February 23, 2011
Introduction to Philosophy
Hinduism: Quest for Ultimate Knowledge
Hinduism is founded upon what is known as Brahman. It is the ultimate reality of everything in the world. It is the absolute foundation of all being on our planet and in the universe. "Brahman is declared to be the highest aim of all metaphysical inquiry." (29) Brahman is not exactly a person, as it is more closely related to be a kind of "God." A Hindu would also say that Brahman is the primary cause of all existence. Hindu's believe that in the beginning of existence there was nothing but the singleness that is Brahman. And from Brahman everything was created and expanded. Brahman was said to have been lonely and so it divided itself into two parts; male and female. From these two beings, Brahmans super-creation produced multiple forms and accounts for the multiplicity of the world. It is not only in the world but it is also the world. The Atman is another popular being in Hinduism. This is the essence or the soul of a human being. This too is also defined as the source of all life, and the root of all existence. Atman is the ultimate self of someone, "The self is all and all is the self." (32) It is also the knower all knowledge and the "Inner controller." The main goal of the Upanishads is to realize that the Atman is the Brahman.
The Hindu diagnosis of human nature has one main problem; "That (humans) are ignorant of the true nature of reality." (34) One element of this is that all success rests on knowing the imperishable Brahman. It is the ignorance of the nature of our own selves. The problem here is that we don't really know who we are. This is a severe identity problem that we face. Humans suffer from fragmentation, loneliness and isolation. This is caused by the way we spend our lives, always overwhelmed by the limitless projects we try to accomplish day to day. This brings us to the next element in the Hindu's diagnosis. It is that "The...
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