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I've been learning about Dharma traditions for a while now.

In short: I am attracted by the figure of Siddhartha Gautama and by the fact that Buddhism is not based on faith in the scriptures (nastika). I am completely convinced by his speech on dukkha.

Besides that, I'm not convinced at all by the anatman. I believe in the atman, I am convinced by the vision of the advaita védanta, and I love the simplicity of Patanjali's Ashtanga Yoga and its 8 clear and defined steps to the Absolute (Samadhi).

All this being said, which path to take? Which one would be the closest to my position?

I was told the Madhyamaka of Nagarjuna?

  • Buddhism does not say you must become a Buddhist. Stick with the Hinduism you love. – Dhammadhatu Sep 27 '19 at 0:39
  • Dana (Generosity), Sila (Virtue) and Bhavana (reflecting the teachings on Dukkha) while doing eager on the basics. All else comes on it's given causes. – Samana Johann Sep 27 '19 at 2:38
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Buddha is pretty cool. Jesus is too. Shiva is pretty cool. There are cool guys everywhere. The real question is what kind of teacher are you willing to understand? Shiva is like falling down a bottomless pit. Which is safe as long as it's bottomless. Jesus knew others like he knew himself and that creates a wonderful basis of good. Buddha didn't like things complicated. a direct approach. He would tell you it's not their responsibility nor his to carry you to the place you want to go. That's on you. They tell us where we could go if we choose to. Now these cool guys look like they might not agree but That's not true. They could see themselves and others well enough to understand they're doing the same work. People have a hard time hearing it. So just take some time a listen. I'm a Buddhist. If I thought there was a superior way to live my life I'd do that. Even if it was prostitution. Gautama did too. So find your love language you wish to speak and use that to learn and share in it.

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OP: All this being said, which path to take?

In Buddhism, there is Threefold Training which is the Noble Eightfold Path. Buddhism and Hinduism teach about Samadhi. In Hinduism, this is considered the final goal. The methods of achieving and nature of Samadhi is also somewhat as they are adopted from contemporary techniques, which are found in the Samatha techniques pertaining to the 40 Kammaṭṭhāna. In Buddhism, there is an extra step or goal which is wisdom (Paññā) which is unique to Buddhism and developed through Vipassanā. This is the final part of the Buddhist 3 fold training.

OP: Which one would be the closest to my position?

In Buddhism, a being is:

  • dependently arisen
  • impermanent
  • there is no internal or external controller or essence

Therefore, there is nothing worthy of being called self or Atman. Many Buddhist schools share this view.

Initially, if you do not believe this, through meditation, which develops wisdom (Paññā) called Vipassanā, you can verify this gradually. I believe it is best to set aside the philosophical ideas about self and try to see the true realities empirically. For this, it is best one take a meditation course. Following are some pointers:

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Nagarjuna was a puthujjana philosopher who tries hard to pass his speculation for the dhamma, so you will never get enlightened by basing your life on what he says, not even doing meritorious deeds, since the people who follow Mahayana even fail to stop doing bad deeds, because they fail to clean their mind.

For the vedanta, it is completely normal for puthujjanas to reject the claims of the buddha about what is anatta, and it is completely normal that the idea of atta, oneness and all that appeal to puthujjanas.

Since wisdom is what clearly separates the dhamma from the various wrong views created by puthujjanas, you can still focus on sila and samadhi, from whatever wrong doctrine appeals to you currently. The only thing is that whatever samadhi you will get will not be tainted by right view, so you will still crave for bhava , if not still have Kama tanha, because the wisdom part of the dhamma is the nekkhamma and more generally the avijja viraga, ie '' the practice for the disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, relinquishment, forsaking of the present form'' and more generally whatever is conditioned. This is what puthujjanas hate the most about the dhamma and it is precisely this which separates the dhamma from whatever wrong views puthujjanas create. For instance, the people who love vedanta completely fails to see that vinnana is conditioned so they fail to stop bhava tanha or whatever normal devas crave.

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  • I do not know how to deal with your first paragraph without starting a pointless row, so I've mentioned it to the mods. As a statement of mere opinion It is wholly unacceptable. – user14119 Sep 28 '19 at 12:23
  • @PeterJ I think this whole type of topic is one which Andrei wanted to avoid -- buddhism.meta.stackexchange.com/a/394/254 – ChrisW Sep 28 '19 at 12:29
  • @PeterJ I think you can just down vote it. This particular user is well known for one-sided judgmental comments, but I don't want to outright delete the answer. "Since wisdom is what clearly separates the dhamma from the various wrong views created by puthujjanas" it should be easy enough for the readers to recognize who is who. – Andrei Volkov Sep 28 '19 at 13:21
  • Okay. I'll calm down. I suppose it takes all sorts. – user14119 Sep 29 '19 at 12:22

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