Topic: God or Gods: Taoism and Hinduism
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Intro:
There have been different interpretations of god from many different cultures and religions. In some religions there is only one god or deity and in others there are multiple gods who each rule a part of the earth. In Taoism, it is believed that tao created the universe along with the people and even the gods. In Hinduism, it is believed that there is one god but the god has multiple personalities each of which are there own gods. The way that the people view there god can change how they live there life. As a god may expect the people who follow him/her to live there lives in a specific way but a different god may want there followers to live a different way.

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Taoism:
Sacred Text Quotes:
Taoism believes that the Tao came before the gods or deities and the Tao created them as well. As one of the sacred texts of Taoism says "A deep pool it is, Never to run dry! Whose offspring it may be I do not know: It is like a preface to God." (a3) This quote talks about Tao and describes how it is almost limitless. The quote "Whose offspring it may be, I do not know" explains that it is unknown where the Tao came from but did not come from any god. The quote "It is like a preface to God." explains the belief that Tao came before the gods. It is believed that the Tao created the gods along with the universe. This belief sets it apart from many other religions who believe that God created the universe.

Secondary Source Quotes:
In Taoism the gods are not the creators of the universe, the Tao is. An example of this is "There is no omnipotent being beyond the cosmos, who created and controls the universe. In Taoism the universe springs from the Tao, and the Tao impersonally guides things on their way." (a1) This quote shows how Taoism believes that the Tao created the universe. While it says "There is no omnipotent being beyond the cosmos, who created and controls the universe" this does not mean there is no gods. There are gods but they didn't create the universe and can't control it. The other part of this quote "In Taosim the universe springs from the Tao, and the Tao impersonally guides things on their way" is self-explanatory. basically this means is that the Tao created and controled the universe

The deities in Taoism did not create life and most of them came from mortal lives and achieved immortality. An example of this is "Taoist deities are part of our universe, not separate from it, and are as equally beholden to the movements of the Tao as are normal people." (a2) This quote shows the purpose and mortality of the deities. Unlike many other cultures that believe that the gods and deities are immortal Taoism believes they are affect by life and death the same way we are. The quote "Taoist deities are a part of our universe" shows that they are at almost equal terms with us and our world. They are also less powerful compared to the Tao which as stated above came before the gods but on equal terms with regular people.

Dylan photo 3.jpgHinduism:
Sacred Text Quotes:
In Hinduism it is believed that Brahman the god and creator is part of everything. As one of the sacred texts of Hinduism says "The self is Brahman. By Brahman is all ignorance destroyed." (b1) This quote shows the two basic idea of Hinduism. The quote "The self is Brahman" explains the belief is that a part of Brahman is in everyone which is also known as the Atman. Brahman is known as the true god and all of the other gods and goddesses in Hinduism are the forms that Brahman takes. The other quote "By Brahman is all ignorance destroyed" shows the belief is that once you accept that you are part of Brahman you become enlightened.


Secondary Source Quotes:
In Hinduism, when you realize you are part of Brahman you become enlightened. An example of this "Hinduism is the religion of truth. Truth is God. Denial of God we have known. Denial of truth we have not known.” (b2) This quote talks about how everyone is a part of God. When it says "Truth is God." it is referring to how you must realize that you are part of Brahman. When it says "Denial of God we have known" it is referring to how it is understandable to at first refuse to accept you are part of god. The final part "Denial of truth we have not known.” explains that it is not understandable to deny this belief.

Brahman is believed to be everywhere and parts of him are in everything. An example of this is "There is no Hell, for that means there is a place where God is not, and there are sins which exceed his love." (b3) This quote explains that god is everywhere and because he is everywhere there can not be a place considered hell. Hell is a place without god so there is no belief in hell in Hinduism. Also because god is everyone there is also nothing you can do that is bad that would exceed his love.

Conclusion:
In conclusion the different interpretations of god or gods each provide examples for how people should live there lives. In Taoism the deities act as a role-model and teachers. In Hinduism the god is part of everything and when you accept that you are part of Brahman you become enlightened. Both of these religions are similar due to one of there duties. The gods may have different roles but they all share one job. No matter what religion they serve as someone to teach the followers how to live and act in the world.

Sources:
Taoism:
"Taoism: Gods and Spirits." BBC News. BBC, 12 Nov. 2009. Web. 01 Nov. 2013
http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/taoism/beliefs/gods.shtml (a1)
"Taoist Deities." Taoist Deities. The Shangra-la Mission, n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.
http://www.shangrala.org/father/RELIGIONS/8Taoism/Dieties.html (a2)
Blakney, R. B. "Tao Te Ching (Blakney 1955)." Personal Tao. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.
http://personaltao.com/taoism-library/recommended-books/tao-te-ching/ (a3)

Hinduism:
Svetavatara Upanishad." From Tribal to Universal Religions. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 191. Print.
From Tribal to Universal Religions, Svetavatara Upanishad, pg 191 (b1)
"Quotes About Hinduism." (51 Quotes). Goodreads, n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.
http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/hinduism (b2)
"Hinduism." - Wikiquote. WikiMedia, 1 Nov. 2013. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Hinduism (b3)