Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Human Condition Essay

989 Words Feb 6th, 2013 4 Pages
Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Human Condition

Hinduism and Buddhism are both eastern traditions with much to say about the human condition as well as the reason human beings exist at all. In some ways they are different while also being similar in other ways. In this essay, those differences will be discussed and the similarities examined for their message. In conclusion, we will examine what these two faiths offer to the human beings of the twenty-first century.

According to Hinduism, at the most basic level, the purpose of life is to perform one’s social duty and live the exemplary life of the householder by marrying, having children, providing for them and observing the rituals required by the gods. Later, the Upanishads claimed
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The Upanishads, the final Vedic scripture, changed that to reflect the search of atman to be reunited with the universal soul through enlightenment. [ 3 ]

Buddhism in the twenty-first century is still applicable in such a fast paced and confusing world. Despite all of our advanced science and technology, we understand even less our reason for existing and we know more than ever just how big the universe is and how uncaring. These circumstances drive people to seek out spirituality even today in order to achieve the basic comfort required for them to conduct their daily lives. The recent episodes of tremendous violence have placed an unsavory patina of stifling ignorance over the religions of Christianity and Islam as they continue to carry on like demented spinsters in the decaying finery of their former glory with no intention of acknowledging the catastrophe of their current circumstances. Buddhism, with its sterling values of moderation, peace, and detachment from the impermanent things of this world, now appears dignified and splendid as the ancient beauty of Asia to modern seekers. No longer do we seek judgment and rigid, inexplicable rules from our God, with the hellfire and damnation that once drove us onward. We crave logic and sense from our world and in those circumstances, this faith tells us that lusting after expensive cars and clothes which we do not need will make us miserable. That is easy to understand. That makes

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