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Hinduism and Budhism

 
 
Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2010 01:40 am
With a PBS documentary and Tiger not to mention the ever present Dalai Lama, Buddhism is the star religion of the East to the Western world. This leaves only the Hare Krishna people to explain Hinduism. This of course scares the crap out of me. Of course there is Wikipedia if you really want to know the differences but I thought I would clarify some basic points. Hinduism and Buddhism are general descriptions for religions or spiritual practices of people living in India and East Asia. While both religions evolved in India, Buddhism traveled east and mixed with new and old practices to become distinct from its roots in India. Buddhism in India is often seen by the locals as one more of the myriad religious practices of the Indian subcontinent. Hinduism is the generic term used to describe a fairly disparate group of religious thought and practices. Some in India now claim it as a doctrinal organized religion but these tend to be the extremists. For the most part the difference between Buddhism and Hinduism comes down to which sect and what belief. For example for those who would consider the Gita as the most concise description of Hindu philosophy, the difference would come down to seeing the same cycles of life and rebirth as in Buddhism but with emphasis on completing your role in life to the fullest extent in order to move on to the next life until reaching the state of an enlightened entity and becoming part of God. Indian Buddhism emphasizes these endless cycles and seeks to break them immediately by mediation and seeking enlightenment as the Buddha did. Eastern Buddhism is somewhat different in incorporating pre-existant eastern thought with variations dependent on country. This part I will leave to experts in those places or your trusty Wikipedia.
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sullyfish6
 
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Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2010 08:57 am
Some Westerners see Buddhism as a Path for one's life. The main components, The 4 Noble Truths and the 8 Fold Path, reveal the way to a good life.

Just recognizing my "dukkha" has been very enlightening to me . . .
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amituttam82
 
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Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 10:54 am
Well yeah it is good to realize your sorrows but most of Buddhism is concentrated on ways to mitigate them and lead you on the path of the Buddha, ie. to enlightenment. This is where I feel that the whole eight fold path kind of falls apart. There is no simple message, no one path or a way to visualize how to get there. Just a lot of instructions to act as a guide through your life. Very difficult. Religion works best when it is a simple recipe. Like the golden rule or being charitable or going to church every Sunday or doing arti to the Gods in the evening. Simple reminders of your need to be charitable in this life and to be good in your life. Buddhism by contrast is bewildering in its complexity and you get the distinct feeling that it is purposely trying to be vague.
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sullyfish6
 
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Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 01:40 pm
I disagree.

It's a checklist for my behavior - an honorable path to follow. Really no different from the Golden Rule or the 10 Commandments.

Yes, it is verycomplicated and yet, very simple.


amituttam82
 
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Reply Wed 14 Apr, 2010 06:27 pm
@sullyfish6,
I get what you are saying but what is the difference between being charitable and doing something nice so as to not incur bad karma? I think doing good things and making morally right decisions just to avoid bad karma is actually selfish. Being charitable to help people and making right decisions because of a moral code or because that is who you are is more noble. I mean to be honest I am an agnostic. I believe that there is no gatekeeper, record keeper up there. You are responsible to yourself and for your own actions. The only real mythical/ethical/religious belief one should have is in honesty not god or some 8 fold path. The parts of Buddhism that clarify that honesty is the most important thing in the entire religion are worthy of respect but most of Buddhism is focused on accepting how miserable existence is and trying to follow a path to get out of it as quickly as possible. Makes sense considering how poor life was back in the time of Buddha but today it hardly makes sense. Life is either good or getting better for the vast majority of the people in the world. (Asians, Europeans, Australians, North Americans and even some African countries/hence vast majority), I can't honestly accept that life is full of misery and that we are caught in a endless, pointless cycle of rebirth. Life is wonderful, you can experience things, interact with people, build things, be satisfied, experience love. I mean what's wrong with life? Especially for westerners!
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