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Compare and Contrast Hinduism and Buddhism Essay

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The Importance of Differentiation

Hinduism and Buddhism are two of the five major religions of the world today. Both are widely practiced and have lingered for centuries. There are numerous amounts of similarities and differences, as do all forms of religions. Some individuals may assume that Hinduism and Buddhism are the same religion with their names only being different. Behind every religion is a basic structure, and that structure can be notable or be abstruse to comprehend. While it’s simple to let someone have knowledge of the basics of religion, everyone should be capable of educating themselves on the importance of faith. Hinduism and Buddhism are usually thought of as the same faith, but in reality, there are elements that set them apart from one another and remain fundamental to those who believe.

The main location of Hinduism was held in India. As the years progressed, the faith expanded into various parts of the world. According to Constance Jones and James D. Ryan, the 19th century was filled with the Hindu faith which was considered the indigenous religion of the subcontinent of India and was practiced largely in India itself and in the place where Indians migrated in a large number (17). Unlike most religions, Hinduism does not have a founder which increases more questions about the belief. Religion is the oldest religion that has been around. Hindu is a term, that many believe, is from the Persians. The word Hinduism derives from a Persian term denoting the inhabitants of the land beyond the Indus, a river in present-day Pakistan.

In comparison to Hinduism, Buddhism was also first located in India. The religion quickly spread into China, Japan, Southeast Asia, etc. Buddhism briskly sprouted after Buddha, a title given to a person believed to transcend the cycle of rebirth, found the faith. Siddhartha Gautama was born and raised by his mother Queen Maha Maya and his father King Suddhodana. Gautama was maintained as a kid who had powers when he was a child. Nicole DeSalle states, “when Siddhartha was born, he could immediately walk and talk, and flowers grew at his feet” (1). This bears the idea that Siddhartha Gautama was already and had been thought of as a magical person throughout his life.

Both religions were first found in India and eventually expanded into the rest of the world. One a founder and one with not a single trace. Due to the fact that Hinduism has no specific founder, it’s difficult to trace its origins and history. Hinduism is unique in way that there is not only a single religion, but a compilation of many traditions and philosophies. As follows, Buddhism has its own traditions and philosophies.

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A tradition, which is a belief or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past, can easily be understood with the help of educating the world about its importance. A similar characteristic between these two world religions is their Gods. In particular, the faiths do not sustain correlative Gods. Hinduism leaps into millions of Gods and Goddesses. In comparison, Buddhism also has multiple Gods, but not a massive amount of them.

Meditation is highly regarded in both religions because they believe real truth and spirituality are inward, not outward (Caron 1). Therefore both religions have to sit and ease into their meditation, unlike others. Most religions are required to attend a church, a mosque, or a synagogue. As for Buddhism and Hinduism, their criteria are to preach to whichever God and awaken the soul. As a result, there are millions of gods in the Hindu faith. Too many to be covered, but how they worship can be explained. Worship in Hinduism is an act of religious devotion usually directed to one or more Hindu deities. It’s usually held in temples or in homes to achieve a higher status in the reincarnation process. There are ten different types of worship in the Hinduism faith. Some require objects, and others do not. The worships are Puja, Arti, Bhajan, Darshan, Prasad, Pravachan, Havan, Japa, Parikrama, and Seva. While some of these practices are performed individually. Additionally, all of them can be performed at home as well as in a temple. Contrary to Hinduism Worships, Buddhists are enchanted by monks and religious texts. They usually worship in homes or temples. As that is continued there are specific guidelines that are needed to be fulfilled in order to reincarnate into the righteous nirvana.

The basic teachings of a Buddhist which are core to Buddhism are the Three Universal Truths, the Four Noble Truths, and the Noble Eightfold Path. Each of the truths connects to each other as a train connects to England and Europe. In order to understand a religion’s way of life, there will need to be truths unveiled. The first Universal Truth is everything is important impermanent and changing. The next is impermanence leads to suffering and making life imperfect. Thus, the self is not personal, and unchanging is the third. These are a way an individual is required to live life to the fullest. Every action has an effect and a person’s action can tie them to the cycle of birth and rebirth. A Buddhist is set to believe in the karma that has resulted at the end of their life. One will need to witness and realize that there is a reason behind everything. As quoted, “To ‘see things as they are’ means, very simply, to see that all samsaric experience is stamped by what are known as the three marks: impermanence (anitya), no self (anatman), and suffering (duhkha)” (Huntington 38). Despite the Universal Truths, the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-Fold Path are essential to a Buddhist’s life as well. The Four Noble Truths consist of the term suffering. It indicates that suffering is caused by greed and suffering ends when individuals stop being greedy. The Eight-Fold Path is the path to nirvana, comprising eight aspects in a Buddhist must become practiced. As stated by Ha Vihn Tho, there is the Right View, Right Thinking, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration (Tho 9). There is a three-way division between the Eight Fold Path. The three divisions are moral conduct, mental discipline, and wisdom. Once Buddhists accomplish the truths and the path throughout their life, they will complete the end of suffering and have a virtuous afterlife. In addition to Hinduism and Buddhism history, both beliefs have impacted the world today.

Hinduism is a religion that is expanding every year due to how powerful it is to many people. Even though it is the oldest of them all, the faith itself keeps adapting. The article states, “It is a path that teaches its followers to be fearless, dedicated, focused, strong, assertive, self-controlled, virtuous, self-reliant, and to strive for excellence in all endeavors” (Prasai 1). Therefore it causes those who believe to become a superior version of themselves. As for their worship, the type of temple a Hindu is set to praise is dependent on the type of tradition or ritual they are required to conduct. In contrast, Buddhism is personally expansive and also an empowering religion. The belief promotes itself to wisdom. Buddhism indicates faith, which consists of the sentiments of respect and of inspiration from an ideal. As quoted in the article, “Faith in Buddhism is developed through contemplation and investigation so that the characteristics of truthfulness, righteousness, and efficacy of the ideal in which one develops faith, can be understood and revealed” (Prasai 1). To this day, Buddhism stays faithful to its five rules. Hence, the precepts of the guidelines to develop the mind and character to advance to the path to enlightenment. To reach enlightenment one will need to find the truth about life.

Both religions have several contrasting and comparing. Since Hinduism and Buddhism end with reincarnation, it is believed that they are identical. All religions are compared to one another. Thus, all religions are different in several ways. While Hinduism and Buddhism do have similar aspects, they are truly separable. In order to understand the religions and notice the differences, an individual will need to introduce themselves with not only the basic information. As for both religions, Hinduism and Buddhism are scattered around the entire world today and originated from one minimal country. The belief in Hinduism is assumed to be sparsely in Buddhism and vice versa. Comparing this belief to two people looking alike, but their personalities and characteristics are disparate. For instance: there are identical twins, but that does not contribute to the fact that the way they talk, think, laugh, etc are inseparable. Behind every religion is its structure and order to heed the minor or major aspects is important. As for all religions, those who believe, follow, and truly know what their faith is made up of will briskly realize that their teaching is different from others. A person’s religion stays fundamental to his or her self because it’s what they have trust in. Associating and diversifying Hinduism and Buddhism in order to understand how they work by themselves is what is done to educate oneself.

Work Cited

  1. Jones, Constance, and James D. Ryan. Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Facts on File, Inc, 2007.
  2. EBSCOhost, Caron, Matt. “Buddhism And Hinduism: The Similarities And Differences.” Sivana East. 22 Mar. 2018. 29 Apr. 2019.
  3. HUNTINGTON JR., C. W. “Seeing Things as They Are.” Tricycle: The Buddhist Review vol. 25, no. 3, Spring 2016, pp. 38–103.
  4. EBSCOhost, DeSalle, Nicole. “Gautama Buddha, 583-483 BCE. ”Gautama Buddha (ELL), Jan. 2009, p. 1.
  5. EBSCOhost, Tho, Ha Vihn. “HOPE FOR SOCIAL HEALING Through the Eightfold Path. ”LILIPOH, vol. 8, no. 32, Summer 2003, p. 9.
  6. EBSCOhost, Prasai, D.R. “The Impact Of Hinduism And Buddhism In The World. “NewsBlaze News. N.p., 14 Mar. 2016. Web. 12 May 2019.

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