Hinduism and Buddhism are the third and fourth largest world religions, respectively. Many might reason that the two are one in the same, but they are not. These two religions are both unlike and alike, but let’s visit what is different and similar about them.
They both originated in the ancient Indian subcontinent. An advanced civilization, known as the Indus Valley Civilization, was the root of Dravidian Culture. Later this area was invaded by the people known as Aryans. The Dravidians had a very developed spiritual culture while the Aryans were nature worshipers. In contrast, these two religions are very different from each other. Hinduism and Buddhism religions drew beliefs from these two combined cultures.
They mutually believe in reincarnation named samsara which means the cycle of life, death, and reincarnation. Even though they both believe in reincarnation, their theories on the process differ from each other.
Buddhists believe that you want to avoid reincarnation and enter Nirvana. Nirvana is where your soul is at perfect peace. They must have a perfect soul and be cleansed to meet Braham, the source and creator of all life according to the Buddhist religion. Hindus believe that you want to be reincarnated into something better than you were in your previous life.
Reincarnation in Hinduism depends on how much karma one has. Karma is the reward or punishment for the person’s actions and reactions. For instance, if you do good deeds throughout your life, you would be reincarnated into something or someone better. If you steal or commit crimes in your life, you would be reincarnated into someone or something worse than you previously were. Like Hinduism, Buddhism believes in karma in that you take it with you into your next life, but reasons it is just a small part of one’s life and that a person can change the result.
Religions of the world worship multiple gods, but some religions do not believe in any gods. Hinduism and Buddhism both believe in gods. Buddhism has multiple gods, also known as polytheism. Hindus believe in one supreme god, Brahman, but can believe in whatever gods they want. They can be polytheistic, monotheistic, or not believe in any. The fact that Hindus can worship many gods like Buddhists, that makes them similar.
There are different people who established the two religions. Buddhism was formed from the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, or better known as Buddha. Buddha was a regular person who wanted to find the meaning of life. Hinduism was based on the Aryan culture and not attributed to a single founder.
Both religions believe in following a path or reaching certain goals, but their goals and paths are still very different. Hindus, people who practice Hinduism, believe in the four stages of life. Buddhists, people who practice Buddhism, believe in the eightfold path. The four stages of life include kama, artha, dharma, and moksha.
These steps are also known as Student Stage, Householder Stage, Hermit Stage, and Wandering Ascetic Stage. Buddhism’s eightfold path has many steps or stepping-stones to reach true nature. The eight steps are a perfect vision, perfected emotions, perfect speech, integral action, proper livelihood, complete energy, complete awareness, and full meditation and one-pointedness of mind. That is one of the ways that help Buddhists in reaching a better spiritual life or nirvana.
Another similarity between the two religions is their belief in dharma. Dharma refers to the natural order of the Universe, moral behavior, and appropriate actions. But, dharma has different meanings to each religion. In Hinduism, dharma is the ethical and spiritual law governing individual behavior. In Buddhism, dharma is the dogma, the common truth mutual to all persons always.
There are books that hold holy writings or how to practice a certain religion. Mutually, Hinduism and Buddhism have a holy book, but each is different. Hindus have the Vedas and Buddhists have the Tripitaka. The Vedas has hymns, rituals, and poems. It also has the Buddhists duties for their different social classes. The Tripitaka has the teachings of Buddha and rules for Buddhist monks.
As you can see, there are many differences between Buddhism and Hinduism than there are similarities. They both have holy books and gods. Though they are both different with their beliefs on how to reach their Nirvana or gods. They might also believe in reincarnation, but both have different opinions on it. Even with their differences, they are both great religions and were interesting to learn about.
- Kumar, M. (2018, January 09). Difference Between. Retrieved October 9, 2018, from http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/difference-between-buddhism-and-hinduism/
- Allen, J. (1996). A Basic Buddhism Guide: The Eightfold Path. Retrieved October 9, 2018, from https://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/8foldpath.htm
- Stclair, A. (2012). Buddhism vs. Hinduism ( Compare & Contrast Diagram). Retrieved October 9, 2018, from https://creately.com/diagram/example/ha2lr9kv2/Buddhism vs. Hinduism
- Das, S. (2018, August 10). What Are the 4 Stages of Life in Hinduism? Retrieved October 9, 2018, from https://www.thoughtco.com/stages-of-life-in-hinduism-1770068
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