Conclusion For Hinduism Essay

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Hinduism and Buddhism


Introduction-

Hinduism and Buddhism are two of the five major religions in our world
today. They are widely practiced, and have survived for centuries. Both have
similarities and differences, as do all forms of religion. Hopefully, in this
paper I will show you the basic structure of each religion. I would also like to
show how they compare and contrast.

Hinduism: Foundation

No one is completely sure of where Hinduism was started and by whom.
Their oldest written documents, the Vedas, were written down in 1000 B.C. but
they had existed orally long before. The Vedas are where Hinduism originated.
Today, Hinduism is the world's third largest religion. Many changes have come
upon Hinduism since they practiced it first. Hinduism includes many different
sects, or denominations, and beliefs that have arisen. Though, there are many
things in common with all of the Hindu sects. Their basic beliefs are what ties
them together.

Basic Beliefs-

The religion of Hinduism teaches us that each living body, including
animals, is filled with an eternal soul. Hindus say that the individual soul was
a part of the creator spirit, Brahma. It is each soul's job and wish eventually
to return to Brahma. It is not possible though because by a soul's sins, and
impurities from the world, they are no longer pure and holy to return. Instead,
a soul must become pure before returning to Brahma, who is absolutely pure.
The process of becoming pure is so hard that no soul can become pure in
only one lifetime. The soul is forced to live life after life until it is pure
enough to return to Brahma. The cycles of rebirths are called samsara, or the
Wheel of Life, by the Hindus. When a soul is finally cleansed enough to break
free of samsara it is called moksha. The soul returns to Brahma for an eternity
of contentment and ecstasy.
There is no one incorporating creed in Hinduism. A follower may choose
any god as their personal god, or may worship several of them. Though to be a
Hindu there are certain things that a follower must believe in and live by.
Their main beliefs are:
1. A belief in karma, the result of one's good and bad deeds in a
lifetime.
2. A belief in dharma, Hindu traditions.
3. A belief in the three main gods: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.
4. A belief in reincarnation after death.
5. Honor for the sacred Vedas.
6. A belief that, if lived a religious life, the Wheel of Life can end
and achieve moksha.
7. An honor for an ascetic religious life, to be an orthodox Hindu.
Hindus worship many gods, but they are truly monotheistic by believing
in a single god. The reason behind this is that everything comes from Brahman.
It does not matter who the worship is for because it is ultimately Brahman.
Brahman does not reward or punish those for their deeds in life. Every soul
creates their own rewards and punishments through karma. Karma rules what each
soul will be in its next life, and it is formed from a soul's good and bad deeds
in each life. If a soul has had more good deeds than bad deeds, then they have
good karma. Or vice versa if they have had more bad deeds than good.
Dharma is the ultimate meritorious balance of all things living. It
belongs to everything, including the universe. Every soul is responsible for
balancing their dharma. The areas to balance in dharma are religious, social,
and within the family. They must keep promises, and remain faithful to religious
rituals, while also taking care of their family. If a soul loses this balance,
then it will affect their karma. Dharma has been called tradition, duty, and a
custom, but to a Hindu it is spiritually more than that. Hindus also follow a
caste system, resulted from dharma, which I will discuss later.

Gods-

There are three main gods in Hinduism. Many others exist in the religion,
but these are the most noteworthy. Brahma is the creator of life. Vishnu is
known as the preserver of life. You might pray to Vishnu if someone you knew was
going in for surgery so that they'll come through it with no problems. Finally,
Siva, or Shiva is the destroyer of life. All three of these gods are portrayed
as female and male. Vishnu is more often a male, and Shiva is more often a
female.

The Caste System-

The society of Hinduism is strictly divided. The different levels,
called castes, do not mingle. The division is largely due to the practices of
dharma and karma. Both practices express the idea that if someone is born into a
specific lifestyle, they must stay there. It would be bad karma to attempt to
leave that lifestyle.
In the caste system, there are four levels along with two groups that
are apart from the castes. Every caste comes from Brahma, but each is from a
different body part. The highest level is the Brahmin. It means Brahman, but is
spelled in another way to resist confusion of Brahman, the creator spirit.
Brahmin comes from his head, and they are to be the voice of Brahma. They are
the priestly caste, but many are also teachers and keepers of the religion.
Today, many Brahmins are also involved in business and government.
The second level of castes is the Kshatriyas (warrior) caste. They were
the kings and soldiers, and come from Brahma's arms. The third level is the
Vaisyas. They come from the thighs of Brahma, and occupy the jobs of merchants,
artisans, and farmers. The fourth and final caste is Sudras. These people are
the manual workers, represented by Brahma's feet. It is considered a sin to
associate with people of a lower caste than you. So each caste is made up of a
different level of the society.
There are also two groups outside the caste system. One group is for
foreigners. They might be a nonbeliever or anyone who receives special treatment
from the Hindu society. The second "outcaste" group is the "Untouchables." These
people are considered nonhuman and cannot participate in any Hindu practices.
They do the work no one wants to do and do not associate with anyone that is of
a higher caste.

Buddhism: Foundation-

Buddhism was founded by Siddartha Gautama, and he became the Buddha. His
intentions were not to form a new religion, only to modify an older one.
Brahmanism, or Hinduism, had become very orthodox. Siddartha was a minor king of
northern India. One day, he ventured outside the palace walls and saw how life
really was. Inspired, Siddartha left his home, and family to look for the
meaning of life. For years he listened to and studied with the Indian wise men;
then he turned to meditation. Discouraged from not finding the answer he wanted,
he sat under a fig tree. Siddartha determined that he sat there until he found
the answer, this lasted 49 days. It finally came to him, and he became Buddha.
Buddhism was founded.

Basic Beliefs-

Buddhism is a reformed version of Hinduism. Buddha discovered the Four
Noble Truths. The Four Noble Truths are the foundation for all forms of Buddhist
philosophy.

1. There is suffering.
2. Suffering is caused.
3. Eliminating the causes of suffering can extinguish suffering.
4. The way to extinguish the causes of suffering is to follow the Middle
Way stated in the Eightfold Path.

The Eightfold Path also comes from Buddha. It teaches to practice
moderation. It is the practical side of Buddhism. If followed, one may achieve
true enlightenment, or nirvana. Nirvana is reaching Brahma in one lifetime.
Buddha believed that you could live a perfect life and not have to continue in
the samsara. The basic way to this is the Eightfold Path, which says to practice
moderation in these areas:

1. Right views. You must have the right mind set.
2. Right intent (or right resolution) A person must want actively to
eliminate suffering.
3. Right speech. You must not lie, slander others, or insult. You're not
to cause suffering with words.
4. Right conduct (or right action). To behave in a way that does not
cause suffering.
5. Right means of livelihood. Not to live in a way or hold a job that
causes suffering.
6. Right endeavor (or right effort) To prevent unclean states of mind
from happening.
7. Right mindfulness. To be aware of body activities, the senses,
perceptions, and thoughts.
8. Right meditation. The specific concentration to improve oneself.

Buddhists believe that if you follow this you will be enlightened. Many
Buddhist beliefs are almost the same as a Hindu's. Buddhists do not practice the
caste system. One of the only ways to achieve nirvana in one lifetime is to be a
monk or a nun. If you break an area in the Eightfold Path, then you cannot
achieve nirvana. Also in order to follow the 4th part of The Eightfold Path, all
Buddhists are vegetarians. Killing of an animal is seen as causing suffering.
Like the Hindus, an animal has a soul.
Despite all the talk about suffering, Buddhism is really about the
absence of suffering. Buddhism is a way to develop the ability to love the
entire universe, simply because it is. It is understanding that the universe
exits inside a blade of grass, just as the blade of grass resides within the
universe. All things are inter-connected.

Comparisons Between Hinduism and Buddhism-

Both Hinduism and Buddhism accept and believe that there is one creator
spirit. Each of them recognizes Brahma or a version of Brahma as the creator
spirit. Though they also recognize other gods, Brahma is the ultimate god. All
praise goes to him, no matter which god you are praising. This is a significant
similarity between the two religions.
The two religions of Hinduism and Buddhism believe in the process of
reincarnation. Reincarnation is being reborn again with one soul. Inside this
belief, they also believe that your deeds, or activities, during your life will
determine where you will end up. If you have lived a good life, you will be
rewarded by another good life, or you might be allowed finally to rejoin with
Brahma. If you've led a bad life, you will remain on earth longer, and most
likely have a bad life when you are reborn.
Another similarity is that both Hinduism and Buddhism are very kind to
animals. They believe every living creature has a soul, and through
reincarnation, you might one day end up as one. Most Hindus and Buddhists that
strictly follow the religion are vegetarians of one sort or another. It's
impossible to tell whether or not that hamburger you ate at Burger King was a
relative of yours. Eating them would bring you bad karma, and break one of the
Eightfold Paths.

Contrasts Between Hinduism and Buddhism-

In the religion of Hinduism there are castes, or social classes. They
decide what your lifestyle will be like in that lifetime. If you are born a
slave, you must stay a slave your whole life. Or, if you are born a wealthy man
or woman, that is what you must be all of your life. To the Hindus, it is a sin
to try to change what caste you belong to. As well as to associate with a person
from a caste that is lower than yours.
On the other hand, the teachings of the Buddha did away with the caste
system. A person is allowed to change their social class. They can go from a
slave to an emperor or a president, if that is their calling. If they follow the
Eightfold Path, then this is permissible. It is an honor to be a monk or a nun,
for they are the ones who can achieve nirvana. Buddhists also will mingle with
those of less importance then themselves.

Hinduism teaches that you must go through samsara in order to finally
reach moksha. They do not believe that a soul can totally cleanse itself of all
impurities in just one life. It is a gradual process involving dharma, balancing
one's life, and karma, weighing the deeds of a lifetime.
Meanwhile, the Buddha again went and brought question to samsara. He
found that it is possible to cleanse oneself in one lifetime and return to
Brahma. He called it nirvana. In order to achieve nirvana, a Buddhist must
follow and accept The Four Noble Truths, and the Eightfold Path. The Eightfold
Path serves as an instructional guide as how to keep yourself on the right path
to nirvana.

Hinduism and Buddhism also have several smaller differences. The area of
greatest concentration for Hinduism is India. India is where Buddhism originated,
but Hinduism eventually was a more appealing religion and it died out. Buddhism
is found mostly in East Asia, inside China and Mongolia. These areas prefer
having many, many small gods, as opposed to the Hindus only having three major
ones and then smaller, less important gods. Buddhism was founded by Suddartha
Gautama, or the Buddha. Hinduism was started gradually; no one knows for sure
who founded it; most likely, it was many people. Both practice meditation, but
they practice it in different forms. A Hindu will meditate obtaining inner peace
through the charkras of the body. Once all of the centers, charkras, have been
balanced, a white light is said to be above the person's head, and they are
enlightened. Buddhists meditate similarity, but have different variations of how
it is preformed. Their main goal is to end suffering.

Conclusion-

The two religions of Buddhism and Hinduism are very alike, and yet very
different. To accept their way of thinking, one must put aside their religion if
they aren't Hindu or a Buddhist. They strive for an inner peace, and finally to
reach heaven through either moksha or nirvana. I being a Christian, have found
in some ways it hard to understand the process of reincarnation, and Brahma.
Though, I can see how that for people of another culture, these religions are
very supportive, and soothing. Culture plays a big part in determining your
beliefs. Obviously, they are very deep-rooted for surviving for longer than
Christianity's been around. Through this paper, I learned a lot about accepting
different beliefs, and gained a sense of what it really means to be a Hindu or a
Buddhist. I admire their strong faith and their desire to become pure and
unblemished. Hinduism and Buddhism are two major religions, firmly planted in
their cultures, and I am sure that they will remain for a long time to come.



 

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Essay On Hinduism - With A Free Essay Review




Topic: Explain how and where Hinduism originated, major tenets of the religion including the caste system, and how and where it spread from India.

Including different aspects such as origination, major tenets, and the widespread practice, Hinduism is an extremely diverse religion, which involves many facets. Ever since it’s origination, it has been a tolerant and accepting religion, which has enabled it to continue even to modern day.

Hinduism dates back to the early Harappa period in India, around 5500-2600 BCE. It’s the oldest living religion. It spread throughout India, and to other areas through trade, nomads, travelers, and other transportation methods. The first basics for Hinduism came about by the cultural assimilation of the Aryans and Dravidians. The diffusion of the ideas came about to the formation of the major tenets today.

The major beliefs of Hinduism aren’t completely specific, but there are a few overarching beliefs such as reincarnation. There have been six different types of Hinduism that have been practiced in history, or up to today. They include Folk Hinduism, which is pre-Vedic beliefs, Vedic Hinduism, which is the practice of basing the beliefs on the Vedas, Yogic Hinduism, which focuses on Yoga and its applications, Dharmic Hinduism, which practices living in a moral way, and Bhakthi Hinduism, which are specific devotional practices. Today, there are four modern divisions: Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Smartism, and Shaktism. There are also many major gods and goddesses, such as Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and Devi. Much of this is described in some of the religious texts, or scriptures. Hinduism doesn’t have a major text, but instead has many scriptures to derive from, such as the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, the Upanishads, the Puranas, the Vedas, and the Bhagavad Gita. There are four main objectives in life a Hindu looks to. The first is Dharma, which is living righteously. The second is Artha, which is livelihood. Kama is pleasure, and Moksha is liberation from rebirth. Another important aspect of Hinduism is the caste system. The caste system is merely a way to define the different job specializations between the people, and give each person a group of belonging. The highest caste is Brahmins, followed by Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras. Later, the caste of Untouchables, who are people who do tasks considered dirty such as cremation, was introduced. Due to Hinduism’s overarching beliefs, it has spread to many regions of the world.

The country with the highest percent of Hindus is Nepal, which is followed by India. Due to Hinduism’s aversion to missionaries, the religion has spread only by voluntary conversion. Hinduism is the oldest, and third largest religion in the world. Although it might not have become extremely widespread, many of the aspects of the religion have made a great societal impact. One example of this is Yoga, which is widely practiced in even western countries. In current day, different Hindus have many different beliefs, but there are many common rituals and festivals that support an overarching theme. One commonly celebrated festival is Divali, the festival of Lights. There are also societal adherences of many Hindus. For example, many Hindus are vegetarian, and also consider the cow to be a sacred animal, because of it’s nourishing milk. Due to all this, Hinduism is an extremely diverse and rich religion, which is still practiced today.

Due to it’s tolerance and overarching peaceful tenets, Hinduism is the oldest practicing religion today. Many beliefs in Hinduism have assimilated to common culture, and it still remains true to its foundations. As a result of the different aspects such as origination, major tenets, and the widespread practice, Hinduism is an extremely diverse religion, which involves many facets that are still practiced today.

ESSAY REVIEW

Both the argument and the organization of your essay needs improving, but fortunately those two issues are closely related. Let's go backwards, and talk about organization first. Hopefully you'll why this is going backwards by the end of this review.

In respect of its organization, the essay starts out okay. You have an introductory paragraph with something resembling a thesis. Your second paragraph gives a very brief historical overview. Your third paragraph begins by raising the topic of beliefs. But then you tell me about the six historical types of Hinduism. Then you tell me about the four modern divisions. Then you tell me about the different gods. Then you tell me about the scriptures. Then you tell me about the objectives. Then you tell me about the caste system. And while all of those things are perhaps loosely connected to the topic of religious beliefs, they are all also distinct topics that might be better treated in separate paragraphs (although that's not what I suggest you do). The paragraph as a whole, in any case, tells me very little about actual beliefs, and is instead a list of facts. The next paragraph gives another list of additional facts about the religion. I don't like lists. They don't belong in essays. They belong in your pocket when you go to the grocery store.

Making lists is one way of organizing information, but it is the least useful form of organization in an essay. Essays typically are organized in such a way as to reveal the logical development of an argument. That at least is the case in argumentative essays, which I am assuming is the type of essay that you are trying to write, since you make a number of argumentative claims. So let's talk about the arguments.

Here are the claims you make in your introduction: "Hinduism is an extremely diverse religion, which involves many facets. Ever since it’s origination, it has been a tolerant and accepting religion, which has enabled it to continue even to modern day." So you claim the religion is diverse. How about writing one or two paragraphs devoted specifically to the task of demonstrating the diversity of Hinduism? Do that, and suddenly your lists of information have a specific purpose within your essay (i.e., the purpose of demonstrating the truth of your claim about the religion's diversity). Then, how about writing a paragraph or two about Hinduism's tolerance (you mention this tolerance a few times, but you don't explain in what way Hinduism is tolerant; you don't justify your assertions about tolerance). What I'm suggesting, then, is that your thesis (the claims you make in your opening paragraph) should determine the logical development of your essay. If it does that, then your essay will necessarily be better organized.

Your essay also introduces claims not included in your introduction. You say, for example, that Hinduism remains true to its foundations. If you want to make that claim, then you should explain in what way the religion remains true to its foundations. Explain what foundational beliefs you are referring to. Further, is this claim related to your understanding of why Hinduism has survived? If so, why not include it in your thesis and write a paragraph devoted to demonstrating why Hinduism has survived?

You also claim at one point the following: "Due to Hinduism’s overarching beliefs, it has spread to many regions of the world. " You do not clarify, however, what you mean by "overarching beliefs" (though you do cite "reincarnation" as one example of such a belief). You need to do that, and then explain how such beliefs contributed to the geographical expansion of the religion (if you really believe that); i.e., you could explain why you think certain cultures were receptive to a religion like Hinduism.

Do all of that and you have a paragraph about diversity, a paragraph about tolerance, a paragraph about the religion's survival, and a paragraph about its expansion; and each of those paragraphs would be focused on the elaboration of a specific claim related to your overall thesis. In other words, you have the basis for a tightly organized, argumentative essay, which is a good thing to have! Of course, you will need to think about how to fit in all the information required by the prompt but not directly related to your argument. That’s not as hard as it might sound.

Finally, all of those “due to” sentences get tiresome. Hint: “because” is a very good word to use when you want to indicate a causal relationship; e.g., “Hinduism survives because it is a tolerant religion.”

Best, EJ


Submitted by: EmKay

Tagged...essay organization, logical development in essays, essay writing help



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