Hinduism vs. Buddhism

Topics: Buddhism, Hinduism, India Pages: 2 (444 words) Published: October 24, 2012
The Hindu idea of reincarnation and Buddhist idea of Nirvana were both captivating thoughts for people of that era, but which was more important? While differing in social aspects, they are both important influential religions that helped shape India’s history. Buddhism has its own unique aspects and rules, some of which were retained from Hinduism, that helped construct a sustainable social structure through unification, peace, and order. Buddhism formed as a result of the decline of popularity of Hinduism. Hinduism was very complex in rituals and daily lifestyle which was an impetus for a simpler religion to take hold. During the formation of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha retained many aspects that were a part of Hinduism. Gautama, being raised a Hindu, still believed in certain Hindu ideas. Rejecting the caste system, he kept the ideas of reincarnation, meditation, and doing good works. Many Buddhist lessons and teaching such as, “excessive attachment to things and people in the physical world causes pain and suffering” were directly borrowed from Hinduism causing these religions to be very similar. The religions joined forces and directly helped to unify India. While Buddhism and Hinduism are very similar, they also have many differences. Buddhism does not believe in any specific god while Hinduism believes in thousands of different gods. The Hindus pray to natural sources like the sun while Buddhists only pray to Buddha. Buddhism rejects the Hindu caste system. Gautama believed that people from any social class can reach enlightenment. These religions have different means of reaching their ultimate goal. Buddhists believe in following the four noble truths and the 8-fold path while Hindus believed in doing good dharma to receive good karma. Even though these religions were different, they co-existed to from a peaceful civilization in India. Hinduism and Buddhism both influenced Indian society in different ways. The main way Hinduism influenced India was through...
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