The knowledge above all is a key aspect in the Hindu spiritual tradition. The desire to know more about the depths of life and death cannot be bribed. Death offers Naicketas pleasures, happiness, wealth, many years of life, for him and his family in order to make him take back his question about a man who is considered death, although some other people consider him alive.
“Choose sons and grandsons who’d live a hundred years!/Plenty of livestock and elephants, horses and gold! Choose as your domain a wide expanse of earth” (Olivelle 234) and even offers free desires, at the exchange of not knowing the truth: “You may ask freely for all those desires, hard to obtain in this mortal world;/Look at these lovely girls, with chariots and lutes/girls of these sort are unobtainable by men – I’ll give them to you” (Olivelle 234).
The immortality resides in knowing, according to the Hindu spirituality, but the knowledge should be understood. The Hindu religion states that those who reach the understanding of the knowledge are the wise ones, and as wise people they can conquer the death and become immortal. The “OM” word is the word in which the entire sense of life resides, which encapsulates knowledge, wisdom and immortality. The force of understanding the knowledge stays in the fact that it permits making choices. Understanding the existence leads to an omniscient power that cancels pain, desire, good or bad:
“It the killer thinks that he kills;/If the killed thinks that he is killed;/Both of them fail to understand./ He neither kills, nor is he killed.” (Olivelle 237).
Therefore, from this there can be understood that everything is the creation of a supreme force, and this supreme force is one with its creation: it can take any form, be anywhere, take any connotation or meaning as it desires, because it develops it as it wishes.
Men become wise through purity and devotion and only like this they get to become wise, knowing and understanding the meaning of “OM”, living the eternal live, being Brahmins.
The Hindu religion is built on leveled spiritual values, which indicates the improvement of human condition from the initial levels to the upper and the top one, where the supreme spirituality is reached through renouncing of self while actualizing it in depth. This paradoxical expression of the supreme spirituality reflects the nature of the knowledge. One only reaches wise if s/he can understand the knowledge. Therefore, this paradoxical explanation of reaching higher forms of spirituality can only be understood with an open heart, knowing of self because only by knowing oneself can one understand others and everything surrounding him/her. At this stage it can be reached a detachment estate, determining the liberation from fear, desire, pain, from age, from sorrow, from hunger, thirst, or death (Olivelle 171).
Likewise, a clear separation between the self and the body is visible in the Hindu learning. As such, while the body becomes adorned, beautifully dressed, or on the contrary, blind, lame or crippled, the self is in no, touched by any of these in any way, as it has a separated road, following the everlasting existence, while separating from the body, which becomes exhausted and can no longer continue the road.
The understanding of the knowledge implies research, but also serenity and acceptance in the Hindu spirituality. Maghavan has lived 101 years as a student with Prajapati until he truly understood the knowledge and was satisfied with what he learned.
In Buddhism, however, the soul takes another turn of discussion. If in Hindu spirituality the soul departs from the body and from everything that means sorrow, pain, pleasure, fear, age and so on, being aware of all of these, nevertheless, in Buddhism, the soul recognizes sentience, which is of three kinds: “happy, sorrowful and neutral” (De Bary 20).
Likewise, another aspect that defines the soul in the Buddhist spirituality is the fact that it is impermanent in regards to sensations. This property of soul in Buddhism indicates the fact that it can experience sorrow, happiness or a neutral estate, being able to pass from one to another of these estates. Therefore, the impermanence of the soul reveals the Buddhist orientation and focus on the world of sensations, binding in a connection with the body.
Acknowledging one’s soul with happiness implies considering being left without soul when happiness ceases, according to Buddhism. The concern for the sensations is linked with the soul in Buddhism, and people who think are able to create this connection, according to this religion’s beliefs. In Hinduism, as it was above illustrated, the people who think should be able to understand the knowledge. Therefore, there is a separation between the process of thinking and the process of understanding. While the thinking can be accomplished in a superficial way, not being truly connected with the reality, but with the self – created reality, the understanding stays precisely in the detachment from the self – created world an reality, and in knowing and learning with the soul, not with the mind.
In Hinduism is the soul that evolves, while the body changes in different stages of life, better said, despite the fact that the body changes (being embellished, or on the contrary, wrinkled, blinded, crippled, and so on). The Buddhism treats the soul in relation to the body evolution precisely, linking it to the concept of a non – permanent individuality. Based on the principle that when happiness disappears the soul departs, this philosophy argues whether there is or not a permanent individuality, in the existence of the body and of the soul. As such, while
However, a common point is met in the two orders’ perception about the approach on reality and the consequences of facts, but based on different principles. The Buddhist principle states that in a murder there is no act of killing, no criminal, no person killed and the same principle is acclaimed also in the Hindu spirituality. Nonetheless, while the Hindu explain this principle by the fact that the existence is the creation of One who makes everything by his/her own image and ideas, therefore, a murder cannot be a murder if not perceived as such, in Buddhism this principle is explained differently. When people evolve they change something in their soul, because their soul has three levels of sentience, as described above. As the soul changes, people lose the permanence of their soul and this makes them some other people. Therefore, the person who killed somebody had one soul, comprising one sensation, while after the murder was committed, that soul would leave, and let the person with another soul, making it another person, different from the one who committed the murder.
However, this principle is debated within the Buddhist spirituality. As such, a simile demonstrates the contrary of this principle, indicating that a person is the same in different stages of life, in different circumstances. Reverend Nagasena asks King Menander whether “the boy who goes to school [is] one [being] and the young man who has finished his education another” (de Bary 24). As Menander is convinced that there are two different persons, the Reverend explains him that actually there is one single person, as in the different stages of life through that young man the soul passes, the same soul. When he dies, somebody else is born and this generates a discussion about the continuity of existence of the soul, in other bodies, or the reincarnation. Actually, at a closer look, the reincarnation occurs within the same being, during his/her life course, as the soul passes from the child to the teenager, to the teenager who graduated from college, to the man who gets married, to the one who has children and so on. But it is the same soul that travels throughout the existence of the body into different shapes or ages.
The Buddhist spirituality focuses more on this part of the impermanence and the circularity of the soul, within the same being or from one person to another. The Hinduism, although it has common traits with Buddhism, it centers more on how to reach a Brahmin estate, on how to improve the soul consciously and uncontrolled in the same time, while learning and understanding.
De Bart, Theodore. The Buddhist Tradition in India, China & Japan New York: Vintage Books a Division of Ransom House. 2011. Print.
Olivelle, Patrick. Upanisads. New York: Oxford University Press Inc. 1996. Print.