Hindu and Buddhist Theories on Human Nature Analytical Essay by Nicky

Hindu and Buddhist Theories on Human Nature
An analysis of both the Hindu and the Buddhist theories of human nature and their implications.
# 148883 | 1,820 words | 4 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Nov 12, 2011 in Religion and Theology (Buddhism) , Religion and Theology (Eastern)

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The paper discusses the concepts of man within Hinduism and Buddhism and points out that they are similar and comparable in that they both hold that man is capable of reaching perfection. The paper explains that the difference appears to lie in the fact that within Buddhism, man approaches perfection in a step-by-step process, while in Hinduism the individual has a 'lightbulb' moment in their life during which they suddenly become aware of higher ways and the need to embrace them.

Buddhism and Human Nature
Hinduism and Human Nature
Summary and Conclusion

From the Paper:

"Coward (2008) writes of Hinduism and human nature that ideas of human nature in the early Vedic hymns "are embedded in mythic and ritualistic contexts. In the early Vedas humans are treated as more earthly and temporal beings than in the later Upanishads and subsequent Hindu thought." (p.126)
"Humans are referred to in the Vedi hymns by the terms 'purusa' (person), 'atman' (breath), and 'jiva' (life)." However in the Rig Veda 'jiva' is used in designating a 'breathing being' and the term 'atman' "is used in a cremation prayer to Agni in which the self (atman) is seen to be different from the body." (Coward, 2008, p.126)
"The Hindu belief holds human beings as being supreme over other animals and it is held that the intelligence of the human as well as the ability of the human to "know the future" which leads to "a desire for moksa or freedom from worldly limitations." (Coward, 2008, p.126) Humans are superior to animals because of their capacity to "understand and act according to the requirements of dharma" and that it is this as well that enables the human being to achieve perfection.
"An optimistic view is offered by the Upanishads in regards to the perfection capacity of human nature. The moksa has as its goal to "become the perfect person that underneath the obscuring karma one already is. The goal of one's spiritual quest, which may extend over several lifetimes, is to find the atman, the true Self within." (Coward, 2008, p. 126)"

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Brahmeshananda, Swami (nd) The Nature of Man According to Hinduism. Nature of Man - Understanding Hinduism. Online available at: http://www.hinduism.co.za/natureof.htm
  • Coward, H.G. (2008) The Perfectibility of Human Nature in Eastern and Western Thought. SUNY press 2008.
  • Hadley, M.L. (2001) The Spiritual Roots of Restorative Justice. SUNY Press, 2001.
  • Wallace, A. (2003) Buddhism & Science: Breaking New Ground. Columbia University Press 2003.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Hindu and Buddhist Theories on Human Nature (2011, November 12) Retrieved June 02, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/hindu-and-buddhist-theories-on-human-nature-148883/

MLA Format

"Hindu and Buddhist Theories on Human Nature" 12 November 2011. Web. 02 June. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/hindu-and-buddhist-theories-on-human-nature-148883/>