Can Hindus get enlightened by Yoga + Meditation?

Pavel Pek, modified 5 Months ago at 6/12/22 2:36 PM
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Can Hindus get enlightened by Yoga + Meditation?

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Or is "Samadhi" different from "Nirvana"?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Months ago at 6/12/22 4:00 PM
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RE: Can Hindus get enlightened by Yoga + Meditation?

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If a practice (or experience itself) is deep enough, I don't think labels matter, so I'd say yes, of course. Why do you ask? 
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Noah D, modified 5 Months ago at 6/12/22 9:27 PM
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RE: Can Hindus get enlightened by Yoga + Meditation?

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From a traditional Buddhist perspective , the answer would be no since the goal & worldview are different.  Any tradition which falls into the extremes of nihilism or eternalism in the way that it treats the objects of investigation on the path would be non-Buddhist.
Derek2, modified 5 Months ago at 6/13/22 7:12 AM
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RE: Can Hindus get enlightened by Yoga + Meditation?

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Samādhi is part of Buddhism too, as in sammā-samādhi, the eighth limb of the Noble Eightfold Path.

Equally, there are end-states described in the yoga literature, e.g. yoga defined by Patañjali as the cessation of the turnings in the mind-stuff (yogaś citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ and tadā draṣṭuḥ svarūpe 'vasthānam).

I don't know by what methodology and from what perspective you could compare Buddhist nibbāna with yogic cessation.
George S, modified 5 Months ago at 6/13/22 8:54 AM
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RE: Can Hindus get enlightened by Yoga + Meditation?

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Delson Armstrong trained in Hindu yogic stuff before Buddhism. He compares them pretty well.
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Dream Walker, modified 5 Months ago at 6/14/22 1:02 AM
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RE: Can Hindus get enlightened by Yoga + Meditation?

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Pavel Pek
Or is "Samadhi" different from "Nirvana"?

First define what you mean by enlightened, Buddha was a Hindu. He managed it.
Good luck,
~D
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Months ago at 6/14/22 4:42 AM
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RE: Can Hindus get enlightened by Yoga + Meditation?

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Dream Walker:
Buddha was a Hindu. He managed it.


Lol, that’s what I was thinking too.
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Ben V, modified 5 Months ago at 6/14/22 11:22 AM
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RE: Can Hindus get enlightened by Yoga + Meditation?

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It's a topic I have often pondered, as I'm sure many. 

There are experiences mentyioned in Hindu scriptures that seem to be cessation as talked about here.

The Yoga Sutras mention 'citta-vriti nirodha', which can be translated as 'cessation of mind flux'

Also terms that seem to imply cessation in Hindu scriptures are Nirvikalpa Samadhi and Nirbija-Samadhi.

I'd like to know what Delson Armstrong thinks about these terms vs. cessation in Buddhist practice.

The term samadhi itself can and has meant different things accross time. It's not because a term is used in a culture that it has always meant the same thing accross time in the same culture. That's true of all cultures and their languages. Words change meaning over time. 
T DC, modified 5 Months ago at 6/14/22 9:37 PM
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RE: Can Hindus get enlightened by Yoga + Meditation?

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Absolutely it's possible - if you look at mystical experiences from basically any religious tradition it seems clear that although the language and framework used may be different, the end points converge. 

Buddhism views the end goal as anata - emptiness and no-self (of which cessation is but a very specific kind of no-self experience on that journey), while Hinduism views the end goal as atman - eternal self / soul.  While these two doctrines are officially diametrically opposed (by design), they are also really just two sides of the same coin.  True realization provides insight into the impermenant and empty nature of our conceptual mental self-constructs, but also reveals beyond them a deeper and richer experience of "self" that is seemingly limitless, timeless, and rich in compassion - a unity, or oneness of consiousness, that is united with the entirety of experience.  

Basically, there's a rich and mysterious mystical-inner-world out there, and no one tradition has cornered the market on accessing it, though some may be more or less on point.  And any tradition that encourages meditation, or deep and dedicated introspection, probably has a fair shot at producing realized individuals.
Soh Wei Yu, modified 5 Months ago at 6/15/22 9:00 AM
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RE: Can Hindus get enlightened by Yoga + Meditation?

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Regardless of whether you call yourself Hindu, Buddhist, or neither, it is necessary to realize Anatman to realize Buddhist nirvana.

See: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html

and http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2012/09/great-resource-of-buddha-teachings.html
Derek2, modified 5 Months ago at 6/15/22 11:08 AM
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RE: Can Hindus get enlightened by Yoga + Meditation?

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T DC
Absolutely it's possible - if you look at mystical experiences from basically any religious tradition it seems clear that although the language and framework used may be different, the end points converge. 

Buddhism views the end goal as anata - emptiness and no-self (of which cessation is but a very specific kind of no-self experience on that journey), while Hinduism views the end goal as atman - eternal self / soul.  While these two doctrines are officially diametrically opposed (by design), they are also really just two sides of the same coin.


I see it that way, too. Once you’ve collapsed the manufacture of a subject-object distinction, it’s quite arbitrary whether you express this as “there is no subject” or “everything is subject.”
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Dustin, modified 5 Months ago at 6/15/22 8:43 PM
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RE: Can Hindus get enlightened by Yoga + Meditation?

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Mantras and Meditation by Swami Vishnudevanada says you can get enlightened in 7 years through  “(1) proper exercise; (2) proper breathing; (3) proper relaxation; (4) proper diet; and (5) positive thinking (deep philosophy) and meditation.” Not sure how much his enlightenment lines up with Buddhist enlightenment but it's a good book on meditation if your interested. I can't remember how much he talked about Yoga in this book but he has others that talk about it more.
Derek2, modified 5 Months ago at 6/15/22 9:09 PM
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RE: Can Hindus get enlightened by Yoga + Meditation?

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Be careful with that guy. Over a dozen women say he used his position as their teacher in order to, ahem, engage in “tantric” practices with them https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vishnudevananda_Saraswati
Soh Wei Yu, modified 5 Months ago at 6/16/22 12:05 PM
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RE: Can Hindus get enlightened by Yoga + Meditation?

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Derek2:
T DC Absolutely it's possible - if you look at mystical experiences from basically any religious tradition it seems clear that although the language and framework used may be different, the end points converge.  Buddhism views the end goal as anata - emptiness and no-self (of which cessation is but a very specific kind of no-self experience on that journey), while Hinduism views the end goal as atman - eternal self / soul.  While these two doctrines are officially diametrically opposed (by design), they are also really just two sides of the same coin.
I see it that way, too. Once you’ve collapsed the manufacture of a subject-object distinction, it’s quite arbitrary whether you express this as “there is no subject” or “everything is subject.”
Depending on depth of insight, it can be one mind or no mind.

Excerpts from http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2018/11/beyond-awareness.html

"

The Four Stages of Insight into Identity

 

I Am

 

Initially, at stage one, the invitation is to see that there is an awareness that observes everything – internal or external – without getting involved. Some call it the witness, the observer, the seer, consciousness, awareness, etc. Some call it God. This awareness is what we truly are, what “I” is. It’s not the body or the mind; it is not a person or a self, but it is detachedly aware of everything – body, mind and world. The universe comes and goes, like reflections in a mirror, while awareness remains unchanged. The main spiritual blockages (perception of duality and inherency) are both still in place, for there is clearly a separation between awareness and the objects it perceives; there is also a sense of essence, independence or ultimate status concerning awareness. There is, however, a major displacement of identity – from the forms of body, mind and world to the formlessness of awareness.

 

One Mind

 

One is then, at stage two, invited to see that what is observed is, in fact, not separate from the pure awareness that observes it. The so-called external world is, indeed, nothing other than modulations in the observing awareness, like waves in the ocean. The sense of duality is dissolved here, since the appearances are essentially of the nature of awareness. However, there is a tendency to see awareness as independent of the appearances. The appearances depend on awareness, like waves on the ocean, but not the other way around – awareness can exist without its objects, as the ocean can exist without the arising of waves. Moreover, even in the presence of waves, the deepest layers of water are not disturbed and always remain “peaceful” and “unmanifest”. So too, it is believed that awareness, in its deepest sense, is unaffected by the manifesting appearances, always remaining, in some transcending way, “unmanifest” and “unknowable” as a background, despite its profound non-duality with the foreground of appearances. If seen clearly, the stage of ONE MIND still retains part of the duality inherent to the insight into I AM.

 

Anatta

 

In the two previous stages, the sense of personal identity, the small “I”, was questioned and transcended. What the “I” really is, is the impersonal and inconceivable awareness that, in the first case, observes all phenomena and, in the second, is the substance of all phenomena. First, in the realization of I AM, where “I” is seen as pure consciousness, one severs the identification with the body, mind and world – the realm of forms in general. Second, in the realization of ONE MIND, where “I” is seen as the substance of body, mind and world, one dissolves the sense of duality between observer and observed, between awareness and experience. Moreover, one drains the sense of physicality, solidity and materiality out of the perceived world. All is, in fact, awareness – insubstantial and fleeting, despite awareness itself being permanent and unchanging.

 

At this third stage, ANATTA, one is invited into questioning, not the sense of personal identity – the small “I”, – but the sense of impersonal identity – the big “I”, – awareness itself. If I AM and ONE MIND can be seen as subscribing to a “no-self” type of teaching, ANATTA can be seen as putting forth a “no-self/Self” view. The notion of a background awareness that remains unchanged, despite the dance of appearances happening in the foreground, is deconstructed. It is understood that any sense of a background awareness is nothing but a foreground subtle object; that the connection between awareness and appearances, if they are to be truly non-dual, implies that no separation or distinction can exist between awareness itself and the appearances arising in it; that a background awareness either is forever unexperiencable (and thus imaginary) or experiencable (and thus a foreground object); that if there is a background awareness residing beyond experience, and is therefore unaware of any experience, such “unaware awareness” is not, in any way, a viable type of awareness.

 

What’s left is the luminous display of the foreground, the transience of appearances. No background is possible or needed to make sense of experience. Awareness is no longer seen as unchanging or independent, but as the mere clarity or luminosity intrinsic to the show of appearances itself. What happens here is that, for the first time in this model, the sense of identity, small or big, is questioned. Although the sense of duality or separation is often seen as the main blockage to spiritual understanding, the sense of inherency, or essential existence, is subtler and more pervasive – and thus harder to eradicate and deeper in its repercussions.

 

~

 

Nonetheless, the absence of background and the exclusivity of foreground can be seen under two different lights. One can understand that there is no awareness outside or beyond the display of luminous experience, but still see the foreground as pertaining or making reference to some kind singular field of awareness. Although awareness morphs with the ever-changing flow of experience – and is therefore not seen as unchanging, independent and stable in its own identity, – it is still seen as retaining some type of consistency, being always the same “unitary” awareness. It is like an ever-changing hologram that, despite its transience, is always the same hologram, not to be mistaken for “another” hologram somewhere else. It feels as luminous experience is enveloped within or pervaded by some type of ever-changing, but consistent, awareness. The simplest way to express this point is to say that, despite the flux of appearances, all of them arise as the same awareness. If I see an apple and an orange resting on top of the same table, I assume they are arising in, or as, the same awareness. Only the foreground exists, but it’s “one foreground” and, implicitly, “my” foreground.

 

Another reading of the “no background” principle, subtler and far more liberating than the first, is one that deconstructs the sense of foreground as retaining some essential consistency, despite its utter transience. After all, if through the emptiness reasonings one analyzes and refutes any possibility of unchanging intrinsicality (temporal identity) or singularity (spatial identity), then what could serve as the base for positing the foreground as pertaining or making reference to some specific or singular ground? What could make the display of foreground luminosity belong to some changing, though consistent, awareness?

 

The sense that the foreground belongs to the same singular awareness is equivalent to seeing such awareness as separate from the appearances – and thus an instance of the I AM stage; and the sense that the foreground amounts to "one fluid awareness", or "one big sphere of transient sentience", is equivalent to seeing it as one singular event – as thus an instance of ONE MIND.

 

So, what is proposed in this second reading of the insight on ANATTA is that appearances are not known by awareness – as such would reestablish the duality overcome in ONE MIND, along with all the incongruities that come with such duality. Rather, appearances are seen as actually self-luminous. They are not known by anything external to them; they shine naturally of their own accord. When looking at the apple and orange resting on the table, the presence of the apple refers to a somewhat separate instance of “luminosity”, while the orange refers to another instance, or manifestation, of “luminosity”. They are not the same luminosity or the same awareness, because there is no overarching awareness enveloping, controlling, owning or pervading the display of appearances.

 

In a dream, we may assume that the same mind knows the dream from beginning to end – again, some type of temporal identity, as if stretching over time. Moreover, if we could freeze one single frame of “dream-activity”, we would certainly feel that the dreamscape is known, or pervaded by, the same mind – again, some type of spatial identity, as if stretching three-dimensionally. However, this subtler insight into anatta questions such claims. Not only is the mind dissolving moment-by-moment, which prevents any mind from knowing a dream from beginning to end; but also, there is no central mind permeating, enveloping or being referred to in a single “frame” of luminous experience. Whatever is experienced in a single moment is a mere multiplicity of instances of luminosity, empty of being part of one unified field. Very naturally, the same applies to the waking state.

 

So, not only there is no background to experience, there is also no unity, consistency or “spreadness” of awareness in the foreground, like the same awareness extends throughout all experience. It’s not that appearances arise in awareness (ONE MIND) or even that awareness arises as appearances (first level of ANATTA). All there is, is the self-shining luminosity of appearances, devoid of any central reference point or ground. This liberates experience from the sense of being a single or unitary event or from simply being “one thing”, as opposed to "other things". Actually, this experience is merely the shape of the universe as it unfolds here and makes absolutely no reference no any unitary owner, container or experiencer. This is not “one experience”, but a naturally occurring multiplicity of luminous activity. It’s not “this experience”, or “my experience”. It’s not even “experience”, as in a singular event. Every object is its own experience, its own luminosity.

 

Thus, the idea of awareness itself – as a type of mind or knowing subject or principle – is pacified and rendered superfluous. There is no awareness knowing things (I AM), as that would imply an external world and a subsequent internal representational-model. There is also no lasting awareness modulating as things (ONE MIND), as that would mean that some type of permanence or unity pervaded, and was consistent throughout, all appearances. Rather, luminous activities roll on, in total coordination, but in a somewhat independent and de-centralized fashion. With this insight, the grasping into any type of subjectivity, observing principle or background is dropped, like one is falling completely into the objective side. The sense that there is something knowing experience, or itself, is dropped. The very concept of awareness is dropped; reality is self-luminous. The need for any type of subject, or even subjectivity itself, is released. If the stage ONE MIND could be called a “mind-only” type of teaching, ANATTA could be called a “matter-only” one – a luminous “matter”, though.

 

Shunyata

 

The emptiness reasonings may now come in handy, as a natural tendency to reify the luminous appearances may arise. Of course, if one has arrived at this level of insight, emptiness reasonings have probably been investigated before. In this specific model of progressive insights into identity, the emptiness/madhyamaka reasonings are very useful when trying to move from the stage of ONE MIND to ANATTA, as usually the former represents an absolutized identitary position resulting from a reified understanding of awareness.

 

Now that only "luminous activities" are seen as being present, what else is there to do? If the sense of identity is truly dissolved, then there isn't much to do. However, if the luminous appearances are seen as solid and truly existing, then a natural sense of identity may start building up around some of those appearances. If this is the case, one may be returning to square one.

 

Of course, during the previous investigations, much, if not all, of the solidity of experience and reality has been deconstructed and seen through. In ONE MIND, reality is already seen as insubstantial and immaterial. So, after ANATTA, the tendency to see the luminous activities as solid or permanent is already severely weakened."

continue reading at http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2018/11/beyond-awareness.html
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Not two, not one, modified 5 Months ago at 6/17/22 3:59 AM
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RE: Can Hindus get enlightened by Yoga + Meditation?

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Hinduism is pretty eclectic. Some would say that Buddhism is part of Hinduism, just like Sikkhism.  But the answer also depends on what you mean by get enlightened.  If you mean the Theravadan four path model the answer from my perpective would be:  1 - Yes, 2- Yes, 3 - Yes, 4 - ...ish.

By ... ish, I mean that it depends not so much on your perceptual experience, but on your relationship to that perceptual experience.  If you perceive Truth in Atman merging with Brahman that is not the same as T4th, IMHO.  But if you perceive this simply as a frame of reference arising and passing away to be enjoyed for what it is but not clung to, then it is hard to see a difference.

Remember, enlightenment as a concept is impermanent, not-self, and a source of suffering if clung to.  Most practitioners can't bear to examine this 'truth', even though the dharma makes it clear as glass.  That can't be true right?  Surely awakening is the discovery of the real enduring separate self?  Nope.  Awakening is the final abandonment of that concept - the uprooting of ignorance, the uprooting of clinging to a soul.  Then everything becomes even better!

YMMV 
Malcolm

P.S.  I find the awakening to reality stuff maps out this territory as well as anybody.  :-)  Nice one folks!
P.P.S. These points are really best understood after moving through meditation on body, emotion, mind and dharmas.  If this is not you - follow the breath!  Note the detail of your experience!  Perceive the three marks of existnece through all six sense doors at increasing frequency! Much love - M.
Oskar M, modified 5 Months ago at 6/17/22 3:23 PM
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RE: Can Hindus get enlightened by Yoga + Meditation?

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I think Armstrong already mention and Rana Rinpoche gives good point reg differences one often find in the two traditions. Usually Buddhist debunk hindu views, and say they are not contemporary.<br />Personally I think alot of this can be lingustic (like the bible as far as I can see, doesnt have a "view" or philosophy except what people made up later), as these debates usually goes on the language used, and I think there have been people outside buddhism that have had the same realizations as buddhist. You find some examples like rainbowbody in both hinduism, taoism and christianity. Also I like to think that boddhisatvas and buddhas take rebirth outside buddhism, they want to liberate all beings and so it makes little sense just to linger around buddhists. A third thing, as we do in the sangha I have practiced in is that if you connect to Guru Rinpoche or Milarepa or any buddhist who attained buddhahood, feel their blessings through prayers, then you feel that unspoiled vibe and get familiar with it. You can feel the same in several hindu gurus too, like Babaji will have exactly the same feel, unpoiled. I do think there are much more rare though, and that alot of hindu stuff (like if you listen to Armstrongs stories), sidetrackes and do all sorts of other things. Compassion and love though should be same everywhere, or surely hope so. Also I think Ian Baker have some interesting points if you watch his guru viking interviews. He said that after he was initiated in some hindu tantra lineage and then told his teacher Chatral Rinpoche, Chatral appearantly said that as long as you have had pointing out instructions it doesnt matter what you practice.&nbsp;

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