Author: M G Chitkara
Publisher: APH Publishing Corporation
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8176481920
This book is part of 21-volume series on Buddhism: A World Faith. Of late it has become the custom of most people to identify the word Vedanta with the Advaitic system of the Vedanta philosophy.
Advaitism is only one branch of the various philosophic systems that have been founded on the Upanishads. Vedanta covers the ground of dualism, of qualified monism and advaitism.
In an age repelled by the excesses of ritualism, casterism, there was the rise of Gautama, the Buddha decrying the Vedic tradition, questioning the existence of a personal god, emphasizing the Nirakara, the nirguna reality. Well it gave a certain twist to the Indian tradition. Spirituality fled from life to the forest, the viharas. Asceticism raised its head. Till then asceticism on such a large scale was not there is India.
It had its inevitable reaction and ultimately life asserted itself and there was revival beginning with the great Acharya Shankara. He had to adopt the language of the Buddha but he gave it a new turn. He said, yes, the world as it is, as we experience it, is not true. The reality is Brahman alone. So he started with that and he said this world may be an appearance but its basic substance is Brahman and the individual man also is told that he is none other than Brahman. Shankara arrested the spread of the Buddhist movement.
The Moral codes of most religious are enforced by a deity outside but the Buddhist takes the moral discipline of Buddhism upon himself. Because an external deity is lacking, conviction of the Truth of the precepts must be generated from within the trainee; thus the conviction-stimulating koans. When the teacher sees that the pupil has made the moral code his natural way of life he knows that the latter has finally taken the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha for refugee in the true meaning of the worlds and is, therefore, just as enlightened as was Sakyamuni Buddha and the patriarchs.
One has to live Buddhism, be Buddhism, and to do this the precepts must flow through one’s veins as they very life-blood. Just as we do not notice the coursing of our blood but permit it to flow unhindered, so the Buddhist lives the moral code of the precepts, unhindered by them and unhindering them.
Buddha recognises the pupil as Buddha when the latter keeps the precepts with no smell of holiness and no taint of evil for Buddha then walks, sleep, sits, eats and works in him without any knowledge of Buddha and no attachment thereto. He is spiritually autonomous.
Humanity: A World Family
Compassion is Divine
Buddha, His Form and Virtue
Sabbe Sankhara Anatta and Sabbe Sankhara Anicca
Time Space and Causation
Dhamma Pali, Dharma Sanskrit
Consciousness Inextricably Interwoven with entire Universe
Doctrine of Karma
Equality Liberty and Fraternity
Conventional and Ultimate Truth
Desires and Eternal Quest
Existence is but suffering
Reincarnation and Rebirth
Self and Selflessness