In traditional Vedanta, both Nirguna Brahman (Brahman without qualities) and Saguna Brahman (Brahman with qualities) are conceptual terms.   In Kashmir Shaivism, Shiva is posited conceptually and Shiva’s energy, Shakti, is understood conceptually also. In Mahayana Buddhism, emptiness (shunyata) is a term used to confirm that a positive and conceptualizable subjective source principle, such as Shiva or Nirguna Brahman, cannot be known with the intellect.   All these three traditions use both via negativa and via positiva approaches in their literature in order to allow a general understanding. All three also posit transcendence of the mind as necessary for realization, since pure subjectivity is inconceivable.  Although the usual terms in Vedanta like Brahman, Paramatman, Parabrahman, and in Kashmir Shaivism, Shiva or Paramashiva, and as well in Buddhism terms like shunyata, tathagatagarbha, etc., may sometimes be perceived to describe some sort of ultimate objectivity, they are only pointers.    They are only indicators of what is inconceivable, indescribable, indefinable, and unknowable by intellect. Hence, in the meditational processes at the highest level of all these three traditional approaches there is always the admonition to transcend the workings of the everyday mind, since it is the primary hindrance to transcendental realization.

    Vedanta, Buddhism, and Kashmir Shaivism are all very persistently pointing to the nondualistic view.  These three traditions posit many divergent ways and means to recognize the truth of Advaita and it appears that there are a multitude of paths leading to liberation and enlightenment. This is because different persons will start from their own differences of view, different opinions, and different capacities.  All the so-called paths can lead to the simple recognition of what’s really going on; some are more suited to some persons than others, but the final truth is known when the nondual view takes precedence.


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