Agony of the soul (?) etc

egodust egodust at DIGITAL.NET
Wed Jan 8 17:47:55 CST 1997

Swami Vishvarupananda wrote:
> As far as Buddhism is concerned I would like to add here, that there are
> various schools of Buddhism, and nihilism is not an element in all of them.
> Mahayana Buddhism for e.g. is very much opposed to it and warns of "falling
> prey to the shunya heaven of the nihilists". The Void is not defined as
> nothingness here.
> I mention this just to say, that generalizations are very dangerous, and
> that to judge a philosophy just on the basis of some scholar's refutations
> of that school, without our personal study, is at the least very one-sided.


It's a shallow assessment of Buddha's teaching to conclude he literally
implied that Reality was an empty Void (as it would be of the deeper
transmissions of Advaita {lit. ajatavaada} referring to the same Void...
which alludes to the *separative* aspect of the triadic sohamidam
phenomenon, being the non-different saguna brahman aspect yet empty
if/when any part of it is considered *unto itself*).  It might help to
evaluate the modus operandi of Zen which, IMO, is a no-nonsense form of
Mahayana/Theravada Buddhism.  Zen captures the "spirit" of Buddha's marga
by applying the brahma-astra of the koan, in order to annihilate the
compulsive vasanas of the judgmental Mind.  And it accomplishes this via
the radical method of the mental checkmate.

I would go further to say that the key to the substratum Self, if obtained,
unlocks the secret doctrine behind *all* the world religions, including
Chritianity, Judaism, Islam, American Shamanism, among others.  Simply
because the truth is universal, and civilization spawns cultures each of
which produces individuals that somehow manage to discover it. (Ramakrishna
Paramahamsa made this very clear.)  Despite the fact that I favor Advaita
Vedanta and believe it represents the purest and most efficient path to the
Absolute, doesn't prejudice me from recognizing the power intrinsic to such
Occidental proverbs as "The peace that passeth understanding," "Be still and
know that I am God," "I am That I am," "I and my Father are One," among others.


Frank Maiello
"Who am I apart from Thee?"

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