Hinduism And Buddhism Essay

875 words - 4 pages


Hinduism and Buddhism The idea of “religare” or binding oneself back to one’s religion is key to many religions. In Christianity, we bind our selves back to the truth unveiled through scripture, myths, tradition, and the church’s teachings. Hinduism, however has a much different interpretation of the idea of binding oneself back. There really is not a whom or what that I can put my finger on. We all came from one God and we must get back to God. But how can one go about doing that? A Hindu would say to free ourselves from the desires and illusions present here on Earth. To free ourselves from the material possessions and pleasures would be to obtain Moksha. Moksha, for Hindus, would be the point of freedom and the attachment to Brahman. In a way this is extremely ironic, for in the act of binding oneself back, a Hindu would obtain liberation. To me, these terms seem directly contradictory, however, this is proof to the fact that our minds cannot understand certain aspects of religion, and that we are limited. The goal of a Hindu is to release themselves, but also to gain a complete understanding of life. By doing this, they are freed from the continuous cycle of reincarnation. There are, as Huston Smith tells us, four paths to the goal. The yogas are the specific direction taken to unleash the human potential of Moksha. The goal of the yogas is to come in to and remain in touch with Brahman. The first way to God is through knowledge. The three steps taken on this path is learning, thinking, and the third, a little more complex, consists of separating one’s material ego form one’s Atman. The second way to God is through love. The love we show to others can be translated into a love for God. The third path to God is though work. Through a devotion to one’s work, God can be seen through the highest rewards if done so wisely. The final Hindu path to God is through Psychophysical Exercises. In this way, a Hindu experiments with mental exercises and observing their effects. Not all Hindus take the same path to God, but the goal is identical. The Buddha made much reform to the path to God. Well, not so much a reform as perhaps an alternate route. He called this the Middle Path. A way between sensuality and asceticism, the Middle Path lay through intelligence. The main revolutionary idea behind the Buddha’s teachings was that he rejected asceticism, which at that time had been a popular belief and a socially approved route to salvation. Not...

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