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Comparison of Hinduism and Jainism - Essay Example

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Comparison of Hinduism and Jainism

Hinduism may be everywhere for it is the third largest religion in the world, but primarily a substantial large number of its followers are in India and Nepal (Houdmann, 2013). According to Houdmann, one of the foundational beliefs of Hinduism includes believing Brahma as the supreme god among the said religion’s recognized million gods. However, Houdmann explains that just as Hinduism adheres to believing more than one god, Hindu theology can be monistic, pantheistic, panentheistic, theistic, atheistic, deistic, or nihilistic. Houdmann therefore concluded that with these diverse views and varied belief systems, Vedas, if they are considered sacred books containing myth, theology, and history can only determine if it is truly about Hinduism in the first place. Another fundamental belief of Hinduism according to Houdmann is the thought that mankind is divine, just as Brahma could be everything as a divine being. Therefore, Hinduism believes that everything or any sort of reality outside Brahma could just be an illusion. Man should be released from this illusion to be one with Brahma. Thus, Hinduism believes in reincarnation as a fundamental way for a man to achieve self-realization of the truth, and this will strongly to be affected by Karma, which means people should do well in the past to live with a good future. On the other hand, just as Christianity surfaced from Judaism, Jainism has its essential foundation from Hinduism. Jainism is simply a variant of Hinduism in the Indian sub-continent just as the same time in the development of Buddhism. The religion is claimed to be founded by Mahavira, the contemporary of Buddha. However, what is more profound in Jainism is the practice of Ascetism for the release of the soul towards enlightenment as the believers of Jainism believe that one should acquire the freedom from the continuous transmigrations of the soul at the death of the body (Gill, 2013). In line with the practice of Ascetism and the release of the soul to elevate it higher in the next reincarnation, Gill added that there should be an essential practice of the right faith, knowledge, and conduct, as Karma binds the soul to the body. Similarities and Differences Unlike Hinduism, Jainism is a non-theistic religion, believing in no god, but only in a fundamental principle of goodness that will lead the soul to greatness and enlightenment that will lead further to a more fulfilling reincarnated life in the future. Both religions believe in Karma and which is the ultimate principle to consider in achieving better spiritual future in the next life through the reincarnation of the human soul. However, Hinduism believes that reincarnation will be a continuous process not until the entire life is totally transformed in the past. This means that an individual unless will not be able to achieve the ultimate goodness, will continue to be reincarnated until reaching to the self-realization of the truth. Jainism deviates from this view, for it adheres to the point that enlightenment follows right after the implementation of right faith, knowledge, and conduct, which will determine the elevation of the soul to a higher level in the next reincarnation. Common to these beliefs however is the infinite possibility of reincarnation, as the point of life eternal. These religions therefore believe that life will never end, but it will be transformed right after the death of the physical body and rebirth will then be imminent again, giving the ...Show more

Summary

COMPARISON OF HINDUISM AND JAINISM The work at hand presents the ideas linked to among the most popular religions in the world, Hinduism and Jainism. The paper discusses their origin and foundational beliefs, their differences and similarities, and relevant information concerning their practices today…
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