The road to Nirvana
Where the ultimate life goal of Hinduism is moksha, the union of the soul (atmans) with the world soul (brahman), the ultimate goal of salvation of Buddhism is nirvana. In this exercise, you will explain what nirvana is.
There are many interpretations of the word nirvana. Explain how the word describes the connection to suffering or desire. Motivate your answer.
2. Is nirvana a conscious state according to Buddhism or can it be described in other terms?
3. To what extent is it possible to compare nirvana with a paradisiacal existence, which is the ultimate goal in Judaism, Christianity and Islam?
4. The teachings of the Buddha are often symbolized as a wheel with different paths that can finally lead man to the goal of life’s journey – nirvana. The ethics, exercises and knowledge of the eightfold path lead man there, according to Buddhism. In this exercise, you will explain the different paths.
a. What exactly does this wheel give man guidance in? Give concrete examples and explain the meaning of the different paths.
b. What parts of this wheel of Buddhism do you consider valid for all people, even if they do not call themselves Buddhists?
c. What parts of this wheel of life are difficult to grasp today if one does not share a Buddhist belief?