The Self in Eastern Philosophy

Topics: Buddhism, Bhagavad Gita, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Pages: 4 (1298 words) Published: May 29, 2012
Is there such thing as a "self" or "Atman"? Is there a part of us that exists and persists to seek after death? In buddhism it is believed to be no such thing as a self while hinduism believes there is a true self that exists even after this body has ceased to (Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, 91). The goal of this paper is not to disregard either religions but to regard and unite the idea of self and no self that is experienced through both. After awhile of delving into both idealogies I've found that the self or the existance of some kind of "soul" can be uncovered through both buddhism and hinduism and I consider these religions expressing either halves of the self. Buddhism reflects on the emptiness and impermanent self, anatman, as a way to lead to our "true" way of being which is nonexistance, while hinduism focuses on the true self, atman (the soul).

I question how and why buddhism believes in no self yet believes in reincarnation and karma, I've found that there must be some type of being in us that exists in order to support the idea of karma and reincarnation. There must be something that exists and persists to live after death in order to support and hold onto karma. Buddhism says there is no soul but just a kind emptiness that extends through out the body. On a scientific note however, after death the body is immediately 3% less it's original or when alive- weight, this is an indication that there is something that makes the body alive, that is lost when the body is dead. Fact is matter cannot be created nor destroyed so I question where does this mass disappear to when the body dies? What is this mass?

Buddhism believes in reincarnation which sounds like a contradiction because buddishm contains no self or no soul. Reincarnation in buddhism is a way to gain karma and dissolve karma, and finally when karma has dissolved nirvana can be attained and one can flee the cycle of samsara. In the bhagavad gita reincarnation is the transmigration of...
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