Brahman Is The Highest And Most Supreme Religion Essay
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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
Brahman is the highest and most supreme of all Hindu gods. It is the transcendent, immanent, infinite, unchanging, eternal reality. The Divine Ground that sums up all the being, space, time energy, matter and all within and beyond this universe. Braham’s nature is described as impersonal, personal and transpersonal. Brahman, conceived from the Hindu verb brh, means infinity and greatness. Brahman was born from Brahma who is the creator, the source and the seed of all that is in this world. Brahman, due to his functions as the creator of all, is not allowed to have a lot of devotees and is thus unpopular among the Hindu pantheon since his wok demands attention, concentration and introversion. As there is no more creation, he lost his importance to other gods; Vishnu and Siva, of the Hindu trinity. He is said to be father of Manu, from whom all Hindus descended from. Brahman is the universal substrate or the absolute reality and should not be confused with Brahma, god and the creator. They say that Brahman cannot be known through material means, and we cannot be made to be conscious of it as he is our very own being and consciousness.
Atman on the other hand refers to the true self of a person. Philosophically it is the soul either individually or globally. It could also b defined as the source o all the individual souls. It is the indistinguishable, unchanging and eternal essence. According to Hinduism, any mortal existence has an immortal aspect and this is always hidden within every created object and this includes man. Atman provides experience of the pleasures and pain of earthly life thus giving us reason to live and imparts divine possibilities and qualities. Atman being the silent partner and dweller within us and all our experiences and deeds, can only be felt when no other sensory activities impact the mind. This is attained through yoga. In Buddhism however, the cause of misery is ignorance which is a prime consequence of the belief that there exists an atman that is unchanging. Our soul or atman is identifiable readily with Brahman’s greater soul.
In Buddhism, Anatta is the selfless idea of non-self. It means that everything perceived is not in the “I” or “mine” sense and thus one should not cling on to. It encourages people o develop a sense of willingness to let go at any time as these perceived objects become unnecessary to one’s self. The rebirth doctrine should be well differentiated from the reincarnation theory which refers to the soul transmigration and its material rebirth invariable. Buddhism does not recognize the existence of an eternal or unchanging soul that emanates from divine essence. It is in sharp contrast to Hinduism’s self awareness ideology of atman. According to Buddhism there is nothing that is fixed or permanent in our existence. Everything is subject to destruction and decay. No man should identify himself with any form or name but rather be aware of the continuous change process of becoming.
In Japanese Buddhism, Satori means enlightenment. It is a surge o sudden individual enlightenment and/or awareness. It is coined from the Zen Buddhist culture and considered as the embarkation or earlier step towards nirvana. Satori can and is often juxtaposed to the term kensho meaning ‘viewing one’s nature and character’. Satori however, is a deeper spiritual state than kensho. Being an intuitive experience, It has been described as a situation like waking up one day to find yourself with an extra pair of arms to later learn how to use them. Satori is commonly attained from personal experiences by the traditional use of koans like the collection found in the Gateless Gate. They are theoretical puzzles students use in assistance of Satori realization. It does not occur to individuals but rather all concept realization individuals included therein. The Zen Buddhist student need to prepare their minds first with rigorous study with koans and then meditation which clears their minds from all attachments to the physical existence. In many Japanese folktales, Satori was referred to as a mountain dwelling creature with the rare ability to read the human mind and thoughts. Thus the only way to defeat a Satori was to empty one’s mind completely. This way it will run in fear, leave due to boredom or die.
Confucianism put much emphasis on filial piety. I is on of the most important virtues and should be held highly. It is defined as the respect for one’s parents and ancestors. The Classic of Xiao, a Confucian book written during the 400 B.C. period in a conversation between Zeng Shen, a student and Confucius. Filial piety, in Chinese culture, is the fist and foremost virtue. These religious traditions were until recent years, been enforced by law at times. It is a form of ancestral worship and its avoidance was punishable by law. This virtue should be shown to both the dead and the living alike and is a respect that has over the years bee extended to cover other five forms; friend to friend, elder brother to younger brother, husband to wife, father to son and ruler to ruled. The respect for elders was held in high reverence in all these forms of relationships and the living stood as sons of the dead. This filial piety idea adversely influenced the legal system in china. The book of filial piety written in the third century is the major source of filial piety importance and it was attributed to Confucius as well as hi son.
Li is a Chinese word that is extensively used in Confucianism. It meaning is rather vague but in most cases it is attached to the word ritual. I is just an abstract idea and not and object of definitive nature. It has also been described and translated s the morals, etiquette or customs. It is generally a collection of rules of proper and good behavior. It broadly deals with the entirely whole spectrum of the contacts and interaction with nature, material objects and other human beings. Confucius, in his discussions, encompasses diverse topics like governance, mourning, titles, drinking tea, and learning among other things. Li entails the norms of proper behavior socially taught to us by government officials, village elders or parents. The teachings encourage loyalty, god faith, righteousness, brotherliness and filial submission. The Li influence has guided public expectations and has enhanced the loyalty to the community superiors and elders.
Religion has always been there perhaps even longer than human beings. There was an understanding of a supernatural force showed by Neanderthals millions of years ago. The most common and weird thread among the various religions in the world is the impulse to worship a supernatural being or just generally something at that matter. Therefore, religious impulse can be defined universally as the urge to put faith in a form that is always beyond our perception and understanding. Even in our era, a time of technological and scientific advancements, a lot of people believe in the unknown. Religion therefore is the belief in supernatural powers that control our fate that is entitled to our obedience, respect and worship. In every great religion, three aspects are paramount; charity, faith and hope. These are the ethics, ritual and theology respectively. It should entail conservation of values and be a system that involves a world view, a philosophy and a code of ethics.
Different religions have different characteristics however most features are similar in different religions and these are; specific rules of conduct, sense of community and family, ethics system, institutions that are well organized, supernatural belief and life after death, soul existence and sacred scriptures and writings. The factors and root causes that may lead people towards religious impulses are the fear of death and whatever is lying in wait beyond that. Also humans are a curious bunch and the mystery of their existence pushes them towards a spiritual angle. Since we are incapable of answering most of life’s questions, like the purpose of our lives and the immaterial or the spiritual part of us, it creates a belief towards religion as the best form of explanation. Finally one just feels the need of a spiritual conscience to the materialism of modern life. The nature of the divine varies in different religious settings. Hindus for example, often think of themselves as monotheists worshiping various divine aspects and no various divinities. However, outsiders always see Hinduism as similar to faiths inclined to traditional polytheistic.
Among the above religions, Confucianism is the most appealing while I find Hinduism the least appealing. Hinduism consists of so many beliefs with a lot of intertwined gods and goddesses. The caste system of classes is also unrealistic as all human bins should be equal and receive equal opportunities. For a very long time his has bee the factor that has served most disservice to he Hindu religion. The idea of recognizing inequalities based on the lineage, family and birth and stating it as the will of god is alarming.
Though Confucianism has shortcomings as well, its ethics and morals have positive influence on the society as a whole. The teachings of Li and filial piety are greatly important especially to children growing up. It is common sense to respect and obey one’s elders and putting that into law is a great way of ensuring a society with good and polite morals. It involved action internalization allowing one to be open to the sensations panoply of the experience. It maintains a healthy selflessness practices to oneself and as an example set to others. Personal approaches as well as the approaches of the at large demonstrates how these values are utilized in everything, the good and the bad, the detailed and the broad, the formlessness and the form. The rituals and practices in Confucianism are dynamic. These practices have been modified and revised in accordance to emerging societal beliefs. Though the practices are bound to change, the fundamental ideology remains the core of the religious beliefs.
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