Hinduism and Buddhism in Perspective

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Item Code: IDL058
Publisher: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Author: Y. V. Dahiya
Language: English
Edition: 2008
ISBN: 9788121511797
Pages: 270
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.0" X 5.9"
Weight 520 gm
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Book Description
From The Jacket

The book Hinduism and Buddhism in perspective is divided in seven chapters. So far many things with the emphasis on philosophical thought have been discussed and viewed throughout this book. Both Hinduism and Buddhism are primarily concerned with the practical problems of human life. Their direct aim is to offer solutions for the proper guidance of Human conduct. They try to suggest practical ways and means solving the pressing problems of life and to attain the state of Supreme perfection. However, the approach of the Hinduism is mainly para-psychological and it offers solutions mostly on the basis of traditional and metaphysical presuppositions, whereas the approach of Buddhism is thoroughly empirical in which the traditional metaphysical speculations are brushed aside.

Surely, Hinduism and Buddhism are fundamentally opposed to each other in the belief of the existence of God (Brahman). The former holds the view that God or Brahman is the guiding principle behind the entire process of evolution and dissolutions. The latter does not recognize the idea of God or Brahman. It rejects idea of God.

Concerning the concept of action (karma) both the Hinduism and Buddhism agree that all actions, whether good or bad, produce their proper consequences in the life of the individual who, acts, provided they are performed with a desire for the fruits thereof. A man becomes good by performing good actions and bad actions.

Dr. Y. V. Dahiya, formerly Professor and Director, Prakrta Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies, Kuruksetra University, Kuruksetra, was an eminent Indologist. He was a Professor and Head, Department of Sanskrit, Pali, and Prakrta and Dean, Faculty of Humanities, M.D. University, Rohtak.

Apart from the book in hand, he has written the following books: The Language of the Atharva Veda; Panini as Linguist: Ideas and Patterns; Sanskrit Vyakarana ki Ruparekha; Treatment of the Phonology in Dayananda; Sanskrit Bhasa Darsanam; and a Critical Appreciation of Austerity in Ancient Indian Literature; and contributed more than seventy research papers in leading journals, India and abroad.



The ideal of this study grew in my mind when I studied the Suttantapitaka. I found so many similarities in it and the Bhagavadgita which can be compared with the emphasis on philosophical thought which para-psychology and ethics are to be discussed. The Pali Tipitaka, particularly the Suttantapitaka, represents the earliest collection of the teachings of the Buddha, because it consists of a great number of sermons and discourses it consists of a great number of sermons and discourses in prose and verse delivered by the Buddha himself and someone of his disciple. On the other hand, Lord Krsna preached the Bhagavadgita to Arjuna in the battlefield of the Kuruksetra. Therefore, the understanding of the Bhagavadgita and the Suttantapitaka is really advantageous and authoritative for the welfare of human race in full feelings the mission of life.

The present study is essential for human society, for it offers the highest perfection of life. How this is so is explained fully in both the books mentioned above. Everyone should know how both the books Krsna and Buddha are great and everyone should know the factual positions of the living entities. This knowledge constitutes a great science and each and every living being has to bear it for his own interest.

No doubt, it can be briefly said that the para-psychological thought of the Bhagavadgita differs to some extent from supreme self which is identical with Brahman or God is the creator, the sustainer, and the destroyer of the world. It is the ultimate goal of human aspiration, whereas the Suttantapitaka denies the existence of the self, Brahman, or God or the eternity of should and maintains that nirvana which is the state free from desires, is the ultimate truth and the ultimate goal of holy life.

Both the Bhagavadgita and the Suttantapitaka agree that ignorance is the cause of rebirth through the actions committed by man. In this respect, the Suttantapitaka propagates that ignorance should be removed through wisdom arisen in one's ownself. The Bhagavadgita, however, encourages that one should remove ignorance through devotion to God or Brahman.

With regard to the concept of ethics and morality, both the Bhagavadgita and the Suttantapitaka agree that one will receive the result of one's own action committed with attachment. However, the Bhagavadgita lays emphasis on the fact that all actions performed in the service of God are good actions. Whereas the Suttantapitaka emphasizes that the actions performed with the intention to remove all kinds of defilement are good. After all, both of them agree that the nature of the ultimate goal, i.e., nirvana is the most peaceful one and once it is attained, there is no rebirth and there is no falling down again. I hope, therefore, that people will derive the greatest benefit by studying this treatise as I have presented it here, and if even one man become as pure devotees of the Lords, I shall consider my attempt a success.

I would like to personality express my thanks to my own family members, i.e., son, Vishva Deva, daughter, Kanupriya, son-in-law, Vivek and their son Keyur Dev, who always rendered me moral support in completion of this treatise.



The Bhagavadgita is one of the scriptures which can be treated as a guide to spiritual life. It has been the source of inspiration to millions of Indians for al least two thousand years. It has exercised and will continue to exercise the greatest influence on Hindu minds as the revealed word of God. It has served as the prime authority on moral instruction and as a philosophical and religious text. It affirms that God-realization is the supreme end of human life and lays down three paths of God-realization, namely, the path of knowledge for the ascetic, and the intellectual, the path of action for the activist, and the path of devotion for the emotionally, inclined. But it also makes it clear that whatever path one chooses initially, one ultimately attains the knowledge of God, which culminates in supreme devotion. Such it is the Bhagavadgita is rightly considered to be the most popular scriptural text of India.

The Bhagavadgita consists of two words, i.e., Bhagavat and Gita. The meaning of the word Bhagavat is "deity of God," and the word Gita mean "a song or a name given to certain sacred writing in verse (often in the form of a dialogue) which are devoted to the exposition of particular religious and theosophical doctrines." Hence the name Bhagavadgita means "the Song of God or the Blessed One." Franklin Edgerton mentions that more fully and exactly, the title of the word is "the mystic doctrines (Upanisads) sung (or proclaimed) by the Blessed One."

Actually, the Bhagavadgita which forms part of the Bhismaparva of the Mahabharata is the most popular religious poem of Sanskrit literature. It is said to be the most beautiful, perhaps the only true philosophical song existing in any known language. It is a book conveying lesson of philosophy, religion, and ethics. It is not looked upon as a Sruti, or a revealed scripture, but is regarded as Smrti, or a tradition. Yet if the influence which a work has on the mind of man is any clue to its importance, then the Bhagavadgita is the most influential work in Indian thought. The message of the Bhagavadgita is universal in its scope. It has been looked upon in tradition Hinduism as containing the quintessence of the Upanisads. A popular verse from the Vaisnaviya Tantrasara makes out: "The Upanishads are the cows and the cowherd's son, Krsna is the milk-man; Arjuna is the calf, the wise man is the drinker, and the nectar-like Gita is the excellent milk." The Bhagavadgita stands midway between a philosophical system and a poetic inspiration. The main spirit of the Bhagavadgita is that of the Upanisads; only there is a greater emphasis on the religious side. The thin abstractions of the Upanisads could not satisfy the many-sided needs of the soul. The other attempts t solve the secret of life were more theistic in their texture. The author of the Bhagavadgita found that men could not be made to love logic. So, he took his stand on the Upanisads, drew out their religious implications and galvanized them into a living system by incorporating with them popular mythology and national imagination. Apart from this, the Bhagavadgita synthesizes the teachings of Vedanta, Sankhya, and Yoga into one harmonious whole. Therefore, it has rightly been regarded as representing "not any sect of Hinduism but Hinduism as a whole" and constituting "the philosophical basis" of it.

The author is a man of deep culture, catholic rather than critical. He does not lead a missionary movement; he addresses no sect, establishes no school, but opens the way to all the winds that blow. He sympathizes with all forms of worship, and is, therefore, well-fitted, for the task of interpreting the spirit of Hinduism which is unwilling to break-up culture into compartments and treat other forms of thought and practices in a spirit of negation./ the Bhagavadgita appeals to us not only by its force of thought and majesty of vision, but also by its favour of devotion and sweetness of spiritual emotion. Though the Bhagavadgita did much to develop spiritual worship and undermine inhuman practices, still on account of its non-critical attitude it did not destroy altogether false modes of worship.




  Preface ix
  Abbreviations xi
1. Introduction 1
2. The Principle of Ethics and Morality 33
3. The Notion of Action and Rebirth 75
4. The Thought of the Self and not-Self 108
5. Metaphysics and the Imagination of God 143
6. The Gospel of Salvation 185
7. Conclusions 225
  Bibliography 243
  Index 253

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