Religion Paper

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Praneeta Suwal
World Religions 2300

Eastern Religions

All Eastern religions have various things in common. The view of how a person should spend their lives in this earth is all too similar yet they all have a different way of living and showing their devotion. Many of these cultures revolve around a simple idea of reaching nirvana and finally leading to moksha- the release from the eternal circle of life or mukti in Sikhism. Many of the Eastern religions also focus of keeping good karma and respecting the spiritual world by praying to their ancestors. Many of them view the world as full of spirits, that there are spiritual beings in everything we see and everything we touch, and to respect these spirits will finally lead to the liberation from the earth. In Hinduism we learn that the world is considered evil. There are many cast systems in this religion, which are paths an individual must overcome before leaving the cycle of Samsara; which is the cycle of rebirth and reincarnation which is considered to be the problem. To achieve liberation from the cycle is the goal of Hindus, to free their soul from bonding of samsara when they pass on to the next world to become a Brahman- Hindu idea of a formless divine. The solution to this problem is to become knowledgeable and overcome the illusion and ignorance of materialistic values and recognize the rituals and meditative practice of the Hindu religion practices and to live a life of good Karma. Their main focus, or Dharma, is to create good karma in their lifetime, as it is the cause and effect of actions. Once a person has collected good karma, they are on the right path to liberation. In Hindu household the men of the family usually leaves for an asharamas to finish their last stages of life of manhood. The older male figure usually retires from family and social life to become one with the spiritual world. Here yoga is practiced and a role of a Sannyasin, or a wandering monk, is achieved. A Sannyasin is one who is free of all ties of the materialistic world. While the men go one to become a “Forest Dweller,” the mother of the family becomes the head of the household, where she would take control the duties of her husband. After the monk has passed away, his life’s moral duties and karma would determine if he will become one with the higher power, who is Brahman. As like Hinduism, Buddhism also shares very similar view points. The problem here is that people should work of problems themselves rather than becoming dependent of “gods”, therefore leading them to become ignorant. The belief is that dogma, and mysticism as well as supernatural beliefs should be eliminated from religion. Buddhism is sought out to eliminate the difference in cast systems, expressing that everyone is created equal. In Buddhism it is not necessary to cycle through many lifetimes in order to reach nirvana. Meditation is also practiced in this religion to help realize the difference between reality and illusion, which all leads to achievement of enlightenment and finally to Nirvana- the extinction of desire and attachment to material world. Following the teachings of the Buddha is to overcome suffering and also to follow your own wisdom. His philosophy has many numbered lists of teachings but it cannot be known, it is usually passed on by higher lamas and guru’s to teach their followers. Unlike Hinduism, Buddhism does not have a concept of a higher power being but they view Buddha as a supreme being. Though Siddhartha Gautama was born in the Shakyamuni cast system of warriors, he was secluded from the outside world until one day he decided to explore the world outside the four walls of his palace. He soon saw the four sufferings of mankind. This included old age, sickness, and death and a monk at peace. He soon set out to meditate and end the suffering of the people. After reaching Enlightenment he was knows as the Buddha, or awakened...
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