Hinduism Vs Buddhism Essay

860 Words 4 Pages
Two prevalent schools of thought in Indian philosophy are Hinduism and Buddhism. They both have similar teachings, and bring a lot of philosophical weight. However, despite their similarities, they do contradict in a manner of interesting ways. Even in these distinctions, they seem to be talking about the same type of experience at times. The most interesting way in which these two schools of thought clash, in my opinion, is in how they view the self. Both Hinduism and Buddhism believe that our day to day life is an empty, hollow way to live. Hinduism believes that the material world is illusory, and we must unify with Krishna to find true enlightenment. Krishna is the Hindu godhead, and is one of the most widely revered deities in Hinduism. …show more content…
Atman participates in Brahman, which is absolute reality. Brahman is infinite, omnipresent, eternal, and conscious. Our individual atman is simply a singular expression of the infinite brahman. Buddhism does not like this idea of atman at all. It is viewed as an attachment, and perhaps the worst attachment we have. Buddhism believes the the five skandhas, which are a composition of parts that make the self. Much like a car is built from wheels, axles, and such, we are too a composition of parts. These parts are bodily form, sensations, dispositions, perceptions, and consciousness. However, to even call these parts a self would be a mistake in Buddhism. The attachment to self, or atman, is one of the major hurdles an individual has to get over in order to achieve enlightenment in Buddhism. One must think in terms of anatman, or no-self. This is extremely difficult, as we are enculturated to think of ourselves as “Ben” or “Sam” from birth. However, this is not a separate and distinct individual, but rather a convenient way to refer to a group of skhandas over there. Much like we use the word “car” to refer to a bundle of mental, oil, and plastic organized in a certain way, “Ben” simply refers to a bundle of sensations, dispositions, perceptions, consciousness, and bodily form organized in a 6’3” Midwestern

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