Comparative Eastern Influences

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Religion and Theology
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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…

Introduction


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. ...
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