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PHI 353- Week 6 Assignment: Comparative Religion Eastern Tradition

Aug 21, 2023

Week 6: Begin working on the following assignment.

Watch online an Eastern Tradition (Buddhist, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism) and submit the designated paper by the end of week 6. Paper instructions for each designated religious service (use the template embedded in each lesson activity):

  1. Write a 3-page (or more, if needed) paper about your visit
  2. Give attention to page length and include the following sections:
  3. First paragraph includes the place and date of service.
  4. One full page: Detail the narrative of your visit. (e.g., | arrived…then I…)
  5. One-half page: Detail all the aesthetics and symbols in the service
  6. One-half page: Articulate the contents of the message
  7. One full page: Evaluate if the practices and teachings are consistent with Christian theology. Utilize Morgan to navigate a comparison with Christian theology, at least addressing the doctrine of God, Scripture, and Salvation.

Week 6 Assignment: Comparative Religion Eastern Tradition

Place and date of Eastern Tradition

It is believed that the Eastern tradition and religions are the oldest religion on earth. There are various types of religions and mostly spread in the eastern part like South, east, and also Southeast Asia. Among all these religions, Hinduism is one of the oldest religions on earth. This tradition is vastly expanded across the world. Hinduism started around 2300 B.C.E. in the lands of the Indian subcontinent and spread through ancient central Asia and Iran (Cunningham, 2021, p. 146). There is much archaeological evidence that has been found. Buddhism is also one of the most popular traditions after Hinduism. This religion is one of the greatest examples of nontheistic religion. Buddhism started around the 6th century B.C.E. and spread all over central Asia. Although there are several arguments on the actual period of starting Buddhism. Some critics suggest that Buddhism started in the 5th century and some suggest that it started around the early period of the sixth century.

Another major influential religion is Jainism which was greatly extended in ancient India. The major influence of this religion was greatly impacted around the 9th century B.C.E to 600 B.C. E (Cunningham, 2021, p.146). Furthermore, there is another great religion that has been spread vastly across central Asia, Sikhism. This religion developed around 1469 under the influence of Guru Nanak. Although there are also other religions in the Eastern tradition, these religions have left the most impact all over the world. 

Experience of visit

While discovering religion and traditions all over the world, I visited the eastern part to discover the traditions of the region. I have discovered the colorful sights of Hinduism, the calmness Of Buddhism, the peace of Jainism, and the spirituality of Sikhism. When I started my journey to enhance my spiritual sight, I started to realize the beauty of Hinduism at first. The power of hymns and chants and the celebration of traditional values enlightened me with another side of the beauty of spirituality (Fingelkurts, & Fingelkurts, 2019, p. 122).  Most Hindus feel connected to their God by calling their names in the rhythm of Sanskrit chants. As I moved my journey forward, I came across central Asia, I saw the beauty of Buddhism and felt eternal peace within myself.

Buddhism taught me the four Noble truths and feel the power to overcome all sufferings of life. Again I moved on my journey and I have started to enjoy Jainism and it’s\belief and values about living things (Fingelkurts, & Fingelkurts, 2019, p. 123). Their beliefs moved me and my thoughts and I realized a new connection to nature and unconditional love for each living thing. As I am moving forward on my journey, I felt the influence of Sikhism to feel more connected to the cosmic power and awaken all my auras.

I have realized that each tradition signifies the values of the religions and people’s beliefs in their god. There are various ways to call and connect with the almighty and each way is impactful on the person’s beliefs, health, and social values. Even the scriptures or the holy books of these religions tell the deep-rooted history with various information. While continuing the journey, I have also realized the importance of traditions and celebrated these traditions with love and respect. 

Aesthetics and symbols

The common four aspects of these religions and traditions are “dharma”, “karma”, “Maya” and “samsara”.  Even the symbol of “om” represents Hinduism as a beginning of spirituality. In Buddhism, the Dharmachakra represents the traditions and sacred spirituality, and the four noble truths and describes the importance of the eightfold path. In Jainism tradition, the swastika symbol and the ahimsa symbol are the main symbols that represent the theme and the culture of Jainism. In Sikhism, there are two types of symbols one is mentioned in the Guru Granth Sahib, and the other one is the reformed one “the Khanda” (Gittinger, 2018, p. 23). Although the symbol was never mentioned in the holy scripture of Guru Grant Sahib. The mentioned symbol in Guru Granth Sahib is the symbol of “Ek Onkar”. The modern Sikh symbol represents the Sikh’s faith and it was reformed during the 1930s. 

Content of Message

Eastern religions emphasize the symbols differently but concluded on the same concept. Hinduism focuses on four major themes: dharma, karma, moksha, and samsara. Even scriptures of Hinduism suggest that “om represents tranquility (Kęsiak, 2019, p. 53). The Vedas also prove the aspect of Hinduism and show the connection between ancient science practices. The Dharmachakra is the auspicious sign for both religions Hinduism and Buddhism. Even this dharma chakra was known as “Asta Mangala ” in the-Buddhist scripture.

The swastika symbol stands for the four states of Jainism. These states are heavenly beings, hellish beings, subhumans or sriracha, and human beings and are also based on sadhus, sadhvis, sangha, and shravakas (Kirabaev, & Chistyakova, 2020, p. 675). It is based on the theme of the material world and karma. The ahimsa symbol refers to the non-violent side of the religion. In Sikhism, the khanda symbol means unity with god, and leading a peaceful life also symbolizes the devotion and significance of divine knowledge. 

Evaluation of Eastern tradition with Christian theology

There is a huge difference between Christian transition and Eastern tradition, especially in Hinduism and Buddhism following the four noble truths and the Hinduism of Gautama Buddha for salvation. The vast use of chants and mantras can be seen in Hinduism.  Even the practice of the tradition “tantra” also has seen in Hinduism. Even this practice also affected Buddhism. In the late 8th century, the practice of “tantra” also influenced Buddhism and created a new part of Vajrayana (Narayanan, 2018, p. 25). Even in Sikhism and Jainism, the practices differ and create another tradition. Jainism highlights the god’s existence in all living things which impacted their lifestyle and highlighted veganism. Sikhism also follows the path of Guru Granth Sahib. On the other hand, Christianity does not use “mantras” as the practice to follow the tradition.


Cunningham, M. B. (2021). The T&T Clark history of monasticism. The Eastern tradition. By John Binns. Pp. xii+ 253 incl. 19 figs and 2 maps. London–New York: T&T Clark, 2020.£ 85. 978 1 7883 1761 0. The Journal of Ecclesiastical History72(1), 146-147.

Fingelkurts, A. A., & Fingelkurts, A. A. (2019). Placing pure experience of Eastern tradition into the neurophysiology of Western tradition. Cognitive Neurodynamics13(1), 121-123.

Gittinger, J. L. (2018). Hinduism and Hindu nationalism online. Routledge.

Kęsiak, A. 2 In Search of Truth: John Tavener’s Transition from Western Culture to Eastern Tradition. Heart’s Ease, 53.

Kirabaev, N., & Chistyakova, O. (2020). Knowing God in Eastern Christianity and Islamic tradition: A comparative study. Religions11(12), 675.

Narayanan, V. (2018). Hinduism. In Her Voice, Her Faith (pp. 11-57). Routledge.

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