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Yoga and Buddhism are sister traditions which evolved in the same spiritual culture of ancient India.

They use many of the same terms and follow many of the same principles and practices. For this reason it is not surprising that many of us born in the West, particularly after an initial exposure, are apt to regard Yoga and Buddhist teachings as almost identical. We may want to combine their teachings or practices accordingly, as if there were no real differences between them. The differences that have existed between the two systems historically, which have kept them apart as separate traditions, are less obvious to us in the West than are their commonalities. Or those who study one of these traditions may be inclined to see the other as a borrowing from it. Those who study Buddhism may find so much similarity in Yoga that they suspect a strong Buddhist influence on Yoga. Those who study Yoga may find so much similarity in Buddhism that they see a strong yogic influence on Buddhism. However, the tendency to find commonality between these two great spiritual traditions is not limited to the West. Swami Vivekananda, the first great figure to bring Yoga to the West, examined the Buddhist Mahayana scriptures (Sutras) and found their key teachings and those of Vedanta that he followed to be ultimately in harmony. In recent years with the influx of Tibetan refugees into India, including the Dalai Lama, there has been a new dialogue between the two traditions that is bringing about greater respect between them. Tibetan Buddhists often appear at Hindu religious gatherings and partake in all manner of discussions. Nor is the attempt to connect the two traditions limited to modern times. Various synthetic Hindu-Buddhist teachings have existed through history. Buddha himself was born a Hindu and some scholars have argued that Buddhism as a religion apart from Hinduism did not arise until long after the Buddha had passed away. A Shiva-Buddha teaching existed in Indonesia in medieval times, and for many Tantric Yogis it is difficult to tell whether they were Hindus or Buddhists. Buddha became accepted as an avatar of Vishnu for the Hindus during the medieval period, and most Hindus still consider that we live in the age of the Buddha-avatar. Most Hindus accept Buddha as a great teacher, even if they do not accept all Buddhist teachings. Yet, similarities and connections aside, the two traditions have had their differences, which have not always been minor. Such synthetic trends did not exclude disagreements and debates between the two traditions. Nor did they ever succeed in fully uniting them. Their traditions and lineages remain separate to the present day. Generally the Hindu Yoga tradition sought to absorb Buddhism into itself by reinterpreting Buddha in a Vedantic light. Buddhism however strove to maintain its separate identity by stressing its disagreements with Vedic theism or the Vedic recognition of a higher Self. Most Hindu and Buddhist teachers, including those of the different Yoga schools of Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhists, have found it necessary to discriminate their doctrines, particularly on subtle levels of practice and insight. Refutations of Buddhist teachings are common in yogic texts and refutations of yogic and Vedantic teachings are common in Buddhist texts. So while we can honor the connections between these two systems, we cannot overlook their differences either.

The Yoga Tradition By Yoga in the context of this examination we mean primarily the classical Yoga system as set forth by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras, but as part of the greater Vedic tradition that Patanjali was part of. Patanjali has never been regarded in India as the founder of the Yoga tradition but simply the compiler of yogic teachings that long predated him. Patanjali, reflecting the older tradition, taught an eightfold (ashtanga) system of Yoga emphasizing an integral spiritual development including ethical disciplines (Yama and Niyama), postures (Asana), breathing exercises (Pranayama), control of the senses (Pratyahara), concentration (Dharana), meditation (Dhyana) and absorption (Samadhi). This integral or eightfold approach to Yoga is common to most schools of Vedic and Hindu thought and practice. They occur in pre-Patanjali literature of the Puranas, Mahabharata and Upanishads, where the name Patanjali has yet to occur. The

originator of the Yoga system is said to be Hiranyagarbha, who symbolizes the creative and evolutionary force in the universe, and is a form of the Vedic Sun God. Yoga can be traced back to the Rig Veda itself, the oldest Hindu text which speaks about yoking our mind and insight to the Sun of Truth. Great teachers of early Yoga include the names of many famous Vedic sages like Vasishta, Yajnavalkya, and Jaigishavya. The greatest of the Yogis is always said to beLord Krishna himself, whose Bhagavad Gita itself is called a Yoga Shastra or authoritative work on Yoga. Among Hindu deities it is Shiva who is the greatest of the Yogis or lord of Yoga, Yogeshvara. Therefore, a comparison of classical Yoga and Buddhism brings the greater issue of a comparison between Buddhist and Hindu teachings generally, particularly relative to the Yoga and Vedanta side of Hindu dharma. Some people, particularly in the West, have claimed that Yoga is not Hindu or Vedic but an independent or more universal tradition. They point out that the term Hindu does not appear in the Yoga Sutras, nor does the Yoga Sutra deal with the basic practices of Hinduism. Such readings are superficial. The Yoga Sutras abounds with technical terms of Hindu and Vedic philosophy, which its traditional commentaries and related literature explain in great detail. The Yoga Sutras have always been regarded as one of the six systems of Vedic philosophy accepting the authority of the Vedas, Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads, which traditional commentators on the text have always brought in. Another great early Yogic text, the Brihatyogi Yajnavalkya Smriti, describes Vedic mantras and practices along with Yogic practices of asana and pranayama. The same is true of the Yoga Upanishads, of which there are several dozen. Those who study Yoga Sutras in isolation from this greater tradition are bound to make mistakes. The Yoga Sutras, after all, is a Sutra work. Sutras are short statements, often incomplete sentences that without any commentary often do not make sense or can be taken in a number of ways. So to approach the Yoga Sutras and the Yoga tradition, one must look at the entire context of the teachings, commentaries and authoritative texts, not just modern opinions on the matter. Other people in the West, including many Yoga teachers, state that Yoga is not a religion. This can also be misleading, though it does have its point. Yoga is not part of any religious dogma proclaiming that there is only one God, church or savior as the only path. Yoga teachers from India have not insisted that their students formally become Hindus either. But Yoga is still a system deriving from the Hindu religion and is closely connected with all aspects of Hindu Dharma and much of Indian culture. Yoga does deal with the nature of the soul, God and immortality, which are the main topics of religion throughout the world. Its main concern is religious and certainly not merely exercise or health, though it is more concerned with the spiritual and mystical side of religion, not the mere belief or institutionalized aspect. Though Yoga is one of the six schools of Vedic philosophy (sad darsanas), it is also used by all the rest of the six systems in various ways. Yoga is coupled with another of these six schools, the Samkhya system, which sets forth the cosmic principles (tattvas) that the Yogi seeks to realized. Nyaya and Vaisheshika, two of the other systems, provide the rational and philosophical training that Yoga teachers in India also followed. Purva Mimamsa or the ritualistic school was the basis of much of the Karma Yoga of the yogic system. Uttara Mimamsa (also called Vedanta) is closely connected to Yogic traditions of Bhakti and Jnana Yoga, and their teachers have always used the eight limbs of Yoga. Most of the great teachers who brought Yoga to the modern world, like Swami Vivekananda, Paramahansa Yogananda, Sri Aurobindo, and Swami Shivananda, were Vedantins and emphasized YogaVedanta. These six Vedic systems were generally studied together. All adapted to some degree the methods and practices of Yoga. While we can find philosophical arguments and disputes between them, they all aim at unfolding the truth of the Vedas and differ mainly in details or levels of approach. All quote from Vedic texts, including the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Puranas for deriving their authority.

Some Western scholars call these the six schools of Indian philosophy. This is a mistake. These schools only represent Vedic systems, not the non-Vedic of which they are several. In addition they only represent Vedic based philosophies of the classical era. There were many other Vedic and Hindu philosophical systems of later times. Yet even these later systems like Kashmiri Shaivism, the Hatha Yoga, Siddha Yoga and Nath Yoga traditions, frequently quote from and accept not on the teachings of the Yoga Sutras, but those of the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita as well. Buddhism and Its Philosophy The Buddhist schools, of which there are four in classical Indian philosophy, though they shared many ideas and with Vedic spirituality, like karma and rebirth, did not accept the authority of the Vedas and rejected a number of key Vedic principles. All Buddhist schools employ meditation but some add more specific yogic practices, like Pranayama and Mantra. Such systems may be called Buddhist Yoga by modern writers. However, Yoga as a term in lacking in early Buddhist texts, particularly of the Theravadin type, and becomes prominent mainly in the Buddhist Tantric tradition that developed later, particularly as practiced in Tibet. Some Buddhists regard that Buddha was a great Yogi, particularly relative to the occult and psychic powers he was supposed to possess. Buddhism has basically two varieties, as well as many subvarieties. Th e northern, Mahayana or great vehicle tradition prevails in Tibet, China and Japan and adjacent countries. This is the type of Buddhism that is most known and followed by the largest number of people in the world. It includes Chan, Zen, Buddhist Tantra, Vajrayana, and Dzog Chen. The southern, Theravadin, prevails in the south of Asia, Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand. Vipassana is the most commonly known practice of Theravada Buddhism. Generally the Theravadin form is considered to be the older of the two forms of Buddhism. However, most Indian Buddhism, including the Sanskrit Buddhist Sutras, is of the Mahayana branch and has probably been best preserved in Tibet, where it has undergone a further development into Vajrayana. There are some disagreements between these two main Buddhist lines. The Mahayana tradition calls the Theravadin tradition, the Hinayana, or lesser vehicle. Many Theravadins consider that types of Mahayana Buddhism, particularly the Tibetan, are not truly Buddhist because they have mixed Buddhism with indigenous religious practices. The Mahayana tradition, particularly in its Tantric forms, uses breathing exercises, mantras, visualizations and deities much like the Yoga tradition. The Theravadin tradition has less in common with Yoga, though it does use similar meditation and concentration methods. It generally rejects devotional worship and the use of deities such as occurs in Yogic paths. For example, Vipassana teachers have often criticized the use of mantra, which is common not only in Hindu Yogic traditions but in the Mahayana Buddhist teachings. In fact, it could be argued that Tibetan Buddhism, with its mantras, deities and yogic teachings, is closer to Hinduism in its teachings than to such Buddhist schools. Buddhism grew up in a cultural base of Hinduism. For this reason Indian and Tibetan Buddhism have included Ayurvedic medicine, Hindu astrology, Sanskrit, the same rules of iconography and the same forms of temple worship, and other common factors as the Hindu tradition. A number of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, like Ganesh and Sarasvati, appear in the Buddhist tradition. Some figures like the Goddess Tara appear in both. Yet as Buddhism moved to other countries outside of India many of these connections were either lost or their basis forgotten. Nepal has remained as one region of the Indian subcontinent in which both these religions have continued, though Nepal has a Hindu majority, a Hindu king and is officially a Hindu state. Yet in Nepal Hindu Yoga and Buddhists traditions have never been simply equated. Nepalese Hindus and Buddhist respect one another but seldom combine the teachings of these two different religions by way of their actual practices. They tend to follow one tradition or the other but seldom both.

Yoga

and

Meditation

Today Yoga is most known for its asana tradition or yogic postures, which are the most popular, visible and outward form of the system. Buddhism is known as a tradition of meditation, as in the more popular forms of Buddhist meditation like Zen and Vipassana. This is rather strange because Yoga traditionally defines itself as meditation, or calming the disturbances of the mind, not as asana, which is taught merely as an aid to meditation. In the Yoga Sutras, the classical text on Yoga, of which there are two hundred Sutras only three deal with asana, while the great majority deal with meditation, its theory and results. In the West we hear people talk of Yoga and meditation, yoga meaning asana or some other outer practice like pranayama. If one states this in India, one hears Yoga and meditation, are they two? Unfortunately, many people who have studied Yoga in the West have learned only the asana or posture side of the teaching, not the meditation side. Some of them may therefore look to Buddhist teachings, like Zen or Vipassana, for meditation practices, not realizing that there are yogic and Vedantic forms of meditation which are traditionally not only part of the yogic system, but its core teaching! The cause for this often resides with Yoga teachers who have not studied the meditation side of their own tradition. Some have not been taught it as purely asana-oriented teachers have become more popular, no doubt owing to their appeal to the physically oriented Western mind. There is nothing necessarily wrong with doing Yogic asanas and Buddhist meditation but one who is claiming to be a Yoga teacher and yet does not know the Yogic meditation tradition cannot claim to be a real Yoga teacher. We could compare them with someone who practices a Buddhist physical exercise system, like Buddhist martial arts, but on top of this does a non-Buddhist meditation system, and still claims to be a teacher of Buddhism! The real Yoga tradition has aimed at producing meditation masters, not merely beautifully flexible bodies. Most of the Yoga System of Patanjali is concerned with the science of meditation as concentration, meditation and Samadhi (Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi). In fact in the beginning of the Yoga Sutras Yoga is defined as Samadhi or spiritual absorption. Yoga and its related Vedantic systems include numerous types of meditation both with form and without. These include pranayama techniques like Soham Pranayama or the various types of Kriya Yoga (like those taught by Yogananda), meditation on deities of all types and various devotional approaches, every sort of mantra from simple bija mantras like Om to long extended mantras like Gayatri, the use of yantras and other geometrical devises, diverse concentration methods, passive meditation approaches and active approaches like the Self-inquiry taught by Ramana Maharshi. It is a rich meditation tradition of which the rich asana tradition is merely an aspect. Philosophical Differences Between Hindu Yoga-Vedanta Traditions and Buddhism There are Buddhist refutations of the different schools of Hindu philosophy, including Yoga and Vedanta, and a rejection of Hindu deities like Shiva and Krishna. There are similar Yoga-Vedantic refutations of the different schools of Buddhist philosophy, including the rejection of the omniscience of Buddha, criticism of the Buddhist view of the mind, and so on. Buddhist scriptures themselves, both Mahayana and Theravadin, contain refutations of the Atman, Brahman, Ishvara, and the key tenets of Yoga and Vedanta, which are regarded as false doctrines. Note the Lankavatara Sutra, which is very typical in this regard. Refutation of Buddhist teachings does not occur in Hindu scriptures, which are largely pre-Buddhist but are common in the later literature. Many Vedantic, Sankhya and Yoga texts contain refutations of Buddhist doctrines, particularly those of the four classical schools of Buddhist philosophy, which are similarly regarded as untrue. Such criticism of Buddhist teachings occur in the main commentaries on the Yoga Sutras, that of Vyasa, and are common in Advaita or nondualistic Vedanta.

Such critiques can be found among the works of the greatest Hindu and Buddhist sages like Shankara of the Hindus, and Nagarjuna and Aryadeva of the Buddhists. Relative to Yoga and Buddhism one of the most interesting interactions was between Ishvara Krishna (not Krishna of the Bhagavad Gita) and the Buddhist guru of Vasubandhu, the founder of the Vijnanavada school. The debate was won by Ishvara Krishna and the record of his arguments, the Sankhya Karika was produced, which has become the main text on Samkhya. Vijnanavada, also called Yogachara, is the closest Buddhist school to classical Yoga, but curiously was the Buddhist system most in conflict with it in philosophical debates. There have been similar, but more limited debates within each tradition, with Advaita Vedanta critiques of other Hindu traditions like Sankhya-Yoga, or Buddhist Madhyamika critiques of Buddhist Vijnanavada and other Buddhist traditions. The Indian tradition cherished debate as a means of finding truth and did not simply aim at superficial intellectual agreements. This tradition of free and open debate is alive not only in India but in Tibet. The Indian tradition never required intellectual uniformity but honored diversity, something we should also remember today. While we should be open and tolerant, we need not give up discrimination or clarity in thinking. How Yoga and Buddhist Teachings Compare Yoga and Buddhism are both meditation traditions devised to help us transcend karma and rebirth and realize the truth of consciousness. They see the suffering and impermanence inherent in all birth, whether it is animal, human or god, and seek to alleviate it through developing a higher awareness. Both emphasize the need to dissolve the ego, the sense of the me and the mine, and return to the original reality that is not limited by the separate self. Both traditions emphasize enlightenment or inner illumination to be realized through meditation. Both systems recognize dharma, the principle of truth or natural law, as the basic law of the universe we must come to understand. Such dharmas are the law of karma and the unity of all sentient beings. Buddhism defines itself as Buddha dharma or the dharma of the enlightened ones, which is seen as a tradition transcending time or place. Yoga defines itself as part of the Hindu tradition called Sanatana Dharma, the universal or eternal dharma, which is not defined according to any particular teacher or tradition. Both traditions have called themselves Arya Dharma or the Dharma of noble men. The main differences between the two systems are over their cosmic view and way of practice. Vedic systems are built upon fundamental principles like the Self (Atman), the Creator (Ishvara), and Godhead (Brahman). Buddhism rejects all such ontological principles as mere creations of the mind itself. In this regard Vedic systems are more idealistic and Buddhism systems more phenomenological. Apart from such philosophical differences both systems share the same basic ethical values like non-violence, truthfulness, non-attachment and non-stealing. The vows that Buddhist monks take and those that monks and sadhus take in the Yoga tradition are the same, so are those of Jain monks. The Absolute Vedanta defines the absolute as a metaphysical principle Being-Consciousness-Bliss, or Brahman in which there is perfect peace and liberation. Buddhism does recognize an Absolute, which is non-dual and beyond all birth and death. However, Buddhism generally does not allow it any definition and regards it as void. It is sometimes called the Dharmakaya or body of dharma, though Sanskrit Buddhist texts never call it Brahman. Self and not-Self

Buddhism generally rejects the Self (Atma or Purusha) of Yoga-Vedanta and emphasizes the non-Self (anatman). It says that there is no Self in anything and therefore that the Self is merely a fiction of the mind. Whatever we point out as the Self, the

Buddhists state, is merely some impression, thought or feeling, but no such homogenous entity like a Self can be found anywhere. Buddhism has tended to lump the Self of Vedanta as another form of the ego or the misconception that there is a Self. The Yoga-Vedanta tradition emphasizes Self-realization or the realization of our true nature. It states that the Self does not exist in anything external. If we cannot find a self in anything it is no wonder, because if we did find a self in something it would not be the self but that particular thing. We cannot point out anything as the Self because the Self is the one who points all things out. The Self transcends the mind-body complex, but this is not to say that it does not exist. Without the Self we would not exist. We would not even be able to ask questions. Yoga-Vedanta discriminates between the Self (Atman), which is our true nature as consciousness, and the ego (generally called Ahamkara), which is the false identification of our true nature with the mind-body complex. The Atman of Vedanta is not the ego but is the enlightened awareness which transcends time and space. However a number of Buddhist traditions, particularly traditions outside of India, like the Chan and Zen traditions of China, have used terms like Self-mind, ones original nature, the original nature of consciousness or ones original face, which are similar to the Self of Vedanta. Mind and Self Buddhism defines reality in terms of mind and often refers to ultimate truth as the One Mind or original nature of the mind. In Yoga, mind (manas) is regarded as an instrument of consciousness which is the Self. It speaks of the One Self and the many minds which are its vehicles. For it mind is not an ultimate principle but an aspect of creation. If we examine the terms mind and Self in the two traditions it appears that what Yoga criticizes as attachment to the mind and ego is much like the Buddhist criticism of the attachment to the self, while what Vedanta calls the Supreme Self is similar to the Buddhist idea of the original nature of the Mind or One Mind. The Self is the unborn, uncreate reality similar to what Buddhism refers to as the transcendent aspect of Mind. The enlightened mind which dwells within the heart of the Buddhists (Bodhicitta) resembles the Supreme Self (Paramatman) which also dwells within the heart. Yet these similarities aside, the formulations and methodologies of the two systems in this regard can be quite different. Classical Indian Buddhist texts do not make such correlations either, but insist that the Vedantic Self is different than the One Mind of Buddhism. God or the Creator The yogic tradition is based upon a recognition of, respect for and devotion to God or the creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe. One of its main principles is that of surrender to God (Ishvara-Pranidhana), which is said to be the most direct method to Self-realization. Some degree of theism exists in the various Yoga-Vedanta teachings, though in Advatic systems Ishvara is subordinated to the Self-Absolute, which transcend even the Creator. This is perhaps the main point of difference between Yoga and Buddhism. Buddhism rejects God (Ishvara) or a cosmic lord and creator. It sees no need for any creator and considers that living beings arise through karma alone. The Dalai Lama recently noted that Buddha is similar to God in omniscience but is not a creator of the universe. Yet some modern Buddhist teachers use the term God and make it equivalent to the Buddha-nature. There is also the figure of the Adi-Buddha or primordial Buddha in some Buddhist traditions who resembles God. The Buddha appears as God not in the sense of a theological entity but as the Divine potential inherent in living beings, but is similarly looked upon as a great being who is prayed to for forgiveness of misdeeds. Karma and Rebirth

Both systems see karma as the main causative factor behind rebirth in the world. However, in Buddhism karma is said to be a self-existent principle. Buddhism states that the world exists owing to the beginningless karma of living beings. In the Yoga tradition, however, karma is not a self-existent principle. The world is created by God (Ishvara), the creative aspect of consciousness. Karma as a mere force of inertia and attachment cannot explain the creation of the world but only our attachment to it. Karma is regarded as a force dispensed by God, which cannot exist by itself, just as a law code cannot exist without a judge. However some other Vedic systems, also, like Purva Mimamsa put more emphasis upon karma than upon God. Yoga recognizes the existence of a Jiva or individual soul who is reborn. Buddhism denies the existence of such a soul and says that rebirth is just the continuance of a stream of karma, not any real entity. The Figure of the Buddha All Buddhist traditions go back to the Buddha and most emphasize studying the life of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. The Vedic tradition, on the other hand, recognizes many teachers and there is no one teacher that everyone must follow or look back to. There is no single historical figure like the Buddha that dominates the tradition or whom all must follow, honor or worship. Hinduism has accepted Buddha as a great teacher but it has included him among its stream of many other teachers, gurus and avatars. The term Buddha itself is common in Vedic teachings, as it is a common Sanskrit term meaning wise, awake, aware or enlightened. When Buddhism is referred to in Hindu literature it is called Bauddha Dharma or Saugata Dharma, as there is nothing in the term Buddha in Sanskrit that refers to a particular person or religion. While Hindus make Buddha into an avatar, in Buddhism Buddha cannot be an avatar because Buddhism has no God that Buddha could manifest. If Buddha is an avatar in Buddhism it is of the enlightened mind, not of the Creator. Nirvana Both systems regard Nirvana or mergence in the Absolute as a primary goal of practice. However in the Buddhist tradition, particularly the Theravadin, Nirvana is generally described only negatively as cessation. It is given no positive appellations. In the Vedic tradition Nirvana is described in a positive way as mergence into Brahman or Sacchidananda, BeingConsciousness-Bliss, the realization of the infinite and eternal Self, called Brahma Nirvana. Yet both systems agree that this truth transcends all concepts. Vedanta describes Nirvana as freedom or liberation (Moksha). This term does not occur in Buddhism which does not accept the existence of any soul that can be liberated. Devotion and Compassion Yoga with its recognition of God emphasizes devotion and surrender to God (Ishvara-pranidhana) as one of the main spiritual paths. It contains an entire Yogic approach based on devotion, Bhakti Yoga, through which we open our hearts to God and surrender to the Divine Will. As Buddhism does not recognize God, devotion to God does not appear as a Buddhist path. That is why we dont find any significant tradition of great devotees and singers of Divine Love in Buddhism like Chaitanya, Ramakrishna, Tulsidas or Mirabai in the Hindu tradition. Buddhism does recognize devotion to the Buddha or faith in the Buddha-mind. However devotion to great teachers or to functions of the enlightened mind does not quite strike the human heart with the same significance as devotion to the Divine Father and Mother of the Universe, the creator, preserver and destroyer of all, which requires a recognition of God. Buddhism has developed the role of the Bodhisattva, the enlightened one who stays on after enlightenment to teach and guide living beings. As according to Yoga God and all the sages merged in him are ever present to help all beings, so there is no need for such a special Bodhisattva vow. Yoga values compassion as an ethical principle, however, and says that we cannot realize our true Self as long as we think that we are separate from other creatures.

Gods and Goddesses/ Buddhas and Bodhisattvas Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, technically speaking, are not deities or Gods and Goddesses. They are not forms of the Divine Father and Mother and have no role in creating, preserving and destroying the universe. They are not the parents of all creatures but merely wise guides and teachers. They are often described as great beings who once lived and attained enlightenment at some point in time and took various vows to stay in the world to help save living beings. For example perhaps the greatest Buddhist Goddess, Tara is such a Bodhisattva, an enlightened person not the Divine Mother like Durga or Kali of Hinduism but a great enlightened sage who has continued to exist in the world to help living beings. She is not the Goddess or a form of God as the universal creator but a personal expression of the enlightened mind and its power of compassion. There are also meditation Buddhas (Dhyani Buddhas), who represent archetypes of enlightenment. Yet though the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are not forms of God, they can be prayed toto provide grace and protection. For example, the Bodhisattva Tara was thought to save those in calamities. Worship of various Bodhisattvas is called Deity Yoga in the Tibetan tradition.

Summary If we can equate the One Mind of the Buddhists with the One Self of Vedanta, make Buddha and God the same and give the Buddha the power of creation of the universe, and make other such correlations, both traditions could be synthesized at least at a philosophical level, even though differences of lineages and practices could continue. I have found that many people in the West who consider themselves to be Buddhists are really Vedantic in their view. While they accept karma and rebirth, they also accept the existence of God as the Creator, the higher Self and an Absolute of Pure Being. These are the Ishvara, Atman and Brahman of Vedantic thought, which classical Buddhism does not directly accept. Choosing a Path There are a number of people in the West today, and even in India, who are combining Yoga and Buddhism, as well as less related traditions. Some people may try to follow gurus in both traditions (sometimes without the approval of the teachers). Of course, teachings which are common to both traditions like non-violence are obviously easy to correlate. It is also quite easy for Buddhists to use Yoga asanas or pranayama, the outer aspects of Yoga teachings into their practice. It may be difficult to meditate upon the Supreme Self of Vedanta, while meditating upon the non-Self of Buddhism. The Buddhist approach requires doubting that there is any self at all. The Vedantic approach requires complete faith in the Self and merging everything into it. Above all it is hard to maintain certain devotional approaches in a Buddhist context where there is no real God or Creator. Generally, gurus either within Vedic or Buddhist traditions require that their disciples emphasize their particular teachings. In this regard, they may not accept their followers combining teachings and practices from other gurus and traditions, particularly those of different orientations. In this eclectic age, many people do some synthetic experimentation combining different spiritual paths and teachings according to their inclinations or inspirations. This is bound to continue and may prove fruitful in some instances, particularly when one is still searching out ones path. Yet it frequently gets people lost or confused, trying to mix teachings together they do not really understand. Jumping back and forth between teachers and traditions may prevent us from getting anywhere with any of them. Superficial synthesis, which is largely a mental exercise, is no substitute for deep practice that requires dedicated concentration. The goal is not to combine the paths but to reach to the goal, which requires taking a true path out to the end.

While there maybe many paths up to the top of a mountain, one will not climb far cross-crossing between paths. Above all it is not for students on the path to try to combine paths. It is for the masters, the great lineage bearers in the traditions, to do so, if this is necessary. Honoring All Paths: Following Our True Path

Today we are entering into a global age that requires the development of a global spirituality. This requires honoring all forms of the inner quest regardless of where and when they come from, even if our own inclinations are different. The unity of truth cuts across all boundaries and breaks down all divisions between human beings. It is crucial that such meditation traditions as Yoga and Buddhism form a common front in light of the needs of the global era. All such true spiritual traditions face many common enemies in this materialistic age. Their common values of protecting the earth, non-violence, recognition of the law of karma, and the practice of meditation are perhaps the crucial voice to deliver us out of our present crisis. But in coming together the diversity of teachings should be preserved, which means not only recognizing their unity but respecting their differences. This is the same issue as that of different cultures. While we should recognize the unity of humanity, we should allow various cultures to preserve their unique forms, and not simply throw them all into one big melting pot, in which all their distinctions are lost. True unity is universality that fosters a creative multiplicity, not a uniformity that reduces everything to a stereotype. Truth is not only One but Infinite and cannot be reduced to any final forms. Pluralism is also true as each individual is unique and we should have a broad enough view to allow others to have contrary opinions. As the Vedic Rishis stated, That which is the One Truth the seers teach in diverse ways. This is to accommodate all the different types and levels of souls. While we should honor all paths, we do need to follow a single path to the goal. Hopefully, that path will be broad, but every path must have some guidelines and not every path will work for everyone. David Frawley Yoga v Pht gio l truyn thng m ch em pht trin trong vn ha thing ling ca n c i . H s dng rt nhiu cc iu khon tng t v tun th nhng nguyn tc v thc hnh tng t. V l do ny n khng phi l ng ngc nhin rng nhiu ngi trong chng ta sinh ra phng Ty, c bit l sau khi tip xc ban u, c khuynh hng coi Yoga v gio l Pht gio l gn nh ging ht nhau. Chng ti c th mun kt hp ging dy hoc thc hnh ca h cho ph hp, nh nu khng c s khc bit thc s gia h. S khc bit tn ti gia hai h thng lch s, m gi chng ra xa nhau nh truyn thng ring bit, t r rng cho chng ti phng Ty hn l s tng ng ca h. Hoc nhng ngi nghin cu mt trong nhng truyn thng ny c th c nghing xem ngi khc nh vay t n. Nhng ngi nghin cu Pht gio c th tm thy rt nhiu tng t trong Yoga m h nghi ng nh hng Pht gio mnh m v Yoga. Nhng ngi nghin cu Yoga c th tm thy rt nhiu tng t trong Pht gio m h nhn thy mt nh hng yoga mnh m v Pht gio. Tuy nhin, xu hng tm thy s tng ng gia hai truyn thng tm linh v i khng gii hn phng Ty. Swami Vivekananda, con s ln u tin mang Yoga vi phng Ty, kim tra Pht gio i tha kinh (Kinh) v tm thy li dy chnh h v ca Vedanta rng ng theo sau l cui cng trong s hi ha. Trong nhng nm gn y vi vic ngi t nn Ty Tng vo n , trong c t Lai Lt Ma, c mt cuc i thoi mi gia hai truyn thng c a v tn trng gia chng. Pht gio Ty Tng thng xut hin n gio t hp tn gio v tham gia vo tt c cc cch thc ca cc cuc tho lun. Cng khng phi l c gng kt ni hai truyn thng gii hn thi hin i. Khc nhau tng hp gio Hindu-Pht gio tn ti qua lch s. c Pht c sinh ra mt ngi n gio v mt s hc gi cho rng Pht gio l mt tn gio ngoi n gio khng xy ra cho n khi lu sau khi c Pht qua i. Mt ging dy Shiva-Pht tn ti Indonesia trong thi trung c, v cho nhiu Tantric Yogi rt kh ni rng liu h Hindu hay Pht gio. c Pht tr thnh chp nhn nh l

mt hin thn ca thn Vishnu cho ngi Hindu trong thi trung c, v hu ht ngi n gio vn cho rng chng ta ang sng trong thi i ca c Pht-avatar. Hu ht ngi Hindu accept c Pht nh mt gio vin tuyt vi, ngay c khi h khng chp nhn tt c gio l Pht gio. Tuy nhin, im tng ng v kt ni sang mt bn, hai truyn thng c s khc bit ca h, m khng phi lun lun nh. Xu hng tng hp nh vy khng loi tr bt ng v tranh lun gia hai truyn thng. H cng khng bao gi thnh cng trong vic hon ton lin kt h. Truyn thng v dng h vn ring bit cho n ngy nay. Ni chung l truyn thng Yoga n gio tm cch hp th Pht gio vo bn thn bng cch reinterpreting Pht trong mt nh sng Vedantic. Tuy nhin Pht gio vn c gng duy tr bn sc ring bit ca n bng cch nhn mnh nhng bt ng ca n vi ch ngha duy thn V hoc vic cng nhn V ca mt t cao hn. Nht n gio v Pht gio, bao gm c cc trng hc Yoga khc nhau ca n gio v Pht gio Ty Tng, tm thy n cn thit phn bit gio l ca h, c bit l v mc tinh t ca thc t v ci nhn su sc. S bc b ca gio l Pht gio l ph bin trong cc vn bn yoga v s bc b nhng li dy yoga v Vedantic l ph bin trong kinh in Pht gio. V vy, trong khi chng ta c th tn vinh cc kt ni gia hai h thng ny, chng ta khng th b qua s khc bit ca h, hoc. Truyn thng Yoga Bi Yoga trong bi cnh ny kim tra chng ti c ngha l ch yu l h thng Yoga c in nh c quy nh bi Patanjali trong kinh in Yoga, nhng nh l mt phn ca V truyn thng ln hn m Patanjali l mt phn ca. Patanjali khng bao gi c coi n l ngi sng lp ca truyn thng Yoga nhng ch n gin l trnh bin dch nhng li dy yoga lu trc c anh. Patanjali, phn nh truyn thng lu i, dy mt (Ashtanga) h thng ca Yoga Bt chnh o nhn mnh s pht trin tinh thn th thiu bao gm c lnh vc o c (Yama v Niyama), t th (Asana), cc bi tp th (Pranayama), kim sot ca cc gic quan (Pratyahara), nng (Dharana), thin nh (Thin) v hp th (Samadhi). Cch tip cn ny khng tch ri hoc gp tm ln Yoga l chung cho hu ht cc trng ca V v t tng v thc hnh ca ngi Hindu. Chng xut hin trong vn hc trc Patanjali ca Puranas, Mahabharata v Upanishads, ni tn Patanjali vn cha xy ra. Ngi khi ca h thng Yoga c cho l Hiranyagarbha, ngi tng trng cho sc mnh sng to v tin ha trong v tr, v l mt hnh thc ca V Sun Thin Cha. Yoga c th c truy tr li Rig Veda ring ca mnh, cc vn bn Hindu lu i nht m ni v yoking tm v ci nhn su sc ca chng ti mt tri ca Chn l. Ln gio vin Yoga u bao gm tn ca nhiu nh hin trit V ni ting nh Vasishta, Yajnavalkya, v Jaigishavya. Ln nht ca Yogi l lun lun cho l thn Krishna mnh, c Bhagavad Gita chnh n c gi l mt Shastra Yoga hoc lm vic c thm quyn v Yoga. Trong s cc v thn Hindu Shiva n l ai l ngi v i nht ca Yoga hoc cha t ca Yoga, Yogeshvara. Do , mt s so snh ca Yoga c in v Pht gio mang vn ln hn mt so snh gia Pht gio v Hindu gio ni chung, c bit l so vi Yoga v Vedanta bn ca n gio php. Mt s ngi, c bit l phng Ty, tuyn b rng Yoga khng phi l n gio hoc Vedic nhng mt truyn thng c lp hoc ph qut hn. H ch ra rng n gio di khng xut hin trong kinh in Yoga, cng khng tha thun Kinh Yoga vi cc thc hnh c bn ca n gio. c nh vy l hi ht.Kinh in Yoga y dy vi iu kin k thut ca n gio v trit hc V , m bnh lun truyn thng v vn hc c lin quan gii thch rt chi tit. Kinh in Yoga lun lun c coi l mt trong su h thng ca trit hc V chp nhn thm quyn ca kinh Veda, Bhagavad Gita v Upanishads, m cc nh bnh lun truyn thng trn cc vn bn lun lun a vo phng khc u vn bn Yoga tuyt vi, Brihatyogi Yajnavalkya Smriti, m t thn ch V v thc hnh cng vi thc hnh Yoga ca asana v Pranayama. iu ny cng ng ca Upanishads Yoga, trong c vi chc. Nhng ngi nghin cu kinh in Yoga trong s c lp t truyn thng ln ny ang b rng buc lm cho nhng sai lm. Kinh in Yoga, sau khi tt c, l mt tc phm kinh. Kinh in l trnh by ngn gn, cu thng khng y m khng c bt k bnh lun thng khng c ngha hoc c th c thc hin trong mt s cch. V vy, tip cn kinh in Yoga v truyn thng Yoga, ngi ta phi nhn vo ton b bi cnh ca nhng li dy, bi bnh lun v cc vn bn c thm quyn, khng ch l kin hin i v vn ny.

Ngi khc phng Ty, trong c nhiu gio vin Yoga, nh nc rng Yoga khng phi l mt tn gio. iu ny cng c th gy hiu lm, mc d n c quan im ca mnh. Yoga khng phi l mt phn ca bt c gio iu tn gio tuyn b rng ch c mt Thin Cha, gio hi hay v cu tinh nh con ng duy nht. Gio vin yoga t n khng khng nh rng sinh vin ca h chnh thc tr thnh ngi theo o Hindu hoc. Nhng Yoga vn l mt h thng xut pht t o Hindu v c kt ni cht ch vi tt c cc kha cnh ca n gio Php v nhiu ca vn ha n . Yoga khng i ph vi bn cht ca linh hn, Thin Cha v s bt t, l nhng ch chnh ca tn gio trn ton th gii. Mi quan tm chnh ca n l tn gio v chc chn khng phi ch n thun l tp th dc hoc sc khe, mc d n l quan tm nhiu hn vi cc kha cnh thing ling v huyn b ca tn gio, khng phi l nim tin n thun hay mt kha cnh th ch ha. Mc d Yoga l mt trong su trng phi trit hc V (darsanas bun), n cng c s dng bi tt c cc phn cn li ca su h thng trong nhiu cch khc nhau. Yoga l kt hp vi mt trong su trng hc, h thng Samkhya, trong nu ra cc nguyn tc v tr (tattvas) m Yogi tm cch thc hin.Nyaya v Vaisheshika, hai trong s cc h thng khc, cung cp o to hp l v trit hc gio vin Yoga n cng theo sau. Purva Mimamsa hoc trng nghi thc l c s ca nhiu ca Yoga Karma ca h thng du gi. Uttara Mimamsa (cn gi l Vedanta) c kt ni cht ch vi truyn thng Yoga ca Bhakti v Jnana Yoga, v gio vin ca h lun lun s dng tm tay chn ca Yoga. Hu ht cc bc thy v i mang Yoga vi th gii hin i, nh Swami Vivekananda, Paramahansa Yogananda, Sri Aurobindo, v Swami Shivananda, l Vedantins v nh n mnh Yoga Vedanta. Su h thng V c thng nghin cu vi nhau. Tt c ph hp vi mc cc phng php v thc hnh Yoga. Trong khi chng ta c th tm thy lp lun trit hc v tranh chp gia h, tt c h u nhm mc ch m ra s tht ca kinh V v khc nhau ch yu trong chi tit hoc mc tip cn. Tt c cc trch dn t vn bn V , bao gm cc Upanishad, Bhagavad Gita v Puranas cho pht sinh quyn hn ca mnh. Mt s hc gi phng Ty gi l nhng "su trng phi trit hc n ." y l mt sai lm. Cc trng ny ch i din cho h thng V , khng phi l khng V m h l nhiu. Ngoi ra h ch i din cho trit l V da trn ca thi i c in. c nhiu h thng trit hc Hindu ln sau V v khc. Tuy nhin, ngay c nhng h thng nh sau Kashmir Shaivism, cc Hatha Yoga, Siddha Yoga v Nath truy n thng Yoga, thng xuyn trch dn t v chp nhn khng trn nhng li dy ca Kinh Yoga, nhng nhng ngi Upanishads v Bhagavad Gita l tt. Pht gio v Trit hc ca n Cc trng hc Pht gio, trong c bn trong trit hc c in n , mc d h chia s nhiu tng v tm linh V , nh nghip v ti sinh, khng chp nhn thm quyn ca kinh Veda v t chi mt s nguyn tc V chnh. Tt c cc trng Pht gio s dng thin nh nhng mt s thc hnh yoga thm c th hn, nh Pranayama v Mantra. H thng nh vy c th c gi l "Pht gio Yoga" ca cc nh vn hin i. Tuy nhin, Yoga l mt thut ng trong thiu trong cc vn bn Pht gio, c bit l cc loi Nguyn thy, v tr nn ni bt ch yu trong Pht gio Mt tng truyn thng pht trin sau ny, c bit l thc hnh Ty Tng. Mt s vn Pht t rng c Pht l mt Yogi tuyt vi, c bit l lin quan n cc quyn hn huyn b v tm linh ng c cho l s hu. Pht gio c bn hai loi, cng nh nhiu subvarieties. Pha Bc, i tha hay "ln xe" truyn thng chim u th Ty Tng, Trung Quc v Nht Bn v cc nc ln cn. y l loi hnh Pht Gio c bit n nhiu nht v sau l s lng ln nht ca ngi dn trn th gii. N bao gm Chan, Zen, Pht gio Tantra, Kim Cng tha, v Dzogchen. Pha nam, Nguyn thy, chim u th pha nam ca chu , Sri Lanka, Min in v Thi Lan. Thin Minh St l thc hnh ph bin nht c bit n ca Pht Gio Nguyn Thy. Ni chung l hnh thc Nguyn thy c coi l ln tui hn trong hai hnh thc ca Pht gio. Tuy nhin, Pht gio n nht, bao gm c kinh in Pht gio ting Phn, l chi nhnh ca i tha v c th c bo qun tt nht Ty Tng, ni m n tri qua mt pht trin hn na vo Kim Cng tha. C mt s bt ng gia hai dng Pht gio chnh. Truyn thng i tha gi l truyn thng Nguyn thy, Tiu tha, hay "c xe nh." Nhiu Theravada cho rng loi Pht gio i tha, c bit l Ty Tng, l khng thc s Pht gio v h trn ln Pht gio vi tn gio bn a.

Truyn thng i tha, c bit l trong cc hnh thc Mt tng ca n, s dng cc bi tp th, thn ch, trc quan v cc v thn ging nh truyn thng Yoga. Truyn thng Nguyn thy c t im chung vi Yoga, mc d n khng s dng thin nh tng t v phng php tp trung. N thng t chi th phng tm v vic s dng cc v thn nh xy ra trong ng dn Yoga. V d, Vipassana gio vin thng xuyn ch trch vic s dng cc cu thn ch, m l ph bin khng ch n gio truyn thng Yoga nhng trong Pht gio l i tha. Trong thc t, n c th cho rng Pht gio Ty Tng, vi cu thn ch ca mnh, cc v thn v li dy yoga, gn gi hn vi n gio trong gio l hn cho cc trng hc Pht gio nh vy. Pht gio ln ln trong mt c s vn ha ca n gio. V l do ny, n v Pht gio Ty Tng bao gm y hc Ayurveda, n gio chim tinh hc, ting Phn, cng cc quy tc ca hnh tng v cc hnh thc tng t ca n th, v cc yu t ph bin khc nh truyn thng ca n . Mt s ca cc v thn n gio v n thn, nh Ganesh v Sarasvati, xut hin trong truyn thng Pht gio. Mt s nhn vt nh n thn Tara xut hin trong c hai. Tuy nhin, nh Pht gio chuyn sang cc nc khc bn ngoi ca n nhiu cc kt ni c hoc b mt i hoc c s ca h lng qun. Nepal vn l mt khu vc ca tiu lc a n , trong c hai tn gio vn tip tc, mc d Nepal c a s theo o Hindu, mt v vua n gio v chnh thc l mt nh nc n gio. Tuy nhin Nepal Hindu Yoga v truyn thng Pht gio cha bao gi c ch n gin l tng ng. Nepal n gio v Pht gio tn trng nhau nhng him khi kt hp nhng li dy ca hai tn gio khc nhau bng cch thc hnh thc t ca h. H c xu hng theo mt truyn thng hay cch khc nhng him khi c hai. Yoga v ThinHm nay Yoga c bit n nhiu nht cho truyn thng asana ca n hay t th yoga, l ph bin nht, hnh thc c th nhn thy v bn ngoi ca h thng. Pht gio c bit n nh mt truyn thng thin nh, nh trong cc hnh thc ph bin hn ca thin Pht gio nh Zen v Vipassana. iu ny l kh l v Yoga truyn thng xc nh mnh nh thin nh, hoc lm du ri lon tm tr, khng nh asana, c ging dy ch n thun l mt tr gip thin nh. Trong kinh in Yoga, cc vn bn c in trn Yoga, trong c hai trm kinh in ch c ba i ph vi asana, trong khi cc tha thun a s tuyt vi vi thin nh, l thuyt v kt qu ca n. phng Ty, chng ti nghe mi ngi ni v "Yoga v thin nh," yoga asana ngha hoc mt s thc hnh bn ngoi khc nh Pranayama. Nu mt trong nhng quc gia ny n , ngi ta nghe "Yoga v thin nh, h l hai?"

Tht khng may, rt nhiu ngi nghin cu Yoga phng Ty hc c ch asana hoc t th bn cnh vic ging dy, khng phi l bn thin nh. Mt s ngi trong s h do c th nhn Pht php, nh thin hay thin, thc hnh thin nh, khng nhn ra rng c nhng hnh thc yoga v Vedantic thin nh l truyn thng khng ch l mt phn ca h thng yoga, nhng ging dy ct li ca n! Nguyn nhn ny thng c tr vi cc gio vin Yoga, nhng ngi khng nghin cu cc bn thin truyn thng ring ca h. Mt s khng c dy n nh hon ton asana theo nh hng gio vin tr nn ph bin hn, khng c nghi ng do khng co ca h tm theo nh hng th cht phng Ty. Khng c g l nht thit phi sai vi vic cc th Yoga v thin nh Pht gio nhng mt ngi t xng l mt gio vin Yoga nhng khng bit truyn thng thin nh Yoga khng c th yu cu c mt gio vin Yoga thc. Chng ta c th so snh chng vi nhng ngi thc hnh mt h thng tp th dc Pht gio, Pht gio nh v thut, nhng trn ny khng mt h thng thin nh khng phi Pht gio, v vn tuyn b l mt gio vin ca Pht gio! Truyn thng Yoga sn nhm vo sn xut thin s, khng c quan ch p linh hot. Hu ht cc h thng Yoga ca Patanjali lin quan n khoa hc v thin nh nh tp trung, thin nh v Samadhi (Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi). Trong thc t vo u ca Yoga kinh in Yoga c nh ngha l Samadhi hoc hp th tinh thn. Yoga v h thng Vedantic lin quan ca n bao gm rt nhiu loi thin nh c vi hnh thc v khng c.Chng bao gm cc k thut Pranayama nh So'ham Pranayama hay cc loi Kriya Yoga (nh nhng ngi ging dy bi Yogananda), suy nim v cc v thn ca tt c cc loi v cch tip cn o c khc nhau, mi loi thn ch t thn ch bija n gin nh cu thn ch Om m rng di nh Gayatri, vic s dng yantras v hnh hc khc ngh ra, phng php tp trung a dng,

phng php thin nh th ng v cch tip cn ch ng l t iu tra c ging dy bi Ramana Maharshi. l mt truyn thng phong ph ca thin nh m truyn thng asana giu ch l mt kha cnh. S khc bit gia trit hc Hindu Yoga Vedanta truyn thng v Pht gio C nhng s bc b Pht gio ca cc trng khc nhau ca trit hc Hindu, bao gm Yoga v Vedanta, v mt s t chi ca v thn Hindu nh Shiva v Krishna. C nhng s bc b Yoga Vedantic tng t ca cc trng khc nhau ca trit hc Pht gio, bao gm vic bc b ton tri ca c Pht, ch trch quan im ca Pht gio v tm, v nh vy. Kinh in Pht gio mnh, c i tha v Nguyn thy, c nhng s bc b ca Atman, Brahman, Ishvara, v nhng gio l quan trng ca Yoga v Vedanta, c coi l hc thuyt sai. Lu Kinh Lng Gi, rt in hnh trong lnh vc ny. Bc b gio l o Pht khng xy ra trong kinh in n gio, trong phn ln l trc khi Pht gio nhng l ph bin trong cc ti liu sau. Nhiu vn bn Vedantic, Sankhya v Yoga c s bc b hc thuyt Pht gio, c bit l trong bn trng hc c in ca trit hc Pht gio, c coi tng t nh khng ng s tht. Ch trch nh vy ca gio l Pht gio xy ra trong cc bi bnh lun chnh trn kinh in Yoga, ca Vyasa, v rt ph bin trong Advaita hoc khng nh nguyn Vedanta. Ph bnh nh vy c th c tm thy trong cc tc phm ca o Hindu ln nht v nh hin trit Pht gio nh Shankara ca ngi Hindu, v Long Th v Thnh Thin ca Pht t. So vi Yoga v Pht gio l mt trong nhng tng tc th v nht l gia Ishvara Krishna (khng Krishna ca Bhagavad Gita) v cc guru Pht gio Ngi Th Thn, ngi sng lp ca trng Duy Thc. Cc cuc tranh lun thng Ishvara Krishna v k lc ca lp lun ca mnh, cc Sankhya Tng c sn xut, m tr thnh vn bn chnh trn Samkhya. Duy Thc, cng c gi l Yogachara, l trng hc Pht gio gn gi nht vi Yoga c in, nhng t m l h thng Pht gio nht trong cuc xung t vi n trong cc cuc tranh lun trit hc. c tng t, nhng cuc tranh lun hn ch hn trong mi truyn thng, vi Advaita Vedanta ch trch ca cc truyn thng Hindu khc nh Sankhya-Yoga, hay Pht gio Trung Qun ph bnh ca Pht gio Duy Thc v truyn thng Pht gio khc. Truyn thng n yu mn cuc tranh lun nh mt phng tin tm kim s tht v khng ch n gin nhm mc ch tha thun hu tr tu b ngoi. Truyn thng ny ca cuc tranh lun t do v ci m l sng khng ch n nhng Ty Tng. Truyn thng n khng bao gi yu cu thng nht hu tr tu nhng s a dng tn vinh, mt ci g chng ta cng nn nh hm nay. Trong khi chng ta nn ci m v khoan dung, chng ti khng cn phi t b phn bit i x hoc r rng trong suy ngh. Lm th no Yoga v gio l Pht gio So snh Yoga v Pht gio l c hai truyn thng thin nh a ra gip chng ta vt qua nghip v ti sinh v nhn ra s tht ca thc. H nhn thy s au kh v v thng vn c trong tt c cc sinh, cho d l ng vt, con ngi v thn, v tm cch lm gim bt n thng qua pht trin mt nhn thc cao hn. C hai u nhn mnh s cn thit phi gii th ci ti, cm gic ca ti v ti, v tr li vi thc t ban u m khng b gii hn bi t ring bit. C hai truyn thng nhn mnh s gic ng hay chiu sng bn trong c thc hin thng qua thin nh. C hai h thng cng nhn php, nguyn tc ca s tht hay lut t nhin, nh l lut c bn ca v tr chng ta cn phi hiu. Php nh vy l lut nhn qu v s thng nht ca tt c chng sinh. Pht gio xc nh mnh nh Pht php hay php ca nhng ngi gic ng, c xem nh mt vt thi gian truyn thng hay a im. Yoga xc nh mnh nh l mt phn ca truyn thng n gio gi l Sanatana Php, ph qut hoc vnh cu php, m khng c nh ngha theo bt k gio vin c th hoc truyn thng. C hai truyn thng t gi mnh l Arya Php hay gio php ca nhng ngi n ng cao qu. S khc bit chnh gia hai h thng trn quan im v tr ca h v cch thc hnh. H thng V c xy dng da trn nguyn tc c bn nh t (Atman), ng To Ha (Ishvara), v Ngi c Cha Tri (Brahman). Pht gio bc b tt c cc nguyn tc bn th hc nh sng to n thun ca tm tr ring ca mnh. V vn ny cc h thng V l l tng hn v h thng Pht gio hin tng hn.

Ngoi s khc bit trit hc nh vy c hai h thng chia s cc gi tr o c c bn ging nhau nh bt bo ng, trung thc, khng chp th v khng n cp. Pht nguyn l cc nh s i v nhng tu s v sadhus c trong truyn thng Yoga l nh nhau, do , l nhng tu s Jain. Tuyt i Vedanta xc nh tuyt i nh mt nguyn tc siu hnh Being-Thc-Bliss, hoc B la mn, trong c ha bnh v gii phng hon ho. Pht gio khng nhn ra mt tuyt i, l bt nh v xa hn na tt c sinh t. Tuy nhin, Pht gio ni chung khng cho php n nh ngha bt k v coi l v hiu. i khi n c gi l Php thn hay c th ca Php, mc d kinh sch Pht gio ting Phn khng bao gi gi n l Brahman. T v khng-t

Pht gio ni chung t chi t (Atma hay Purusha) ca Yoga Vedanta v nhn mnh khng t (anatman).N ni rng khng c t trong bt c iu g v v th T ch l mt tiu thuyt ca tm. Bt c iu g chng ti ch ra l t, nh nc Pht gio, ch l mt s n tng, suy ngh hoc cm gic, nhng khng c thc th ng nht chng hn nh mt t c th c tm thy bt c u. Pht gio c xu hng nh ng t ca Vedanta nh mt hnh thc ca bn ng hoc quan nim sai lm rng c mt t. Truyn thng Yoga Vedanta nhn mnh t thc hin hoc thc hin bn cht tht s ca chng ti. N ni rng t khng tn ti trong bt c iu g bn ngoi. Nu chng ta khng th tm thy mt t trong bt c iu g n khng t hi, bi v nu chng ti tm thy mt ci g trong t n s khng t nhng iu c bit. Chng ti khng th ch ra bt c iu g nh l t do t l mt trong nhng ngi ch tt c nhng iu trn. T vt ln trn nhng phc tp tm c th, nhng iu ny khng c ngha l n khng tn ti.Nu khng c s t chng ta s khng tn ti. Chng ti thm ch s khng th t cu hi. Yoga Vedanta phn bit i x gia t (Atman), l bn cht tht s ca chng ti l thc, v ci ti (gi chung l Ahamkara), l vic xc nh sai lm v bn cht tht s ca chng ti vi cc phc tp tm c th. Cc Atman ca Vedanta khng phi l ci ti nhng l thc gic ng m vt thi gian v khng gian. Tuy nhin mt s truyn thng Pht gio, c bit l truyn thng bn ngoi ca n , nh Chn My v truyn thng Zen ca Trung Quc, s dng nhng thut ng nh t tm, bn cht ban u ca mt ngi, c tnh nguyn gc ca thc hay khun mt ban u ca mt ngi, m l tng t nh t ca Vedanta. Tm tr v t Pht gio xc nh thc t v tm tr v thng cp n s tht cui cng l mt tm hay bn tnh ca tm. Trong Yoga, (manas) c coi nh mt cng c ca thc l t. N ni v ng T v nhiu tm tr m l phng tin ca n. V tm tr khng phi l mt nguyn tc cui cng nhng mt kha cnh ca s sng to. Nu chng ta kim tra tm iu khon v t trong hai truyn thng c v nh nhng g Yoga ch trch nh gn b vi tm tr v ci ti nhiu nh nhng li ch trch ca Pht gio v s rng buc ca bn thn, trong khi nhng g Vedanta gi l t ti cao cng tng t nh Pht gio tng v bn cht ban u ca tm hay Nht Tm. T l nhng tr cha sinh, uncreate thc t tng t nh nhng g Pht gio cp n nh l kha cnh siu vit ca tm. Tm gic ng m ng tr trong tri tim ca ngi Pht t (B tm) tng t nh t ti cao (Paramatman) cng ng tr trong tri tim. Tuy nhin, nhng im tng ng sang mt bn, cc cng thc v phng php ca hai h thng trong lnh vc ny c th kh khc nhau. C in kinh in Pht gio n khng lm cho mi tng quan nh vy, hoc, nhng nhn mnh rng t Vedantic khc vi Nht Tm ca Pht gio. Thin Cha hay ng To Ha Truyn thng yoga da trn mt s cng nhn, tn trng v lng sng knh c Cha Tri hay ngi sng to, bo qun v tu khu trc ca v tr. Mt trong nhng nguyn tc chnh ca n l u hng vi Thin Cha (Ishvara-Pranidhana), c cho l phng php trc tip nht t thc hin. Mt mc hu thn tn ti trong nhiu Yoga Vedanta gio, mc d trong cc h thng Advatic Ishvara l ph thuc vo vic t tuyt i, m thm ch cn vt qua ng To Ha. y c l l im chnh ca

s khc bit gia Yoga v Pht gio. Pht gio bc b Thin Cha (Ishvara) hoc mt lnh cha v tr v sng to. N thy khng cn thit i vi bt k ngi sng to v cho rng chng sinh pht sinh thng qua nghip mt mnh. t Lai Lt Ma mi y lu rng c Pht cng tng t nh Thin Cha trong ton tri nhng khng phi l mt ngi sng to ra v tr. Tuy nhin, mt s gio vin Pht gio hin i s dng Thin Cha hn v lm cho n tng ng vi Pht tnh. Ngoi ra cn c hnh nh ca Adi-Pht hay Pht nguyn thy trong mt s truyn thng Pht gio ging nh Thin Cha. c Pht xut hin nh l Thin Cha khng phi trong ngha ca mt thc th thn hc nhng nh tim nng vn c ca Thin Cha trong chng sinh, nhng l nhn tng t nh trn nh mt con v i l ngi cu nguyn cho tha th li lm. Karma v ti sinh C hai h thng thy nghip nh cc yu t gy bnh chnh ng sau s ti sinh trn th gii. Tuy nhin, trong Pht gio nghip c cho l mt nguyn tc t tn ti. Pht gio cho rng th gii tn ti nh vo s nghip thy ca chng sinh. Trong truyn thng Yoga, tuy nhin, nghip khng phi l mt nguyn tc t tn ti. Th gii c to ra bi Thin Cha (Ishvara), cc kha cnh sng to ca thc. Nghip nh mt lc lng ch ca qun tnh v tp tin nh km khng th gii thch s sng to ca th gii nhng ch c tp tin nh km ca chng ti vi n. Nghip c coi l mt lc lng c phn phi bi Thin Cha, m khng th tn ti ca chnh n, cng ging nh mt b lut khng th tn ti m khng c mt thm phn. Tuy nhin mt s h thng V khc, cng nh Purva Mimamsa ch trng nhiu hn vo nghip hn c Cha Tri. Yoga nhn s tn ti ca mt Jiva hay linh hn c nhn c ti sinh. Pht Gio ph nhn s tn ti ca linh hn nh vy v ni rng s ti sinh ch l s tn ti ca mt dng nghip, khng c thc th thc s. Hnh ca c Pht Tt c cc truyn thng Pht gio tr li c Pht v hu ht nhn mnh vic nghin cu cuc i ca c Pht Thch Ca Mu Ni. Truyn thng V , mt khc, nhn nhiu gio vin v khng c mt gio vin m tt c mi ngi phi tun theo hoc nhn li. Khng c nhn vt lch s duy nht nh c Pht thng tr truyn thng hoc ngi m tt c phi tun theo, tn vinh hoc th phng. n gio chp nhn c Pht nh mt gio vin tuyt vi, nhng n bao gm anh trong dng ca nhiu gio vin khc, r t kinh nghim v avatar. c Pht hn chnh n l ph bin trong gio V , v n l mt chung ting Phn ng c ngha l khn ngoan, tnh to, thc gic ng . Khi Pht gio c cp n trong vn hc n gio n c gi l Bauddha Php hoc Saugata Php, nh khng c g trong Pht hn trong ting Phn c cp n mt ngi hoc mt tn gio c th l. Trong khi ngi Hindu lm cho c Pht thnh mt i din, trong Pht gio c Pht khng c th l mt i din bi v Pht gio khng c Thin Cha m c Pht c th biu hin. Nu c Pht l mt nhn vt trong Pht gio l ca tm gic ng, khng ca ng To Ha. Nit bn

C hai h thng v Nit Bn hoc sp nhp trong tuyt i nh mt mc tiu chnh ca thc hnh. Tuy nhin trong truyn thng Pht gio, c bit l Nguyn thy, Nit Bn l thng c m t ch tiu cc nh chm dt. N c a ra khng c tn gi tch cc. Trong V truyn thng Nit Bn c m t mt cch tch cc nh sp nhp vo Brahman hoc Sacchidananda, L-Thc-Bliss, vic thc hin cc t v hn v vnh cu, c gi l Brahma Nit bn. Tuy nhin, c hai h thng ng rng s tht ny vt qua tt c cc khi nim. Vedanta m t Nit Bn nh t do hay gii thot (Moksha). Thut ng ny khng xy ra trong Pht gio khng chp nhn s tn ti ca linh hn no c th c gii phng. S tn tm v lng t bi Yoga vi s cng nhn ca Thin Cha nhn mnh s tn tm v u hng vi Thin Cha (Ishvara-pranidhana) l mt trong nhng con ng tm linh chnh. N bao gm ton b mt cch tip cn Yoga da vo s tn tm, Bhakti Yoga, qua chng ta m rng tm hn cho Thin Cha v u hng cc Thnh Thin Cha. Nh Pht gio khng nhn ra Thin Cha, lng sng knh c Cha Tri khng xut hin nh mt con ng Pht gio. l l do ti sao chng ti khng tm thy bt k truyn thng quan trng ca tn tuyt vi v ca s ca tnh yu Thin Cha trong o Pht nh Chaitanya, Ramakrishna, Tulsidas hoc Mirabai trong truyn thng n gio.

Pht gio khng nhn ra lng sng knh c Pht hay c tin trong tm Pht. Tuy nhin, s tn tm vi gio vin tuyt vi hoc chc nng ca tm gic ng khng hon ton tn cng tri tim con ngi vi ngha tng t nh lng sng knh Cha Cha Thin Cha v M ca v tr, tc gi, bo qun v tu khu trc ca tt c, i hi mt s cng nhn ca Thin Cha . Pht gio pht trin vai tr ca B Tt, l gic ng nm trn sau khi gic ng ging dy v hng dn chng sinh. Nh theo Yoga Thin Cha v tt c cc nh hin trit sp nhp trong anh tng trnh by gip tt c chng sinh, v vy khng c nhu cu cho mt nguyn B Tt c bit. Yoga gi tr t bi nh mt nguyn tc o c, tuy nhin, v ni rng chng ta khng th nhn ra t ng ca chng ti min l chng ta ngh rng chng ta l tch bit vi cc sinh vt khc. V thn v n thn / Pht v B Tt Ch Pht v B Tt, ni v mt k thut, khng phi l v thn hoc cc v thn v n thn. H khng phi l hnh thc ca Cha Thin Cha v M v khng c vai tr trong vic to ra, bo qun v tiu dit v tr.H khng phi l cha m ca tt c cc sinh vt nhng ch hng dn khn ngoan v gio vin. H thng c m t nh nhng con ln tng sng v t c gic ng ti mt s im trong thi gian v mt khc nhau th s li trong th gii gip cu chng sinh. V d c l l N thn Pht gio ln nht, Tara l mt v B Tt nh vy, mt ngi gic ng - khng phi l M Thin Cha nh Durga hay Kali ca n gio - nhng mt nh hin trit gic ng v i tip tc tn ti trong th gii gip chng sinh. C khng phi l n thn hoc mt hnh thc ca Thin Cha l tc gi ph qut nhng mt biu hin c nhn ca tm gic ng v sc mnh ca lng t bi. Ngoi ra cn c thin Pht (Dhyani Pht), ngi i din cho cc nguyn mu ca s gic ng. Tuy nhin, mc d ch Pht v B Tt khng phi l hnh thc ca Thin Cha, chng c th c cu nguyn toto cung cp n sng v bo v. V d, B Tt Tara c cho l tit kim nhng trong thin tai.Tn th B Tt khc nhau c gi l hong Yoga trong truyn thng Ty Tng. Tm t t

Nu chng ta c th cn bng gia Nht Tm ca Pht gio vi mt t ca Vedanta, lm cho c Pht v Thin Cha nh nhau v cung cp cho cc Pht sc mnh ca s sng to ca v tr, v lm cho mi tng quan khc nh vy, c hai truyn thng c th c tng hp t nht l mt mc trit hc, mc d s khc bit ca dng v thc hnh c th tip tc. Ti thy rng nhiu ngi phng Ty ngi t nhn l Pht t thc s Vedantic trong quan im ca h. Trong khi h chp nhn nghip v ti sinh, h cng chp nhn s tn ti ca Thin Cha l ng To Ha, l t cao v tuyt i ca tinh khit Being. y l nhng Ishvara, Atman v Brahman t tng Vedantic, m Pht gio c in khng trc tip chp nhn. La chn mt con ng C mt s ngi phng Ty ngy hm nay, v thm ch c n , nhng ngi ang kt hp Yoga v Pht gio, cng nh truyn thng t lin quan. Mt s ngi c th c gng lm theo rt kinh nghim trong c hai truyn thng (i khi khng c s chp thun ca gio vin). Tt nhin, gio l c ph bin cho c hai truyn thng nh bt bo ng r rng l d dng tng quan. N cng l kh d dng cho Pht t s dng cc th Yoga hay Pranayama, cc kha cnh bn ngoi ca gio Yoga vo thc t ca h. N c th l kh khn suy nim T ti cao ca Vedanta, trong khi thin nh khi khng t ca Pht gio. Phng php tip cn Pht gio i hi nghi ng rng c bt k t tt c.Cch tip cn Vedantic i hi nim tin hon ton trong t v kt ni tt c mi th vo . Trn ht n l kh khn duy tr cch tip cn o c nht nh trong mt bi cnh Pht gio, ni khng c Thin Cha tht hay ng To Ha. Ni chung, rt kinh nghim hoc trong V hoc truyn thng Pht gio yu cu cc t ca h nhn mnh li dy c th ca mnh. V vn ny, h c th khng chp nhn theo h kt hp ging dy v thc hnh t rt kinh nghim v truyn thng, c bit l nhng nh hng khc nhau khc. Trong thi i chit trung ny, nhiu ngi mt s th nghim tng hp kt hp con ng tm linh v gio l khc nhau theo khuynh hng hay ngun cm hng ca h. Ny l rng buc tip tc

v c th chng minh hiu qu trong mt s trng hp, c bit khi vn ang tm kim ra con ng ca mnh. Tuy nhin, n thng xuyn c ngi b mt hoc ln ln, c gng kt hp gio h cng nhau thc s khng hiu. Nhy qua li gia gio vin v truyn thng c th ngn cn chng ta nhn c bt c ni no vi bt k ngi trong s h. Tng hp b ngoi, m phn ln l mt bi tp tinh thn, khng thay th c thc hnh su i hi phi tp trung dnh ring. Mc ch khng phi l kt hp cc ng dn nhng t n mc tiu, yu cu tham gia mt con ng chn chnh ra kt thc. Trong khi c nhiu con ng c th ln n nh ni, ngi ta s khng leo ln xa xuyn qua gia ng. Trn tt c n khng phi l dnh cho sinh vin trn con ng c gng kt hp ng dn. N l dnh cho cc bc thy, ngi mang dng ln trong truyn thng, lm nh vy, nu iu ny l cn thit. Tn vinh T t c Path: Sau con ng ng ca chng ti Hm nay chng ta ang bc vo mt thi i ton cu i hi phi c s pht trin ca mt linh o ton cu. iu ny i hi tn vinh tt c cc hnh thc ca vic tm kim bn trong bt k u v khi h n t u, ngay c khi nhng khuynh hng ca chng ta l khc nhau. S thng nht ct gim tht trn tt c cc ranh gii v ph v tt c cc chia r gia con ngi. iu quan trng l truyn thng thin nh nh Yoga v Pht gio to thnh mt mt trn chung trong nh sng ca nhng nhu cu ca thi i ton cu.Tt c cc truyn thng tm linh ng nh phi i mt vi nhiu k th chung trong tui vt cht ny.Nhng gi tr chung ca vic bo v tri t, khng bo lc, cng nhn ca lut nhn qu, v thc hnh thin nh c l l ting ni rt quan trng cu chng ti khi cuc khng hong hin nay ca chng ti. Nhng n vi nhau trong s a dng ca gio cn c bo tn, c ngha l khng ch cng nhn s hip nht ca h nhng tn trng s khc bit ca h. y l vn tng t nh ca cc nn vn ha khc nhau. Trong khi chng ta phi nhn ra s thng nht ca nhn loi, chng ta nn cho php cc nn vn ha khc nhau bo v hnh thc duy nht ca h, v khng ch n gin l nm tt c chng vo mt ni nng chy ln, trong tt c cc khc bit ca h b mt. Tht s thng nht l ph qut m thc y tnh a dng sng to, khng ng nht lm gim tt c mi th vo mt khun mu. S tht l khng ch mt m v hn v khng th c gim n bt k hnh thc thc. a nguyn cng ng nh mi c nhn l duy nht v chng ta nn c mt ci nhn rng cho php ngi khc c kin ngc li. Nh cc Rishis V cho bit: " l mt s tht cc th nhn dy trong nhiu cch khc nhau." iu ny l cha tt c cc loi v mc linh hn khc nhau. Trong khi chng ta nn tn trng tt c cc con ng, chng ti cn phi lm theo mt con ng duy nht mc tiu. Hy vng rng, con ng s c m rng, nhng mi con ng phi c mt s nguyn tc v khng phi tt c con ng s lm vic cho tt c mi ngi.