Dharma plays a unique role in Buddhism, Hinduism
Dharma plays a unique role in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism but in the end it us serving same purpose, which is to live generously and play a role in society in a very positive, encouraging and meaningful way. It is often confusing if religion and dharma have the same meaning but it does not have the same meaning. Dharma is living life in a spiritual and virtuous, where you help everyone around you, do good deeds, and contribute to society. Religion is rules and laws from God in which you follow and live by, but in religion the relationship is only between you and God and no other individual. Dharma is the relationship you ave with your mind, body and soul. The main goal and point of dharma is to serve good in the world and to reach the highest level and potential of your human existence.
Dharma in Buddhism means following the principles of Buddha and embed them in your daily lives to make it more meaningful and positive. In Buddhism dharma plays a huge role because it is really important to live the way Buddha did because it is beneficial for you, but living the way Buddha did is not a requirement. Dharma in Buddhism is they way of the universe and human nature, it focuses mainly on who really are in the inside and dharma is mainly concerned about the inner core of yourself. Hinduism and Buddhism have a similar meaning of what dharma is, in Hinduism dharma is the principle of law, religion, and your duty in society. Your duty in society depends on your age, caste, and gender. It mainly is based on caste obligations. In Jainism dharma is mainly focused on the soul, it rejects the material and superficial content in life. In the three religions, Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism it has a similar meaning of what dharma means but there are different roles and how you carry your dharma out. To understand the concept of dharma more thoroughly it is mentioned in plenty of stories and old folktales and it has a meaning which you can hold on to and learn from to give your life a sense of purpose and meaning.
The Jataka Tales and the Ramayana and Mahabharta excerpts are stories and tales that hold a meaning and how you should live your life and to know what is right from wrong and abstain from anything that does not benefit you in any way. In the Jataka Tales and the Ramayana and Mahabharta excerpts there are hidden metaphors in these tales and stories that help an individual understand what the tales are really trying to uncover. The Jataka Tales and the Ramayana and Mahabharta excerpts are related to dharma in a sense where a person has to truly understand the stories and folk tales to find the concept of dharma.
The Jataka tales are the accounts of events that happened in Guatama Buddha’s life. These stories and tales show how Buddha lived and his morals, values and how he was a positive influence to those around him and society as a whole. The Jataka Tales have been repeated and told throughout many centuries and generations so that people can install the morals and disciplines of Guatama Buddha in their life so it can benefit them and bring them prosperity. Guatama Buddha was very connected with spirituality, the meaning of life and who you truly are in the inner core of yourself, the goal of Gautama Buddha was to reach the highest level of your human existence and to reach your full potential. The Buddha would tell stories and comment on similar events that had happened in his previous birth to point out a moral in which where any individual can learn from.
The Jataka Tales and dhamma are similar because in Buddhism, dhamma is how Buddha lived and his moral, values and disciplines and the Jataka Tales cover that. Every single tale in the Jataka tale has the the concept of dhamma in it but the individual reading or hearing these folk tales and stories has to truly really understand what dhamma is and what the story is trying to reveal. Each tale has a different meaning in which a person can learn from and incorporate in their daily lives.
In the Jataka Tales, Kandika- Jataka No 13, there is a tale about a man that killed a deer for his own benefit and for the sake of a women he loves. The Buddha witnessed this man killing the deer and the Buddha said ” Twas was not a father or mother, but passion alone that destroyed this foolish deer. The dawn of passion’s bliss, but its end is sorrow and suffering- the painful loss of hands, and the misery of the five forms of bonds and blows. To cause another’s death is accounted infamy in this world; infamous are the man who yield themselves to women’s dominion.” The Buddha in this phrase is teaching that killing an animal or a human is a disgraceful and vile action to do and to kill someone for your benefit and pleasure is evil and in human. This is related to Dharma because the Buddha is preaching to the people that follow him to not do such a action.
The Therigatha poems are songs that are composed of the Buddha’s teaching and the hardships and obstacles of life. The poems are written by individuals who have attained enlightenment and very well know the true meaning of life and their existence. The Therigatha poems come from Buddhas followers and they came from all walks of life, with different experiences and stories to share. The focus of the Therigatha poems is an experience in which the painful constrictions of secular life fall away and torment of feelings diminishes as the peace and freedom of nirvana are attained. These poems have transformed many individuals lives and it was for the better so that these individuals know what is important in life and what is not, these poems of Buddha’s teachings have a really deep meaning and they enlighten people. To understand these poems you have to understand what the poet has went through and what they are trying to reveal. The Therigatha poems connect with dharma because each lyric consists of Buddha’s teachings and principles. Most of the Therigatha poems are about women who used Buddhism has a space to open up and show their aspirations and individuality. There is a distinct difference between the dharma of women in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. In Buddhism women are open to anything and to not have rules and regulations to follow and they also do not have any obligations to fulfill. In Hinduism women have obligations to fulfill and meet such as to obey her husband and nurture her children, to be obedient to her parents and elders, to dress conservatively, follow religious rules thoroughly and there are many more. In Hinduism women are to be protected but women are also powerful ideals who are a viewed very highly. In Jainism, the man and woman are seen as equal and no one is seen as inferior. A women’s and man’s success are celebrated equally in Jainism and women should not feel constrained to fulfill any obligations. The dharma of women in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism are very different but all these three religions view women very highly and greatly.
The Ramayana is a story that has been spread across the countries of South Asia for centuries. It is told through a play, a painted cloth, or it is sculpted on temple walls. The Ramayana has become a part of the heritage across South Asia and has been told throughout generations so people can learn and pass it on. The Ramayana is about a prince trying to rescue his wife Sita from Ravana. The Ramayana story has a lot of meanings and lessons which people can learn from and put in their daily lives. In Hinduism, dharma is fulfilling your duties and obligations, in the Ramayana story Ram does not fulfill his dharma because he does not live for himself or follow his feelings because he behaves on the social behaviour expected of a prince. Ram does everything for the throne and his reputation only. Ram does obey his father by going into exile but he does not do it for the sake of his father, he does it for the sake of the royal throne. ” You are blind, wicked women. This is not a son obeying his father. This is the prince of Raghu clan upholding royal reputation” is a line that is said in the Ramayana indicating that Ram is only doing this for one sole purpose which is royalty and power. Dharma in Hinduism is about fulfilling obligations and your duties, but it does not mean in a selfish way just to benefit you, just like Ram did all the actions he did only for the royalty and power.
Dharma has different meaning in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism but in the end the goal is to live righteously and fulfill your duties, find enlightenment, connect to your spiritual self, and live to your highest. In these tales the concept of Dharma is present and has a universal meaning that everyone can benefit and learn from to grow as a person and use to their advantage in their daily lives.