Selasa, 03 April 2012

Hinduism andBuddhism Compared

(a post at deja.com , alt.religion.hindu)
Question:
I'm a non-aryan non-hindu but I'd like to become
hindu one day. what I was wondering is: what is
the difference between advaita vedanta and
buddhism?
aum108
(first reply from Sitaram):
I suppose the biggest difference is the Buddhist
doctrine of "an-ataman", namely, that there is no
such entity as an atman, soul or jiva which
transmigrates from birth to birth. For Buddha,
what we call ataman is a collection of attributes
or qualities, called skandas I think, which create
the illusion of a single entity, just as individual
dots of color compose a photograph in a
newspaper, but examination with a microscope
reveals simply many little pixels or dots.
The best analogy for anatman, is to think of your
"self" your soul,.... like a billiar ball which is
rolling at a certain velocity in a certain direction
with a certain spin,... and as it strikes a group of
billard balls, it sends them rolling in certain
directions and patterns, while the the original
ball, having struck, now comes to rest (in
otherwords, it dies).
So the original billiard ball does not continue to
the "next life"... but the PATTERNS which it
imparts to the motion of the other billiard balls,
constitutes the KARMIC EFFECTS, transmitted to
other sentient beings.......
Further more, though Buddhism does not deny a
Supreme being, or commander in chief of the
universe, Buddhism sees that Diety as being
subject to the same Karmic problems of
suffering as all other sentient beings.
Furthermore, our relationship to that Diety (or
lack of a relationship) has nothing to do with our
own task or goal of "getting out of the cycle of
birth and death".
To understand more, one must learn about the
differences between the major two major
division in Buddhism: the Theravadins or Way of
the Elders (in Sri Lanka and some other
countries).... and Mahayana or "Great
Vehicle" (which comprises Zen, Pure Land,
Tibetan, and many many others).
For the Theravadins,... only YOU can LIBERATE
yourself, no one else can do it for you. For
Theravadins, the actual historical Buddha does
not now exist as a personality who can be
petitioned.
For Mahayana, the very attempt of trying to
liberate yourself has a selfish taint, which would
prove an impediment to your own liberation.
Therefore, the Vow of the Bodhisattva (one who
is close to Buddhahood and liberation) is to
VOLUNTARILY retain some imperfections, avoid
entering Nirvana, and be reborn, again and
again, until ALL OTHER SENTIENT BEINGS have
been liberated. The notion is that the very
SELFLESSNESS of the vow of the Bodhisattva is
something which can BOOTSTRAP the
Bodhisattva towards LIBERATION. For the
Mahayanists, the Buddha does exist as a
personality which may be petitioned.
Also, Mahayanists have the concept of
TRANSFER OF MERIT, i.e. we may donate the
merit of our acts to help other beings on the
path to liberation, and we may OURSELVES be
the recipients of GRACE, from the merit of
others.
please visit my website
this is a lengthy subject... and much more can be
said, but I will stop here for now
(second reply from Sitaram):
To my understanding, pure Monist Adwaita
Vedant of Shankarachariya is stating that the
world, and ourself, as we perceive it is illusion.
That the self, the Atman, is non-different from
Brahman. In other words, Brahman IS
Consciousness, and all manifestations of
consciousness, our selves, other people, a dog, a
cat, a mosquito, those little consciousnesses are
SPARKS from the great LIGHT of Brahman. So
LIBERATION is simply seeing through the Maya
or Illusion that we are different from Brahman.
And such self-Realization frees us from future
rebirths.
I suppose this understanding of Adwaita really is
the same as Buddhist an-atman. Since there are
no individual jivas, and those billiard ball
patterns which are transmitted during rebirth,
are merely ripples in Maya or Illusion, patterns,
to be SEEN THROUGH.
It is important to remember that
Shankarachariya always participated in
veneration of Murthis or Images, and worship of
the Saguna aspects of Brahman, and even wrote
the beautiful hymn 'Bhaje Govindam' which
basically says that the foolish "soul" or mind,
should not waste its life in academic knowledge
such as grammer, which will be of no use after
death, but should praise and worship the
Saguna (or 'with qualities') aspects of Brahman
through Bhakti (devotion).
A wise person once explained to me that it is
THROUGH the worship of the Saguna aspects of
Brahman that one is granted a knowledge of the
Nirguna (or formless) aspect of Brahman.
(p.s. Mangaloreans, dont you think that THESE
TOPICS, which are the typical topics of Hindu
and Buddist theological discussions, dont you
think THEY ARE FAR MORE SPIRITUALLY
SIGNIFICANT, that the goofy Prophet
Mohammad worring about who is farting in the
Masjid, who is peeing in what direction, or
getting horney when he sees his adopted son's
wife without her veil so that he must
conveniently have a REVELATION which
commands that they divorce, so that he could
HAVE HER TOO?????? Just thought I'd let some
of you see what REAL THEOLOGICAL TOPICS
DISCUSS, in GENUINE RELIGIONS (AND not
phoney man-made religions))

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