Monday, December 27, 2010

Moksha: The Core of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism Religion Explained



The Different Conception of Moksha employed respectively in Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism:


Moksha has been mentioned first time in Hinduism religion, and then Jainism religion, later in Buddhism religion. Moksha literally mean was Liberation. But it has a deeper meaning on those three religion, it means “Getting off the Samsara or the wheel of life and accept self-realization”. Before we’re going to talk more about Moksha I have to mentioned to you about samsara, things that you should know, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism religion has a great different view of life and death with the common western religion such as Christianity, Judaism, etc. They do believe in reincarnation or rebirth, in opposite with Christianity which was just believe that the life in this world just one time, once they died they couldn’t rebirth in this world but otherwise will move to heaven or hell. Samsara was the wheel of rebirth, and roughly those three religion (Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism) goal was to getting off from that wheel of rebirth or to achieve Moksha. There are some different perception about why Samsara was occur and how to achieve moksha in Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. First I will talk about Hinduism.

Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma believes that the cause of rebirth was “Karma”. Karma can be translated as Causation; Presupposed reincarnation that determined your current life depends on the act of your previous life. It could be compare like the water on the water wheel, the water wheel was your samsara and the water itself was your karma, once the water stop flowing, the wheel surely will be stop rotating. Karma itself is not in God control, it was more powerful than God and the cause of Karma was highly unfavor. The other thing that is transfer from each of human previous life until the current life was Atman. Atman could be understood as self-capitalized/spiritual self or simply as a soul in other view. Moksha or self-realization in Hinduism brings the really important ideas of that religion itself, the idea that “Atman is Brahman”. Brahman legitimate translate as God but in more wider concept, Brahman was more like everything, one, and universal or the ideas that Brahman is us, all of us was one. Once we totally believe/realized that we are Brahman, we’re gone out of the wheel of life. And there are another requirement to achieve Moksha in Hinduism, they have to be on Brahman stage to be able to get out from samsara. Brahmin. Brahmin was the highest stage of caste system, the social placement/differential system that Hindu people believe and doing on their life.

• Brahmin: The highest in caste system (Priests)
• Rajas: (Noble family, King, etc)
• Shatriyas: (Warriors)
• Vaishas: (Farmers, Merchants, etc)
• Sudra: Slaves, Servants; there is one sub Caste of Sudra: Chandala: (The Untouchables) it was the lowest on the caste system, or you can say the damned one. They can’t be touched by Brahmin, or even on 15 yards distance with Chandala, otherwise Brahmin should do a purification ritual to heal their spiritual condition.

The major Hinduism concept to achieve their spiritual goal or moksha was mentioned in the story of Mahabharata. There is a story in Mahabharata when Prince Arjuna (he was a Rajas Caste) ride a chariot driving by his corporal named Krishna in order to go to war, Arjuna was denied his duty as a rajas, he denied to go to war and kill people, but Krishna remind him that the duty and karma of rajas was to fight, kill, and win the war. Krishna himself was an incarnation of Vishnu (one of Hindu God). The Major message of Mahabharata or the major concept to achieve moksha in Hinduism was self-realization, do your duty as your caste. Caste can’t be denied, there is no way to run from caste, do your duty in your caste and you shall be rebirth in a better caste on your next life.


The second was on Jainism view. Jainism does believe in karma and moksha, but they denied the 2 metaphysical claim of Hinduism, they didn’t believe in any God or divine; just like Mahavira said in Jainism, there is no divine neither Brahman. They believe the universe is not exist (there is no whole). Jainism or translated as Jina Dharma means Dharma of the Conqueror or could be conqueror of Karma, it is similar to Moksha. Jainism didn’t believe and didn’t do the caste system in order to achieve moksha, there is no self-realization for them. It was still Karma which causes them to rebirth, but they do have another view about karma. Karma was not abstract explanation for them. They believe in this world there are Jiva and Ajiva. Jiva can be understood as mind or mindful thing (Like Atman in Hinduism) and Ajiva as No-mind or mindlessness; simply could be understood as mind and matter. And Jainism believes that Karma is mindlessness matter (Ajiva), if Ajiva increase you will have bad karma on your next life. In order to achieve moksha, Jainism do ahimsa (means Non Harm), the duty of human life is do no harm for Jainism. And there is other best method to get rid of karma and achieve moksha, was to do self body denial, like to scars, cut, starve, burn, etc. In Jainism, moksha was a state of God like/illuminati where Karma can’t even reach you anymore.

In Buddhism view, Buddhism believe there is no Brahman too, they still believe in moksha and karma. The roughly concept to achieve moksha in Hinduism is not through the way too extreme like in Jainism (starve, scar, etc) but the way to moksha is the middle way. The reason why Siddhartha Gautama (founding of Buddhism) denied the Jainism teaching because he thought Jainism do Ahimsa (No Harm) to anything but they didn’t practice ahimsa to their self. The Middle Way of Buddha or Buddha Dharma itself taught not showing compassionate only to the others but also show compassionate to yourself. The Main idea of Buddha Four Noble Truth is If unfulfilled desire ceases, suffering ceases, it was like if we hold something more tight enough, we’re going to lose it and it setting up for more suffering, because all life is suffering (To live is to suffer). The Goal to achieve moksha in Buddhism is to become a Buddha and reach Nirvana and the way to become Buddha is with The Middle Way and understand The Four Noble Truth. Once Buddha enter Nirvana or other word getting out of samsara they can’t comeback to the Human World.

- written by B.S. Curiosa -


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1 comment:

  1. you wrote about moksha in jainism do you actually read about jainism.
    by reading your blog I can say that you never read tattvarthasutra and samayasaar
    without reading these books don't write about jainism
    and by the way if you really want to know about karma in jainism try to read gommatassaar jivakand and karmakand
    without reading these books don't write about jainism you just confuse others in the wrong direction

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