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Hinduism and Buddhism - Assignment Example

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In order to understand the spiritual insight of Indian philosophy one needs to explore the doctrines of Hinduism and Buddhism which are the two sides of the same coin. Hinduism is…
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Hinduism and Buddhism
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Download file to see previous pages Although it has well defined doctrines, in many ways Buddhism is identical to its mother religion Hinduism. However, there are numerous differing aspects that make both religions classical.
Indian society during the Vedic period (Aryan Culture) consisted of four castes such as Brahmans (priests), Kshatriyas (kings), Vaishyas (farmers and business men), and Sudras (slaves). The noble castes Brahmins and Kshatriyas enjoyed all social privileges; and menial jobs were allotted to lower castes. Social and religious injustice prevailed over the community in the forms of ‘untouchability’ and discrimination. The Sudras in fact were the invaded Dravidians who were not at all considered as human beings. Brahmins were cherished as the noblest status of birth to attain God; and lower castes did not have access to spiritual secrets or Vedas.
Buddha was born in the royal family of Shakya clan but relinquished all worldly possessions in search of the real cause of human suffering. Unlike others he showed great compassion to all human beings irrespective of their castes. His broad concept of human brotherhood gained wide appreciation among people of all classes and sects. Although Buddha wanted to renovate the social setup, he believed that it could be possible only through self reformation.
According to Hinduism, human life is bound to unending cycle of death and rebirth. One needs to realize the individual soul that is ‘Atman’ as the initial step to attain the ultimate freedom. If Atman is the individual self, Brahma/God is the supreme universal self that is the true treasure of eternal happiness. Therefore the meaning of individual life is to attain the Brahma. This actualization or salvation is known as Moksha. However, one can not easily attain it because it is determined by the law of cause and effect that is Karma.
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