Essay about Buddhism Versus Greek Mythology

3671 Words Oct 31st, 2012 15 Pages
“[A human being] experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness, “said Albert Einstein. “Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty” (“Heart Quotes”). Einstein’s view on nature is similar to that of Indian Buddhists. Life-giving Indian weather inspired the Buddhist cyclic view of rebirth while the rugged terrain of Greece inspired their harsh outlook on nature. Buddhists believe man is one with nature while Greek mythology emphasizes the all-importance of man. Buddhists live in harmony with nature whereas the Greeks show violence towards it and all …show more content…
The scriptural account of the Enlightenment of Buddha gives this significance to nature when Buddha sits under the Bodhi tree for seven whole days. After the seven days, the Buddha gets up only to sit down again at an Ajapala banyan-tree for another length of time. He rises once again just to sit down once more at the foot of a Mucalinda tree (“Bodhi Leaf”). Nature is therefore made clear as one of the most important aspects of Buddhism. As Buddhists have such a deep reverence for nature, they believe in keeping peace with every aspect of nature. This does not just mean plants but also animals and other living creatures. However, that does not mean that all Buddhists must be vegetarians although it is strongly suggested to do so. It is said that the act of eating meat is a form of karma that will lead a person farther from Enlightenment. Therefore, the more meat one eats in one’s various lives, the more times one will have to experience the cycle of death and rebirth. On the other hand, some Buddhists believe in another view of meat eating. One is allowed to eat meat that one receives unless one knows or suspects that the meat in question was killed especially for one (Epstein). As far as sacrificial practices, meat is not sacrificed but instead herbs and incense are given up in prayer. Peace is a very important aspect of treating nature. Peace comes in many forms: peace towards environment, towards creatures, towards man, etc. A

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