How different is Buddha’s teaching from Vedanta on the after world, gods and the Ultimate Reality?

Buddha clearly said that there are gods.
When this was said, the brahmin student Sangarava said to the Blessed One: “Master Gotama’s striving was unfaltering. Master Gotama’s striving was that of a true man, as it should be for an Accomplished One. But how is it, Master Gotama, are there gods?”
It is known to me to be the case, Bharadvaja, that there are gods.
Majjhima Nikaya Sangarava Sutta 100.42 translated by Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi
In another Sutta also Buddha clearly confirms the existence of the other world.
Prince [Payasi], the other world cannot be seen the way you think, with the physical eye. Prince, those ascetics and Brahmins who seek in the jungle-thickets and the recesses of the forest for a resting place that is quiet, with little noise – they stay there unwearied, ardent, restrained, purifying the divine eye, and with that purified divine eye that exceeds the powers of human sight, they see both this world and the next, and spontaneously born beings. That Prince , is how the other world can be seen, and not the way you think, with the physical eye. Therefore, Prince, admit that there is another world, that there are spontaneously born beings, and that there is fruit and result of good and evil deeds.
Digha Nikaya, Payasi Sutta 23.11 translated by Maurice Walshe
Till now Buddha’s teachings are exactly the same as that of Vedanta. But now it takes a sharp turn away from Vedanta in many Suttas where Buddha deals with Beings called Brahma. I give below what Buddha says about the Great Brahma to give the reader a flavour of the teaching.
There comes a time, monks, sooner or later after a long period, when this world contracts. At the time of contraction, beings are mostly reborn in the Abhassara Brahma world. and there they dwell, mind-made, feeding on delight, self-luminous, moving through the air, glorious – and they stay like that for a very long time.
But the time comes, sooner or later after a long period, when the world begins to expand. In this expanding world an empty palace of Brahma appears. And then one being, from the exhaustion of his life-span or of his merits, falls from the Abhassara world and arises in the empty Brahma-palace. And there he dwells, mind-made, feeding on delight, self-luminous, moving through the air, glorious – and he stays like that for a very long time.
Then in this being who has been alone for so long there arises unrest, discontent, and worry, and he thinks: “Oh, if only some other beings would come here!” And other beings, from exhaustion of their life-span or of their merits, fall from the Abhassara world, and arises in the Brahma palace as companions for this being. And there they dwell, mind-made, ….and they stay like that for a very long time.
And then, monks, that being who first arose there thinks: “I am Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, the All-Powerful, the Lord, the Maker and Creator, Ruler, Appointer and Orderer, Father of All that have been and Shall be. Those things were created by me. How so? Because I first had this thought: ‘Oh, if only some other beings came into this existence!’ That was my wish, and then these beings came into this existence!” But those beings who arose subsequently think: “This, friends, is Brahma, Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, the All-Powerful, the Lord, the Maker and Creator, Ruler, Appointer and Orderer, Father of All that have been and shall be. How so? We have seen that he was here first, and that we arose after him.”
Digha Nikaya, Brahmajala Sutta, 1.2.2 – 1.2.5 translated by Maurice Walshe
If you read through the above quote then you will notice several puzzling things. First a palace appears during the expanding period of the universe. Then one being is born in this world due to exhaustion of good karma and gets an empty palace to live in. The trouble with this is that the karmic arrow is insentient. When one does a deed, it is not possible for the deed or karma to decide if it is a good or bad deed. So who decides the good or bad deed of Great Brahma? There is no answer. Moreover, nothing changes for Great Brahma even after his fall from the Abhassara world into the expanding world. He fed on delight previously and he still feeds on delight when falling into the expanding world even when his good karma has been exhausted. Moreover, Great Brahma could have easily tested his great powers and he does not. Great Brahma is made to appear as a pompous fool. I cannot believe that Buddha ever spoke this. This must be Buddhist polemics against theistic systems existing at that time and not Buddha speaking.
So what did Buddha say about the Ultimate Reality? There is one discourse about Nirvana in a minor scripture where he appears to be talking about the Ultimate Reality and it has strong similarity with the Nirguna Brahman of Advaita Vedanta.
And the Blessed one, in this connection, on that occasion, breathed forth this solemn utterance;
‘There is, O Bhikkhus, a state where there is neither earth, nor water, nor heat nor air, neither infinity of space, nor infinity of consciousness, nor nothingness, nor perception, nor non-perception, neither this world nor that world, both sun and moon.
That O Bhikkhu, I term neither coming nor going, nor standing, neither death nor birth. It is without stability, without procession, without a basis; that is the end of sorrow’
Udana 8.1 translated by G. M. Strong
‘There is, O Bhikkhus, an unborn, unoriginated, uncreated, unformed. Were there not, O Bhikkhus, this unborn, unoriginated, uncreated, unformed, there would be no esacpe from the world of the born, originated, created, formed.
Since, O Bhikkhus, there is an unborn, unoriginated, unformed, therefore is there an escape from the born, originated, created, formed.’
Udana 8.3 translated by G. M. Strong
This seems like Nirguna Brahman. However, we should remember that Buddha does not accept the doctrine of Self.

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