Posted by: Harsha • Jul 19th, 2010
Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Taoism, Christianity, and other religions and spiritual traditions use different words and concepts to describe the ultimate nature of Reality. Sometimes, the scholars and preachers from these faiths argue with each other over who is right and who is wrong. There are even strong disagreements within the same religion and spiritual tradition about the nature of God or Salvation or Heaven, etc.
Even within Hinduism and the Shiva-Shakti traditions, there are great debates about the nature of the highest state. These differences in description of the highest reality and knowledge are only in the words that come through the conditional mind and not in the experience and understanding of great Sages.
My teacher Chitrabhanu-ji used to say that in Buddhism when they say that the ultimate state is empty it does not mean that it is “nothingness”. It means that it is No-thing-ness.
This is the experience of the Self-Realized sages. The highest state is empty of all things, concepts, images. It is the end of imagination and all experiences find their resting place in the Self. It is noteworthy that while most orthodox and traditional scholars of Hinduism reject Buddhism, Sri Ramana spoke favorably of Buddha.
There are no good words to fully indicate the ultimate state. The Self, which the ancient sages said is Sat-Chit-Ananda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss) is the very nature of Fullness. This underlying unity is recognized when the mind with its fascination with concepts, things, and experiences has subsided.
Even the notion of no-self and self or Self are concepts only. In order to communicate, words have to be used to indicate the experience and nature of Reality that sits in the center of our Heart, our existence. What ever term one uses to describe THAT, It is what It Is.
When Moses asked God about his nature, God could only say, “I Am That I Am”. What else could God say? The nature of God cannot be comprehended by the mind. The mind has to surrender and dissolve itself into the Lord of the Heart for the Reality to reveal It Self.
So, religions use different names to describe the ultimate state. We can call it the Absolute, God, God Consciousness, or the Self, or the no-self or Shunya, etc. What difference can it make? If we understand this deeply through experience of God in our Heart, and see that it is the same God in every Heart, then we stop fighting and arguing over religion and spirituality.
Bhagavan Ramana used to say, “Ahimsa Param Dharma”. It means essentially that kindness, compassion, nonviolence, and love is the supreme religion. Love is the highest state. As Bhagavan has said, “Love is the actual form of God.”