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Hinduism Vs Buddhism

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Student: Iyasu Ghirmai

Teacher: Pernilla Bonйr

Contents 2

Concept of god 3

Buddhism 3

Buddhist gods 3

The Buddhist perception of a divine entity 3

From enlightened to a Supreme Being 4

Hinduism 4

Brahman 4

Brahman 5

Vishnu 5

Shiva 6

The concept of God 6

Conclusion 7

Moksha - Nirvana 9

Buddhism 9

Eightfold path 9

Karma 10

Hinduism 11

Conclusion 12

Holy Men 13

Buddha 13

Jesus 13

Mohammed 14

Conclusion 15

Sources 16

The concept of God

It is first of all necessary to establish what is meant by the term "God". This term is used to designate a Supreme Being endowed with the qualities of omnipotence and omniscience, which is the creator of the universe with all its contents, and the chief lawgiver for humans. God is generally considered as being concerned with the welfare of his human creatures, and the ultimate salvation of those who follow his dictates. God is therefore a person of some kind, and the question whether such an entity exists or not is fundamental to all theistic systems.

In contrast to this notion of a personal God some modern theologians have interpreted the term "God" as representing some kind of abstract principle of good. This view was first developed in the ancient Indian Upanishads where God is equated with an abstract principle, the Brahman. The ancient Indian philosophers could entertain such a view because they also had a theory of karma, which really does away with the need for a personal God. Buddhists too have a theory of karma, which is different from that of the Hindus, and which even more unequivocally dispenses with the need for a deity. The use of the term "God' to denote an abstract reality by monotheistic theologians who have no theory of karma is difficult to justify, consequently this is merely a device to explain away the contradictions that arise from the notion of a personal God. In fact the actual practice of theistic religion proceeds as if God is a real person of some kind or other.


Buddhist gods

Buddhism has 33 Gods the most potent one of them all is Indra. It is Buddhist beliefs that the gods and spirits are with us persistently. The mountain Meru can be compared with mount Olympus of the Greek gods. Buddhists believe that on top of this sacred mountain are the 33 gods with Indra as their principal. Buddhism primary principal is moral strength and exercises. It is concluded in three regions. The first is the principles of lust, which belongs to the realm of animals, humans and various divine essences. The realm of the gods consists of six levels, which are the liberation of material desires. The subsequent region compromises entities that are born in the dominion of the Braham gods liberated from lust and wishes, they constitute a term of embodiment. They divide in four stages which seventeen levels represents the degree of emancipation the spirit has reached. The last region is where mater has ceased to exist, the third and infinite Nirvana. A ceasing that does not characterize obliteration, but an absence of matter and place.

The Buddhist perception of a divine entity

Buddhism has been described as a very pragmatic religion. It does not indulge in metaphysical speculation about first causes; there is no theology, no worship of a deity or deification of the Buddha. Buddhism takes a very straightforward look at our human condition; nothing is based on wishful thinking, at all. Everything that the Buddha taught was based on his own observations of the way things are. Everything that he taught can be verified by our own observation of the way things are.

The Buddha pointed out that no God or priest nor any other kind of being has the power to interfere in the working out of someone else's Karma. Buddhism, therefore, teaches the individual to take full responsibility for himself. For example, if you want to be wealthy then be trustworthy, diligent and parsimonious, or if you want to live in a heaven realm then always be kind to others. There is no God to plead for or to ask favours from, Buddhists sees it as there was no corruption possible in the workings of Karma.

Do Buddhists believe that a Supreme Being created the universe? Buddhists would first ask which universe do you mean? This present universe, from the moment of the 'big bang' up to now, it is but one among countless millions in Buddhist cosmology. The Buddha gave an estimate of the age of a single universe-cycle of around 37,000 million years that is quite plausible when compared to modern astrophysics. After one universe- cycle ends another begins, again and again, according to impersonal law. A Creator God is redundant in this scheme.

No being is a Supreme Saviour, according to the Buddha, because whether God, human, animal or whatever, all are subject to the Law of Karma. Even the Buddha had no power to save. He could only point out the Truth so that the wise could see it for themselves. Everyone must take responsibility



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