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Buddhism and Sanatana Dharma | Gobhila’s View about Buddha and Jina

Have you ever met a Buddhist monk?

Uniting the sect of Buddhism to Sanatana Dharma, Gobhila, the ancient sage who belonged to the Vedic Line of Samaveda, presents Lord Buddha with unbounded reverence. He refers to Siddhartha, The Buddha in the context of Sanatana Dharma. He exhorts that He, The Buddha had within himself the “amsas” of Nara and Narayana, the sages of Badrinath. Amsa, refers to “parts or parcels” of other beings.Thus the Buddha, is referred to, in Sanatana Dharma as being an expansion or part of Lord Narayana. There are four fundamental schools of thought in the Buddha Darshana or the Buddha epistemological view. Out of the four schools, the Madhyamika School is bound to a life of celibacy. Celibacy, in the line of the Vedic system, is a power-house practice which is capable of animating Dharma.

The Ultimate concept within the Buddha Dharma is verily Nothingness or Shunyata. Shunyata is referred to as the concept of Zero. As long as there exists something to be proved, the actual proof and the seeker of proof, one is considered to be in Absolute Bondage. The Buddhist philosophy states that when one realizes that one is surrounded by an endless domain of void, with the realized being at the center, one is said to be liberated, with nothing more left to explore.This void is all pervading, its a circle with a boundless circumference.

There is another school within the Buddhist lineages who hold this position that the visible universe is established not by direct perception, opposed to the common man’s view, but is only established by inference. They also hold this view that all knowledge of this universe is but momentary. It is the transitory nature of existence, that paves the way for sorrow, it establishes.

Jina belonged to a class of teachers, one from the last of the materialistic systems. Gobhila uses terminologies even more reverential than those employed by him to describe The Buddha. Jina was a teacher, who had complete or even absolute control of his passions. According to Gobhila, Jina was a Devata, an Arhath, worshipful and verily the Supreme Lord. It was Jina’s disciples who followed every word of Jina and followed the path of pure Dharma. They were involved in raising the consciousness of Charavakas, who belonged to the class of pure materialists, who could never distinguish between good and evil. The tenets of the Jinas, according to Gobhila, was superior among all other materialistic systems. 

In the teachings of Jina and Buddha, it is Karma alone, which becomes the basis for “Purshartha” or personal endeavor, following the path of Dharma. This aspect has been given foremost importance. The body is cast in agreement with the nature of one’s Karma. Samasara or cyclic existence is beginingless, causeless while the Self, is eternal. When activity obeys cyclic life, it is controlled and directed by Knowledge. This knowledge becomes evident and expressed through action alone. When knowledge is expressed through action, when the body is cast off, life spirals up into an upward path and seeks the blessings of the preceptors; and by the grace of these preceptors life rises to a higher platform. The teachings, Gobhila elucidates, is yet an aspect of materialistic teachings and within the realm of Prakriti. Although, these teachings allude to the higher, their range is still in Prakriti or material. These teachings, in some sense recognize only Prakriti, that which is in some manner experienced by the senses. Yet, the higher realms of Sanatana Dharma proclaims that although all of them recognize Prakriti, Prakriti Herself is abhAva, it is an evolute of that one reality or Parabrahman, which is the subject of study of the Shuddha Darshana or the Pure Aspect of Reality, untainted by matter or the materials. 

Gobhila, however warns his students, to not regard the other systems as mere clouds of black and white hues, but rather look upon them as channels of light of different capabilities and hence none of these other systems of Prakriti can be condemnable at any time. It is to be however clearly understood and accepted that all other evolutes of Darshana or Philosophy are offshoots of Shuddha Darshana, of Parabrahman, of the Purusha.

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