Krodha/Kyle Dixon wrote:

In comparing Buddhist principles such as nirvāna, or dharmakāya with something like the Brahman of Vedanta, there are distinct differences. Brahman on the one hand is a transpersonal, ontological, truly established ultimate. Whereas dharmakāya is a buddha’s realization of śūnyatā, emptiness, brought to its full measure at the time of buddhahood, which results from the cultivation of jñāna, or a direct non-conceptual, yogic perception of emptiness. Dharmakāya is the nature of a personal continuum of mind, is epistemic in nature, and is not a truly established ultimate nature.

The great Buddhist adept Bhāviveka, who lived during a time in India where there were many polemical debates and interactions between different traditions, addresses the distinctions in many of his expositions. This excerpt from his Tarkajvālā is especially pertinent:

If it is asked what is difference between this dharmakāya and the paramātma [bdag pa dam pa] (synonymous with Brahman) asserted in such ways as nonconceptual, permanent and unchanging, that [paramātma] they explain as subtle because it possesses the quality of subtlety, is explained as gross because it possesses the quality of grossness, as unique because it possess the quality of uniqueness and as pervading near and far because it goes everywhere. The dharmakāya on the other hand is neither subtle nor gross, is not unique, is not near and is not far because it is not a possessor of said qualities and because it does not exist in a place.

Thus we see that that dharmakāya is not an entity-like "possessor" of qualities. Conversely, brahman which is an ontological entity, does possess characteristics and qualities.

Dharmakāya is not an entity at all, but rather a generic characteristic [samanyalakṣana]. As the Buddha says in the Samdhinirmocana, the ultimate in Buddhism is the general characteristic of the relative. The dharmakāya, as emptiness, is the conventional, generic characteristic of the mind, as it is the mind’s dharmatā of emptiness, it’s actual nature that is to be recognized. Liberation results from the release of the fetters that result from an ignorance of the nature of phenomena, and this is how dharmakāya is a non-reductive and insubstantial nature.

The differentiation of brahman as an entity versus dharmakāya as a generic characteristic is enough to demonstrate the salient contrasting aspects of these principles. Dharmakāya is an epistemological discovery about the nature of phenomena, that phenomena lack an essential nature or svabhāva. Alternatively, brahman is an ultimate ontological nature unto itself. Dharmakāya means we realize that entities such as brahman are impossibilities, as Sthiramati explains, entities in general are untenable:

The Buddha is the dharmakāya. Since the dharmakāya is emptiness, because there are not only no imputable personal entities in emptiness, there are also no imputable phenomenal entities, there are therefore no entities at all.

Lastly, another succinct and pertinent excerpt from the Tarkajvālā, regarding the difference between the view of the buddhadharma and tīrthika (non-Buddhist) systems:

Since [the tīrthika position of] self, permanence, all pervasivness and oneness contradict their opposite, [the Buddhist position of] no-self, impermanence, non-pervasiveness and multiplicity, they are completely different.

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