Friday, May 25, 2007

Truth is no theory

Truth is no theory, no speculative system of philosophy, no intellectual insight.
Truth is exact correspondence with reality.
For man, truth is the unshakable knowledge of his real nature.
-Paramhansa Yogananda

How ironic that yesterday, when asked what truth was, I responded "Truth is the acceptance of what is (as opposed to what we think or feel) - knowing what it is something for which we are each personally responsible," and then when I check my daily wisdom emails today, the above quote is waiting for me. Even though it has a Hindu affiliation I think it transcends any particular religion - it actually sounds a lot like Chan.


  1. Isn't that because the philosophy of Chan is mor Hindu than Buddhist?

  2. Uhhh... huh? :^)

    Those who practice Chan can attest it is a tradition within Buddhism. The word Chan (sometimes spelled Ch'an) is the Chinese interpretation of Dhayana, and when it reached Japan it was pronounced Zen. Just as nienfo was a method of Mahayana practice prior to becoming the focus a specific Buddhist tradition which we know today as Pure Land, so is Chan a method of knowing reality-as-it-is directly. In fact, there have been those who have practiced both Chan and Pure Land for over a thousand years, seeing them as complementary to one another.

    Borrowing a quote displayed at the website of a contemporary Zendo combining Chan and Pure Land...

    "Do not let your thought be separated from the Buddha, nor the Buddha be separated from your thought. Then you will see the Buddha manifesting himself in your presence through the mutual response. After seeing the Buddha of the Pure Land, you will also see Buddhas in the Ten Directions; after seeing the Buddhas in the Ten Directions, you will perceive the Buddha of your own nature. After perceiving the Buddha of your own nature, you will attain the Great Function. Thereafter, you will be able to exert your compassionate vows to teach all sentient beings. This is called the Ch'an of the Pure Land, or the Pure Land of Ch'an."

    -Master T'ien-Ju Wei-Tse

    It is true that many Chan Buddhists found that they had a lot in common with Taoists, however, at least in the ineffability of the Source and dynamic nature of existence, but I don't recall anyone suggesting Chan was Hindu.

    The thing about Hinduism is that it is really an umbrella terms for a lot of traditions which are rooted in the teachings of the Vedas. So there is similarity between some forms of Hinduism and Buddhism and there is similarity between some forms of Hinduism and Christianity as well.

    Unlike Chan and Buddhism in general, though, Hindus tend to personify the Source and some Hindu schools would not agree with core Buddhist principles such as non-duality (among other things).


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