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The Enlightenment And Hinduism: The Path To Enlightenment

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The Path to Enlightenment
The earliest version of Hinduism is believed to have come into existence around 2,000 BCE within India. As time went by many of their beliefs changed. Various major aspects of their religion have been altered, and different denominations have been formed as people grow to interpret Hinduism in different ways. Buddhism would later develop within India around 600 BCE. This new religion incorporated many ideas of Hinduism; some may even suggest that Buddhism started off as an outshoot of the Hindu religion. One idea that they both share is the belief in enlightenment. Every person has experienced hardships at some point in their life, leaving them to question the meaning of life and suffering. Both of these religions
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Early Upanishads saw Brahman as something that was above all name and form. Later Upanishads saw Brahman in a much more personal manner. They viewed Brahman as an actual being that could be prayed to, rather than as a thing. Some even went as far as to view him as a god-like figure. Hinduists believe in re-incarnation after death. While many religions view the existence of an afterlife in a positive manner, the same cannot be said for this religion as they see it as a failure to reach enlightenment. As Yama stated in The Katha Upanishad, “If a man fail to attain Brahman before he casts off his body, he must again put on a body in the world of created things.” Yama stated that there are two parts of every human being: our Atman and our apparent self. Our Atman is basically our soul, and since it is of Brahman, it is everlasting. Our apparent self is what many perceive to be their identity, but is really the reason for our suffering. The purpose of life is to attempt to cast off this apparent self and become one with Brahman. In order to break the continuous cycle of death and re-birth, you have to purify your mind by using techniques such as yoga. Doing so will allow you to gain sacred knowledge and help you to reach ultimate…show more content…
Hinduism greatly influenced Buddhism, especially at its beginning, and the two have always maintained a similar viewpoint. They are not exactly the same, but they exist within the same family. They have influenced many people’s views on what the purpose of life is for millenniums, and probably will continue to do so. Both Hinduism and Buddhism hold the basic idea that life is full of suffering, and enlightenment must be reached in order to break free from the horrific cycle of re-incarnation; however it is clear that the two do not agree on how re-incarnation works, how one should live their life in order to achieve this goal, or even the definition of true
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