Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 2

A comparative study of moral and value education as prescribed in Hindu and Buddhist philosophies

(For school children) Mattia Salvini

Many philosophies and religions have prospered in ancient Bhrata. Among these, nowadays we often speak of Hindu and Buddhist philosophies. Thanks to these beautiful and rich philosophies, we can improve our mind and know how things really are. When we say Hindu we usually mean a philosophy that relies on the authority of the Holy Veda. Buddhist means a follower of the teachings of the Buddha, who takes refuge in the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma (his Teachings) and the Sagha (those who realize the meaning of the Dharma). The Buddha did not rely on the authority of the Veda, because he said that he could see the nature of things directly. There are many similarities and some differences between Hindu and Buddhist philosophies. Even in the context of morality and values we can find some important differences. Of course, when we speak of Hindu philosophies we are talking of many different traditions who understood the Veda in a great variety of ways. Similarly, the Buddhist tradition is very vast and contains many schools. So now I will explain only in a general way. One main difference between the followers of the Veda and the followers of the Buddhadharma is the emphasis on svadharma. For the followers of the Veda, one should carefully identify ones svadharma according to ones background and adapt ones morality accordingly. For example, in the rmad Bhagavadgta, Bhagavn Ka encourages Arjuna to follow the svadharma of a warrior (katriya), and fight. His fighting will be in harmony with his own basic nature, it will be done due to a sense of duty and not out anger or greed. Similarly, a person must identify ones basic nature and then look at the rules written down by the ancient sages (like Manu) about the proper behavior to follow. On the other hand, the Buddha taught a Dharma where the main emphasis is ahis. Dharma, in brief, means not to harm (dharma samsatohis). All the Buddhist rules for laymen or monks are meant to improve ones activity of body, speech and mind, so that harm to others might be minimized. This type of Dharma does not depend much from ones background, although it must still be adapted to ones own situation. There are different rules for lay people and for monks, but the common Dharma is the Noble Eightfold Path, which regulates the activities of body, speech, and mind, including meditation and a correct view of reality. Another important difference is the emphasis on intention. Bhagavn Patajali makes it clear that if we break the injunctions of the Veda we are committing a sin, whether we do it intentionally or not. On the other hand, for the Buddhist, good and bad karma depends entirely on intention. Of course, in many

Vedic philosophies intention also plays a role: however, the emphasis that karma means intention is a specific feature of Buddhist philosophy. Both Vedic and Buddhist philosophers speak of the four purposes of human life. These are: Kma pleasure; Artha wealth and power; Dharma proper behavior; Moka liberation. We have already seen that there is some difference in terms of Dharma. There is also some important difference in terms of Moka. Vedic philosophers tell us that liberation comes from realizing the eternal tman, by distinguishing what is permanent from what is impermanent. Some schools emphasize knowledge (jna) and others emphasize devotion (bhakti), but in both cases it is important not to be attached to what is impermanent and to concentrate on what is eternal, which will eventually give us eternal happiness. On the other hand, the Buddha taught that we can obtain nirva when we understand that there is no eternal tman: our body and mind are like the flow of a candle-flame, appearing brightly but with no real substance. Nirva is to understand this nature vividly, to understand that it is no tman. Then our attachment, aversion and ignorance will have no basis and suffering will not arise again. Both Vedic and Buddhist philosophies emphasize that we must take care of our behavior, cultivating and watching our mind diligently. At the level of an ordinary person, the difference between tman and no tman is not yet so important, because usually our mind is not calm and clear enough to see those topics very clearly. The ancient masters tell us to develop a calm and concentrated mind, devoted to what is important. This will be our most powerful tool to develop greater wisdom. Both Vedic and Buddhist philosophies give a great importance to the wealth of our good behavior and inner qualities, rather than to material wealth. The good qualities that we develop in our mind will remain with us until we reach ultimate and permanent happiness. Hence they teach us to be content with little and look for happiness inside, not to be selfish, and to have good thoughts towards all beings.