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Buddhists believe in Buddha not in God as the creator or ruler of the world. They also believe in a life of compassion for all people, peace and wisdom. In spite of Hinduism believing in life after death Buddhists do not believe in an eternal soul but in the five aggregates of human existence, which are physical forms, feelings, ideations, mental dispositions and consciousness (Wangu and Palmer 22).
Buddhism’s founder was Siddhartha Gautama, born by Queen Maya after her dream, and it refers to pathway to spiritual discovery. According to religious beliefs of the Indians, there is rebirth of souls after death though adoption of new bodies which is a never ending cycle.
Siddhartha made an attempt to determine on how to get rid of the endless rebirth cycle and by means of meditation he recognized the final release pathway (Wangu and Palmer 25). Buddha realized that suffering is a result of human desire which could be eliminated by right thinking and acting.
At the age of twenty nine he went for a ride into the city with his Charioteer and this was when he came across an old man, a man suffering from disease and a copse that mourners were surrounding. The charioteer explained to him that the grey-haired man with wrinkled face and feeble hands holding a walking stick was as a result of old age. He was shocked to realize that old age, disease and death are inevitable. This was followed by him renouncing his former life full of pleasure in the palace and went out of the city.
The eightfold pathway to end desire includes right opinion, good intentions, speech, conduct, livelihood, effort, mindedness and concentration. Buddha had five ascetic disciples and travelled in northeastern India, preaching dharma as well as answering any questions. He retained some concepts of the religions in India such as samsara as well as Karma.
Sikhism followers are referred to as Sikhs which means a person who follows a leader’s teachings. It teaches about the Gurus; the Sikhs believe in God referred to as Waheguru that is wonderful Lord and the creator of all things. They believe that Sikhism is a comprehensive mode of life. Their belief is that God is the creator of everything and has provided guidance to assist people live excellent lives and hence a Sikh should accept God and carry out his Will (Mayled 13).
Sikhism teaches that all people are equal and aims to create a cohesive human society that lives in peace, equality and follows God’s teachings. To enable people to attain mukti such that they could avoid backsliding, Sikhism offers the believers liberty of thought. Mukti is achieved by showing God’s love and respect. Sikhs believe in serving other selflessly, that is sewa.
God revealed to the people about the Waheguru via the Gurus’ teachings with the first Guru being Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Guru refers to a person that assist people to move from obscurity into light and Dev Ji or Ji means ‘Honored Sir’ (Mayled 13).
They believe that anything happens because it is God’s will and that the soul returns to God and is released from the rebirth cycle after death. It believes in Karma that is consequences of action that decide if the soul is loosed from the cycle. Mukti is the freedom from the cycle and could be hindered by pride, lust, anger, greed and too much attachment to the world.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji the Sikhism founder was born in the year 1469 in a Hindu family but in his childhood rejected the Hindu rituals and traditions (Mayled 20). He taught about worshipping one God and equality but said the haughtiness, pride, envy, anger and voracity make us to be far from God. Guru Angad Dev wrote the Gurmukhi made up of sixty two hymns. At seventy-three years of age, Guru Armar Das organized the first ever pilgrimage for the Sikhs and Guru Ram das was the founder of the Sikhism’s holy city.
Guru Arjan Dev gathered the previous gurus’ hymns to come up with the Sikhism holy book and building of the Golden temple. Guru Gobind Singh, the last guru, was against oppression of the Sikhs by authorities of Muhgal or Hindu; he was the founder of Khalsa as well as Sikh baptism.
The Baha’i believe in one God and that the leaders of all religions are his messengers. They also believe that the soul is eternal since it is released into the spirit world, returns to God, after a person’s death similar to what Muslims believe. Baha’i faith has its origin from Bab, a religious leader in Persia who said that God had made a revelation to him and that he had the truth therefore people started to follow him.
The Islamic religious leaders in Persia felt threatened by his teachings and organized his persecution along with his followers. Bahaullah, one of the followers of Bab, had a vision while in prison for taking part in the Babi movement (Hartz and Palmer 13). After Bab’s death, he organized some of his mates and adopted the name Baha’i. He escaped persecution and was exiled from Persia. Bahaullah’s teachings were passed on to other generations up to his son, grandson and great grandson.
All the three religions have their origins from a single spiritual person and are influenced by the dominant religion in the area, Buddhism from Buddha, Sikhism from Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Baha’i from Bab. Both Buddhism and Sikhism came from a Hindu background but Baha’i had a Muslim background. Both the Sikhs and the Baha’is believe in life after death where the soul continues to live after a person’s death but Buddhists do not believe in continuity of life. Sikhs and the Baha’is believe in God but Buddhism do not.
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Wangu, M. & Palmer, M. Budhism. New York: InfoBase Publishing. 2009. Print.
Mayled, J. Sikhism. New Hampshire: Heinemann. 2002. Print.
Hartz, P. & Palmer, M. (2009). Baha’i faith. New York: InfoBase publishing. 2009. Print.