Hinduism and Buddhism
by His Divine Presence, Avatar Adi Da Samraj
Editors' note: The following is an updated version of the Essay
The Hindu paths are, in general, based on the search for Realization (and, thereby, Liberation) via progressive "knowledge" of the cosmic "secret" (or principle). The gnosis pursued by the various Hindu "methods" is preceded by the presumption that That Which is (Thus) "known" is the "secret" hidden or revealed by the cosmos.
This is because of the Vedic foundation of all Hinduism, which presumes the cosmos as the structural foundation of life and conscious awareness, and (thus) of all philosophical, "religious", and Spiritual endeavor.
The Buddhist paths are, in general, founded on a criticism of the cosmos and its principle. Thus, the Liberation proposed by Buddhist "methods" is (Itself) a Liberation from gnosis, from adherence to any principle (however fundamental), whether within or Prior to the cosmos itself.
This is because of the original historical rejection of Vedic Brahmanism made by Gotama Sakyamuni. That rejection is an expression of Gotama's dependence upon the critical mood of revulsion relative to cosmic phenomena, as opposed to the esoteric and gnostic mood of mystery and fascination which is typical of Hinduism.
Because of the differences between these two dispositions, the traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism appear to be in fundamental disagreement relative to certain important matters.
Thus, the Jnani (or "One Who Knows") and the Buddha (or "One Who is Awake") would appear to enjoy different Realizations —the former (in some sense) positive, and the latter (in some sense) negative, in relation to the cosmic principle. However, the distinctions are basically those of description and "method", not of Realized Liberation. Both enjoy the Realization of the Real Condition Prior to all cosmic limitation —and that Realization is (Itself) Liberation from the binding force of all limitations (whether gross, subtle, or causal).
The only-by-Me Revealed and Given "Radical" Reality-Way of Adidam is, like Buddhism (in general), critical of the presumption that the cosmos is the structural foundation of life and conscious awareness —but, like Hinduism (in general), the "Radical" Reality-Way of Adidam does not embrace the disposition to exclude the cosmos (or the cosmic principle).
The "Radical" Reality-Way of Adidam shares many characteristics with these two traditions, but the "Radical" Reality-Way of Adidam is not based in the descriptive foundations of either tradition. The "Radical" Reality-Way of Adidam has placed the Liberating (and Liberated) Realization of these traditions (among others) on a new historical and philosophical foundation. This should be clear to those who examine and embrace the "Radical" Reality-Way of Adidam in Its totality.
Next: The Spirit of Buddhism
This book was conceived by Adi Da Samraj at the end of 2005. He was first moved to make His own rendering, or "interpretive translation", of a traditional Advaitic text, The Heart of the Ribhu Gita, in order to elucidate (and thereby honor) its full meaning.
Adi Da Samraj then did the same with other great teachings from the traditions of Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism. In each case, He brought the essence of the instruction to the fore, with elegance and Illumined understanding.
Texts whose meanings were only partially (or cryptically) expressed even in the original — let alone in translation — suddenly shone forth, like rough gems cut by an expert hand.