Upanishad Oneness and Sutta Nipata Oneness

A monk, mindful, his mind well-released, contemplating the right Dhamma
at the right times,
on coming to oneness
should annihilate darkness," the Blessed One said.

From Sutta Nipata . Sariputta Sutta

Compared to the oneness in Upanishad

I do not know if the translator added the oneness but from seeing his explanation it seems he knows what he is talking so assume he knows attaining is oneness.

But the discussion must be about how both say attaining or the coming to like Buddha said

But interesting thing here is to compare the two. Does Buddha Dhamma say that after removing the taints there is no consciousness? Seeing it teaches the meditation process in all consciousness. Until finally reaching the goal.
Is Annihilate Darkness a term for what we have in my previous post about Genesis Darkness meaning Hunger. A term Buddha used for Death? Darkness =Hunger=No food is death

It seems to me that the staying unattached was important to Buddha. So coming to oneness. Is attaining it. But then Annihilate Darkness meaning Stay unattached to the experience also the biggest Letting Go. Nirvana

While the Upanishad gives the idea that maybe Buddha meant with Annihilate Darkness the Oneness which is last experienced before the end.

Which is said to be removed by insight. Seeing the things as they are. Seeing the the truth of oneness. Which is the duality of things. Rise and Fall. Impermanence. Being oneness because Sukha and Dukkha is both unsatisfactoryness.

First up, just a tip, it’s super helpful if you can provide links to the exact passages!

Let’s have a look at the Sutta Nipata passage, in Snp 4.16. Purely literal translation here!

Etesu dhammesu vineyya chandaṃ,
Having dispelled desire for these phenomena (i.e. the sense stimuli mentioned in the previous verse)
Bhikkhu satimā suvimuttacitto;
a mendicant, mindful and well-released
Kālena so sammā dhammaṃ parivīmaṃsamāno,
at the right time rightly contemplating phenomena
Ekodibhūto vihane tamaṃ so”ti.
Unified, they strike down the darkness.

The translation “on coming to oneness” is not that precise. In fact, it is a term that means jhana, and simply specifies that the mendicant concerened is a jhana practitioner.

Now, as to the Upanishad passage, let us consult the text with commentary and the translation. BrhUp 2,4.13:

sā hovāca maitreyī – atraiva mā bhagavān amūmuhan na pretya saṃjñāstīti
Maitreyī said to him: Here you have confused me, sir [when you say]: “Having departed, there is no perception (saṃjñā).”
sa hovāca – na vā are 'haṃ mohaṃ bravīmi alaṃ vā ara idaṃ vijñānāya
He replied: I’m surely not saying anything confusing. Just this is sufficient for understanding (vijñāna).

A few preliminary points. First, be aware that here the terms saṃjñā and vijñāna are not being used in their familiar technical sense in the five khandhas, but in a more everyday sense (also found in the Suttas), where saṃjñā is a general term for awareness, while vijñāna means “understanding”.

Okay, so note that the term “oneness” does not appear in the text. It was apparently inserted by the translator. The commentary says, reasonably, that the text is referring back to the previous statement of Yajnavalkya (BrhUp 2,4.12), where he said:

As a lump of salt, when thrown into water, becomes dissolved into water, and could not be taken out again, but wherever we taste (the water) it is salt; thus verily, O Maitreyī, does this great Being—infinite, boundless, consisting of a sheer mass of consciousness (vijñānaghana eva)—rise from out these elements, and vanish again in them. When he has departed, there is no more perception (saṃjñā), I say.

Despite Yajnavalkya’s confidence, I must admit I share Maitreyī’s confusion on this point.

I believe the traditional explanation is that here, saṃjñā refers to the limited awareness of temporal life. Once a sage has become fully immersed in the “sheer mass of consciousness” there is no return to the worldly life with its circumscribed consciousness. This seems like a reasonable explanation, but it is unclear, since the terms saṃjñā and vijñāna don’t yet have very clear technical meanings; indeed, vijñāna is apparently used in two different ways in the same passage.

The commentary glosses saṃjñā consistently as viśeṣasaṃjñā, “perception of distinction” or perhaps “differentiated awareness”, or perhaps, “diverse perception”. The point is clear enough, this is the worldly awareness that recognizes and knows the different things of the world (nāmarūpa), not the infinite consciousness of the realized sage.

Moreover, the term pretya is commonly used to mean “the departed” i.e. after death (cf. peta in Buddhism). It seems that it is referring to the death of the realized saint. This would be comparable to the distinction between Nibbana with leftovers and without leftovers.

It is really worth studying this passage in the original Sanskrit closely together with relevant passages from the Suttas, such as the Parayanavagga and the Kevadda Sutta. Yajnavalkya’s description of highest consciousness sounds a lot like the how the Buddha talked about formless attainments. To my mind, it strongly suggests that the rishis under whom the Buddha trained before awakening—who had formless attainments—were practicing in Yajnavalka’s tradition. This is, it seems, what the Buddha regarded as the highest peak of spiritual development before his time.


Ven Sujato much respect. :pray:t4::pray:t4::pray:t4: I hope to sit next to you to learn.