Nirvanasara – Advaitayana Buddhism – Adi Da Samraj




xx

Nirvanasara

 

pp 57 – 73

 

I

The Purification of Doubt and Difference via the
Introduction of Advaitayana Buddhism

1.

In this age of scientific materialism, doubt is the only
certainty and the only substance of mind. Therefore, people
in this age are profoundly crippled in their ability to
grasp matters of higher certainty or to relate to subtler
mental and physical processes. Likewise, they have been
wounded in the root wherein we are naturally moved toward
Truth (rather than what is merely and temporarily factual or
true). Therefore, this is an age in which people demonstrate
little ability to understand and practice real religion or
spirituality. Transcendental Awakening or Divine Realization
has been reduced in the popular mind to the status of mere
literary mythology. Because of all of this, my Teaching Work
suffers a vague reception, and what I have made plain is
commonly regarded to be unreal.

The Great Tradition 1 suffers in this same situation. The
modern interpreters of the traditions generally do not
approach their subject as practitioners and wise advocates.
Rather, they approach their subject with this “scientific
mind,” empty of everything but doubt and doubt’s opinion.
The usual interpreters of religion and spirituality are not
themselves really religious or spiritually motivated. At
most they may represent some conventional and profoundly
secularized “religious” mind (such as tends to characterize
contemporary Christianity), but there is a great range of
presumptions common to the traditional structures of
religious and spiritual consciousness that such individuals
simply cannot uphold. Such presumptions include the
certainty of the continuation of existence after death,
experiential presumptions about the “invisible” or
non-elemental (or at least higher elemental) dimensions of
the cosmos of Nature, presumptions about the reality of
spirits, ghosts, subtle entities and powers magic, miracles,
mystical ascent and experience, the laws of karma (or the
cause and effect laws that necessarily produce the future
from the actions or motions of all present processes), and
the supremely valuable resource or instrument of Help
represented by individuals who are either highly evolved or
perfectly Awakened. It is the blind or weakness represented
by the inability to make such presumptions that causes
scholars to misinterpret secularize, and generally
underestimate the traditional sources. And it is this same
disability that makes popular interest understanding,
practice, and ultimate conversion to the Way of Truth so
unlikely in this age.

The tendencies I have just described represent an
obstacle to the consideration of the Way of the Heart as
well as the Great Tradition. The common tendency is to
reduce the expressions and offerings of profound religious
and spiritual consciousness to structures of mind that are
basically non-religious and even anti-spiritual,
characterized by doubt and minimal levels of presumption
relative to what is beyond elemental or materialistic
conception. The popular and scholarly commentaries of our
day tend to communicate and justify a materialistic,
secularized or this worldly, humanistic or conventionally
socialized point of view. Everything else is regarded to be
at best doubtful if not unreal, fanciful, and the product of
undeveloped or neurotic human tendencies.

Before the Great Tradition and the Way of the Heart can
be rightly evaluated and fully embraced, there must be a
restoration of human balance and a renewal of the total mind
of Man. Some individuals may be free enough to respond even
now, but most of humanity must soon go through a difficult
trial of purification rebalancing, and regeneration of
higher and subtler knowledge about the structures of
manifest existence before the real religious or spritual
response can move them to the Real again.

2.

The ancient traditional origins of religious and
spiritual philosophy are in the magical or shamanistic
cultures. Thus, conventional religious or spiritual
consciousness is basically founded on the presumptions of
“animism.” There are many different belief systems that are
animistic (and thus religious or spiritual), but what
characterizes them all is the basic presumption that energy,
invisible life, or spirit-force is “behind” all and every
part of Nature. It is this invisible part that is embraced
via every form of magical, religious, worshipful, mystical,
yogic, or spiritual belief and practice. And it is the
failure to presume (really and profoundly) the existence and
the availability of such energy (or Power) that
characterizes the non-religious, anti-spiritual, or merely
materialistic consciousness.

Just so, the differences in presumption relative to the
status of invisible energies (or Energy) are what
differentiate (and ultimately result in conflicts between)
religious or spiritual traditions.

The traditions of elemental magic, or the earliest and
most primitive cultures of religion, conceive of the
invisible in terms of the obvious pluralities of gross
awareness. Therefore, every thing and every one is presumed
to be animated and otherwise manipulated by individual
spirits. And the practice of religion is therefore directed
toward the attainment of positive and useful relations with
spirit-entities of all kinds.

In contrast to such pluralistic animism (and the
polytheistic religions that are built on that basis), the
later developments of animism (ultimately represented by the
monotheistic cultures) tend to produce religious and
spiritual practice on the basis of the presumption that
there is only one invisible force (or Divine Spirit) behind
(and ultimately transcending) all of Nature.

The religious orthodoxy of any particular time and place
is always critical of other systems. Therefore, the
animistic cultures that developed monotheistic religion
rigidly denied value (and even the right to exist) to the
cults and practices of pluralistic animism. The early
Hebrews, for example, engaged in systematic and even
aggressive criticism of the magical practices, “idol”
worship, and polytheistic cultism that were extant in the
territories they wanted to acquire. Their principle of
opposition was not truly a complaint against the cultic use
of holy objects to serve access to or even represent the
invisible spirit-influence. The Hebrews themselves used
various kinds of such cultic machinery (from the ark of the
covenant to the temple and all of its trappings). Rather,
the principle of opposition was the difference between the
mind of pluralistic or polytheistic animism and the mind of
monotheistic animism.

The monotheistic religions developed forms of religious
practice that were intended to cultivate positive and useful
relations, in the present life and beyond, with the One
Spirit-Entity (both directly and in the form of all human
relations). And the monotheistic cults (dominantly
represented by the militant and politically oriented cults
of the ancient Middle East—Judaism, Christianity, and
Islam) systematically suppressed and eliminated the tendency
toward pluralistic animism. (A more recent example of a
monotheistic culture’s suppressing a culture of pluralistic
animism during a drive to acquire and politicize a territory
can be seen in the suppression of the American Indians
during the settlement that became the United States of
America.)

The knowledge and the psyche represented by magical
animism is gradually lost as the monotheistic cults gain a
dominant political and cultural position. In place of the
magical culture (in which very real association with the
individualized spirits, powers, and personalities that
compose the manifest world has anciently been maintained) a
characteristically monotheistic spiritual or mystical
culture emerges. The exoteric or outer culture of monotheism
has always been associated with the cult of ethical and
prayerful relations with the Spirit-God. But the esoteric or
inner culture of monotheism has always been directed toward
mystical knowledge of God via the shamanism of “sky magic,”
or mystical and yogic ascent to the Heavenly Abode of God
(above and beyond the pluralities of the gross and even the
subtle worlds).

It was in the traditions of mystical or esoteric
polytheism and monotheism that the principal traditional
religious and spiritual idea was developed. That idea
encompasses the entire range of experience developed in the
phase of magical pluralism (and its outer or exoteric form,
which is conventional polytheism) and the phase of both
outer and inner monotheism. It is the idea of Divine
Emanation.

The common thread of all conventional and traditional
religion and spirituality (represented by the cultures of
the first five stages of life) is the idea of Divine
Emanation. Basically, this idea is the ultimate conception
of animism. It conceives of all of Nature (including every
part, thing, or individual being) to be set upon, pervaded
by, or at least emanated from an ultimate (and thus Divine
and Transcendental) and invisible (and thus Spiritual)
Source. This is the principal conception of all conventional
religion and spirituality, and it is the underlying basis of
all dogmas, doctrines, belief systems, cultic practices,
systems of authority, and methods of association, reception,
and return relative to the Source of all emanations.

Whenever there is a breakdown in the ability of people to
base their existence on this fundamental presumption,
religion and spirituality tend to be degraded into
materialistic secularization and to disappear in the culture
of materialistic pluralism. Such is the case in the present
age, and it will remain the case until science grows beyond
the prejudices of materialism and acknowledges that the
psychology represented by the scientific method is a
specialization of mind and thus neither the Way to Truth nor
the only legitimate means (or specialization of mind) for
acquiring knowledge about self and world.

The exclusive dominance of materialistic scientism has
resulted in the common disavowal of the basic idea of Divine
or Transcendental Emanation. The exclusive dominance of
monotheism resulted in the common disavowal of magic and
psychism. It tended, therefore, even to eliminate from the
common culture the necessarily psychic processes of
monotheistic mystical ascent, and so a sharp division
between the esoteric (or secret and mystical religion or
spirituality) and the exoteric (or public, social, and
conventionally ethical religion) developed. Indeed, the
outer stance of the monotheistic cults tends to be
associated with strong taboos against mystical experience as
well as magic and psychism of all kinds. (The “Garden of
Eden” story in the Old Testament book of Genesis is a prime
example of the taboo against esotericism that is often
promoted in the exoteric domain of cultic monotheism.) This
practice reinforced the separation between the exoteric and
the esoteric divisions of the cult. The mystical saints were
supposed to remain hidden. Neither their powers nor their
state of mind was to be revealed to the masses in any manner
that would upset the order of common society. And if the
ecstatic saints became too public in their esoteric
teaching, the cult itself would try to suppress them.
Eventually, as the monotheistic cults gained broad political
and social power, the esoteric dimension of the cults was
eliminated by the pressures of the exoteric cult and its
mind.

Modern secular society is simply an extreme development
of the exclusive exotericism of the monotheistic cults that
were in power previous to the age of scientific materialism.
Just as the monotheistic cults suppressed and eliminated the
magical cultus of pluralistic and polytheistic animism, the
modern cult of non-religious and anti-spiritual or
non-animistic materialism has also suppressed and generally
eliminated the mystical and the religious cultus of
monotheistic animism and the entire world-view based on
Divine or Spiritual Emanation.

My own consideration with you involves two principal
reflections on this entire history. First of all, we must
review and critically examine the entire process, so that we
can regain a renewed capacity for association with the
invisible dimensions of Nature. Only on that basis can we
again be what we are—which is a naturally or inherently
living, animated, or spiritually Radiant and religiously
Awakened being. And the second aspect of my consideration
goes beyond the conventions of all that may be gained by
such a renewal. It is a matter of understanding and
transcending the individualistic or self-based limitations
of the first five stages of life (represented by both
pluralistic and singularistic animism) and the sixth stage
of life (represented by systematic exclusion or negation of
Nature and the manifest self).

3.

Materialism is an ancient philosophical tendency. It is
the product of mechanical mind, an analytical (or
left-brained) and sense-bound (or merely perceptual)
consciousness that is fixed upon elemental processes. It is
a view that presumes no invisible or spiritual forces behind
and independent of matter (or reality conceived via the
bodily senses). It presumes no ultimate Invisible
Spirit-Power or Creative Energy that is prior to and
independent of matter. And, therefore, it does not presume
the world and the self to be arising dependent upon the
Process of Divine or Spiritual Emanation and ultimately or
inherently existing in the Condition of utter Identification
with the Divine or Transcendental Being, Consciousness,
Freedom, Power, or Bliss.

When this materialistic or sense-based egoity becomes the
principle of general cultural, social, and political
organization, we see the development of totalitarian,
utopian, and merely humanistic regimes. In our day, such
attempts at organizing human beings on the basis of
materialistic idealism and realism are profoundly evident in
the world-wide growth of technologically based political
materialism. The movements motivated by such a view of life
obviously include socialistic, communistic, revolutionary,
radical, and dictatorial political efforts of all kinds. But
this same idealism, since it is the conventional basis of
scientific culture, is transforming even democratic and
traditionally free societies.

Wherever political materialism (which controls bodily
existence and action) and scientific materialism (or the
control of mind, psyche, and knowledge on the basis of
materialistic views) are dominant, there inevitably is
cultural suppression of non-materialistic, spiritually
based, religious culture. In the worst of such regimes,
aggressive military or police tactics are used. But in all
cases, at least highly organized propaganda techniques are
everywhere in evidence. Thus, in Russia, aggressive
political efforts are made to prevent (or at least
profoundly control) exoteric or conventional religious cults
from interfering with the orientation of the masses toward
the purposes of social idealism. But in America there is the
tendency, even at the level of the State, to use religion as
a means for maintaining the secular or merely social ideal.
Even though religious freedom is proclaimed, the social
order is infected by a bias toward exoteric Christian
monotheism and the social idealism of white Protestantism.
Racial and religious bigotry are as characteristic of
American society as they are of any other society in the
modern world. And the roots of all of this are in the
materialistic persuasion of the egoic mind.

Historically, there have also been attempts to create
religion on the basis of certain basic features of the
materialistic view. The ancient world developed a number of
traditions on this basis, the primary one still in existence
being that of Buddhism. Buddhism particularly in its
original form (represented now by the Theravada or Hinayana
school) developed on the basis of an even more ancient
“underground” tradition of asceticism. It arose in India,
where most of the many schools of religion and spirituality
were commonly based on the ancient Vedic tradition. The
Vedic tradition was the ancient Indian version of the
culture of animism. It was associated with pluralistic
animism (or the tradition of elemental magic and shamanism)
and polytheism. And even though India began to develop
monotheistic trends only relatively late in its development,
the ancient polytheistic and animistic mystical tradition
was already firmly based in the fundamental religious or
spiritual idea, which is that of Divine or Spiritual
Emanation.

As I have indicated, there was also in the Vedic period
an underground, secondary, or non-Vedic (and thus
non-Emanationist) cultural process. The schools of Samkhya,
Jainism, and Buddhism were built on that cultural base
(although Samkhya and Jainism, like the traditional
Emanationist schools, were founded on the point of view of
subjective “idealism”—or the idea that consciousness,
or the self-essence, is the Ultimate Principle— whereas
Buddhism, at least in its earliest form, was founded on the
strict conceptions of “realism,” which are concerned with
the methodical transcendence of conditional existence rather
than the method of meditative identification with the
self-essence). Even the more modern school of Advaita (or
non-dualistic) Vedanta was to some degree built on that
base, because of its strictly Transcendentalist orientation,
but it also continues the basic line of the Vedic tradition,
and it is firmly established on the base of the Vedic
Upanishads and the idea of the world as Divine or Spiritual
Emanation. Indeed, the Samkhya tradition was also
assimilated into the mainstream of Vedic conceptions (as can
be seen in the Bhagavad Gita). But the Jain and the Buddhist
traditions were more resistive to this tendency to conform
to the animistic or non-materialistic conception of the
phenomenal world. To the degree those traditions remain
intact in the Indian cultural process, they have been
adapted in one or another manner to the scheme of Divine or
Spiritual Emanation (so that Jain and Buddhist saints are
seen in terms of Emanation cosmology and the sacred history
of Divine intervention in the human world). But neither the
Jain nor the Buddhist tradition has continued as a major
cultural force in India. Basically, Jainism disappeared into
the mass of relatively insignificant sub-sects, and Buddhism
left India to develop in other parts of the Orient where the
popular traditions were more congenial to its basic
conceptions.

In any case, Buddhism is not a materialistic cultural
influence in the same or negative sense that applies to the
gross exoteric or worldly influences of scientific and
political materialism. It is essentially a Way of
Transcendental Realization that is based on materialistic
“realism” rather than spiritual or subjective “idealism.”
Ultimately, the Way of Buddhism Realizes the same
Transcendental Reality or Truth that is finally Realized via
the Ways built upon the concepts and presumptions of the
basic ancient tradition of Divine or Spiritual
Emanation.

The materialistic conceptions of classical Buddhism point
to a problem (that of material or conditional existence
itself) to be overcome or transcended. The Buddhist Way is
to overcome or transcend that problem, and successful
overcoming or transcendence of material or conditional
existence is the essence of the Buddhist conception of
Realization or Enlightenment. Therefore, it is not
materialism itself that is valued in the Buddhist view, but
That which is Realized in its overcoming. And the Buddhist
Way is not oriented toward outer-directed, merely social or
worldly and self-indulgent purposes. Rather, even though it
often employs positive social and personal means, it is
oriented toward transcendence and freedom from all kinds of
craving, strife, and limitation.

Just so, the spiritual idealism of the traditional
ancient view founded on animism and the idea of Divine or
Spiritual Emanation, viewed conditional existence as a
structure of planes of manifestation emanating from the
Divine or Transcendental Source. Thus, the Way of the
Hindus, even though it also generally employed positive
social and personal disciplines, was ultimately directed
toward the transcendence of all conditions (or planes of
manifest possibility), and all forms of birth, suffering,
and death, in the Divine and Transcendental Source-Reality,
prior to all conditional emanations.

Therefore, both materialistic realism and spiritual
idealism have anciently provided the basis for the same
ultimate Realization of the Transcendental Reality or
Condition. The spiritual or animistic view has produced
pluralistic or magical animism polytheism, and both exoteric
and esoteric monotheism. It has also provided the conceptual
basis for all conventional religious and spiritual language,
as well as the experiential basis for the traditional
cultures of the first five stages of life. Even the sixth
and seventh stages of life can be described in terms of the
basic spiritual concepts of Divine or Spiritual Emanation.
(And such has been done, particularly in the schools of
Advaita Vedanta.)

My own Teaching makes use of such language in the service
of those who are culturally adapted to the religious ideas
of spiritual idealism. But I have from the beginning also
considered and described the Way in more radical terms, and
the Buddhist tradition as a whole is, therefore, also a
precedent for my own Teaching Work, since it placed the
sixth and seventh stages (and even the earlier stages) on a
basis that did not necessarily require the presumptions of
spiritual idealism, animism, and Divine or Spiritual
Emanation (or the presumption that Nature and the manifest
self are necessary, and are thus to be embraced rather than
transcended).

It is true that, to one degree or another, the later
schools of Buddhism (in the Mahayana and Vajrayana or
Tantrayana traditions) reorganized the Buddhist philosophy
and practice on a basis that less and less reflected the
early materialistic realism of Gautama. The later schools
grew more and more along the lines of spiritual and
metaphysical idealism, and they eventually created their own
version of the idea of the world as Divine or Spiritual
Emanation. As such, the later Buddhist schools closely
resemble the later Hindu schools of Advaita Vedanta,
tantrism, yoga, social idealism, and exoteric religious and
devotional worship. But the original Buddhist tradition
represents an alternative conceptual basis for considering
and practicing the Way of Transcendental Realization.

In the original language of Gautama, or in the language
of materialistic realism, the conditions of manifest
existence (or of self and not-self) do not arise by
emanation from a Divine Creative Cause or Source. According
to that view, all limited conditions are caused by previous
limited conditions. The world (and thus every self) is not
emanated (and thus made necessary) by a Divine Cause.
Rather, the world, or every moment of conditional existence,
arises as an effect of a beginningless and endless chain of
causation. Therefore, the original Buddhist Way is not to
meditate on God, or the Divine Being within or behind the
conditional self, but to examine and awaken insight into the
conditional states of self and its objects, until there is
an Awakening that inherently transcends conditional
existence.

The “Nirvana” of original Buddhism is not annihilation
but perfect transcendence. The Way is described in negative
terms (a problem is to be transcended), but the
Transcendental Realization is valued above all. That
Realization is not described in Itself (since all language
is the bearer of conditional limitations or “false views”),
but It is clearly pointed to in the Teaching of Gautama, and
his own Realization is clearly described in terms of a
meditative Samadhi that is not a matter of the absorption of
self, or attention, in the Divine or any emanation of the
Divine, but which is nonetheless a Real Condition of
Transcendental Bliss.

The entire Buddhist tradition is based on the supreme
valuation of this Transcendental Realization (even in the
case of schools that do not found themselves on the original
materialistic realism of Gautama). Whether or not we say the
world and the self emanate from the Divine or Transcendental
Reality, all conditions are ultimately transcended if we
Realize the Divine or Transcendental Reality. If we are not
inclined to presume that self and world are caused (and
thus, by implication, made necessary) by the Transcendental
Reality, at least it is ultimately Realized that self and
world, or all causes and effects, are arising without
necessity and without binding power, in the Transcendental
Reality (or in such a fashion that Realization of the
Transcendental Reality or Condition makes it obvious that
all forms of conditional existence are unnecessary and even
unreal in their apparent independence).

Conventional materialists, who are not disposed toward
Transcendental Realization, tend to conceive of Gautama’s
materialistic realism in conventional terms. Thus, they
interpret Gautama’s denial of the existence of an immortal
soul to mean that Gautama subscribed to a mortalist view of
human existence On the contrary, Gautama clearly believed in
(and personally experienced the evidence of) personal
existence before bodily birth and after bodily death. But he
regarded human and all forms of conditional existence to be
forms of suffering—always temporary and limited, always
founded on the discomfort and deluding power of craven
desires, emotions, and thoughts, and always ending in pain
and separation. It was his will to transcend the automatic
process of causes and effects that inevitably lead to
embodiment that provided the basis for his view that human
embodiment is not the expression (or emanation) of an
immortal internal part (traditionally called the soul, or
the atman). This view was simply consistent with his basic
non-inclination to base his consideration of Realization on
the conventions of ordinary language, animism, or the idea
of Divine Emanation. He enjoyed an insight in which the
world and the manifest self could be clearly seen to be
unnecessary—and being unnecessary, they could be, must
be, or inevitably would be transcended.

Gautama’s view of no-soul is simply a form of radical
“realistic” language that is free of the need to regard
human existence as necessary or desirable for its own sake.
Gautama’s orientation was strictly in the direction of
ultimate transcendence. The animistic idea of a soul is part
of the ancient animistic philosophy of Divine Emanation, and
it can, in the conventional mind, tend to support the idea
of the necessity or inherent desirability of self and world.
Gautama wanted to communicate the non-necessity of self and
world, and so he was sympathetic to the unconventional
language of the esoteric underground of materialistic
realism, according to which the manifest self is not
emanating from an internal soul and the world is not
emanating from a Divine Cause. Both self and world are
conditional, not Divinely Emanated, but unnecessary. This is
the principal idea of Gautama. And on this basis he
communicated his version of the Transcendental Way.

The original Buddhism of Gautama was free of the
limitations of animism and Emanationism, but it was based on
a problem-consciousness. Thus, his version of the Way is a
progressive strategy of ultimate transcendence based on
transforming the actions of the manifest self (in order to
purify the self of bad karma, or negative future effects),
until the desire to create more effects utterly ceases.
Later versions of the Buddhist Way were attempts to avoid
this limitation (which was based on the future transcendence
or mechanical discontinuation of self rather than the
present or inherent transcendence of self). Therefore later
versions of the Buddhist Way developed more along the lines
of metaphysical idealism—or a direct appeal to
Realization of the Transcendental Reality (or the Inherent
Condition) rather than to the progressive elimination of
manifest conditional existence.

The later schools of Buddhism tended in a direction that
bears many similarities to the basic tradition of Divine
Emanation, or at least the idealism of direct appeal to the
Transcendental Reality. In the process, the tradition of
Buddhism adopted many features of culture and practice that
characterize the first five stages of life as well as the
sixth and the seventh stages of hfe, whereas the original
formulation of Gautama was a strictly sixth stage practice
that could, if successful, lead ultimately to the seventh
stage disposition of Realized Enlightenment (which indeed it
did in the case of Gautama).

The Hindu school of Advaita Vedanta is based upon the
traditional Vedic concepts derived from the original
animistic tradition. It is, therefore, founded on the basic
idea of Divine Emanation. However, it views self and world
to be unnecessary hence illusory, since all conditions are
inherently Identical to (and, therefore, not separate from)
the Divine or Transcendental Being, Self, Consciousness,
Freedom, Happiness, Bliss, or Reality. The tradition of
Advaita (or non-dualistic) Vedanta springs from the ancient
Vedic culture and the schools of the Vedic Upanishads. But
it is founded on an Intuition not at all different from that
ultimately Realized by Gautama. It is the Realization of the
Transcendental Reality, inherently transcending self and
world (or conditional existence, in all its planes).
Therefore, the ultimate Realization of Advaita Vedanta is no
more attached to conceptions of necessity, soul, Creator
God, Divine Emanation, or desire for this or any other world
than is the ultimate Realization of Buddhism.

The only significant difference between the basic
traditions of ultimate Realization according to the Vedic
and the Buddhist (or non-Vedic) traditions is in the
language of the Way toward Realization. The Upanishadic
schools of Advaita Vedanta are the principal sixth to
seventh stage schools of Vedic spiritual idealism. And the
schools of Buddhism are the principal sixth to seventh stage
schools of non-Vedic materialistic realism. But both
traditions are oriented toward and originally based upon the
same ultimate Transcendentalism.

It could even be said that both Buddhism and Advaita
Vedanta develop their Ways based on one of the two basic
options of ultimate consideration. In the simplest sense,
two principles coincide in every moment of human existence:
the self and the not-self (or the world of objects). The Way
of Advaitic idealism is based on the consideration of the
Source, Identity, Nature, or Condition of the manifest self,
prior to the apparent emanation of the conditional
body-mind-self and the world. The Way of Buddhism takes the
alternate route. It is disposed to consider and transcend
the whole process of conditions, differences, or the total
cause and effect world (which includes the body-mind-self as
only one of its conditional features). If we embrace the
Great Tradition as a whole, then the Vedic Advaitism and the
tradition of Buddhism can be understood simply to be the two
principal traditional limbs of the sixth and seventh stages
of life. There is no possible conflict between them once
they are rightly understood in this manner.

In my own time and place, my own Realization and Teaching
have appeared spontaneously and with characteristic and
unique features. But I can now see my own Way in the
perspective of the Great Tradition. My Way is a radical
Teaching that enters into consideration of all the stages of
life and the entire Great Tradition of the ancients and
their modern representatives. But the Way of the Heart is
ultimately most radical—an expression of the Intuition
that is fundamental to the seventh stage of life itself.
Even so, I enjoy great sympathy with the sixth stage
traditions of Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, since they
ultimately transcended themselves in the seventh stage
Enlightenment. The Buddhist Way ultimately goes beyond its
problem-based views and its search to strategically bring an
end to the conditional or karmic self. Likewise, the Way of
Advaita Vedanta ultimately goes beyond its subjectivism and
its search to strategically dissociate consciousness from
conditional objects. When rightly understood and embraced as
the two primary limbs of the sixth to seventh stage schools
(and even accommodating the schools of the first five stages
of life) of one Great Tradition, Buddhism (as a whole) and
Advaita Vedanta (as the epitome of the entire Vedic or
Emanationist tradition) may be described as a single and
heretofore unacknowledged tradition. That tradition is now
made evident and whole by my own Teaching. My own Teaching
is the epitome of and the historical basis for the
acknowledgment of this tradition, and my own Teaching
provides a new structure of understanding which unifies and
fulfills that tradition as well as the total Great
Tradition. Therefore, the Way of the Heart may be called
“Advaitayana Buddhism” (or the ultimate, unified or
all-inclusive, but also radical tradition of both the Vedic,
or Emanationist, and the non-Vedic, or non-Emanationist,
schools).

That Way of the Heart is a complete view that makes it
possible to understand the unity of the Emanationist and
non-Emanationist views. My own Teaching is the basis for the
proclamation of this new “yana” (vehicle or Revelation) of
Buddhism. Earlier Buddhist yanas have arisen in India,
China, and Tibet. This new yana stands in positive relation
to each of the earlier three yanas—Hinayana, Mahayana,
and Vajrayana—as well as to the world-wide Emanationist
tradition, epitomized in the Upanishadic Advaitism of such
sages as Ashtavakra, Shankara, and Ramana Maharshi, and it
has arisen in the West, in America, thus fulfilling many
long-standing prophecies that a Dharma-Bearer would arise in
the West to renew the ancient Way.

The Way of the Heart is also the epitome of the entire
Great Tradition. The consideration of the Way of the Heart
may at first be expressed via disciplines that encounter the
limits, conventions, and absorptive meditations of the first
five stages of life (but free of the subhuman limitations of
conventional materialism). Even so, all of that is
eventually gone beyond via the critical intelligence and
insightful meditations that consider the characteristics of
the sixth stage of life, and even that process is ultimately
transcended in the radically intuitive Realization or
meditation-transcending Samadhi of the seventh stage of
life.

The Way of the Heart is, like the Buddhist Way,
realistic, since it is, in its mature form, expressed via
free insight into the limiting mechanics of the self rather
than via any process of strategic inversion of attention
upon the self-essence or of contemplative absorption of the
attention of the egoic self in the Divine Spirit or the
Transcendental Other. But the Way of the Heart is also, like
the Way of Advaita Vedanta, openly oriented toward ultimate
transcendence of self and not-self in the Transcendental
Reality, Being, Self, or Consciousness. Therefore, the Way
of the Heart does not bear an exclusive affinity to either
Buddhism or Upanishadic Advaitism (or non-dualism), but it
acknowledges both as its most congenial ancient likenesses,
and it acknowledges the entire Great Tradition, in all times
and places, in all of the stages of life, and in the person
of all true Adepts, to be its inherited Tradition.

The Way of the Heart stands on its own merits, and it has
arisen freely and spontaneously, without fixed deference to
the point of view of any part of the traditions, and without
the benefit or the hindrance represented by a significant
previous cultural training in the philosophies and practices
of the traditions. Even so, the total Great Tradition is the
true tradition of all of mankind, and the Way of the Heart
is a complete fulfillment of that Tradition as well as a
radical point of view that rightly and critically
understands and values that Tradition as a whole. Therefore,
the Way of the Heart can be called Daist, or Radical
Transcendentalism, or the Way of Radical Understanding, or
the Way of Divine Ignorance, or the Way of Advaitayana
Buddhism.

 

1. This term refers to the totality of mankind’s
religio-spiritual traditions, past and present.





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Adi Da, Ramana Maharshi, Nityananda, Shridi Sai Baba, Upasani Baba,  Seshadri Swamigal , Meher Baba, Sivananda, Ramsuratkumar
“The
perfect among the sages is identical with Me. There is
absolutely no difference between us”
Tripura
Rahasya
,
Chap
XX, 128-133

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