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Upanishads and Tao Te Ching Texts Essay

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Updated: Jul 22nd, 2022

Upanishads and Tao Te Ching texts represent conventional and ancient guiding concepts of Hindus and Chinese religions, respectively. Both texts are part of traditional cultural values as Upanishad is found in Veda while Tao Te Ching is related to theoretical and religious values. Tao and Brahman are different in how they are perceived in the two different texts. It is important to note that the two texts have similarities in how they influence people’s reasoning and differences in how they explain different concepts.

The overriding theme of Upanishads is the need to accomplish liberation by recognizing inner self divinity and surrendering one’s own identity. This effort constitutes the ability to establish a connection with Brahman, who is the supreme being, and Atman involves connecting with the inner self. “If a man knows Atman here, he then attains the true goal of life” (Swami). The main aim of all efforts involving connecting with the inner self should translate to uniting with Brahman (“Alan Watts: About Hinduism, Upanishads, and Vedanta | Part 1,” 00:00:00 – 00:02:00). On the other hand, Tao Te Ching focuses on ways of living with the values of integrity and goodness here on earth.

Tao is described as a reference to how one should live and act, while Brahman is a creator-like supreme being. Tao appears as a law or guiding God and supreme reality, while Brahman is the supreme creator and absolute reality. Tao Te Ching focuses on human beings in their natural world by providing advice and guidance concerning spirituality and self-authenticity (Laozi & Stephen 2). Some supreme gods in the Upanishad text are Skanda and Shiva. Both texts provide crucial information concerning the values and beliefs of how humans think.

One of the concepts that influence my beliefs is dharma which stresses order and truth as the universal law. This concept encourages me to be relevant in society by fulfilling my roles with respect and courage. Everyone has a social obligation towards others which should allow us to be responsible in conducting our duties to benefit each other (Sayre 4). The concept of Karma is also part of my worldview as I believe that good deeds are paid with good deeds, and evil deeds are paid with evil deeds. As per Tao Te Ching,” the Master doesn’t take sides; she welcomes both saints and sinners” (Laozi & Stephen 2). Just as Tao welcomes both sinners and non-sinners, I believe that God does not discriminate and accepts all, whether good or evil.

Works Cited

“Alan Watts: About Hinduism, Upanishads and Vedanta | Part 1.” YouTube, uploaded by Speakers of Wisdom.

Laozi and Stephen Mitchell. Tao Te Ching: A New English Version. New York, N.Y.: Harper & Row, 1988.

Sayre, Henry M. “Hum 2220: Humanities-Greeks and Romans. Swami Nikhilananda (n.d). Selections from Upanishads

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Upanishads and Tao Te Ching Texts." July 22, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/upanishads-and-tao-te-ching-texts/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Upanishads and Tao Te Ching Texts'. 22 July.

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