The Different Views Of The Buddha And

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The Different Views Of The Buddha And The Mahavira On Reaching Nirvana Essay, Research Paper The Mahavira and the Buddha share the same fundamental beliefs in Karma and dharma, however, their philosophies on how to achieve Nirvana differ greatly. Self denial, meditation, and enlightenment are the three major ways these two individuals believed helped to reach Nirvana. The Mahavira believed that self denial and meditation were the ways to achieving Nirvana, when the Buddha believed that enlightenment was the way. In the Hinduism religion, the belief is that a person must obey the law of Karma. Karma refers to all of the actions of a person?s life that affect his fate in the next life. To Hindus, all existence is ranked. Humans first, then animals, plants, then objects like

rocks and water. This is the caste system. People who live virtuously earn good Karma and are reborn at a higher level of existence. Those who do evil, acquire bad Karma and are reborn into suffering. Dharma are the religious and moral duties of an individual. These duties vary according to age, class, occupation, and gender. By obeying one?s dharma, a person acquires merit for the next life. The concepts of Karma and dharma helped insure the social order by supporting the caste system. Ahimsa, or non-violence, is another key moral principle of Hinduism. All people and all things are to be respected, according to Hindus. Mahavira was a reformer that taught and developed an extreme form of ahimsa. He founded Jainism around 500 B.C.E. This was a new religion that grew out of Hindu

tradition. His teachings emphasized meditation and self denial. He did not believe in Karma and dharma and the the cycle of being reborn into another life. Reformers like Mahavira rejected Brahmans domination and offered other paths to truth. The Mahavira?s beliefs on reaching Nirvana were through self denial and meditation. His beliefs are taught in the five great vows. These vows were: 1) ?I renounce all killing of living beings, whether subtle or gross, neither moveable or unmoveable……? 2)?I renounce all vices of lying speech arising from anger, or greed, or fear, or mirth….? 3)?I renounce all taking of anything not given, either in a village or a town or a wood, either of little or much, of small or great…..? 4)?I renounce all sexual pleasures, either with gods or

men, or animals…? 5)?I renounce all attachments, whehter little or much, small or great, living or lifeless…? He lived his life as a beggar, and committed no sin. His life was tedious so that he could reach Nirvana. Another reformer, Siddhartha Guatama founded a new religion, Buddhism. Buddhism and Hinduism grew out of Vedic traditions. They both accepted the law of Karma and dharma, and believed in a cycle of rebirth. Non-violence was also central to Buddhism. Guatama lived a sheltered life and was not aware that suffering and pain were present in the world. Once this became aware to him, he decided to try and change it. His teachings eventually spread across Asia to become a very influential religion. Siddhartha Guatama, known as the Buddha, believed in the four noble

truths. These are: 1)All life is full of suffering, pain, and sorrow. 2)The cause of suffering is the desire for things that are really illusions, such as riches, power and long life. 3)The only cure for suffering is to overcome desire. 4)The way to overcome desire is to follow the Eightfold Path. Buddha described the Eightfold Path as ?Right Belief, Right Aspirations, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Means of Livelihood, Right Endeavor, Right Memory, and Right Meditation.? (76) One must be knowledgeable about the Eightfold Path and follow it. Buddha believed enlightenment was the way to reach Nirvana. The first two steps are committing one?s self to the Eightfold Path, and understanding the Four Noble Truths. Then, a person had to live a moral life, avoiding evil. Through