Hinduism and Buddhisn Essay

Hinduism and Buddhisn Essay

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Two major religious paths found in the Indian subcontinent are Hinduism and Buddhism (LR, 37). Hinduism is seen as a polytheistic and a monotheistic tradition that evolved from other Indian religious traditions. Hinduism is also known as Sanatana Dharma whose goal is to achieve moksha and live life according to the Dharma (LR, 43). Buddhism is a nontheistic religion that is based on the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, known as the Dharma, which offers a path to enlightenment by practicing compassion and achieving liberation from suffering (LR, 72).
Hinduism today is known as Sanatana Dharma, which means eternal religion, law, cosmic order, and duty. This tradition began in the Vedic Age around the Indus Valley in India where it is said that the Vedas were created orally, but the orgins of the Vedas remains unclear. The Vedas were first written down around 1500 BCE and consist of collections of hymns containing of four parts: the Samhitas, the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads (LR, 39-41). The Samhitas consist of hymns worshiping Vedic gods, the Brahmanas explain the meaning of rituals and sacrifices and provide instructions for performing these acts, the Aranyakas contain philosophical texts that are known as forest treatises, and finally the Upanishads, which is comprised of sophisticated philosophy that explains personal transformation that results from ritual participation. The Rig Veda is the oldest scripture of the Vedas which praises the four devas: Indra (the god of thunder and rain), Agni (the god of fire), Soma (a sacred drink) and Ushas (the goddess of dawn). The Upanishads were written by rishis, who were thought to be human forms of Brahman (the Supreme god), that express the principles of Sanatana Dharma....


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... five precepts (notes). Mahayana, the path of compassion and wisdom, is the second major school of Buddhism who regards the Buddha as a universal principle with three bodies. The first body has no form and encompasses the wisdom of the Buddha, the second is the body of bliss and emphasizes the Dharma, and the third is the body of transformation, in which the Buddha takes on many forms to help human beings achieve liberation from suffering (LR, 83). The Mahayanasutras are the scriptures followed that honor the Pali Canon, emphasizing the importance of religious experience (LR, 82). One form of Mahayana are bodhisattvas, future buddhas who are devoted to liberating others from suffering without having to leave society to do so. One important aspect of a bodhisattva is compassion for others, an important Buddha teaching that emphasizes on the idea on no-Self (notes).

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