Taoism Vs Buddhism Essay Research Paper Taoism

Taoism Vs. Buddhism Essay, Research Paper

Taoism and Buddhism are the two great philosophical and spiritual traditionsthat originated in China. Taoism began the 6th century BCE. Buddhism came toChina from India around the 2nd century of the Common Era. These tworeligions have shaped Chinese life and idea for about 25 hundredyears. One dominant construct in Taoism and Buddhism is the belief in some formof reincarnation. The thought that life does non stop when 1 dies, is an integralpart of these faiths and the civilization of the Chinese people. Reincarnations, life after decease, and beliefs are non standardized. Each faith has adifferent manner of using this construct to its beliefs. This paper will discussthe reincarnation constructs as they apply to Taoism and Buddhism, and thenprovide a comparing of both.

The end in Taoism is to accomplish Tao, to happen & # 8220 ; the Way & # 8221 ; . Tao is theultimate world, a presence that existed before the existence was formed andwhich continues to steer the universe and everything in it. Tao is sometimesidentified as & # 8220 ; the Mother & # 8221 ; , or the beginning of all things. The sourceis non a God or a supreme being, as Taoism is non monotheistic. The focal point isnot to idolize one God, but alternatively to come into harmoniousness with Tao. Tao is theessence of everything that is right, and complications exist merely becausepeople choose to perplex their ain lives. Desire, aspiration, celebrity, andselfishness are seen as hinderances to a harmonious life. One can merely achieveTao if he rids himself of all desires. By eschewing every earthly distraction, the Taoist is able to concentrate on the ego. The longer the individual & # 8217 ; s life, the more saintly the individual is presumed to go. Finally the hope is tobecome immortal, to accomplish Tao, to make the deeper life. This is the hereafter for a Taoist, to be in harmoniousness with the existence, and to hold achievedTao. The beginning of the word Tao can explicate the relationship between life, andthe Taoism construct of life and decease. The Chinese character for Tao is acombination of two characters that represent the words as caput and pes. Thecharacter for pes represents the thought of a individual & # 8217 ; s way or way. Thecharacter for caput represents the thought of witting pick. The character forhead besides suggests a beginning, and pes, an stoping. Thus the character for Taoalso conveys the go oning class of the existence, the circle of heaven andearth. Finally, the character for Tao represents the Taoist thought that theeternal Tao is both traveling and unmoving. The caput in the character means thebeginning, the beginning of all things, or Tao itself, which ne’er moves orchanges ; the pes is the motion on the way. Taoism upholds the belief in thesurvival of the spirit after decease. Taoist believes birth is non a beginning, and decease is non an terminal. There is an being without bound. There iscontinuity without a starting point. Using reincarnation theory to Taoism isthe belief that the psyche ne’er dies, a individual & # 8217 ; s psyche is ageless. In thewritings of the Lao-Tzu Te-Tao Ching, Tao is described as holding existed beforeheaven and Earth. Tao is formless, it stands entirely without alteration and reacheseverywhere without injury. The Taoist is told to utilize the visible radiation that is indoors torevert to the natural clarity of sight. By depriving oneself of all externaldistractions and desires, merely so can one accomplish Tao. In ancient yearss aTaoist that had transcended birth and decease, achieved Tao, was said to hold cutthe Thread of Life. In Taoism, the psyche or spirit does non decease at decease. Thesoul is non born-again, it merely migrates to another life. This procedure, theTaoist version of reincarnation, is repeated until Tao is achieved. Thefollowing interlingual rendition from the Lao-Tzu Te-Tao Ching summarizes the theorybehind Tao and how a Taoist can accomplish Tao. The Great Tao flows everyplace. Itmay travel left or right. All things depend on it for life, and it does non turnaway from them. It accomplishes its undertaking, but dies non claim recognition for it. Itclothes and feeds all things but does non claim to be maestro over them. Alwayswithout desires, it may be called the little. All things come to it and it doesnot master them ; it may be called the Great. Therefore ( the sage ) ne’er striveshimself for the great, and thereby the great is achieved. & # 8211 ; ( Te-Tao Ching, Chapter 34 )

The followings of the Buddha believe that life goes on and on in manyreincarnations or metempsychosiss. The ageless hope for all followings of Buddha isthat through reincarnation one comes back into in turn better lives -until one achieves the end of being free from hurting and agony and nothaving to come back once more. This wheel of metempsychosis, known as Samsara, goes onforever until one achieves Nirvana. The Buddhist definition of Nirvana is & # 8221 ; the highest province of religious cloud nine, as absolute immortality throughabsorption of the psyche into itself, but continuing individuality. & # 8221 ; Birthis non the beginning and decease is non the terminal. This rhythm of life has nobeginning and can travel on everlastingly without an terminal. The ultimate end for everyBuddhist, Nirvana, is to carry through entire enlightenment and release. Byachieving this end, one can be liberated from the ne’er stoping unit of ammunition of birth, decease, and metempsychosis. Transmigration, the Buddhist rhythm of birth, decease, andrebirth, does non affect the reincarnation of a spirit, but merely the rebirthof a consciousness incorporating the seeds of good and evil workss. Buddhism & # 8217 ; sworld of transmigration encompasses three phases. The first phase concerns withdesire, which goes against the instructions of Buddha. It is the lowest signifier andinvolves a metempsychosis into snake pit. The 2nd phase is one in which animalsdominate. But after many reincarnations in this phase the spirit becomes moreand more human, until one attains a deeper religious apprehension. At thispoint the Buddhist bit by bit begins to abandon philistinism and seek acontemplative life. In the 3rd phase, the Buddhist is able to set his self-importance tothe side and go pure spirit, holding no perceptual experience of the stuff world.This phase requires one to travel from perceptual experience to non-perception. And so, through many phases of religious development and legion reincarnations, theBuddhist reaches the province of Nirvana. The passage from one phase toanother, or the patterned advance within a phase is based on the actions of theBuddhist. All actions are merely the show of idea, the will of adult male. Thisis caused by the individual s character, and character is manufactured from karma.Karma means action or making. Any sort of knowing action, such as mental, verbal or physical action, is regarded as karma. All good and bad actionsconstitute karma. A individual & # 8217 ; s karma determines what he deserves and what goalscan be achieved. What the Buddhist does in his past life determines his presentstanding in life and that determines his following life. Buddha developed a doctrineknown as the Fo

ur Noble Truths based on his experience and inspiration aboutthe nature of life. These truths are the footing for all schools of Buddhism. Thefourth truth describes the manner to get the better of personal desire through theEightfold Path. Buddha called his way the Middle Way, because it lies betweena life of luxury and a life of poorness. Not everyone can make the end ofNirvana, but every Buddhist is at least on the way toward enlightenment. Toachieve Nirvana the Buddhist must follow the stairss of the Eightfold Path. Step1: “Right Understanding” is cognition of what life is all about ; cognition of the Four Noble Truths is basic to any farther growing as aBuddhist. It includes the true apprehension of ourselves, of our existent motivations, of our hopes and frights, enviousnesss and hates. Measure 2: “Right Thought”is those ideas that are free from lecherousness, organize ill-will, and from inhuman treatment. It meansa clear devotedness to being on the Path toward Enlightenment. Measure 3: “RightSpeech” involves both lucidity of what is said and talking kindly andwithout maliciousness. It avoids rough linguistic communication and foolish talk. It is the speechwhich is true, sort, efficacious and to the point. Step 4: “RightAction” involves reflecting on one’s behaviour and the grounds for it. Italso involves five basic Torahs of actions for Buddhists: non to kill, steal, prevarication, drink alcohols, or commit sexual discourtesies. “Kill non, forpity -sake, and lest ye remain The meanest thing upon its upward manner. Give freelyand receive, but take from none By greed, or force, or fraud, what is his own.Bear non false informant, slander non, nor prevarication ; Truth is the address of inwardpurity. Shun drugs and imbibe which work the humor maltreatment ; Clear minds, cleanbodies need no Soma Juice. Touch non thy neighbour s married woman, neither commit Sinsof the flesh, improper and unfit.” ( Light of Asia ) Measure 5: “RightLivelihood” involves taking an business that keeps an person on thePath ; that is, a way that promotes life and good being, instead than theaccumulation of a batch of money. It would except the professions of soldier, fisherman, huntsman, or any profession that kills, injuries or promotes the hurtingof any life being. Measure 6: “Right Effort” is the attempt to avoidwrong conditioning factors. It means developing the will and controling selfishpassions and wants. It besides means puting oneself along the Path towardEnlightenment. Measure 7: “Right Mindfulness” implies go oning self-examinationand consciousness. “Irrigators lead the Waterss ; Fletchers manner the shafts ; Carpenters bend the wood ; The wise control themselves.” “When a wiseman, established good in virtuousness, Develops consciousness ( heedfulness ) andunderstanding, Then ardent and perspicacious He succeeds in extricating thistangle.” Measure 8: “Right Concentration” is the concluding end to beabsorbed into a province of Nirvana. It is the sort of mental concentration whichis presented in every wholesome province of consciousness, and therefore isaccompanied by at least Right Thought, Right Effort and Right Mindfulness.Compliance to the way does non vouch making Nirvana, but it is the onlypath that leads to Nirvana. Merely by following this way, a Buddhist could havea opportunity to make enlightenment, to liberate oneself from the uninterrupted unit of ammunitions ofbirth, decease and metempsychosis, to hold reached the ultimate end — to be absorbedinto a province of Nirvana.

The intent in both Taoism and Buddhism is to make the ultimate end, totranscend life on Earth as a physical being, and to accomplish harmoniousness with natureand the existence. The ultimate end for both faiths is to achieveimmortality. The Taoist called this ultimate end Tao, while the Buddhist seeksNirvana. The followings of both faiths believe there is an being beyondlife that can be achieved following the right way or behaviour. The way to Taoand Nirvana are similar, yet different. Both believe that there is an InnerLight, which guides a individual in the right way to the ultimate goal.Personal desires must be forsaken in order for the Inner Light to steer aperson to accomplish ageless cloud nine. The learning sing the Inner Light is justas prominent in the Taoist schools as it is among the patterns of Buddhism.The Inner Light construct is similar, but the existent way is different betweenTaoism and Buddhism. The way toward enlightenment for the Buddhist was definedby Buddha in his Octuple Path. The Buddhist can merely make Nirvana byfollowing this way. On the other manus, the way to Tao is single, it comesfrom within. No 1 can specify a way for the Taoist, it must come from theInner Light. Tao means Way, but in the original and wining manuscripts nodirect way is explored or expounded. Desire, aspiration, celebrity, and selfishnessare seen as complications. That thought is consistent with Buddhist instructions ; itis the personal life of each person that gives Taoism its particular form.Taoism and Buddhism perceive life, decease and metempsychosis as a uninterrupted cycle.This rhythm has no beginning and no terminal. The psyche is ageless, yet the psyche isnot the object of reincarnation. Taoist believes the psyche is non born-again, it & # 8221 ; migrates to another life. & # 8221 ; Buddhist besides believes the psyche is notreborn, but alternatively a & # 8220 ; consciousness incorporating the seeds of good and evildeeds & # 8221 ; is the object of metempsychosis. One major difference between Taoism andBuddhism is the construct of karma. Karma refers to the thought that actions are thedisplay of idea, the will of adult male. Karma determines the Buddhist actions andposition in life. A individual & # 8217 ; s karma limits the ends that he can accomplish. Karmadetermines where in the rhythm of birth, decease and rebirth the consciousnessreturns. This return can be in the signifier of an animate being or human, and the Buddhistmust advancement through a hierarchy to accomplish Nirvana. The Taoist has no conceptsimilar to karma, and Taoism does non advert the psyche migrating to an animalform. The finding factor to one & # 8217 ; s life is contained in the individualbehavior for the Taoist. By abandoning personal desires in life, and by focusingon the ego, one can populate longer. Finally, by following the Inner Light, immortality can be achieved. The similarities between Taoism and Buddhism inthe belief of life after decease far outweigh the differences. Both religionsbelieve the person must concentrate on the ego to accomplish the ultimate end. Tofocus on oneself, all desires and personal aspirations must be forsaken. One mustfocus on the ego and the proper manner of life to make immortality. The rhythm oflife continues indefinitely until the Thread of Life is broken. Merely throughproper life, and by following the right way guided by the Inner Light, canone achieve the ultimate end of Tao or Nirvana.


Robert G. Henricks, & # 8220 ; Lao-Tzu Te-Tao Ching Translated. With anintroduction and commentary & # 8221 ; , The Bodley Head, London, 1989. Dolly Facter,

& # 8220 ; The Doctrine of Buddha & # 8221 ; , Philosophical Library Inc. , NY, 1965.

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