As two of the world’s oldest and most established religions, Hinduism and Buddhism have their similarities, as well as differences. Both religions are practiced in Southeast Asia, starting in India and have influenced each other. Hinduism dates back to 5,000 years ago, while Buddhism was created three centuries ago. I will explore what the two religions share and what separates the two from one another covering the origins, number of followers, the texts used, and the belief system followed.
Origin of Hinduism
Hinduism is one of the oldest religions still practiced in modern times. Hinduism originated in India, by several civilizations. The civilizations of the Indus Valley and Harappan present the first elements of early Hinduism. Hinduism is also known by the name, Sanatana Dharma, which means the eternal tradition or religion (Knott, 2000, p. 6). Hinduism dates back to as early as 1500 BC. Hinduism does not have a known founder. Hinduism has an estimated 900+ million followers. Hinduism is not limited to the India, but has migrated and emigrated throughout the world.
Hinduism’s Sacred Texts
Hinduism has been kept alive through it’s sacred writings. These sacred writings are: Shruti and Smriti. Shruti means the truths have been divinely revealed. (Knott, 2000). Shruti explains how Hindu saints or sages lived in the woods and were able to obtain consciousness with the universe. The sages remained anonymous, as they realized that these truths pre-existed and were not their own, but from the Almighty God. The Shruti is compiled of two parts: the Upanishads and the Vedas. The Vedas consists of four parts: Royal Knowledge, Knowledge of Sacrificial Rituals, Knowledge of Chants, and Knowledge of Incarnations. Known to be most important are the Bhagavad-Gita and the Sutras. Oral and written tradition through stories, poems and writings has kept Hinduism alive through a wide span of time.
Modern Appeal Of Hinduism
There are several
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