Christianity and Hinduism: Basic Worldview Beliefs

Subject: Religion
Pages: 4
Words: 1212
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Study level: Bachelor

People’s faith can significantly determine their attitude to diseases and various ways of treating them. For this reason, medical personnel need to know the basics of religious views. Christianity and Hinduism are among the most widespread religions, and there is a possibility that their representatives will meet in hospital conditions. Despite all the differences between Hinduism and Christianity, there are some common features, both in rites and ideology.

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Both religions claim a particular entity, which laid the foundation for everything and is prime reality, but several key differences can be distinguished. The Christian God is the eternal Creator of everything around, infinite, powerful, and complex. He is transcendent and immanent, that is, the God beyond everything he has created and is associated with everything. Hindu Brahman is a Supreme Being, absolute, the basis of everything around, and also immanent. The main distinction between them is that in Christianity, God is personal, unlike Brahman, which merges and is identified with man and the world.

Christians see the world around as God’s creation, and they believe that the Creator has a plan for everyone. The origin of the universe was mouthful, as God spoke and everything appeared from his words. At the same time, he created the world in an orderly and open way, and such its nature means that people have the right to choose and influence the world. Hindus see the world as part of Earth and nature. Moreover, since everything living around carries a piece of Brahman – atman, one cannot harm the surrounding world without harm to people.

Christianity is built on the belief that man is created in the image of God. This feature creates a special connection between them and puts the human being above other beings. However, the image of God in man faded after sin. For this reason, people need to know God and atone. For Hinduism representatives, a human is a soul, and to gain experience and enlightenment, the soul needs a body. The fate of a person is determined by karma, according to which any activities have consequences. Human actions during life affect karma and influence the souls’ reincarnation.

Both in Christianity and Hinduism, soul salvation is the goal of a human’s religious life. However, they have different views on what happens to the soul after death. Depending on the acts during earthly life, Christianity assumes that a person falls into paradise or hell (“Matthew 25:46,” n.d.). At the same time, in Hinduism, although the assessment also depends on life behavior, reincarnation occurs – a moral person gets the best rebirth, and a bad one can even be born as an animal (Barman, 2020). Simultaneously, there is an opportunity to reach moksha – getting rid of the chain of rebirths (samsara).

God in Christianity in his grace gave people the ability to know the world around them and Creator. God is omniscient, knows everything, and reveals knowledge of himself. In general revelation, people know God through the world, what he created, and in special revelation through Jesus Christ. In Hinduism, Brahman can be embodied in other Lords, visionaries, and other beings. Through them, he conveys knowledge without which people could not see the truth and achieve enlightenment. Jnanam or jnana is the knowledge that a person acquires in such ways as observation, study, understanding, and other methods. Moreover, good karma in past lives can even lead to the spontaneous emergence of knowledge.

God is the source of not only the physical world but also a moral one. In this way, Christian ethics is based on the fact that God is loving and kind, is the standard of morality, and expressed the laws about good and evil in the Scriptures. People created in God’s image, also moral beings, but do not understand morality clear because of Fall. Hindu ethical laws are also represented in scriptures and teachings. Their sources can also be personal judgments and the behavior of wise people. Closely related to ethics is the concept of Dharma, which includes specific rules and norms. Adherence to Dharma is one of the main goals in a human’s life.

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Christians believe in the linearity of history – its beginning, middle, and end. As mentioned earlier, there is a divine plan for everything and everybody. These assumptions give reason to believe that history has a direction towards which it is moving. In Hinduism, some followers are confident that their religion goes beyond history. Moreover, they are convinced in the cyclical nature of time – thousands of years the day of Brahma lasts and the universe exists with it (“Bhaktivedanta VedaBase,” n.d.). Thus, before the appearance of the current universe, there were many others, and when this one will collapse, another set will follow.

The Christian religion’s primary focus is Jesus Christ, who by his example showed a pious life full of love for God and others. Love and concern for one another manifest the importance of this religion for its followers. Moreover, Christianity was able to go beyond belief and create an influential culture. Hinduism, in turn, focuses on achieving the goals of human life, the ultimate of which is moksha – the liberation of the soul (Muthuswamy, 2018). For its followers, this religion determines the rules of behavior, which are more important than beliefs.

Ritual healing methods in Christians – prayers, anointing with oil, and laying on of hands do not exclude medical practice, except for several procedures contrary to beliefs. Christians are also confident that spiritual growth and approaching God can heal. In Hinduism, the healing process involves the body, mind, and soul (Pramod, 2020). Focusing only on the physical aspect leads only to the restoration of health, and spiritual integrity and development are the main components of healing. Thus, for a Christian receiving care, doctors’ competent opinion and procedures coordination are crucial. To heal, the most loyal followers may need calming in prayer or even talking to a priest. For Hindus who receive care, the people who treat them must understand other components – the mind and spirit. For these reasons, it is vital to create calm conditions, such as a healing environment.

From my own spiritual perspective, I find the importance of peace of mind common in the religions described and share the opinion of its value. In the spiritual aspect of healing for patients, trust in doctors and treatment involvement are essential and promote calm and correspondingly more effective therapy. My understanding of the diversity of faith expressions extends the ideas of what people view as healing and its components. This knowledge will help find both an individual approach to each client and shared ideas of religions about treatment.

Thus, Christianity and Hinduism believe in the Supreme Being, who created the whole world – God and Brahman. Both religions have strict moral rules, the observance of which leads to soul salvation. At the same time, for Hindus, the rules are more important than beliefs, and for Christians, faith in a loving God is in the first place. For members of these religions, tranquillity and spiritual development are essential in the healing process, which affects the conditions in which treatment must be carried out. Believers may also need help from staff in support, and it is crucial to know what contributes to peace.

References

Barman, V. (2020). Hinduism: An overview of the religion. PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology, 17(9), 3661-3667.

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Bhagavad-gita as it is 8.17. (n.d.). Web.

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Matthew 25:46. (n.d.). Web.

Muthuswamy, V. (2018). Hinduism and social responsibility. In: Tham J., Durante C., García Gómez A. (eds) Religious Perspectives on Social Responsibility in Health. Advancing Global Bioethics, vol 9 (pp. 91-105). Cham: Springer. Web.

Pramod, D. (2020). Hindu traditions & customs to curb infections. Scientific GOD Journal, 11(6), 422-437.