Buddhism Vs. Hinduism Paper

661 words - 3 pages

Ashley Pradhan

Ashley Pradhan

9/15/09 C/C Essay Per. 1

Buddhism vs. Hinduism

The similarities between Hinduism and Buddhism are the following: both Buddhism and Hinduism stress compassion and non-violence towards all beings, both religions are more philosophical than religious, and both had a strong belief in reincarnation and the after life, and the differences between Hinduism are these: Hinduism is polytheistic while Buddhism maintains no structured belief in an independent, god-like individual, the founders of each religion differentiated, and although they both believe in karma and rebirth, they differ in the way in which they believed the process progressed. Buddhism and Hinduism affected Indian culture in many ways including giving followers political structure through a caste system, creating new forms of art and sciences including many sculptures, and guiding people to better lives by teaching them that if they followed the eightfold path then they would escape the cycle of suffering and rebirth and achieve nirvana. Collectively, Buddhism and Hinduism were closely related, yet particularly diverse.

Given that Hinduism and Buddhism have many similarities, a more detailed description of these similarities can be established. First, it is known that Buddhism and Hinduism both focus on compassion and non-violence towards all beings. This creates a civilized and respectable atmosphere among the people. Second, we know that both religions were more philosophical than religious. This means that instead of focusing on prayer and gods, they centered on an ethical lifestyle. The next similarity that is apparent among Buddhism and Hinduism is that both had a strong belief in reincarnation and the after life. Reincarnation can be explained as a process in which an enduring soul survives after death, spends a variable amount of time in another realm, and then becomes associated with a new body.

The evident differences among Hinduism and Buddhism can also be explained further. One difference is that Hinduism is polytheistic while Buddhism maintains no structured belief in a specific god-like figure. Hindu followers have no doubt they go to moksha after they accomplish redemption, but Buddhists believe that the main goal is to achieve nirvana in the afterlife. Another difference between the two religions is their founders. Although we know that Guatam Buddha founded Buddhism, Hinduism has no particular founding prophet. The final difference between Hinduism and Buddhism is the variation in the beliefs of followers about the process of reincarnation. Buddhists believed that when an individual dies, a new personality is born. As in Hinduism, followers believed that karma determined the circumstances of subsequent lives, so there is continuity between personalities but not persistence of identity. In conclusion, the similarities and differences among Hinduism and Buddhism are multifaceted, but these similarities and differences are factors that contributed to shaping these eminent religions.

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