Hinduism and Buddhism

Topics: Buddhism, Hinduism, Gautama Buddha Pages: 4 (1467 words) Published: November 20, 2013
The world has many different religions. Asia has seen many religions emerge and develop over the course of human history. Out of these, Buddhism and Hinduism are two of the most popular religions within the general population. Hinduism is the oldest known religion and is very rich, with literally hundreds of gods, symbolistic rituals, and beliefs. It is believed to have been established around 1500 B.C., but Hinduism was not the brainchild of any one person, as it evolved over a long period of time through the contributions of a great many religious leaders. Buddhism, on the other hand, developed its equally complex belief and ritual system much later than Hinduism under its founder, Siddhartha Gautama (565-483 BC), who is otherwise known as the Buddha or Enlightened One. Both these religions originated in India. Siddhartha Gautama was a Hindu who found elements of the Hindu theology lacking and after years of searching for truth created the religion now known as Buddhism. Because of these basic similarities, the two religions have much in common, but in the same light they differ immensely. As a result of their shared heritage, Hinduism and Buddhism both have numerous gods, temples and instructions for their faithful to follow certain paths in order to ultimately achieve Nirvana (the place where all the enlightened beings reside). However, according to Buddhist religious text, "He (Buddha) set himself forty-eight vows to fulfill, which, he proclaimed, would allow him to reach Nirvana." (Encarta 98, "Amitabha,") Buddhism is a personal religion. Buddhists follow the instruction of one man who made strict rules and rituals for himself so that he may reach Nirvana. Because Buddhism is such a personal journey, the importance of the concept of a god or group of gods in Buddhism is downplayed to such a degree that, in the eyes of some, it is not even a religion. Hindus, on the other hand, have hundreds of gods governing every different aspect of Hindu life. The...
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