Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Buddhism Versus Greek Mythology Essay
A hu domain being experiences himself, his stamps and feelings as something separated from the quell, a class of visual delusion of his consciousness, state Albert Einstein. Our task must(prenominal)(prenominal) be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our compassion to embrace either living creatures and the consentaneous of personality in its beauty (Heart Quotes). Einsteins take hold of on character is similar to that of Indian Buddhistics. Life-giving Indian abide inspired the Buddhist cyclic view of rebirth while the problematic terrain of Greece inspired their sour wit on temper.Buddhists rely man is unity with re locateation while Grecian mythology emphasizes the entirely-importance of man. Buddhists live in harmony with temper whereas the Greeks show violence to fightds it and either its creatures. However, as the Greek mindset shifted to fightds philosophy, so did it shift towards similar respect towards nature. The defining hard-hittin gion amid these dickens perspectives on conduct is that the outlook on nature of Buddhists show set from the belief that all is in harmony with Atman, whereas the Greek outlook on nature shows that man is to a higher place nature.India is a country of lush plains, physical contact mountains, beautiful deserts, and dazzling bays. 2, 545 years ago, this incredible scenery served as the back state knowledge to Buddhas life and notwithstandingtual Enlightenment, from which Buddhist teachings would iodine(a) day twist (Eckel 6). The impact of Buddhas surroundings on Buddhist thinking is writ large, peculiarly when one takes into consideration Indias dramatic pacifyal climate changes. either summer in India, the monsoons arrive. E precise summer in India is monsoon season, a eon of torrential dumppours raging uninterrupted for months.Before these monsoons, the earth is dried and parch food and water argon scarce. It is, in e rattling way of life, a season of death. The n, however, the rain arrives, harsh and relentless, but life giving nonetheless. The rain is the amnic fluid catalyzing the re-entrance of life unto the barren earth. This annual cycle of death and rebirth presents the native mickle with a dire ultimatum they must either practise nature or non survive. If they try to go against natures course, they will inevitably fail. Nature controls life. Observing this phenomenon, Buddhists soundly-read from nature and agnize that this cycle dissolve be be bothwhere.They realized that humans submit to an equivalent cycle called samsara, or reincarnation. - He could no longer steal the m both vocalizes, the cheerful from the weeping, the childrens from the mens they all belonged together. The coronach of the knowers yearning and laughing, the screaming of the angry, the moaning of the dying- everything was one everything was entwined and entwisted, was interwoven a thousand fold. And all of it together, all voices, all goals, all ye arnings, all sufferings, all plea currents, all good and evil-the man was everything together.Everything together was the river of events, was the music of life. And when Siddhartha listened attentively to this river, listened to this form of a thousand voices, when he did not listen to sorrow or laughter, when he did not bring his soul to all one voice and did not enter them with his ego, but listened to all of them, heard the wholeness, the integrity- then the considerable song of the thousand voices consisted of a single word, which was om perfectionbelonging to the oneness (Hesse 118-119). At the core of Buddhism lies an strategic lesson about maya and Enlightenment. To reach Enlightenment, one must envision all. adept of the first base ill-treats towards such understanding is to understand maya, or illusion. Everything that one sees, feels, and tastes belongs to the world of maya. Even one does not survive but in the world of maya. Thus, if all does not exist, then al l is equal. unrivaled is equal to everything in the surrounding world, especially nature. All ar one in Atman, which is the heart of all of Buddhism. Everything is one. All of this separation from nature and from one some other is simply maya, or an illusion. Consequently, in Buddhism, any hurt done to nature is an injustice to oneself.To reach Enlightenment, relaxation and oneness with nature are essential. Man and nature are one. in that locationfore, everyone and everything, especially nature, should be hardened as so. Siddhartha state, This stone is a stone, it is likewise an animal, it is as well as God, it is also the Buddha, I get laid and honor it not because it would be get in this or that someday, but because of this because it is a stone, because it appears to me now and today as a stone, it is precisely because of this that I love it and see worth and meaning in each of its veins and pits, in the yellow, in the gray, in the hardness, in the sound it emits whe n I tap it,in the dryness or dampness of its sur face.That is precisely what I like and what seems wonderful to me and estimable of worshipI love the stone and the river and all these things that we contemplate and also a tree or a piece of bark. These are things and things can be loved (Hesse 126-127). In harmony with the principle of reincarnation, any plant, creature, or other facial gesture of nature is a part of the cycle of rebirth. Therefore, any of these can one day become a man, for when something in nature dies, it undergoes the cycle of rebirth and can be reborn as anything.One day, it will become a human. Nature holds the ability within itself to be a human and, for that reason, should be considered as an equal. The true magnitude of natures presence in Buddhism is truly portrayed by the distinct mentioning of Siddhartha reaching enlightenment under a tree, specifically the Bodhi tree or the Asiatic fig tree (Gach 16). The scriptural account of the Enlightenment of B uddha gives this importee to nature when Buddha sits under the Bodhi tree for vii whole days.After the seven days, the Buddha gets up unless to sit d bear again at an Ajapala banyan-tree for another length of sequence. He rises once again just to sit down once more at the foot of a Mucalinda tree (Bodhi interchange). Nature is therefore made clear as one of the more or less important aspects of Buddhism. As Buddhists have such a deep reverence for nature, they mean in keeping peace with every aspect of nature. This does not just mean plants but also animals and other living creatures. However, that does not mean that all Buddhists must be vegetarians although it is strongly suggested to do so.It is said that the act of eating meat is a form of karma that will jumper lead a person farther from Enlightenment. Therefore, the more meat one chuck in ones various lives, the more dates one will have to experience the cycle of death and rebirth. On the other hand, some Buddhists believe in another view of meat eating. One is allowed to eat meat that one receives unless one knows or suspects that the meat in question was killed especially for one (Epstein). As far as sacrificial practices, meat is not sacrificed but instead herbs and incense are granted up in prayer.Peace is a very important aspect of treating nature. Peace comes in many a(prenominal) forms peace towards environment, towards creatures, towards man, etc. A Buddhist definition of peace is softening what is rigid in our hearts (Chodron 17). In keeping with their attitude towards nature, Buddhists also believe that a man should not kill another man for any reason. In Buddhism, war is neer the answer. In accompaniment, the first few lines of the Dhammapada, a Buddhist scripture, state For love is not conquered by abhor hate is conquered by love.This is a police eternal (Chappell 81). Therefore, instead of scrap hate with hate, Buddhists believe in contending hate with love. That is the o nly way to overcome and to reach Enlightenment. When someone seeks, said Siddhartha, then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nonentity, to take in nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means having a goal. But decision means being free, being open, having no goal.You, Venerable One, may truly be a seeker, for, in striving toward your goal, you fail to see accredited things that are right under your nose. (Hesse, 121-122) As previously stated, to reach Enlightenment, Buddhists believe all that is needed is understanding. The supreme goal of Buddhists is to attain this understanding, this meaning, this Enlightenment. However, one must be aware that spending a life seeking is not the way to reach Enlightenment. To be a faithful Buddhist, one must understand that the key is not to seek.For, in seeking, as this quote says, the obv ious is not seen. Buddhism then teaches that to reach Enlightenment, one must find not seek. Therefore, Buddhists do not seek to justify nature (Hanh 78). They are national with nature as it is- unexplained, for natures explanations can be plant without seeking. Is this what you mean that the river is everywhere at once, at its source and at its mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the rapids, in the sea ,in the mountains, everywhere at once, and only the present exists for it, and not the shadow of the future? That is it, said Siddhartha. And when I learned that, I looked at my life, and it was also a river and the boy Siddhartha was separated from the large Siddhartha and from the old man Siddhartha only by shadow, not by substance. Nor were Siddharthas earlier births the past, and his death and his return to Atman are no future. Nothing was, nothing will be everything is, everything has being and is present (Hesse 94). A final important aspect of Buddhism is the concept that time does not exist. Time is a synthetic notion that does nothing but bring about worries.All sufferings in life can be attributed to time. Buddhists believe that once the concept of time is released, life will hold no more problems, worries, or stresses. solo then can Enlightenment be truly reached. When the concept of time is destroyed inside oneself, it allows for a completely new philosophy to surface. Greece is a country lined with hostile, jagged mountains, in which there are very few arable location surrounded by threatening seas. There is no cycle, no preconception, no structure. To the antediluvian Greeks, it seemed that nature was not kind nature was no friend to them.Therefore, their logic decided that they should be no friend to nature. Such was the physical and mental location of this people, and the beginning of many differences between Greek thought and Buddhism. Greeks living about six degree Celsius years ere the birth of Christ were very religious, as well as very diverse spiritually. All the answers to their questions were found in different religions. Ancient Greeks passed down their religious traditions orally through myths. A myth is a story about the gods which sets out to explain why life is as it is (Gaarder, 22).Greek mythology was an integral part of Greek shade. The miracle of Greece is a phrase that describes the waking up of Greek culture and its effects on the rest of the world. One way the Greeks accomplished this was through their focus on mans importance. They put mankind at the center of their world so that man was all-important. The Greeks even created the gods in their own image, complete with very human qualities. This was the first time in history that a god was made into a recognizable, substantial form. Erstwhile, gods had no lucidity about them.Greek artists and poets realized how splendid a man could be, straight and swift and strong. He was the fulfillment of their search for beauty. They had no wish to create some fantasy shaped in their own minds (Hamilton, 9). Man was put on a pedestal and made the most(prenominal) prominent being in the world, so that he was made into a deity. Any human could be the son of a god, thereby half-divine, an root unheard of before this time. This idea of man being the ultimate representation is in complete contradiction to Buddhism, where man was equal to nature, not in a higher place it.And soon as the men had prayed and flung the barley, first they lifted back the heads of the victims, pricking their throats, skinned them and carved away the meat from the thighbones and wrapped them in fat, a double fold sliced clean and topped with strips of flesh. And the old man burned these over dried break in wood and over the accommodate poured out glistening wine while young men at his side held five-pronged forks. Once they had burned the bones and tasted the organs they cut the rest into pieces, pierced them with spits, roasted them to a turn and pulled them off the fire (Homer 93)Myths were also utilise for other purposes than learning. But a myth was not only an explanation. people also carried out religious ceremonies related to the myths (Gaarder, 25). Like most other religions at the time, the Ancient Greeks religions consisted of brutal rituals and rites that contrasted largely to the thoughts of Buddhism (Connolly 87). Buddhism teaches of kindness to animals whereas Greek religion utilized animal cruelty as part of their hallowed worship to the gods. The gods of Olympus, who were created in the ultimate image of the Greek people, used the forms of straightforward animals to manipulate and get what they valued.In many instances, Zeus used the simulation of animals when he wanted to catch up with a woman and gain her trust. That very instant Zeus fell madly in love with Europa He thought it well to be cautious, and before appearing to Europa he changed himself into a turd (Hamilton 101). However, alternativel y than setting an example to revere animals, this teaches people to use animals in any way possible to reach the desired end. Even more contrary to Buddhism was the fact that a Greek hero was someone who had extreme authorization or other physical features that he could use against animals.Hercules is one of the outdo examples of this notion. He is considered the ampleest Greek hero ever to live. Through a tragic sequence of events, he killed his sons and wife, but was doomed to live on in order to undergo a series of trials to redeem himself. His first predicament was to kill the lion of Nemea. Hercules solved that by choking the life out of the lion (Hamilton 231). Hercules also had to drive out the Stymphalian birds, which were a plague to the people of Stymphalus because of their enormous numbers (Hamilton 232).This shows that, unlike Buddhists, Greeks could not live in peace with nature, but instead hated nature. Ancient Greeks did not want anything to do with nature, let a lone be a part of it. Hercules also had to capture many animals in these trials such as the stag with horns of gold, a great boar which had its lair on Mount Erymanthus, the savage bull that Poseidon had given Minos, the man-eating mares of King Diomedes of Thrace, the cattle of Geryon, and Cerberus the three-headed dog (Hamilton 232-233).Hercules inspired the Greeks not by staying in peace with nature but instead by forcing it to conform to his will in a harsh, cruel way. Hercules made sure he was above nature, a predicament the Buddhists avoided and even condemned. In summary, Greeks wanted to overcome nature whereas Buddhists wanted to be one with nature. So by the beaked ships the Argives formed for battle, arming round you, Achilles Achilles starved for war-and faced the trojan horse ranks along the plains high groundThe Achaeans kept on gaining glory- great Achilles who held back from the brutal fighting so long had just come blazing forth.Chilling tremors shook the Trojans kn ees, down to the last man, terrified at the sight the headlong runner coming, gleaming in all his gear, aflame(predicate) like man-destroying Ares (Homer 503, 505). As previously stated, Buddhists lived by the doctrine to fight hate with love. If Ancient Greeks had a concise doctrine about war, it would have been to fight hate with more hate. Ancient Greek civilization centralized near their love of carnage. The majority of Ancient Greek myths revolved around war or other forms of fighting.The Iliad is a 537-page myth about one war and it glorifies all aspects of war. The heroes of The Iliad are not monks or The Buddha like in Buddhism. Instead, the heroes of The Iliad are Achilles and Hector, two soldiers magnificent in warfare and bloodthirsty through and through. In addition, Achilles is most illustrious in The Iliad when he is the most sanguinary. Diomedes went whirling into the flagellation now, hacking leave and right and hideous groans broke from the drying Thracians slas hed by the sword-the ground ran red with blood.Tydeus son went tearing into that Thracian camp until hed butchered twelve. But now the son of Tydeus came upon the king, the thirteenth man, and ripped away his life. Patroclus tore Pronouss chest left bare by the shield-rim, loosed his knees and the man went crashing down. Then Patroclus stabbed Thestors right jawbone, ramming the spearhead unbent between his teeth so hard he hooked him by that spearhead over the chariot-rail, hoisted, dragged the Trojan out. Patroclus then gaffed him off his car and flipped him down face first, dead as he fell.Next he flung a contention and it struck between Erylauss eyes and the mans whole skull split in his heavy helmet. Patroclus crowded corpse on corpse on the earth. (Homer, 292, 426-427) Even more horrific to the eyes of Buddhists would be the battle scenes in The Iliad that truly show the awe and glory the ancient Greeks saw in war. The Iliad was a myth that served more as entertainment t han anything else. This shows that Ancient Greeks were divert by this kind of literature. Buddhists believe in not seeking to explain nature. By contrast, Ancient Greeks did precisely this with their myths.A myth is an explanation of something in nature how, for instance, any and everything in the universe came into existence men, animals, this of that tree or flower, the sun, the moon, the stars, storms, eruptions, earthquakes, all that is and all that happens (Hamilton 12). Ancient Greeks wanted to know how everything happened around them so they could manipulate their environment more easily. This is a central division between Ancient Greeks and Buddhism. Whereas Buddhists believe that time does not exist, Ancient Greeks were engrossed by time.All passim The Iliad, Homer stresses how long the war has been going on and how it worries and distresses everyone involved. Unlike Buddhists, the Greeks do not disown the belief of time. They stay true to the traditional celluloid visio n of time instead of throwing out their problems by abandoning the idea of time. The indwelling philosopher Heraclitus (c. 540-480 B. C. ) was from Ephesus in Asia Minor. He thought that constant change, or glow, was in fact the most basic characteristic of nature. Everything flows, said Heraclitus.Everything is in constant liquidize and movement, nothing is abiding. Therefore we cannot step twice into the equivalent river. When I step into the river for the second time, neither I nor the river are the same (Gaarder 34). Slowly, Greek culture started to move away from religion and more towards philosophy. It evolved from a mythological trend of thought to one based on experience and reason (Gaarder 27). People could make ideas for themselves and create new beliefs instead of going back to the myths. The world started a shift from relying on religion to analyzing the world with science and philosophy.Surprisingly, this is where similarities between Greek and Buddhist culture wer e born. At first, the two religions of the ancient Greeks and the Buddhists clashed greatly. However, through the move away from mythical religion the Greek beliefs were brought closer towards the religion of Buddhism. Heraclitus here used the same metaphor for his philosophy as Siddhartha used for his. Although the passages were said in different situations and with different words, both quotes have the same general philosophy that time does not truly exist. A river is usually a sign of separation a river acts as a division in most cases.However, this river brings two very different cultures together in a very powerful way that is clear to all. Nature is everything removed and inside a man or a woman or a child. Nature is every breath taken, every step forward, every glance made, every wind blown, and every flower planted. The two cultures of Greece and Buddhism showed great contrasts in the beginning but one resounding similarity was found in something as simple as a river. Ind ia shows a cyclic weather that inspired the thought of rebirth while Greece shows a harsh terrain that inspired animosity between man and nature.As a consequence, Buddhists thought that nature and man are one while Greeks were taught to be above nature and manipulate it in any way possible. Buddhists lived in ultimate peace while the ancient Greeks lived in love of carnage. The Buddhist outlook on nature is derived from the belief that man is one with nature whereas the master copy Greek outlook is derived from the thought that man is above nature. Nature is the vegetable marrow of the world, the aura of everything around people. These two cultures, although vastly different, impacted human belief and intellect forever.