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Calling Write-Up Ch. 5 and 6.

Tradition is an expression usually attached to a global outlook when it comes to the formation of religion, customs, and beliefs. Many communities are run and built on traditional norms. Most constitutional laws and amendments are drawn from conventional beliefs. In these beliefs is, where such terms as ‘vocation’ are found, Christians describe vocation as the distinctive belief of finding one’s meaning, fulfillment, and purpose in God. My paper relies on ‘the Calling in Today’s World, Voices from Eight Faith Perspectives’ book by Douglas J. Schuurman and Kathleen A. Cahalan (Cahalan & Douglas, 2018) to postulate some comparisons and differences of the Hindu’s perspective of vocation based on Nikaya and Mahayana Buddhism to other religions.

Chapter 5 of the book opens us up into the world of Hinduism; here, there are traces of the perspective of calling/vocation. Hinduism denotes the idea of society and the cosmos as a single unit with dependent parts. It implies that vocational life should be upheld by the strong-willed who can live by specific ethical boundaries, occupy unique places in the community according to their nature, and adhere to specific social functions. Modern Hinduism has dropped some of these concepts of solemnity and gradually adopted a change that defines vocation as an idea of rebirth not only in the current life but also in a new life. In it, interdependence is imposed as a mandatory moral duty, and it includes; nonviolence, compassion, truthfulness, and self-control at each stage of life while fulfilling specific obligations (Cahalan & Douglas, 2018). All these requirements of those who take up a vocation in Hinduism seem to go parallel with those of Christianity; a Christian is also expected to endorse some values which guide their livelihood. One of the significant differences between the two traditions is that the terms used to refer to vocation or calling differ in Hinduism and Christianity and within the other religions. The Hindus apply terms such as ‘swabhavu’ when referring to the spiritual nourishment of a person as advocated in the Indian Caste system of the past. On the other hand, Christians use the English words ‘vocation or calling.’ Also, the Hindus usually perform their worship at home or in temples intending to live a life fortified on the purity of the soul. Christians go to churches to find fulfillment and communicate with their God. The Hindus uphold rituals, recitations, and festivals that significantly differ from other religions.

Vocation in Nikaya and Mahayana Buddhism is described in the 6th chapter of the book as a symbol of the concept of “calling” then it applies it to Buddhism (Cahalan & Douglas, 2018) but is usually not in a frank array. It comes up with terms such as “the voiceless voice” and “the call of no-calling” when dealing with matters pertaining to the vocational incarnation motif. Hindu’s perspective on the calling of non-calling, as seen in the vocation in Nikaya and Mahayana Buddhism, is a cultivated calling and loss of oneself to traditional beliefs without the intervention of the supernatural factors. The idea of calling in Islam differs from that of the Hindus and Christians; theirs usually involve self-fulfillment, worship for the public’s good, and strengthening their faith. On the other hand, Christians ground this concept on finding meaning and purpose in divine summons from those believed to have been anointed by their God to perform the summons. Unlike other Buddhism practices usually practiced as a philosophy or teaching, the Nikaya and Mahayana Buddhism is highly referenced to beings with a higher state and resembles most religions such as Christianity.

I conclude my paper by appreciating the contributors of the book ‘the Calling in Today’s World…’ in their search for their respective traditional concepts, sacred texts, and practices. Knowledge on vocation’s meaning of diverse traditions has been derived from the book, and hopefully, it improves and increases the efforts to build a humane world that is much better.


Cahalan, K. Douglas S. (2018). The Calling in Today’s World, Voices from Eight Faith Perspectives (pp. 105-160).


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