29 March 2010


Since you are one of few Advaita teachers who have extensive exposure to Buddhism, I want to ask you this question. I stayed with Buddhism for many years before. Buddhism insists there is no Atman/The Self. Even I read this Buddhist teacher's book:

All of his realizations he talked about in his book such as no "me" are no different from what are described by Advaita teachers. But he still insists there is no Self and explicitly rejects Advaita's Atman tenet. Do you know why?

Best regards,



This is the problem with concepts. Two people can have identical experiences and different understandings depending on their background. Two people can have opposite experiences, yet because of concepts, think that opposite experiences prove the exact some thing.

Like science. Understanding in physics changes completely every 50-100 years.

In the end, we don't know what their experiences are really, we only read about their conclusions, and the conclusions are not important.

Personally, I like the Nisargadatta conceptualization as it is closest to my own experiences and understanding.

Generally Buddhist pay far too much attention to the various voids, and don't so much make the distinction between subject and object.

He may mean there is no subject, or he may mean there is no objective self that can be witnessed.

The best to do is to answer the question for yourself in your own experiences, and this requires persistence and increasing maturity.  Then you write your own book. You will understand with unshakable conviction. Remember, there are no truths, only guiding "pointers," which ultimately all need to be dropped.

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