Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism

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Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism
Simon Osorio
Stanbridge College
HUM 1020 (ITT/ITS)
Daniel Else
March 25, 2013
Assignment #1

Hinduism, Buddhism Jainism, and Sikhism are all Eastern religions with similar philosophical beliefs. In Hinduism you embrace a great diversity of different beliefs, a fact that can be easy confusing to western religions which are accustomed to creeds, confessions, and carefully-worded beliefs of statements. In Hinduism you can believe a wide variety of things about God, and the universe. There are some beliefs common to nearly all forms of Hinduism that can be shown, and these common beliefs are generally regarded as boundaries outside which they are considered to be heresy or non-Hindu religion. The common fundamental Hindu beliefs are: the authority of the Vedas (the oldest Indian sacred text) and the Brahmans (priests); also including the existence of an enduring soul that transfers from one body to another at death (reincarnation); and last but not least there is the law of karma that determines one’s destiny for both current life and the next.(Hinduism: Beliefs, religion & spirituality What is interesting about Hinduism is that a specific belief about God or gods is not considered an essential need, which is the major differences between Hinduism and the strict monotheistic religions like Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism. Most of all Hindus are devoted to followers of one of the principal gods Shiva, Vishnu or Shakti, and some others, however all of these gods are regarded as manifestations of a single Reality. The main goal of a Hindu is to find a way out form the cycle of rebirth. The release is called “moksha” and the cycle of rebirth is called “samsara”. For those Hindus that possess a devotional bent, basically being in God’s presence to eventually become united with God as a single rain drop falls into a lake. In Buddhism, like most of the great religions of the world it can be divided into a multiple amount of different traditions. Many of the Buddhism traditions share a common set of standard fundamental beliefs. One of the beliefs of Buddhism is also found in Hinduism which is reincarnation. With the concept of people going through many cycles of birth, living, death and rebirth a practicing Buddhist differentiates between the belief of rebirth and reincarnation. Buddhism believe the individual may recur repeatedly and in rebirth a person does not necessarily return to Earth as the same entity ever again. They compare the whole belief as it is to compare it to a leaf growing on a tree. When the withering leaf falls off, a new leaf will take its place to replace it, where the new leaf is similar to the old leaf but not exactly the same it once was. With this if you have a person go though many cycles of death and rebirth, if a person releases their attachment to desire and the self, they can attain what is called Nirvana. Where Nirvana is the supreme state free from suffering and individual existence. It is a state Buddhists refer to as “Enlightenment”. It is the ultimate goal of all Buddhists. The attainment of nirvana breaks the otherwise endless rebirth cycle of reincarnation. Buddhists also consider nirvana as freedom from all worldly concerns such as greed, hate, and ignorance. No one can describe in words what nirvana is. It can only be experienced directly.(Ian,Andy,Royce 2012) In Buddhism there are three rules or common practices that everyone follows and these three practices consist of Sila, Samadhi, and Prajua. In Sila they speak of virtue, good conduct, morality based on two fundamental principles. The principle of equality that all living things are equal and the principle of reciprocity which is also shared by Christianity, “to do onto others as you would wish them to do onto you” this is found in all major religions. Samadhi basically is the practice of concentration, meditation, and basically mental development. Buddhism strongly...
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