difference between Nirguna Brahman of advaita and shunyata? They both seem to be very similar.
kvakamak wrote:I want to ask what have Buddhism and Hinduism common,what are the diferences and what is your opinion about assembling these two.I like them both and i think they are in deep amount same.So tell me your ideas,please
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