Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism Essay
Hinduism, Buddhism Jainism, and Sikhism are all Eastern religions with similar philosophical beliefs. In Hinduism you embrace a great diversity of different beliefs, a fact that can be easy confusing to western religions which are accustomed to creeds, confessions, and carefully-worded beliefs of statements. In Hinduism you can believe a wide variety of things about God, and the universe.
There are some beliefs common to nearly all forms of Hinduism that can be shown, and these common beliefs are generally regarded as boundaries outside which they are considered to be heresy or non-Hindu religion.
The common fundamental Hindu beliefs are: the authority of the Vedas (the oldest Indian sacred text) and the Brahmans (priests); also including the existence of an enduring soul that transfers from one body to another at death (reincarnation); and last but not least there is the law of karma that determines one’s destiny for both current life and the next.
(Hinduism: Beliefs, religion & spirituality What is interesting about Hinduism is that a specific belief about God or gods is not considered an essential need, which is the major differences between Hinduism and the strict monotheistic religions like Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism.
Most of all Hindus are devoted to followers of one of the principal gods Shiva, Vishnu or Shakti, and some others, however all of these gods are regarded as manifestations of a single Reality. The main goal of a Hindu is to find a way out form the cycle of rebirth. The release is called “moksha” and the cycle of rebirth is called “samsara”.
For those Hindus that possess a devotional bent, basically being in God’s presence to eventually become united with God as a single rain drop falls into a lake. In Buddhism, like most of the great religions of the world it can be divided into a multiple amount of different traditions. Many of the Buddhism traditions share a common set of standard fundamental beliefs. One of the beliefs of Buddhism is also found in Hinduism which is reincarnation. With the concept of people going through many cycles of birth, living, death and rebirth a practicing Buddhist differentiates between the belief of rebirth and reincarnation.
Buddhism believe the individual may recur repeatedly and in rebirth a person does not necessarily return to Earth as the same entity ever again. They compare the whole belief as it is to compare it to a leaf growing on a tree. When the withering leaf falls off, a new leaf will take its place to replace it, where the new leaf is similar to the old leaf but not exactly the same it once was. With this if you have a person go though many cycles of death and rebirth, if a person releases their attachment to desire and the self, they can attain what is called Nirvana.
Where Nirvana is the supreme state free from suffering and individual existence. It is a state Buddhists refer to as “Enlightenment”. It is the ultimate goal of all Buddhists. The attainment of nirvana breaks the otherwise endless rebirth cycle of reincarnation. Buddhists also consider nirvana as freedom from all worldly concerns such as greed, hate, and ignorance. No one can describe in words what nirvana is. It can only be experienced directly. (Ian,Andy,Royce 2012) In Buddhism there are three rules or common practices that everyone follows and these three practices consist of Sila, Samadhi, and Prajua.
In Sila they speak of virtue, good conduct, morality based on two fundamental principles. The principle of equality that all living things are equal and the principle of reciprocity which is also shared by Christianity, “to do onto others as you would wish them to do onto you” this is found in all major religions. Samadhi basically is the practice of concentration, meditation, and basically mental development. Buddhism strongly believes that developing one’s mind is the path to wisdom which in turn will lead them to personal freedom.
A good mental sense also strengthens and controls the mind and helps oneself maintain a good conduct through life. Prajua basically is the discernment, insight, wisdom, enlightenment that one achieves once a Buddhist mind is pure and calm. All that practice Buddhism also are aware of the four noble truths, Dukkha, Samudaya, Niodah, and Magga. These truths simply state suffering exists, recognition that there is a cause for suffering, there is an end to suffering and in order to end suffering, you must follow the Eightfold Path. The first path consists of Samma ditthi, the right understanding of the Four Noble Truths.
The second path is Sammas sankappa, the right thinking and following of the right path in life. The third path is called Samma vaca and this is the right speech meaning no lying, criticism, condemning, gossiping, or the use of harsh language. Samma kammanta is the fourth path which says the right conduct by following the Five Precepts. Samma ajiva which states the right livelihood to support yourself without harming others. Samma vayama is the right effect to promote good thoughts and conquer evil thoughts. Samma sati is the right mindfulness that one becomes aware of your body, mind and feelings.
The eighth path would be Samma Samadhi which states the right concentration that one can meditate to achieve a higher state of consciousness. Jainism is another religion of India, it has very close relations with other main religions of India like Hinduism and Buddhism. It was once thought that Jainism was another branch of either both Buddhism or of Hinduism. However it is now known that Jainism is a distinct religion of India and not a branch of any other major religion. It is also accepted as an ancient religion of India that is in fact older than both Buddhism and Hinduism.
Jainism has been living side by side with the other Indian religions for many centuries, and you should expect that they have all influenced each other in many respects. The theorie of rebirth and salvation, heaven, earth and hell, and have a strong belief in the fact that the prophets of religion take birth under rules. When Buddhism left India it left Jainas and Hindus closer to each other. This is why in social aspects the life of a Janis does not appear to be much different from the Hindus. Some of the similarities fall in the range of dress and ornaments, to language, and literature.
One close resemblance with Hindus is especially strong with vegetarian Hindus. However there are some significant differences between Jainism and Hinduism such as scriptures, origin of the world, purpose of worship, practice of sacrifices, attainment of salvation, path of salvation, idea about karma, religious concepts, principles in logic, the liberated soul, religious objects, and last but not least religious practices. Out of all of them the one that strikes me the most is the path of salvation, which in Jainism is known as Ratnatraya-marga. The path of Right Belief, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct, which all must
pursue. In Hinduism there is no one single, definite and clear path to salvation. In Hinduism there are different ways it has been laid down to find salvation by many religious preachers. Jainism and Buddhism also fall in some aspects of similarity, such as both are Indian religions in every sense of the term and both support Sramana culture. You have both Jainism and Buddhism do not regard Vedas of the Hindus as authoritative and binding; do not accept the permanent power of God as the creator of the world; do strongly oppose the violent practices such ass animal sacrifices; do assign a place of sadhus and sadhvis.
Around the 16th-century India was having issues and conflicts between the Hindu and Muslim religons. Sikhism was founded by a teacher named Guru Nanak Dev, and he was born in 1469 to a Hindu family. He had a famous saying that was, “There is no Hindu, there is no Muslim, so whose path shall I follow? I shall follow the path of God. ” Now in the present world there are about 23 million Sikhs, bringing up this religion the fifth largest religion in the world. Sikhs have very similarities to the Eastern religions, they believe in reincarnation. Just like in Hinduism, Sikhism believe in the transmigration of the soul.
They believe in countless cycles of births and deaths. They only break this cycle when they achieve mukhti, which means merger with God. They also believe in Karma, where this regulates the reincarnation and transmigration of the soul. “Mortals obtain a human body as a result of good deeds but he reaches the gate of salvation with God’s kind grace. ”(Guru Nanak, Japji) Maya is a saying that explains the world of it being just an illusion and some people get enchanted with this illusion and forget God. Shikhism is pure love toward God, a religion created by God through the Ten Sikh Gurus with an independent faith.
This religion is not a combination or sect of Islam and Hinduism, the differences lies in the fact Sikhism rejects polytheism and accepts monotheism. Sikhism starts with one God and that same God is then universalized. “I do not accept Genesha as important. I do not meditate on Krishna, neither on Vishnu. I do not hear them and do not recognize them. My love is with the Lotus feet of God. He is my protector, the Supreme Lord. I am dust of his Lotus feet. ” (Guru Gobind Singh, Krishna Avatar) Sikhism does not recognize any class if priest. “Kabir, the Brahman may be the Guru of the world, bu he is not the Guru of the saints.
He rots to death in the prepexities of the four Vedas”(Bhagat Kabir, Salok, pg. 1377) Shikhism don’t believe in Ashrama Dharma, this divided a man’s life into four stages. The Gurus emphasized living the householders life. “There are four castes of the literates, warriors, cultivators and minals and the four stages of life. He who meditates on the Lord is the most distinguished amongst men. ”(Guru Nanak, Parbhait pg 1330) An interesting difference is the fact they worship idols and images. “The blind ignorant ones stray in doubt and so deluded, deluded they pluck flowers for worship.
The worship the lifeless stone and adore tombs. Their service all goes in vain. ” (Guru Ram Das, Malar, pg 1264) Sikhism retains the general Hindu conception of the universe and the practice of samsara, or reincarnation, based on ones karma. Human birth is the only chance to escape samsara and attain salvation. Works Cited Hinduism: Beliefs, religion & spirituality. (2008). (). Silver Spring, United States, Silver Spring: Cook Ross, Inc. Retrieved from http://search. proquest. com/docview/190674006? accountid=37862 Riess, J. (2001). Essential buddhism: A complete guide to beliefs and practices.
Publishers Weekly, 248(20), 75-75. Retrieved from http://search. proquest. com/docview/197046987? accountid=37862 FLUGEL, P. (2006). Jainism and society. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. University of London, 69(1), 91-112. Retrieved from http://search. proquest. com/docview/214047286? accountid=37862 Moore, A. W. (2004). Sikhism/Buddhism. School Library Journal, 50(5), 161-161. Retrieved from http://search. proquest. com/docview/211741997? accountid=37862 Ian,Andy,Royce (2012) Buddhism:Nirvana Retrieved from http://library. thinkquest. org/28505/buddhism/nirva. htm
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