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Primary Elements of Hinduism, Confucianism, and Buddhism

Given the classification of Hinduism, Confucianism, and Buddhism as world religions in Eastern culture, can you help me to identify the primary elements of each religion and identify the elements that they have in common which render them "Eastern". What books do they consider sacred and in which way are they sacred? What teachings do those books or writings give as spiritual or moral contributions to the members of the above religions?

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A. Hinduism: The Vedas (Veda means knowledge/wisdom), which are Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva, are the primary texts of Hinduism from ancient India times. The Vedas are considered to have been directly revealed and compiled around the time of Lord Krishna (c. 1500 B.C.). In other words, they are taken to be universal principles with endless knowledge compared to which human knowledge is nothing but mere handfuls of dirt. Their knowledge encompass all aspects of life: social, domestic, legal and religious. Actually, Vedic literature has stood the test of time and has declared itself as the highest religious authority among Hindus.

Each Veda consists of four parts: Samhitas (Hymns), Brahmanas (rituals), Aranyakes (theologies) and Upanishads (philosophies). The Upanishads form the concluding portions of the Veda known as Vedanta which contains the essence of Vedic teachings. The Upanishads summarized the essence of the Vedas in the syllable Om considered as the goal of all human desires and efforts achieved through austerity and continence. Om is considered as a vibrating sound that symbolizes God's manifestation at the beginning of the creation. It is the name of God and represents its essence and energy in creation (Brahma Shakti), preservation (Vishnu Shakti) and liberation/destruction (Shiva Shakti), therefore it underlies all existence. According to ketha Upanishad, the syllable is the highest and whoever knows it has obtained the highest and all that he desires.

In Mundaka Upanishad we find a story ...

Solution Summary

This solution deals with the three eastern religions (Hinduism, Confucianism, and Buddhism) and what they have common. The exposition will be based on their major Sacred Stories or Myths and Texts. At the end of our discussion we will draw the conclusions.