Fundamental differences between the Bhagavad Gita and Buddhism

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posted on Nov, 13 2012 @ 08:38 AM
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Fundamental differences between the Bhagavad Gita and Buddhism

Buddhism teaches that life is suffering, caused by cravings, which can be eliminated or removed through the eightfold path of wisdom, morality, and understanding. The general attitude of Buddhism is to not cling, to hold neither eternalist nor annihilationist view, and to essentially drop like a pebble through the waters of life, until the bottom, nirvana, is reached. Nirvana is the destruction of rebirth and defilements, a holy and enlightened state that can be reached in this life, and at death, permanently.

Comparatively, the Bhagavad Gita is about a crucial moment in life, a battle, where the warrior Arjuna feels defeated and unmotivated to fight because his enemies are his family, so either way he feels he will lose, either he will die or he must kill his family. Krishna, the personification of the Godhead, tells Arjuna that he speaks sincerely but his words have no cause, as the Self is eternal, incapable of slaying or being slain, indeed Krishna tells Arjuna that all these warriors are already dead, for they are all subject to the laws of time, whereas the Self is eternal and free from this delusion. Krishna tells Arjuna to fight, either win and conquer the earth, or lose and attain heaven, but either way one must not hesitate to fight. Indecision is caused by selfish desires, which Krishna stresses are hidden within. By performing service for the world, one can act with the benefit of all creatures, thereby imitating the divine act. Krishna diverts from the battlefield to discuss yoga with Arjuna, which he calls perfect stillness of mind, complete absorption with the Self. Ultimately the battle is an inner battle, in which the external enemies are far less dangerous than the hidden enemies within the mind.

So you can see how both Buddhism and Hinduism share a view of the world as like an illusion or lower state of consciousness, the main difference being Buddhism teaches withdrawal from life in meditation, whereas the Bhagavad Gita stresses the need for constant action, even fighting, to promote the wellness of the world. He who shirks from action is deluded by the laws of nature and thinks they are the doer. By succumbing to the three levels of personality, high (sattvic), middle (rajasic), and low (tamas), one forgets that the Self is all. This stands in contrast to Buddhism which views the all as aggregates, impermanent and subject to suffering.

In Buddhism, everything is suffering, according to the Bhagavad Gita, everything is the beauty of the creator. In Buddhism, enlightenment is a state much like death, freedom from both suffering and joy, whereas with the Gita heaven is attainable on earth through one pointed meditation. Absorption with the Godhead is better than even heaven, better than the accumulation of all earthly desires, because it is unity with that which is eternally real.

There are many similarities between the two. Both state that cravings are the cause of pain, but the Gita states that selfish cravings are the enemy of the Self, but right cravings bring about joy. Both teach a path of righteousness, meditation, morality, and compassion. Buddhism is about discovering the truth by one's own means, the Gita says to discover truth by your own dharma and no one else's, and that the knowledge of the supreme is the highest truth.

Buddhism decries against eternalist views, but the Gita embraces eternalism. The ultimate goal of Buddhism is paranirvana, a state obtained at death by which rebirth is stopped, and in life, a state beyond feelings, cravings, or consciousness. The ultimate goal of the Gita is unity with all things, friendliness with all creatures, a service to all, and remembrance of the supreme.

Thanks for reading. Questions? Answers?




posted on Nov, 13 2012 @ 11:26 AM
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Originally posted by filosophia
Fundamental differences between the Bhagavad Gita and Buddhism

Buddhism teaches that life is suffering, caused by cravings, which can be eliminated or removed through the eightfold path of wisdom, morality, and understanding. The general attitude of Buddhism is to not cling, to hold neither eternalist nor annihilationist view, and to essentially drop like a pebble through the waters of life, until the bottom, nirvana, is reached. Nirvana is the destruction of rebirth and defilements, a holy and enlightened state that can be reached in this life, and at death, permanently.

Comparatively, the Bhagavad Gita is about a crucial moment in life, a battle, where the warrior Arjuna feels defeated and unmotivated to fight because his enemies are his family, so either way he feels he will lose, either he will die or he must kill his family. Krishna, the personification of the Godhead, tells Arjuna that he speaks sincerely but his words have no cause, as the Self is eternal, incapable of slaying or being slain, indeed Krishna tells Arjuna that all these warriors are already dead, for they are all subject to the laws of time, whereas the Self is eternal and free from this delusion. Krishna tells Arjuna to fight, either win and conquer the earth, or lose and attain heaven, but either way one must not hesitate to fight. Indecision is caused by selfish desires, which Krishna stresses are hidden within. By performing service for the world, one can act with the benefit of all creatures, thereby imitating the divine act. Krishna diverts from the battlefield to discuss yoga with Arjuna, which he calls perfect stillness of mind, complete absorption with the Self. Ultimately the battle is an inner battle, in which the external enemies are far less dangerous than the hidden enemies within the mind.

So you can see how both Buddhism and Hinduism share a view of the world as like an illusion or lower state of consciousness, the main difference being Buddhism teaches withdrawal from life in meditation, whereas the Bhagavad Gita stresses the need for constant action, even fighting, to promote the wellness of the world. He who shirks from action is deluded by the laws of nature and thinks they are the doer. By succumbing to the three levels of personality, high (sattvic), middle (rajasic), and low (tamas), one forgets that the Self is all. This stands in contrast to Buddhism which views the all as aggregates, impermanent and subject to suffering.

In Buddhism, everything is suffering, according to the Bhagavad Gita, everything is the beauty of the creator. In Buddhism, enlightenment is a state much like death, freedom from both suffering and joy, whereas with the Gita heaven is attainable on earth through one pointed meditation. Absorption with the Godhead is better than even heaven, better than the accumulation of all earthly desires, because it is unity with that which is eternally real.

There are many similarities between the two. Both state that cravings are the cause of pain, but the Gita states that selfish cravings are the enemy of the Self, but right cravings bring about joy. Both teach a path of righteousness, meditation, morality, and compassion. Buddhism is about discovering the truth by one's own means, the Gita says to discover truth by your own dharma and no one else's, and that the knowledge of the supreme is the highest truth.

Buddhism decries against eternalist views, but the Gita embraces eternalism. The ultimate goal of Buddhism is paranirvana, a state obtained at death by which rebirth is stopped, and in life, a state beyond feelings, cravings, or consciousness. The ultimate goal of the Gita is unity with all things, friendliness with all creatures, a service to all, and remembrance of the supreme.

Thanks for reading. Questions? Answers?


Interesting but when you come out on the other side the differences will not from my point of view matter. The road to choose is up to the student and the student should choose the road that is more compatible with the student. In the end you will still reach the same end where faith no longer is that important. Even from the Muslim and Christian faith but that is not a road I would have chosen for myself because it seems to be a very hard road to master
.
edit on 13-11-2012 by LittleByLittle because: Spellchecking



posted on Nov, 13 2012 @ 06:15 PM
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Originally posted by filosophia
The ultimate goal of Buddhism is paranirvana, a state obtained at death by which rebirth is stopped, and in life, a state beyond feelings, cravings, or consciousness. The ultimate goal of the Gita is unity with all things, friendliness with all creatures, a service to all, and remembrance of the supreme.

Thanks for reading. Questions? Answers?


Sounds like a whole lot of clinging to conventions. How is one liberated when he is trying to escape birth and death? These great teachers were speaking of the unspeakable. To see the world as it is, no mind on things and no things on mind, is the buddha mind.

Buddhism can be described as Hinduism stripped for export.
edit on 13-11-2012 by Eternium because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 13 2012 @ 11:16 PM
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True Buddhism doesn't teach a thing....it's not supposed to. It instead opens your awareness to reality.
edit on 13-11-2012 by Visitor2012 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 03:40 AM
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No teacher can teach you to be what you are.
You cannot 'practice' being what you are.
edit on 14-11-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 03:47 AM
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Hi OP,

I have taken jewels of wisdom from both belief systems and applied them to my life in a positive manner.
The truth is that what is important when choosing a system in which to place your faith, is to find one that fills you with the most loving energy. Love is the core of any good belief system and if we find one to fill us with this healing and nourishing wonder then in my opinion we are on the right path.




posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 03:51 AM
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reply to post by BlavatskyChannel
 


All systems (of belief) are traps.
Only truth shall set you free.
edit on 14-11-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 04:24 AM
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Originally posted by Itisnowagain
reply to post by BlavatskyChannel
 


All systems (of belief) are traps.
Only truth shall set you free.
edit on 14-11-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)


Well said =)

Not that Buddhism or Hinduism could accurately be considered belief systems, however. As the OP describes, there do seem to be a few "teachings" ('life is suffering' vs 'life is to experience the moment'), but they both have a central focus on self-contemplation, which is the neccesary backbone of any search for truth.



posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 04:33 AM
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reply to post by Son of Will
 


Humans 'believe' all sorts of things that are not true. So 'belief' has to go and 'truth' must be found.
Truth does not need finding because there is no where to go to find it. It is here now as presence.

Humans seek and it is the seeking that is the separation from what is. 'What is' is what completes you.

The only teaching should be to teach you what is not true - to remove delusion.
edit on 14-11-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 06:16 AM
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Originally posted by Itisnowagain
reply to post by BlavatskyChannel
 


All systems (of belief) are traps.
Only truth shall set you free.
edit on 14-11-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)


Believing that only truth will set you free is a system of belief


Not every system of belief is a trap, some are in fact liberators..
edit on 14-11-2012 by BlavatskyChannel because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 06:17 AM
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Originally posted by BlavatskyChannel

Originally posted by Itisnowagain
reply to post by BlavatskyChannel
 


All systems (of belief) are traps.
Only truth shall set you free.
edit on 14-11-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)


Believing that only truth will set you free is a system of belief


The truth does not have to be 'believed'.
The truth IS.

A prison cell can be decorated to make it more comfortable with belief but only when you walk out the door will you be free.
edit on 14-11-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 06:18 AM
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Originally posted by Itisnowagain

Originally posted by BlavatskyChannel

Originally posted by Itisnowagain
reply to post by BlavatskyChannel
 


All systems (of belief) are traps.
Only truth shall set you free.
edit on 14-11-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)


Believing that only truth will set you free is a system of belief


The truth does not have to be 'believed'.
The truth IS.
edit on 14-11-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)


yet you believe it shall set you free..?



posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 06:20 AM
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I am free.
edit on 14-11-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 06:21 AM
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Originally posted by Itisnowagain
I am free.
edit on 14-11-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)


So you believe you are free..



posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 06:21 AM
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reply to post by BlavatskyChannel
 


The truth set 'me' free.



posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 06:22 AM
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Originally posted by Itisnowagain
reply to post by BlavatskyChannel
 


The truth set 'me' free.


Well im glad you believe in something



posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 06:24 AM
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reply to post by BlavatskyChannel
 


You believe you are not free.



posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 06:25 AM
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Originally posted by Itisnowagain
reply to post by BlavatskyChannel
 


You believe you are not free.


you believe, i believe i am not free..



posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 06:27 AM
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reply to post by BlavatskyChannel
 


I don't believe anything.



posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 06:28 AM
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Originally posted by Itisnowagain
reply to post by BlavatskyChannel
 


I don't believe anything.


(Believe)
To have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so: Only if one believes in something can one act purposefully.





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