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Comparing the beliefs in judaism hinduism and buddhism

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My goal was to attain a state of elevated consciousness which the Hindus call samadhi—the experience of the total oneness underlying the apparent multiplicity of this world. Because of the many ripples thought formsthe surface of the pond cannot accurately reflect the sun of Truth. When the pond, or mind, is perfectly still in mediationthe sun, or Truth, is perfectly reflected. Once, during my 11th year of living at the ashram, comparing the beliefs in judaism hinduism and buddhism Hindu-style spiritual retreat, I actually experienced that transcendental state.

I was not aware that over an hour passed in that state, or that the other members of the community had tip-toed out of the shrine room to begin their morning duties. The ritual worship over, I left the shrine, took off my chuddar prayer shawland was engaged in folding it, when Sister Baroda approached me. I was the schedule maker, and she asked if she could switch her cooking day with someone else in the community.

Up to that point, I felt like I had been descending to earth gradually, as with a wind-filled parachute, but suddenly, Sister Baroda poked a gaping hole in my parachute. I landed with a thud, and yelled at her for disturbing my rapture. Then I angrily stalked off to my room to escape the garrulous group of ashram members chatting frivolously over breakfast. Most of the street signs in Dharamsala sport Hebrew letters. A recent cover story of the Jerusalem Report profiles three Jews who have been living in Dharamsala for years: In fact, Buddhism is—in its essence and purpose—the diametric opposite of Judaism.

The Four Noble Truths, which comprise the foundation of Buddhism, are: This world is suffering. The cause of suffering is desire. The cessation of suffering is the cessation of desire.

  • And the lower the object or activity, the higher the sparks can rise;
  • Last Tuesday morning, my husband, a musical arranger, had an important recording session.

The cessation of desire is achieved through practicing the Noble Eight-fold Path, which includes right speech, right action, right livelihood, etc.

The goal of Buddhism is to escape the wheel of birth and death. Since suicide leads only to reincarnation, the only effective way to escape this world is by attaining nirvana, a transcendental state of consciousness which serves as an exit pass from the wheel of birth and death. As Tenzin Josh asserted in explaining his personal transition from a punk lifestyle in London to becoming a Buddhist monk: I just wanted to run away and find some space for myself.

The Talmud, that vast, 63-tractate compendium of the Oral Law, delves into picayune details as a way of including every imaginable physical object in its scope.

Thus, in discussing which vessel is kosher to use for washing hands upon arising, the Talmud considers clay vessels, wooden vessels, animal skins, cracked vessels, broken vessels, etc.

Nothing is too mundane to be dealt with, scrutinized, and either used or dismissed for holy action. According to Kabbalah, every physical object possesses comparing the beliefs in judaism hinduism and buddhism of holiness. By using an object in the way ordained by the Torah, the sparks are released and can ascend.

Jews are here in this world to elevate the entire creation. And the lower the object or activity, the higher the sparks can rise. In this light, we can understand a puzzling statement by the Gaon of Vilna, the great 18th century sage.

The Gaon said that the other religions are like the heavens; Judaism is like the earth. The purpose of the other religions is to transcend this world. The purpose of Judaism is to elevate this world, and in so doing, perfect oneself. Nowhere is the dichotomy between Judaism and the Eastern religions so pronounced as in their approach to sexuality. Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism all mandate celibacy as the highest path, because indulging in sex means giving in to the lower self.

All the serious Bhu-Jews living in Dharamsala have renounced sex. Torah, by contrast, takes sexuality and examines it, regulates it, prohibits it in certain relationships, and ultimately sanctifies it in marriage as the most potent way to unite with God in this world. Discipline is an essential component of sanctified sexuality.

Incestuous relations, among others, are forbidden and married couples adhere to the laws of family purity, where abstention is required during the menstruation cycle. It is a positive commandment of the Torah for a husband to sexually satisfy his wife above and beyond the commandment of procreation.

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According to the Oral Tradition, the union of husband and wife is the closest that human beings can come to union with God in this world.

Preferably, it should be practiced with a stranger. This would be anathema in Judaism, where the highest union includes every aspect of the couple: That is why Judaism prohibits marital relations if either spouse is fantasizing about another person.

The Shechina, the presence of God, comes to rest only when the husband and wife are acting out total oneness, on all levels. Thus, the existence of God and even the existence of an immortal soul are either denied or irrelevant in Buddhism.

God is not only the source of all existence, but also the source of the Torah, the intricate system of ideal behavior for humankind. Further, God is not only the Creator of the universe, but continues to sustain it moment-by-moment, while supervising our participation in it.

According to Buddhism and Hinduism, this world is ultimately purposeless. Both man and nature have meaning because they were created by a purposeful Being. Ironically, it is this search for meaning in life which takes many Jews to the East.

There they fasten on a purpose for their lives: Judaism maintains, however, that the purpose of life is not just spiritual consciousness, but primarily refined action.

Therefore, that purpose cannot be attained by meditation alone, but through mitzvot: A mitzvah which is done without the consciousness that one is doing the will of God—in order to connect with God—does not actualize its full potential. On the other hand, exalted consciousness which does not express itself in concrete actions is worthless.

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I have known great masters of meditation who succumbed to all three. Spiritual consciousness, in and of itself, does not lead to proper action. A human being consists of a soul together with a body. The soul is ever-perfect. We do not need to work on the soul. Rather, we have come into this world to perfect the body which includes emotions and character traits. The body is like a child with which we have been entrusted.

We are obligated to feed, bathe, and rest the body properly. We are obligated to discipline the body, to get it to behave properly, to engage it in acts of kindness, to prevent it from hurting itself or others.

The commandments of the Torah are physical because their object is to train the body. Judaism aims not only for an enlightened mind, but for a sanctified body as well. Therefore, although meditation was practiced by the ancient Prophets and continues to be practiced by modern Hassidim, flights of consciousness can never be more than ancillary to Judaism.

The place for blissful contemplation of the Divine Oneness is not in this world but rather in the World to Come.

  1. Although Jews, especially Israelis, may yearn to escape to a place of peace, our purpose in this life is better served by situations which stretch, test and demand growth. The goal of Buddhism is to escape the wheel of birth and death.
  2. By using an object in the way ordained by the Torah, the sparks are released and can ascend.
  3. The body is like a child with which we have been entrusted.
  4. Judaism aims not only for an enlightened mind, but for a sanctified body as well.

The purpose of this world is to be a place of challenge and accomplishment. Although Jews, especially Israelis, may yearn to escape to a place of peace, our purpose in this life is better served by situations which stretch, test and demand growth. The Jewish idea, on the other hand, is just try to adapt.

Judaism does not just resign itself to a world of darkness. True, it is hard for a monk not to touch money and to live without the comforts of this world. It is difficult to live in silence and seclusion. This world is a place of challenge and attainment. The greater the challenge, the greater the attainment.

During the 15 years I lived in an ashram, the 16 years I practiced vegetarianism and yoga, the 17 years I engaged in meditation, I never succeeded in controlling my volatile temper. Young children provide an ideal environment to work on overcoming anger.

Comparison of Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism?

They are irrational, contrary, famous for interrupting the sleep cycle, demanding, and do not clean up after themselves. They also make messes, usually right after the floor has been washed, and when their mother is at the lowest point of her bio-rhythm energy cycle. I thank God every day for my beloved children.

But I also yell at them—too much. Comparing the beliefs in judaism hinduism and buddhism I am in a Mussar group in which, using the techniques of the Mussar teachers, I work to overcome my inveterate tendency to respond to stress by haranguing whichever culprit backed me into that corner. Last Tuesday morning, my husband, a musical arranger, had an important recording session.

Trying to model the ideal wife, I offered to prepare carrot sticks and humus to send for his lunch. He gratefully accepted, but, knowing my habitual tardiness, warned that he had to leave promptly at 8: In any case, my six-year-old son had to be out the door by 8: Ten minutes was exactly enough time to prepare the carrot sticks and package some humus in a smaller container.

I was on top of it. The money the Cheerios were imported from America. My self-portrait as the ideal wife. My first instinct was to yell at my son, and demand that he clean it up, even if it made him late for school.

My second instinct was to lash out at my husband for his damned punctuality that put me under such pressure. In a calm tone, I sent my son off to school.

I felt a wave of ecstasy sweep over me. I had done it! For this time at least, I had overcome my anger. It was a bigger accomplishment than samadhi.

  • Once, during my 11th year of living at the ashram, a Hindu-style spiritual retreat, I actually experienced that transcendental state;
  • Trying to model the ideal wife, I offered to prepare carrot sticks and humus to send for his lunch;
  • Incestuous relations, among others, are forbidden and married couples adhere to the laws of family purity, where abstention is required during the menstruation cycle;
  • We are obligated to feed, bathe, and rest the body properly;
  • They are irrational, contrary, famous for interrupting the sleep cycle, demanding, and do not clean up after themselves.