Compare and Contrast: Hinduism and Buddhism

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 279
  • Published : January 19, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
Hinduism and Buddhism are in many ways alike and different, being two religions that, relatively speaking, developed from the same area. Of course we must first take into consideration the cultural diversity and population of this area of the Indian subcontinent, which contributes to the differences of these two religions. Hinduism and Buddhism have a great amount of things in common, probably more so than differences. For one, they both developed on Indian soil, which gives the basis for the similarities of these two sets of beliefs.

When we think of any religion the first thing we think of is God or gods. Hinduism contains hundreds of different gods, as well as being relatively pantheistic. Hindus believe that the whole world is one family that deifies the one truth, thus making them pantheistic and also henotheistic. It is an extremely broad religion when it comes to belief systems and deities. This is because Hinduism focuses on the individual, and the rituals, deities, and practices of Hinduism depend on the individual’s philosophies and belief systems at any given time. This is one of the major differences between Hinduism and Buddhism. While Hinduism is a more adaptive and broad set of beliefs, Buddhism focuses mainly on the enlightenment of the individual or the reaching of Nirvana. It focuses on freeing the individual from earthly desires and pleasures by way of the “middle path” which can be reached by becoming an ascetic. It has no deities and enforces the strict ways of asceticism in order to reach the Sambhodi, or Nirvana. Buddhists typically believe that the world is a place of sorrow, and that achieving freedom from this sorrow by way of the Eightfold Path is their main goal, whereas Hindus believe that there are four stages of life that everyone must pursue. Some of the more insignificant differences include the practices and rituals of karma and meditation and the fact that Hinduism was not founded by any particular prophet, unlike Buddhism,...
tracking img