The beginning of this class consists of two sections, Hinduism and Buddhism, both of which we have learned a lot about. Within these religions we see some differences and some similarities that one could relate the two with, and one of those is the term Dharma. When examining Dharma in both Hinduism and Buddhism, people may notice that they are somewhat similar, but they will also see that there even more differences within this term. To better understand this term, we must first define it within the religion and then see what they have in common with one another, if anything at all, and finally notice where the big differences are between them. Dharma is a powerful word, but some may see it differently then others depending on their religion, or their understanding of the religion at hand. So to better understand this term we must first define the term specific to each religion. First we look at Hinduism, here Dharma is defined as, “the most basic concept of Hinduism. It is a wide-ranging term for righteousness, law, duty, moral teachings, religion itself, or the order in the universe.”(Voorst, 72). It goes on to say that, “Dharma is also the god who embodies and promotes right order and living”(Voorst, 72). This in itself is not especially self-explanatory, but we will go into further detail after learning the meaning of the word in the Buddhist religion. The meaning for Dharma for Buddhists is quite different, “this world view the dharma, “law, teaching” about the universe and the release from it.”(Voorst, 119), so just looking at the definitions we can see that they can relate but we need to look further to see the differences.
First we look at how these two religions use the term Dharma in the same way. We can start with the laws and teachings within the religions, and how they can go hand in hand with one another. The purpose is to guide the followers in a way of living, to provide for a better reincarnation. In Hinduism the teachings are passed down...
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