Monday, 10 March 2014

The philosophical differences between Advaita, Samkhya and Buddhism

Many schools of thought emerged in India while interpreting the Vedas, Upanishads, Aranyakas, Brahmanas, Tantras and other texts. It is very important to understand the philosophical differences in each of these different philosophical schools.

What I find is that many meta-physicians, scholars and philosophers put all these philosophical schools into one umbrella and either try to use these great philosophical systems as support of their theories or use it to refute other philosophical systems without giving any sensitivity to their philosophical differences with in the oriental religions.

As I said before it was Shankara who took us out from the repeated onslaught of Buddhist philosophy and their hatredness towards Vedic Brahmanism and upheld the philosophical truth of Non-duality (Advaita).

General assessment of Buddhist philosophy

"No further special discussion is required. From whatever points of view the Buddhist systems are tested with regard to their plausibility, they cave in on all sides, like the walls of a well dug in sandy soil. [Buddhist philosophy] has, in fact, no foundation whatever to rest upon, and thus it is foolish to adopt it as a guide in the practical concerns of life. Moreover, the Buddha,3 by presenting three mutually contradictory systems of philosophy — teaching respectively the reality of the external world, the reality of consciousness-only, and general emptiness — has himself made it clear either that he was a man given to making incoherent assertions, or else that hatred of all beings moved him to propound absurd doctrines that would thoroughly confuse all who might take him seriously. Thus, the Buddha's doctrine must be entirely disregarded by all those who have a regard for their own happiness." 
- Shankara

Knowing Brahman

". . . In order to know Brahman, we must meet the following conditions: (1) We must recognize the distinction between what is eternal and what is non-eternal; (2) we must renounce all desire to enjoy the fruits of our actions, both here and hereafter; and (3) we must acquire tranquility, self-restraint, freedom from religious ceremonies, patience in suffering, attention and concentration of the mind, faith, and the desire for final release (moksha). If these conditions are met, we may engage in the inquiry into Brahman and come to know it, but not otherwise . . . . 
The complete comprehension of Brahman is the highest good since it destroys ignorance, the root of all evil and the seed of Samsara [the beginningless and unending cosmic cycle of becoming, being, and dissolving]."

What is worthy of discussion is the condition (2) -  "we must renounce all desire to enjoy the fruits of our actions, both here and hereafter;"

It is worthy because this is what Saint Paul is saying in his Romans that the pneumatic gentiles are apart from the works of the law and that they receive redemption not by human effort but they are preordained to be saved by the grace of Christ. Where then is boasting? is what Saint Paul asks in his Romans which means the elect should renounce all boasting of his works and his knowledge as everything he has done and received is due to the grace of the Father, Jesus Christ and not by his own effort.

This is the truth which so many people fail to understand and this is what keeps them away from the truth. The truth that we are not acting alone but indirectly guided by Sophia in all our deeds and actions. If we are not doing any works all by our own then why should we take pride for our works?

The truth is, you are not this body, you are not the sense organs that animates this body, you are not the mind that controls the sense organs and is in mediator with the sense organs and the intellect, you are not this intellect which controls the mind, you are not the ego (God) who sits behind the intellect and controls all your deeds, the Self(The One) is greater than all of these and is beyond the pleroma of God and that Self (The One) is nothing but who we all are. It is the place where individuality dies and unity blossoms. I don't know what it is or how is it like to be in there, I only have paroksha gnana (scriptural knowledge) and not prathakshya gnana (experiential knowledge).

pūṣann ekarṣe yama sūrya prājāpatya vyūha raśmīn samūha tejaḥ |
yat te rūpaṁ kalyāṇatamaṁ tat te paśyāmi yo sāv asau puruṣaḥ,
so’ham asmi ||16||
O Thou, who art the nourisher, the solitary traveller, the controller, the acquirer, the son of Prajapati, do remove Thy rays, do gather up thy dazzle. I shall behold that form of Thine, which is the most benign. I am that very person that is yonder (in the sun).  

Here the seer rishi is asking the Father to remove his dazzling light rays that is emanating from his body (these rays are nothing but the Aeons of the Pleroma which is rent in his womb from the very beginning), so that he can see his true Self and become one with it. We can speak up to the Pleroma of God but not beyond it.