NIRVANA

Question:

What is the nirvana Buddhists speak of in terms of Krishna consciousness?

Answer :

Actually, about 2,500 years after the original Buddha, Buddhists are still trying to figure out what nirvana is. I always point out that the Sanskrit word nir-vana is grammatically a negative word, “without-vana,” and that it is difficult when your highest goal is the absence of something, rather than the presence.

Buddha himself refused to discuss metaphysics (to the frustration of his disciples) and really did teach that the goal was to be free of the flow, current, etc. of material suffering.  In the highly competitive religious environment of ancient India, the Buddhists had to keep up and so they developed a goal of Buddhist paradise (from Sanskrit para-desha), heaven, etc., but that was just an appropriation of Vedic ideas. The Buddhism that became a world religion was simply a reformulation of “Hinduism.”

And Krishna does say “yo yo yam yam.”*

*”I am in everyone’s heart as the Supersoul. As soon as one desires to worship some demigod, I make his faith steady so that he can devote himself to that particular deity.” Bhagavad-gita, 7.21

With best wishes,
Hridayananda dasa Goswami.

Comments are closed.