Hindu Notion of Brahman and the Daoist Notion of Dao

There are some similarities and differences between the Hindu notion of Brahman and the Daoist notion of Dao. Dao and Brahman are similar in that both of them are indescribably and nameless. They both manifest themselves to man in many ways and can be identifiable with many and all things in the universe. Both Dao and Brahman are universal in scale and their presence can be felt everywhere. Another similarity is that both Dao and Brahman cannot be known; instead, one can perceive them by intuition. Both Dao and Brahman assist mankind to growth into higher consciousness and to realize that they have to be in harmony with the nature. Being in the path of Dao and/or following Brahman brings about enlightenment for people.

A major difference between the two is in terms of their nature. While Brahma is eternal and timeless, Dao is not and it keeps on changing eternally. Dao is a very impersonal deity and it does not care for its creation and therefore, people cannot pray or displease it. Brahman on the other hand is both personal and impersonal. The Hindu offer prayers to this god which shows that Brahman has some involvement with people. Another difference is that Brahman is seen as the supreme spirit from whom the universe traces its origin. This means that Brahman is something that exists. Dao on the other hand does not have a physical manifestation and cannot be described. Due to the profound differences between the two, I think that while some similarities exist, the two notions are different.

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