The Ultimate Reality
by Dr. Parviz Dehghani
According to Hinduism the Ultimate Reality, which is totally undifferentiated, manifests itself in three forms, namely, Vishnu ( the preserver) , Brahma ( the creator) , and Shiva ( the destroyer). In fact we cannot even use the copula ‘ is ‘ for this Reality which itself is the source of ‘being’. It cannot be named because ‘names’ limit the existence of things, especially when the Ultimate Reality is not even ‘a thing’. Vishnu incarnate itself in many forms or ‘avatars’ one of whom was ‘Krishna’ who came among us when things were going from bad to worse. Hindu sages considered Buddha and Jesus also as many avatars of Vishnu. According to the Gospel of John, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God …. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,….”(John, chapter 1.verses:1and 14).Just as Buddha left his house to seek the Truth, Jesus, as the Word of God came to be with us. They both never kept themselves aloof from their fellow men and women. They came to unite and not to separate. They were not exclusivists but included everyone and embraced the whole of community. Even the untouchables could become enlightened Buddha said. Jesus gathered everybody around him, even the tax collectors and Roman soldiers, even his enemies. None of them remained in insulated glass boxes, being isolated from the rest of the community. They were not afraid of losing their colors like fabrics once exposed to the air. They both became part of the world living among the people and suffered hardship just like everyone else. They were both in the midst of the chaos of this world tempted they were yet remained like solid rocks in their missions. This is the real test of the enlightened men and women. The real test of a man of God or a monk, who is on the way to enlightenment, is not to eat very little once offered a bland and tasteless food. It is rather when they smell delicious and tasty meals and yet they are still content with little and leave the table though completely full. This is how Buddha lived he ate whatever food was offered to him. Miracles are not performed by those who have no freedom and are controlled and regulated like children. Nor by those who lock themselves in caves lest they might become tempted but by those who like Buddha, leave the woods and sit under the Pipal tree (the fig tree) and though tempted they still become enlightened. This is what Buddha meant by the middle path. Otherwise it is relatively easy to either fall on this or the other side. It is walking on the tight rope which is no easy task. It is very convenient not to make decisions and go with the crowd. The Sun reaches us from far away just as Jesus and Buddha came to be among us. Born free they never allowed anyone to keep them in rooms with no windows!