3.4.11

Buddhism and Hinduism....a comparssion.

Buddhism & Hinduism

"Buddhism, in its origin at least is an offshoot of Hinduism."

Guatam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism was born and brought up and lived and left this materialistic world as a Hindu. And this particular evidence is enough to explain that the concept of Hinduism predates to that of Buddhism. Hinduism, better known as the 'Sanatan Dharma' to the Hindus, is believed to be the oldest religion in the history of human civilisation. Practiced majorly in the secular India, the origin of Hinduism is still a mystery!

According to the historians, the origin of Hinduism dates back to 5000 or more years, whereas, the origin of Buddhism came into existence in a much later period, that is in & around 563 BC. After Lord Buddha achieved enlightenment, He preached whatever He learnt from His experiences and His teachings came to be known as Buddhism and were well received by the people.

It was during the later part of the Vedic Era, when Hinduism was on the verge of decline owing to the orthodoxy, superstitions and staunch practices, prevailing in the religion, when Buddhism with lesser complexities and rituals was accepted by the common people of India.

This was the time when Buddhism arose out of the atheistic strands of Hinduism.

It is a fact that Buddhism evolved and developed because of the complex nature evolving in Hinduism, but still despite some differences, these two sects have a lot of things in common.


Similarities between Hinduism and Buddhism
On Reincarnation
  • Buddhism : Buddhism believes in the process of reincarnation based on deeds of the present life.

  • Hinduism : Hinduism also believes that everyone is a part of an impersonal world and therefore, one's soul reincarnates into another body of any being, based on the deeds of the present life.

Buddha Statue On Salvation
  • Buddhism : One has to work for salvation oneself and therefore, cannot blame others for the same. The salvation depends on the good deeds of a person.

  • Hinduism : In Hinduism also, one attains salvation as per one's own fate and deeds. There are four paths or four yogas to attain salvation : Karma Yoga - Way of good works, Bhakti Yoga - Way of love and faith, Jnana Yoga - Way of knowledge, and Raja Yoga - Way of salvation.

On Enlightenment
  • Buddhism and Hinduism : Both of them believe that there are many paths to attain enlightenment such as overcoming through your feelings and desires and controlling over the six conscious senses.

On Sufferings
  • Buddhism and Hinduism : Both the schools of thought believe that excessive attachment to things and people in the physical world causes pain and suffering. Therefore, we must get ourselves free from the illusions of 'Maya' or worldly desires.

Yogic Practices
  • Buddhism and Hinduism : Both of them gives an emphasis on the practice of meditation and other forms of yoga, which not only helps one to concentrate on the truth of life, but also facilitates the path of enlightenment and liberation.

Tantric Practices
  • Buddhism : Buddhism has a major sect, 'Tantrayana', which is mainly based upon the tantric practices.

  • Hinduism : Tantric practices are also prevalent in Hinduism, especially among the worshippers of the Goddess Kali and the god Shiva. Likewise Hinduism, the Mahayana Buddhism believes that the original teachings of the Buddha are from the Hindu practices, including prayers and the concept of God(even the Buddha as God in all His incarnations). Mahayana Buddhism also introduces the idea of (temporary) heavens and hells.

Differences Between Hinduism And Buddhism
On God
  • Buddhism : The original Buddhist doctrine does not entail any godly figures, though the later Buddhist sects introduced some Godly figures.

  • Hinduism : The Hindus believe in 300,000 Gods.

Buddhist Rituals On Rituals
  • Buddhism : Buddhism do follow some rituals but only in the form of meditation, and bowing and different forms of worship while offering prayer in the Buddhist temples. Buddhist practices also do not require any priests.

  • Hinduism : The rituals, being followed by the Hindus are more complex and vary from birth to death of a person. Besides, priests do play important role in all the rituals.

On Caste System
  • Buddhism : There are four major sub sects in Buddhism, but none of them follow the caste system.

  • Hinduism : On the contrary, there are a number of castes and sub-castes in Hinduism, and the Hindus follow them rigidly.

On Asceticism
  • Buddhism : As the middle way, Buddhism rejects extreme asceticism as well as great wealth.

  • Hinduism : Most of the Hindus believe in extreme asceticism.

On Vedas
  • Buddhism : The Buddhists do not believe in the Vedas. Rather they firmly believe in the teachings of the Lord Buddha and the Buddhist scriptures.

  • Hinduism : Hinduism believes in the supremacy of four Vedas - Rigveda, Samveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda.

On Stages of Life
  • Buddhism : The Buddhists do not believe in the stages of life. People can join any of the stages any time depending upon their spiritual preparedness.

  • Hinduism : The Hindus believe in the four stages of life, also known as the 'ashramas' - Brahamacharya Ashram or Student life, Grihastha Ashram or family life, Vanprastha Ashram or the age at which a person leaves all the worldly desire and home, and Sanyasa Ashram - when a person meditates and awaits for the ultimate truth, death.

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