Re: in whom do we trust?
I have studied Buddhism but have not practised it. I find Advaita VedAnta much richer than what Buddhism has to offer. At the highest level, I find that except some terms, both the paths speak similar things. I would like to point out these in this context :
Originally Posted by Mike
a) Buddhism talks on "no-self". In my opinion, this has been misunderstood by Buddhists in their bid to show that they are completely different from VedAnta. When you say, "no-self" this should mean that there is nothing which continues after this birth. If that were so, then what is the use of Nibbaana (called Nirvan in Hindu dharma) and for whom ? If "no-self" means "the body-mind-individuality" i.e. a peculiar personality in this birth then Hindus and Buddhists are saying the same thing. The same personality doesn't take birth again. However, it has to be accepted that for validity of Karma theory, re-births, NirvAna etc. there must be something (and that must be essence of the being) which must be responsible for the continuity of the previous birth to next birth.
b) Buddhism doesn't say anything about "SELF" too or denies it also outrightly. However, Buddhahood is there ... enlightenment is there. VedAnta says that "It is"/Existence from which everything originates. It is not a thing which can be perceived by mind (Ref: MAndukya Upanishad, the Turiya state of Brahman) but there must be some essence from which everything comes out or at least appear to come out. Existence cannot come out of non-existence.
c) Buddhists deny any God but believe in their teachers who are not in physical bodies. They seek their blessings. When "self" and "Self" and "God" are denied, how can there be any teacher (who has left his body) to help and what is the use of prayers ? Question is how a teacher/Guru exists and maintains its personality after death if there is no-self ?
God or no-God, the system of this universe is certainly very intelligent and therefore, there must be some intelligence working behind the scene. Anything can be converted into any other thing only when both the things are essentially the same. If intelligence comes out from non-intelligent things then non-intelligent things and intelligence cannot be different from each other. That is what VedAnta says. VedAnta talks of Consciousness which is the substratum of everything that we perceive in this universe and even that we can't perceive. There is nothing but Consciousness and that is God and from Him comes every being , everything and even those things which are beyond mental concepts.
Per VedAnta, at the highest level i.e. in Turiya state, there is no God which is separate from the seeker-of-God as there is no differentiation left ... it is likened with the phenomenon of water mixing with water (Individual Self dissolves in Brahman). Per VedAnta, God, this gross world and the subtle world apparently arise from that unconceivable Truth i.e. the fourth state of Brahman under the influence of MAyA i.e. power of Brahman.
Last edited by devotee; 20 January 2015 at 03:24 AM.
Reason: spelling mistakes - "on-intelligent" changed to "non-intelligent"
"Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"