Religionsof the World
Inthe Hindu religion, there existed a ritual text known as Tantra andtheir duty was to provide an explanation concerning variouscontradicting myths, hence were perceived to be the sound of the gods(Brodd 109). High-class individuals respected Tantra among the Hindussuch as Rajput Princes, and it`s equally categorized with blackmagic. Hence, its writings had deeper meanings that required peoplewho could understand them properly
Tantraexistence intended for those in need of seeking spiritual assistanceon matters such as sexual immorality. Through Tantra, Hindus wereallowed to worship images such as Puja, Shiva, and Ganesh (Brodd109). Worshipping gods was done through meditation whereby theworshipper was expected to imagine that they were experiencing thedivine status of the problem at hand. During meditation, various bodyparts were supposed to have different meanings. For instance, theworshipper understands the head as the moon and private parts as thefire.
TheTantra was also crucial in breaking taboos especially those which wasrelated to sexual behaviors. Those who were to carry out the practiceof breaking the taboo had to prepare themselves adequately for it tobe of benefit to the person affected. This preparation was known asPasu-bhava whereby an individual was supposed to purify theirthoughts and seek fairness (Brodd 109). They then take a vow ofheroism that indicates that the person is free from any negativedesires.
However,according to Brodd (117), Tantra is still used in the modern world onsexual matters, especially in the western countries such as Europe.But there are several changes to its application. In the currentreligions, sexual immorality is seen as one of the most direct waysof defying the love of God. In the Hindu temple, Tantra is stillretained, and it is frequently used by worshippers to separatethemselves from world desires (Brodd 120). Unlike in the ancienttime, these rituals are usually performed in a very secretive way.Hence, in the Hindu religion, these sacred practices are stillmaintained as ways of devoted worshipping.
ModernTantra was divided into two groups Hinduism and Buddhism. Unlike theancient Tantra that shallowly approached sexual immoralities withoutconsidering its real practice, the current one has a pure analysis ofsex as an aspect of the mind of converting sexual energy intospiritual advancement (Brodd 165). Ascetic practices such as ritualsand devotion played an important role in molding the appearance andattitude of the Hindu religion. They formed the basis through whichmany spiritual educators came up with their philosophies. Variouskings were seeking ways of pleasing the gods, so as there could bepeace and prosperity, and also avoid disasters. They achieved thisthrough spiritual aspects such as performing rituals.
Ritualsgained deeper roots due to their correlation with the humanity andtheir closeness to spiritual understanding. It required clearknowledge, especially like the one owned by seers who lived in theforests (Brodd 181). It involved one`s ability to control their mindand senses and at the same time has self-control. The performance ofrituals was for different purposes, for instance, the ritual of lifewas meant to solve the menace of suffering, and it involvedsacrificing the outer being for the sake of the soul. Through theritual, an individual was assured of body purification andself-understanding, by the seers who handled carrying out therituals.
Thecontinued persistence of life difficulties such as wars resulted in adesire for a better religious practice that could take care of suchproblems that were making life unbearable. Ritualism was perceivednot to satisfy all spiritual requirements it only tried to deal withhuman suffering. Later, other stronger concepts such as yoga, karmaand bondage resulted. They provided elaborations on how human lifestarted and also explained the process through which the human souldevelops from one state to another through hardships and suffering.
Variouspeople such as Vardhamana Mahavira and Makkhali Gosala were thefounders of these explanations. They used practical examples byputting themselves into various religious tortures such as fastingand self-sacrifice. Through yoga, they trained themselves meditationas a way of self-control, hence coming up with a philosophy out oftheir personal experience. They had opposed who was trying tofrustrate them in the public by coming up with unnecessaryargumentation. However, this philosophy was much appreciated by thepublic due to its close relationship with the problems affectinghuman beings (Brodd 203).
Itbecame clear that if one restrains themselves from actions that canlead to bondage, then suffering will not prevail. The restraining ofthe mind was through various practices such as meditation and yoga.Through continued emphasis on devotion and popularizing of Buddhismamong the urban residents, Hindus were able to liberate themselvesfrom oppression by foreigners. This was also made possible by thesacrifices that were made by several individuals who decided thattraditional beliefs would not fade away from their minds. Up to date,these ascetics continue to dominate in the Hindu religion and stillplay an important role in maintaining their traditional practices.According to Brodd (228) the most important approach forenlightenment is devotion since, through the personal sacrifices thatare made people can familiarize themselves with the variouschallenges that are associated with human survival. When anindividual tries to pass a point to others through the practicalapproach, it becomes easier to convince them since they havewitnessed with their eyes. That is the main reason it was easy forpeople to accept the proposal.
Justlike, Buddhism, Hinduism also originates from India. Hence, theyshare a lot of practices in common. It reached a time, when theyrivaled over their traditions. They both believe in the illusion ofthe existence of karma and their role in ensuring there is a balancebetween death rates and birth, a hence continuation of generation.Another reason behind the Buddhism believing in the presence of Karmais due to their strong perception that the world was surrounded withall sorts of human suffering, and the first responsibility of a humanbeing should be to come up with ways of solving these challenges(Brodd 231).
However,unlike Buddhism, who believe in the presence of atman, Hinduism hasno belief in the presence of an individual soul or atman. Theybelieve that nothing can live forever, as long as it exists then oneday it must decompose. According to them, it is better to come upwith solutions to any problems we face in life through real factsother than trying to seek the solutions in aspects within our bodythat cannot be physically explained like the soul. Buddhists find itillogical to explain that a soul can exist in a human body that ismeant to decay at one point of time and which experiences progressivechanges with time.
Therefore,the Buddhists try to explain that the body, mind, and emotions arenot self since none can exist beyond permanent. If these differentparts of the human are separated, then it is clear that there will benothing like human existence. The changes that take place in a humanbody bring about suffering and these results in one developing adesire of running away from these hardships of life. The Buddhistsshow that the solution to human suffering does not lie onself-understanding, but rather by moving from living state tonon-existing state through death (Brodd 263).
Hinduismbelieves in the existence of oneself, but the objection of theBuddhism is due to the perception that the self is immortal.Buddhists view self as composed of five different portions thatinclude emotions perceiving mental development union, and consciousfeeling. None of them are stable in that they change with time andbecome non-existent when someone dies. Buddhism, therefore, taughtits believers on the need to avoid the perception of self-awarenessto understand the truth and gain self-liberation.
Therule of karma meant the reason behind the human cage of the soul, andone can liberate them through changing their life behaviors. Thisidea was equally acceptable both in Hinduism and in Buddhism since itconsidered as a plain reality of life. Until now, this rule of karmahas been so much absorbed in their minds that it regulates their dayto day activities. Civilization has not changed their trust in thisrule since it makes them more responsible and concerned about theiractions (Brodd 278).
Thefact that karma act is determined by both the present and previousactions while its repercussions can occur in future made the Buddhismconsider it as an effective mechanism. It ensures that a person isunder the control of their mind in whatever action they take. Therefore, (Brodd300) made even the ancient Buddhists who wereagainst the karma act to reconsider their position and adopt it ifone realizes that they are suffering in life, and then they have tostop any bad mental habit that may be causing the karma feedback tobe active.
TheBuddhist understanding of karma elaborates that our present statusdetermined by our current and previous actions, hence we should notuse it to complain about the challenges we are going through in life(Brodd 306). In conclusion, it is evident that some of the Hinduismbeliefs still retains in their current system. They also share someof their beliefs with the Buddhism such as the existence of karma,but there are several differences in their beliefs in instances likethe presence of the individual soul.
Fromthe reflections on the world religions, it is evident that differentreligions had different ways of viewing life and spirituality of ahuman being. The radicalclaims of Buddhism being different to the Hindu belief that Atman orindividual soul do not exist presents a case of these differences. Ingeneral, some Hinduism ways of worshiping and their beliefs differedwith those of the Buddhism. This shows that throughout humanexistence, various divine beings related to living creatures havebeen worshiped in various parts of the world. It also confirms thestories about gods and magical practices being different amongancient religions and beliefs.
Brodd,Jeffrey. WorldReligions: A Voyage of Discovery.Winona, MN: Saint Mary`s Press, 2009.