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Compare and Contrast Hinduism and Buddhism in Terms of The Road to Happiness

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Achieving peace of mind can be a challenge, but with the right help, this challenge can be easier. The sculpture of Green Tara is one of the sculptures that most caught my attention because it is very easy to relate this sculpture to real life, most people today walk down the street feeling upset or sad and those feelings can often be seen in their actions and most of the time, these actions bother other people and cause a cycle in which they end up having a pretty bad day, so both peace and bad mood are something that is transmitted by others. Green Tara is the help that is used in Buddhism to achieve that inner peace and any feeling that causes pain or discontent. According to Buddhism Green Tara is the representation of ‘liberation’ and it is one of the divinities that can help to free from suffering those who are going through an enormous pain, but this leads us to create a strong connection with one of the very important doctrines of Buddhism called Nirvana which is a cycle extremely difficult to reach because is a state of mind where people can have peace around them and, a cycle in which Green Tara can be very useful. Which is all the opposite in the religion of Hinduism, because Moksha is responsible for giving that liberation and, although in both beliefs there is liberation, they are not seen in the same way. Since in Hinduism, Moksha is a liberation that comes from birth or death totally different in Buddhism, since ‘liberation’ is something that is in the mind. Throughout this compare and contrast essay, we will discover the differences of ‘liberation’ in the beliefs of Hinduism vs Buddhism and what is needed to achieve complete happiness.

Green Tara is a sculpture that is known, was created in the thirteenth century. Its geographical origin is Tibet. The way Green Tara appears to help is very beautiful, since from the beginning we can see her kindness and her desire to help people who are suffering. Its main functions are to help people to free themselves from their suffering and also help them to live a happier life. When she appearce her nobility and willingness to help were very notorious, as the story tells that Green Tara was born from the tears of “Avalokiteshvara”. When they touched the ground they became a beautiful lotus flower from which Green and White Tara were born. Its light green color represents its nobility and patience. Green Tara is sitting on the lotus flower, which in some way represents the sadness and suffering of the people considering that the flower was born of tears of sadness, however the way she is sitting helps to understand that in spite of bad things and the causes of pain, she can help us to get rid of suffering and help us to feel calm. It is very important to understand that the lotus represents more than beauty, but also ‘purity.” There are many Tara of different colors and each color is responsible for helping with something different, but always implies the release of suffering. It is believed that the existence of this divinity has a strong connection with Buddha, but not only that, since she is also known as ‘the mother of the Buddhas”. The connection between Green Tara and Buddha is based on the peace they both have. In some way both share a similar posture of reflection and also have an inner peace with themselves, which is exactly what is desired to be transmitted among human beings. “Buddha, … is shown as a man at peace with himself and the universe”. The liberation of which we speak so much is a state created by ourselves, but is really hard to find the freedom of all the suffering by ourselves. We need the help of divine beings like Tara to achieve what we are looking for. However, the beliefs practiced in Buddhism seem to have the solution to get rid of so much anguish and continue living one day at a time without feeling trapped in suffering.

As human beings we have the habit of being tied to things, people, moments, memories that most of the time end up making us suffer and without realizing that we are creating our own hell, because we can not live a life without ties. Buddhism, it is exactly what is sought by practicing the doctrine known as Nirvana in order to find our ‘happy place’ we must be responsible for our own happiness. I feel that Nirvana it is a doctrine that has a very interesting connection with the sculpture of Green Tara because, Nirvana in a few words is our happy place and Green Tara is responsible for helping us find that place so important and desired by so many people. As I said before Green Tara is the representation of Buddhas and Buddha itself, refers to Nirvana as ‘an image of freedom’. In Buddhism, nirvana is the highest state that a person can reach, since it is the total fulfillment of an achievement as difficult to achieve as the freedom and because is also the end of the bonds that cause the sensation of sadness and pain. According to the way Buddha taught the practice of a doctrine as complete as Nirvana is, the main basis is based on the ability of human beings to ‘let go’ because in ‘letting go freedom is found’. Green Tara is one of the main parts that teaches us and helps us to overcome and understand that nothing is permanent and that happiness is within ourselves. The impermanence of absolutely everything that surrounds us is something that is also involved in Buddhism, the belief of Buddhism implies not clinging to anything because nothing is permanent if the cause of our happiness is based on something that will sooner or later disappear, then our happiness it will also disappear. “Am I suffering stress because I’m holding onto this… Is it really mine?”. There are many questions that require difficult answers, some almost impossible to achieve, but in Nirvana and with the help of Green Tara no answers are needed for something that we can achieve using the power of our mind and be happy for what we are and not for what we have.

Based on Buddhism, permanence is something that simply does not exist, but what about Hinduism, is everything permanent? In Hinduism it is believed that the Samsara cycle is a process by which reincarnation occurs and the actions of that person will be their destiny. If the person during his/her life was ‘good’ then he/she will go to the next cycle called Moksha which means ‘Liberation’ and it will be reincarnated into something good. Something totally different from Buddhism, since they do not believe in the transmigration of souls because nothing is permanent, not even ourselves. Moksha is like a reward that is received after death and after crossing the circle of samsara. However, in Buddhism, Nirvana is something much simpler, since happiness is a state of mind and not something that we get after re-bird. In order to achieve the liberation so longed for in Hinduism, first you have to complete three important steps, which are the following: ‘the paths of knowledge, devotion and action’. The fulfillment of these requirements will be the pass for the person to reincarnation and his/her passage to Moskha to achieve his/her liberation after a long process where it is necessary to meditate, and deal with the damage caused to others during the time of life that this person had. Among other things for which the doctrine of ‘liberation’ in Buddhism is different from Hinduism is because the feeling of liberation and peace seems to be experienced in different ways, for example, in Hinduism ‘there is no joy, only absence of pain’. This only explains how each belief helps in a different way. We learned how the use of the word ‘liberation’ is experienced and achieved in a different way. The important thing at the end of all this is that people can be calm with themselves, regardless of whether their beliefs are seen as a religion or not.

Although some doctrines in Buddhism can be interpreted as religious beliefs, the truth is that Buddhism is not a religion because it does not believe in a single ‘God’; The trajectory of Buddhism is based on people who became divinities who in one way or another are there to help those who need it. “Although the Buddha was a human being”. And like any other human being, Buddha had to face Samsara better known as Rebirth. The cycle of Samsara by which each person after death had to go through reincarnating as many times as necessary until passing from the most miserable animal to someone or something precious that could give peace. In Buddhism ‘everything is connected’ but, in Christianity what is known as ‘the grace that comes from divinity’ in Buddhism, grace comes from ourselves and our good actions to people who really need it. Then it will be our good actions that will help us to continue on the path that leads away from suffering and sadness because, Buddhism is a way of life and each individual decides the way he/she wants to live his/her life. As I said from the beginning, Buddhism is not a religion, because there is not only one God to worship and to whom you give your whole life in Buddhism, it is more important to be happy with yourself by coming to Nirvana, not only to find the ‘happy place” but also to know and understand that just as our suffering is not permanent, nothing in life is permanent. In the real life Buddha and his doctrines teach that “Buddha’s sacred place…we must build within our self and our heart” (Grubin). There is nothing more powerful than us and our beliefs because if we really believe with the heart everything can be possible, we can not have joy without sadness, because as it was said before everything is ‘connected’, it only depends on us to find a connection, and look for the best solution for our early liberation.

Discover new beliefs and ways of life and how everything that happens in our lives is always connected with each other is very surprising. The way in which Buddhism and Hinduism interpret suffering is something that sincerely made me think a lot about the reasons for many of the things we face on a daily basis and many times without understanding why. In Buddhism, Nirvana is something that has me very much in love because it is based on a connection with our inner soul and makes people enter a state in which there is no place for suffering. I must admit that this process helped me a lot to understand these ways of seeing life, since I had no idea of most of the processes that were required to achieve Nirvana or Moksha in full because some of them believed in permanence and others not. Everything became interesting to me since a long time ago I stopped being a religious person but, never stop believing in God. I realize the word religion goes beyond what we can understand and what really matters is to achieve that connection of peace with ourselves.

Work Cited

  1. Bhikkhu, Thanissaro. “Refuge An Introduction to the Buddha, Dhamma, & Sangha.” Vol. 5. Bresnan, Patrick S. “Awakening.” 2016.
  2. Grubin, David. “The Buddha.” Youtube, narrated by Gere, Richard. PBS, 17 September 2015,
  3. Pyysiäinen, Ilkka. “Buddhism, Religion, And The Concept Of ‘God.’” Numen, vol. 50, no. 2, 2003, pp. 147–171.
  4. Shakya, Min Bahadur. The Iconography of Nepalese Buddhism. Vol. 2, Handicraft Association of Nepal, 1999.
  5. Sharma, Arvind. “A Conceptual Introduction.” Classical Hindu Thought, 2001, pp. 1–34.

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