Freedom in the Hindu Culture
Over the past three years in America we have been bombarded with the word freedom as a call to action or a word to persuade us to follow a specific view. Although our society was born on freedom as an idea, its meaning has been used in many ways. Hinduism is also a religion and a culture that places a lot of meaning on freedom but they give a different meaning to it. From learning about Hindu culture in this class their focus on it follows suit as does our version. While our "freedom" is an idea that can be used in many different ways the Hindu "Freedom" is a more pure idea as it seems the rest of the culture is. In the Eastern culture freedom comes along with a level or state that you have reached in your life.
To understand the meaning of freedom you also have to understand its relation to words like Samsara, Avidya, Maya and Moksha. These are all part of the journey towards the Hindu concept of freedom. Samsara is important in defining freedom in Hindu terms because it is what you want freedom from. Samsara is the continuous cycle of life that takes place in the material world. It is thought of as a negative because it keeps us from moving on and up spiritually.
Maya is a concept in Hinduism that relates to man disillusioning himself. The idea is that there is no such thing as an individual existence. When a person is trying to better their standing or wealth they are disillusioning themselves. In the Eastern culture you do not work harder to better yourself you work harder to better the world as a whole through your actions in life. This brings you closer to unity with the "Divine."
Avidya is similar to Maya. It is when the man is disillusioning himself that Avidya describes. When he denies his true "Self " and moves farther away from knowledge he is not taking care of his soul. Avidya is a product of the soul as well as a part of the soul. A person can always move away from this and make his soul...
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