this topic just came to my mind, as i was thinking to reply in another thread on Deathless by @EvenThird
, but then thought of raising a new thread as it shall be better for the below topic, so raising the below thread.
the statement which lead me to think about it was - Many people misunderstand "Deathless" to be the Atman/True Self, etc. In actuality the realization of True Self is far from Nirvana!
- which was written by @xabir
so the topic is - Nirvana - True Self - Atman - Soul - how we see it? usually at first glance, we see there is a huge difference between these terms, but is it really that different?
as i think you all know that i am a Hindu and so just to let all know as per Hinduism, as per Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, the basic things which everything come down to is Matter or Prakriti and Consciousness or Shiva. now prakriti or matter is a manifestation of Consciousness. as far as consciousness is concerned, it emerges from Sunyata and dissolves into Sunyata or emptiness - how this is happening is not clearly explained as far as i know, because as per Hindu mythology, initially there was only emptiness, from which Shiva or Consciousness emerged - in a way, they are two sides of the same coin, then consciousness manifested into matter and the world emerged gradually.
the usual dispute which arises is Atman or Self is taken as an permanent entity, but if it is having no attributes or characteristics, then how do we know it is an entity first of all, because if it is an entity, then it should have characteristics, which can be verified - but this is not feasible. so there is a possibility that this Atman or Self may be referring to the actual reality of awareness or deathlessness. i think it all depends on us, whether we want to make a big deal out of it, or , be at peace finding the common ground - moreover, these are all words which are nothing but labels. these words are just prapancha of mind. the actual reality is just what it is.
moreover, if we see the concept of Buddha-nature, this is similar to the concept of Spirit(or Soul) in Christianity or Atman in Hinduism. moreover, Zen master like Dogen's teachings say to find our true self or our inner Buddha-nature, which is always available in here and now.
this is also not to imply that one religion is superior over another religion - which usually leads to competition and negative attitudes. this is to imply that though religions look too different on the surface level, but at a deeper level, they all lead to peace and have the common goal of knowing who we really are.