Similarities between the philosophical concepts of Vedantic Atman and Buddhist Empti

Re: Similarities between the philosophical concepts of Vedantic Atman and Buddhist Em

Namaste Nick,

thank you for the post.

using an unusual keyboard so please bear with any typos.

Nick the Pilot said:
I think we are having a little confusion with terms. I see three concepts:

Mahabrahma = Parabrahman = Parabrahm
Brahman = Brahma

With each of the three concepts being unique and separate. (I also see a third concept between Brahma and Brahmá, which I think is called Pradhana in Hinduism.

i use the term Mahabrahma simply as a term of respect for the Sanatanadharma though their texts only speak of Brahman and Brahma. "maha" is an honorific in Sanskrit which i accord due to the commonality betwixt our traditions.

there are, of course, schools of thought within the Sanatanadharma which differ from each other in pretty significant ways all of them, however, insist on an intrinsic unity amongst all phenomena and they place a heavy emphasis on the interrelatedness of Brahman and Brahma. it may be helpful to consider Brahma as simply the active, creative aspect of Brahman.

Which of these concepts do you see as being equal to Avalokiteshvara?
none of them; though it's hard to compare cosmological hierarchies from different systems! nevertheless Bodhisattvas, of which Avelokiteshavara is one, are not beings that create worlds or have such capabilities ascribed to them. they are a different class of being altogether.

Regarding the term Hinayana, I understand that some Theravadins consider it to be an insulting term. If I remember correctly, Hinayana means the Small Vehicle as opposed to Mahayana meaning the Great Vehicle, which some people say shows a condescending bias on the part of Mahayana Buddhists that their Buddhism is better (‘greater’ than the ‘smaller’ Thevadin Buddhism.), and that it was Mahayana Buddhists who started using the term Hinayana originally as an insult. As such, I have adopted the usage that some Theravadist Buddhists use, which is to call it Theravada Buddhism and not Hinayana Buddhism. (Do you agree with this theory of the term Hinayana?)
technically speaking the term Hinyana means "smaller vehicle" and Mahayana means "greater vehicle" and it generally refers to the amount of beings that are included within the auspices of the teachings. within the original 18 schools the prevalent view was that only monastics were able to practice the Dharma whereas schools of the Second Turning emphasized that both monastics and non-monastics were able to practice the Dharma. thus the terms were not meant in a pejorative manner but rather as expressions of the expansiveness of their teachings.

as the Theravedan school was only one of the 18 original schools it would be a mistake to refer to all of the others under the same rubric of Theraveda, in my estimation, for we risk losing the unique contributions to the historical development of the tradition.


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Re: Similarities between the philosophical concepts of Vedantic Atman and Buddhist Em


I see the equation as

Avalokiteshvara = Brahma + Pradhana + Brahmá

But that is the fun of interreligious dialogue: we can compare our ideas and see where we agree and disagree.
Re: Similarities between the philosophical concepts of Vedantic Atman and Buddhist Em

that is the fun of interreligious dialogue:

. . . like drunk patrons in a dimly lit pub . . . having a damn good time. But without the religious and political sober guile! Cheers!
Re: Similarities between the philosophical concepts of Vedantic Atman and Buddhist Em

"The Material World according to the Vedas & Bhagavad-gita"
The "8 elements" (From gross to Subtile) that compose all creation:


The above 8 elements all exist within an all-encompassing void ---that cannot be seperated from these "Elements" ---these two comprise the topic called "Duality".

The 8 "Elements" are thrown into flux by [as per vedanta writ] the ever fluxing influence of the "Three Gunas":

(This is Bhaktajan's comparison):
"Raja-guna = YING" //+//
Tama-guna = YANG . . . //+// . . .
Sattva-guna = Maintenance]

In the material world there are these 8 elements and the space that it occupies.
The Three modes-of-nature [the "Three Gunas"] are the underlying mechanics of the combination(s) of these elements . . . all thus, causing TIME to transpire.

Jiva-atma [lit. individual-soul] The Conscious Individual Soul = animated self-centered sensual-gratification seeking creatures whose bodies are composed of the above delineated inanimate 8 elements.

Brahman = the void/Space
Brahman = the individual 'knot' of an individual soul [1/10,000th the size of the tip of hair & brighter than Ten Suns]

Param-atma = [lit. supreme-soul aka God omnipresent as the life-force nucleus of each animate soul].

Bhagavan = The Suprema Persona of Godhead Transcendental.

The Hindu Trinity [3-Aspects of God self-expansion that comprises the Material (and BTW, the Spiritual Energies too)]:
1 Brahman
2 Param-atma
3 Bhagavan

The Jiv-atma (and BTW, the Spiritual Energies too) is composed of three qualities ---
1 Sat = Eternality (non-material 8 elements)
2 Chitta = Cognisance (aka, consciousness)
3 Ananda = Bliss

The Jiv-atma is free to seek out ABSOLUTE HELL and its many permutations
The Absolute Personality of Godhead as revealed in the Vedas . . . ASAP.

Want to read my debate with Hindu Athiests (advaita), who could NOT figure-out HOW at the least, ABSOLUTE ZERO is Absolute?

If you want to see how even Hindu arm-chair scholars cannot ADMIT the SUPREMACY OF GOD AS ABSOLUTE by denying the existence of any possible state of "ABSOLUTE-NESS" . . . to see Vedantists reduce all the Hindu Dieties to a Void-State . . . and/or . . . to see Vedantists claim God cannot be God because God has not introduced Himself to them during their past countless re-births . . . but how they, the 'Yogic Vedantist' can aspire to become a God themselves . . . all the while while quoting the Vedas as their source of Knowledge.

It is now several decades before your passing to the great "samsara" cycle of birth-and-death, yet again ---Do you know where your copy of the Bhagvad-gita as it is translated by a bonefide teacher in the succession of the Compiler & Historical biographer of the Vedic age, Vyasadeva who recorded for posterity the pastimes of Krishna's appearence, at the start of this present age of 'Kali', where Krishna's words are directly benedicting the Warrior Prince Arjuna along with all those that have ever partaken of the sublime & profound knowledge that was imparted in the Bhagavad-gita?