Comparison of Hinduism and Buddhism


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Religious values are known as a crucial factor in the cultures of all countries. Traditions, monuments, duties are part of all religions. Hinduism and Buddhism have significant issues that are people curious about. Hinduism and Buddhism have a special role in the composition of the classical civilization of India. It is also interesting for people to get information about different values. There are lots of similarities and diversities which we can discuss.

Hinduism and Buddhism have a special role in the social life of people. Hinduism existed in the Indian continent before Buddhism, chronologically 2000 BCE. Although Hinduism does not have a certain founder, its followers are called Hindus. It is a nationally strong religion with a strong regional influence, which surrounds the Indian subcontinent from North India to the Indus. Hindus call their religion “Sanatana Dharma” (eternal law), not Hinduism. Classical Hinduism covers the period from its appearance to the appearance of the Advaita movement. In this period, some religious beliefs started to exist like Jainism and Buddhism. When it comes to Buddhism, it is a religious system, which chronologically started to emerge in 6 BCE after Hinduism. It first appeared in North India. It is named by the influence of the founder Buddha. The name of this character is not the Buddha. This name is used as an adjective in terms of meaning, for the person whose real name is ‘Siddharta Gautama Sakyamuni’ as ‘enlightened, awakened’.

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There are a lot of issues that are known as similarities between these two religious systems. Firstly, it is obvious that both of them have an origin in India. And they always have a significant impression on the lifestyle of the Indian population. Both religions have the belief that one’s destiny is composed of one’s movements, thoughts, and states of consciousness. So, both religions have an understanding of karma. Both of them believe that a person is born until his evolution, like a theory of rebirth. But there are some diversities about this statement. Hinduism has an understanding of the transmigration of the soul. In Buddhism, there is no existence of unchanging belief in the soul that is completely separate from one’s self. Buddhists just call it simply a rebirth. Both religions have an understanding of Nirvana, but there are differences in perception. In Hinduism concept of Nirvana is identified as the concept of Moksha. In Buddhism, the concept of Nirvana is known as a theory that is very difficult to describe in words and very hard to understand without experience. Both religions indicate the sacredness of all life and living things; they deserve respect, love. It is called a harmless principle (ahimsa). Moreover, we can say that meditation exists in both of them. And lastly, there is an existence of sculptures, statues, and a high sense of symbolism in both religions.

Some differences are discussable in Hinduism and Buddhism. This paragraph illustrates the differences and diversities of these two religions. As a first difference, it can be diversities in belief in god. Hinduism is a polytheistic religion. On the other hand, gods are defined as male and female, and they are human characteristics, birth, death, jealousy, and protection. they also contain emotions. So they have God’s anthropomorphic imagination. Respect-compassion ceremonies and rituals underlying the worship theory are successful in getting their Gods ‘ numbers. In Hinduism, powerful gods have assumed males, and they are assigned divine duties and actions, such as especially creating and destroying. Essentially, in Hinduism, there is a trinity of God called “Trimurti”. And each God has their own responsibility: Brahma as a creator, Vishnu as a preserver, and Shiva as a destroyer. On the issue of Buddhism, it has not been created as clearly and distinctly as the belief system of God in Hinduism, and the Buddha has not said much about it. Historically, although Buddha chose Hinduism doctrines as the focal point and inspiration of his teachings as the focal point of criticism and established doctrines against them, it does not mean entirely denying God’s imagination that the supreme beings are mortal and unnecessary. Secondly, we can compare the holy figures of these two religious systems. In Hinduism religious culture, the holiness of the people, or the incarnation of the gods, their mission in history, and the compilation of sacred texts of a revelation within the framework of these missions have given them extraordinary qualifications and thus have become sacred figures. But Buddhism is a religious system within the religious framework that, as a result of individual efforts and not social salvation, focuses on liberating and finalizing human desires. There is, therefore, no sacred religious figure in Buddhism except for Buddha and his followers. We can also analyze varieties of principles of worship in Hinduism and Buddhism. In Hinduism, worship is communication with God through convincing and consistent words. This communication is carried out in the form of saying, making wishes, calling, singing, praising, and especially worshiping magical words. In Hinduism, there is no congregation worship. Worship, although individual, is not bound to a certain shape. They believe that the gods see worship everywhere. Therefore, worship can be performed anywhere, in any form, and at any time. Although it is stated that there are many religious ceremonies and practices in Hinduism, Hindus suffice the fulfillment of a few of these worships. Buddhism did not initially include the idea of worship. Later, some worships emerged. A fasting ceremony can be considered as one of these worship. Buddhist monks meet twice a month, either on the moon or on the fourteenth, and check whether Buddhism is fully practiced. In Buddhism, the places where the Buddha was born, gained high inspiration, turned the wheels of the law, and reached Nirvana is considered sacred and visits are made. After Buddha’s death, two sects named ”Mahayana” and “Hinayana” appeared. The main feature of the first of these is that one believes in the Buddha, surrenders to it, and trusts his eternal contract. Therefore, one should try to save not only himself but all living things in dangerous situations. The second is a Buddhist community based on the idea of the basic trio of Buddhism (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha), which does not care much about Gods and souls, believe that the temporality of events, life, and rebirth are painful and that man can only be saved by reaching Nirvana. As a result, Hinduism, which has regional characteristics, is a national religion. Buddhism, which emerged after it, is a religion with universal characteristics. The theses and doctrines they developed against Hinduism play an important role in the development of Buddhism.

In conclusion, we can easily say that there are lots of similarities and diversities, which are interesting to discuss on every occasion. This essay contains the comparison of values, beliefs, and dogmas between Hinduism and Buddhism that leads to breaking the phenomenon of “considering them as a source of one cultural background”. 

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