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Buddha and Vedanta Shunyata and Atma, Aham and Anatma || Acharya Prashant (2020)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
5 मिनट
170 बार पढ़ा गया

Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, namaste. It was a very deep topic, you talk now. So, how Buddha manage without Ātmā and Īśvara . He doesn’t mention these things. Can you little bit explain or find this link, how Buddha manage? All these things without talking about soul or God. In his philosophy these things are not mentioned anywhere.

AP: You mean the historical Buddha?

Q: Yes, historical or Gautama Buddha.

AP: So what do you want to know about him?

Q: He just talked about void. That you are saying when we look inside, there is a void. He never mentioned soul, or God, or those kinds of spiritual fantasies.

AP: There is no need. There is no need. The way of Gautam Buddha was absolutely the way of negation. He said, “That which you are calling as the Self or Ātmā , is actually not the Self. It is your mere imagination. So, he talked the language of Anātmā . That which you think of as Ātmā is Anātmā . That which you talk of as Ātmā is Anātmā . The moment you say Ātmā , it has turned into Anātmā .

Then does Ātmā exist? Better not talk about it. The moment you talk about it, you will be rendering it false. That was his way, and isn’t this way quite beautiful, and obviously authentic?

What does Ātmā mean? Ātmā means ‘me’. It’s ‘me’. Whatsoever you call as the Self, whatsoever you decorate with ‘meness’, sooner than later becomes your trouble. It does not last. The association is incidental. So, he would just look at our sense of “I” and say, “Is there anything that you call as the “I,” that you associate with the “I” that is really meaningful, really trustworthy?

Haven’t you seen time take away even your most dependable identities and relationships? Is there anything that you identify with or own or call as your own that does not live in the shadow of doubt, hat you do not suspect to betray you at some point or the other? If you were to be told X or Y or Z has betrayed you, does there exist even a single X or Y or Z that you would refuse, absolutely refuse to believe as the betrayer?

Maybe you will have looked into accepting that. The betrayal, the disappointment has come from such a trusted one, but then the betrayal is not impossible. And if it is not impossible, then you cannot be at rest. You would forever be suspicious and afraid. That was the way of Gautam Buddha.

He would not give you another fantastic palace of dreams. He would say, “You already have too many fantasies. You already are living in an infinite number of dreams. You already carry so much self certified knowledge. I do not want to give you anything more. I just want you to see that that which you are already carrying, already possessing, is not allowing you to live freely. There is no problem that you have except that which you have.” That was his way.

Q: Yes, so where’s the difference between Vedānta and Buddha? Which point exactly?

AP: The Ahem of Vedānta is the Anātmā of Buddha. That’s the only difference. Words. What Vedānta calls as Ahem , Buddha calls as Anātmā . What Vedānta calls as Ātmā , Buddha remains silent about it.

Q: And Īśvara Śūnyatā Buddha?

AP: When I say Buddha remains silent about Ātmā , that silence corresponds to Śūnyatā . Īśvara and all, Buddha had no interest in. Even Vedānta has no interest in all these things. If you go to Acharya Shankar, he will say, “As long as the Jīva takes himself to be Truth and Īśvara becomes necessary for him, but an Īśvara holds any value, any sanctity only as long as the Jīva takes himself as true.

So, just as Brahman is the counterpart of Ātmā , Īśvara is the counterpart of Jīva until you take yourself as a person, as the Jīva , there will exist an Īśvara for you. That Īśvara will remain necessary for you. But when you start taking yourself as Ātmā , the Īśvara is gone. Then, only Ātmā remains and the other name of Ātmā is Brahman . “ Ayam atmā brahman”.

Q: And Māyā of Vedānta in Buddhism become what Māyā ?

AP: Māyā does exist in Buddhism as well, though in other names. So, Buddha does talk about all that deludes you in quite detail.

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