Posted by Star the magic vegan at 01/21/17 02:00:19There is no conversion in the Jain, Hindu nor Buddhist religions. There is a ceremony of welcoming in Buddhism known as the Three Gems or Three Jewels, and in both Hinduism and Buddhism there is the use of the term Sharanam meaning to take refuge or shelter in the cosmology, but there is no formal conversion. One can be a Catholic Buddhist or a Hindu Jain. Conversion is only found in the Christian and Muslim faiths. There is a famous story of a man who went to the Dalai Lama and asked how he could convert to Buddhism. The Dalai Lama said that he was born a Christian and that this is his Karma but that he is welcome to study as much Buddhism as he wants to become a better Christian. You do not grow your tree by cutting its roots.
Certainly the Jain, Hindu and Buddhist traditions have been enriched by accepting all people at all times and under many divers circumstances, involving their viewpoints and integrating their wisdom into their cultures. Krishna states in the Bhagavad Gita that all people are welcome to come before God, saints and sinners alike. By not demanding conversion, these traditions do not act violently nor separatist and xenophobic in their approach to outside faiths. This does seem like a more mature viewpoint. In some ways, both Christianity and Islam seem not only to miss the message of their own beliefs by demanding conversion, but they act like wayward children of Hinduism, Buddhism and the Jain tradition.
Posted by Star the magic vegan at 01/21/17 02:17:53The core difference between Hindu, Buddhist and Jain traditions is not as important as their similarities. To try and find a difference is to miss the point. All three of these paths lead to the same end results. The paths are only subtly different. These three traditions are offered to the world to suit different types of minds and people with different types of Karma.
To help light your path for your quest, I will help by explaining what each does best in a few words.
Buddhism offers great meditation. Buddhism is for realists and people who suffer a great deal in life. Buddhism helps one to rectify their actions to be more fruitful and positive without asceticism. Buddhism is not an atheistic philosophy, but it does not mention the word soul nor God in its teachings. The gods and goddesses studied Buddhism and do even to this day. Buddhism teaches open mindedness, morality and strength. Through meditation and mantra repetition one can reach aspects of consciousness that can not be reached any other way leading one to Enlightenment and Liberation.
Hinduism offers great devotion. There are many schools of Hindu thought, each offering different approaches to devotional practice. There are even non devotional schools that always seem to show devotion to their past gurus, throwing big ceremonies, constant prayers and daily services for them. Through devotion one unlocks aspects of consciousness that can not be reached any other way which then leads one to full consciousness and eventual Liberation itself. Hinduism works with the concept of God, gods, goddesses and soul with mantra, meditation, scripture, ceremony, dance, music and at times ascetics. Hinduism cultivates Bliss, Knowledge and Union with the divine.
Jain traditions are about purification. The Jain do not mention God very much in their practices but do spend much of their cultivation enriching the experience of soul. As one sins, their soul is darkened and this effects one's personality and Karma. When one does good, light is increased from the soul and so increases wisdom, good Karma and love from others. The Jain have by far the greatest and most intricate knowledge concerning Karma. The Jain practice helps one to purify from past mistakes through ascetic practices. Meditation, prayer and mantra repetition are also employed in this purification process. When one is finally purified, they are Liberated.
Posted by Star the magic vegan at 02/02/17 01:31:00Om Navhindu Om,
Modern Hinduism is not the world’s oldest religion although it is taught to be such by many Hindu organizations. Prior to today’s version of Hinduism there were many other previous religions which led to the cultural evolution creating today’s Hinduism but they were nothing like Modern Hinduism. Originally there was a Vedic culture centered around the Saraswati river basin in what is now modern Pakistan. The Saraswati river dried up and the people of this region were forced to migrate to the Ganges river banks around 500 BCE. They fused with the indigenous people and this effected their religion. At this time, India was going through a great spiritual renaissance. Mahavira, the leader of the Jain tradition was alive and initiating into a Tirthankara and his concept of Ahimsa affected both the rise of Buddhism and Hinduism, and the Buddha also was alive finding his enlightenment lending meditation to the newly forming Hindu practices. Also, the Upanishads were first being written and taught and being introduced into the synthesis of this newly formatting Hinduism.
Then in the 9th century, four hundred years later, Adi Shankar consolidated the rising new religion from North India from along the banks of the Ganges with esoteric art, gods, Puranas, and ceremonies from South India to officially give birth to what is now understood to be Modern Hinduism. I have heard an interesting Tamil lecture which claims that there was a large Jewish immigration to India a few hundred years before the advent of Adi Shankar and that Adi Shankar was in fact Jewish and therefore he usually is pictured as a white man. I cannot attest to the truth of this but it does make sense. The Tamil scholar who gave this lecture also explained that by stealing away the images of Ganesh and multi armed Shiva Tandava from Tamil tradition also removed the correct historical understanding of these and other ‘gods’ which were in fact symbolic art for Siddhars, not Devas originally.
I also have heard a fascinating lecture on the factual archaeology of India on YouTube by Bhante Sujato titled “Was Buddha a Hindu?” put out by Dhammanet. In this discussion Bhante explains that Buddhism is in fact older than Modern Hinduism. He lists the artifacts and gives all the dates. Interestingly, the Buddha states in the Suttas that his reason for incarnating and becoming a Buddha and teaching the Dharma was because in a past life he was present when the Vedas first were given to man. He saw how they were immediately changed and perverted into an animal sacrifice cult. The Buddha came to reestablish the correct ancient Vedic culture through Buddhism. This then means that Buddhism has a dominant direct link to ancient Vedic culture that may be purer of a connection than Modern Hinduism.
Then we must ask, what is Hinduism? The term ‘Hindu’ is a Persian mispronunciation of the word ‘Sindhu’ meaning river. India was originally called Sapta Sindhu meaning the place of seven rivers. The religion of this region which we call Hinduism is actually called ‘Sanatana Dharma’ or the eternal Dharma in the native language of the people who dwell there. Buddha and Mahavira called their traditions ‘The Dharma’ thus linking the Jain tradition also to the Vedic culture of ancient history. ‘Sanatana Dharma’ is supposed to be free form and non-conformist as each individual finds God on their own terms and binds themselves to proper conduct. The Modern Hindu method of conforming religious practices, Pujaris working for money and temples as tourist centers that raise money is a very new phenomenon.
Posted by jain4jain at 02/10/17 09:45:33Jainism also known as Jain Dharma mainly aims at safety of every life form from the harm of man. It is spiritual, religious and philosophical tradition of Indian. Jains are the follower of Jinas the man who have rediscovered the Dharma and taught the spiritual path for the benefit of Human Beings. In Jainism Moksha is achieved through careful living so that no form of life is harmed.
Hinduism is a religious tradition also known as Sanatana Dharma which is a Sanskrit phrase meaning "the enternal path". It is more about understanding Brahma, existence, from within the Atman, which roughly means "self" or "soul. Following different traditions and rituals still Hinduism has no single founder.
Buddhism is a set of teachings mainly aims at ending of suffering. In Buddhism teachings the deciples are guide to achieve Nirvana experiencing the reality of life with no desires. It is also known as Buddha Dharma or Dharma.
Posted by Star the magic vegan at 02/10/17 21:56:32I agree with jain4jain that these are the stated goals of each religion. I also find jain4jain to be wise and insightful. The reality of these noble religions, however, can often be very different. I don’t want to seem too sarcastic, but there truly is another side of each religion. This is why I support the reformation and unification of these three religions under a vegan banner.
Jain Dharma does aim at the safety for every life form but they do practice ascetics. Many Jain monastics have fasted to death, have employed self-torture and self-torment, and even to this day Jain monastics pull their hair out to be clean in appearance rather than shaving. Also, I have been to opulent Jain Temples. All the marble, plastic, wood, metal, and other resources show that although the Jain seek to be ecological, they are not completely free from consuming at the expense of other sentient beings eco systems. I do agree, however that the Jains do seek to benefit humanity under Jain Dharma, but if you talk with Hindu Tamil people of South India, the Jain are busily deculturing their region of its authentic historic religion. Many non-Jain practitioners of Indian descent see the Jain as rich, greedy, ethnocentric factory plant owners who refuse to get their hands dirty and do their own agriculture. Indeed, because Jain philosophy looks down upon farming due to the inherent killing of insects and microorganisms through the disturbing of soil through tilling, they usually relegate this work to the Hindus and others.
Hinduism is indeed Sanatana Dharma as correctly explained by jain4jain. However, most Hindus would disagree that it is about Brahma realization through Atman. This way of approaching Hinduism is but one method and there are countless methods. Many are realizing Krishna, Vishnu, Venkatesh, Sai Baba, Gurudev, Shiva, Ganesh, Murugan, Shakti and countless other forms of the divine. The Atman is one vehicle, but devotion or Bhakti, service or Karma Yoga, submission or Hatha Yoga, breath or Pranayama Yoga are but a few of the countless other methods besides Atman Samadhi or Atman consciousness. Although Sanatana Dharma claims to be the eternal path which it may well be, historians can easily date it. See my above statement for a good historical reference.
Also, if the Hindu were dedicated to ‘understanding existence’ as jain4jain suggests, India would not be so criminal, so polluted, and so diseased. If India cared about existence, the Hindu dominated government would never have ruled to destroy the most sacred Yamuna river by filling it with New Delhi’s waste, turning it into one of the world’s most polluted rivers; one glass of Yamuna water was reported to have killed two devotees worshiping Krishna. If Hindus wanted to understand existence, they would not have demanded the self-immolation of widows, the emergence of a begging caste that frequently amputates its children to provide better begging revenues and Hindus would provide clean water and good sewage in India for its citizens who can still be seen going to the bathroom in street gutters.
I agree that Buddha Dharma is also supposed to be about the ending of suffering as claimed by jain4jain but it is not always as it is supposed to appear. To end their suffering, I have seen Taiwanese and Tibetan monastics ride in Rolls Royce and other luxury cars, live in palatial religious compounds, travel the world in first class or private jets and helicopters and run up big restaurant bills; simply Nirvana. Of course, they have no desire as they leave for their mountain top private retreat center to study in the regal library and eat exotic foods.