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Comparative Eastern Influences - Essay Example

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Comparative Eastern Influences

Both religions employ the concepts of karma, the understanding that a person's happiness is determined by the good and evil he/she has committed in not only one lifetime but many subsequent lifetimes, and nirvana, the exemption from the repetition of living, dying, and reliving (p. 497). In Hinduism, according to Bruder and Moore (2005), "humans, though basically good, are caught up in a cycle of desire and suffering that is the direct result of ignorance and ego. In short, they are miserable. The desires that torment them are many and diverse, including sensual lusts and the desire for existence" (p. 497). Hinduism's beliefs are built upon searching for absolutism, and for a person to obtain a unity with his/her soul and with eternal life (p. 495). In a similar fashion, Buddhism targets ignorance and selfishness as the grounds for suffering. Bruder and Moore (2005) state that a person cannot have these two character flaws as a way to live "because what happens is so much beyond one's control. For even when life goes as is hoped for, there is no guarantee that it will continue that way, and inevitably anxiety and fear overwhelm temporary satisfaction" (p. 498).
The Vedas are Hinduism's doctrine that instructs the ideal way of living. It contains the Upanishads, which contains the mahavakya, or "the four great sayings" (p. 496). Atman is, simply, one person and his soul. Brahman is, as Bruder and Moore (2005) write, the "ultimate reality or principal and the source and sustainer of all things, including people and gods. It is the supreme consciousness, the one, the One-and-only-One" (p. 496). The mahavakya describe how a Hindu can unity his atman and a brahman (which can be done through much meditation): "1) Consciousness is brahman, 2) That art thou, 3) The self is brahman, and 4) I am brahman" (p. 495-6). The Vedas influenced the religion's philosophical schools, created to help its students achieve spiritual emancipation: Yoga, Vedanta, Nyaya, Vaisesika, Samkhya, and Mimamsa (p. 495).
Buddhism has the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path as its dogmas. The Four Noble Truths acknowledge that agony exists, the sources of agony, the actuality that the person can terminate his/her agony, and how to do so, which are illustrated in the eight statements known as the Eightfold Path (p. 498). The directions contained in the Eightfold Path are the Right View, Right Aim, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Living, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Contemplation. These are listed in the order that the person must take in order to succeed. For example, the right aim cannot be established without first having the right view (pp. 500-502).
Hindu's origins are unknown; no one knows who discovered it, when, or under what circumstances. However, Hindus accept the dogmas dictated in the Vedas (p. 495). Despite its unknown origins, Bruder and Moore (2005) state, "It is best to view it (Hinduism) as a spiritual attitude that gives rise to a wide range of religious and philosophical beliefs and practices. These range from the worship of village and forest deities, which often take zoomorphic forms, to sophisticated metaphysical theories" (p. 495). With Buddhism, there is a detailed account of its establishment by Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who would later be renowned ...Show more

Summary

On the surface, Buddhism and Hinduism appears to be similar; they're both Indian religions that highly advocate spirituality over materialism, and utilize the concepts of karma and nirvana to explain the rewards or punishments associated with a person's actions…
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Comparative Eastern Influences essay example
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