Indian religion is one of the most influential religious beliefs all over the world. It salvation and belief in God and is incorporated with spirituality and philosophy. In its simplest context, these religions are highly focused on spirituality, spirituality then is the discipline where an individual integrates the mind to seclude the self from the physical and mental body together with the idea of conquering the continuum of space, time and causality (Hawkins, 2004a). Hence, religion is the practical manifestaion of this principle and philosophy plays its part on the theoretical side.
Indian religions share identical beliefs, the variation only comes on the practical application. A prime example is the the principles of Hinduism and Sikhism, the religions share similar core beliefs, mode of worship and certain rituals due to the communal origin and traits on rituals and literary pieces as well (Hawkins, 2004b). A notable common belief between the Hinduism and Sikhism is Moksha which is defined as the deliverance from the life cycle, torment and constraints of physical existence. It is the equivalent of salvation from sin in Christianity.
The perspective of Moksha is that the experience of liberation is a disintegration of the sense of self as an egoistice individual which which is hindering the pure amaranthine spirit (Basham 1989). Despite the fact that Indian religions may have similarity as far as Moksha is concerned, these religions vary in terms of practical application on such beliefs. Hinduism, the most dominant religion in India, roots its begginings and principles from the Vedic Religion. It is the oldest major form of religious practice that is still adhered to in contemporary times.
The essence of Hinduism is comprised of broad scriptures divided into two texts, Sruti which means the one that is heard, the other is Smriti, a sanskrit translation for what is remembered. Hinduism has a diverse stream of thought that covers the perception of life and its cyclical pattern including the life after death. Hinduism believes that the means to achieve Moksha is via self-realization or atma jnana. Hindus also claim that there are four yogas, meaning disciplinary methods, or four margas, which means path to the achievement of Moksha. The first is Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is the discipline of action.
It is literally translated as the path of union via action. It is the attachment to duty while refusing the rewards. It suggests that thoughts, acts and will should be done in accordance to duty without any thoughts on one’s ends or self-welfare (Kinsley 1982a). Jnana Yoga, conversely, is the knowledge of the absolute or meditating for the supreme (Puligandla 1985), in a portion of the Indian Epic the Mahabharata, jnana yoga is concerned more on the understanding of the the body or the kshetra which is the field of activity and the soul or the kshetra-jna which is the knower of the body and the difference between the two.
Raja yoga, raja is the traditional yoga meditation outlined in yoga sutras (Kinsley 1982b). The primary object of raja yoga is the propagation of the mind through dhyana or meditation. It calms the body so that the mind can be disciplined to eliminate obsessions and addictions in life. Lastly, is the bhakti yoga, which suggests the spiritual manner of devotion to God. It is the easiest of the four paths to Moksha as it requires less discipline that challenges human nature (Kinsley 1982c).
Sikhismm on the other hand is a belief grounded from the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev. The sikh philosphy highly centers on faith in Vahiguru which is considered the infinite creator through the sacred symbol of Ek Onkar which means one God (Cole 1978). Contrary to the liberation teachings of Hinduism and the popular notion of heaven and hell, Sikhism’s belief is that salvation is achieved through a spiritual union with God (Parrinder 1971a). Sikhism adds that the blockades to Moksha are the worldly attachmnts and conflicts in society (Parrinder 1971b).
These hindrances place men and women in a in the concept of reincarnation or which is an eternal cyle of birth. To Sikhs, a vital factor to abberation to the path to Moksha is is Maya which is believed to be an optical deception or unreality. These are the worldly attractions that sidetrack individuals that disrupt individuals and making them interested on attaining temporary pleasure (Cole 1978b). Nanak Dev further explains that Maya is not a reference to unreality of the world but on the values that it undermines.
The path to Moksha or salvation also considers the five evils which are ego, anger, greed, lust and attachment to cause insidious harm and in-depth devotion is the only relief (Parrinder 1971c). The difference from Hinduism is the underlying idea of the path to salvation which is the revelation of God, according to Sikhism it is reliant on self obsevance or disciplined devotion in the entirety of the journey, which in turn will result to the unification with God. That discipline and concrete devotion by heart, spirit and soul is the key to salvation.
Moreover, Nanak Dev preached that sharing, optimism and a harmony between work, worship and charity should be practiced by a sikh. and that the rights of all creatures should be protected particularly humans (Mann 2001).
Hawkins, Bradley, 2004. The begginings of South Asian Religion in introduction to Asian Religions. Newyork: Pearson Longman. Parrinder, Geoffrey, 1971. World Religions: From Ancient History to Present. United States: Hamlyn Publishing Group. Kinsley, David, Worship in the Hindu Tradition: a Cultural Perspective.
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