Hinduism, Jainism, And Sikhism Essay, Research Paper
Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism are religions within the Indian vision. They all are similar, but the differences are easily visible. Sikhism, being the newest of the three, is unity of the other religions and includes many of the same beliefs and customs. Hinduism is the basis for both Jainism and Sikhism. Being the oldest religion of India it is considered building block for those that which have followed. Jainism is the middle of the three religions. It was a modification of the original Hindu religion and also part of the building block of the Sikhism religion. By comparing the three major religions of India we can begin to see the distinct similarities and dissimilarities.
Hindus believe in four different Gods; Brahma, the creator of everything, Vishnu the preserver, Shiva the destroyer, and Krishna and Rama the avatars and incarnations of Vishnu. The main beliefs of the Hindu religion include; Karma the good and bad deeds which ultimately create man’s destiny, Maya the world and space around us as a divine illusion, Atman-Brahman the divine absolute in all of us, and Punar-Janman the reincarnation of people from past lives. There are four ways for an individual to gain salvation. Jnana Yoga for the intellectual person in which salvation is found in the way of knowledge, Karma Yoga for the active people in which salvation is found by action, Bhakti Yoga where devotion is the way to salvation, and Rajah Yoga in which the way of integration is for the experimental person.
Hinduism has four distinct stages of life. The first is the stage of the student, which includes the time from initiation to marriage. Householder is the second stage in which marriage brings responsibilities to the family and to the community. Retirement, the third stage, is when the burden is relieved and duties are lessened. Fourthly Sanyasin in which the final spiritual quest is taken, and the renunciation of your possessions occurs. The goals of true devotion and life are Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. Dharma is the responsibilities and virtues in your life. Artha is the attainment of material possessions, wealth and power. Kama is the artistic love for both pleasure and joy, and Moksha is the salvation and final release through both discipline and devotion.
There are over three million devotees to Jainism. The beliefs include Jiva, the soul of everything in the universe. All of our souls are infinite, but we are restricted by the weight of the body. Karma, the buildup of selfishness that helps limit our souls. Reincarnation, the belief in the return of our souls in karma back to the earth. Nirvana, the freedom of the soul achieved by relieving the selfish manner. Lastly, Ahimsa, the belief in peace of all living animals living together in harmony. This is the main focus of the religion, not injuring any living being.
The four sources of Karma in Jainism are; the want of food, clothing, sex, and other material possessions, the giving in to anger, pride, deceit, and greed, speaking or acting in profane forms, and holding false beliefs. The three ways to salvation are knowledge, knowing the Jain creed, faith, believing the Jain creed, and conduct, following the Jain creed. Monks practice non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, chastity, and indifference. Which means they promise not to kill any living thing, not to speak evil, not to take, not to relate to sex, human, animal, or gods, and not to indulge in pain or pleasure of the senses.
The newest of all religions, Sikhism, have beliefs similar to both Hinduism and Jainism. Sikhism has six main beliefs; brotherhood and sisterhood of all people, allegiance to no religion, only allegiance to the creator of all creation, Sat Nam : Truth is his name, God is worshipped by all true religions and mystics, and God is worshipped in various ways and names. The restriction of extra martial sex, meat, tobacco, alcohol, and other intoxicants are all practiced by devotees of Sikhism. The belief that the way of life, or dharma, is set forth by the Sikh religion. A Sikh should rise three hours before the sun and bathe and meditate with God’s name. Also, they should repeat God’s name with every breath they take. A Sikh should thing of others before himself, work hard, and be honest in all of his dealings. The five K’s of Sikhims are; Kesh, Kanga, Katchera, Kara, and Kirpan. Kesh is the idea of uncut hair and beard as a sign of spiritual awareness. Kanga is the idea to properly groom ones body. Katchera is the reminder of chastity. Kara is the commitment to signify truth. Karpan is the sword to protect the poor, weak, and the innocent. The Sikhs believe in a “community kitchen” in which all people, regardless of religion, gender, or race, set together on the floor, to show equality, and eat. Considering that Sikhism is the youngest religion in the world, they have a large number of devotees ranging above the fifteen million mark.