Essay on Taoism & Buddhism

2407 Words Oct 14th, 1999 10 Pages
It is always present in you. You can use it anyway you want.
<br>~Lao-tzu
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<br>Taoism and Buddhism are the two great philosophical and religious traditions that originated in China. Taoism began the sixth century BCE. Buddhism came to China from India around the second century of the Common Era. These two religions have shaped Chinese life and thought for nearly twenty-five hundred years. One dominant concept in Taoism and Buddhism is the belief in some form of reincarnation. The idea that life does not end when one dies, is an integral part of these religions and the culture of the Chinese people. Reincarnations, life after death, and beliefs are not standardized. Each religion has a different way of applying this concept to its
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Always without desires, it may be called the small. All things come to it and it does not master them; it may be called the Great. Therefore (the sage) never strives himself for the great, and thereby the great is achieved. --(Te-Tao Ching, Chapter 34)
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<br>The followers of the Buddha believe that life goes on and on in many reincarnations or rebirths. The eternal hope for all followers of Buddha is that through reincarnation one comes back into successively better lives - until one achieves the goal of being free from pain and suffering and not having to come back again. This wheel of rebirth, known as Samsara, goes on forever until one achieves Nirvana. The Buddhist definition of Nirvana is "the highest state of spiritual bliss, as absolute immortality through absorption of the soul into itself, but preserving individuality." Birth is not the beginning and death is not the end. This cycle of life has no beginning and can go on forever without an end. The ultimate goal for every Buddhist, Nirvana, is to accomplish total enlightenment and liberation. By achieving this goal, one can be liberated from the never ending round of birth, death, and rebirth. Transmigration, the Buddhist cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, does not involve the reincarnation of a spirit, but only the rebirth of a consciousness containing the seeds of good and evil deeds. Buddhism's world of transmigration encompasses three stages.

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