hinduism vs. jainism

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Many people believe Hinduism to be a polytheistic religion. This is due to the fact that there is so many gods that they can worship in. But in all actuality it is really a monotheistic religion that spawns off of one god to form many different gods or ideas to worship. The entire religion of Hinduism is based off of Brahman. Brahman is the idea that all reality is a unity. I will explain the concept of Brahman and four others and hopefully make Hinduism easier to comprehend. Some have viewed Hinduism as a monotheistic religion, because it recognizes only one supreme God: “the pantheistic principle of Brahman, that all reality is a unity. The entire universe is seen as one divine entity, Brahman. Brahman is simultaneously at one with the universe and Brahman transcends it as well.” (www.relgioustolerance.org) Breaking Brahman down is essential, let’s look at the previous quote. First of all, pantheistic means that: there is a belief in and worship of all gods, which means that Brahman is not a singular concept. The quote then goes on to say that Brahman is throughout the entire universe. This means that Brahman can be found in infinite objects. This is why people may view Hinduism as polytheistic because of their belief in many objects and ideas. The last line says that Brahman not only at one with the universe but also Brahman transcends it. This means that Brahman may be found in on Earth, but he also greater than the concept of Earth. Brahman is on a bigger playing field than that of Earth. Vishnu, known as the Preserver, preserves new creations and comes down to Earth during critical times in the “cosmic cycles.” Vishnu is one of the main Hindu gods, worshiped as the protector and preserver of worlds. Vishnu is considered one of the main gods along with Brahman and Shiva. Shiva, known as the Destroyer, is at times compassionate, erotic and destructive. One of the principal Hindu deities, Shiva is worshiped as the destroyer and restorer of worlds and in many other forms. Whenever dharma is threatened, Vishnu travels from heaven to earth in one of ten incarnations. Shiva is considered a member of the triad also including Brahma and Vishnu. Dharma is the law of the Hindus. Dharma is the individual obligation with respect to caste, social custom, civil law, and sacred ... ... middle of paper ... ...as human beings we are not above any other species. We want to treat every bit of matter as we would want to be treated. This means that to kill some part of the universe, whether a cow or a fish is very bad karma. This is why Jains practice such strict vegetarianism. Jains even avoid eating after sunset so not to kill any bugs unknowingly. This is how strong the practice of Ahisma is. The second principle I want to identify is anekantwad. It can be roughly translated as relativity. Anekantwad basically is the belief that there is no one main idea, no one truth, but many truths that are represented by different viewpoints. Anekantwad is the thought that that there is many different aspects to situations. And, that we shouldn’t all look at some things the same way. The third principal and final term is aparigraha. Aparigraha is the idea of living on as a little as required. Aparigraha is the nonattachment to people and material things. Basically, possessions can control a person. Things of the world can draw up into trouble. Jains believe that the less we have the better off we will be and will be able to escape samsara.

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