Comparing Hinduism And Buddhism

Decent Essays

Both Hinduism and Buddhism have components of religion and philosophy intertwined, but for the purposes of examination, a cohesive philosophical argument cannot hinge on the religious metaphysics of the discussion. Hinduism and Buddhism both have similarities when describing life and death. They share ideas of self, impermanence, and lack of attachment, but their metaphysics create glaring differences when they describe how to live life, how to view life and death separately or as a process, and how to deal with the suffering associated with life and death. Buddhism, when examined through a contemporary western lens, explains life and death in a helpful and understandable way, and has a more fortified philosophical argument.
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The original Buddha was named Siddhartha Gautama. It is reported that he became enlightened while meditating under a Bodhi tree, and came to speak the four pillars (APC, 35). Pillar one says that life is suffering. The second pillar states that suffering (also known as dukkha) is caused by attachment. Thirdly, there is a way to end suffering. The final pillar dictates that the way to end suffering is by following the “8-fold path” [Lecture slides]. Within the teachings of Siddhartha, there is a strong emphasis on anatta (no self), annica (impermanence), and sunyata (emptiness). Sunyata is added in later traditions of Buddhism like Mahayana and Chan, but it cohesively upholds the verses in the Dammapada and the four noble truths. There is also no essence and some people place religious powers on the original Buddha. Reincarnation still exists, but not in a traceable essence fashion, and karma still plays a large role, but it has an outward rippling affect away from the individual, not specifically attached to the individual. Lastly, the ultimate goal is nirvana or …show more content…

Reality is Atman and Brahman, and this embodied self is simply one part of the whole chariot[CITE]. Therefore, value is placed on Atman and Brahman because they are eternal, while jiva (the body) is impermanent and not reality. The reality of life and death uses Brahman as its apex. “He [Atman] is never born, nor does he die at any time, nor having once come to be does he again cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, permanent, and primeval” (Bhagavad-Gita, 108, verse 19). There is no real life and death because Brahman is what is real, so the advice is to not focus on the ‘life’ jiva lives. In Western thought, strong value is placed on self, and it would take a gigantic leap of faith in order for this outlook on life to guide a person on a daily basis because it is dependent on Ātman being

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