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Compare and Contrast Essay

By Kia1993 Feb 27, 2013 734 Words
Buddhism vs. Hinduism
Recent studies show religion derives from many sects of life. It has changed very much over time and has been studied more frequently through all of our lives. Religion is developed by the base of beliefs, myths, and rituals. In life many people learn and discover different religions that form their drive of which path to follow and how to set standards for others to view and relate to. There are several and many different kinds of religions some that vary into small and even large groups that set goals to follow the path of their leader and or founders and go to a higher spiritual place in achieving all outcomes through life.

There are several religions that are a main part of the world today such as Buddhism and Hinduism. Both are the most dominant and philosophical religions there are in the world. Hinduism is ranked to be the third structured religion and is way older than Buddhism. They share similar roots and philosophies as well as originated in India before the Common Era. There is no doubt that many still practice and feed off of Buddhism and Hinduism; these religions have survived for centuries. Buddhism teachings are based on the teachings of Lord Buddha who was once a Hindu, therefore this shows that Buddhism share many similarities and some differences in certain doctrinal ideas and beliefs, practices, and sacred texts.

In addition, Buddhism and Hinduism have the same practices, such as, meditation. They both believe that it will bring great sacredness towards Nirvana. In Hinduism, a worshiper cries out the syllable “OM” as a concentration and to attain another level of consciousness. Meditation is a way one searches for a deep awareness and connects to the sacred practice by using this technique. By chanting this syllable, Hindus get a feeling that this will draw them closer to the Ultimate Reality and within immediacy of the essence of true knowledge. In comparison, Buddha was one who felt enlightened through profound meditation. While in the process he felt enlightenment and understood the true existence of Dharma. He expressed through his teachings that to reach nirvana was through meditation. Consequently, though both Hinduism and Buddhism significantly contrast on social structure, both religions practice meditation as a technique to get closer to nirvana.

Despite both religions similarities, the two have discrete differences. Hinduism is known to have no founder, no central authority, no universal texts, and no creed, but the caste system. The caste system is one of the main beliefs in Hinduism. It is a social structure that divides individuals in classes based on an inherited social status. The classes consist of Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra, and Dalits. Each individual has a religious duty or Dharma to give in and maintain and orderly society. Hindus are those who believe that everyone has their place in the world and cannot transgress their roles. In contrast, Buddhism is more of a philosophical organization rather than a religion. Buddha strongly disagrees with the Hindu caste system and believes it’s unjust and there should be no difference in the classes. Even though they both have differences and beliefs, Buddhism and Hinduism are alike in many ways and have had much influence on each other throughout the centuries.

The double nature of Hinduism has had a major effect on Hinduism’s spread. Though Hinduism is assimilated into a culture, like Hindu movements in the U.S. Women are discriminated upon by the traditional gurus and swamis who teach them, not only that but sexist commentaries deeply inbuilt in religious texts. Buddhism scriptures do not say too much about women being treated equally. Found in the Bhagvad Gita, women there is still women sexual stereotype. For Buddhism, women in most cases were considered equal within the law of the Dharma. The world treated them equally, with equal attributes and abilities.

Hinduism and Buddhism are really similar religions. On a direct comparison, however, the differences between Buddhism and Hinduism are great. The general tendencies of both religions lean toward the family and community, both religions seem to have fundamentals which do the West no hurt. Their goal is to strive for inner peace, and to reach heaven through either Moksha or Nirvana. I truly appreciate their desires to have a strong faith and become pure and unblemished. Hinduism and Buddhism are two major religions, firmly planted in their cultures.

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