Asceticism in Buddhism and Hinduism

1815 Words Jul 17th, 2018 8 Pages
Asceticism in Buddhism and Hinduism
Asceticism is derived from the Greek word “askesis”, meaning practice, bodily exercise, and athletic training (Cambell). Early Christians adopted this concept to foretell of the spiritual things in order to acquire habits of virtue. Virtue is the behavior showing high moral standards. There also is natural asceticism in meaning it is for self-improvement and aims directly to natural virtues such as temperance, patience, and chastity. The following will explain what asceticism is, why asceticism is practiced, and the nature of asceticism practices in Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Practicing Asceticism is an attempt in someone’s life to achieve various goals like working on the inner self as a “whole”
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Ascetic practices in the Hindu religion lead to the path of liberation. Achieving liberation is through practicing asceticism. It is believed that asceticism was the root of what started the Hindu tradition. This developed the spiritual teachers to run tests on themselves in order to achieve that philosophical doctrine and teaching of the Upanishads. Going back to the Vedic traditions, they practiced rituals which dealt with the life and everyday problems they had to conquer. Being ascetic meant not having many things in their lives, in which aided them in order to be satisfied. Between the Vedas and the Upanishads, they concentrated on more of inner meditation such as the control of mind and body by diminishing their senses in order to achieve liberation (Jayram). Practicing yoga was another major ritual that they abided by. Yoga helped with self-control, inner purity, and having proper conduct and renunciation. In these rituals, in order to achieve self-realization they had to go through an act of personal sacrifice and inner purification. Back in the time period of the Upanishads and the Aranyakas asceticism was flourishing in the Indian societies. The outcome of the empires rising, wars, and life becoming more complex, something had to be done in order to seek comfort. Asceticism was the religious ritual that would aid people in coping with death and disease. This act of ritual was the simplest, and offered by

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