Confucianism vs. Buddhism

Topics: Buddhism, Confucianism, Gautama Buddha Pages: 5 (1604 words) Published: February 16, 2011
Confucianism vs. Buddhism
By Robert Truckle
In this essay, two world religions will be compared to see how similar and/or how different they are; these two religions are Confucianism and Buddhism. Confucianism speaks about the wise thoughts that Confucius came across throughout his life. Buddhism speaks about how to acquire great knowledge throughout life. Confucianism was founded by a Chinese man, but Buddhism was founded by an Indian man. These quick comparisons show how the religions differ, but more detailed comparisons will be seen throughout the essay.

The origins and founders of these two religions are quite similar, which will be explained in this paragraph. Confucianism was founded by a man named Confucius; which is how the religion got its name. Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha Gautama but was called Buddhism because Buddha means the one who has awakened. Confucianism was founded in the Chinese state of Lu, where Confucius was born in 551 BCE. Buddhism was founded in Northern India where Siddhartha was born in 563 BCE. Both of the religions were formed in the mid-500s BCE just a couple of countries apart and their concepts were similar but they differ as well as seen in this paragraph.

This paragraph will compare the basic beliefs of Confucianism and Buddhism. Confucianism’s beliefs are quite basic and they are only single words or phrases that mean a virtue. Buddhism’s beliefs are more like life paths because they tell you how to live the way Buddha did. Confucianism’s beliefs are: Li which is rituals and etiquette, Hsiao which means love within the family, Yi which is righteousness, Xin which is honesty and trustworthiness, Jen which is benevolence and humaneness towards others and Chung which is loyalty to the state. Buddhism’s beliefs are: Karma which is the sum total of action of body, speech and mind and says if you do good things then good things happen to you, Dharma which has two meanings; the teaching of the Buddha or path of enlightenment and the fundamental principles that control the universe and Reincarnation which is the rebirth of a human soul in a new form after death which can be born into a human, animal or supernatural being. Through the explanation of these two religions basic beliefs you can see that the religions are quite different because Confucianism’s beliefs are virtues and Buddhism’s beliefs are more like life lessons or paths.

This paragraph will be comparing the symbols and rituals of Buddhism and Confucianism. Confucianism’s symbols are also ancient Chinese symbols that were associated with the religion because of similarities between the meaning and the religion’s beliefs. Buddhist symbols were created by Buddhist followers and were created to symbolize Buddha and his teachings. Confucianism has only three main symbols but Buddhism has many symbols. Confucianism’s symbols are: This symbol is the Chinese ideogram for water and means life in Chinese philosophy. This symbol is often used in Chinese wedding ceremonies. It means total harmony, righteousness, in your relationships in life. This yin-yang symbol is used in Taoism is also used in Confucianism. It symbolizes balance in nature between opposing forces because unbalance can lead to disarray.

Buddhist symbols are:
Eight-Spoked Dharma Wheel or Dharmachakra symbolizes the Buddha turning the wheel of law or truth. The Dharmachakra symbolizes the Eight-fold Noble Path and symbolizes Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. The Bodhi tree is used as a symbol because it was under a Bodhi tree that Buddha gained his enlightenment. The Throne symbolizes two things in Buddhism; Siddhartha’s royal ancestry and Buddha’s spiritual kingship. The Lion symbolizes royalty, strength and power and is associated with Buddhism because Siddhartha was a royal prince. The Buddha’s teachings were sometime called the “Lion’s Roar” because of the strength and power of his teachings. The Buddha’s Footprints or Buddhapada is used as a symbol to...
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