Buddhism And Afterlife

1452 Words 6 Pages
The notion of an afterlife and what happens when one dies is an important idea in every religion, especially in both Judaism and Buddhism. Judaism and Buddhism have very differing ideas about what occurs once an individual dies, including not only what happens when someone dies, but how it happens as well. While Judaism 's chief beliefs focus on the resurrection of the physical body, Buddhism claims that the individual 's spirit continues to live on in various lives until achieving Nirvana. In Judaism, followers are taught to abstain from many actions and ideas to lead a life of purity, so when the Messiah arrives, he or she will be resurrected. The bodies and spirits will then be able to live on in a perfected state, absent of injustice and …show more content…
While Theravada Buddhism teaches achieving Nirvana is done by disciplining one’s body and mind and not allowing oneself to yield to worldly distractions, Mahayana Buddhism teaches followers to try and imitate the life of the Buddha. By doing so, an individual becomes a bodhisattva, as defined as an individual in the process of attaining enlightenment. These individuals must try and envision themselves in the life of Buddha and lead their lives in a similar manner. In this regard, some scholars have argued that Mahayana Buddhism believes it easier to achieve Nirvana, because by trying to emulate the life of Buddha, one becomes selfless, self-sufficient, and learns to ignore worldly distractions (Astore par. 2-10). While Theravada Buddhism also teaches followers to try and follow in the Buddha’s footsteps, it isn’t the focal point, but rather an example of someone who achieved Nirvana and whose life should be used as …show more content…
While Buddhists put an emphasis on the individual 's path and ability to achieve release from the endless cycle of lives, Jews pray for the day the Messiah will come and save them all at once. Buddhism also views an individual’s physical body as nothing more than a body in which an individual’s karma lives out one of their life cycles, while Judaism pay great attention to the physical body of a person, as well as their deeds, similar to the idea of karma in Buddhism. Despite the fact that the afterlife is a major component of nearly all religions, Judaism does not even put such great emphasis on the topic and is barely mentioned in the Torah. The notion of an afterlife is only ever discussed in writing done centuries after Moses received the Torah from God at Mount Sinai, mainly done by scholars, such as Maimonides and Nachmanides. In contrast to that, Buddhism’s end goal is to achieve Nirvana and therefore nearly all of its teachings revolve around ways to achieve release from the world as soon as

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