The Many Paths of Yoga: Tantra vs. Buddhism, Vedanta vs. Marxism


The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 3.0
Shares 0.0
Hearts 0.0
Comments 10
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 0.0
0 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.

The nondual state of Brahma (Cosmic Consciousness), or the emptiness of Nirvana, as experienced in deep meditation by sages of all perennial wisdom traditions, is essentially the same. Yet when these sages try to explain this trans-rational state of mind, they invariably give that One invisible reality different names.

More importantly, they also formulate various schools of philosophy that differ to some degree or other. Certain aspects of perennial wisdom are emphasized by some schools, while neglected or modified by others. When interpreted by less enlightened followers, further changes take place.

Therefore, the conceptual interpretation of the non-conceptual state of spirituality is, in many ways, as important as the experience itself. Because it is this verbal and written elucidation that formulates the philosophies and worldviews on which many of our ethical and social behaviors are based. In other words, how the Enlightened masters choose to explain their experiences effect the way we feel, think and relate to the world around us.

The spiritual goal of Buddhism and Tantra is the same—Enlightenment. But while Buddhism emphasizes that the reason to seek Enlightenment is to end suffering, Tantra’s emphasis is that the purpose of our spiritual search is to experience divine bliss or happiness.

While both Advaita Vedanta and Tantra believe that nondual Brahma is Absolute Truth, Advaita Vedanta point out that the world is an illusion while Tantra emphasizes that the world is real and thus relative truth.

If we compare, for example, the poised description of Shiva and Shakti in Tantra to the notable Samkyha philosphy–propounded by Maharishi Kapila some 3500 years ago, and also a Tantric inspired philosophy—we will notice that Kapila put more emphasis on Shakti.

He argued that Shakti is not only more important than Shiva, but that She is an independent force altogether. It should be mentioned here that both in Tantra and Samkhya, Shiva is often termed Purusha (cognitive principle) and Shakti is termed Prakrti (operative principle).In Samkhya, however, the main emphasis is on the role of Shakti, as Shiva is seen as inherently dormant.

In Advaita Vedanta, on the other hand, which was advanced by the brilliant scholar and Tantric mystic Shankarayacharya in the eight-century, the world of creation is simply the deceptive camouflage or illusion of maya. To the doctrine of Vedanta, there is only Brahma.

As Georg Feuerstein maintains, to the Vedantic “the world is a phantom produced by the unenlightened mind. When the root ignorance is removed, the world reveals itself in its true nature, which is none other than the universal singular [Brahma].” Feuerstein continues: “What is implied in this concept is, among other things, the idea that the transition from the One to the Many is not genuine emanation but only an apparent evolution (vivarta).”

Although the great Shankarayacharya was a Tantric practitioner, and thus a person with detailed perennial knowledge of the various levels of  mind, his philosophy differed slightly from Tantra in that he preached the idealist doctrine that “Brahma (God) is truth, this world is false (Brahma satyam, jagat mithya).”

This idealist doctrine is thus based on Absolute truth only, that Brahma alone is real. Shankaracharya’s understanding was that due to false perception, we experience this illusory world as real, as if seeing a snake instead of a rope.

For him, ideas alone were the real truth, hence many of his followers denied the world in order to seek Brahma only. This doctrine—which, due to Shankaracharya’s fame as a brilliant logician and spiritual master, eventually defeated the Buddhist influence in India—has been prominent in Hindu thought for the past 1200 years or so.

In contrast, the materialist doctrine of the Carvak philosophy, which is a kind of religious dogma itself, claimed that “God is false and this world alone is real (Brahma mithya, jagat satya).” The Indian Carvak philosophy, which precedes its twin-soul, Marxism, with more than two millennia, was basically the world’s first materialist or, as Ken Wilber puts it, “flatland” philosophy. According to this doctrine, mind evolves from matter while Tantra believes that Cosmic Consciousness creates matter and then mind evolves from the material realm.

Neither Carvak nor Marxism considers the existence of individual soul (jivatman) or Supreme Consciousness (Paramatman) to be real, because to a materialist only the perception of the Eye of Flesh and the Eye of Mind are real.

Seen through the Eye of Spirit or the perennial philosophy, on the other hand, it is  materialism which is limited, even superstitious and irrational. Seen in this light, writes Wilber, Marxism can be considered “the first truly great modern religion–that is, a religion that tried to make scientific materialism, gross-realm naturalism, and flatland holism into an emancipatory God.”

Consequently, the worldviews that are solely  based on the study of the material dance of atoms and molecules,  the interactive relations of natural organisms, or simply the breathtaking beauty of nature, can not be considered perennial philosophies. For, on the ladder of perennial being–from Matter to Mind to Spirit–these concepts will forever remain on the lowest rung.

On the other hand, the social implications of a perennial philosophy in which the relative world we live in is seen as mere illusion can also have negative consequences. Thus, the great insight of Tantra is its emphasis on maintaining a dynamic balance between the relative or dualistic reality of the objective world and the absolute or nondual reality of the spiritual world.

For Tantra there is a dynamic and real interrelationship between Spirit and matter, between That World and this world.

And this is an important perennial message for us modern yogis, we who struggle to find inner equipoise in this maddening world of environmental destruction and shallow consumerism.


The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 3.0
Shares 0.0
Hearts 0.0
Comments 10
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 0.0
0 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.

is a new feature on Elephant Journal—enabling you to instantly share your mindful ideas, photos, art, YouTube videos/Instagram links & writings with our 5 million readers. Try it Now.

Write Now

Ramesh Bjonnes

Ramesh Bjonnes has traveled the world as a meditation teacher, Ayurvedic practitioner, author, and is currently the Director of the Prama Wellness Center, a retreat center teaching yoga, meditation, and juice rejuvenation. He studied yoga therapy in Nepal and India, Ayurvedic Medicine at California College of Ayurveda, and naturopathic detox therapy at the AM Wellness Center in Cebu, Philippines. He is the author of four books, and he lives with his wife Radhika and Juno, a sweet, gentle Great Pyrenees, in the mountains near Asheville, North Carlina. Connect with him via his website: and


23 Responses to “The Many Paths of Yoga: Tantra vs. Buddhism, Vedanta vs. Marxism”

  1. Padma Kadag says:

    What proof is there that all "enlightenment", ie. christian, tantric, hindu, or buddhist has the same result? Do you know this for sure? How are you able to make this statement? In the case of the Buddha he would not have had a reason to end suffering if the hindu path of his ancestors and teachers were sufficient. You may argue that though that may be true, the buddha's enlightenment was equal to the highest "Cosmic Consciousness", which he attained from a different direction. I do not believe that to be true. With the over intellectualization of Tantra in the written word these days there is no doubt that confusion will prevail and that there is a tendency to want to wrap the "best" from the world's religions into a neat package of ultimate sameness. But I return to my original question… Where is the proof that "The nondual state of Brahma (Cosmic Consciousness), or the emptiness of Nirvana, as experienced in deep meditation by sages of all perennial wisdom traditions, is essentially the same" ?

    • Ramesh says:

      Dear Padma, thanks for your important question. We know that the end goal of all mystic paths is essentially the same by studying the sayings of the great saints from various traditions. If you are open to this possibility, I suggest reading Coming Home: The Experience of Enlightenment in Sacred Traditions by Lex Hixon. Another great book is the History of Mysticism by Swami Abhayananda. It was Aldous Huxley who coined the term perennial philosophy and it signifies the inherent commonality of the mystic quest. Even though the various saints may describe their experiences differently, there are enough commonalities in their insights to make the conclusion that the journey ends in the same place, whether you are a Buddhist, Hindu, Sufi, Tantric, Christian or Zen mystic.

  2. Linda-Sama says:

    yes, but there is also Tantric Buddhism….why should it be either/or, Tantra v. Buddhism?

  3. Ramesh says:

    You are absolutely correct and I agree that Tantric Buddhism and Hindu Tantra has and achives the same goa. That was exactly my point, even though the philosophical emphasis may differ.

    • Padma Kadag says:

      Hi Ramesh, You are a gifted writer and obviously well versed in this area of study. Your replies are thoughtful and careful and are also very generous in their content. From what little I know, I think it is a stretch to say that the goal of Hindu Tantra and Buddhist Tantra are the same. I also feel, as I stated previously that there is an effort in the western world these days to say that all religions are equal or ultimately have the same result if practiced to the point of authentic accomplishment. Just so we know…this is not to say one is better than another and I think that in our concern to be overly respectful of each other's faith we are acknowledging a "sameness" that just is not true. Different antidotes for thousands of versions of individual's ignorance. Many paths in many faiths. I believe that western scholarly interpretation of buddhism has, for the most part, been written without authentic realisation therefore inaccurrate in the presentation. I would have to assume the same goes for Hindu Tantra. I will say that it is my view that the goal of the buddhist yogi is liberation for all sentient beings and for oneself.

  4. Padma Kadag says:

    The path to accomplish this is very specific and secret and dependent upon a qualified teacher. It does not seek oneness with a god or goddess. Though oneness with the god or goddess will be accomplished as they are objects of our compassion as we strive to liberate ourselves from samsara. Though the goal is not oneness with a god or goddess it certainly is not other than oneness with either but is not the ultimate goal. Everything is included. Nothing left out. Go beyond samsara AND nirvana. Go beyond heaven. Liberate even the gods. liberate all of the beings in hell.

  5. Padma Kadag says:

    If we strive to be god-like then we have left behind all others who suffer. The beings in hell are equal to gods and goddesses…not one shred of difference. One is not "higher" or "lower". All will be liberated if we strive to liberate and liberate. Neither you nor myself can categorically state that the result of fully accomplished Buddhist Tantra and Hindu Tantra are the same no matter how many scholars say it is so. I feel this really is a wrong view and it is being perpetuated for many reasons. Some people sell books and workshops with this idea. The "muddying up" of making the sameness of all religions is the core of the New Age movement. This has effected the guru/disciple relationship in a negative manner and has misinterepreted esoteric teaching.
    I apologize if I have not been clear about my thoughts.

  6. vakibs says:

    Neither you nor myself can categorically state that the result of fully accomplished Buddhist Tantra and Hindu Tantra are the same no matter how many scholars say it is so.

    Padma, this is exactly what the accomplished sages and mystics say. Not modern new-age interpreters.

    I will translate for you a verse of Thyagaraja (a devotional Bhakti poet from South India who composed in Telugu)

    For whoever who speaks any much, YOU are that much.
    When their interior meaning is observed through analysis, that meaning is YOU.

    The Vaishnavas shall worship you as Vishnu
    The well-versed of Vedanta shall describe you as the ParaBrahman
    The Shaiva Yogis and devotees worship you as Shiva
    The Kapalikas shall praise you as the very first Bhairava

    The Shakteyas shall refer to you as the very form of Shakti

    … "

    The great sages and seers from amongst the Buddhists, Sufis, Jains etc who are reputed to have mystical experiences have spoken about the Absolute in very similar terms. Personally, my take is that is there is indeed an Absolute reality, then it is reasonable that such a reality shall offer exactly the same type of perception for anybody who has managed to perceive it. Just like we often turn speechless when we see a thing of extreme beauty, the words of the seers could have fallen inadequate to describe their wonder.

  7. Ramesh says:

    Dear Padma and Vakibs, let me try to simplify this complex issue and thereby add to what vakibs wrote: The nondual state in Tantra and Yoga is referred to as nirvikalpa samadhi, that is, consciousness without qualification. In Buddhism this nondual state is called Nirvana. Nir–in sanskrit means "without." As vakibs said, this state, which is the goal of all mystics eventually, is the same. Nondualism is without duality, without time, without place and form.
    Any mystical state below nirvikalpa, such as savikalpa samadh and below that, will have a witness, the I will experience something here, and according to your practice, your tradition, these "lower" mystical states, may vary in form, message and content. Nirvikalpa is related to sahasrara chakra in Yoga and Tantra, and Savikalpa is related to ajina chakra, the third eye. Much more can be said about this issue as it is a very complex area. But not only some Western intellectuals agree on this, but, as vakibds says, most mystics worthy of their robes, also agree…

  8. Padma Kadag says:

    This is a very interesting discussion. Thank you Vakib and Ramesh for your information. I am not qualified to confirm what the hindu sages say is true or not. This obviously ultimately must be confirmed experientially. In regard to your breaking down of the word Nirvana. This is not necessary. According to buddhism, the state which many of the highly regarded sages in hinduism, and buddhist meditators who are attached to bliss, achieve is a God Realm, a "formless realm". A very blissfull realm which is also subject to karma. This state will not last and eventually the "god" will suffer great loss at the ripening of karma previously accrued. This state does not liberate one from Samsara. It is still samsara. The goal of the buddhist tantra is to go beyond samsara and nirvana. Nirvana is nothing more than a metaphor.

  9. Padma Kadag says:

    Vakib…thank you for taking the time to translate for me to better understand this subject. Does that particular passage touch on Buddhism? I would be interested.

  10. Ramesh Bjonnes says:

    you are correct in saying that having an experience of the nondual nirvikalpa samadhi in meditation does not mean you do not have any more karma, depending on your state of being, you may or may not have any more karma, and if you do, you will return to your "normal" life and still have to deal with your karma. So far we agree. But I do not agree that this state is simply a metaphor, it is beyond this world, but it is still real. A more accurate term for karma is samskara (reactive momenta from past actions, from previous lives, from past time in this life, and from "free will" actions), and as long as you have samskaras, you will go on living in your body and mind. Same great sages have "burned" all their karma or samskaras, and they take a wow to still remain in the body to serve, they take a samkalpa, or determination, which becomes their samskara, to go on living, teaching and serving. In Tantra, these are the jivanmuktas, the liberated souls and in Buddhism they are the Bodhisattvas. In Tantra we speak of two stages of enlightenment, mukti and moksa. The mukti stage is the stage of the liberated souls, the true gurus, the mahatmas. There is a stage of enlightenment called sahaj samadhi, in which you have access to the nondual realm as well as the dual realm. One experience this world while remaining in That world. This is the reality of the great gurus, of which there are very few. But those yogis who reach permanent moksa and decide not to return, they leave their bodies and become one with God, so to speak.
    However, I agree with you, that in one sense, it is a higher stage to remain in this world and continue to serve and even be reborn again and continue to serve… that practice is also part of Tantra. And that is perhaps what you mean by going beyond both nirvana and samsara…

  11. vakibs says:

    Padma & Ramesh,

    I haven’t ever practiced Yoga, and I have never perceived the non-dual states of Nirvikalpa Samadhi you are talking about. But I would like to learn one day under an able Guru, when I shall be able to totally devote my mind and time to this pursuit.

    So please take my words with a pinch of salt, I am just an interested onlooker of the Yogic practices. But from what I can gather, there are serious limitations in using the spoken word (Sruta) and inference (anumana) to attain this knowledge of the highest form. Apparently, uch knowledge can only be obtained by direct perception (pratyaksha pramana) and thus lies completely out of the domain of philosophical debate. Wise men over ages and over countries have known this much.

    About the poem (which is actually composed to music) that I quoted, it is written in the 18th century when Buddhism has waned completely in popularity in India. So it doesn’t refer to Buddhist faiths, but I think similar such verses can be found in ancient times. Actually, Adi Shankara who propounded the Advaita faith and revived Hinduism in India had extremely high regard for Buddhism, so much so that his Advaita faith is called by his rivals as Buddhism in disguise 🙂

    About the world of any gods being subject to the laws of Karma, that is the subject of one of the greatest philosophical debates of India. Here is an English translation of a couplet written by the Yogic poet Vemana

    Slay Brahma, and mingle him with Vishnu. Slay Vishnu and resolve him into Siva. Slay Siva and become thyself the Siva, O yogee !

    But before you can slay such duality, you have to first perceive the duality of this highest order. I think various religions are just different stepping stones from different angles to reach to the top.

    • Padma Kadag says:

      Vakib…many thanks for your thoughtful commentary. My original concern was that we often times want to group all religions together because with our small minds(my mind) we want to say, very matter of factly, that they all end up at the same result. I believe this is very inaccurrate. I believe that this is done only in in the west for PC and business reasons, as well as a result of confusion. Within the Hindu faith, of which I know very little, I have no reason to doubt your interpretation of the result being shared by Shaivists and followers of Krishna,etc.

  12. Padma Kadag says:

    From a practical very simplistic view..because one has the ability to forsee the future it does not make them closer to "god" or a higher form of consciousness. They are able to interpret phenomena where we as individuals on an ordinary level cannot see. This does not make them "higher". Maybe I make better pizza then you…this is the display of karma. So…until we understand the many states of being, and because they are states of being, they are the subject and results of karma. You can have many realms of yogis which we are not aware of because they are formless…yet still subject to karma…still not "liberated" as was Shakyamuni Buddha.

    • Padma Kadag says:

      It is my concern that we interpret the unspeakable with such ease and matter of factly these days that it creates great confusion.
      'The nondual state of Brahma (Cosmic Consciousness), or the emptiness of Nirvana, as experienced in deep meditation by sages of all perennial wisdom traditions, is essentially the same'. Ramesh cannot prove this statement to be true. Yes he is a scholar and I find his scholarship interesting. However, this statement is a result of confusion or lazy scholarship which is a symptom we all have, myself included, in the west. Look a little further into buddhist thought.
      Nagarjuna, the great Indian buddhist had said:
      Know that even Brahma himself,
      After achieving happiness free from attachment,
      In his turn will will endure ceaseless suffering,
      As fuel for the fires of the Hell of Ultimate Torment. (Kunzang Lamai Shal lung) The Words of my Perfect Teacher

  13. Ramesh Bjonnes says:

    Padma, please read my comments above again and contemplate what I actually said. I think you have misunderstood my point. Nondualism is nondualism, without quality,and when experienced is the same for all… otherwise it is not nondualism. How that experience is interpreted afterwards depends on the individual's karma. That is often the reason for different philosophies.
    I may be a scholar, but I also have over 30 years of direct tantric meditation experience, but since these are subjective experiences, it is, as you indicate, difficult to talk about them, especially in a forum like this. I think part of the challenge here is that we come from different conceptual backgrounds. And that sometimes creates confusion. I do not think there is confusion about the nondual state. In addition to that state, there are many other mystical states….

  14. Ramesh Bjonnes says:

    Padma, indeed, what I have been saying is the same as Nagarjuna above: after experiencing the state on nirvikalpa or nirvana, one will have to undergo karma or suffering. That is, unless you are a great saint and have burned all your karma and then become a jivanmukta, a liberated being, such as Buddha, Ramana Maharishi, etc.

  15. vakibs says:

    Actually the figure of Brahma is disparaged not just by the Buddhists (famously by Buddha himself in his Baka Brahma or crane brahma story) but even within various Hindu faiths.

    It all comes down to the limitations of the spoken word (that which is represented by Brahma's wife Saraswati) in achieving supreme knowledge about self. Grossly speaking, Brahma represents the intellectual being in every person, the so-called witness or empirical self. But when understood as part of the Trimurti (Hindu trinity), Brahma represents this intellectual being at a cosmic level. Every such being is considered finite, both in space and time. Brahma is just the most supreme of such beings in the universe. But even he suffers periodic deaths and rebirths, and accumulates karma along the way.

    This Brahma (masculine gender) should be clearly distinguished from Brahman (neuter gender) which means existence in all forms and formless versions. Such existence when understood not only in the now, but also in its potentiality is called parabrahman, which is the closest concept to that of Nirvana in Vedanta. The 3 words of Brahma, Brahman and Parabrahman have to be thus distinguished, otherwise nothing makes sense in Indian philosophy.

    All theistic sects in Hinduism try to represent Brahman with an idea, which is called Ishwara or God. The difference between Brahman and Ishwara is that of an object and its reflection in a mirror. In terms of Samkhya, the mirror is Prakriti (that which encompasses all matter, ideas, and ego) and the object is Purusha and Prakriti put together.

    This Ishwara can be of many types : Vaishnavas have Vishnu, Shaivaites have Shiva, Shakteyas have Shakti etc.. and most of them are related to concepts from Samkhya philosophy (particularly the 3 gunas of Prakriti). A devotee is supposed to continuously negate and redefine Ishwara. The best way to visualize this process is that of climbing a ladder : the hand has to let go of a step before proceeding to the next one. When all such ideas are transcended (when the ladder no longer has any steps), the Ishwara is denoted with the para prefix : for example, paravishnu, parashiva or parashakti. This concept is exactly the same as parabrahman, something which is completely beyond verbal description.

    On the other hand, atheistic sects do not use the concept of Ishwara at all. The most famous example is Buddhism, but there are several more such sects in India. The doctrine that is considered the oldest of all, Samkhya is itself atheistic.

  16. Padma Kadag says:

    Though the Buddha is not a god in some places he is worshipped as if a god. Atheism is not believing in God also not having spiritual values is a tenent of atheism. Buddhists venerate Buddha, though he is not called God. The Hinayana worship God as Buddha, though not called God. The Mahayana and Vajrayana_you could say are all about wisdom Gods. Vajrayana is the practice of the jnana deva and the transformation into the wisdom god at the outer, inner, and inconceivable tantric teachings of which the latter is the essence of the fully enlightened buddhas according to the secret Mantrayana.

    Also atheists do not or should not believe in karma. Buddhists obviously have very profound teachings on karma. Good and bad karma, changing bad to good and turning good karma into no karma when the fully awakened state of buddhahood is achieved. Through closer study Buddhism is not atheistic. There are many gods in the buddhist cosmology…they can be helpful in the sense that we have the dualistic union method and wisdom as a means to tear down the hut of our minds. The gods themselves are not in the fully awakened state though they are not seperate from that state just as we have Buddha nature currently covered up so to speak by ignorance.

  17. Padma Kadag says:

    If your view of god is eternalist then how does one explain the current realm we are in where impermanence is the order of the day? How can a permanent unchanging god positively or negatively effect an ever changing impermanent world? It is a little like a continuous rain falling from a cloudless sky.(Thinley Norbu Rinpoche) Pleased gods deliver happiness and displeased gods deliver suffering…how can they be pure and perfect? Connecting a permamnent god to beings who are ever changing is like hoping for water from a mirage. There is no way that this could take place as a permanent god could not see any other being or realm other than his or her permanent realm.

    In order for the god to act on behalf of the sentient being then that god would be acting and perceiving with a dualistic mind and therefore would not be a permanent all knowing god. If you are are a nihilist then how does one explain the existence of karma? ____

    • vakibs says:

      The words "God" and "Lord" have very different connotations in Abrahamic faiths, and more generally, in Egyptian religion where the kings as law-givers were worshipped as Gods. The Jewish God is an elaboration of this idea – a supreme king of the universe who stands external to it, supervises the actions of beings and gives his Divine law out of his unbounded compassion and love for his subjects.

      The context in Indian religions is very different, and do not have the same connotations. There are primarily three words in Sanskrit that are loosely translated as "God" into English.

      1) deva : means an essential spirit of the nature. Everything in nature can be understood as one of the devas. You can read the excellent Brihadaranyaka Upanishads on how many devas are present in all. The sage replies as 3003, then 303, then 33, then 6, then 3, then 1 and 1/2, then finally 1. The devas in higher numbers are just projections or manifestations of devas in smaller numbers. The Buddhist devas (what you said as wisdom gods) are also very similar in principle. All these devas are considered worthy of "praise" and "salutations". But none of them are eternal.

      2) Brahman : means the universe in its entirety. It is the ultimate form of reality and existence. Whatever truly exists, that is Brahman. The very word Brahman comes from the root Brh which means to grow. That which grows eternally from zero to infinity is Brahman. At the same time it is zero and infinity, and is thus a paradox which cannot be deciphered by verbal argument. Brahman is sometimes translated as "God" because it has some of the "eternal" attributes of Abrahamic God, but it doesn't share any of the other properties. Particularly, Brahman cannot be repesented as an object of worship. It is very similar to the concept of "tathata" or complete neutrality in Buddhism.

      3) Ishwara : means a personal God whom one "worships" (upasana) and loves in total surrender (bhakti). This is the word that is closest to the Abrahamic "God" in the practical sense of the term. One tries to build a personal relationship with Ishwara and pleads for personal favors in one's life during this worship. Buddhism doesn't have any Ishwara, that is why it can be considered atheistic. Of course, in a practical sense of the term, several Buddhists treat the several devas or even the Buddha himself as an Ishwara but philosophically, this is not correct. Buddhism has only devas none of them can be termed Ishwara. On the other hand, Hindu religions use various different images as Ishwara. As I said earlier, these images are only reflections of Brahman as viewed in the mirror of Prakriti (that which can be represented in the finite). Thence, they are not only fleeting in time, but also in space. None of these Ishwaras is eternal, when an Ishwara is understood as a stationary object. However, when understood in terms of a direction, these Ishwaras point towards perfection and merger with the Absolute. Faith (shraddha) in an Ishwara is important for the devotee to pursue the path uptill that point where genuine self-enquiry can start, and where the dualism is demolished. It is not only in Hindu religions, but also in Christianity (particularly gnosticism), Islam (particularly Sufism) the two stages of devotional path are distinguished. The second stage consists of completely destroying all the images built in the first one. The "Ishwara" no longer is considered as permanent or intelligent (with mind) in his dealings with the devotee.

      Any talk of "permanence" invariably invokes "permanence in time". This invariably means a separation of space and time, and automatically implies dualism. This is why Indian religions (including Buddhism) do not talk of permanence but the Absolute – that thread of time and space that connects this universe.

  18. […] years I worked on developing my one-pointed awareness and mindfulness through asana, mediation and Buddhist tantric practices, trying to find some sort of deeper understanding of the nature of reality. Single with a stable […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.