Two of the most sought religion in the world is Buddhism and Christianity. Followers of the two aforementioned religions are very lenient when it comes to certain beliefs and practices. They preserve the sanctity of their chosen faith and ensure that the symbols of worship and history are well respected through the years. Tibetan Buddhism is mostly followed in the regions of Himalayas. Countries that adhere to the said religion were India, Bhutan and Nepal. People in China, Russia and Mongolia are also Tibetan Buddhists. This religion has four main traditions namely Sakya, Kagyu, Nyingma and Sakya.
All of th aforementioned division includes teachings of the three vehicles of Buddhism: Vajrayana, Mahayana and Foundation Vehicle (Coleman, 10). Achieving enlightenment is the main goal of Tibetan Buddhists. The right term for people who already gained enlightenment is Buddhahood. It is a state of mind wherein the nature of reality as well as mental obscurations is freed. Buddhists are considered as internalist because their state of mind is of great importance in the religion (Coleman, 22). Buddha is their god and they uses texts like Pali Canon, Tibetan Canon and Chinese Canon (Conze 35).
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Christianity on the other hand is a monotheistic religion which centers on Jesus Christ and his teachings. Christians are the followers of this religion who believes that Jesus is the only begotten son of God (Woodhead 7). Unlike Tibetan Buddhism which believes in karma, Christians believes that a life worth livings is when you adhere to the same way Jesus cared and sacrificed for others. It may incorporate similitude between the two religion because both belief aims to do well towards other people. In Christianity, Buddhahood is achieved when everlasting life is granted to its followers.
Unlike Tibetan Buddhism which uses three different texts, Christianity uses The Holy Bible which is divided into two: The Old and The New Testaments (Woodhead). One of the famous symbols of worship in among Christians is the cross. It is being look upon by followers of Christianity as a significant affirmation of all the hardships of Christ (Padgett 18). It leads to the salvation of souls and forgiveness of sins. Christians even come up with the practice of the sign of the cross which affirms the sacredness of the symbol.
Another symbol of worship for Christians is the fish which is often seen on tombs during the early times. It contains the Greek word Icththys which claims Christ’s character and professes the worship of believers (Padgett). The use of images and statues of Christ and other saints are also part of the symbols of worship for Christianity. Tibetan Buddhists look upon the Kalachara or the Tenfold powerful logo as their symbol of worship (Dagyab & Thurman 46-55). It can be found everywhere in places where Tibetan Buddhism is present.
It comes in various forms and represents the teachings of the religion. It contains representation of letters in Lantsa script discussing about the outer world and the human body (Dagyab & Thurman 46-55). Typically, Tibetan Buddhists uses flags to decorate monasteries, houses and even mountains. They believe that the prayer flags contain mantras that can be spread out by the wind. These flags contain auspicious symbols, special prayers and mantras (Dagyab & Thurman). Wind horse and Prayer wheels are also part of the symbols of worship for Tibetan Buddhists.
It is also similar to prayer flags which contain special powers once the wheel is turned (Conze). Apart from Christianity, Buddhist relies too much on symbol rather than working out for their faith. Regardless of the difference of the two religions, what keeps them the same in religiosity is the willingness of their followers to stick to their belief and treasure the worship symbols. The concept of faith is given meaning in their respective ways and makes way for their goal of achieving enlightenment (Buddhists) and salvation (Christians).
Works Cited Coleman, Graham, ed. A Handbook of Tibetan Culture. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc, 1993. Conze, Edward. A Short History of Buddhism. Oneworld. 1993 Padgett, Alan G. ; Sally Bruyneel. Introducing Christianity. Maryknoll, N. Y. : Orbis Books, 2003. Rinpoche, Dagyab & Thurman, Robert Buddhist Symbols in Tibetan Culture. USA: Wisdom Publication, 1993. Woodhead, Linda. Christianity: a very short introduction. U. S: Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford University Press, 2004.
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